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General Gun News
Arsenal rolls out the new ARS30-1 Ti Compact Suppressor, delivering a quick mount can design with Gemtech roots.
Made exclusively for Arsenal by Gemtech, the ARS30-1 offers a compact, titanium construction styled for 7.62mm platforms. Weighing 19.5-ounces, the ARS30-1 measures 7.5-inches in length.
Arsenal says the can ships with one 14x1mm LH quick adapter as well as one 24x15mm RH quick adapter. The quick mount can is full-auto rated for extra gun fun on the range.
The ARS30-1 is the only suppressor currently offered by Arsenal, who boasts a bevy of firearms and parts in their catalogue. Though Arsenal has advertised the new suppressor on social media and its website, no details have been provided on exactly when the product will drop nor have any distributors been named on the site.
Arsenal has offered up a MSRP, saying that the ARS30-1 Ti Compact Suppressor will retail for $999.
Local media is reporting that a Democrat vying for a seat in Congress has caught the eye of federal regulators over a rifle whose barrel she publicly shortened in a protest.
Police tell area media they now have the AR-15 that Karen Mallard, a candidate for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, on Wednesday seemingly shortened the barrel on while on Facebook Live. After the event, Mallard turned the gun over to the Virginia Beach Police Department, a spokesman of which said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is “looking into the situation.”
Mallard announced she was destroying her husband’s AR-15 in an act of solidarity with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students in Parkland, Florida, protesting for gun control in the wake of a school shooting that claimed the lives of 17 people. Using a portable saw, she removed the front several inches of the rifle’s barrel and handguard, prefaced and followed with a diatribe on gun violence.
The video, which was first pulled by “a staffer” in Mallard’s campaign and then reposted, has been viewed over 1.4 million times, and drew significant backlash in the form of thousands of comments — most pointing out that the potential lawmaker may have violated federal law regulating the production and possession of short barreled rifles under the National Firearms Act, a felony. Threads referencing the incident on popular gun forums like AR-15.com and others soon crossed over to discussion boards such as Reddit and 4Chan, then became trending. Twitter lit up as did Instagram.
Mallard contends she did nothing wrong. Her campaign website cautioned “(A) few people raised concerns that the AR-15 wasn’t rendered operational and that Karen had merely made it a short-barrel rifle. David later took the disassembled weapon to the local police station to have it properly disposed of.”
In speaking with WTKR, she implied the stunt may have been a bait-and-switch of sorts. “I knew exactly what I was doing. The gun was inoperable before I cut it. And we took it completely apart. And we didn’t put all that on video because I wanted to get the message to the students that I was standing with them,” Mallard said.
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With Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in a holding pattern on a scheme to add regulation to Illinois gun shops, Chicago Democrats are urging action.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been leaving letters in random places for Rauner in addition to issuing public statements pressuring the governor to enact a bill requiring state licensing for already federally licensed gun dealers. In a statement issued this week, Emanuel said that gun dealers should be held to the same standard as barbers in the state.
“Any Illinois business that wants to sell liquor or tobacco, eggs or wholesale aquatic life, or to cut and braid hair, must be licensed by the state. Why should gun dealers be any exception?” Emanuel said. “This isn’t difficult: if we can license barber shops, we can license gun dealers.”
While the Mayor’s reference to barbershop licensing on its face may seem humorous, it does play into the hand of those who argue adding a complex layer of additional state regulation to gun shops is designed to force some out of business.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, responsible for barber licenses, maintains a labyrinthine system of required training, testing and certification for those who want to legally cut hair in the Land of Lincoln. Authorized by the Barber Act, candidates for a license have to first complete at least 1,500 hours of training at an accredited barber school, pay a $156 testing fee, and pass a written exam. Once approved for a license, for which there are additional fees on a varying schedule, barbers are required to continue their training and reapply for a renewal every five years.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has pointed out that various state licensing guidelines for barbers exist in an absence of federal regulation and are often pushed by professional barber organizations. Further, courts have held hair lacks constitutional protection.
In contrast, federally licensed gun dealers are extensively regulated by a dedicated branch of the Department of Justice that maintains a force of over 800 specialized industry investigators focused on compliance.
The legislation pending with Rauner passed the Senate last April in a 30-21 vote and the House last week 64-52. It would mandate a $1,000 five-year state permitting process for FFLs in the state on top of federal requirements.
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Kahles brings a new riflescope to tactical and distance shooters, introducing the new K525i model.
Available in four models — the SKMR3, SKMR, MOAK and MSR2 — the K525i sports an illuminated reticle design in first focal plane. The K525i offers a rugged design paired with a magnification range suited for tactical use or long distance shooting. Created to help competitive shooters tackle long distance shots, the riflescope delivers defined, precise clicks for precision and accuracy.
Its functional elements are crafted to allow for easy adjustments without forcing users to reach over the scope or alter shooting position to adjust. Further, Kahles equips the K525i with a parallax correction on top of the scope in order to accommodate right or left handed shooters more efficiently.
“The big brother of ultrashort K318i is the new flagship of KAHLES in the field of tactical riflescopes,” the company said in a press release. ”It combines in an inimitable way maximum optical performance and highest precision with unique handling and ergonomics.”
Kahles says the K525i will hit the market in August 2018 with a price tag around the $4,500 mark.
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Tyrant Designs CNC has been tweaking Smith & Wesson’s M&P Shield design with accessories to make it more user friendly.
The company recently announced that its latest modification comes in the form of an Extended Mag Release for the Shield. Though the Shield Extended Mag Release functions exactly like the factory release, the EMR touts a slightly raised profile with chamfered edges. This design allows Shield shooters to quickly and efficiently eject mags.
Tyrant Designs says the EMR is CNC machined from aerospace grade aluminum and installs easily on the Shield platform. The accessory maker says the EMR requires no additional tools to mount into the Shield frame. The new mag release boasts a style that remains in line with the Shield’s ergonomics. The EMR’s crosshair pattern adds texture for a more tactile feel.
Available in red, blue, grey, black and machined aluminum the EMR is currently up for grabs on Tyrant’s website with a MSRP of $24.95.
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A mid-20th Century follow-on to the classic Colt 1911, the Ballester hails from Argentina but is actually a very different gun once you get into it.
The gun was a product of HAFDASA, the Argentine branch of European car maker Hispano-Suiza, from a design by a French engineer, Rorice Rigaud. The blended elements of the Spanish Star and the locally-made Model 1916 Colt to form a unique 1911-ish .45 that was adopted by the Argentine military and police forces. They were even widely exported– including some to Great Britain during WWII, where they were used by commando and SOE units.
With the Latin American country switching to Browning Hi Powers in the 1960s, “Ballesteros” have been trickling into the U.S. as surplus for a long time in spits and sputters and Eric with IV8888 goes over a nice example of an Army surplus model in the above video.
Want to see what it looks like on the inside?
The post Taking shots with the Argentine Ballester Molina .45 (VIDEO) appeared first on Guns.com.
A Missouri man who was indicted for shooting and killing his brother last year acted in self-defense under the law, prosecutors say.
A Franklin county prosecutor dismissed first-degree murder charges for Thomas Easter, 36, for the death of his brother John Easter last April.
The prosecutor said after reviewing the case, he determined that Easter had acted in self-defense under the less-restrictive “stand your ground” law that took affect in 2017.
According to reports, Easter was home with his father when his brother entered and started a fight. At the time, Easter was lying on the couch, so he stood up and approached his brother. They began to argue and the brother pushed him and then attempted to punch him. That’s when Easter grabbed a gun from under the coffee table.
Easter fired a shot that missed his brother and then they continued to argue. And then as the brother turned away toward the door, Easter fired another shot which struck his brother in the leg.
Easter told police he shot at his brother a second time because he didn’t think the first shot struck him. Officers then arrested Easter and transported his brother to the hospital, where he later died.
[ eMissourian ]
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Pulsar offers thermal and digital night vision shooters a new way to power devices without having to lug multiple batteries into the field, launching the PB881 Power Bank.
The PB881 Power Bank is a lithium-ion external battery pack. Featuring a USB rechargeable design with a 5,100 mAh capacity, the Power Bank provides up to 20 hours of continuous use on one charge.
Constructed from ABS plastic, Pulsar says the device can tackle the elements with its shockproof and IPX7 waterproof ratings. Weighing only 7.8-ounces, the compact Power Bank mounts to weapons with a compatible rail system.
Pulsar says the device’s most useful feature is its built-in, push button charge level indicator. The indicator allows users to see the charging level of the Power Bank to confirm battery level.
The company said the device is ideal for shooters who want to circumvent having to store extra batteries.
Everyone loves thermal and digital night vision, but not everyone loves constantly buying and switching out batteries,” Pulsar said in a press release. “For those looking to break the routine of trips to the store for batteries, Pulsar has a new lithium-ion PB8I Power Bank.”
The PB881 ships with a micro USB cable for charging. No word yet on pricing or availability.
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Russia’s Kalashnikov Concern this week released a bunch of info on their new gear, including some amped-up video of robotic vehicles getting their smash on.
In the above, they show off their Soratnik (Companion) and Nahlebnik (Parasite) combat unmanned ground vehicles. The first carries a 30mm grenade launcher/machine gun set-up while the latter totes a four-pack of anti-tank rockets. The vehicles are supposed to be capable of speeds of about 25 mph and semi-autonomous operation with weapon functions under the control of a remote operator.
Also seen is a PPDU remote-controlled weapon station which mounts a heavy machine gun that cuts through cinderblock like butter. And be sure to notice the very nice Vitiaz SMGs the guys on foot are toting, among other hardware. All that’s missing is the reveal that the driver is Tsar Vladmir standing shirtless in the snow with a superbowl ring.
Want some images of the hardware? Da.
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A joint Ipsos and National Public Radio poll conducted last month found support for banning “assault-style” rifles has declined 7 percent since October.
The survey of 1,005 adults shows 72 percent favored the ban, compared with 79 percent as of Oct. 17. Nearly nine out of 10 Democrats support the policy, down 3 percent from six months ago. Meanwhile, support among Republicans and Independents dropped double digits — 12 percent and 10 percent, respectively. As of Feb. 28, five out of 10 Republicans and six out of 10 Independents support such a measure.
NPR said the recent mass shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead and 15 wounded last month called for a new look at American perspectives on gun control. The news outlet noted concern over gun-related violence typically surges after high-profile shootings.
As such, the poll indicates “crime and gun violence” represents the top most worrisome issue for Democrats and Independents, rising 9 percent and 15 percent, respectively, since October. Only 26 percent of Republicans agreed.
The survey sample includes 351 Democrats, 341 Republicans, and 203 Independents, NPR said. Other policy issues with majority support across all groups included raising the legal age to own a rifle to 21, banning rifle attachments like bump stocks, and eliminating magazines carrying more than 10 rounds.
Nine out of 10 respondents also favored “requiring background checks on all buyers” and adding mental health diagnoses to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
While there was broad support for school safety measures such as metal detectors and armed security guards, all three groups discounted arming teachers as an effective way to prevent mass shootings. All three groups put the onus on Congress to do more about gun-related violence.
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A Virginia Democrat vying for a seat in Congress wanted to take a public stand against guns, and got a lot of attention, though she may have inadvertently broken the law.
Karen Mallard, one of a crowded field of challengers competing for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District — a seat currently held by a Republican — posted a video to social media Wednesday in which she takes a grinder to her husband’s AR-15 rifle and slices away the front part of the handguard and barrel.
Mallard prefaced the act by saying she did not want the gun in her house and, after the student speeches in the days after the Parkland school shooting, did not want the gun in anyone’s home. Post-grinding, Mallard said she is joining Moms Demand Action and intends to make gun reform a “top priority” if elected.
That’s a lot of stuff going on in a two-minute video.
As numerous individuals pointed out to Mallard on social media once the clip was circulated, many of which she dismissed as “NRA trolls,” the act of creating a short barreled rifle with a barrel less than 16-inches long is strictly regulated under the National Firearms Act.
Those seeking to convert an existing firearm into a SBR need to first submit a Form 1 to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives along with the required tax payment which then has to be approved, a process that can take months. Possession of an unregistered NFA item is a felony. The clip ends with the abbreviated barrel still attached to a receiver that was not destroyed in line with ATF specifications.
Though Mallard at first removed the video, she later re-posted it and asserted that she destroyed the gun, saying “I finished the job according to regulation and turned it over to the police.”
Her platform includes universal background checks, a seven-day mandatory waiting period for gun purchases, and a ban on “military-style weapons” and bump stocks.
With the Democratic primary set for June 12, should Mallard prove successful she will go up against incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor in November. Taylor, a former Navy SEAL, represents the military-heavy Virginia Beach area in Congress. Democrats have only controlled the seat for a single two-year stint in the past 18.
After I rendered our family's AR-15 inoperable, we turned all of the components of the destroyed assault rifle into law enforcement to be properly discarded. https://t.co/jA66hzUOrG #Va02 #GunReformNow #SafeguardOurChildren #5
— Karen Mallard for Congress (@mallardforva) March 8, 2018
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This is the @MerriamWebster definition of 'terrorism'
noun | ter·ror·ism
the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion
— Governor Dan Malloy (@GovMalloyOffice) March 7, 2018
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat with a long history of being in favor of gun control, this week equated the nation’s largest gun rights member organization with terrorism.
While the state is gripped in a serious winter storm that saw the activation of the National Guard, Malloy found time to fire off more than a dozen posts from his official Twitter account blasting the National Rifle Association. Expanding on the commentary, Malloy told reporters Tuesday, “They act, quite frankly, in some cases as a terrorist organization.”
Malloy is pushing to remove the NRA’s instruction arm as a source of state-endorsed firearms training, needed to obtain a pistol permit in Connecticut.
Since taking office, Malloy expanded the state’s “assault weapon ban” and stood by it all the way to the Supreme Court, has sought to hike permit fees and tried to bar gun sales in the state to those on terror watch lists. He recently joined with several other governors to form a regional information-sharing gun control bloc of states with an aim to further the breadth of background checks for firearm applicants and backed legislation to outlaw bump stock devices.
In response to being painted as an extremist organization by Malloy, the gun rights group was quick to return fire.
“The NRA is comprised of over five million law-abiding citizens many of whom are teachers, doctors, policeman, farmers, moms, and dads residing in Connecticut,” said Jennifer Baker, an NRA spokesman. “So let’s be clear Governor Malloy just called tens of thousands of his constituents terrorists.”
Meanwhile, the NRA and other gun rights organizations say they are seeing a surge in membership in recent weeks while gun owners in Connecticut are mired in a backlogged registration system– the latter largely a product of Malloy’s administration.
In addition to Baker’s statement, the NRA’s Grant Stinchfield, a former Connecticut resident, had sterner words for Malloy.
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DoubleStar looks to take the pain out of buying a pistol stabilizer, launching the new Strongarm Pistol Brace designed to ease the strain on consumers’ wallets.
The Strongarm Pistol Brace is constructed from 6061 billet aluminum and is built to last with its rugged and durable design, says DoubleStar. The U.S. made brace boasts three quick detach swivel mounting points with swivel included. Fitting pistol buffer tubes with a 1.11 to 1.2-inch diameter, the brace features a Type 3 hardcoat anodize to withstand a beating. The brace also boasts a hook and loop strap for better control while shooting.
DoubleStar says though they tried to bring an affordable option to market, they still took quality into consideration.
“With the popularity of pistol stabilizing braces on the rise, there are many that make the shooting experience less desirable because of poor materials or faulty production,” Nick Collier, director of special operations for DoubleStar, said in a press release. “It is extremely important to us that every part is carefully designed and manufactured in our state-of-the-art facility using only the materials and technology that will ensure our DoubleStar and Ace products will perform to our stringent standards.”
The Strongarm Pistol Brace features a price tag of $99.
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A Pew Research Center poll conducted last year found a majority of gun owners approved of arming school teachers.
Six in 10 owners expressed some level of support for allowing teachers and staff to carry firearms while working. Overall, 55 percent of those surveyed in March and April 2017 disagree with arming teachers, compared to 45 percent in favor.
“The recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland, Florida, has reignited a national debate about guns in America,” said Juliana Menasce Horowitz, an associate director of research at Pew. “In particular, as the conversation has focused on how to keep children safe in schools, the idea of arming some teachers has garnered attention.”
Horowitz analyzed the year-old data for insight into American attitudes on gun laws. The results showed few surprises: eight out of 10 Republican-leaning gun owners favored arming teachers compared with just four in 10 Democratic owners. Some 69 percent of Republicans overall support the policy compared to just 26 percent of Democrats.
Arming teachers made national headlines last month after President Donald Trump suggested the controversial policy in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He also advocated “hardening” schools, banning bump stocks, placing age limits on rifle purchases and shoring up the federal background check system for gun buyers.
“The key in all of these efforts … is that we cannot merely take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference,” Trump said last month. “We must actually make a difference. We must move past clichés and tired debates and focus on evidence-based solutions and security measures that actually work and that make it easier for men and women of law enforcement to protect our children.”
Public support for arming teachers appears mixed. A Morning Consult/Politico poll of 1,992 registered voters compiled last month indicates 50 percent of respondents support the idea.
Meanwhile, a joint Ipsos and National Public Radio poll of 1,005 adults collected Feb. 27-28 found just 41 percent of respondents approve.
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A Michigan man is the latest to bring legal action against the big box retailer after they refused to sell him a rifle due to their newly implemented policy against transferring guns to adults under age 21.
Triston Mac Fulton, 18, filed suit in a Michigan county circuit court this week the day after a Dick’s Sporting Goods location in Troy declined to sell him a rifle. Store staff told Fulton they could not complete the planned sale due to the new corporate policy against selling firearms to those under 21.
The lawsuit, seeking more than $25,000 in damages, claims Dick’s violated Michigan’s civil rights laws regarding public accommodations or services, namely by denying him the equal enjoyment of goods on the basis of age.
“Stores should be able to violate people’s civil rights?” Fulton’s attorney, James Makowski, told the local Fox affiliate. “Are we going to stop allowing black people firearms? Are we going to stop allowing Mexicans to buy firearms? No.”
The case is at least the second to be filed against the sporting goods retailer, coming on the heels of a similar legal action by a 20-year-old in Oregon the outlet refused to sell a .22LR rifle to.
As pointed out by legal scholar Eugene Volokh, “I don’t know of any provision in Michigan law that “permit[s]” refusing to sell rifles or shotguns to 18-to-20-year-olds, so this seems like a winning claim,” in writing about the lawsuit for Reason.
The suits could be the legal canary in the coal mine, as at least 19 states and jurisdictions have enshrined protections against unlawfully discriminating against customers based on age.
Dick’s owns and operates 715 locations across the country as well as 125 Golf Galaxy and Field & Stream specialty stores.
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A package that aims to both harden schools and change Florida gun laws passed the state House just two days after it was approved by the Senate.
With the end of the session looming this week, House Speaker Richard Corcoran spent all day Tuesday shepherding often-emotional floor debate on the state Senate’s broad gun control measure, SB 7026, before holding a vote Wednesday that saw the measure pass 67-50. Instead of changing the bill’s language, no less than 32 proposed House amendments to the sweeping legislation were rejected, which left the Senate to enroll the bill and prep it for Gov. Rick Scott.
“We can never replace the 17 lives that were lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and we can never erase the traumatic experience that lives on in the memories of those who survived this horrific attack,” said Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart. “However, we will do everything we can to address the failure of government to effectively address the numerous warning signs that should have identified the perpetrator as a danger to others. We can and we will increase the resources available to identify and treat those suffering from mental illness, improve the safety and security of our schools, and ensure those suffering from mental illness do not have access to firearms.”
The 105-page bill makes it a felony to possess a bump stock or similar device, raises the age to buy rifles and shotguns to 21 statewide, and mandates a three-day wait on most gun transfers with some exceptions. A “red flag” provision would allow police or the family of a person thought to be at risk to file to have the individual’s guns temporarily seized. The bill includes some $400 million in authorizations to increase school security, memorialize Florida’s worst school shooting, establish a commission to investigate the event which occurred on Feb. 14 and create a $67 million “guardian” program of law-enforcement trained armed volunteer school faculty.
It is the last aspect that drew fire from some Democrats and gun control advocates, who would rather Scott veto the measure outright than allow guns in schools.
“While I support some of the better features of this bill, such as restrictions on firearm purchases for those under the age of 21, the ban on bump stocks, additional mental health funding, and school hardening, I will be unable to support this legislation as long as it allows civilians to be armed in the presence of our children,” said state Sen. Gary Farmer, who argues it would be better for the governor to reject the bill and allow lawmakers to return in a special session this summer to keep hammering away at it. Farmer is a supporter of adding an “assault weapon” ban to the measure.
Gun rights groups such as Florida Carry, Students for Concealed Carry and the National Rifle Association panned most of the bill, arguing that, while lawmakers should up security in schools and tighten mental health laws to keep guns from those who shouldn’t have them, steps such as raising the purchase age to 21, banning broadly defined bump stocks and expanding waiting periods are an unconstitutional attack on Second Amendment rights. Marion Hammer, past NRA president and current head of the Unified Sportsmen of Florida, said in an alert this week that the bill “punishes law-abiding citizens for the actions of a mentally ill teenager who murdered 17 people after Florida officials repeatedly refused to get him the help he needed,” and that the bill moved forward due to “turncoat Republicans.”
Approved just three weeks after the shooting, and only 15 days after it was introduced, SB 7026 is the largest and, so far, most successful attempt at increasing gun restrictions in the state’s modern legislative history.
In the past, multi-tiered gun control packages rushed through state legislatures in the wake of tragic events have often proven to be rife with unanticipated flaws. In 2013, Connecticut and New York both quickly passed sweeping measures in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. In each of these cases, the laws had to be tweaked and adjusted several times while fighting off lengthy court battles and are still controversial a half-decade later. State police in both states are currently swamped with backlogs of firearms licenses that are continued fall-out from bills whose critics argue were poorly constructed. Further, non-compliance is thought to be widespread while some mandated elements, for instance, background checks for ammunition sales in the Empire State, have been on hold for years.
Scott, who has been publicly stumping for his own plan of increased school security and gun control, many aspects of which are in the bill headed his way, has not said whether he will approve or veto the measure.
“When a bill makes it to my desk I’ll do what they don’t seem to be doing in Washington,” Scott said, as reported by The Sun Sentinel. “I’m going to review the bill line by line.”
— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) March 4, 2018
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Century Arms ups the ante on theC39v2 AK Pistol introducing a new model featuring a Shockwave Blade stabilizing brace.
The Shockwave Blade is a glass reinforced polymer build that quickly mounts to the C39v2 pistol using Century Arms’ new buffer tube mounting adapter. The addition of the brace, according to Century Arms, keeps to the overall compact design of the C39v2 pistol but adds an extra layer of control and manageability.
“The addition of the Shockwave Blade offers a very handy and accurate pistol with the reliability and durability you would expect from an AK,” Jason Karvois, Century’s Director of Sales, said in a press release.
The Blade pistol features a 4150 nitride-treated barrel and milled receiver partnered with a RAK-1 Enhanced Trigger Group and quick-detach attachment point for mounting tactical slings. The AK pistol also boasts compatibility with the Century Arms AK Micro Dot Side Mount.
Century Arms says the C39v2 Blade Pistol is shipping to dealers and distributors nationwide with a MSRP of $949. AK fans looking to just snag the mounting adapter can do so later this year, as the company plans to sell the adapter as a stand alone product in the second quarter.
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I wrote an article some time ago espousing the benefits of owning a shot timer and I stand behind that sentiment. They’re a wonderful tool for all kinds of shooters and you get a lot of value out of a one-time investment. But not everyone is interested in spending money on a niche tool. Fortunately, today most people are carrying a mobile phone that can also function as a shot timer. I initially decided to try these apps out as I wanted a shot timer for dry fire, but I figured I might as well compare them to a dedicated shot timer as well, in an effort to see if they could produce good results for considerable savings.
Towards that end, I’ll be reviewing the three highest-rated shot timer apps on the Google Play store as of writing: IPSC Shot Timer, Splits, and PS Timer Lite. All three are free, but just because something is free doesn’t make it worth your time. I tested these apps as tools for use in dry fire training, as well as for use in live-fire exercises indoors and outdoors. We’ll go over each one-by-one discussing features and performance before a final comparison.
For reference, I tested all three apps using the same gun, ammo, and conditions. I used a CZ-75B with handloaded Power Factor 130 9mm ammo in all live fire, and the same pistol for dry fire. I also tested all three with a Smith & Wesson Model 10 in dry-fire. All the apps were tested at the same ranges on the same days, with the phone resting on the bench in front of and below the handgun with the microphone pointed towards the shooter.
IPSC Shot Timer
An extremely small program, IPSC Shot Timer (IST) is a no-frills affair. After start up, you’re met with a simple timer screen, start button, options, calibration, and three blanked out features. All three promise to be available in the next version. For now, you can use it as a shot timer with just essentials; you can change its sensitivity to noise, adjust the start beep’s time delay and randomization, and an echo delay (preventing the time from picking up echoes as shots). You can also set your preferred scoring method of Comstock, Virginia, and Par Time.
In dry fire, IST is a great program. A quick auto-calibration and you should be good to go. It picks up the click of your gun well and provides accurate times. The Par Time feature is very useful for testing yourself on common dry-fire drills. Combined with it’s simple and clean interface, and IST gets a big thumbs-up for a dry fire tool.
In live fire, things fell apart both indoors and outside. The automatic calibration never worked well; it usually set its threshold setting to about 255, where it would consistently fail to pick up gunfire. In most magazines while testing it with the automatic calibration, it would register just under half of all shots. After a good deal of this failure, I tried some other tricks like positioning the phone differently so the mic would be elsewhere — to no avail.
When I set up the threshold manually, I found a setting near 200 worked well for pistol fire and would at least register every shot. But at that level of sensitivity, there was no way to prevent echoes from registering without raising the echo delay to the full half-second. Even I have better splits than that sometimes, so I can’t call this success.
Unfortunately, given its difficulty differentiating gunfire, ambient noises, and echoes, the Virginia scoring count feature is basically worthless.
Ultimately, I find the IST to be a great no-frills dry fire aid but questionable in live fire. You have to manually calibrate it, then differentiate the echoes from the actual shots yourself or deal with poor shot registration. Between these issues and the total absence of record keeping, I’d duck IST in live-fire.
Splits shares IST’s basic presentation but has a lot more features. The interface isn’t super-intuitive, but after you figure out what everything does, pretty much all the features are useful and easy to adjust. For starters, it functions as a shot timer. It offers no automatic calibration, but a pair of sliders always accessible at the main screen provide you with access to those settings. There’s a sizable amount of help information on the main screen you can access by just scrolling down, which doesn’t help aesthetically but is useful. After you find setting you like, I recommend keeping a screenshot to remind yourself where you want them if you prefer different settings in dry-fire and live-fire.
Particularly impressive with Splits is that it allows you to fire a string, then adjust the Shot Intensity Range and it will dynamically change the values in your string. If you set the intensity range as narrow as possible, fire five times, and it only registers two, you can then slide the intensity range towards ‘wider’ until you see five shots — and if you see more, then you’re getting ambient noises (like brass bouncing). Adjust the slider until you know only your gunfire is registering, and away you go. Very handy!
Conversely, Splits doesn’t dynamically display its findings. So, as you’re shooting, you don’t see the time of the last shot. This doesn’t make any real difference when actually shooting, especially given the above feature for adjusting its sensitivity.
But beyond functioning as a timer, Splits stands out in its ability to record data for you. You can create stages in the program and it will record your performance each time you shoot it, keeping a good log on basic stats like average split time, overall time, hits vs misses, and some other stuff. It’s all very useful for those with a serious interest in tracking their performance, and you can even have it presented as a graph! This is an outstanding feature to have included in a free app.
For dry fire, Splits works well with the sensitivity turned all the way up. It’s superb for practicing with a part-timer, and over time if you’re training right you can actually track your performance — all on one piece of software.
With live fire, after my experience with IST I wasn’t expecting much but Splits works amazingly. I had minor issues indoors, but those were mostly related to trying to appropriately adjust the echo delay. But it worked consistently, registered my shots, and was quite accurate. It’s not as good as a designated shot timer, but it’s free. With the ability to adjust the slider for sensitivity after firing a string to get the appropriate number of shots, you don’t have to waste and time or ammo trying to calibrate.
All considered, Splits is a fantastic program that does everything it should and much more.
Practical Shooting Timer Lite
When I started up Practical Shooting Timer Lite (PSTL), I noted it looked like it had similar features to Splits. In addition to the basics of functioning as a timer, it also appeared to store information on past performance. Great stuff from the looks of it.
Unfortunately, this is going to be a very short review as PSTL absolutely never worked for me properly. Whether in dry fire or live fire, it would miss shots — sometimes to a hilarious degree. It’s much worse with live fire than dry fire. In dry fire, it will come close to registering 50 percent of trigger pulls. With live fire, it averaged under 20 percent, regardless of conditions or settings. It was functioning so poorly initially that I spent a bunch of time hunting through PSTL and my phone’s options to see if something was amiss with permissions or maybe even a broken microphone, but in the end, everything was set up properly and worked fine except PSTL. I installed this on another phone and tried it with the same results — poor functionality.
Also, worth noting is this is the only app I used that crashed during testing. So, regardless of the features it may boast, none of them matter if it won’t work as a timer.
After testing all three, Splits is the clear-cut winner here. IST is a fine lightweight dry fire practice timer, but given Splits offers the same functionality plus record keeping, I can’t see reason to use it. The only category where I preferred another program to Splits was with IPSC Shot Timer in basic interface. Otherwise, in accuracy, features, and function, Splits reigns supreme.
Compared to my actual shot timer, Splits is also easier to use in many ways. It has a far better interface and more record-keeping features. Is it as accurate? No. You’ll still drop a shot occasionally, or the program will seem to get confused on what is and isn’t gunfire. Splits is no substitute for a shot timer if you’re a range officer or something similar, but for casual use, I highly recommend Splits. It’s a fantastic program.
Democrats in the Assembly on Tuesday were able to muscle through a series of increased regulations on guns and bans on some controversial devices.
The package of legislation, five bills in all, aim to ban bump stocks, remove the gun rights of those thought to be a danger to themselves or involved in domestic violence, stretch out waiting background check periods to 10 days, and expand the scope of the checks themselves. The move puts the body at odds with the Republican-controlled state Senate where similar proposals are stalled, but the Assembly’s top Democrat says the measures are needed for public safety.
“Passage of these bills today marks yet another step in our efforts to curb gun violence,” said Speaker Carl E. Heastie, D-Bronx. “Yet it is not the end and we will continue to fight for other common sense gun safety measures so that we can say we have made every effort to address the scourge of gun violence in our communities.”
The bills now headed to the Senate include:
A.2406, which would mandate a 10-day waiting period on pending background checks in the state before a gun could be transferred. Current federal regulations allow for licensed gun dealers to transfer a gun if the check has been delayed more than three days without an answer.
A.5025, a measure structured to expand how domestic violence convictions in the state result in the removal of gun rights for those convicted.
A.8976-B, which would allow for what are termed extreme risk protection orders, a mechanism in which police or a family member of an individual thought to be a threat to themselves or others can petition the court in a simple process to have their guns removed for a year.
A.9958 seeks to ban bump stocks and similar devices such as trigger cranks in New York. While the state has long had a ban on attaching such a device to a firearm, they are still legal to possess and manufacture in the Empire State, a facet lawmakers term a “dangerous loophole.”
A.9978 would require those purchasing guns or applying for a firearm license in New York to waive the confidentiality of their medical records concerning mental health for any other states they have lived. Supporters of the move stress it would allow New York to review those records when considering license applications.
The bills are supported by a number of gun control groups to include Everytown, Giffords, and New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.
“This package of common sense legislation will close gaps in our state law and prevent individuals who are dangerous to themselves and others from accessing guns,” said Rebecca Fischer with NYAGV.
As for the Senate, lawmakers on Monday approved a package of more than a dozen bills aimed at increasing school safety by increasing active shooter drills, mandating armed security, and improving mental health services. This came a week after Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, R-Suffolk County, torpedoed efforts by chamber Democrats to shoehorn a four-pack of gun control bills past the body.
Three candidates vying for the Pennsylvania Republican party’s nomination in this year’s gubernatorial race expressed support for arming school teachers during a televised debate last week.
GOP state Sen. Scott Wagner, lawyer Laura Ellsworth and former health care systems consultant and Army veteran Paul Mango detailed their respective positions on the controversial policy proposal floated at both state and federal levels as a defense against school shootings.
“I think every school district should develop a security plan that meets the threats and the needs of that local school district,” Mango said. “If that includes arming the teachers, that’s up to them, not the state.”
Wagner said teachers “with extensive training” deserve the ability to carry firearms on school grounds. He and 27 other state senators approved a measure in June allowing school districts to develop individual weapons policies for teachers and staff. The state House Education Committee will consider Senate Bill 383 and other proposals to ensure school safety at hearing scheduled for March 15.
“With my plan as governor, we will have armed, trained security officers in schools around the state,” Wagner said.
Ellsworth said she supported arming teachers, so long as it wasn’t a requirement. “But if you have a teacher who requests permission and they are fully trained and licensed to have a firearm, I think they should be permitted to do so,” she said.
Preventing mass shootings and other attacks at Pennsylvania schools has been a point of contention in the state Legislature for the better part of a decade. Some 501 school districts spread across more than 2,500 municipalities, two-thirds of which rely on state police coverage. Several rural school districts encompass hundreds of square miles, leading to delayed response times, according to the SB 383’s prime sponsor, Republican Sen. Don White.
“There are thousands of armed teachers and administrators in schools across the country and there has never been an incident where they have shot the wrong person, had their weapons taken by a student, or used a weapon inappropriately,” he said.
The idea gained traction nationally after President Donald Trump pushed for the policy in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last month.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, has repeatedly called SB 383 and other proposals to arm teachers “a bad idea,” though he supports hiring trained security guards and counselors.
Voters will chose May 15 whether Mango, Wagner or Ellsworth will challenge Wolf for governor this fall. Only Ellsworth said she’d reject campaign donations from the National Rifle Association.
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