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What Are the Different Shooting Positions?

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 05:00

For those of us who enjoy recreational and competitive shooting, positional shooting is part of everyday life; but for some newcomers to the sport, positional shooting may seem daunting or intimidating. Instead of avoiding these seemingly complicated shooting positions, you’d do far better to embrace them with open arms.

Let’s explore some positions you might find yourself in while slinging lead downrange and find out why some are more efficient than others.


Standing can be the most difficult position to shoot. (Photo: Jeff Wood/

Out of all the positions, standing is probably the most difficult as it requires constant use of muscles to balance – not to mention wind which can push rifles and shooters off target. For this reason, standing is the least desirable for rifle shooting; however, there are a few things gun owners can do to solidify this position.

One of the easiest means to stabilize shooting while standing is to simply add a sling. A sling allows shooters to create a rigid structure out of the upper body by tightening arms and shoulders against the sling. This rigid, arch-like structure makes a solid launch-pad for shots.

Another way to improve the standing position is to give up on the notion that you can remain utterly still. While some folks can manage this, most of us cannot. Instead of trying to remain completely still, shooters might be better off to embrace their movement. Many competition shooters use a pattern of movement, shifting their rifle on purpose either in a circle or figure-eight pattern while aiming. By purposefully moving their rifle they absorb the unwanted movement caused by shudders and other influences. As a result, the pattern of movement is, at the very least, predictable – and predictability breeds accuracy.


Prone shooting is, by far, the most stable position. (Photo: Jeff Wood/

If standing is the most unstable position, then the prone position — or lying stomach-down on the ground — proves to be the steadiest. Prone shooting requires no muscle movement, allowing those behind the gun to relax completely. Shooters can, in turn, truly focus on other fundamentals such as aiming, trigger control and breathing.

Though prone shooting offers the most stability, it doesn’t come without its challenges – namely, breathing. Due to the position on the ground, bellies flat against the Earth, the rise and fall of the chest can impact shooting. Breathing and sometimes even the beat of your heart can register in the scope affecting point of aim. This can be mitigated by rolling slightly to one side or the other.

Prone shooting is also favored among shooters due to its ability to easily integrate support aids like a backpack or bipod. These kinds of accessories enhance aim and produce better shots.


Sitting while using a shooting aid steadies the gun. (Photo: Jeff Wood/

Sitting is a common way to shoot if too much ground interference (bushes, rocks, etc.) prevents the prone position. Sitting adds stability by bringing your center of gravity closer to the ground, requiring fewer muscles to maintain a steady position.

Crossing one leg also helps improve sitting shots, using bone structure to support the firearm. Triangles are sound structures, so if we can build similar structures with our arms and legs, and then further fortify them with aides like slings we can achieve a stable platform for better shots.


Resting the rifle on the knee in the kneeling position creates a triangular position that is more stable. (Photo: Jeff Wood/

Like sitting, the kneeling position brings us closer to the ground requiring less muscle movement; however, kneeling does require a fair amount of balance. As with other shooting positions, the most stable kneeling position is achieved when you create a rigid structure of bone. If you can, dig one knee in the dirt while the other remains upright and bent. This grants additional support for the rifle.

Kneeling is typically employed when a sitting position is either too low or when a shot needs to be made quickly. Keep in mind that terrain may dictate which knee remains off the ground, so practice the kneeling stance with each knee.


There are countless devices available to help support shots. Shooting sticks, bipods, tripods, and support bags all increase stability when shooting. A tripod proves useful when stabilizing a difficult shot from a sitting or kneeling position — use your backpack for rear support and your steadiness increases ten-fold. Bipods and rear support bags can also make prone shooting more comfortable and easier on the shooter.

The standing position is immensely improved by adding the right height shooting sticks to help create a triangle. Depending on the shot scenario, even a rigid stick or tree branch can be used to stabilize your rifle before the shot.
Try your hand at several support accessories while practicing to fine-tune the best gear for you.

You can’t test out shooting positions if you don’t have a gun. Head over to to scope out the latest and greatest in new and used rifles perfect for practice.

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Categories: Gun News

Ammo Review: Winchester M1152 Active Duty 9mm

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 04:09

Winchester’s M1152 Active Duty 9mm load was adopted by the Army for the new MHS handgun program and in now available for commercial sale. (Photos: Chris Eger/


Winchester was selected in 2016 as the ammunition supplier for the U.S. Army Modular Handgun System (MHS) program, where the M1152 serves. As the round was recently made available to the public, we had to check it out.

Using a 115-grain flat nose full metal jacketed bullet, the 9x19mm Luger round has a distinctive shape. With a brass case and military primer, it has an advertised velocity of 1,320 fps at the muzzle which translates to 445 ft/lbs of energy. Downrange this shifts to 1,301/432 at 5 yards and 132/387 at 25 yards, according to the tables provided by the company.

“Winchester proudly developed M1152 to serve alongside the U.S. Warfighter and was selected as the sole source ammunition supplier for the United States Army Modular Handgun System (MHS) Program,” Winchester said in a news release earlier this year. “Consumers can now use the same product selected by the US Military for their training needs.”

The company has long been in the 9mm biz for the U.S. military. Going back to 1942, the War Department adopted a 116-grain FMJ with a 1,400 fps velo as the “Cartridge, Ball, 9mm, M1” with Winchester picking up the contract to produce millions of these literal parabellum rounds for use in Allied pistols and SMGs such as the STEN gun and others during World War II. Further, Winchester for a generation has been a prime contractor of the military’s M882 9mm cartridge, adopted in 1985 for use with the M9 Beretta.

The M1152 ammo sent for testing has a “WMA 19” headstamp, which is typical for ammunition made at the company’s Oxford, Mississippi plant. Unlike the 124-grain NATO made by the company, it does not have the NATO “cross” stamp.

The current 124-grain Winchester NATO load runs usually about 100 fps or so faster than typical FMJ loads in the same weight. In chronographic testing, we found the M1152 Active Duty sample sent to us clocked in at a mean average of 1310, within 10 fps or so of the advertised range.

As the Pentagon is also buying the Winchester-produced companion M1153 9mm round in quantity– which uses a 147-grain jacketed-hollow-point bullet– for use in the MHS series of pistols, the M1152 is more of a training round– at least on the commercial market. The box is even marked as such. With that in mind, we did not run penetration or expansion ballistics testing on these flat nose full metal jacketed rounds. For personal defense, a load such as Winchester’s PDX1 Defender bonded JHP, which is available in both 147- and 124-grain would be a better choice.

Winchester advises to only use the M1152 in modern 9mm firearms in good condition as they run a pressure that is 10 to 15 percent higher than standard industry pressure for 9mm Luger.

In testing for reliability, we ran the M1152 through an array of pistols including a Sig P320, Sig P229, Beretta 92, Diamondback DB9 G4, Glock G19X, and S&W M&P M2.0. The number of jam sammiches observed across 290 rounds and six very different 9mm handguns= zero. Similarly, no squibs or hangfires were encountered, which is always a good thing.

We ran the Active Duty through not only a P320 but also a bunch of other 9mm handguns we had around

In something of a test for the military-grade primer, we submerged 10 rounds of M1152 in distilled water for 24-hours. Such a requirement is often seen in government contracts for testing duty rounds. The cartridges measured to spec after said dunking and showed no signs of swelling. All fired successfully from a fixture under controlled conditions with no issues to report.

Don’t try this at home, kids

When it comes to practical accuracy, we consistently were able to eat out the center of a silhouette target at ranges to 25 yards, unsupported.

Close enough for government work.

The current MSRP on the M1152 is $29.99 for a 100-round double-decker pack with a 500-round box on the way as well. It is not known if the company will sell the M1152 rounds to the public in 1,000-round green ammo cans like it currently does with the 124-grain NATO loads but hey, anything is possible. For a cheaper take on 9mm range ammo, Winchester also sells a 115-grain Service Grade in a plain brown box for around $10 bucks. 


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Categories: Gun News

Which Would You Prefer: The PKM or UKM Machine Gun?

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 01:24

If you had to pick between the PKM or UKM general-purpose machine gun, which one would you choose?

Former Marine, Andrew Bryant, who currently works as a range safety officer at Battlefield Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada, has a lot of experience firing and working on both weapons at the range.

He compared the two side by side and told us which one he liked best.

The PKM general-purpose machine gun. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

The PKM, or the “People Killing Machine” as Bryant jokingly refers to it, is a popular Russian general-purpose machine gun. It entered service in 1961 and in all seriousness actually stands for, Pulemyot Kalashnikova, Modernizirovannyy or “Machine Gun, Kalashnikov’s, Modified.” Variants are still produced and fielded around the world today.

It is a gas-operated, air-cooled weapon that fires the old-school Russian 7.62x54mm round from an open bolt. The rate of fire is between 600 and 750 rounds per minute. It is fed from a non-disintegrating metal belt unlike comparable Western GPMGs like the M60 and M240/FN MAG 58.

It is renowned for its reliability and is one of the most abundant belt-fed weapons in the world. What do you expect? Famous AK designer Mikhail Kalashnikov designed it.

The UKM general-purpose machine gun. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

The UKM-2000 is the Polish general-purpose machine gun. When Poland joined NATO in 1999, it had to adopt NATO-standard arms and ammunition. They decided to base a new weapon on the proven PKM platform.

The UKM is a gas-operated, air-cooled weapon that fires the 7.62×51mm NATO round. It still fires from an open-bolt but is fed by a more modern disintegrating belt. The rate of fire was increased to 700 to 850 rounds per minute. It entered service in 2007.

If Bryant had to choose between the two, he’d go with the PKM. “It’s an awesome weapon system. It shoots great on automatic. It’s controllable. It’s accurate for the most part. It’s pretty much a smooth shooter,” he said.

Because of the higher rate of fire on the UKM, Bryant finds the weapon harder to control. “It has a lot more muzzle rise,” he said. “So, I feel like I have to shorten my bursts a little bit.”

Which weapon do you prefer and why? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Categories: Gun News

Modular Rifle Champ: What Makes the FN SCAR So Special?

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 04:18


With 21st Century styling, the modular and innovative SCAR series of rifles by FN has proved to be the people’s champ when it comes to modern small arms platforms.

Sprouting from requirements posted in the 2004 Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifles program and the later 2011 U.S. Army Individual Carbine competition, the latter intended to find a successor to the M4 carbine, FN’s SCAR (Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle) system beat out a field of no less than a dozen rivals. Using a short-stroke gas piston system that has proven clean and reliable in use, the series has low recoil, are easy to maintain, and feature increased reliability when compared to traditional AR platforms. As they did not rely on the same buffer-tube required by the AR-pattern rifle, the SCAR can use folding buttstocks

Further, they are adaptive, with users able to change barrels among various lengths in the field.

A SCAR downrange at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan (Photo: U.S. Army)

“They were looking for a modular set of rifles that would share common operating features between a light version, which would be a 5.56, and a heavy version which would be a 7.62,” Ben Voss, product manager for FN’s SCAR line, told “So they had to have the same operating features so their operators wouldn’t have to train on different styles of rifles– but also had to have a lot of parts commonality between the two so the rifle is easier to maintain in the battlefield logistically.”

Built in the U.S. at FN’s Columbia, South Carolina, plant since 2008, the SCAR series has been deployed downrange with any number of SOCOM units from the U.S. Army Rangers, Special Forces and U.S. Navy SEALs to Air Force Special Operations and Marine Raiders, not to mention overseas with allied military and counter-terror units in more than 20 countries. These select-fire versions included the 5.56mm NATO Mk 16 (SCAR-L), 7.62mm NATO Mk 17 (SCAR-H), and Mk 20 (Sniper Support Rifle).

The rifles share in some cases as much as 85 percent of the same parts between models, making them easier to maintain across the family. Here we see, from top to bottom, the subcompact 7.5-inch barreled SCAR SC, SCAR 16 (SCAR-L) in 5.56 NATO, SCAR 17 (SCAR-H) in 7.62 NATO and SCAR 20 (SSR). (Photo: Chris Eger/

Now, with production in the U.S., FN has been marketing the SCAR series in both select-fire and commercial semi-auto variants, and have proved to be a hit with those looking to upgrade from ARs, in a choice of FDE or black.

The 5.56 NATO SCAR 16S is a semi-automatic version of the modular rifle used in combat by the U.S. military since 2009. The SCAR 16S features a rotating and locking bolt, short-stroke gas piston, free-floating cold hammer-forged MIL-SPEC 16.25 barrel with compensator and chrome-lined bore, telescoping polymer stock with adjustable cheekpiece, and ambi safety and magazine release. This rifle’s hard-anodized monolithic aluminum receiver has an integrated Picatinny rail and three additional accessory rails.

The SCAR 17S has much the same features and layout as the smaller SCAR 16S but comes in 7.62 NATO.

With a longer 20-inch barrel, the SCAR 20S is the semi-auto version of the FN SCAR Mk 20 SSR precision rifle. It includes a match-grade two-stage trigger that breaks crisply at 3.5-4.5 pounds, full-length MIL-STD 1913 rail at 12 o’clock position, and fixed buttstock providing adaptability to fit each user’s needs through the adjustable length of pull and cheek rest height.

As for a commercial version of the super cute and compact SCAR SC, perhaps with a pistol brace, FN tells us they can’t comment on such an animal at this time. One can wish, anyway.

Dear Santa, please send a SCAR SC…(Photo: Chris Eger/


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Categories: Gun News

Syntech Range Ammo Now Comes in Buckets O’Fun

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 04:00

Syntech ammo now ships in bulk. (Photo: Federal)

Federal’s Syntech range ammo is now available in bulk buckets, filled to the brim with 250 to 500 rounds of pure range fun.

The rugged, plastic buckets are stackable and easy to store and transport to and from the range. Sporting the company’s award-winning Syntech ammo, the buckets offer bulk ammo to those that prefer to sling a lot of lead downrange. Federal released its Syntech line in 2017, offering shooters a “one-of-a-kind” TSJ projectile” utilizing a polymer jacket. This construction reduces fouling as well as helping to prevent barrel damage due to heat and friction.

“Conventional ammunition causes metal-on-metal contact between the bullet and bore, which can shorten barrel life and rob accuracy. The polymer-encapsulated Syntech bullet prevents this while eliminating copper and lead fouling,” Federal Handgun Ammunition Product Manager Chris Laack said in a news release. “Combined with specialized clean-burning powders, your gun will stay cleaner, longer, so you can shoot more and shoot better. The exclusive Catalyst primer provides the cleanest most consistent ignition possible. That’s why it received the 2017 NRA Golden Bullseye Award. And now, we sell it by the bucket full.”

Federal Syntech ammo’s Total Synthetic Jacket (TSJ) is billed as eliminating copper and lead fouling as well as reducing damaging heat and friction. We tested a case of it previously on a Glock 19X with no issues. (Photo: Chris Eger/

The Syntech bulk buckets ship in either 250 and 500-rounds of 9mm, 350 rounds of .40 S&W or 300 rounds of .45 ACP. Prices range from $96.95 to $193.95, depending on the bucket.

Not ready to commit to 500 rounds just yet? Take Syntech for a ride with a 20-round box from


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Categories: Gun News

Great Looking U.S. Made GI 45: Auto-Ordnance M1911A1

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 01:52

Auto-Ordnance’s 1911BKO has been on the market for a couple of years and is among the best choices for those looking for a well-made “GI 45” that is produced in America and doesn’t break the bank. (Photo: Chris Eger/


Those searching for a good deal on a standard GI-style 1911 should look at Auto-Ordnance’s American-made offering.

What is a true M1911A1, anyway?

Adopted as “Pistol, Automatic, Caliber .45, M1911,” in 1911 after an extended period of trials and competition that saw handguns submitted not only Bergman, Luger, Savage, Webley-Fosbery and others, John Moses Browning’s semi-automatic .45ACP handgun was the U.S. military’s “Government Issue” pistol for 75 years.

The M1911A1 series, a standard introduced in 1924, utilized several modifications over Browning’s original GI long slide of the Great War-era. These included a shorter trigger with a relief cut to the rear of the guard, a longer grip safety spur, thicker front sights, and an arched mainspring housing rather than the M1911’s initial flat housing. While legacy models were subsequently reworked in Army arsenals at Springfield, Rock Island, Anniston and Augusta, a process that typically included picking up a parkerized finish over the original blue-to-black finishes, new guns ordered after 1925 would be delivered from the factory to the “A1” standard. This included pistols not only made by Colt, but also World War II-era guns cranked out by Remington-Rand, Ithaca, US&S, and Singer through 1945.

The standard GI .45, as seen in this 1950s-era archival photo of an M1911A1 from the Springfield Armory National Historic Site.

It is this latter model– which was carried by GIs, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, and Coasties through WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War– that Auto-Ordnance’s 1911 BKO means to faithfully replicate. The Auto-Ordnance incorporates GI specs, with a standard 5-inch barrel and an 8.5-inch overall length. The “BKO” means a black oxide finish on the frame, barrel, and slide.

Auto-Ordnance tells us this gun was pulled randomly from their production line this month (Photo: Chris Eger/

When it comes to materials, AO machines the slide, sear, and disconnector from solid carbon bar stock, then heat treats them “to assure durability and long life over many thousands of rounds.” As with the old-school GI guns, the 1911 BKO has a low-profile blade front sight and a rear sight, with the latter being drift adjustable for windage. The grip is brown checkered plastic on the review gun, a veritable clone of the WWII-era 1911 grips that were adopted after the earlier “double-diamond” walnut grips were discontinued before WWII. For those who want “US” stamped wood DDs, AO also markets a version of the BKO with such panels which runs about $30 more.

How does it compare externally to a WWII GI 1911? Check out this comparison:

On the left, we have images of a beautiful correct Remington-Rand M1911A1 that was produced in 1943. On the right is a new Auto-Ordnance 1911BKO that came from the company’s Worcester, Massachusetts much more recently (Photo: Richard Taylor & Chris Eger/

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

Who is Auto-Ordnance?

The original Auto-Ordnance Corporation, famous for being the company created by Army Ordnance Col. John Taliaferro Thompson in August 1916, would market the Colonel’s namesake “trench broom” submachine gun starting in 1921. Going on to gain fame during Prohibition and the 1930s as makers of the “Tommy Gun,” AO contracted with Colt to craft early models until WWII prompted the company to open its first in-house production facility, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1941. The war led to more than a half-million M1928 and M1/M1A1s produced by Auto-Ordnance for immediate military service with other models made under contract by Savage. However, after the conflict ended and demand dried up, the Connecticut factory closed its doors.

In the intervening years, Gun Parts Corp acquired the assets of the defunct historical AO in 1950 and spent the next four decades assembling small lots of Tommy guns, a practice that ended with the Hughes Amendment in 1986. By 1991, Auto-Ordnance was located in West Hurley, New York, and was producing an array of M1911-style pistols to mixed reviews.

In 1999, the Kahr Firearms Group acquired the name and, moving production to its current Worcester, Mass facility, has been going strong with a variety of Thompson-branded M1927 style semi-auto carbines and pistols, M1 Carbines, as well as a rebooted M1911A1 line.

Kahr’s founder and CEO Justin Moon said that his good fortune to steer a reinvigorated Auto-Ordnance into the 21st Century was, “a chance to become involved in preserving an essential part of American heritage.” Moon, who has a passion for American history, explained that “Our nation was founded by brave patriots who were willing to take risks, face dangers, and use their inventiveness to overcome all obstacles. Among those many tools used to found our country were the firearms that secured our freedom.”

Currently headquartered in Greely, Pennsylvania, all Kahr Arms, and Auto-Ordnance guns are proudly made in the United States. The company also owns Magnum Research, which recently moved production of the famed Desert Eagle back to the U.S. after a 10-year effort.

Now Back to Our Gun

While AO introduced a 9mm version of the 1911BKO a few years back, our test gun is a more standard .45ACP variety, complete with a 1911-pattern 7-round single stack GI-style magazine produced by Checkmate Industries. Ejection is positive with the left-side mounted magazine release and should be considered a drop-free mag. We tried the gun with several Vietnam-era Assy-marked GI mags as well as aftermarket 7- and 8-shot mags from the likes of Novak, Chip McCormick, Wilson Tactical and others and had no reportable issue.

Check-Mate has long been in the mag biz. The 1911BKO shipped with one.  (Photo: Chris Eger/

The mainspring housing includes a lanyard ring oriented to the bottom of the grip, but we found it did not interfere with magazines, even those with extended base pads. We would have liked it to ship with more mags, but if you can’t find good new M1911 mags for about $20, you just aren’t looking.

A “no-frills” design, the test pistol includes the familiar Browning-designed frame-mounted thumb safety, and grip safety. It also has a later 80-series firing pin block for added drop safety, a feature sure to draw grumbles from those who prefer 70-series guns. Of note, the 1911BKO is Massachusetts-compliant.

The Auto-Ordnance 1911BKO field strips like any other standard GI, and uses an old-school recoil spring/guide/plug assembly. We managed disassembly without the application of a “dummy mark.” (Photo: Chris Eger/

Weight is 39-ounces, unloaded. For those interested in the 9mm 1911BKO9 series gun for the sake of cheaper ammo, it uses a 9+1 round single stack mag and runs about a half-ounce lighter.

Unlike some producers of guns marketed as GI 1911s, the roll marks on the Auto-Ordnance gun are refreshingly understated and subtle. The right-hand side of the slide is blank as is the left-hand side of the frame. The grips are unadorned. There are no faux military inspectors’ marks to confuse a later generation of collectors.

On the left side of the slide is a simple “Model 1911A1 U.S. Army” roll mark which is roughly centered across 1.5-inches of the 8.5-inch slide. (Photo: Chris Eger/

On the right side of the frame, sandwiched in the one-inch space between the takedown lever and leading edge of the grip is “Auto-Ordnance Corp” over a serial number that, like Col. Thompson’s WWII-era Tommy guns, begins with an “AO” prefix. The slab-sided slide is a welcome aesthetic compared to some contemporaries.

For those who want a GI .45 with more splash, AO also markets special commemorative 1911s such as The General and the Fly Girls.

True to form, the 1911BKO has vertical rear slide serrations, a “thick” front sight, and an M1911A1-style ejection port. The front of the trigger is knurled. There is no checkering or stippling on the inside of the grip. The dustcover is smooth and the frame, as would be expected, is non-railed.

The current AO offering ships in a black and white cardboard box with manual and warranty cards, a single Checkmate Industries magazine, lock, and misc. paperwork. The pistol carries a one-year warranty through Kahr.

AO did not waste much on the box, but then again, who wants to spend extra cash on a box anyway?

MSRP is $695 for the 1911BKO, a price that we currently come closer to $508 to, new in the box.

How does it shoot? Initial testing looks good but watch this space in the coming weeks for a full rundown after we finish a few more range sessions.

(Photo: Chris Eger/


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Categories: Gun News

Sig Sauer Adds 6mm Creedmoor to Elite Match Ammo Series

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 05:15

The 6mm Creedmoor joins Sig Sauer’s Match Elite ammo series. (Photo: Sig Sauer)


Sig Sauer expands its Elite Match series of ammunition, introducing a 6mm Creedmoor load for competition shooters.

Offering a 107-grain Sierra MatchKing bullet, the 6mm Creedmoor delivers a muzzle velocity of 2,950 feet-per-second with muzzle energy of 2,068 foot-pounds. The Elite Match ammo delivers a temperature-stable propellant and premium-quality primers, according to Sig.

“6mm Creedmoor is a popular long-range round that performs well in wind thanks to its high ballistic coefficient and flat trajectory,” Brad Criner, Senior Director, Brand Management and Business Development at Sig Sauer Ammunition said in a news release. “We are pleased to offer this highly accurate round for competition shooters along with 6.5 Creedmoor and numerous other match grade loads.”

The 6mm load joins Sig Sauer’s current Elite Match ammunition lineup featuring .223 Rem, .300BLK, .308 Win, .30-06 Springfield, .300 Win Mag, 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor. The new 6mm Elite Match ammo ships 20-rounds to a box with an MSRP of $30.95.

Need rifle ammo for your next match? Grab some from here.


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Categories: Gun News

First Time Hunter Wins Oregon Tag Lottery with Rocky Mountain Goat Tag

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 05:00

Alyssa Nitschelm poses with a Rocky Mountain Goat she harvested. (Photo: Nosler)

Standing in the kitchen beside her dad, Alyssa Nitschelm could barely process what lay before her — results for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife big game hunting draw.

Nitschelm had never hunted before but applied for various controlled hunts tags through the ODFW to spend some time in the woods with her dad, a bonding experience for father and daughter. As she flipped through the denied application requests for deer, elk and pronghorn she mostly resigned herself to the fact that she wouldn’t be heading out to harvest any special animals this season.

“I naturally asked my dad to help me apply to these controlled hunts. He helped me choose each hunt series to apply for,” Nitschelm said in a press release from Nosler. “The only expectation I had was to spend quality time with my dad, absorb new information and possibly get the chance to appreciate some beautiful animals and country.”

Continuing to scroll down the list, Nitschelm was met with the shock of a lifetime — she had been selected for the Rocky Mountain Goat tag. A rarity among Oregon hunters, thousands apply for the tag each year, but the odds of receiving the special tag are slim. Nitschelm, with her tag, was one of only 24 hunters in Oregon capable of claiming the Rocky Mountain Goat. Nitschelm says she was surprised to see the tag and her father was even more astounded.

“My dad whipped his head around and asked if I was kidding,” Nitschelm recounted. “‘You realize that is the hardest tag to draw in Oregon? Once-in-a-lifetime, he said.’”

Rocky Mountain Goats were reintroduced to Central Oregon in 2010 after an absence in the area for nearly 150-years. Since the reintroduction into the Mt. Jefferson area, the goats have expanded through high elevation areas across the Central Oregon Cascades. Though any licensed hunter may apply for the Rocky Mountain Goat Tag, the opportunity to actually harvest one is rare — even if you are the lucky recipient of the coveted tag. The difficult terrain and elevation require hunters to be physically fit in order to reach areas where the species roam.

Heading into the open air of Oregon, Nitschelm stalked and took a gorgeous Rocky Mountain Goat. Using a Browning A-Bolt rifle chambered in .280 Remington with Nosler’s Partition 150-grain ammo, she harvested the Billy with one shot safely and ethically alongside her dad. For Nitschelm, the dream became reality.

“Every night prior to this hunting trip, I dreamt vividly about this very moment. Some were dark, fearing that I would leave this trip empty-handed and disappointed. Other dreams were driven by the eagerness and excitement of tagging out,” Nitschelme recalled in a blog post on Nosler. “This feeling of success exceeded my expectations. The beauty of this animal up close was surreal.”


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Categories: Gun News

Iron Man Flying Suit Gets Visor Controlled Gun. What Could Go Wrong?

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 05:00

Richard Browning with his Daedalus Mark 1 flying suit with a shoulder-mounted airsoft gun. That muzzle orientation, though…yikes. (Photo: James Bruton / Youtube)

Gravity Industries’ jet-powered flying suit tested a select-fire airsoft rifle to demonstrate the potential of a weaponized flying soldier.

Richard Browning is the British inventor and former Royal Marine Reservist, behind the Daedalus Mark 1 flying suit. It uses several small jet engines to achieve flight, flying over 50 miles-per-hour for roughly 10 minutes. Browning demonstrated the suit’s flying capabilities many times, earning the nickname the “real-life Iron Man”.

Recently, he enlisted the help of DIY 3-D printing genius and engineer James Bruton to add a little spice to his getup. Bruton fabricated a shoulder-mounted airsoft rifle controlled by the pilot’s visor which can be fired in semi-auto or full-auto modes.

On October 7, 2019, Bruton posted a video showing Browning flying the jet suit and firing the rifle. Although Gravity Industries made it clear that the addition of the weapon is merely for entertainment reasons only, it does open the door to a weaponized flying suit in the future.

Frank Zapata hovering over Bastille Day in Paris, France on his Flyboard Air holding a fake rifle.

Browning is not the first to weaponize his suit, however. You may recall earlier this summer, French inventor Franky Zapata flying a jet suit called Flyboard Air above crowds during Bastille Day. In his hand, he held a fake rifle. In August, Zapata, dubbed the “Flying Frenchman,” flew across the English Channel donning his suit. It took 23 minutes including a pit stop halfway to refuel. He traveled at speeds up 87 mph approximately 49-feet above the water.

The most important question we have is can civilians get their hands on a flying suit? The answer is yes. Gravity Industries recently offered nine Daedalus Mark 1 flying suits for sale at Selfridges & Co. for a mere $443,000 each. Unfortunately, they sold out almost right away. Hopefully, more will be offered for those of you with deep pockets and aspirations of taking flight. 

If you could own a flying suit, what type of gun would you mount on it? Let us know in the comments below. And if you looking for a firearm to take to the skies with, check out’s selection of air-worthy guns. 

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Categories: Gun News

The Dream of Africa: on Safari

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 04:00’s Kristin Alberts spent two weeks on Safari in South Africa alongside hunting partner Stan Pate. There they harvested 16 animals between them — 13 different species from Springbok to Cape Buffalo and everything in between. Here are a few photos from the adventure.

Pate and Alberts found a welcome home at Waterval Safaris, near Kimberley in South Africa’s Northern Cape with PH’s Boetie and Mardene Cooper. (Photo: Boetie Cooper/Waterval Safaris)

Pate and Alberts brought Savage Arms rifles, Bushnell optics, Norma ammunition, Pelican cases, Carter Cutlery knives, 5.11 Tactical apparel and Dark Angel Medical IFAK kits for the expedition. (Photo: Stan Pate/

Beware the animals! (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Since reading Ruark, Hemingway and Capstick while growing up, Kristin Alberts dreamt of hunting the Kudu, the Grey Ghost of Africa. That dream became reality on this Safari, using a Savage High Country rifle in .300 Win Mag, Norma Oryx ammunition and a Bushnell Nitro scope. (Photo: Stan Pate/

Plenty of smiles even after walking through the hills over 9-miles. From left: Professional Hunter Boetie Cooper, Alberts, and Pate with Pate’s Warthog, harvested with the Savage High Country in 6.5 Creedmoor. (Photo: Waterval Safaris)

Pate poses alongside one of his trophies. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Pate’s Cape Buffalo taken with a Westley Richards rifle belonging to a late friend. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Any true hunter will be quick to tell you the hunt itself is only part of the experience. It’s the camaraderie, laughter, and friendships at any hunting camp that define the adventure. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The Savage 110 Storm, topped with a Bushnell optic and a handmade leather ammo pouch filled with Norma ammunition. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

One of the rarer animals in South Africa, the Roan Antelope, was a dandy trophy and worthy adversary on the hunt. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Recognized as one of the most beautiful of the Plains Game animals, the Sable’s swooping horns and dark coat stir the heart of the hunter. Alberts harvested this nice Sable bull with a single shot from the Savage High Country in .300 Win Mag. (Photo: Stan Pate/

Both Pate and Alberts hunted with Savage High Country rifles, this one chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor and topped with a high-end Bushnell Forge riflescope. Loaded with Norma ammunition and packing a Carter Cutlery Camp Knife, Safari life is grand. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Pate takes a break from the hunt to help the team skin his Cape Buffalo using his Carter Cutlery knives. Every bit of the animals is used, from the meat to the hides, with even the entrails utilized for food. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Taking advantage of last light to celebrate Pate’s Red Hartebeest. (Photo: Boetie Cooper/Waterval Safaris)

Norma ammunition on the plains of Africa. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

Few places in the world could even come close to rivaling those South African sunsets. Safaris are about much more than hunting—the animals, wild cuisine, conservation, and of course, the scenery is second to none. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Toasting the end of a successful Safari with champagne. From left: Pate, Alberts, and Professional Hunters Mardene & Boetie Cooper of Waterval Safaris. A South African Safari is a truly memorable experience and the hunt itself is only part of the joy. (Photo: Boetie Cooper/Waterval Safaris)


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Categories: Gun News Unboxing Studios Presents: Remington R1 Hunter

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 05:00


We’ve headed back into the Vault to take a peek at another handgun worthy of attention — the Remington R1 Hunter.

The Remington R1 Hunter is intended for, you guessed it, the hunting crowd with its 10mm design. The 10mm round has garnered praise from devoted handgun hunters for its ability to easily harvest game in the field. No surprise then that Remington would spring into action, offering a handgun chambered around the popular cartridge.

The R1 Hunter comes chambered in 10mm. (Photo: Don Summers/

The R1 Hunter slips into Remington’s R1 series with ease, adopting the familiar 1911 aesthetic. Donning a long slide, the R1 Hunter opts for a 6-inch stainless match-grade barrel with an overall length measuring 9.5-inches. Tipping scales at 41-ounces, the R1 Hunter comes equipped with an accessory rail for all the lights and lasers you want. If you prefer to ride without fancy tech, the pistol sports LPA Fully Adjustable Match Sights.

The R1 Hunter offers a snazzy look. (Photo: Don Summers/

A real looker, the Remington R1 Hunter features wide rear and front serrations, and adjustable skeletonized trigger and Operator II VZ G10 grips. This is in addition to its stainless steel frame, coated with PVD DLC. The handgun is outfitted with an extended beavertail grip safety for a more positive grip while shooting.

The gun features an 8+1 capacity. (Photo: Don Summers/

The enhanced beavertail offers a better grip. (Photo: Don Summers/

Shipping with two mags, the R1 Hunter offers a capacity of 8+1. The Remington R1 Hunter is perfect for 1911 fans looking for a 10mm pistol to pack in the woods. Though it boasts a hefty MSRP of $1,310, street prices often fall under $1,000.

While you’re grabbing a REMINGTON R1 HUNTER from, make sure to nab SOME AMMO for it too.


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Categories: Gun News

Barnaul Releases “Grooved” .30-06 Splfd Cartridge

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 04:45

Barnual comes at the .30-06 Springfield game with a new grooved design. (Photo: Barnual)


Russian-based ammo maker Barnaul launched a new .30-06 Springfield hunting round, complete with a grooved steel-cased design.

The .30-06 features a polycoated steel case with a rounded groove near the base of the cartridge which Barnual says acts as a relief ring for the load. The company explains that the groove allows additional pressure generated by firing to be absorbed and reduced. In short, it mimics the expansion of brass casings in order to provide a “smart, simple, safe and well-engineered” steel case cartridge.

“The pressure generated by the .30-06 round is higher than other steel-cased rounds the company makes. Since steel is much harder and less malleable than brass the overall steel case expands slower in the microsecond of gas expansion in the firearm’s chamber than brass cases,” Barnual explained in a press release. “To accommodate the higher pressure curve of the .30-06 round for that millisecond the engineers at Barnaul ‘simply’ designed a slight round groove called a relief ring into the cartridge case near the base.”

Barnual says the groove is roll pressed into the cartridge and no mental is removed to achieve the groove. The company first announced the .30-06 Spfld load in mid-October alongside a .308 Winchester offering targeting American big-game hunters.

The .30-06 is available in 20 round boxes for around $14.

Need to stock up on last-minute rounds for an upcoming hunting adventure? Check out’s arsenal of ammo here.


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Categories: Gun News

Bushnell’s New Optics Lines Shine on African Safari

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 04:30

Not only does the Bushnell Forge in Terrain color look amazing atop the PVD-finished Savage High Country rifle, but much more importantly, it performs. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Venturing to South Africa on a safari adventure calls for not only the best in firearms but in optics and gear as well. There has long been a misconception that the Bushnell brand is lower dollar and subsequently sub-par in quality. What better way to test out the brands durability and performance than a hunt on the African Plains? With the company’s revamped 2019 line of optics by my side, I put Bushnell’s binoculars, rangefinders and riflescopes to the test on the Dark Continent.

Bushnell Forge and Nitro Riflescope

The Bushnell Nitro atop the Savage High Country rifle. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The Bushnell Forge Riflescope has put in time at both the range and out on safari serving up performance under both conditions. I mounted the 3-18×50 on the Savage High Country rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor. The power ring throw lever is a nice addition for quick adjustments in the field while the Deploy MOA reticle makes it simple to use hold-overs or hold-offs. The taller zero-return turrets make dialing windage and elevation a breeze as well. This scope let me touch out over hundreds of yards on African Plains game animal.

With features and build of optics twice its price, the Forge may not be budget-friendly for some hunters and shooters, but it is a lifetime-warrantied serious optic. MSRP on the Forge riflescopes in either FFP or SFP and standard black or Terrain color ranges from $799 to $899.

The combination of a Bushnell Nitro riflescope on the Savage High Country rifle in .300 Win Mag accounted for this Gemsbok, taken by your author whilst on Safari in South Africa. (Photo: Stan Pate/

While the Forge is a higher-dollar model, the Nitro comes in slightly less than its sibling. With the 4-16×44 Nitro mounted on the Savage High Country rifle in .300 Win Mag, it was African game ready. Like the Forge, the Deploy MOA reticle in our Nitro scope also made it simple to use hold-overs, though zero-return turrets allow shooters to dial as well. Though the test optic I used was FFP, there are multiple variants from 2.5-10×44 to 6-24×50 to suit your needs.

MSRP on the Nitro comes in at $539, though the same scope using SFP technology is only $389 in either black or gun-metal gray.

Bushnell Engage DX Binoculars

Bushnell’s new Engage DX binos saw hard use in Africa. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Bushnell’s new Engage DX roof-prism binoculars are truly a case of getting more bang for your buck. The Engage DX 10x42mm featured fully coated optics in addition to offering a waterproof and fogproof design. The glass is fantastic, evidenced by the superior quality and light transmission, and we were able to quickly identify animals in the field, on the move, and in all sorts of light conditions.

Weighing 25-ounces, these binos are light enough to carry all day – as I did with Bushnell harnesses. With an MSRP of just $199, the Bushnell Engage DX Binoculars exceeded expectations.

Bushnell Prime Rangefinder

The new Prime 1300 rangefinder locked onto Plains game targets quickly in Africa, even at distances of 500 yards. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The Prime 1300 Rangefinder earned its keep while on safari. Not only did it acquire targets quicker than other laser rangefinders on the market, but it did so accurately with excellent light transmission. Advertised capabilities are 1,300-yards reflective, 800-yards to tree and 600-yards to deer. ARC technology automatically accounts for terrain angle, while a selectable reticle allows customization. Scan, brush, and bullseye modes all help in various situations and terrains, and best of all, the LRF is easy to use.

When a hunt is on the line, especially the hunt of a lifetime, knowing the range quickly and accurately makes all the difference on a trophy harvest or tag soup. MSRP on the Prime LRF is $169.99.


The combination of a Bushnell Forge riflescope on the Savage High Country rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor accounted for this Zebra on Safari in South Africa. (Photo: Boutie Cooper/Waterval Safaris)

The next time you’re shopping for some hunting glass, be sure to take a look through some of Bushnell’s latest products. I trusted my bucket-list Safari hunt to Bushnell quality and was definitely not disappointed. Plus side, if anything ever goes wrong, the new Bushnell lifetime Ironclad Warranty has things covered. The only thing for the hunter to focus on is enjoying the adventure.

Check out’s lineup of OPTICS.


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Categories: Gun News

Ammo Showdown: Buffalo Bore .380 vs Hornady

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 04:15

Hornady Critical Defense .380 ACP, left, versus Buffalo Bore .380, right. (Photo: Josh Wayner/


In the world of pocket pistols, the .380 ACP reigns supreme. Once upon a time, the .380 was considered to be weak and underpowered; but thanks to advanced bullet technology, the .380 has a new life in the modern world. We’ll be taking a look at two different .380 ACP loads — one designed around advanced expanding bullet technology and the other that adopts an old-school approach to achieve incredible penetration.

A Little History

The .380 ACP loads in this article are designed around two different perspectives on what yields effectiveness. The first is one you’ve likely seen in the form of the Hornady 90-grain Critical Defense. This load features a proprietary jacketed hollow point with an FTX polymer tip. It is not a stretch to say that this load is what helped escalate the popularity of the .380, catapulting it to a modern self-defense mainstay. The FTX bullet technology allows for the projectile to pierce heavy clothing and minor barriers without deforming or clogging.

Its competitor in this showdown is the Buffalo Bore 100-grain +P hard cast. This load is essentially similar in construction to cowboy ammo from years past. Unlike the Hornady bullet, the Buffalo Bore is not designed to expand at all, instead, using the same premise as big game hunting. A solid-enough bullet drives straight through the target allowing vitals to be reached through thick hide, bone, and fat. This load is ultimately meant to drive in deep, penetrating as much tissues as possible.


Buffalo Bore ammunition delivers a 100-grain design. (Photo: Josh Wayner/


We selected the Glock 42, chambered in .380 ACP, as our pistol platform. A popular option for many concealed carriers, the G42 brings a reliable pocket pistol construction that packs a punch. Though some .380 ACP micro pistols suffer from poor reliability, luckily, the Glock 42 seems to always do well on paper. Both the Hornady Critical Defense and Buffalo Bore loads were tested at a distance of 10-yards for accuracy. Each was fired from a rest and produced five, five-shot groups.

The Hornady load produces an average group size of 2.1-inches. The largest group produced was 2.75-inches while the smallest came in at 1.75-inches.

The 100-grain Buffalo Bore load produced slightly larger groups. The average five-shot group at 10-yards was 3.2-inches. The largest and smallest groups did not deviate very much at all, with the largest being 3.5-inches and the smallest being 3-inches.



Velocity testing was conducted over an Oehler 35P chronograph. The velocity recorded here was the average of 20 shots fired 5-feet from the chronograph. The Hornady load averaged 947-ft/s. The Buffalo Bore load, despite being heavier, launched at an impressive average of 1,100-ft/s. It should be noted that the Buffalo Bore load is much hotter and is rated to +P pressure.



The Hornady Critical Defense .380 load uses a jacketed hollow point construction. (Photo: Josh Wayner/

Although it is a heavier bullet loaded to higher pressure, the Buffalo Bore 100 green hard cast +P does not show a tremendous increase in recoil over its competition. The added power is something that can be felt in a gun as small as the Glock 42, but it doesn’t deliver a significant difference. It is snappier than the Hornady offering, but the impulse is smooth.

It wasn’t easy to declare a winner in this category, because there has to be something said for a small gun that has very little recoil. The Hornady load had barely any recoil at all, but for the added power, we felt the price of the added snap was worth it.


Handling Characteristics

While the win was handed to the Buffalo Bore load in the recoil category, this is mainly because it had more power-per-shot for a marginal increase in recoil. When it comes to shooting quickly, the low recoil of the 90-grain Critical Defense became an advantage.

Accuracy and low recoil seem to go hand in hand, so the choice became somewhat obvious. The Buffalo Bore load also generates copious amounts of smoke at the muzzle. While not quite like black powder, it does create a cloud of thin white smoke. This is not a liability, but it can slightly obstruct the shooter’s vision in low light.


Gel Performance

The Buffalo Bore, left, and Hornady, right, after recovery from gel tests. (Photo: Josh Wayner/

When comes to the gel test, we had a hard time declaring a winner. In terms of penetration, the Buffalo Bore load went through an amazing amount of bare gel considering how small of a bullet the .380 launches. It achieved an averaged penetration depth that rivaled big calibers like .45 ACP and .44 Magnum of similar bullet construction. The little bullets went in an astounding 41-inches, completely passing through two entire blocks of gel before coming to rest in the third.

The Hornaday load was not designed to penetrate but, instead, offer expansion and energy transfer. The Critical Defense bullets averaged 9-inches of gel penetration. All the recovered bullets showed excellent expansion. Penetration depth for three shots resulted in very uniform performance.

A tie was issued here because the bullets, while of the same caliber, were designed for two very different purposes and each achieved their specific goals.


Overall Winner: Buffalo Bore

A Glock 42 was used to test both loads. (Photo: Josh Wayner/


These two loads each offer their own advantages for the .380, but the same advantages that they enjoy in a small gun, such as penetration and low recoil, may not translate to larger and more common calibers. The .380 is so small there isn’t much middle ground. In larger calibers, you can find mediums in performance that aren’t so extreme.

It was not without great debate that Buffalo Bore was ultimately declared the winner. When it comes to a gun as small as the Glock 42, every advantage must be sought out. Penetration is a quality that is usually lacking from small-caliber pocket pistols, so it is refreshing that the Buffalo Bore load shoots through any angle of a target.

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Categories: Gun News

Boom: NICS Background Checks on Guns Up 10 Percent in October

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 04:00

Background check data suggests a 10 percent increase in the number of gun sales nationwide last month (Photo: Eger/

October 2019 saw a bump in the number of firearm background checks when compared to the same month in 2018.

The unadjusted figures of 2,327,252 checks conducted through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System last month is a nearly 14.5 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,033,276 in October 2018.

When adjusted — removing figures for gun permit checks and rechecks by numerous states who use NICS for that purpose — the latest benchmark remains a stout 1,105,335, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade organization for the U.S. gun industry. This number is a significant 10 percent higher when compared to the October 2018 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,005,062.

When compared to the data from 15 years before, last month’s figure was a staggering 49 percent higher.

October 2019 is also the sixth month in a row that the number of adjusted checks was higher than the previous year’s data.

The NICS numbers do not include private gun sales in most states or cases where a concealed carry permit is used as alternatives to the background check requirements of the 1994 Brady law which allows the transfer of a firearm over the counter by a federal firearms license holder without first performing a NICS check. Over 20 states accept personal concealed carry permits or licenses as Brady exemptions.

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Categories: Gun News

Glocks & M1917s: The Redoubtable Arms of the Greenland Patrol

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 06:00

Danish Sirius patrol members head back home after a two-year tour in Greenland– with their vintage but reliable M/53 rifles in tow. (Photo: Danish Navy)

In two-man patrols carried by dog sleds, the Danish Navy secures Greenland with the help of some vintage rifles and some more modern handguns.

The Danish Ministry of Defense lately has been showcasing its military sled patrol in Greenland, Slædepatruljen Sirius. The 14-man unit is made up of volunteers who agree to two+ years of uninterrupted service in the frozen monolith that is the world’s largest island. There are no holidays or days off, with their leave accruing for when they return to Denmark.

Each Winter, the Sirius patrol sets out in six “fuppere” teams to scout the uninhabited northern coastline from station to station. The below video showcases one such patrol, that of Frederik and Brian, who, along with their 13 dogs, cover 1,430 miles over three months in minus 40-degree weather. It’s interesting stuff, even if it is in Danish.

For protection against polar bears, the apex land predator in the Arctic, as well as to provide some sort of tripwire against more two-legged interlopers in the region, the Sirius patrol use Glock G20 10mm handguns and the Gevær M/53 rifle.

The G20, essentially a scaled-up G17, was first introduced in 1991 in 10mm Auto to meet growing demand from sportsmen and law enforcement for handguns chambered for “the centimeter.” Since then, the pistol has been in constant production first in Gen 3 and later in Gen 4 and Short Frame (SF) variants with the latter made to accommodate those with smaller hands.

The current Gen 4 G20 uses a modular backstrap system and offers a 15+1 capacity in a handgun whose empty weight runs just 27.5-ounces. The reliable polymer-framed striker-fired pistol is standard-issue on the world’s only military sled patrol for polar bear repellant. (Photo: Glock)


With sidearms covered by Glock, what is the Gevær M/53? That gun is actually a century-old design, the .30-06 caliber Enfield M1917 rifle.

This thing:

This beautiful M1917 in the Vault was one of 1,181,908 rifles made by Pennsylvania-based Eddystone in World War I for the U.S. Army. Notably, Sgt. Alvin York is believed to have used an Eddystone in his famous capture of 132 Germans in France in 1918.

Dubbed the “American Enfield,” the M1917 was a modified version of the .303-caliber Pattern 14 rifle made in U.S. factories for the British in the early days of the Great War. Once America entered the conflict, the P14 was converted to use the same cartridge as the U.S. M1903 Springfield and put into production with an amazing 2.1 million M1917s cranked out by Remington, Eddystone, and Winchester in just three years.


The M1917 proved popular in the trenches of World War I and continued to serve with America’s allies in WWII– with Denmark picking up some of these old warhorses as surplus in 1953, hence the “M/53” designation. Copenhagen also used the M1 Garand for decades, termed the M50 Garandgevær, and swapped out the M1917’s sights for those used on the more modern semi-auto. The M/53s in Danish service also are reportedly modified to accept M1903-style 5-round stripper clips.

For more on the patrol, check out their recruitment video, and keep an eye peeled for the Glocks and Enfields.

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Categories: Gun News

What Defines a Dangerous Game Rifle?

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 04:30

Author Kristin Alberts along with Stan Pate, ad the rest of the Waterval Safaris team pose with Pate’s trophy Cape Buffalo. (Photo: Boetie Cooper/Waterval Safaris)

Every year, professional hunters and clients alike are injured or killed by dangerous game. When lives, livelihoods and often expensive trips are on the line, it’s best to come prepared with the best rifle and caliber to get the job done.

Choosing a Rifle


On my latest South African safari, I spent nearly three weeks alongside Boetie Cooper of Waterval Safaris and Stephen Bann of SB Hunting Safaris. Though the two men run separate businesses in South Africa, though they often team-up for dangerous game hunts. What do Cooper and Band suggest in the way of rifles destined to harvest ornery buffalos, charging rhinos or stalking lions?

Cooper says that, like any gun, reliability is a key factor. “The number one requirement of a dangerous game rifle is reliability. It must work every time and all the time. The hunter must never wonder whether the rifle will function,” Cooper explained.

He went on to assert that after reliability, big game hunters should turn their attention to hard-hitting performance capable of downing large game followed by the comfort of the shooter. He maintains that the shooter and the rifle should work as a single unit. “You and that rifle must become one because your life is depending on it,” Cooper said.

05: Stan Pate’s nostalgic Westley Richards rifle, a Mauser bolt action with controlled round feed chambered in the hard-hitting .425 WR. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Bann looked to the stopping power of the rifle, asserting that it needs to have enough oomph to down game in its tracks. “It is a rifle that can stop any dangerous game animal in its tracks if the shot placement is perfect and the correct ammunition is used. So basically, the rifle must have enough stopping power and the hunter must be able to shoot it well.”

Action-wise, both hunters unanimously agreed that bolt-actions perform the best on dangerous game guns due to their controlled round feed, affordability, and reliability. Guns like Winchester’s Model 70 Safari Express, Ruger Safari, CZ 550, all chambered in .375, are well-built for their intended purpose — standing between hunter and hunted.

Top Caliber Choices


Having the right rifle is only half the battle; it must also be chambered in a capable caliber. Most dangerous game hunting in any country calls for .375 minimums. It’s also good practice to choose ammunition that is available in most areas of Africa, should you find yourself in need of more rounds.

Stephen Bann of SB Hunting Safaris poses with a trophy crocodile. Bann regularly carries his custom .450 Rigby. (Photo: Stephen Bann/SB Hunting Safaris)

Cooper prefers bolt-action rifles due to their innate firepower and his own familiarity. Though Cooper suggests .375 H&H, .416 Rigby and either .458 Win Mag or .458 Lott, his favorite is the .375 H&H. “The important thing is finding a balance between enough gun and one that a client can shoot confidently even with the recoil. A well-placed shot with a good bullet from a .375 will get the job done every single time,” Cooper said.

Bann agreed, citing the .375 H&H or .416 Rigby as solid caliber choices for bolt guns in addition to the .470 Nitro.

To Scope or Not to Scope


Stout express sights and thick hooded jobs come standard on many rifles, yet more and more hunters are opting for low power, quality optics that can withstand significant recoil. Despite the confidence optics grant hunters, both Bann and Cooper believe in the importance of shooting with iron sights.

“For most clients, a scope is good to use and builds confidence, but I always make sure they can use their iron sights as well. We always spend time on the range together before we ever go afield,” Cooper said.

When it comes to break out an optic, though, Cooper relies on the Leupold VX-3 while Bann runs the Trijicon RMR — which also allows co-witness with iron sights.

Final Thoughts

Boetie Cooper of Waterval Safaris with a dandy Cape Buffalo taken by a happy client. (Photo: Boetie Cooper/Waterval Safaris)

Chasing Africa’s Big Five, or more importantly, any of the Dark Continent’s Dangerous Game animals requires not only great nerve, stealth and hunting ability, but also the right rifle and gear. Making an accurate shot with ample knockdown power and round performance often yields a clean harvest as well as a safe hunt.

In the eternal words of Robert Ruark in 1952, “Use enough gun.”

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Categories: Gun News

Burris Revamps XTR Series Scopes With XTR II

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 04:30

The Burris XTR II 8-40×50 F-Class is a revamped version of the original XTR design. (Photo: Jeromy Knepp/

A few years ago, while working on my first full custom rifle, I was on the hunt for a scope to pair with the build. I had a few requirements, among them the scope needed to bring clear glass, elevation adjustments, solid click, zero stop and high-power range all under the first focal plane banner. The Burris XTR II 8-40×50 F-Class looked to check every box, so I grabbed one to find out if the XTR II could live up to its specs.

A Brief History of Burris

In 1971 Don Burris, previously a design engineer for Redfield optics, set out with big ideas for a new company and a new way to manufacture optics. Boasting many firsts in the optics field (including the first to utilize 4-12 and 6-18 variable power scopes, multi-coated lenses and Posi-Lock system), Burris made a scope that would put the Colorado-based company on the map — the Fullfield Scope.

After a few years and a few iterations, the popular Fullfield would undergo a redesign emerging as the XTR in 2008. The new XTR delivered a robust 30mm tube with MRAD or MOA options and shipped in either black or olive drab. Still not content, the company upgraded the XTR eight years later revealing the all-new XTR II line of optics. That brings us to the XTR II 8-40x50mm scope.

XTR II 8-40×50

The glass-etched ballistic reticle matches the turrets in measurement making missed shots easier to dial in. (Photo: Jeromy Knepp/

Designed for the competitor in mind, Burris went out of its way to design a state-of-the-art optic. Using Burris’ XT-80 click adjustment knob, the 34mm scope provides 80 clicks per rotation or 1/8-MOA gradation per click for a total of 10-MOA per full rotation. The glass is superb through the power range, while clicks are solid and precise. The glass-etched ballistic reticule matches the turrets in measurement making missed shots easier to dial in. The XTR II’s windage knob is also clearly marked left and right, which can easily be seen behind the rifle.

The nitrogen-filled body tubes eliminate internal fogging in the rain and cold weather while the Hi-Lume multicoating brings low-light performance with glare elimination. The one-piece design is both waterproof and also durable capable of tackling high volume and high caliber shooting.

Though the XTR II is a sturdy design, it doesn’t come without some faults. Though the XTR II boasts 11 brightness settings, in truth the lighted reticle doesn’t work in all light conditions. Adopting a small orange dot within a crosshair, the reticle is difficult to see in low light even on its highest setting. Additionally, the eye box is a little tight, resulting in the shooter lining up perfectly to see the full field of view clearly.

Final Thoughts

The Burris XTR II 8-40×50 is a solid scope at an affordable price. (Photo: Jeromy Knepp/

Despite its faults, the Burris XTR II 8-40×50, overall, provided everything I wanted at an affordable price of $1,349.00. Comparing the options of other well-known companies, it’s hard to pass up the Burris XTR II 8-40×50 for the value.

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Categories: Gun News

Hunting Cape Buffalo in Africa in Memory of a Lost Friend

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 04:00

Every hunt is special sometimes providing a heart-stopping, thrilling chase. Other times, though, the chase takes a backseat to a bigger, more meaningful picture. Our time in Cape Buffalo, South Africa was one such hunt.

This trip’s roots began decades ago for World Champion shooter Stan Pate. Pate struck up a friendship with an older gentleman by the name of Richard Cameron. Their mutual love of hunting made them fast friends. Cameron’s often told stories of previous African Plains game hunts along with his final wish to return to Africa one final time to hunt “Black Death”—the Cape Buffalo.

The late Richard Cameron became a great friend and inspired Pate’s “Hunt of a Lifetime”

Cameron purchased a Westley Richards bolt action in .425 WR – a serious game taking rifle –with the sole purpose traveling to Africa for Cape Buffalo. Cameron would pull that rifle out on occasion and Pate marveled at a gun so beautiful it could be a work of art. Pate would soon own the rifle – a purchase made prior to Cameron’s passing along with a promise that he completes the African dream. Pate worked towards the goal, never losing sight of the promise he made nor of his friend’s last wish.

The wheels were in motion and, eventually, the stage was set for an African Safari. After 30 plus hours on a plane, Pate found himself at Waterval Safaris near Kimberley in South Africa. Having successfully hunted Plains Game for more than a week, the thought of the impending Cape Buffalo hunt was alive in his mind. He had been preparing for this moment, both physically—in handloading ammunition for the now obsolete .425 WR—and mentally, playing each possible shot scenario over in his mind.

The day of the hunt was a blur. The entire team was completely focused on every detail of fulfilling Pate’s dream hunt. This was the ending to a story in which everyone, me included, wanted to take part. After several busted stalks and long, hot hours of hunting, professional hunter Boetie Cooper of Waterval Safaris and Stephen Bann of SB Hunting Safaris, got the hunting party face-to-face with the Cape Buffalo.

Before Stan could shoot, the wild-eyed bull was off into some thick brush, pulling us into his territory in a certain ambush. We moved deliberately, taking into account the wind and our scent. After hours of stalking and decades of dreaming, there was the trophy Cape Buffalo standing broadside in the thick brush. Cooper quickly set out the shooting sticks and Stan was on them in a heartbeat. The old gun thundered loud and the bull dropped to his knees. He wasn’t finished, however. The bull somehow got back to his feet and moved into thicker brush.

Pate waits for his moment to come to hunt the Cape Buffalo. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Pate cycled the bolt and chambered another round, intent on taking down this worthy adversary. Just when we thought the bull had moved off, he turned, facing us. Eye to eye with one of the most dangerous animals on the planet, this was the moment both Pate and the late Cameron dreamed of. Pate’s second shot was as true as the first and the bull fell for good. It wasn’t until later, at the skinning shed, it was revealed Pate’s first shot penetrated the heart of the beast, with the second not far behind.

With the Cape Buffalo on the ground, the hunters allowed Pate several minutes alone with the animal before the rest of the team moved in to celebrate. The moment was fraught with emotion as Pate realized the dream had become reality – not just for himself, but for his friend. As we stood over the bull there was hardly a dry eye knowing what this trophy meant. Pate had honored the memory of his dear departed friend, and each time he looks at that 40-inch Cape Buffalo mount, he’ll relive the dream hunt of a lifetime and a wish granted to a friend.

Pate fulfilled his dream, taking a Cape Buffalo. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

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Categories: Gun News

Ruger Announces New 10/22 Viridian EON Scope Package

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 06:00

Ruger’s new Viridian EON scope package includes a 3-9×40 optic on the 10/22 platform (Photos: Ruger)


Featuring Viridian glass, Ruger’s newest 10/22 is a cased factory scope package that offers performance from the legendary platform.

Using a factory-mounted EON 3-9×40 scope on a combination base adapter for both Weaver-style and .22 tip-off mounts, the new configuration offers plinkers and sportsmen options when it comes to rimfires.

“Viridian has been creating leading-edge weapon technology since 2006 and we are thrilled to expand our product offerings into this exciting new segment,” said Andy Scott, Viridian’s director of sales and marketing. “We have been a premier laser sight provider to Ruger for years, and we are extremely proud to be launching our line of optics with Ruger and the iconic 10/22 rifle.”

The package blends a synthetic-stocked Ruger 10/22 with a cold hammer-forged barrel locked into the receiver by a unique, two-screw, V-block system, and an EON scope. (Photo: Ruger)

The EON series utilizes fully multi-coated lenses, tactile windage, and elevation adjustments and water-, shock- and fog-proof construction along with adjustable eye relief and variable magnification.

The 10/22, of course, is a staple of .22LR semi-autos with more than a half-century of history behind it. The Viridian model, in black synthetic with a black satin finish, uses an 18.5-inch 6-groove cold hammer-forged barrel with a 1:16RH twist. The overall length is 37-inches. Weight is a handy 5.4-pounds. Each rifle ships with a single 10-round rotary magazine and a Ruger branded hard case.

MSRP is $399


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Categories: Gun News