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General Gun News
Every red-blooded American hunter and shooter needs a lever-action rifle and Henry Repeating Arms’ new Side Gate models are as desirable as they come. Polished brass, throwback calibers, dual-loading ports, unmatched customer service, and a Made-in-USA guarantee. The only way life can get any better is with more calibers and options.
Henry has already answered that plea with two new additions to their initial lineup. We’re digging the .45-70 Side Gate, but the .410 shotgun is slick too with both built on the same frame. Here’s why we’re excited about running the levers on these new babies.
As far as we’re concerned, Henry’s H024 Side Gate Model marks the greatest lever gun innovation of our generation. It’s not because of the side gate itself, as that’s been around for generations on Marlins, Winchesters, and others. The thriller here is that Henry has engineered a way to add the side loading gate to its existing tubular loading magazine so that shooters can utilize both options on the same rifle. Want to load up for the day or unload quickly without cycling the action–use the tube port. Need to top off with a quick round or two — feed those babies into the side gate and you’re back in battery.Throwback Calibers
Throwback calibers are all the rage and we love that. While the Side Gate’s initial offerings were .30-30 Win, .35 Rem, and .38-55 Win—and those are some fine chamberings—hunters and historical cartridge fans clamored for the venerable .45-70 Govt. The wait was not a long one. The .45-70 chambering was added less than six months after the initial launch.
“We put a lot of focus into listening to what our fans and customers want from the next Henry,” Henry Repeating Arms President and Owner Anthony Imperato said in a news release. “Real feedback and product suggestions from people that are out there using our rifles and shotguns carry a lot of weight and it’s what drives a lot of our product development. Our release of the Side Gate Lever Action earlier this year, and these new calibers are a great example of that.”Side Gate Features
The Side Gates, including the .45-70, all wear 20-inch round steel barrels. Metalwork is blued and mated to the recognizable polished brass receiver. The Side Gate’s appearance stands out from previous models with the specially adorned American walnut stocks with intricate checkering of floral scrollwork and the Henry brand wording. It’s the addition of the side loading gate, though, that sets this new model apart from all competition.
The new Henry Side Gates, including the .45-70 Govt, are SASS approved. For those not in the cowboy action shooting know, SASS is the Single Action Shooting Society, an international membership organization that preserves and promotes Cowboy Action Shooting. While lever-action rifles naturally define such things, topping off tubular loaded Henrys was not a speedy affair. Now, with the addition of a Side Gate, quick reloads are a shooter’s dream come true.Side Gate Shotgunning
Launched at the same time as the .45-70 Govt centerfire rifle addition, Henry also answered calls for a subsequent shotgunners Side Gate model. To that end, the Side Gate 410 has also debuted on the same brass frame with the fancy stock engraving. The scattergun chambers 2 ½- inch .410 shells, with the tube magazine holding five rounds. The 20-inch round barrel ends in a fixed cylinder choke.Final Thoughts
Like every other Henry Repeating Arms piece of equipment, these Side Gate rifles are part of the tagline: Made in America or Not Made at All. Every piece on the firearms, right down to the American Walnut is true red, white, and blue.
MSRP on the new 410 Side Gate is $1,045.
The post Why We’re Excited About Henry’s .45-70 and .410 Side Gates appeared first on Guns.com.
Shotguns have been getting a lot of love recently. That’s because they are excellent for home defense, and we’re spending a lot of time at home these days.
Whether you decide to buy new or used, shotguns made by reputable manufacturers are reliable and accurate. As long as they’re not abused, cleaned and stored properly, they last a long time. If you do decide to buy used, you can save a lot of money. Guns.com Certified Used Guns are thoroughly inspected and have a money back guarantee.
Here is our list, from least expensive all the way up to the top.STEVENS 320 SERIES
The Stevens 320 line of pump-action 12-gauge shotguns have many of the features of more expensive guns but at a much more affordable price. 320s get good reviews. They are made by well known Westfield, Massachusetts based firearms manufacturer Savage Arms, but unlike Savage firearms, the Stevens shotguns are made in China. They’re simple, economical and functional. The 320 features a pistol grip, proven rotary bolt design and dual slide bars for reliable operation. The receiver is a bottom load and right eject. It has a 3-inch chamber and a fixed cylinder choke. The barrel is 18.5 inches long and adorned with easy to acquire ghost ring sights. The gun weighs just under seven pounds.
- Action: Pump
- Gauge: 12
- Magazine capacity: Up to 5 rounds
- MSRP: Starting at $259 new
The Winchester 1897, otherwise known as the trench gun, is one of the most iconic pump-action shotguns around. It became infamous among enemy combatants during the first World War. It allowed U.S. servicemen to quickly unload five shots by simply holding the trigger and pumping. Over the years, the design has evolved. While an original Winchester 1897, or M97, can only be purchased used, the modern variant is the SXP. It comes in a number of variations, but the Defender model has all of the essentials for home defense.
- Action: Pump
- Gauge: 12
- Magazine capacity: Up to 5 rounds
- MSRP: Starting at $299 new
The Stoeger P3000 Defense Pump shotgun keeps it simple. It comes in only one configuration: a black synthetic pump-action 12-gauge that can fire up to 3” shells. It has a red fiber-optic front sight, weighs 6.9 pounds empty and has capacity of 4+1 rounds. It’s reliable and best of all, affordable. Stoeger is known for manufacturing good quality guns for everyday folks who don’t want to break the bank. Best of all, the P3000 comes with a 5-year warranty.
Check out our review of a similar Stoeger a few years ago here.
- Action: Pump
- Gauge: 12
- Magazine capacity: Up to 4 rounds
- MSRP: Starting at $299 new
Mossberg has been making guns since 1919, and is still a family owned American business. First launched in 1960, the 500 series of pump-action shotguns are some of the most popular home defense shotguns on the market. They are used by both civilians and militaries around the world. There are tons of upgrades, after-market parts and accessories. The more recent 590A1 model is the only shotgun to pass the U.S. Army’s Mil-Spec 3443E test which requires it to fire 3,000 rounds of full power 12-gauge buckshot rounds without jamming.
Check out our Mossberg 500 SPX Tactical shotgun review here.
- Action: Pump
- Gauge: 12 and 20
- Magazine capacity: Up to 8 rounds
- MSRP: Starting at $399 new
The Remington 870 is the most popular pump-action shotgun on the planet. It was released in 1950 and quickly took the world by storm. The ‘870’ sells in a variety of configurations and barrel lengths ranging from 11 to 30-inches. Magazine capacities range from four to 10 shells with both tube and more recently a magazine fed design. The shotgun has been used for years by both police and prison guards and limited service in foreign military forces. Highly modifiable, a stock 870 can be modified by the user into an excellent home defense weapon.
- Action: Pump
- Gauge: 12 and 20
- Magazine capacity: Up to 8 rounds
- MSRP: Starting at $420 new
Florida based Kel-Tec is known for doing things a little bit differently. Their KS7 pump-action 12-gauge shotgun is built around a bullpup design. This means the action is located behind the trigger. This allows for a much more compact and lightweight gun while maintaining an 18.1 inch barrel. The overall length of the gun is 26.1 inches and it weighs just under six pounds. A unique carrying handle doubles as a sighting system. The front sight is fiber optic and empty shells are ejected downwards. The KS7 has great reviews. If you’re looking for a very compact, lightweight home defense shotgun, you should check it out.
- Action: Pump
- Gauge: 12
- Magazine capacity: Up to 6 rounds
- MSRP: Starting at $495 new
FN is known for making high quality guns, including many for our military. The P-12 is their most affordable pump-action shotgun. Assembled at FNs Viana plant in Portugal, this compact 12-gauge shotgun perfect for home defense. It has an overall length of 39 inches and a weight of 7.5 pounds. It features a chrome-lined cantilever 18-inch barrel with factory installed stainless steel choke tubes. It has an aircraft-grade aluminum matte black finish receiver with a rotating bolt. It can fire 2 and 3-inch shells. An optic can be mounted on the Weaver rail or you can use the flip-up rear and fiber optic front sights.
- Action: Pump
- Gauge: 12
- Magazine capacity: Up to 5 rounds
- MSRP: Starting at $669 new
For grins and giggles, we’re including what is likely the cream of the crop of tactical shotguns. The Benelli M4 is a semi-automatic 12-gauge shotgun used by police and military around the world. The M4 is battle-proven and is able to reliably fire at least 25,000 rounds without replacement of any major parts. Many steel components give this gun some heft of 8.42 pounds. A Picatinny rail allows for mounting of scopes, sights, and optics. If price isn’t an issue, this is the ultimate home defense shotgun. Other top contenders are the Benelli M2, FN-SLP, Beretta 1301, Mossberg 930 and Kel-Tec KSG.
- Action: Semi-automatic
- Gauge: 12
- Magazine capacity: Up to 5 rounds
- MSRP: Starting at $1,999 new
With meat prices rising and some sportsmen with extra time on their hands these days, conservation agencies are chalking up record turkey season harvests.
In the Hawkeye State, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources this week reported more than 14,600 turkeys were taken during the spring season. That figure is the highest spring turkey harvest since mandatory reporting began in 2007 and surpassed the previous record high of 12,173, a benchmark set in 2016.
“We agree the driving reasons are that hunters have more time, coupled with quarantine fatigue” Jim Coffey, a forest wildlife biologist for the Iowa DNR, told local media. “You can get out of the house, stretch your legs, enjoy nature and you’re not in a crowd of people.”
Meanwhile, in the Land of Lincoln, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says early data from the 2020 Youth Turkey Season– which took part in two weekends in late March and early April– is a record. This year’s season logged 1,744 birds, smashing the previous record of 1,531 set in the spring of 2017.
Further south, conservation officials in Arkansas announced the annual two-day youth turkey hunt showed a big increase in the number of birds checked over last year’s figures. In all, budding sportsmen under the age of 16 harvested 882 birds during the Easter Weekend hunt, giving the state’s 2020 spring turkey season a great start. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said that the increase, up 27% from last year’s youth turkey hunt figures, came despite several challenges that included concerns over the spread of COVID-19 that may have not only kept some hunters at home but also closed many campgrounds in the stateIndustry Reaction
“The coronavirus pandemic is changing things in America, but not all those changes are bad,” said Mark Oliva, with the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “This is awakening many to the importance of being self-sufficient, of taking responsibility for the food on the dinner table and knowing hunting is being cherished for all it provides to the mind, body, and soul.”
To support new and reactivated hunters, NSSF created the +OneSM Movement.
“It’s a pledge by hunters to take someone hunting this year,” said Oliva. “The numbers show there are new hunters clamoring to get into the woods, marshes, and fields.”
Meanwhile, at the +One letsgohunting.org site, there are resources to help someone get started. The site also has resources to learn about state-specific hunting apprenticeship programs and find a way to get plugged to getting outdoors, hunting regulations, firearm safety tips and places to hunt not far from home.
The post Shrugging off COVID, States Report Record Turkey Hunting Seasons appeared first on Guns.com.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is the subject of a sweeping federal lawsuit over the Democrat’s use of emergency powers during the COVID-19 crisis.
The 50-page suit names Cuomo as well as a host of other Empire State officials as defendants and cites numerous violations of Constitutionally-protected rights, saying, “To be blunt, a bloodless coup against the Constitution has been undertaken by the State itself.”
In early March, Cuomo announced his Executive Order 202, which has subsequently been updated at least 31 times, that ordered stay-at-home mandates which did not recognize the firearm industry as essential. As a result, large manufacturers such as Kimber and Remington were forced to halt production in the state while gun shops and pistol permitting offices were also forced to close their doors. The end result was that just about anything Second Amendment-relate was put under glass.
Plaintiffs in the case include gun range operator and retailer Brandon Lewis, who owns The Firing Pin in Bergen, New York. Lewis rose to prominence over his appearance at gun rights rallies earlier this year with a Barrett .50 cal rifle. Among other plaintiffs are LibertyMovement.Org CEO James Ostrowski, Rochester Radio Personality Shannon Joy, and 2ANYS Founder Steve Felano.
“New York State government agents have been successful in leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to achieve an illegal and complete cancellation of the Second Amendment,” said Felano. “This has been made possible via a combination of pre-existing, unconstitutional regulation and recent COVID-19 shutdown mandates forcing the closure of firearms manufacturers, retailers, and pistol permitting offices.
“This farce ends today and is proof positive that government agents cannot be trusted to responsibly regulate civilian Second Amendment exercise without effectively and unlawfully eviscerating the fundamental human right to keep and bear arms,” he said.
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York on May 15, seeks to have the court issue injunctions halting enforcement of Cuomo’s emergency directives, contending they are not in line with the Constitution.
The post Federal Lawsuit Hits Cuomo Over NY Gun Industry Closures appeared first on Guns.com.
Billed by FN as the “smallest and most concealable tactical pistol available,” the new FN 509 Compact Tactical is an optics- and suppressor-ready 9mm in a tiny package.
Using the company’s new 509 series action, the new pistol in the lineup has a 4.3-inch cold hammer-forged threaded barrel in a much more compact frame than the standard FN Tactical series guns. While just 7.4-inches overall and weighing in at 26.2-ounces, it still packs the ability right out of the box to mount a wide array of aftermarket compensators or suppressors while carrying suppressor-height Trijicon 3-dot green Tritium night sights.
Added to this is FN’s Low-Profile Optics-Mounting System which is capable of accepting more than 10 miniature red sights for those who are looking to add glass to the gun. Other accessories, such as lights, can be added to the MIL-STD-1913 rail on the frame.
Capable of using all double-stack 509 series 9mm mags, the Compact Tactical ships in an FN-branded soft case with a single 12-round, 15-round and 24-round magazine or, for those in restricted states, just a trio of 10-rounders.
MSRP is $1,049, a price point that should dip into the high three digits at retailers.
The post New for 2020: Optics-Ready FN 509 Compact Tactical 9mm in Black and FDE appeared first on Guns.com.
Using durable, proprietary, nylon SafariSeven material, the 7TS RDS holsters can withstand difficult conditions and require little maintenance and upkeep, according to Safariland. The red dot models come with a protective hood design that prevents the red dot from being damaged while also protecting it from the elements. Safariland says as red dots gain prominence in the industry, it’s important to support customers with red dots.
“Red dot optics continue to gain strength in the marketplace, as evidenced by the high demand of our initial SafariLaminate models. And now, we have combined the virtually indestructible qualities of our 7TS holster materials with a protective hood design for red dot optics, creating the new industry standard. These are sure to gain popularity very quickly,” James Dawson, duty gear category director for Safariland, said in a news release.
In total, the company has released 17 RDS models in duty, tactical and concealment styles. The holsters are available in SafariSeven Plain Black or FDE Brown with prices starting at $123 and topping out around $270.
The post Safariland Adds Red Dot Compatible Models to 7TS Series appeared first on Guns.com.
The Japanese Ground Self Defense Force, the country’s army, debuted what will be termed the Type 20 5.56 rifle and the SPF 9mm pistol in future use.
Developed by Towa Kogyo in Kiyosu, the Howa platform beat out designs tested by the JGSDF since 2014 to include at various times guns by HK, FN, SIG and Steyr. The final designs were selected in December 2019 with the Howa rifle beating out the second-place HK416 and the SCAR-L, which placed third in the competition.
A modular rifle system similar to the HK433, Remington ACR, Radom GROT, or the SCAR, the Type 20 has a side-folding, five-position adjustable stock. Subsequent images released by the Japanese Ministry of Defense show the rifle to have ambi surface controls and a host of U.S. accessories including Magpul M-LOK slots with matching sling mount, an M3 windowed PMAG, and a BCM GUNFIGHTER Grip MOD3. It also has a B&T grip pod, a feature that is likely cringe-worthy to those on this side of the Pacific.
According to the defense budget for 2020, 3,283 units of the Howa Type 20 were purchased for 900 million yen ($8.3 million) in the initial procurement, with the first batch of operational rifles going to the newly-formed Mizuland Mobile Corps. The life cycle cost of procuring 150,000 units is estimated to be 43.9 billion yen.
A maritime variant of the Heckler & Koch VP9, the SFP9-M, will be Japan’s future handgun. The model has passed NATO’s long-term saltwater test and is referred to as Over-the-Beach certified. As with the rifle competition, the HK pistol beat out a wide field of competitors with the second-place selection being the Beretta APX while the third-place winner was the Glock 17.
The initial procurement, via Japanese distributor Minebea Mitsumi, is for 323 guns for $250,000.
The SPF-9M and Type 20 will augment and then replace the SIG P220 9mm handgun and Howa Type 89 rifle over the next several years.
The post Japanese Army Picks New HP VP9, Howa Rifle Variants appeared first on Guns.com.
Based on the Beretta 92 platform, the competition-style Girsan Regard MC Gen 4 is now being imported by European American Armory and is full of features that often cost much more.
Cocoa, Florida-based EAA has been importing the Girsan-produced Regard series from Turkey for a minute and the new Gen 4 gun offers a competition-style slide with deep front and rear slide serrations and a 4.9-inch barrel. The frame includes an accessory rail in front of the trigger guard and a DA/SA competition-style trigger billed as having a “very nice pull with a clean break and fast reset.”
Girsan developed the Regard for use by the Turkish military and law enforcement with Mil-spec parts that the company stresses are manufactured to some of the highest international quality standards. Shipping in a matte black finish, the pistol has a front dovetail post and an adjustable 2-dot rear. When it comes to specs, the pistol weighs 34.4-ounces and is 8.6-inches long, overall. Height is 5.5-inches while the width is 1.375-inches.
MSRP on the EAA Girsan Regard MC Gen 4 is $510, a price that is about $200 smackers away from that of a U.S.-made Beretta 92X.
The post Meet the New EAA Girsan Regard MC Gen 4 9mm Pistol appeared first on Guns.com.
The holsters come in a new basketweave finish — a style Blackhawk says better serves “the needs of on-duty law enforcement officers.”
“The basketweave design is a staple finish in the law enforcement community as the pattern is quite common on active duty holsters and belts. The black leather design offers an enhanced look and feel, increasing the command presence of on-duty officers,” the company said in a press release. “The L3D holster was designed to match frequently used belts, pouches and other accessories and continues Blackhawk’s long-standing legacy of duty-rated holsters.”
The dual-injection molded holsters follow Blackhawk’s T-Series design offering glass-reinforced nylon paired with a soft-touch inner layer that is both sound dampening and slick. The design is both durable and low-friction to allow for a smooth draw.
The post Blackhawk Unveils Basketweave Holsters to T-Series Duty Series appeared first on Guns.com.
Using the current spike in gun buying as a rallying cry, a group of Democrats in the U.S. Senate last week filed legislation to regulate so-called “ghost guns.”
The lawmakers, generally all from blue states with ultra-strict gun laws to include outlawing popular semi-auto firearms under the guise of “assault weapon” bans, unveiled the 10-page Untraceable Firearms Act on May 14. The bill would require that unfinished frames and receivers, such as “80% lowers” be treated the same way as fully completed firearms to include serialization and federal background checks before transfers.
The supporters of the measure say it is urgently needed because of the recent jump in gun sales that coincided with the COVID-19 crisis.
“This pandemic is spurring a deeply disturbing demand in untraceable weapons,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). “Congress must act urgently to stop these homemade ‘ghost guns’ before they spur the next horrifying wave of gun violence.”
The bill, filed as S.3743, would alter definitions in federal law to consider a firearm receiver as the part of a firearm that provides the housing for the trigger group “regardless of the stage of manufacture” including a “blank, casting, or machined body, that requires modification, including machining, drilling, filing or molding, to be used as part of a functional firearm, and which is designed and intended to be used in the assembly of a functional firearm.”
It would also add the term “ghost gun” to federal law, describing it as a firearm that does not have a serial number engraved or cast on the frame or receiver by a licensed manufacturer or importer.
Violations of the measure would be treated as a felony with punishments as high as five years in prison.
Such a broad reclassification of potential ingredients that would have to be regulated and controlled leaves open the question that almost any hunk of metal could be assumed under the new law to be a firearm, fears pro-gun groups. For example, a home builder in 2012 made an AK out of a rusty shovel. This fear is compounded by the fact that seemingly innocuous parts kits often used to keep existing guns working could fall under the purview of the planned law.
“Senator Blumenthal has, once again, expressed his intent to regulate ‘ghost guns'” said the Firearms Policy Coalition. “He’s teamed up with Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords for the ultimate misinformation dream team. They believe ‘parts kits’ should be serialized and treated like actual firearms.”
The FPC argues that such kits often consist of everything but the frame or receiver, which is the only part regulated as a firearm.
“Americans buy parts kits for a host of lawful reasons, including for spare parts, historical value, and to home-build a new firearm. Indeed, making firearms at home is an American tradition that predates the United States,” said the group.More Steel in More Places?
In addition, the bill includes elements of a bill that has been floating around Capitol Hill for the past several years, an update to the 25-year-old Undetectable Firearms Act, which requires all firearms to be detectable by a metal detector, by requiring at least one main component such as the frame or barrel is made of metal.
The update would expand the UFA to include even prototype guns. Further, it would mandate that the slide, cylinder, frame, or receiver of a handgun be made of steel. Shotguns and rifles would have to have a steel barrel.
The Untraceable Firearms Act has been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary and has 14 co-sponors.
The post 15 Senate Dems Use COVID to Move for ‘Ghost Gun’ Ban appeared first on Guns.com.
In an effort to help you beat the inevitable isolation boredom, we at Guns.com are bringing you a variety of fun, entertaining content to beat the boredom blues. For those word gurus out there who want to pass the time, check out our first crossword puzzle, this one featuring popular gun makers.
Have fun and knock yourself out.
To check your answers, the key is here.
Equipped with a Lothar Walther free-floating barrel, the bolt-action R2Mi from Remington is pitched to those who aren’t deterred by distance.
Debuted Thursday but not detailed on Big Green’s website just yet, the new Remington R2Mi rifle has a 30-inch barrel and an overall length of 57-inches, a factor that almost comes as expected with guns chambered in .50 BMG. Using a detachable 10-round magazine, the platform disassembles much the same as an AR-type rifle for cleaning. This, says Remington, makes the R2Mi “one of the simplest 50-caliber rifles to assemble and maintain.”
The easy takedown also allows the gun to be transported in two smaller components.
Shipping sans sights, the R2Mi has a MIL-STD 1913 top rail for optics and comes standard with a manganese phosphate finish on its steel parts and a hard-anodized type 3 green finish on the aluminum parts. The AAC muzzle brake accepts a Cyclops series suppressor.
The rifle ships complete in a custom Pelican case with two mags, a bipod, safety gear, and a cable lock for an MSRP of $4,599. This puts it on par price-wise with the Barrett Model 99, which is a single-shot.
From the outside and specs, at least, the R2Mi seems to be a green-hued reboot of the BA50, which was produced by the company’s now-increasingly scarce Bushmaster brand for over a decade. That gun had an interesting developmental period, with roots that went back to Kennesaw, Georgia.
In early 2003, Georgia-based Cobb Manufacturing teased the market with a rifle, dubbed at the time as the Model 50A1, that used an AR-15 type gas operating system to shoot the 50 BMG round. By that Fall, the gun had morphed to a bolt-action as the Cobb FA50(T) that kept many AR-style features.
Put into limited production, the final version of the gun produced by Cobb was the $7,000 BA50 which, as noted by the company in early 2007, was on the cover of tactical mags and in service with both law enforcement customers and “U.S. allies overseas.”
In August 2007, Bushmaster purchased Cobb and moved the company’s plant from Georgia to Maine and two years later the company put the upgraded BA50 into their catalog in both a rifle and carbine variant.
The post Remington Announces R2Mi .50 Caliber Bolt Action Rifle appeared first on Guns.com.
Many readers will already recognize the name Ernie Bishop, but for those who do not, you’re in for a treat. Bishop wears many hats—family man, Minister at the Gillette Church of Christ, SEB shooting rest dealer, hardcore hunter, long-range marksman, and an expert in single-shot handguns.
Bishop is a polite and educated gentleman — a man of faith, honesty, and passion. Incidentally, he’s also the man serious distance handgunners come to for advice. What are the favorite calibers of this man who’s shot them all? What are some common errors handgunners make? What are the best long-range handguns on the market today? You’d be surprised what we can all learn from Ernie Bishop.
Guns.com: How did you first get interested in handguns and handgun hunting?
Bishop: From a very young age, handguns of all kinds intrigued me. When I was in my early 20s, I rented a small apartment from a bullseye shooter, and he helped me get going with my first pistol — a Smith & Wesson Model 66 .357 Magnum. Not long after, a Colt 70’s Series Gold Cup in .45 ACP and a High Standard Trophy .22LR were added, and shooting became a weekly hobby.
During that time, I began reading “Guns and Ammo” and “Peterson’s Hunting” and fell in love with the writings of Bob Milek. He would use Thompson Center Contenders, Remington XP-100’s, Pachmayr Dominators, and some revolvers for both varmint and big game hunting. Once my wife and I moved to northeast Colorado in 1985, I began hunting big game for the first time and the rest is history.
Guns.com: That’s a humble start, but we know you’ve been on hunts and shoots around the world since then. What are your most memorable and why?
Bishop: My first handgun hunt on the eastern plains of Colorado near the town of Yoder. Used a TC Contender in 7mm TCU. The shot was under 150-yards and the buck was quite small. The short distance or size of the horns was not a negative to me in any way because it was an amazing experience.
As far as shoots go, the two years Darrell Holland and I teamed up for a three-day long-range roving tactical match. It is a physically demanding course with targets from 50 to 1,000-yards. Though we came up just short with second place twice, it was a great time with a good friend, and that is what means the most.
Guns.com: You raise a great point in that hunting and shooting brings about some great friendships and even better memories. If somebody wants to get into the world of longer-range handgun hunting, which factory production handguns would you recommend?
Bishop: Everyone’s idea of what constitutes long-range is a little different. I have hunted with Ruger, Smith & Wesson, and Freedom Arms revolvers. I have never hunted with any of the BFR’s, but I hear they are well-made. If I was going to hunt at longer distances with a revolver, I could buy at a gun store. It would be a Smith & Wesson in either .357 Magnum (158-grain bullet) or .44 Magnum (240-grain bullet). A gun needn’t be custom to be useful and I’m proof that you don’t have to break the bank to get into shooting.
Guns.com: All the guns you’ve named are revolvers. If a shooter is looking for something different, let’s talk about different handgun platforms. Bolt action, single shot or semi-automatic, and why?
Bishop: I have only hunted with one semi-auto for big game and it was a customized Colt Delta Elite in 10mm. I would rather hunt with a revolver over a semi-auto any day because I find them to have a better trigger pull, more optic options, and I prefer the strength of a revolver over a semi-auto.
I have hunted more big game with single-shot handguns–bolt, falling block, and break-open– than revolvers. For hunting at distance, the single-shot specialty pistols using rifle cartridges have an incredible ballistic advantage over straight-wall cartridges. The stronger single-shot actions can handle almost any rifle cartridge safely.
Single-shot specialty pistols are not as finicky and are more forgiving when shooting from field positions compared to a semi-auto or revolver. In other words, it is easier to be competent with the single-shot specialty pistol, whether it is chambered in a straight-wall or bottle-neck cartridge, compared to a revolver or semi-auto. Which one you should choose will be dependent upon the way you want to hunt, what your states game laws allow, and your own budget.
My very favorite specialty pistol is the single-shot center-grip bolt action, as it has the strength of a bolt rifle, and it balances better for field shooting and hunting than the rear-grip design.
Guns.com: There’s no doubt you love single-shot handguns. If you could choose only one handgun for all-around hunting, what would it be?
Bishop: A customized center-grip Remington XP-100 that has a good solid-bottomed muzzle brake and is topped with a rifle scope, not a pistol scope.
Guns.com: What are your favorite handgun calibers these days?
Bishop: First, I am completely spoiled, and have about all of the calibers covered in the specialty pistols. When it comes down to a favorite specialty pistol for hunting big game, the 7mm is still at the top for me. If I had to pick one cartridge in 7mm, it would probably the .284 Winchester. I also like the Short Action Magnums and the 7mm Dakota. In revolvers, both the .357 Magnum and .44 Mag.
Guns.com: What are some common errors you see handgunners making?
Bishop: the same kinds of mistakes that I make from time to time, which is not focusing on the fundamentals when under pressure. When a shot is shorter it is easy to not focus on the basics — especially with lighter weight hunting handguns, where the consistency of both grip and trigger control are essential. With large cartridges, some folks try to manhandle the gun which is never a good thing.
Another common problem with handgun hunters when using large cartridges and heavy bullets is what I call “flinchitis.” This is why I am not a big proponent of the “bigger is better” mindset. Deer-sized game, and even the majority of big game, do not wear Kevlar and body armor. It doesn’t have to hurt on both ends to cleanly take game. That flinchitis is a problem I face from time to time, and for that reason, I often avoid large calibers in handguns.
Guns.com: Can you offer a tip for a new handgunner?
Bishop: When hunting with a revolver, one of the simplest upgrades is a good set of grips. Chris Rhodes, who is a fantastic handgun shooter, recommended Hogue’s Big Butt grips to me and it makes a huge difference in my shooting. I used a more traditional grip on a .357 Mag this year and I struggled more with the smaller grips that were on it.
Guns.com: That’s an easy fix. How about a tip for more experienced handgun hunters?
Bishop: Be mindful that whatever skill set you have, if not kept up, will diminish. When you add physical exertion or exhaustion to the equation, your ability is greatly diminished. I’m not afraid to admit that I have made some bad shots recently for the reasons I just mentioned. It is humbling, but it has bit me, and we all need that reminder from time to time.
Guns.com: What’s left on your bucket list of hunts and handgun shoots for the man who seems to have done it all already?
Bishop: Hunting in Alaska and returning to Africa. My only time hunting in South Africa was a couple of years ago at Big Water Safaris and it was amazing. I took a custom Ruger GP-100 in .357 Mag built by Bayside Custom Gunworks, affectionately called the Franken-Ruger, along with a 7mm Dakota center-grip XP-100. I took 15 animals in a week and all of it was spot and stalk, doing the sneaky sneak and walking 10-11 miles each day. There was no shooting from a vehicle, hunting out of blinds or baiting, and I absolutely loved it.
Guns.com: I agree with you there. Hunting in Africa is amazing. Before I let you go, I’d like to make our audience aware of another passion of yours, and that is your work on the yearly WY-SHOT handgun shoot. Care to share any info about WY-SHOT or your other ventures?
Bishop: WY-SHOT is a yearly all-handgun shoot that I put on in mid-June with a lot of help from others. It is a three-day event that involves both prairie dog hunting and shooting steel at extended distances from various field positions with targets over 1,000-yards. There is a great spirit of comradery and experienced shooters are consistently helping those who are new.
Guns.com: I think you’re a shining example of how we all take different paths to our passions, but it’s safe to say you’ve found yours. Plus, we appreciate your willingness to help both new and experienced shooters. Any last words of wisdom for our Guns.com audience?
Bishop: Enjoy your hobbies, whatever they may be. Make sure you consistently try to help others, regardless of age, get into the shooting sports and hunting. We can never have enough mentors and encouragers in these areas.
The key to making a stellar Meat Boat comes down to two things—a crusty bread and some ground wild meat. What at first may look like an involved dish is actually a fairly quick and hearty meal that will soon become a well-used wild game home cooking gem.
While we opted to use ground Fallow Deer for this recipe most any ground wild game will do just fine. Leaner meats will ensure the bread remains crisp instead of soaking up undue grease and becoming soggy.
We always prefer to use wild game over store-bought as Fallow Deer and many horned and antlered game are not just hunting trophies but also delicious game meat. That being said, we won’t judge if you want to substitute ground beef.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Start to Finish: 75 minutes
1 loaf of Vienna bread or other crusty bread (bonus points for homemade)
1.5-pounds of lean ground wild game meat
1 can of tomato soup or 1-pint of homemade tomato soup
2 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoon of salt
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 clove of garlic, minced
Pepper to taste
Cut the top of the crust off the bread, leaving the ends and base intact so that it is similar in shape to a canoe. Remove the inside of the loaf by hand and break the interior bread into small pieces. In a large bowl, combine the bread pieces into the raw meat along with the soup, salt, pepper, and onion. Mix well.
While the mixture rests, melt the butter and use it to coat the inside of the bread crust, including the top that was removed earlier. Next, put the meat mixture into the hollowed-out loaf of bread. Now is the time to add any additional seasonings you may desire before topping with the original top crust of the loaf. Those who like heat may opt to also add a few shakes of their favorite hot sauce to the meat.
Wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350-degrees Fahrenheit for one hour.Serve and Enjoy
Once baked, the Meat Boat is sliced into serving sizes and plated hot and delicious. The finished product should be a nice, hard, and crusty bread exterior with a juicy, tender wild game meat interior. A nice local vegetable like fresh asparagus makes the ideal side dish, as does a light salad.
The Meat Boat’s filling is neither wild nor spicy but a new kind of comfort food. All that’s left is to pop the cork on a nice red wine—or the beverage of your choice—and toast this simple and unique culinary treat.
Offering concealability and reliability, the new FN 503 shares the lineage of its full-sized pistol line but comes in a micro-compact format.
Introduced in March, the striker-fired 9mm borrows the design, performance, and reliability standards of the company’s popular FN 509 series folded into a pint-sized single-stack optimized for concealed carry. The resulting FN 503 is both slim and trim. Currently the company’s smallest handgun, the 503 has a smaller profile than the FN-S Compact and FN 509 Compact.
Specifically, the 3.1-inch barrel contributes to a 5.9-inch overall length. Height is 4.6-inches with the flush fit magazine while width, over the surface controls, is 1.1-inch. To put that in context with contemporaries, it is roughly the same ballpark size as the Glock G43 or Sig P365.
Ideal for the consumer market as a carry or personal protection tool, or for LE as a back-up or off-duty piece, FN describes the 503 as their first entry into the slim 9mm pistol market. It has low-profile sights with rounded edges to help tend towards fewer snags, a very aggressive texture on the grip, oversized surface controls, and bevelling on the front of the slide, with a corresponding bevel on the frame.
The serialized chassis can be removed from the grip assembly, leaving open the possibility of a future swap in something other than the current standard black.
When it comes to weight, we found the FN 503 tips the scales at 19-ounces flat without a mag, 23.5-ounces with a loaded chamber and similarly topped-off loaded 6-round mag inserted, and 25.2-ounces with the larger 8-round mag in an 8+1 set up.
MSRP on the FN 503 is $549, a price lower at retailers.
How does it shoot? We are still in the middle of testing that, so be sure to keep an eye peeled for a second article on that subject in the coming weeks.
The post Pint-Sized Parabellum: A Look at the New FN 503 9mm Pistol appeared first on Guns.com.
The Canadian Army is dropping $6 million into Colt Canada’s coffers for the new 7.62 NATO C20 rifle to equip sniper teams.
The Canadian Department of National Defence confirmed to local media that Colt Canada will supply 272 of the new C20 rifles after a pair of contracts, a CA$2 million (USD 1.42 million) award to set up the production line and deliver 10 rifles, along with a further CA$6.5 million (USD 4.62 million) contract for 262 rifles and additional equipment, were recently awarded.
Produced domestically by Colt Canada in Kitchener, Ontario, the semi-automatic C20 is described as an Intermediate Sniper Weapon with an 18-inch barrel that has a 1-in-10 twist. Testing found the rifle to fire 8,000 rounds with no stopping and deliver an average of .66 MOA over 144 five-shot groups using 175-grain Federal Gold Medal Match ammunition.
Matthew Moss, writing in The Firearm Blog last year, detailed the C20 has an LMT-style monolithic upper receiver, a Geissele SSA Dual-Stage Trigger, and an LMT DMR adjustable buttstock. While the C20 has reportedly been tested with Canadian Forces using an OSS QD 7.62 suppressor, Colt’s stock images show the rifle with an undisclosed can hidden under a Manta cover.
It is not clear which optic the C20 will use in Canadian service.
The new C20 will reportedly be used for personal protection on sniper teams, taking the place of current C8 Carbines. The C8, made by Colt Canada, is fundamentally an M4-style carbine with a few changes.
For reaching out at distance, something Canadian snipers have been famed for in Afghanistan, Canuk marksmen for the past 15 years have used the C14 Timberwolf MRSWS (Medium Range Sniper Weapon System), a .338 Lapua-caliber bolt-action made by PGW, and the C15 Long Range Sniper Weapon (LRSW), the latter a McMillan Tac-50 in .50 BMG.Crickets due to gun bans?
Notably, the contracts for the C20 did not get a widespread announcement from government officials in Canada, one that, when pressed for comment by David Pugliese with the Ottawa Citizen, they chalked up to COVID-19 response. However, privately, some officials say the deal “wasn’t publicized because there was concern about the political optics of such an announcement coming just before the Liberal government banned assault rifles, including those made by Colt Canada, from being owned by private citizens.”
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True North Concepts launched a new Modular Holster Adapter designed to prevent movement of holsters on polymer belts.
The Modular Holster Adapter pairs a modular design with rigidity to achieve a platform created for user-input. Shooters, law enforcement, or military personnel can tweak the adapter to carry as they wish.
“The Modular Holster Adapter is the first adapter of its kind to specifically solve the problem of unwanted movement that nearly all polymer belt adapters create for law enforcement, military and other shooters,” True North Concepts said in a news release. “It does this by combining modularity with rigidity. Unlike other adapters, the True North holster adapter lets the user decide how they want to carry their pistol rather than forcing them into a one-size-fits-one-belt carry system.”
Positioning features include:
- 20-degree-wide mount positioning range; 10-degree forward cant and 10-degree negative cant
- Three vertical mounting points set ½-inch apart giving the user three height options
- Supports “Mid-Ride” mode of carry that will drop the pistol below his or her belt line, allowing it to clear body armor and pouches
Using two primary mounting options, users can thread the mounting bars through PALS webbing and attach a holster to MOLLE style belts or the adapter can be bolted onto standard gun belts with widths of up to 2-1/4-inches. True North Concepts says the Modular Holster Adapter also sports mounting points so that it can work alongside quick-release belt mounts.
The Modular Holster Adapter fits all Safariland three-hole pattern holsters in addition to a variety of other brands with the same method of attachment. Made from non-ferrous DFARS-grade 6061-T6 aluminum, the adapter is Type 3 MIL-SPEC hard coat anodized. Further, it is made in America, for those that prefer to keep their dollars stateside.
The Modular Holster Adapter is available from True North Concepts with an MSRP of $75.
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Boasting what the company bills as the same look and feel of full-sized centerfire rifles, there are a host of new CZ 457 rimfires on the market.
The most expansive new offering in the line is in the CZ 457 Varmint Precision Trainer which uses a special Manners carbon-fiber composite stock and a tapered varmint-profile heavy barrel with a 1-in-16 twist rate.
The series– designed for rimfire competition or as a trainer complement to full-sized rifles– includes suppressor-ready variants with 24.875-inch and 16.5-inch barrels as well as a non-threaded version with a 20.5-inch barrel. All three run in the 7-pound range.
The way the newer 457s differ from CZ’s legacy 455 series rimfire rifles is that the new guns have a two-piece interlocking bottom system rather than the previous stamped bottom metal and offer a 60-degree bolt rotation, which allows better optic clearance, than a 90-degree bolt throw. Further, the 457s have a fully-adjustable trigger.
In a smart move, CZ retained the same 5-round polymer mag as the 455s, as well as the popular ability to easily swap out barrels without tapping in the help of a gunsmith.
MSRP of the CZ 457 Varmint Precision Trainer, across all barrel lengths, is $1,144, a price that will likely be a bit less at retailers.CZ 457 Pro Varmint
Another version of the rifle, the 457 Pro Varmint, ditches the Manners stock in favor of a simpler black-painted laminate stock. It comes standard with a 16.5-inch suppressor-ready barrel. With a weight of 7.3-pounds, it has the same standard features of the 457 line to include an adjustable trigger, 5-round detachable magazine, and two-position safety.
The post Varmint, Suppressor-Ready Expansions to CZ 457 22LR Rifle Line appeared first on Guns.com.
New York-based Everytown on Tuesday announced their new multi-million dollar “Gun Sense Majority: Arizona” initiative to flip the polarity of The Grand Canyon State to Democrat.
Fresh off the heels of a similar effort that pumped millions into Virginia state politics in targeted races over the past decade that resulted in a stack of new gun control regulations signed into law after razor-thin party-line votes, the anti-gun group unveiled their Arizona plan this week.
A four-page memo from Charlie Kelly, a political advisor for the group, outlined a push to ensure Joe Biden wins the state in November, Giffords co-founder Mark Kelly takes U.S. Sen. Martha McSally’s Senate seat, and Democrat majorities take both chambers of the state legislature.
Notably, some 500,000 people have moved from California to Arizona from 2010 to 2018, which could prove a factor in upcoming races, especially in tight districts.
“Among the fastest-growing states in the nation, we believe Arizona is now competitive at every level of the ballot,” said Kelly of the group’s $5 million campaign. “As it grows increasingly diverse with significant population growth in urban-suburban centers like Maricopa County, the time is now to invest heavily in order to elect new leaders who will prioritize gun safety.”
By gun safety, the group has polled requiring background checks on all gun sales and other initiatives in Arizona.
Much like in Virginia, Everytown plans to target potentially vulnerable Republican seats in urban-suburban centers that overall lean Democrat. According to their announcement this week, this includes digital, TV, and mail campaigns aimed at constituencies such as women, young people, and Spanish-speaking voters.
“Our model of financial investment and grassroots action delivered a gun sense majority legislature in Virginia, and now we’re deploying it again with our largest-ever electoral investment in the Grand Canyon State,” said Kelly in a statement.
Arizona is currently a constitutional carry state that also recognizes open carry without a permit. Restrictions on NFA items are slim other than federal requirements and a popular machine gun and artillery shoot, Big Sandy, occurs in the state’s Western desert twice yearly. Private person-to-person gun sales are legal so long as they do not involve those otherwise prohibited from possessing guns and, in 2017, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill preventing localities from requiring background checks for private sales.
When it comes to the polarity of the Arizona State Legislature, Republicans hold a 17-13 majority in the state Senate and a tighter 31-29 control on the state House. The state has had a Republican governor for 23 of the past 30 years. In the 2016 general election, President Donald Trump won the state, considered by many pollsters to be a toss-up, with 48% of the popular vote.
Nationwide, Everytown is expected to spend more than $60 million on this election cycle.
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It’s never too early to start preparing for hunting season — be that big game or small — especially when shopping for a young shooter’s first rifle. Practice makes perfect and buying that rifle now will allow ample range time. While younger shooters do not necessarily need a compact rifle, no doubt shooting a gun that fits well makes every shooter more comfortable and confident. Here are five fine choices in both center and rimfire from the GDC Vault.Savage Axis Compact
While the plain old Savage Axis line is a fine introductory or otherwise budget rifle, stepping up to the newer Axis II or Axis II XP Compact models offer even greater bang for the proverbial buck. The upgraded Axis family members feature the greatly improved Savage Accu-Trigger, which is user-adjustable for a superior trigger pull and ultimately, improved accuracy.
Axis Compact models are available in excellent lower-recoiling calibers like .223 Rem, .22-250 Rem, .243 Win, .25-06 Rem, .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win, 7mm-08 Rem and even .350 Legend. The detachable box magazine is easy to use and offers easy loading and unloading for new shooters. Best of all, the Savage Axis line of bolt actions represents one of the most affordable rifles on the market today. Opt for a factory scoped and bore-sighted combo, and your young shooter will be ready to hit the range right out of the box at a very appealing value.
Building on the success of the Savage Axis and its adjustable trigger, the Mossberg Patriot line of bolt-action offers a similar LBA trigger system. Mossberg doubled down on features with the inclusion of both a spiral-fluted bolt and a fluted barrel on the Patriot. The Patriot Super Bantam represents a solid option for youth shooters, as the LOP can be adjusted from 12- to 13-inches with the included shim. Like the Axis, there’s also a dropbox magazine.
The most popular calibers are available in the Bantam models, including .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, 7mm-08 Rem, and .350 Legend. While the bare rifle is available, the best buy is the Patriot Super Bantam Scoped Combo with its mounted and bore-sighted 3-9×40 optic. Stock options include black synthetic, Muddy Girl Serenity, and Strata camouflages.
Few adults and even fewer young shooters can resist the allure of the shiny brass of Henry’s Golden Boy rifles. These lever-action rimfires wear American Walnut stocks, a brass buttplate and barrel band, an adjustable semi-buckhorn rear sight, steel octagon barrel, and tubular magazine. The receiver is drilled and tapped for easy scope mounting, though the iron sights are surprisingly nice.
This Youth iteration of the beloved Golden Boy features a shorter 13-inch length of pull along with a 16.25-inch barrel. The .22 caliber rimfire will fire.22LR but also Shorts and Longs with a capacity of 12 rounds of LR and 16 of .22 Shorts. Like all Henry rifles, they are 100% Made in the USA. Those desiring that Henry quality but wanting to save some cash should check out the Lever Action .22 Youth with its black receiver finish and more affordable price.
Savage Arms makes exceptional rimfire rifles. Though the Mark II family of rimfires has largely been replaced by the A and B series of semi-autos and bolt-actions, respectively, the Mark II Youth is still one of the best buys in smaller-framed bolt-action .22LR rifles.
The bolt action Mark II is fed by a 10-round magazine, dressed in either wood or synthetic stocks. It is drilled and tapped for easy scope mounting in addition to offering adjustable iron sights. Savage’s user-adjustable Accu-Trigger makes accuracy easy. The Youth version wears a shorter stock and barrel than its full-size counterpart. There’s no doubt Savage rimfire rifles have taken down countless tin cans as youngsters learn the ropes of rifle shooting.
Ruger’s USA-made line of American Rifles includes both rimfire and centerfire options for the youth shooter via their American Compact Rifle models. The Ruger American Compact centerfires are available in four calibers: .243 Win, .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 7mm-08 Rem. They feature not only a shorter LOP but also a shorter barrel at 18-inches. There’s a Ruger Marksman adjustable trigger, Power Bedding system with a free-floated barrel, and an MOA guarantee.
Like the big brother, Ruger’s American Rimfire Compact model is also magazine-fed, this time with a capacity of 10-rounds of .22LR. The stock includes two interchangeable modules for customizing comb height, while the compact LOP remains a short 12.5-inches.