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Mini-Mauser: Spending Some Time with the CZ 527 in 7.62×39 (VIDEO)

Tue, 05/28/2019 - 05:00

CZ’s 527 American Rifle series has a lot of options, including a suppressor-ready 7.62x39mm with a synthetic stock and it apparently shoots very well when cold. Essentially a mini-Mauser action, Tim Harmsen with the Military Arms Channel picked up one and gets some sweet cold bore shots in the above video.

His is shown equipped with a Q Trash Panda suppressor and what looks like a Tract TORIC 3-15×50 scope. A neat thing is that CZ offers the same model in 6.5 Grendel and .300BLK as well. As usual, Harmsen gives an unbiased review so be sure to drink in the whole thing.

For those who are curious, retail on the stock rifle is $765.67, but we beat that by a good bit. You have to admit, they are pretty good looking guns.

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Categories: Gun News

Texas Emergency Carry Bill Heads to Governor

Tue, 05/28/2019 - 04:30

Those legally able to possess a firearm could carry them without a license for up to a week in Texas during a declared disaster if Gov. Abbott signs a bill headed his way. (Photo: Chris Eger/

The Republican-controlled Texas legislature over the weekend gave final approval to a bill allowing those in the Lone Star State to carry handguns without a license during an emergency.

The proposal, HB 1177, would allow those complying with a mandatory evacuation order the ability to temporarily carry a handgun without first having to have a license. Approved with a reported one-vote majority as Democrats lined up against the measure, it now heads to Gov. Greg Abbott for further review.

Texas requires License to Carry permits for both concealed and open carry and issued more than 340,000 LTCs last year alone. HB 1177 would teak state law to exempt an unlicensed person from the requirement if they are carrying while evacuating during a state of disaster. The period would be limited to 168 hours since the evacuation was ordered and only apply to those who can legally possess a firearm.

The bill was supported in its legislative process by Second Amendment groups such as the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, Open Carry Texas, and the Texas State Rifle Association. In opposition is the League of Women Voters of Texas and Texas Gun Sense, the latter a local gun control group.

The proposal is like one adopted in hurricane-prone Florida in 2015. The Sunshine State has a prohibition against concealed carry of a weapon without a permit and only narrow exceptions for open carry, such as while hunting or fishing. Neither state currently recognizes permitless or constitutional carry.

While Abbott, a Republican, has not commented on his planned actions on the evacuation carry bill, earlier this month he signed a tenant’s rights proposal backed by Second Amendment groups that bans “no firearms” clauses in residential leases. In the past, he has also signed measures in support of carry reform, campus carry and open carry.

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Categories: Gun News

Factory Tour 1962: Building the M14 at Springfield Armory (PHOTOS)

Tue, 05/28/2019 - 04:00

The last rifle built for the U.S. military at Springfield Armory was the M14, and historic photos from its production vouch that it was made “old school.”

Put into production in 1959 to replace several weapons to include the .30-06-caliber WWII-era M1 Garand, the select-fire M14 would be manufactured by Springfield Armory, Winchester, Harrington & Richardson and TRW through 1964. In all, more than 1.3 million of these 7.62x51mm chambered battle rifles were cranked out before the line was closed in favor of the contractor produced M16.

From the Armory’s archives comes this series of photos, taken in 1961 and 1962, showing the M14 on the line.

A rough forging for an M14 receiver. This would be milled out to a functional component (Photos: Springfield Armory National Historic Site)

Milling out the receiver

Checking an M14 barrel with a borescope, a common task still seen today on the floor of gun factories

Checking the tolerances of a barrel. PPE was kinda optional back in the 1960s.

Turning a block of walnut into an M14 stock

Carving the barrel and receiver grooves in the M14’s wooden stock. While overseas NATO allies used plastic furniture on their FN FAL and HK G3s during the same era, the Army stuck with wood on the M14

Staining and fitting the M14’s wooden stock, a task not too different from the Armory’s past work on the M1 and M1903.

Accuracy and target testing. The M14 proved to be an accurate weapon in service, living on as the M21 sniper rifle and later as a Designated Marksman Rifle through the early 2000s.

Function firing an M14 on full-auto. Note the four spent cases in the air. Besides the semi-auto M1 Garand and M1 Carbine, the M14 was intended to replace the M3 submachine gun, select-fire M2 Carbine, and the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle.

Final inspection after test firing

Packing an M14 for shipment. In all, some 1.4 million were produced by Springfield and three government contractors.

Checking the packing and including cleaning kits and accessories

Transporting M14s in cargo containers. These containers would be boxed in connexes and shipped to bases. The first unit to be equipped with the new gun was the Army’s 101st Airborne Division in 1961, followed by the Marines the next year.

Springfield Armory backed their in-house designed M14, even going so far as to run a 30,000 round test of a production gun in Sept. 1961.

While the government’s Springfield Armory closed in 1968 and today is part of the national park system, Illinois-based Springfield Armory was born in 1974 and has long specialized in semi-auto commercial variants of the M14, today’s M1A. Check the great selection of M1A variants and more inside the collection of new and Certified Used Guns.

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Categories: Gun News

Inter Ordnance Announces IO XB 12 ga Bullpup Shotgun (VIDEO)

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 08:00

Florida-based Inter Ordnance this week announced they now are shipping the Kral-manufactured IO XB bullpup shotgun under their banner.

I.O. is typically known for their AK and AR offerings and the XB is imported from Turkey, where Kral markets the magazine-fed 12 gauge internationally as the Tristar Compact series. Using an AK-style action inside a polymer bullpup stock, the XB features a 3-inch chamber and an 18.5-inch barrel length while coming in at just 30.5-inches overall.

Weight is 8.5-pounds and the gun comes with a top Picatinny rail and smaller accessory rails. (Photo: I.O.)

While the above video says the shotgun is available in FDE and black, a release from I.O. also says it is available in an olive green color as well. The shotgun ships with three interchangeable chokes, flip up sights, a carrying handle with integrated sights, and two five-round polymer body magazines. MSRP is $759.

For a great selection of firearms, check out the collection and Certified Used Guns.

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Categories: Gun News

Full Auto Friday: Colt Monitor Edition (VIDEOS)

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 06:30

Capable emptying a 20-round magazine of .30-06 rounds in under three seconds when cyclic, the Colt Monitor could bring it when needed. (Photo: Springfield Armory National Historic Site, courtesy of Alex MacKenzie, curator)

With the 85th anniversary this week of the last time Bonnie and Clyde went for a quiet country drive, we give you the elusive yet famous Colt Monitor.

Essentially a commercial variant of the World War I-era M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle made with a few tweaks by Colt, the R80 Monitor Automatic Machine Rifle was pitched for use by police, security and prison guards. However, as it was introduced in 1931, prior to the National Firearms Act, it initially could be sold over the counter and via mail order.

In The Highwaymen, a recent Netflix film starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as the real-life former Texas Rangers Frank Hamer and Maney Gault on their quest to stop the notorious criminals Bonnie and Clyde, Costner/Hamer is shown early in the movie picking up a Colt Monitor at a local gun shop, no stamps required. He also grabs a Smith & Wesson M1917, Remington Model 11, 1903 Springfield, Thompson SMG, and other assorted goodies.

While past Bonnie & Clyde films have focused on and in many cases even romanticized the career outlaw and his (Tommy) gun moll paramour, The Highwaymen focuses on Hamer and Gault and the fateful day on a Louisiana road on May 23, 1934, where the two duos intersected.

The Monitor is upgraded from the standard M1918 BAR, with a redesigned stock to include a pistol grip, a shorter fore-end, different sights, and an 18-inch barrel outfitted with a giant Cutts Compensator. It also ditched the bipod legs of the military version. The result was a LMG that was a good bit handier than its Great War-era forerunner.

The 16-pound Monitor, like the BAR, was chambered in .30-06 Springfield and used a 20-round detachable box magazine. It had a 500-round-per-minute rate of fire. (Photo: Springfield Armory National Historic Site, courtesy of Alex MacKenzie, curator)

Note the massive compensator. It should be noted that earlier in the 1920s, Colt made the early Auto Ordnance Thompson submachine guns which also included a Cutts. (Photo: Springfield Armory National Historic Site, courtesy of Alex MacKenzie, curator)

The Monitor and the BAR are noticeably different when compared side-by-side.

Colt only made about 125 Monitors, with the majority of those going on to be used by the FBI. Pitched in 1933 to Director J. Edgar Hoover personally, the guns cost $300 “with spare parts and accessories.” This translates to over $5,000 in today’s dollars, which points at why more weren’t sold.

As noted by Historical G-Men, a site that has a great section on the Monitor, FBI training documents of the era had agents qualify at 50, 100, and 200 yards with the Monitor, firing 20 rounds at each stage in a combination of single, burst and automatic fire. A 1934 distribution list shows plans to divvy 86 of the guns up across the country at nearly three dozen FBI offices from Boston to San Francisco.

Hamer’s Monitor, reportedly SN C-103168, was acquired directly from Colt and not bought at a local gun shop. It was used on that day in 1934 by a sheriff’s deputy in Hamer’s group and is now in the Texas Rangers Museum.

While Colt made few of the guns themselves, both the 8mm Mauser-chambered Polish Browning (Fabryka Karabinów) wz. 1928 and the Belgian FN Model 1930 light machine guns owed at least some licensing to Colt’s previous BAR versions, and both of those types saw service in Europe during WWII. Colt had better results with their earlier R75 military model gun, which they sold extensively in Latin America.

Today, Colt Monitors are extremely rare, with a transferable model selling last year at Rock Island Auction for $115,000. The Springfield Armory National Historic Site has one in their collection, which they have graciously photographed for this article.

(Photo: Springfield Armory National Historic Site, courtesy of Alex MacKenzie, curator) also spotted what looks to be one at the Indiana War Memorial in Indianapolis earlier this year.

That Cutts Compensator, tho. The gun is labeled by the IWM as an M1918 BAR. (Photo: Chris Eger/

Until you can get out to one of these great museums, find yourself in a forgotten FBI armory, or save $100K for your own Monitor, you can always catch the gun on the silver screen. A Colt R80 appears not only in The Highwayman in several cameos but also in the 2013 film Bonnie and Clyde, in the hands of John Hurt who portrays Frank Hamer.

Check out the great selection of firearms inside the Collection and Certified Used Guns.

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Categories: Gun News

Memorial Day Salute: The Venerable Springfield 1903

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 06:00

If you are looking for your own piece of history, this circa 1918 Springfield Model 1903 is in our vault currently and is looking for a forever home.

In honoring those who have sacrificed while serving in the United States Armed Forces, we look at perhaps the longest-serving firearm in the U.S. military, the M1903 rifle.

First prototyped in 1900, the Mauser-style bolt-action Springfield service rifle was intended to replace the only recently adopted .30-40 caliber Krag-Jørgensen series of rifles which were found to have been less than stellar in service when fighting the Spanish in Cuba in 1898.

Type classified and adopted in 1903, the guns initially had a series of teething problems in their early life — including the personal intervention by President Theodore Roosevelt into the design of the rifle’s bayonet — but were soon equipping both the Army and Navy.

Noted for its accuracy, the M1903 was soon the standard rifle at the National Matches and is still seen at Camp Perry today. Here, Ohio National Guard Col. Charles B. Winder, a well-known marksman who in the 1908 Olympics won a gold medal in the team military rifle event, fires a Springfield. (Photo: Library of Congress)

There had been over 800,000 M1903s produced by the time the U.S. entered World War I in 1917.

The “ought-three” saw some of its first combat service with the Navy and Marines ashore in Haiti, Central America, and Mexico as early as 1914. These armed sailors, from the battleship New Jersey in 1915, have the newly issued rifle. (U.S. Navy Photo)

Serving “Over There” in France during the Great War in 1917-18, the M1903 was augmented in service by the Remington, Winchester, and Eddystone Arsenal-produced M1917 Enfield, also chambered in .30-06. However, the Springfield was still considered the primary rifle of the U.S. Army until the semi-automatic M1 Garand was adopted in 1937.

When the U.S. entered World War II in 1941, although the M1 was officially “king” in the Army, the Marines still used the M1903 throughout the early campaigns in the Pacific including the defense of Wake Island and Guadalcanal.

This M1903, currently in the collection of the U.S. Marine Corps Museum, was used by Marines defending the outnumbered outpost at Wake Island. The Japanese captured it when they took the island in December 1941 and reissued it. The Marine unit accepting the Japanese surrender at the end of the war recovered the weapon. (Photo: USMC Museum)

Further, a modified version of the rifle, the M1903A3, was produced by Remington Arms and Smith-Corona during WWII for issue to support units and as military aid to allies. In all, more than 3 million 1903s came off the assembly lines by 1945, ending the rifle’s 42-year production run. Specially equipped M1903A4 versions, complete with Weaver optics, were issued to snipers and remained in limited service until as late as the 1960s.

The M1903 was at D-Day, as witnessed by the gear carried by these U.S. Army troops in the Signal Corps photo from June 6, 1944. An M1903 is to the far left and stands out in the landing craft full of M1 Carbines. (Photo: U.S. National Archives)

Although the M14 had replaced the M1 Garand and was itself phased out in favor of the M16 in the 1960s, thousands of M1903 Springfields continued to serve in the armories of Navy and Coast Guard ships as well as for drill purposes throughout the military during the Vietnam and Cold War-eras.

Today, the M1903, out of production for more than 70 years, still pops up in the hands of those on color guard details, in base historical display museums to allow those serving today to better understand what past Soldiers and Marines carried into battle, and on Coast Guard vessels converted for use as line throwing guns.

The M1903 continues to soldier on with the military in a variety of uses (Photos: U.S. Department of Defense)

On a recent tour of the Civilian Marksmanship Program warehouse in Anniston, Alabama, the non-profit had just received several M1903 drill rifles from the Army, seen here sandwiched between M1s in their shop racks. (Photo: Chris Eger/

Odds are, the last American serviceman to hold an M1903 hasn’t been born yet.

Check the great selection of M1903 rifles and more inside the collection and Certified Used Guns.

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Categories: Gun News

Caliber: A Gun Store with ‘No Ceiling’ (VIDEO)

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 10:46

If you’re an aficionado of high-end guns and catch yourself in the Birmingham-area you should stop by Caliber. Located just a stone’s throw from the Magic City in Homewood the gun store is instantly recognizable. It’s a striking balance of concrete and wood, inviting you in to check out some of the most iconic and sought-after guns in the country.

“What’s really interesting about the opportunity to set this store up is that we were able to have a floor but no ceiling,” said Joe Speer, the gunsmith at Caliber. Inside the gallery, there’s everything from practical Winchester .22s to the exclusive 2 millionth commemorative Browning to the unattainable Izumi Beretta shotgun valued at a cool $250,000.

Don’t worry if you don’t have hundreds or tens of thousands of dollars to drop on your next firearm, they got the everyman covered too. Neatly tucked away in the store you’ll find a plethora of guns ranging from AR’s to Glocks the average Joe can afford. It truly is a store that anyone can walk into with any budget and walk out happy.

In addition to the guns, Caliber caters to the hunter and outdoorsman who wants to look fashionable afield. “We are a gun gallery of course, but we are so much more,” said Cameron Iversen, Caliber’s assistant manager. She showed off the vast selection of shooting shirts, watches, sunglasses, belts, and of particular interest knives and tomahawks.

Iversen explained Caliber features a number of knives in their collection. Everything from the big names like CRKT to local Alabama knife makers range the gamut. Of particular interest in the bladed weapons was the McCoun Tomahawks they had for sale. “Believe or not, we cannot keep these in stock. They are all handcrafted and hand-forged and make for excellent gifts,” she said.

Caliber is a gun store like no other I’ve ever come across. It’s like walking into a car store where you could buy a Bugatti and a Ford Escape all in the same place. If you ever find yourself in Homewood, I highly suggest stopping by. Even if it’s for nothing more than to take in some beautiful guns and friendly conversation.

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Categories: Gun News

Ruger: New Magpul-enhanced American Rifle Hunter in 6.5, .308

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 08:30

The new Ruger American Rifle Hunter features Magpul’s fully-adjustable American Hunter stock with enhanced ergonomics. (Photos: Ruger)

Ruger is now offering a version of their ever-expanding Ruger American rifle line to include one with a factory-installed Magpul Hunter stock.

Chambered initially in .308 Win and 6.5 Creedmoor, both models of the new Ruger American Rifle Hunter series use Magpul’s new short action Hunter American stocks. Introduced by the Texas-based accessory company as a $300 aftermarket stock last year, the Hunter American has a cast aluminum bedding block and is fully adjustable across length of pull and comb height. The stocks incorporate a Magpul PMAG 5-round 7.62 AC detachable magazine.

Ruger bills the model as having “minute-of-angle accuracy that can make every hunt a success.”

The rifles come standard with a 20-inch five-groove heavy-contour that ends with 5/8x24TPI threads and a Ruger Precision Rifle hybrid muzzle brake similar to those used on the Ruger American Ranch series. Other features include a factory-installed, one-piece Picatinny scope base and Ruger’s Marksman adjustable trigger that can be tuned by the user from between 3 and 5 pounds. Overall length is 43.25-inches with all of the stock inserts installed and weight is 9.2-pounds without optics.

MSRP on the Ruger American Rifle Hunter is $799. Check out Rugers and more inside collection and Certified Used Guns.

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Categories: Gun News

How the 429 DE Stacks up Against 44 Mag and 50 AE (VIDEO)

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 08:00

Magnum Research‘s new .429 DE cartridge shows potential but how does it compare to the legacy .44 Magnum and .50 AE rounds? To find out, Scott with Kentucky Ballistics managed to get his hands all three and pits them against each other on a pine board test while running a chrono.

The new .429 DE is essentially a .50 AE necked down to accept a .44 slug with a sharp 30-degree shoulder and a neck long enough to hold a 240-grain bullet without setback under recoil. Capable of producing velocities in the 1,600 fps range with 240-grain bullets (and 1,750 fps with 210s), Magnum Research says the resulting cartridge has a 25 percent uptick in velocity and 45 percent increase in energy over a .44 Mag from a 6-inch barrel.

Also, you gotta love a Deagle in any flavor. Check out these at more inside the collection of Certified Used Guns and other available inventory.

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Categories: Gun News

While Selling Trucks and Guns, this Shop Owner Trusts Sig (VIDEO)

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 07:30

What two things go great together in Texas? You might be thinking cowboys and rodeos but, in this case, it’s trucks and guns. Meet Chris Moss, owner of Hill Country Truck Store and Firearms in Canyon Lake, Texas.

But he isn’t just the owner, he’s also a member, so to speak. He explained he picked a Sig Sauer P365 as his every day carry because of the capacity. The compact pistol comes with two 10-round magazines from the factory. And now that Sig offers a new 12 round mag, Moss said he thinks you just can’t beat having the that kind of capacity in a concealed carry gun

The Exo Strike Force holster Moss is trying out. (Photo: Don Summers/

Hill Country Truck Store and Firearms storefront, Canyon Lake, Texas. (Photo: Don Summers/

“It has a very crisp trigger pull with a reset, has minimal recoil, and as a compact 9-millimeter,” he said. “I appreciate the gun’s sleek design, and the size is perfect for every day carry.”

Moss said he likes to keep things simple, so what he carries and what he has in his home for self-defense takes the same round. “If I’m ever in a situation where I’m scrambling for ammo it’s always going to be 9mm,” he said, naming Hornady’s Critical Defense as his favorite. “It’s 115 grains of reliable, threat stopping ammunition.”

Prior to carrying the Sig, Moss leaned toward the popular Heckler & Koch VP9 SK. “I am a huge (Heckler & Koch) fan but when Sig came out with the 12-round magazine, I switched saying ‘you just can’t beat that for the money,'” he said.

Moss is currently trying out a new holster, an Exo strike force style, that carries an additional magazine.

“If ya’ll feel like having fun and exploring what we’ve put together at my place, (also known as the “Redneck Toys R Us”) look us up and come on by,” he said.

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Categories: Gun News

Tactica Belly Band: Concealed Carry Holster for Beltless Carry

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 07:30

The Tactica Belly Band features a molded shell on a fabric band. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Concealed carry without belt loops offers a unique problem to the concealed carry world. How does one safely retain a firearm on body in gym shorts, leggings, skirts or dresses without the security of belt loops? While a host of belly band style options exist on the market, there’s one more that’s recently entered the scene – Tactica Defense Fashion’s Belly Band Holster.

The Tactica Belly Band brings a slightly different take on the belly band style touting itself as a more comfortable and secure concealment option; but does it stack it up to other models and will it make for better on-body concealed carry?

Tactica Belly Band Basics

The Tactica Belly Band brings together fabric and a hard-shell molded design, spinning them into one, complete concealed carry design. The belly band offers an elastic, neoprene band fitted with a molded shell in the effort of providing a more secure alternative to the classic fabric belly band. Fastened to the front of the belly band, the shell is canted in what the company says is a more natural grip. The band wraps around the carrier then loops through a strap ring before fastening and securing with hook and loop. The addition of this extra security measure, the strap ring, continues the Tactica Belly Band’s move towards security and retention.

The neoprene band features a steel spring which adds structure and stability while allowing the carrier to tote a gun without that familiar, fabric floppy feeling. Like most belly bands, sizes are specific – starting at small and running to XXXL. In order to ensure a proper fit, Tactica does list its sizing information on site so gun owners can measure for precise fitting. Due to its molded holster, the Tactica Belly Band also requires gun owners to input gun manufacturer and whether they are right or left handed.

The draw with the Tactica Belly Band is slightly different than other belly band models and requires practice to perfect. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

The list of gun makers is rather small with most of the popular concealed carry handgunsGlock, Kimber, Ruger, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Springfield and Walther – represented. However, the company is fairly new, so it’s likely that more gun makes and models will broaden that list in the future.

Concealed Carry with the Belly Band

Having tested and evaluated a slew of belly band models in the past, I was curious how the Tactica Defense Belly Band would stack up against competitors. Initially, I noted that its band seems smaller than other belly bands, occupying less space around my midsection. A plus if you tend to get hot and sweaty under loads of fabric, the smaller width feels less constricting.

The addition of a molded shell also elevates this design. Demonstrating the seriousness with which Tactica takes safety, the molded shell protects the trigger while safely retaining the firearm. Retention itself can be adjusted through a set of screws and key wrench, all provided in the nifty zippered pouch the belly band ships within. When the Tactica Belly Band arrived, its retention was a little too tight for my liking. Struggling to remove my Smith & Wesson M&P Shield from its grasp, I adjusted the retention to a healthy balance of security yet access.

While we’re on the topic of the molded shell, it’s important to note that its design differs in that the shell is canted. While wearing, concealed carriers pull the gun from an almost horizontal angle versus a straight vertical draw. The aim is better concealment and what the company says is a “more natural draw” for the carrier. While beginners venturing into the concealed carry world for the first time might be satisfied with this draw, those of us accustomed to no cant in traditional AIWB will find the draw takes some time to feel comfortable and familiar. This is definitely a system owners should train on, putting in time to draw and dry fire before committing to carrying.

The belly band conceals well under looser fitting outfits. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Due to its canted design and lack of a claw, wedge or other accessory, the Tactica Belly Band won’t work with every outfit in the closet. Despite providing a deep concealment style, the shell and orientation brings with it some bulk. I wore the Tactical Belly Band in a variety of outfits during the course of testing, eventually learning the holster worked best with looser fitting clothes. In t-shirts and more fitted blouses, the grip of the gun stuck out too far causing an odd-looking protrusion from my midsection. Moving it lower, below the belt line helped some, but negates the purpose of the belly band which is designed to be worn a little higher.

Under tighter t-shirts, the gun protrudes alongside the belly band. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

This lack of concealment in tighter fitting clothes is common among belly bands with a kydex or molded shell. It’s the nature of the beast, so to speak, when adding extra layers to a system; however, the safety of a molded holster design far outweighs the fashion limitations. It’s also worth noting that when partnered with looser clothing or patterned fashion styles, the Tactical Belly Band excellently conceals the firearm. With a looser blouse, the belly band covered my Shield with no one the wiser.

Though I experienced difficulties concealing the Shield in every outfit in my wardrobe, the Tactica Belly Band worked exceptionally well at staying in place. Jogging after my kids, running errands and just generally moving about my house, the Tactica Belly Band stayed put, not straying from its original position. I credit that to the company’s decision to add a steel spring embedded into the band material in addition to its strap ring. The belly band’s fabric feeds through the ring and doubles back on itself partially to secure with hook and loop. This tiny addition makes all the difference in adding structure to the belt, which helps it maintain some rigidity even with a loaded 9mm in place.

Final Thoughts

Entering into a crowded concealed carry holster market is dangerous business, but Tactica Defense Fashion does so with the backing of a holster that meets the needs of female concealed carriers. Blending safety, retention and the ability to wear yoga pants into one holster, the Tactica Belly Band serves as a good option for those looking for versatility without belt loops. The Tactica Belly Band retails for $69.99.

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Categories: Gun News

LMT Opens New Plant, Confirms Large Military Contract

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 06:30

LMT, founded in Illinois in 1980, in now an Iowa-based company. (Photo: LMT)

LMT Defense this week announced they have successfully relocated their manufacturing plant and headquarters from Illinois to Iowa and are busy filling a huge new military contract.

The company, formerly known as Lewis Machine & Tool, moved from their Milan, Illinois home of four decades to nearby Eldridge, Iowa. The new facility, reportedly more than twice the size of their older one, will better allow for company growth as it consolidates three separate operations under a single roof, which should yield a more streamlined process.

“We are tremendously excited by the opportunities provided by room to grow, expand, and improve our manufacturing processes and capabilities,” said the company in a statement. “LMT Defense was able to quickly and efficiently perform a move, of dozens of class-leading CNC machines, over 120 employees, and nearly 40 years of experience in just a matter of a few weeks.”

While the shift is only about 25 miles south as the crow-flies, LMT president Karl Lewis told local media earlier this year that the atmosphere was more welcoming in the Hawkeye State than in the Land of Lincoln, with a succession of Iowa governors assisting in laying the groundwork for the move.

“For us, Iowa has a better climate,” Lewis said. “The people are more receptive to the needs of business and Eldridge is still part of the Quad-Cities.”

The company last week also confirmed that the Estonian Defense Forces have selected LMT Defense from a field of 12 companies to provide as many as 16,000 rifles to that NATO country’s military. The rifle will be from LMT’s MARS series, including the AR-15 type and AR-10 type rifles, in addition to LMT-produced 40mm grenade launchers. The contract with Estonia, set to run through 2021, includes an option for the purchase of additional weapons through 2026.

The Estonian award is not the first large overseas small arms contract for LMT, as the company is fresh off supplying the New Zealand military with over 9,000 of that country’s new MARS-L rifles. This came after a $30 million deal for DMR rifles with the United Kingdom in 2009.

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Categories: Gun News

If You Want to See Over 50 Different WWI Guns in Action, This is for You (VIDEO)

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 06:00

From motorcycle-mounted Vickers machine guns to Glisenti pistols and Winchester Trench Guns, this amazing supercut has you covered.

Over a four year period, the Historical Breechloading Smallarms Association compiled a series of more than 50 clips of Great War period (1914-1918) guns being fired. The above 40-minute mashup starts with a vintage Matchless motorcycle combination with a sidecar mounted Vickers machine gun and just gets better from there.

Running through the machine guns to include the Chauchat, Lewis, and others, they move into the pistols and revolvers of WWI with everything from the Russian Nagant 1895 and classic Colt 1911 to Spanish .455 S&W clones and a Broomhandle Mauser C96.

Then comes the rifles, ranging from British classics that aren’t seen very often such as the Lee-Metford 1888, Jeffrey 1908 magazine bolt-action rifle .333 Jeffrey (good luck finding that at an ammo dealer!) and an SMLE Sniper to a Russian-contract Winchester 1895 magazine lever-action rifle in 7.62x54R. There are also such neat-o finds as a Chandler Trench Periscope adaptation of a Long Lee-Enfield Rifle and a Winchester trench shotgun slam-fire demo.

More detail on each of the demos over at the HBSA’s site.

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Categories: Gun News

National Train a Teacher Day Brings Free Training to Educators

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 05:30

Gun owners listen to a free seminar about concealed carry techniques. (Photo: Jacki Billings)

Firearms instructors across the nation will band together to provide free training courses to teachers as part of the annual National Train a Teacher Day on July 20.

The second year running, the day looks to encourage medical, concealed carry, firearms and tactical instructors to offer free training opportunities to anyone who works in a school. The hope is to better prepare school staff for unfortunate events. A collaborative effort originating from ScotShot instructor Grant Gallagher and Trigger Pressers Union founder Klint Macro, the grassroots initiative emphasizes the movement is all-encompassing and doesn’t just set its sights on firearms classes.

“We have an open agenda that if these people are ever in a horrible situation they should have something that they can go to that suits their personal interest,” Gallagher told at the Concealed Carry Expo. “For some people that might be getting armed. Some might be interested in using a tourniquet. Some people might want to know tips to secure a classroom.”

The idea formed after the Parkland school shooting. Gallagher said that many organizations were offering free training to school staff but there was no cohesiveness to it. To rectify that, Gallagher and Macro teamed up to focus free training on a national level by coordinating it on one day.

“We felt it would have more impact and would get more people if there was a one day focus. It would spread the word through a variety of different things and that was really the inspiration — to bring free training to teachers.” He added. “It’s happening all over the country on the same day, July 20. For people who are looking after children, it’s free. If you are a trainer anywhere in the country and you’ve got something that you’re offering then we would encourage you to help.”

Taser is helping with the endeavor by providing cartridges to students. (Photo: Jacki Billings)

This year Gallagher says more companies have joined to lend their support including the U.S. Concealed Carry Association and Taser Self-Defense. For their part, Taser Self-Defense is sending two free cartridges per student in addition to brochures and information.

“We think it’s a great opportunity and a great cause to get behind. It’s important to support teachers,” Sara Morrell told “Training is so important. Competence breeds confidence and we want teachers to be competent with their device — whether it’s a Taser device, gun or pepper spray. The more confident and trained you are, the more effective and safe you are.”

Any instructor in the tactical, firearms, concealed carry or medical training fields interested in providing free training to school staff is invited to register a course online for National Train a Teacher Day. Teachers and staff looking for free training opportunities can also visit the National Train a Teacher Day website to find resources nearby.

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Categories: Gun News

5 Best Handgun Options for Concealed Carry

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 05:00

When planning to buy a concealed carry handgun people tend to conflate “best” with “small,” but small relates to different people in different ways. Six-foot-two Bert weighing 240 pounds may see a compact pistol as small in his ever expanding waistband whereas 5-foot-4 Ernie weighing 120 pounds finds the same gun too big for his skinny jeans. Therefore, “practical” might be the preferred definition. The best concealed carry handgun is what’s most practical for you.

As the term implies, a concealed carry handgun is one you could carry without alerting others to the gun’s presence. The goal when selecting a concealed carry handgun is finding one that gives you a sense of security, but also holsters comfortably and remains hidden until you access it. While this list will mention brands and specific models, their use will illustrate attributes of handguns as they relate to concealed carry. Here are the five best handgun options for concealed carry.

1. Compact Handguns

Beretta PX4 Storm Compact

Gun manufacturers tend to scale down their full-size handguns to fit the compact size as a way to offer another option. That way, the gun itself includes many of the same features as its full-size counterpart but in a smaller package. Features like an accessory rail or adjustable sights and a larger magazine capacity make compact pistols a desirable option for carry. But how practical is it to conceal a compact handgun?

When making a compact pistol, gun makers typically cut down both the barrel and grip by about an inch. What remains is a balanced pistol that allows almost all shooters to utilize a full three-finger grip. While the size reduction does make the gun more practical to conceal, in many cases a compact handgun is comparable to a full-size handgun and maybe still too big to conceal for anyone with a medium to small frame.   

The Beretta PX4 Storm Compact is a good example. The Italian gun maker took the full-size pistol and reduced the barrel from 4 inches to 3.27 and the grip from 5.51 inches to 5. The changes make the capable duty weapon still large enough for service yet convenient to carry either open or discreetly.   

2. Snub-nosed Revolvers

Smith & Wesson Model 36

The term “snub-nosed” applies to a revolver with a frame of any size but with a barrel length of 3 inches or less. That description makes it notably different than semi-automatic handguns (besides the cylinder, obviously). Instead of a shortened barrel and grip, a snubby is determined only by how short the barrel is.

Snub-nosed revolvers became popular as concealed carry took on a more mainstream appeal. The benefit to a snub-nosed revolver is simplicity. No matter the quality of the gun or ammunition, the cylinder will rotate with every pull of the trigger.

When people think snub-nosed revolver, they typically envision a Smith & Wesson J-Frame, an indicator that applies to a range of Smith & Wesson revolvers. Although traditionally known to be chambered in .38, there are actually a variety of calibers. On top of that, many economical brands like Charter Arms and Taurus Firearms produce models that closely resemble the Smith & Wesson design.

3. Subcompact Handguns

Kahr Arms CM9

Much like compact handguns, gun makers tend to smush their full-size pistols even more to make their subcompacts. While the smaller dimensions make them much easier to carry, they tend to be harder to shoot. You’re controlling the same caliber on a much smaller platform. None is more demonstrative than Glock pistols.

The Glock 26 is noticeably smaller than the standard Glock 17, yet, still a 9mm Glock pistol with Glock action, superb capabilities and a relatively high round count for its size (10 rounds) thanks to its double-stack magazine. It’s just the grip now only allows for a two-finger hold on a rather bulky handle.

However, other manufacturers start their designs as subcompacts. Kahr Arms, for example, specializes in concealed carry pistols. These are usually smaller, slimmer and more intuitive than the subcompact in a series. A slim subcompact is attributable to the magazine design, what’s called a single-stack in which cartridges fill in one top of one the other.

4. Slimline Handguns

Glock 43

A slimline pistol is a subcompact, but we’re identifying it as a category on its own because multiple reputable brands have altered duty-pistol designs to fit the bill. Glock, for instance, has the Glock 4343x and 48 — and Smith & Wesson has the M&P Shield. The effort was to create a smaller gun with the familiarity of their popular base models.

While slim pistol designs are comparable to subcompacts, the identifying factor is that they measure in at about an inch in width. The slimness makes them easier to conceal and the functionality more intuitive. These designs are possible, again, because the manufacturer redesigned the gun around a single-stack magazine.

5. Pocket Pistols


Diamondback DB9

Some call these “get off me guns” since they’re designed to be used in a sudden, reactionary way. Like when a robber tries to ambush you as you try to enter your car.  In that scenario, things like sights and trigger pull matter very little as you pump lead into the attacker from an arm’s length away.

The best way to identify a pocket gun is when it fits in your pant’s pocket with ease. For such uber concealability the tradeoff is often limited caliber options and reduced magazine capacity. It’s a delicate balance. Gun makers want the gun to hold as many rounds as possible but of a caliber large enough for you to successfully defend yourself.

Traditionally, derringers are seen as the ultimate pocket pistol, but advancements in technology have changed that. Diamondback Firearms, for example, started making handguns ideal for life in balmy Florida, where summer lasts a mere 11 months out of the year. With a Diamondback pistol your options are .380 or 9mm and whatever color matches your cargo shorts that day.

Conceal and Carry On

No doubt, smaller is certainly easier to conceal and carry, but smaller isn’t always practical. The best concealed carry handgun should strike the right balance for you. What’s easy to handle and what’s easy to carry.

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Categories: Gun News

This Elusive Saiga 12 is Tricked Out for Enjoyment (VIDEO)

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 09:00

Originally manufactured in Izhevsk, Russia, the Saiga 12 shotgun has its roots deeply planted in the birthplace of its brethren, the iconic AK rifle. The Saiga’s obvious appeal to AK aficionados, combined with its ability to accept a detachable magazine, helped make it an extremely popular shotgun.

Saiga 12 shotguns are patterned after the time tested and reliable AK action, but chambered to accept both 2.75- and 3-inch 12-gauge shells. They also have an adjustable gas system adjust the operation for different types of shells. When Saiga 12s import into the U.S., they arrive no frills, which make them perfect for customization.

Still shot of Meadows modified Saiga 12. (Photo: Don Summers/

Oklahoma-based Tromix customized this Saiga 12. Their gunsmiths moved the trigger configuration in order to add a folding skeleton stock, added a full rail system equipped with a red dot, fore-grip and handle, and a door-breaching muzzle brake.

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Categories: Gun News

New 8x22mm Nambu Ammo Headed to Market

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 08:30

An estimated 475,000 Japanese Type 14 and Type 94 Nambu pistols were made, with many coming back to the U.S. after WWII as war trophies. Steinel Ammo is now making new cartridges for these relics. (Photos: Chris Eger/ pistol, Steinel- ammo)

Ohio-based Steinel Ammunition announced this week they are making new factory ammo for Japanese Nambu pistols. The rimless, bottleneck 8x22mm cartridge was developed in 1904 by Kijiro Nambu, a firearms designer often referred to as the “Japanese John Browning.”

Used in Nambu’s Type 14 and Type 94 pistols as well as his Type 100 submachine gun in World War II, the low-powered cartridge had a reputation in military service as being on the anemic side, especially when compared to .45 ACP rounds. While no guns chambered for the round have been made since 1945, officials with Steinel feel there is a desire among potentially thousands of Nambu enthusiasts in the States for the round.

“Unless you are adept at loading your own ammunition, we find many classic firearms owners are just keeping these unique historical pieces in the safe,” said Andy Steinel, president of Steinel Ammunition. “So many Marines who served in the Pacific theater during World War II either captured or picked up one of these Type 14 or 94 Nambu pistols. They are incredibly fun to shoot, offer light recoil and their unique design is still copied by firearm designers today.”

Steinel noted that no less a firearms designer than Bill Ruger is believed to have used the Nambu handgun series as inspiration for his own Standard .22LR pistol in 1949.

Using an 83-grain full metal jacketed bullet, Steinel is marketing the new production Nambu cartridges in 25-round boxes for $26.99.

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Categories: Gun News

From the Warehouse: A Pile of Colt Gold Cups (PHOTOS)

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 08:00

What’s not to like about a Colt Gold Cup? (Photos: Richard Taylor/

An absolute classic offshoot of the standard M1911, the Colt Gold Cup series are iconic match pistols, and we have several up for grabs from the warehouse.

John Moses Browning’s celebrated 1911 design was adopted by the U.S. military just in time for World War I and soon after Colt began to respond to feedback to tweak the gun for further use. In January 1932, Colt responded to the common fine tuning done to service pistols by military marksmen at the National Match competitions in Camp Perry by introducing the National Match series of accurized 1911s that offered upgrades such as hand-fitted internals, match barrels, checked triggers and mainspring housings and adjustable sights. This model proved popular until it was suspended in 1942 due to the pressing needs of World War II.

In 1957, Colt rebooted the concept as the “Gold Cup National Match” line and has retained the terminology ever since. Fundamentally, these guns have been the benchmark for right-out-of-the-box competition pistols for more than a half-decade with Colt long describing them as “the finest shooting semi-automatic in the world.” With that being said, many have also turned to the reliable all-steel longslide for personal protection and in the good old days when the wheel gun was king for law enforcement, it was not uncommon for members of LE shooting teams to carry their otherwise competition NM 1911s for everyday use.

Originally introduced with the square-bladed Colt Accro adjustable rear sight — which was later changed out as the series progressed, the guns featured slanted serrations on the slide as well as a grooved 7/16-inch flat rib in the 12-o’clock position, the latter feature giving the gun a distinctive “flat-top” appearance. Other improvements include a flat mainspring housing, larger ejection port and several minor internal differences from the standard GI 1911.

Our current selection of Gold Cups that is up for grabs from our extensive gun library covers a wide range of the gun’s production history, covering about a 30-year range.

This MK IV Series 70 Colt Gold Cup National Match from 1983 and includes factory Elliason rear sights, an adjustable trigger, and a beautiful finish for its age. It comes with its original box and paperwork. Colt stopped producing this model in 1983.

This stainless 80 Series Colt Gold Cup hails from 1993 and has wraparound grips

This Colt Gold Cup Trophy is a 1999-vintage gun. The Trophy series started in 1997 and this example includes Elliason rear sights and a wraparound grip. Of note, this beautiful Colt is currently just $999.

A more modern gun, this slick circa 2013 Series 80 Colt MK IV Gold Cup National Match “round top” has imitation pearl Colt grips and a skeletonized trigger.

This certified gun still has the original Colt rubber grips as well as an extra mainspring in its original factory case.

This Gold Cup National Match, of recent manufacture, is one of Colt’s Series 70 O5870A1 style flat tops, a more retro styling that Colt has been going with in recent years.

For home defense, competition use or sheer collectability, it is hard to beat a vintage Colt Gold Cup 1911.

We always have several Gold Cups on hand, with our current selection ranging across nearly a four-decade span of the type’s construction.

However, for those who would like to go with something new and take it from there, Colt still makes the Gold Cup line in both 70 and 80 series and can help you out with one of those bad boys as well. Check out the video of the new stainless 70 Series Gold Cup Trophy we caught up a while back.

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Categories: Gun News

Auto-Ordnance Salutes 75th D-Day Anniversary with Custom Guns (PHOTOS)

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 06:00

Auto-Ordnance has a trio of commemorative firearms paying homage to the men, units, and feats of courage related to D-Day. (Photos: Auto-Ord)

Thompson Auto-Ordnance has landed a series of GI-style guns in a salute to the upcoming anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy in World War II.

In remembrance of Operation Overlord, which saw more than 160,000 Allied troops descend on the coast of France on June 6, 1944, Auto-Ord has unveiled limited edition, commemorative models of their Thompson .45 ACP semi-auto rifle, 1911A1 .45ACP pistol, and M1 .30-caliber Carbine. Each carries custom engravings by Outlaw Ordnance of West Monroe, Louisiana.

“America’s brave warriors were called to do the impossible, beginning the struggle to wrest Europe from the hands of Nazi tyranny,” says the Pennsylvania-based company of the D-Day invasion. “Auto-Ordnance offers this series to honor the many American soldiers who fought so others could be free again.”

The commemorative “Ranger Thompson” is dedicated to the memory of the elite U.S. Army Rangers who scaled the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc to attack a key German position on the morning of the invasion.

Cerakoted in Army O.D. Green, each has a series of engravings including the image of an Army Ranger, the Ranger patch, and a grappling hook used to scale the cliffs. At the time of the D-Day landings, the M1928/M1 “Tommy Guns” was the most prolific submachine gun in U.S. service. Auto-Ord’s semi-auto version sports a 16.5-inch barrel.

One 30-round and one 20-round magazine, a Kerr sling, and a WWII 3-cell mag pouch are included.

The Ranger Thompson has an MSRP of $1,886.

The special edition “Soldier M1 Carbine,” pays respect to the “war baby” .30-caliber weapon carried by thousands of GIs at Normandy– which included many paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions.

Engraved on the left side of the rifle’s walnut furniture are newspaper headlines from the invasion as well as part of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s address to the troops prior to the invasion.

The buttstock has images depicting the beach landings while patches of the various Army divisions involved in Overlord are on the right-hand side of the stock.

MSRP on the Soldier M1 Carbine is $1,391.

Speaking of Eisenhower, “The General 1911” has engravings of the Texas-born Allied supreme commander and later President as well as his words, “Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free.”

The .45ACP also has engravings of Gen. Omar Bradley, and Navy Adm. Alan Kirk.

MSRP on the General 1911 is $1,134.

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Categories: Gun News

Hank Williams Jr. Offers Cash for His Grandpas’s Lost Shotgun

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 05:30

While “a country boy can survive,” to help carry on a hunting tradition, Bocephus is looking for a lost family heirloom 16-gauge, no questions asked. (Photo: Steve Smith/Facebook)

Country singer and avid hunter Hank Williams, Jr. is looking for his grandfather’s long lost Remington shotgun and is offering cash or trade for its return.

Williams, better known to his legion of fans as Bocephus, is on the prowl for a specific Model 11-48 made by Big Green. The 16-gauge semi-auto, whose serial number ends in 58111, is thought by the singer’s Alabama attorney, Steve Smith, to have been lost when Williams moved from rural “Cullman to Paris–possibly from his cabin on Smith Lake.”

While the country legend is offering “fifty $100 dollar bills, NO QUESTIONS ASKED, no chance of criminal prosecution,” Smith also says if the finder would prefer a gun or guitar “I’m sure that can be arranged with a proper certificate of authenticity.” In addition, a $1,000 finders fee has been offered for information that puts Smith on the trail of the vintage scattergun.

Introduced by the New York-based gunmaker in 1952, some 429,000 Remington Model 11-48s were made before the shotguns were phased out in favor of later models in 1968.

Williams, 69, said the gun belonged to his Granddad Sheppard and he now wants to “pass the Remington down to my own children and grandchildren.”

Earlier this month he posted photos of an Alabama turkey hunt in which 10-year-old Lane Murphy harvested two toms with a .410.

Guided Lane Murphy 10 yr old 1st one got both w one shot 410ga

— Hank Williams, Jr. (@HankJr) March 21, 2019

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Categories: Gun News