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Meet Icarus, Dangerous Bob’s most dangerous gun (VIDEO)

Fri, 03/01/2019 - 03:30

Meet Icarus, a 105mm recoilless rifle that blows a big, violent fireball out the back when it fires. “If anything is behind this gun it will blow it to smithereens,” said big gun expert Robert Bigando. Icarus is Dangerous Bob’s most dangerous gun.

Bigando is a regular at the semi-annual Big Sandy Shoot in Arizona where other big gun and machine gun owners meet up to celebrate their liberty loving hearts by popping off a few rounds and chunks of lead.

“The 105 is the scariest of all the cannons I’ve ever owned and probably, hands down, the most dangerous of all the guns that are out here,” he said about the wide range of weapons on the firing line.

In Greek mythology, Icarus fell out of the sky when he flew too close to the sun. After heat melted his wax wings, he fell into ocean and drowned. True to the spirit of the cautionary tale, Bigando lent the name to the recoilless rifle as a warning of the potential dangers.

“I named this one Icarus as a friendly reminder that even though I could become comfortable with this gun — and I’ve shot it several times from the shooting position — I should probably back off and use a lanyard … there is zero room for any type of error,” Bigando said.

Bob Bigando standing next to Icarus, the 105mm recoilless rifle at the Big Sandy Shoot in October 2018. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

Icarus, the 105mm recoilless rifle at the Big Sandy Shoot October 2018. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

Icarus, the 105mm recoilless rifle. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

Bigando explained what makes Icarus so dangerous is the unique way in which the gun functions. The 105mm round the gun fires has a perforated casing, so the hot gases that push the projectile out also exit out of the hole at the gun’s rear. The blowback makes it look like a rocket taking off.

Although the gun was designed for an operator to fire from a seat next to the gun, there’s no protection, Bigando continued. On top of that, using the wrong amount of powder or a different weight projectile when making the rounds could cause the gun to explode.

But, Bigando added, as long as the right amount of powder is used and weight of projectile are dead on, the gun will fire perfectly and the two opposing forces will cause the gun to have no recoil, hence the name.

“Everything has to be just right and if everything is just right, the gun fires,” Bigando said. “There’s nothing quite like it.”

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Categories: Gun News

TacPack serves up gun gear each month with subscription

Thu, 02/28/2019 - 08:00

The TacPack is a monthly subscription box packed with gear. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Putting the gun back into mail, TacPack equips gun enthusiasts with all sorts of tactical, EDC and survival gear. A subscription-based service, TacPack sent its February box and we dove right in to find out whether this subscription is worth its monthly fee.

TacPack is a monthly subscription service, bringing tactical, everyday carry and survival gear to subscribers. Customers pay a flat monthly fee of $49.95 and in exchange receive a box full of goodies delivered to their doorstep each month.

Boxes are pieced together each month by the folks at TacPack to ensure no two boxes are alike and every month’s box is different. TacPack sources products through suppliers, looking for good deals that it can pass along to consumers by way of products. Overall, TacPack contents add up to between $80 and $100 worth of gear.

What’s in the TacPack?

The TacPack I received arrived in mid-February. Nestled inside the small cardboard box, I found five different items mostly themed around the AR platform. Inside my box sat an Armaspec Rhino Magwell Grip and Funnel, Armaspec Oops Kit, TacFire Roll Pin Starter Punch Set, TacPack shirt and RATS tourniquet. Each TacPack ships with a handy sheet, detailing each part and its MSRP. In total, the parts in my box added up to just under $100 worth of gear.

Aside from the TacPack long-sleeved shirt and RATS tourniquet, the items centered on the AR. The Armaspec Rhino Magwell and Funnel mounts to AR-15/M-4 lowers, requiring no permanent modifications to the weapon platform. The magwell brings faster reloads and better firearm handling to AR-15 shooters, according to TacPack’s handy description of each product. The Rhino Magwell itself retails for around $22.

The box included mostly AR parts. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Next up, I pulled the Armaspec Oops Kit out of the TacPack box, revealing a tool kit that offers three take-down detent pins, three take-down detent springs, selector detent spring, mag release spring, buffer retainer and spring in addition to a bolt catch detent and spring. Coming in handy when you, well, have an oops the Armaspec kit’s stainless-steel tools prove helpful to AR-15 shooters who have a tendency to misplace small parts. The Oops Kit features a price tag of $15.

The Tacfire Roll Pin Starter Punch Set is a $13 value bringing an American made four-piece tool set to TacPack consumers. The punch set allows builders and tinkerers to install and remove pins in firearm builds. The Tacfire set offers an MSRP of $13.

The RATS tourniquet was a nice addition to the box. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Moving away from firearms and into survival, TacPack includes a RATS tourniquet into its mix of firearm tools and parts. The Rapid Application Tourniquet System can be applied to quickly stop bleeding during a massive trauma. The RATS, a popular tourniquet style, delivers a fast deployment with a compact design. The RATS packed into the TacPac comes styled in olive green with a price of $17.

Rounding out the TacPac box, the company included a long-sleeve logo shirt. TacPack said customers asked for a long-sleeve version to show off their loyalty – ask and apparently you shall receive. The TacPack shirt comes with the biggest price tag, listing at $30.

Is the TacPack worth it?

TacPack rounds up interesting gear spanning multiple genres, some of which consumers might not buy if left to their own devices. If you love gear and surprise mail, TacPack provides the perfect solution. With each box different from the last, it’s like Christmas morning for gun enthusiasts each month. For just under $50, TacPack subscribers get $100 worth of accessories and parts – not a bad deal.

The downside, though, is consumers have little control over what they get. In the case of this TacPack, it was alright, but not really geared towards my interests. I’m not an AR shooter by nature, so most of these parts earn a spot in my random firearm accessory drawer.

The TacPack ships with a list of items and their pricepoints, all totaling just under $100. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

The RATS tourniquet was a nice addition and is the one piece of gear from the box I can confidently say I will use. The RATS immediately left the TacPack box and found a new home in my medical kit. The shirt was also a nice bonus I’ll use at the range, especially on cooler days as its long-sleeved.

Aside from those two items, the rest of the contents will likely never be used by me, but that’s not a total loss. In the event, I decide to leap into AR-15 builds, I will at least have the basic tools to get started. Alternatively, these items make excellent stocking stuffers or birthday gifts for fellow gun friends. Either way, most consumers will find a use for the gear.

The long-sleeved shirt features the TacPack logo and is well-suited for range day. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

At the end of the day, the TacPack best aligns with consumers who have excess funds or “fun money” to blow each month. For consumers counting pennies, you’re better served buying gear as you need it and with total control over what you’re getting.

Interested consumers ready to nab a TacPack can sign up online.

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Categories: Gun News

Bagging bushytails: Top three squirrel rimfire rifles (VIDEO)

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 11:15

Few things awaken such a sense of nostalgia and fond family memories as a late-season, wintry squirrel hunt. While we often lean on throwback firearms for such adventures, it can be difficult to choose both caliber and platform these days. Here are three of our favorites, not just this season, but for the long haul.

Remington 592 5mm Rem Rimfire Magnum

While the 5mm Rem Rimfire Mag ammo has been out of production for a number of years now, with guns like mine relegated to safe-duty, Aguila’s re-introduction breathes new life into the peppy caliber. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The Remington Model 592 is a blast from the past with a passionate, albeit, lesser-appreciated, following.  Why is what many consider an obsolete caliber and long-out-of-production rifle on a “best of” list? Because it is truly one of my favorite small game rifles, and much to my great delight, also because Aguila is producing the ammunition again. In the early 1970’s, Remington produced both the magazine fed Model 591 and the tube-fed Model 592 we have here, chambered in the then-new 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum.

Created to compete with the .22 Magnum round, by all accounts, the 5mm should have been the one to survive and thrive. Its ballistics were not only were superior back then, but are still quite amazing even in this day and age. In any case, the 5mm is back, with two loads immediately available, a JHP and a SJHP, both in 30-grains. Like the older Remington and Centurion rounds before them, the little bottlenecked “five” is devastating on small game like squirrels.

My beloved Model 592 is a straight-shooting, good-looking bolt action rimfire with a 24 inch barrel, glossy walnut stock, and cool grip cap. We wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a gun company or two chamber a rifle in the caliber now that Aguila has unearthed a deep pocket of demand. If you don’t want to wait, the used market is your friend, as many of the rifles’ owners are not aware of the new uptick in ammunition availability.  You’ll thank me for the suggestion; the squirrels, however, will not.

Savage A17 .17 HMR

Savage’s A17 semi-automatic rifle was the first of its kind to find success in cycling the hot .17 HMR with a delayed-blowback action. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

We first fell in love with the A17 on a western US prairie dog hunt. The reliable semi-automatic action is really the first to successfully run the hotter .17 HMR ammunition with its delayed-blowback action. Those rapid shot strings from an accurate rimfire knock the dickens out the p-dogs.  While one needn’t have a semi-auto in the squirrel woods, when the hunting is good, the A17 makes quick work out of scurrying critters. The rifle ships with a ten-round rotary magazine, more than ample for the hunt.  An Accutrigger comes standard, and is a great aid to accuracy, even on a rimfire.

While the A-series rimfires come in a variety of calibers and styles, we appreciate the comfort and looks of our Laminate Target Thumbhole. MSRP on that option is $629, while a base model A17 retails for $473. Partnered with the caliber-matched Bushnell A17 scope, even the longest shots are right on the money with the custom turrets. CCI manufactures a specific A17 ammunition, though we found our rifle to cycle any brand just fine.

The only knock on the A17 for squirrels is the fact that a .17 HMR can be awfully devastating on the little critters if the shooter misses the head shot. If you hit a bushytail with the A17, it’s as good as in the pot.

Henry Frontier Suppressor-Ready

The Henry Frontier Suppressor Ready model features a threaded octagon barrel and shortened magazine tube, all built for use with a can. How’s that for bringing lever actions into the modern era? (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

It’s pretty much impossible to discuss the best rimfires without including one from Henry Repeating Arms. Those Made-in-America-or-not-made-at-all levers are attractive, accurate, and in a western-adoring way, nostalgic. While it doesn’t much matter which model you choose, we like the versatility of the Frontier Suppressor Ready model, which comes with a 24-inch threaded octagon barrel.

Sometimes, especially with young shooters, the ability to screw on a can is a nice, quiet benefit.  Even if not, the Suppressor Ready Henry’s shorter magazine tube still holds ten .22 LR’s or twelve .22 Shorts. If heavier firepower is needed, the company also produces this model in .22 WMR. The American walnut furniture is not showroom elegant, but it is darn nice. Though Henry’s don’t come cheap — this model retails for $527 — these are pass-through-the-generation guns. Oh, and they account for plenty of squirrel tails as well. While it’s easy enough to mount a scope with the receiver coming drilled and tapped, the fully-adjustable buckhorn sights make it easy to pick off those skittish little vermin.


Many squirrel hunters opt for sub-gauge shotguns, and I myself cut my teeth with a single shot .410. Yet no matter how well you place your shot, sooner or later you’ll spend more time picking shot out of the meat than you will actually eating it.  Give one — or more — of these rimfire rifles a try, and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. We’d love to hear about your chosen squirrel guns, so please share in the comments. Regardless of your choice of weaponry, heed the call of the winter woods. Get after some bushytails. Not only is it great practice to keep those shooting skills sharp in the offseason, but the end result is some fine fodder for the crock pot.

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Categories: Gun News

3 suspects kick in wrong man’s door, flee when he meets them with a gun

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 11:00

Three Iowa men are facing charges after they broke into an area man’s home and fled when they were confronted by an armed resident.

Dubuque Police responded last Thursday to a pre-dawn home invasion call that led to the arrest of three 20-year-old men– Hunter Poole, Laterian Williams, and Antonio Vilchis– on second-degree burglary charges. The homeowner told police he heard someone slamming his door just after midnight, reports KCRG, an act that sent him to retrieve a handgun.

When the resident returned with the weapon, the men, who had entered the home, fled.

Police say the trio, who was apprehended a short time later, had intended to assault an unidentified man thought to be dating Williams’ girlfriend but kicked in the door of the wrong residence.

As of Wednesday, none of the men were listed in the custody of the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office.

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Categories: Gun News

Mountain Quail in the High Sierra is one tough bird to hunt (VIDEO)

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 11:00

Hunting Mountain Quail in the High Sierra is not for the faint of heart or weak of mind. First, there is the terrain and the weather. The high altitude makes for a tough trek trying to flush a covey and the dry air makes you dehydrated quickly. We caught up with wild-food chef and hunter extraordinaire, Hank Shaw, to chase these blue buggers up and down the mountain. “This is real quail hunting,” he said. “This is arguably the hardest quail hunting in North America.”

There are various reasons that Shaw zeroed in on these tasty birds being so difficult to hunt. For starters, they keep a tight knit crew. Mountain Quail have smaller coveys than most other quail, with 14 being the max he’s been able to spot in a single covey. Compare that to the upwards of 30 quail you can find in a Valley Quail covey and you’re bound to get less based on simple math alone.

Besides the small number of quails in each covey, and the rugged terrain they call home, it also becomes increasingly difficult to hunt them because of their color. They just blend into the ground and surrounding area. “You never want to get two in a single shot, unless you have a dog, because you’re bound to lose one,” Shaw said. Finally, there isn’t a lot of places you can go to actually hunt them, with the majority of the hunting done in the High Sierra in California.

Be prepared to hike and hike and hike to get one, and one might be all you get. Shaw told us that he has had days where he’s hiked in excess of ten miles to come up empty. But this is a labor of love for Shaw. “It’s so hard to get on animals up here that everyone is a trophy, every single one,” he said.

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Categories: Gun News

Hitting back at Mother Nature with a vintage howitzer (VIDEO)

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 10:30

Canadian soldiers have mobilized to wage war against snow and ice in the ongoing mission to control avalanches in British Columbia.

As part of their seasonal Highway Avalanche Control Program, Parks Canada has reservists from the Ottawa-based 30th Field Artillery Regiment, and their old but still effective C3 howitzers to help keep Rogers Pass open.

Dubbed Operation Palaci, the mission has been running since 1961 and involves the gunners setting up along 17 roadside positions along the Trans-Canada Highway where they lay the heat on identified snow and ice accumulations targeted by avalanche forecasters.

The C3 at 105mm play (Photos: Canadian Forces)

If the C3 looks familiar, its the same M2A/M101 105mm gun used by the U.S. military through WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Long ago replaced in front-line service, the howitzer still soldiers on with the Canadians as well as the U.S. Forest Service for avalanche control. Notably, Picatinny Arsenal has pitched in over the years to keep the guns, which went out of production when Eisenhower was in office, up to snuff. It is thought the 100 or so C3s still used in Canada will continue to serve for the next two decades.

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Categories: Gun News

Rock River Arms adds LAR-22 to rifle series

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 10:00

The Tactical Carbine is one of the new guns in the LAR-22 series. (Photo: Rock River Arms)

Rock River Arms serves up a new .22LR based rifle series, introducing the LAR-22 for shooters looking to plink and practice on the range. The LAR-22 comes in three flavors — the Tactical Carbine, Mid A4 and NM A4 CMP Trainer – all chambered in budget-friendly .22LR.

The Tactical Carbine delivers an MSR style platform with free-float barrel and 11-inch M-LOK handguard. Consumers choose between a forged aluminum upper and lower receiver or RRA’s polymer upper and lower receiver set. The polymer helps drop the cost of the unit for those watching their wallets. The Tactical Carbine features an RRA NSP-2 six-position CAR stock, Hogue rubber grip and two-stage trigger.

Next in the series is the Mid A4 catering to those preferring a traditional A4-style platform. The Mid AR also ships in the shooter’s choice of forged aluminum or polymer, depending on preference and budget. The rifle sports standard A2 grips, mid-length handguard with heat shields, six-position tactical CAR stock and a single stage trigger. The rifle tops off its design with a 16-inch chrome moly barrel.

The Mid A4 offers a traditional style. (Photo: Rock River Arms)

Rounding out the LAR-22 series is the NM A4 CMP Trainer — a practice rifle for CMP National Match competition. The platform offers a precision 20-inch stainless steel heavy barrel paired with the company’s NM CMP TRO free-float rifle-length handguard. The NM A4 CMP Trainer features a forged aluminum upper and lower with A2 pistol grip, RRA Operator CAR six-position stock and RRA Two-Stage Match chrome trigger group.

“Intended to provide shooters more training and range time with the AR platform at a significantly lower cost, the new LAR-22 series rifles are chambered in .22LR, giving shooters a higher-volume, lower-price alternative to more expensive 5.56/.223 ammunition for practice and general recreation shooting,” RRA said in a news release.

“In addition to using .22LR ammunition to reduce the cost of practice sessions and provide more recreational shooting, the new LAR-22 rifles are also priced to make these easy additions to shooters’ portfolios or as ‘on-ramp’ models for new or youth shooters,” the company continued.

The LAR-22 starts at $440, topping out around $885.

The NM A4 CMP Trainer delivers a training rifle to competitors. (Photo: Rock River Arms)

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Categories: Gun News

Browning launches Maxus shotgun in Realtree Timber Camo pattern

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 09:30

The Maxus by Browning now sports a spiffy Realtree pattern. (Photo: Browning)

Browning brings a new pattern to its Maxus shotgun series, decking the autoloading shotgun out in Realtree Timber Camo. The Browning Maxus Realtree Timber Camo Shotgun comes chambered in 12-gauge with a 26-inch barrel.

Tipping scales at just over 6 pounds, the shotgun boasts a spacer adjustable length of pull among other features. The Maxus sports a Speed Lock Forearm which allows removal of the forearm with a life of a lever. That lever also allows the attachment or removal of a sling.

The new Maxus utilizes the company’s Lightning Trigger, bringing a smoother feel with minimal travel, according to Browning. The system is topped off with a Power Drive Gas System and fiber-optic front sight.

“Real-world reliability is the most important feature any manufacturer can build into a firearm. That’s why it was the first priority when Browning set about developing the Browning Maxus. But reliability isn’t the whole story,” Browning said in a news release. “The Browning Maxus Realtree Timber Camo Shotgun offers Maxus performance with Realtree Timber concealment, as well as spacer adjustable length of pull, a fiber optic front sight and more.”

The Browning Maxus Realtree Timber Camo shotgun is available now with an MSRP of $1,699.

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Categories: Gun News

Northeast governors look to double down on gun control in 2019

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 09:00

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, left and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, right, this month allied with gun control advocates to announce fresh new rounds of anti-firearms legislation. (Photos: Murphy & Raimondo’s offices)

After shepherding new gun restrictions into law last year, Democrat governors in New Jersey and Rhode Island are back this year asking for more. On Tuesday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, joined by gun control advocates and state Dems, unveiled a push for what he termed “Gun Safety 2.0” after enacting a host of new gun laws in 2018.

On the list of measures advocated by Murphy and others included a crackdown on online plans to construct firearms, outlawing unfinished receivers and kits dubbed “ghost guns” by lawmakers and smart gun mandates. Further proposals are would require ammunition sellers to electronically record sales, mandate state-issued licenses to purchase ammo, establish duplicative state laws against “straw buyers,” and expand the pool of crimes that would trigger a lifetime gun ban. Another effort would require new gun buyers to pass a safety course.

Last year, Murphy, who ran for office with the strong support of gun control organizations, signed six new laws including a “red flag” seizure measure to remove guns from those believed to be threats, one to trim magazine capacity down to 10 rounds, enhanced background checks, a ban on “armor-piercing” ammo and a measure to make it harder to get a gun permit.

In addition, he took a number of executive actions on guns, issued a ban bear on hunting on public land. He also installed a former Giffords staffer to a newly-created position of a gun control czar. Finally, he supported a Giffords-allied effort to spend $2 million in state funds on gun violence research as a health care issue.

Rhode Island

Fresh off a reelection win, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo earlier this month announced a legislative package of what she deemed “critical gun safety reforms” that would ban many common semi-automatic firearms, outlaw magazines capable of holding more than 10 cartridges, and bar school grounds to those otherwise legally carrying a concealed weapon. The proposals came from the findings of a working group of lawmakers, prosecutors, medical professionals and gun control advocates picked by the governor.

“We can’t sit back and deny our children the right to safe schools and safe communities,” said Raimondo. “We know that these reforms will save lives.”

Raimondo last year signed a statewide bump stock ban into law as well as a “red flag” bill to seize guns from those thought to be at risk. The ACLU of Rhode Island had blasted the latter proposal as being overly broad and by nature speculative, making it ripe for potential abuse while not meeting the mental health needs of someone potentially in a crisis.

Acting unilaterally, Raimondo also issued executive orders directing authorities in the state to use all legal steps to remove firearms from the home of those they feel are a danger and bar guns, except those carried by law enforcement, from public PK-12 schools.

Meanwhile, Raimondo’s budget proposal for 2020 would up the tax rate on guns and ammunition in the state to 17 percent.

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Categories: Gun News

Hogue brings HandALL Beavertail Grip Sleeves to Glock 17 (VIDEO)

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 08:30

Hogue announced its popular HandALL Beavertail Grip Sleeves will now accommodate the Glock 17 platform, releasing two new models specifically for Gaston’s full-size guns. The HandALL Beavertail Grip Sleeves fit neatly over the Glock 17’s polymer frame, providing a comfortable grip area for shooters.

The grip sleeves fit securely onto the Glock, ensuring a positive grip, while the finger grooves encourage instinctive handling and control over the G17. Hogue said the design also boasts a beavertail which promotes a higher hand grip. This adjustment allows shooters better control over the gun, resulting in less felt recoil with a more comfortable shooting experience.

The HandALL Beavertail Grip Sleeve features two models to cover all generations of Glock 17. (Photo: Hogue)

“The Glock 17 is a favored pistol for law enforcement, military and personal use all over the world,” said grip designer Matt Hogue in a news release.“We are pleased to offer our highly popular HandALL Beavertail Grip Sleeves to fit this firearm. The reliability of the Glock 17 paired with the perfect fit of our HandALL make it a perfect combo for field carry or personal use at home.”

The Glock 17 HandALL ships in two models — one accommodates Glock generations 1,2 and 5 while the second model caters to generations 3 and 4. As always, the HandALL ships in various colors with black retailing for $10.95 and OD green, flat dark earth, aqua, pink and purple coming in at $12.95.

The HandALL Beavertail Grip Sleeves use a beavertail design promoting a higher grip on the gun. (Photo: Hogue)

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Categories: Gun News

Sig Sauer announces MCX Rattler Canebrake now shipping

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 08:00

The MCX Rattler Canebrake brings a Cerakoted, suppressor ready design to the MCX family. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

Sig Sauer let loose that its new MCX Rattler Canebrake is officially shipping and headed towards retailers nationwide. The 300 Blackout chambered MCX Rattler Canebrake features a suppressor ready style offering an inert training device mimicking the SIGSRD762 suppressor.

The rifle measures 29.5-inches in length with weight resting around 6 pounds. The 5.5-inch barrel is protected by an SD Handguard. The system utilizes a design that allows shooters to safely grip the handguard without worrying about muzzle flash.

Sig Sauer said the MCX Rattler Canebrake is an easy system for those looking to swap in a suppressor. “With the MCX Rattler Canebrake there’s no need for the purchase of a shorter barrel kit and SD Handguard to have a suppressed MCX system, simply unthread the inert training device, install your suppressor, and select the appropriate gas setting for your ammunition,” Sig Sauer said in a news release.

The rifle finishes its construction with a 2-stage flat-blade match trigger, folding coyote-tan PCB and Cerakote E190 finished upper and lower. The system ships with a 300 BLK Magpul magazine. MSRP sits just south of $3,000.

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Categories: Gun News

Wild Bunch, Cowboy Action Shooting with John Clark (VIDEO)

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 07:30

John Clark, the editor of the Cowboy Chronicle Quarterly and cowboy action shooter for 25 years, shares the techniques used in the sport of Wild Bunch Action Shooting — a subset of Cowboy Action Shooting.

Originating from the Sam Peckenpah film The Wild Bunch, the sport, like the movie, focuses on wild west firearms. In specific,  the 1911 Colt takes center stage. Broken up into two categories — modern and traditional — Wild Bunch Action shooters tackle a course of fire with a 1911 pistol.

“In the traditional category, you use a standard mil-spec 1911 pistol, exactly as they used by the army in the early 1900s. No modifications to the sight, hammer or any of the safeties. You must shoot that one-handed,” Clark said. “You can also shoot in the modern category for those who have more modern firearms. In the modern category, you can have enhancements. You can have extended safeties, skeletonized hammers and better sights. You can also shoot two-handed.”

The 1911 Clark shoots in the modern category of Wild Bunch Action matches features a skeletonized hammer and a beavertail safety. (Photo: Don Summers/

In addition to 1911 pistols, Wild Bunch Action Shooting also permits the use of any legal Single Action Shooting Society cowboy action shooting rifle, 40 caliber or above, and a pump-action shotgun in “trench gun” configuration.

“Courses of fire are very similar to Cowboy Action Shooting,” Clark said, noting the main difference between Cowboy Action and Wild Bunch comes down to the tools. Wild Bunch Shooting opts for at least three 1911 magazines as well as five to ten rifle shots and four to six shotgun shells all focused at reactionary targets. Cowboy Action Shooting, on the other hand, concentrates on revolvers. “It’s a lot of fun,” Clark added.

Those interested in learning more should visit the SASS website.

Clark’s 1897 Trench Gun also sees action during the Wild Bunch matches. (Photo: Don Summers/

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Categories: Gun News

Boone & Crockett: Fair chase doesn’t apply to coyotes

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 04:30

Coyote at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, returning for the last scraps of a road-killed pronghorn. (Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS)

The nation’s oldest advocacy group for traditional hunting ethics is firing back at animal rights organizations who are seeking to protect nuisance predators.

The Missoula-based Boone & Crockett Club this week made clear its stance on the intersection of coyote management and fair chase hunting. In short, there is no intersection.

“Fair chase applies to the ethical, sportsmanlike, and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild, big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage over the game animals,” said Mark Streissguth, chair of the Club’s Hunter and Conservation Ethics Committee. “Coyotes are not game animals.”

Founded in 1887 by Theodore Roosevelt, the club named for legendary frontier hunters Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett largely developed the American fair chase tradition. An honor code of sportsmen taught in every hunter’s education class in the country, the concept stresses self-restraint and selective game harvesting rather than wanton waste and negligent hunting practices.

The clarification on fair chase and coyotes from B&C comes this week as anti-hunting groups have stepped up efforts to ban coyote contests. The Humane Society of the United States, who has vowed to “wipe these contests off the face of the earth” is currently backing legislation in Oregon and Wisconsin to make such events illegal. The group was instrumental in establishing similar bans in California and Vermont in recent years, often citing that such tournaments do not follow fair chase practices.

“Allowing coyotes to negatively impact other wildlife and people because of a moral judgment that killing them is wrong is irresponsible,” Streissguth said. “Coyotes, which are prolific breeders, are expanding their range into more states where conflicts with people and other wildlife are increasing. Their numbers will have to be managed, with or without contests.”

An adaptive predator, coyotes have consistently expanded their reach across the continent since 1950 and, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, cause the majority of cattle and calf losses, costing ranchers millions. Most states have flexible hunting regulations when it comes to the animal, with no bag limits or calendar restrictions.

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Congress sends sportsmen’s access, habitat conservation package to the President

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 04:00

A conservation and sportsmen’s bill that met with support across both aisles of Congress and the endorsement of pro-hunting groups is headed to President Trump (Photo: Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation)

A voluminous measure of land and outdoor recreation reforms met final approval on Capitol Hill on Tuesday and is headed to President Trump’s desk.

The 600-page Natural Resources Management Act, S.47, contains over 100 provisions, many of which have been floating around Congress for the better part of a decade. The bipartisan proposal passed the Senate 92-8 earlier in February before getting a 363-62 nod in the House this week.

The bill includes directives to open many tracts of public land across the nation — potentially 10 million acres — that are currently off-limits due to access reasons, a move that will increase opportunities for hunting, fishing, public shooting ranges, and other activities. According to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, a  dearth of access to hunting lands is one of the main reasons hunters stop participating in the sport.

Other tenets of the package would expand invasive species control efforts, protect and conserve millions of acres of watershed and wilderness, and assist private landowners who want to voluntarily restore natural habitat on their lands. It also helps address a growing backlog of maintenance and enhancements on public lands.

The money to fund S.47’s initiatives comes largely through permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is paid for through fees from offshore oil and gas leases, not taxpayer dollars. Since 1965, the LWCF has funded 40,000 projects from coast to coast, preserving nearly 3 million acres of land. It was left unauthorized by the last Congress.

“This vote marks a turning point for public lands in America, as our elected officials have shown their support for LWCF’s enduring legacy,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “We no longer need to worry about kicking the can down the road as our best tool for unlocking inaccessible public lands remains in limbo.”

S.47 has the support of over 40 conservation and pro-hunting groups, ranging from Ducks Unlimited and the American Sportfishing Association to industry groups such as the Archery Trade Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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