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D.C. concealed handgun permit applications doubled in November

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 10:30

Concealed handgun permit background check applications in Washington, D.C. experienced an unprecedented spike in October and November, according to federal data. (Photo: National Geographic)

Background checks for concealed handgun permits in Washington, D.C. doubled last month, according to federal data.

Some 365 residents submitted applications to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System in November. Approximately three quarters of those checks represented licenses to carry, federal data shows.

It’s the second significant spike in permit applications following city council’s Oct. 5 decision to drop its appeal in the ongoing legal battle of Wrenn v. District of Columbia. Two-thirds of the 217 residents who submitted to NICS checks in October also sought permits — the single biggest month for the city in FBI history, until now.

A U.S. District Court of Appeals panel said in October it would not reconsider the July 2-1 decision in Wrenn blocking enforcement of the city’s requirement that residents demonstrate “a good reason” for needing a concealed handgun permit. The ruling deemed parts of Washington’s permitting system — one of the toughest in the nation — unconstitutional. The Washington Post reported the city denied  77 percent of permit applications based on the “good reason” rule.

Officials said they backed away from the case amid fears a loss at the Supreme Court could further loosen gun regulations across the country — just as the landmark decision in District of Columbia v. Heller did a decade ago.

With or without the city’s appeal, however, gun rights activists secured a major victory Wednesday when the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 on a vote of 231-198. The measure includes language from Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn’s proposal — called the Fix NICS Act — to bolster the federal background check system’s effectiveness through creating incentives for states and federal agencies that upload disqualifying criminal and mental health records.

Cornyn lamented earlier this week combining the two bills threatens the passage of his legislation. Fixing NICS remains a Capitol Hill talking point in the weeks since a former Airman gunned down 26 people at church in Sutherland Springs, Texas with a rifle his domestic assault convictions barred him from owning.

“Because the information had not been uploaded by the Air Force into the NICS background system, it simply wasn’t available to prevent him from purchasing these guns,” Cornyn said during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting Wednesday. “It is simply unacceptable when you look across the United States Department of Defense, and the failure to upload this essential information, this required information, in the background check system. And I hope if anything good comes out of this tragedy, it will be that we finally fix, on a bipartisan basis, this broken background check system.”

It’s unclear if the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act has enough Senate votes at this time.

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Categories: Gun News

The home-built ‘Commie Tommie gun’ is crafted from like 6 different firearms (VIDEO)

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 10:00

The platypus equivalent of a gun, this workshop-crafted AK in 9mm adds elements from an SKS, PPSh, and Finnish Suomi KP/-31 among others.

As described by the maker behind the build before he pops off some rounds fed through a Suomi drum, the AK receiver is fitted in the wooden stock from an SKS with a PPSh-41 barrel shroud.

Blowback action, it uses a gas tube from a Saiga coupled with a bolt group, top cover and recoil spring from an 8mm Mauser Yugoslav M-76 rifle with a firing pin and locking piece from an HK91 modified with a Suomi bolt head and an AK-style ejector.

The fun thing is since it’s a featureless stock and the drum mag is welded to a 10-round limit, the gun is California compliant, earning it the name “Cali Commie Tommie gun.”

In all, the gun took three years to build, and once he field strips it out, the weirdness really starts to set in. Somewhere in the Khyber Pass, an assembly of artisanal gunsmiths in man dresses and pakol hats are getting ready to offer this guy a guild membership.

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Categories: Gun News

Sightmark announces two new rifle optics

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 09:30

Sightmark’s Mini Shot  M-Spec FMS is one of two new products by Sightmark. (Photo: Sightmark)

Sightmark launched new rifle optics, adding the Mini Shot M-Spec FMS reflex sight and Element 1×30 red dot to its optics lineup.

The Mini Shot M-Spec FMS is an all-purpose design offering a compact style. Mounted using a low-profile AR mount, the reflex sight can be tossed on AR-15s as well as pistols, shotguns and AKs. The Mini Shot boasts low power consumption, providing 300 to 30,000 hours of CR1632 battery life, depending on settings. The sight touts a 12-hour shut-off to preserve battery while 10 brightness levels allow users to dial in adjustments based on environment.

The Mini Shot offers ambidextrous digital switch controls for both righties and lefties. Rated up to .375 H&H, the sight tops off its features with a 3 MOA reticle and windage and elevation adjustments. Priced at $249, the Mini Shot includes a rubber cover, low profile fixed mount, AR riser fixed mount, battery and manual.

The Element 1×30 red dot sight is an updated take on the company’s Tactical Red Dot Sight. (Photo: Sightmark)

In addition to the Mini Shot, Sightmark delivers the Element 1×30 red dot — an update to the company’s Tactical Red Dot Sight. Upgrades on the platform include a more precise 2 MOA red dot, improved brightness settings and two night vision modes.

“Sightmark has integrated improvements based on customer suggestions, and added more of their own, including a longer range of adjustment for both windage and elevation, battery life (up to 15,000 hours) and an improved IP67 waterproof rating,” the company said in a press release. “Notably, the Elements’ windage and elevation caps can now be flipped and used as tools for making adjustments.”

The Element comes with a cantilever mount, allowing the system to co-witness with all magnifiers on the Aimpoint T1 mounting system. This design ultimately allows users to take down targets further out. The Element ships with flip-up lens covers, manual and CR2032 battery. The Element 1×30 Red Dot Sight is priced at $155.

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Categories: Gun News

Olaf from Netherlands loves the Knob Creek machine gun shoot (VIDEO)

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 09:00

It’s the third time Olaf, a tourist from the Netherlands, attended the Knob Creek machine gun shoot in West Point, Kentucky. He flies in specifically for the event. He loves shooting machine guns and watching the famous night shoot.

I ran into him during a lull in the shooting at October 2017’s shoot. I asked him if there were events like Knob Creek in the Netherlands. “No, we cannot do that at home. It’s not allowed. There are no automatic guns allowed,” he replied.

Olaf didn’t think it was a good idea either to shoot machine guns in the Netherlands. “We don’t have places like this, large places for shoot outs,” he said.

Netherlands has a population of 27 million and is roughly half the size of Kentucky. By comparison, Kentucky has a population of 4.4 million.

He enjoys visiting the US, and does so often. When I asked if he was a Trump fan, he told me he met Trump in the 1990’s. “I think he’s ok,” he said. “New wind in the politician world.”

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Categories: Gun News

More info on the new Remington 870 DM series (VIDEOS)

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 08:30

Big Green has released further details on the six new 12 gauge additions to their 870 shotgun line, each featuring a detachable magazine system.

As part of the above backgrounder on how the 870 DM series was developed, Remington says the line is not simply a kit that converts a plain Jane pump into accepting a detachable magazine, but an evolution brought about after years of experimentation. During the process, over 100,000 shells of more than 25 different types in both 2.75 and 3-inch were fired to ensure compatability.

“The 870DM is a concept that came about during a discussion as a group when we started talking about how can we advance the pump-action shotgun in some way,” says Daniel Cox, product manager for shotguns for Remington, going on explain that a quicker reload via box magazine was a logical progression. This translated to a gun that uses several unique components compared to legacy 870s to include a different receiver and breech bolt as well as a proprietary magazine well.

The below video, highlighting features, give a brief rundown of the six diverse models and shows off the differences between the two magazine sizes (three and six-shot).

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Categories: Gun News

Gun checks in Texas have busiest November yet

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 08:00

Texas just recorded its busiest November ever for background checks, according to federal data. (Photo: Texas State Rifle Association/Facebook)

Texas submitted a record number of background checks in November, according to federal data.

Texas reported more than 163,000 applications to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System last month  — the busiest November on record for the Lonestar state since the federal government began keeping track in 1999.

It’s a 3.7 percent increase over 2016 — the busiest on record for gun checks, and by proxy, sales, in NICS history. Closer examination of the federal data shows concealed handgun licences drove the spike in checks, skyrocketing 43 percent over last year alone. By comparison, handguns increased 1.8 percent and long guns declined by 8 percent.

The increase, in part, follows a predictable sales pattern that kicks into high gear after Thanksgiving. Black Friday marks the beginning of the gun industry’s historically most profitable season, boosting background checks across the majority of the nation. This year proved no different with dealers submitting more than 203,000 checks on Nov. 24 — the single busiest day ever for NICS.

Texas, however, reignited fervor on Capitol Hill for new gun laws after a former Airman murdered 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs — about 35 miles southeast of San Antonio — with a rifle his criminal convictions disqualified him from owning.

In the days after the shooting, Air Force officials admitted never submitting the gunman’s 2012 domestic assault convictions — for which he was court-martialed, jailed and discharged — to the appropriate law enforcement agencies, an endemic problem dating back two decades. A review of Department of Justice records in 1997 and 2015 found roughly one third of service members’ criminal convictions were missing from federal databases.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, sponsored the Fix NICS Act last month to incentivize states and federal agencies to comply with criminal reporting mandates. House Republicans amended the background check language into the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act before passing it on a vote of 231-198 Wednesday.

It’s unclear if the hybrid measure will win Senate support. Cornyn said conflating the two bills would be a “mistake” and jeopardize the passage of his proposal.

Spikes in background checks often follow mass shootings and their eventual political fallout. Checks likewise rebounded in October after the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history claimed 59 lives, including the shooter, in Las Vegas.

Dealers processed more than 2.3 million applications through NICS in November — a 17 percent increase over October. Estimated gun sales — the sum total of transfers in the NICS’s handgun, long gun, multiple and other categories — exceeded 1.3 million, representing a 30 percent spike in just one month.

The strong sales data makes November this year’s second busiest for background checks so far. Last month’s sales trail 2016 by 13 percent, though it still ranks as the second highest November in the background check system’s two-decade history.

Background checks serve as a proxy measure for gun sales, however, the measurement isn’t perfect. Applications for concealed carry permits, periodic rechecks for maintaining licenses and a slew of smaller categories for pawns,  redemptions, rentals and other rare situations undercut the total amount of checks processed in one month. Also, dealers submit one background check application per sale — not per gun purchased.

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Categories: Gun News

Ed Brown Products debuts new FX1 9mm 1911 (PHOTOS)

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 07:30

The FX1 series will ship in two colors — Industrial, bottom, and Dirty Olive Gen 4, top. (Photo: Ed Brown Products)

Ed Brown Products unveiled a brand new 1911 series chambered in 9mm known as the FX1.

The FX1, fully machined and hand built in the U.S., boasts a 4.25-inch Commander barrel on a single, stack Government frame with integral light rail. The gun supplies a ledge style, .156-inch U-notch rear sight paired with a red fiber optic front sight.

The 1911 drops some stylish flare with American flag serrations on the right side of the slide, topping off the stainless steel slide with square cut cocking serrations on the left. The sleek styling continues with the new FX1 Snakeskin frontstrap treatment coupled with VZ Alien grips. The FX1 series is all about custom flare though, according to Ed Brown Products, who offers over 100 custom options for the pistol. Some of these include: FX1 slide cuts, slide ports, recessed slide stop with serrated pin, one-piece magwell and flush barrel with recessed crown.

The pistol is a 9mm style 1911. (Photo: Ed Brown Products)

“When you consider that the Kobra Carry was introduced almost 20 years ago now, you can see that we are trend setters in custom handguns, it is just in the companies DNA,” said Ed Brown’s Sales and Marketing Director John May in a press release. “This pistol is a game changer and will be the new standard by which others will be judged and once again a reminder that we are a force to be reckoned with!”

The FX1 ships in two color options — Industrial and Dirty Olive Gen 4. Industrial provides a modern brushed stainless steel while the Dirty Olive Gen 4 is a two-color process that gives the gun a “urban look.”

Base price on the new digs comes in at a whopping $3,875.

Slide cuts offer a little more edge to the pistol’s style. (Photo: Ed Brown Products)

Ed Brown Products offers 100 custom options for the series. (Photo: Ed Brown Products)

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Categories: Gun News

Ergo releases new Ergo 2 AR Camouflage Grip

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 06:30

The camo finish ensures no two grips look exactly the same. (Photo: Ergo)

Ergo expands its Suregrip lineup, introducing a new Camouflage Ergo 2 grip designed for the AR-15 and AR-10 platform.

The new camo Suregrip provides an over-molded process that results in a different camo design for each individual grip — ensuring no two grips look alike. The rubber featured on the Ergo 2 serves up a no-slip grip to shooters and is “impervious to oils and solvents.”

Ergo says the grip touts an ergonomic design determined to give AR enthusiasts a comfortable fit. through an integrated rear upper extension styled to support the web of a shooters’ hand. In addition finger grooves offer a secure grip on the rifle. An added bonus, Ergo equips the grip with an A2 inner cavity that works alongside aftermarket accessories.

The new camo can be installed on .223 and .308 AR-15 and AR-10 receivers. The Ergo 2 Grip is available now from Ergo with a price tag set at just under $35.

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Categories: Gun News

Flags, fake rifle draw flak at New York dive bar

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 06:00

The decor at the Eagle Saloon includes what looks to be a vintage M1 Carbine training device and a Gadsden flag. (Photo: The Eagle Saloon)

Some in the Peekskill area are taking offense at the decor of a new bar that includes a number of American flags and a replica training rifle.

The Eagle Saloon in Northern Westchester has sparked complaints on a community Facebook group over its Gadsden flag and an oversized rifle mock-up complete with a bayonet, The Journal News reported.

“This needs to be fixed. Not a gun like that on the wall, not in this town,” said one woman, content not to just mind her own business. “In this era, semiautomatics are especially evocative of mass murder … this reeks too much of violent attacks on civilians. Just not a good idea to use it as decor.”

Restaurateur and self-described “avid gun rights guy” Louie Lanza defended the choice of wall art as a tribute to honor the military and law enforcement. He argued the pre-Independence banner was flown by Continental Marines, and the M1 Carbine is not real and its a double-sized training aid with cutaways to show the interior. Such outsized mock-ups were commonly used in the pre-PowerPoint military for instruction in weapons nomenclature and manipulation.

“Both these items represent to the owner the service and sacrifice of the men and women of our military, that have kept this country ‘free and independent,’ ever since the days of the American Revolution,” said a statement on the Eagle Saloon’s social media page. “Our owner is personally a staunch supporter of our military and law enforcement communities and the Eagle Saloon’s décor is meant in part to demonstrate this support.”

Both the post on the business’s page and one at The Journal News referencing the story have been bombarded with support for the tavern as of Wednesday.

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Categories: Gun News

National concealed carry reciprocity, NICS improvement bill passes House

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 05:30

“This vote marks a watershed moment for Second Amendment rights,” said Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s lobbying wing. (Photo: Savoy Leather)

A move to sidestep a patchwork of reciprocity laws and agreements between states made it halfway through Congress on Wednesday carrying background check system fixes along for the ride.

The proposal, H.R.38, slid through the House on a Republican-heavy 231-198 roll call after a brief debate. Both parties saw defections with 14 Republicans– including the head of the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus, U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky– casting “no” votes while six Democrats jumped ship to support the bill.

“For the millions of law-abiding citizens who lawfully carry concealed to protect themselves, for conservatives who want to strengthen our Second Amendment rights, and for the overwhelming majority of Americans who support concealed carry reciprocity, Christmas came early,” said U.S. Rep. Hudson, the North Carolina Republican who sponsored the measure.

Hudson’s legislation allows law-abiding citizens to carry concealed only if they are not federally prohibited from possessing a firearm, are carrying a valid government-issued photo ID, and are lawfully licensed or entitled to carry a concealed handgun. As such it would circumvent the complex series of state and territorial reciprocity agreements that vary from one area to another, sometimes even within the same states.

The measure also included a host of carrot and stick incentives for federal agencies and states to step up reporting of prohibited firearms possessors to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System while speeding up the appeals process for those denied a gun transfer, setting a 60-day window for the latter. The so-called FixNICS language soured the bill for some who support expanded concealed carry rights but were against coupling it with the background check measure. This stand was exemplified by the Libertarian-leaning Massie who publicly feuded with the National Rifle Association over the matter.

The gun rights group trumpeted the passage of the bill they termed a top legislative priority in recent years. “This vote marks a watershed moment for Second Amendment rights,” said Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s lobbying wing. “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is the culmination of a 30-year movement recognizing the right of all law-abiding Americans to defend themselves, and their loved ones, including when they cross state lines.”

Gun control advocates, however, are ramping up a campaign to help bar the door to Senate passage on the expansion which they contend, along with top Congressional Democrats, is dangerous.

“House Republicans just ignored opposition from law enforcement and the public in order to eviscerate state gun laws and make it easy for people with dangerous histories and no training to carry hidden, loaded guns across the country,” said John Feinblatt, Everytown president. “We’ll hold those politicians accountable, just as we’ll hold accountable those who support this dangerous legislation as this fight moves to the Senate.”

Should reciprocity sweep Congress and be signed into law by President Donald Trump, both the Everytown group and Giffords have promised to meet the federal government in court over the expansion, using the argument that it would violate states’ rights protected by the Constitution.

“I think the structure of what this law will seek to do is unprecedented, and it’s also unconstitutional because it violates core principals of federalism,” said J. Adam Skaggs, chief counsel for the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

The Senate reciprocity bill, S.446, has 39 co-sponsors, all from the GOP, and has been languishing in the chamber’s Committee on the Judiciary since February.

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Categories: Gun News

Gun Review: A critical look at the Taurus Curve .380

Thu, 12/07/2017 - 01:00

? The Taurus Curve is a well-rounded package, coming with two six-shot magazines and a trigger shield for immediate use—if need be. (Photo: Terril James Hebert)

Thirty years ago, if you wanted a reliable pocket gun, a small .38 Special revolver was the end all and be all unless you wanted to take a gamble on an older, yet well-made .25 ACP.  Anything less seemed unreliable. But, times have changed. The .25 is mostly dead and .38 revolvers have taken a backseat to new, more reliable automatics. Guns like the Ruger LCP, the Seecamp and Smith & Wesson Bodyguard epitomize the balance of compactness, power and reliability. And then Taurus upped its game by trying to advance the concept of a pocket gun with the Taurus Curve.

Fully loaded at 13.6 ounces and measuring in at only five inches long, the Taurus Curve qualifies as a pocket gun. The pistol is chambered for .380 ACP, a round that nearly equals the power of standard .38 Special loads. With its six-shot detachable magazines, the reloading aspect is somewhat faster than breaking open a revolver to initiate the reload.

Like others of its class, the Curve has a polymer frame and steel slide. Right away, the complete lack of snag hazards grabbed me by the lapels. The pistol wears no sights and the only obvious high point is the loaded chamber indicator just behind the breech. What Taurus does to make up for sights is a painted crosshair on the back of the receiver where the shrouded hammer rides.

The Curve may appear featureless, but it has a bit more going on.  The pistol is equipped with an integral Laserlyte combination laser and light housed forward of the triggerguard. The system is powered by 357 batteries and is activated by a knurled button on the right side of the pistol.

The barrel is cut awkwardly and rounded off to conform to the rounded slide. The grip of the pistol, like so many other pocket guns, is only good for a two-finger grip below the triggerguard, but the stippling on the backstrap and front strap of grip is a smart move.

The barrel is cut an awkward angle. This would normally lead to bullets that tumble, but this did not occur. The rifling is squared off and recessed. The slide gets to keep its rounded profile and the gun is still quite accurate. (Photo: Terril James Hebert)

Unlike other guns in its class, the Curve comes equipped with a detachable belt hook and a trigger sheath so you can carry the gun right out of the box. You also get two magazines, instead of the usual single magazine come with lower-priced “economical” options. The magazines are unique in that the polymer baseplate forms a lip that catches on the inside of the grip. The magazines are released by pinching that base and pulling the magazine free.

Operationally, the Curve has a Browning-style locked breech system that mates the barrel to the slide when the gun is in battery and ready to fire. The pistol has no manual safety and relies on a long, double-action type trigger pull to fire the weapon.

This is typical of many new .380 autoloaders, but one feature stands out—the curve. The grip-frame is curved out to the right-side.  This was intended to allow for the gun to be comfortably carried without discomfort or printing through clothing. I will give a clap to Taurus for realizing that the human body is curved and flat autoloaders just don’t cut it sometimes. Taurus—to their credit—thinks outside the box. But for Taurus owners, some pistols are a swing and a miss. Through nearly 400 rounds at the range, I found the Curve to be a near-miss.

Eating the ammo of death

On a cold spring day, I set out with the Taurus Curve and 150 rounds of Tul-Ammo .380 FMJ ammunition. This ammunition is steel cased and is known for having ignition problems due to hard primers. If this gun was going to choke, this had to be the ammo to do it.

Loading the two provided six-round magazines were buttery smooth with no issues. The springs gave good, but not firm resistance to being loaded to full capacity. Unlike most blowback .380s, the Curve doesn’t take much effort to rack, but the lack of material to grip is dicey. The swirling mill marks on the slide allow for a relatively good grip on what is a relatively slick, featureless surface.

A typical group posted with the Curve. While you won’t be competing in postal matches with it, the gun is surprisingly accurate for what it is. (Photo: Terril James Hebert)

With daylight shining, it made no sense to use the laser, so I took aim without it. But I was conflicted. The white crosshairs are stuck square in the middle of the slide, not on the top like real sights. It felt unnatural and the receiver covered up a good bit of that 12-inch bullseye target posted at seven yards. I looked over the top of the barrel and saw the loaded chamber indicator—forked in appearance—sticking up in the middle of my sight picture. So, I used that as my sight.

I pulled back the trigger, which felt somewhat mechanical, but smooth with a relatively light release despite it being quite long. The take-up was very predictable and I cranked it right to breaking point and fired again and again. All I got were holes in the target. No malfunctions of any kind right out of the factory grease.

I ended up leaving the range, having expended all rounds without any malfunction. The web of my hand was a little red, but recoil wasn’t so much as to be unpleasant. Though the pistol lacked a full grip, the way it is stippled helped greatly with recoil management. The pistol didn’t jump out of my hand in the least. The fact that the Curve has a locked breech, over a standard blowback action the .380 is designed around, helps absorb recoil considerably.  Having a heavy slide beating back violently, rubbing your hand with every pass isn’t pleasant. I did not experience that with the Curve. The gun’s oddly offset grip produced no consequential discomfort or awkwardness. It gripped like a normal pistol and it shot like one, too.

I managed good, semi-rapid one-handed groups at seven yards with my best group coming in at eight inches, but a solid 12-inch group was most typical. Is that good? The FBI has been telling us for years that, statistically, the average distance of a self-defense encounter is seven yards. So, yes, the Curve can put the bullets on target—even without real sights.

The mag dump gauntlet

I was satisfied with the Curve. I took it home and cleaned it thoroughly, but no one is really satisfied with shooting cheap, full metal jacket ammo. Hollow-points, with their flattened shapes, don’t feed well in some pistols. Though hollow-points are debatable in .380 caliber, I hauled three different types of ammunition to put through the Curve: PPU 94 grain brass-cased FMJ, Sig Sauer V-Crown 95 grain hollow-point, and Federal Hydroshock 95 grain hollow-point.

The Curve disassembles relatively simply for a pocket gun. (Photo: Terril James Hebert)

On the range, I focused primarily on getting rounds out of the gun, reloading, and doing it again in what I call my “mag” dump tests. Accuracy takes a backseat to function and in this the Curve fails.
Right away, the Sig ammunition gave me a stovepipe jam. One round from the Federal Hydroshocks failed to feed from the magazine into the chamber. The next 150 rounds were nightmarish, but not because of jammed rounds, but light strikes. Between one to three rounds of every string of six shots was a light strike. The hammer came back, flew forward, striking the primer of the cartridge, but the cartridge did not fire. The primer dent was quite small on these and one might chalk this up to the ammunition, but all ammunition used suffered this problem.

Light strikes are especially a big deal in the Taurus Curve because the gun doesn’t have a true double-action only trigger. The hammer is preset and once it fires, the slide must go backwards to reset the slide. You can’t pull the trigger again and get the hammer to strike the round a second time. So, I spent half my time clearing jams.

In darkness

I held onto the Curve for quite a while. After it shot through a few magazines of ball ammunition after a good cleaning, I was feeling a little more optimistic. I decided to take the pistol to Spring Guns and Ammo to test the light and laser capability and see if there was a silver lining to this pistol. Perhaps all the fuss really was the break-in period?

The pistol was stoked with the same exact brands as before, but I put my index finger forward and pushed the button that activated the light/laser. I could see it and use it in this dimmer environment. The light illuminated the torso target at seven yards very brilliantly and the red laser looked menacing, though I was sure it was off. The gun’s laser can be zeroed with the help of an included allen wrench to fix elevation and windage to get to point of aim. I did not zero the laser. At this point, 300 rounds in, I wanted to see the Curve run with ammunition you and I may stoke in the gun to save lives. The same problems dogged the Curve as before.

Stovepipe jams happened, but the ever present and unpredictable light strikes kept on coming regardless of ammunition used. Worse, the laser system completely shut off after a few rounds of fire. The recoil must have jarred the laser back to its off position. But I needed it to aim effectively for the test. I pushed on the button hard and it came back, but not for long. After the first magazine, the light had also shut off on its own under recoil. Nearly four hundred rounds in, the Curve should have surpassed any break-in period. But the issues only seemed to amplify.

The Curve is as barebones as they come. Check out the sights—there aren’t any, really. The white crosshair “sight” to be unnatural and useless. This gun is designed for point-blank shooting. (Photo: Terril James Hebert)

Parting shots

I admit being relatively new to Taurus and their firearms. Putting hundreds of rounds through their flagship gun—the Model 85—left me with a very optimistic view. Though not nearly as refined as other revolvers that I am partial to, the M85 is a great buy and one I can stake my life on. The Curve is no such thing.

On the outside, the gun utilized a new and bright concept and combined it with what we really need in a carry gun in a well machined, well fitted package. But the gun doesn’t function well enough, despite the promising start. I look forward to Taurus perfecting the concept, but for now, it is off my list.

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Categories: Gun News

Groups double down on national reciprocity debate as vote looms

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 08:00

With a bill to expand concealed carry protections across state lines set for a House floor vote on Wednesday, gun control advocates are opening their coffers in a bid to derail the measure.

The proposal, H.R. 38, has a block of Republican support and is on the House calendar for this week, prompting those against it to launch an offensive.

Both Everytown and Giffords have launched six-figure ad buys targeting members of Congress, in each case urging them to oppose concealed carry reciprocity. The groups have also taken to social media with the #StopCCR hashtag to publicize their efforts, offering suggested opposition statements to give to lawmakers.

“The ads call on voters to speak up about this dangerous bill and call on their leaders put the safety of communities before the interests of the gun industry,” said Peter Ambler, executive director of Giffords.

Other groups, to include Prosecutors Against Gun Violence, fronted by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., and Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, are slamming the legislation they say, “would impose weak gun laws on all 50 states.”

It should be noted that both Manhattan and Los Angeles have some of the country’s harshest laws when it comes to legal concealed carry.

On the opposite side of the political spectrum, the National Rifle Association is calling on members across a variety of channels to burn up the Congressional switchboard in support of the bill. Downplaying the addition of so-called FixNics background check system enhancement language to the reciprocity measure as a potential fly in the ointment that would turn off gun rights supporters, the organization says there are inaccuracies to claims it includes an Obama-style gun control push.

“This differs from former President Obama’s efforts, in which he attempted to administratively create new categories of individuals who were prohibited from possessing a firearm,” said the group in a statement rebutting comments from U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., saying the FixNics proposal, “is aimed squarely at individuals like the perpetrator of the recent murders in Texas, who should have been reported to NICS because of his disqualifying criminal history.”

Massie countered with a video arguing that adding any gun control language to the concealed carry reciprocity bill makes no sense and won’t help the measure gain support from Democrats in the Senate.

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Categories: Gun News

Honor Defense adds more colors to Honor Guard lineup

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 07:30

Honor Defense expands the Honor Guard series to include a slew of colors. (Photo: Honor Defense)

Honor Defense continues to expands its color offerings on the Honor Guard lineup, introducing new pops of color for the 9mm pistol.

New color options include:

  • Purple Reign
  • Acid Green
  • Battleship Gray
  • Electric Blue
  • Enigma Blue
  • Mahogany
  • Turquoise

Gary Ramey, President of Honor Defense, said the new digs join the company’s other colors which include flat dark earth, OD green and standard black.

“The new colors round out our standard offering and brings our color count to 10 total. These new colors join our standard FDE, OD Green, Black pistols and grips for consumers. We’ve found that color drives sales among consumers and LE. Many of our LE customers prefer the Battleship Gray, FDE and OD Green. The LE/Pro models are now available in those colors,” Ramey said in a press release.

In addition to the colorful creations, Honor Defense says some dealers have begun stocking colored grips as add-ons to the modular Honor Guard design.

The Honor Guard is a single stack, 9mm design that features ambidextrous controls set on a stainless steel modular chassis. The Honor Guard series is priced at $499.

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Texas Lt. Gov. Patrick looks into guns in churches after Sutherland Springs

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 07:00

The shooting at Sutherland Springs last month resulted in 26 dead and another 20 injured while a neighbor, Stephen Willeford, responded to and exchanged fire with the shooter and was hailed for his actions. (Photo: Darren Abate/AP)

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick asked state Attorney General Ken Paxton to clarify state law regarding regs for handgun licensees and security teams in places of worship across the Lone Star State.

“The recent church shooting in Sutherland Springs was an immense tragedy, the likes of which I pray to never see again,” Patrick said in a statement released last week. “I know many are thankful for the Texan who stopped this attack through the exercise of his Second Amendment rights, but I believe our state laws provide more protection than many Texans realize. That’s why I asked the attorney general to clarify those laws for all Texans.”

The two-page letter fired off to Paxton seeks for him to explain to what extent those with handgun licenses can carry their guns on church grounds where a gun free zone is not posted and if churches who form their own voluntary security teams are exempt from the state’s initial $400 private security fee and subsequent renewals.

“Next legislative session, I will continue to support initiatives to clarify the law and protect gun rights in Texas,” Patrick said in the letter. “Meanwhile, I ask that you please expedite this request so that churches may know what legal options they have to improve their security.”

The shooting at Sutherland Springs last month resulted in 26 dead and another 20 injured while a neighbor, Stephen Willeford, responded to and exchanged fire with the shooter at the First Baptist Church and was hailed for his actions.

At the end of 2016, the Texas Department of Public Safety listed 1,150,754 million active license holders in the state, among the highest in the nation.

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Categories: Gun News

This full-auto air rifle will bring the fun to your door without a tax stamp (VIDEO)

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 06:30

Though it looks more like a spear gun than a traditional Red Ryder, the belt-fed Air-Ordnance SMG-22 kicks out up to 700-pellets-per-minute.

Powered by CO2, nitrogen, or high pressure compressed air, the SMG-22 can use either a 100-round drum or a belt feed to cycle .22-caliber pellets through the 7.4-pound rifle. Even though it’s not a rimfire, 22 Plinkster taps in with one of these carnival shooting gallery-style air guns to rip through a flock of balloons, a case of pop, a tub of cheeseballs and other items while weighing in on the gun’s design.

Admit it, you kinda want one.

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Kate Steinle case gunman indicted on federal weapons charges

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 06:00

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, seen above in an undated booking photo, was acquitted of murder charges by a California jury in a state court last week, but now faces new, federal charges (Photo: San Francisco Police Department)

A federal grand jury on Tuesday handed down an indictment of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate for a pair of felony gun charges.

Garcia Zarate, currently in the San Francisco County Jail, was found not guilty last week of all homicide charges in the July 2015 death of Kate Steinle. Facing up to three years on a weapons conviction under California law, federal prosecutors announced the indictment this week on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and for being an illegally present alien in possession of a firearm, each carries punishments of up to 10 years in prison.

The Mexican national, listed by four aliases on his indictment, had at least seven felonies and five deportations under his belt and was the subject of a federal detainer order prior to Steinle’s death.

Prior to Tuesday’s charges, federal authorities were reportedly seeking to get custody of Garcia Zarate and ultimately deport him.

“When jurisdictions choose to return criminal aliens to the streets rather than turning them over to federal immigration authorities, they put the public’s safety at risk,” said U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week after the verdict in Garcia Zarate’s local case was announced. “San Francisco’s decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle.”

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, whose office prosecuted Garcia Zarate, said the jury’s decision last week was “hard to receive” but that he respects the decision.

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Savage expands MSR-10 Hunter series with .338 Federal model

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 05:30

Savage’s MSR-10 Hunter will boast a .338 Federal option come January. (Photo: Savage Arms)

Savage Arms widens its MSR field, launching a new variant on the MSR-10 Hunter lineup chambered in .338 Federal.

The MSR-10 Hunter touts a compact design coupled with an upgraded Savage 16.1-inch fluted barrel with 5R rifling and Melonite QPQ finish. The MSR Hunter series features Blackhawk furniture in the way of a Blackhawk trigger with nickel boron treatment, KNOXX AR Pistol Grip and AXIOM Carbine Stock. Topping off the AR-10’s design is a free-float M-LOK handguard.

The new chambering features the same specs as the company’s .308 Win variant. (Photo: Savage Arms)

The Hunter series already offers 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win but looks to expand calibers to reach .338 Federal fans. Built on the .308 case, the .338 Federal showcases versatility paired with high performance for big game hunting. The cartridge boasts higher muzzle velocity than its .308 sibling while offering a heavier bullet.

“The short-action cartridge provides magnum energy for devastating performance on game, without magnum recoil,” Savage said in a statement.

The MSR-10 chambered in .338 Federal will hit the consumer market in January 2018, according to Savage. MSRP will be $1,479.

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Feds launch review into legality of bump stocks

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 04:00

Federal regulators launched a review of federal law to determine if certain bump stock devices fall within the definition of “machine gun,” according to Tuesday’s release by the Justice Department.

“Possessing firearm parts that are used exclusively in converting a weapon into a machine gun is illegal, except for certain limited circumstances,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “Today we begin the process of determining whether or not bump stocks are covered by this prohibition.”

Sessions explained the Justice Department will follow the regulatory process required by law, which includes opening a public commenting period. A draft of proposed changes filed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will soon be open for public comment.

Bump stocks — devices designed to allow an AR-style rifle to mimic the performance of a machine gun — became the subject of debate after a gunman used the device to kill 58 people and injure some 500 others by shooting out of a hotel window at a concert off the Las Vegas strip on Oct. 1. Authorities investigating the incident said the gunman was able to shoot 1,100 rounds in 10 minutes using the device.

Although current federal law strictly regulates the possession and transfer of machine guns, it does not prohibit bump stocks. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agreed that the device circumvent the law and filed bills to change it, but federal efforts seemed to fizzle after a month and more mass shootings. Yet, several areas of the country have either passed or advanced bills to prohibit bump stocks.

The Justice Department’s effort mirrors comments by the National Rifle Association, which criticized the ATF for not classifying the device as a machine gun and suggested the agency should take another crack at reviewing it rather than Congress passing legislation. Former ATF agents and representatives said they couldn’t classify the device as a prohibited item because the law did not permit them to.

The ATF classified the bump stock devices as accessories rather than a machine gun device in 2010, after manufacturer Slide Fire voluntarily submitted the product for review. Officials said they cleared the device because it “performs no automatic mechanical function when installed” and the shooter must still apply “constant” forward and rearward pressure to the trigger. Years before, other companies with similar devices had been denied due to different construction.

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Timney Triggers donates funds to Cody Firearms Museum

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 02:00

The Cody Firearms Museum will undergo renovations that aim to ultimately provide a better education to the public regarding firearms and their history. (Photo: Buffalo Bill Center of the West)

Timney Triggers has pledged to donate $500,000 to the Cody Firearms Museum renovation efforts, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West announced.

The CFM, located in Wyoming, will soon undergo a full, two-floor renovation that aims to attract both firearm enthusiasts as well as the general public. The firearms museum will feature over 4,500 guns alongside shooting simulators, and interactive displays — all of which seek to educate museum goers on the history and significance firearms play in American culture.

Peter Kuyper, newly appointed CFM Advisory Board Chair, said he is ecstatic to participate in the CFM’s educational directive.

“No other firearms museum in the country is poised to tell this story in a way that will reach both the collector and the novice. I’m honored to become a part of the Cody Firearms Museum making its own history,” Kuyper said in a statement.

For its part, Timney Triggers says its happy to assist in the preservation of firearms’ history and culture.

“I am happy to make this gift,” said John Vehr, Owner of Timney Triggers, in a press release. “Because our industry must support and appreciate the benefits derived from having the finest gun museum in the world educate 100,000s of thousands of people who visit and are new to guns, on the historical importance and the positive aspects of our industry.”

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West says renovations on the CFM should be completed next year, with the museum opening in summer 2019.

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Categories: Gun News

A quick look at Marine snipers and their rifles through the years (PHOTOS)

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 01:30

“Cpl. John Baron aims in on target on an operation in the Que Son Mountains. March 30, 1970.” (Photo/caption: U.S. Marine Corps History Division)

From the days of World War I through today, dedicated U.S. Marine Corps snipers have used a variety of specially modified rifles to reach out and show off their marksmanship.

When the U.S. entered the Great War, the standard rifle of in use by the Marines was the M1903 Springfield, some of which were modified with Winchester A5 scopes.

U.S. Marine firing the “USMC Telescopic Rifle, Model of 1917” which is an M1903 with a Winchester A5 scope. (Photo: National Archives)

By the time World War II arrived, the standard Marine sniper’s gear included the updated M1903A-1 model Sprinfield with a Unertl 8x scope– immediately distinguishable by its long shade on the objective lens– which they designated the M1941 Sniper Rifle.

“Attired in sniper outfits and armed with M1903s, three students of the Marine Corps camouflage School at Quantico, Va., hide in the grass and trees. August 13, 1942” (Photo/caption: U.S. Marine Corps History Division)

Springfield 1903 sniper rifle, Guadalcanal, November 1942.

By the time the Marines became involved in Korea in 1950, the standard sniper rifle was the M1C Garand, a sniper variant rifle rebuilt by Springfield Armory and fitted with a Stith Kollmorgen MC-1 telescopic sight and special Griffin & Howe mount and rings, though some 1903s endured.

“Marine Technical Sergeant John E. Boitnott. Who won fame as a sniper who shot nine of the enemy with nine shots in Korea, takes a prone position behind the cover of tall grass.” Note the M1C. (Photo/caption: U.S. Marine Corps History Division)

“A U.S. Marine Marksman using a telescopic sight and with his Springfield cocked and ready, waits for a troublesome North Korean sniper to pop up so he can pick him off in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea on Sept. 28, 1950. Note the Unertl. (Photo/caption: Max Desfor/AP)

Vietnam saw a scramble for adequate sniper rifles with a small amount of pre-64 Winchester Model 70s– often with WWII-era Unertl glass–pressed into service from the Marine rifle team and other sources as well as some Remington 700s. The latter, chambered in 7.62 NATO and customized with a 3x-9x Redfield Widefield Accu-Trac optic but sill with their walnut stocks, were used as the original M40 sniper rifle. These were augmented by accurized M-14s and Starlite-equipped M16s. The conflict produced legendary Marine Corps sniper Carlos Hathcock and Chuck Mawhinney.

“A Marine sniper from G Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, takes aim while on the approach to Hill 251 during the Operation HARVEST MOON. 12 December 1965.” Note the Unertl. (Photo/caption: U.S. Marine Corps History Division)

“OPERATION VIRGINIA- -Marine Lance Corporal Dalton Gunderson checking the area for Viet Cong snipers, 1966” Note the Unertl-equipped rifle. (Photo/caption: U.S. Marine Corps History Division)

“Sgt. Howard J. Greene sights in his target as he checks his scoped M14 before beginning Operation Prairie II in the Cam Lo Province, February 28, 1967.” (Photo/caption: U.S. Marine Corps History Division)

“Sgt. Howard J. Greene, NCOIC 1/9 Sniper Team, taking a break in the Sun during a lull in the fighting on Op. Prairie II near the DMZ. 3 March 1967” (Photo/caption: U.S. Marine Corps History Division)

“Pvt. Randall E. Josey, a Marine sniper attached to Co. H, 2nd Bn., 5th Marines, has a bead on a Viet Cong at over 1,000 meters. Using a 3 x 9 power scope, a Remington 700 rifle has accuracy up to 1,100 meters and has been used effectively up to 2,000 meters or more.” June 19, 1967 (Photo/caption: U.S. Marine Corps History Division)

“A sniper of E Co. Second Battalion, Seventh Regiment attached to First Platoon zeros in on a Viet Cong during Operation Arizona 25 miles Southeast of Da Nang. June 20, 1967.” (Photo/caption: U.S. Marine Corps History Division)

“Marine sniper, PFC D. M. Taylor, sights-in on an enemy NVA rifleman harassing Marines during an operation south of Phu Bai. Cpl Bruce V. MacDonald helps the shooter to locate enemy troops. August 15, 1967.” (Photo/caption: U.S. Marine Corps History Division)

A Marine sniper with an early M16 equipped with a Starlite scope is silhouetted while taking aim at an enemy target at dusk during Operation Shelby, 15 miles south of Da Nang. September 1, 1967

“Lance Cpl. Robert B. Moore sights in on an enemy soldier. October 9, 1968” (Photo/caption: U.S. Marine Corps History Division)

“LCpl Joseph M. Orteg and LCpl Robert B. Moore, two snipers attached to ‘B’ Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, on Operation Nanking Scotland II, October 1968” (Photo/caption: U.S. Marine Corps History Division)

“A sniper of Co. D., 1st Bn., 4th Marines, takes aim at movement up front during Operation Nanking. October 14, 1968” (Photo/caption: U.S. Marine Corps History Division)

Since Vietnam, the Marines have used successive versions of the M40, with the M40A6 being the current model augmented by the .50-caliber Barrett M82A3 and M107 for use in anti-material roles and smaller numbers of Mk 11 Mod 2 and M110 semi-auto rifles.

Lance Cpl. William Pearn, a scout sniper candidate with Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, secures a strap to an M40A6 sniper rifle during a pre-scout sniper course at Pu’uloa Range Training Facility aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii, August 14, 2017. (Photo: DoD)

Sgt. Johnathan Stamets, with 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, looks through his M8541A optic attached to the M-110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System rifle aboard the USS Somerset (Photo: DoD)

Marine scout sniper with the Battalion Landing Team 2 6, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), makes changes to the scope of his M107 Special Application Sniper Rifle (Photo: DoD)

To get a feel for how current U.S. Marine Scout Snipers do things, check out the very moto short video below, showing these more modern platforms at work.

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