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Savage 99: The Non-Traditional American Lever Action

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 06:55

This Savage Model 99 example from the warehouse is chambered in .250-3000. It’s a good example of the design, which is commonly seen in well-loved yet completely serviceable condition. (Photo: Warehouse)

Few things are as American as the lever action rifle, a major design offering from the U.S. to the greater firearms world. While the names Winchester and Marlin are more quickly associated with the platform, none may be more endeared in the hearts of American hunters than the Model 99 from Savage Arms.

The Savage Model 99

Arthur Savage was an inventor and man of the world, creating things from railroad and streetcar lines to naval torpedoes. In the midst of it all was born his design for a rotary magazine lever action rifle, and the rest is history. Savage saw the shortcomings of contemporary lever actions and set about to improve the platform.

Where traditional lever actions were limited in their use of spitzer-tipped centerfire rounds in a tubular magazine due to dangers of accidental detonation, the Savage 99’s rotary internal design solved that problem and allowed the use of more accurate bullets.

The Ninety-Nine’s, manufactured for nearly a century, were chambered in 15 different calibers. Four of those were Savage’s own chamberings: .303 Sav, .250-3000 Sav, .300 Sav, and .22 Sav Hi-Power. Pictured here is a takedown Hi Power, takedown .250-3000, and standard .300 Sav. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

In addition to building a better mousetrap in terms of the magazine style when compared to Winchester and Marlin, Savage also did away with the external hammer in exchange for his patented hammerless, striker-fired action. This, in turn, allowed the use of a much heavier bolt, which gave the 99 the ability to safely handle higher pressure smokeless cartridges than comparable lever actions of the time. If those improvements were not enough, Savage also incorporated an angled side-eject that was a more friendly alternative to top ejecting lever actions, especially as the use of scopes was embraced by hunters.

Following proof of concept with a short Marlin production, Savage opened the doors on his own factory in Utica, New York and commenced building the Model 1899. Though Arthur Savage himself moved on from his firearms factory to pursue a sundry of other ventures from orange growing to radial tire patenting, the Model 99 would remain by far his greatest testament with over a million rifles produced in nearly a century’s time.

Calibers and Variants

The Savage 99 has a track record of success as a blue-collar hunter’s rifle, and as such, the majority of the calibers were ideal for harvesting the gamut of North American game. A few of the most popular calibers were the original .303 Savage, .30-30 Winchester, .300 Savage, .250-3000 Savage, .243 Winchester and .308 Winchester. One of my personal favorites, the .22 Savage Hi-Power–better known to our European counterparts as the 5.6x52R–was an ahead-of-it’s time heavy-varmint, light-bigger-game round that remains incredibly popular across the ocean.

The hammerless, rotary magazine design of the Savage quickly won the hearts of American hunters and shooters, proven by the 99’s near-century-long production run. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

While the vast majority of 99’s to appear on local gun store shelves and online outlets will be one of the aforementioned, collectors of the model gravitate to the less common.  That means the shorter-run chamberings like .25-35 Win, .32-40 Win, .38-55 Win, .284 Win, and even the later .22-250 Rem, 7mm-08 Rem, along with the harder-hitting .358 and .375 Winchester calibers.  While the vast majority of 99’s utilize the blind five-round rotary internal magazine, a number of later variants made use of a dropbox magazine. There was even a .410 shotgun top end that was often partnered with the .300 Savage as a hunter’s takedown cased combination.

A short run of saddle ring carbine variants dominates the unusual, with perhaps the most rare being only a few known full-stocked Model 99 military muskets. If our production count holds true, that’s a total of fifteen rifle chamberings and one shotgun bore, all based on the ingenious Savage 99. Savage 99

Though used guns move in and out of stock quickly at the warehouse, there always seems to be a Model 99 available in one caliber or another. Current stock at the time of this writing includes one of my favorite calibers, the .250-3000 Savage.  This specimen is perfectly representative of a typical Model 99. It has a 22-inch barrel with original iron sights, while the tang is adorned with an aftermarket peep.

Hints of case color remain at the lever, while the steel buttplate is reminiscent of the utilitarian nature of the rifle. Most of the specimens, like this one, weigh just over seven pounds and balance incredibly well in the hand at the oft-worn rounded lower receiver. The brass rotary round counter remains as one of the most immediately recognizable features on the 99.  The tang-top cocking indicator was unique at the time as well.

The Savage 99 lever action design improved upon contemporary lever guns of the time by utilizing a rotary magazine which allowed safe use of spitzer bullets, an angled side eject compatible with optics, and a hammerless design with a stronger bolt allowing for higher-pressure rounds. (Photo: Warehouse)

Walnut stocks on the example are worn with the patina of age as is typical of the majority, while these are checkered, a later and deluxe option. The earliest models used a straight grip buttstock, and while this one wears a pistol grip, its shapely Schnabel forend is indicative of the trim and attractive lines of the 99.

While later models were drilled and tapped for scope mounts, early gems made use of Stith mounts—which attach at existing points of dovetail and tang—and such creative optics attachment helped save marring the virgin receivers of what are now much more collectible untapped rifles. Condition and scarcity always drive price, but even more common examples of the 99 such as this one have seen prices steadily climbing over the last decade.

Sentimentality of the Ninety-Nine

For their 125th Anniversary this year, Savage opted to commemorate the years with a beautiful Model 110 bolt action in chamberings including .300 Sav and .250-3000 Sav. While that is a fantastically beautiful gun, Savage lovers will always clamor for the return of the Ninety-Nines. While the Model 99’s have been out of production for several decades, the space they hold in the hearts of their owners knows no measurements of time.

Will we ever see the return of the lever action platform from Savage? Sadly, it is rather unlikely given the pure cost alone of building the rifle, coupled with the waning lever gun market. Yet for us lovers of that smooth-running, easy-handling, straight-shooting hunting rifle, hope springs eternal. Until then, however, the Savage 99 will remain both a collector and a shooter, a testament to the strength of American spirit and ingenuity, and an heirloom gun that–in my family as well as thousands of others–will continue passing from one generation to the next.

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Categories: Gun News

Legally Armed in Detroit Brings Free Gun Training to Women

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 05:21

Legally Armed in Detroit teaches women basics of gun ownership and shooting. (Photo: Legally Armed in Detroit)

Legally Armed in Detroit sets an ambitious goal to train 900 Michigan area women May 19 in a free training class teaching gun safety and fundamentals.

Inspired after a tragic newscast caught his attention, Rick Ector, founder of Legally Armed in Detroit explained to in an interview that hearing the unfortunate details of a young woman brutally murdered in Detroit spurred him to action.

“One day on the news it was broadcast that a woman had unfortunately been killed. She was found in a deserted field. I saw that and it really bothered me,” Ector said. “I wondered, what if she had a gun? What if she had a concealed pistol? She could have mounted a defense. I kept thinking about it and decided I had to do something.”

Settling on the idea that a free, women’s only event would garner more participation, Ector began diligently working to make his vision a reality. The very first event, held eight years ago, yielded 50 women. Since then, its numbers have continued to grow with last year’s training reaching over 700 women. This year he plans to make that number even higher, aiming to teach 900 women the basics of 9mm pistols. Using volunteer instructors and Range Safety Officers as well as donated range time, Ector’s class takes a time slot approach in order to process hundreds of women through the course. Women begin in an auditorium like setting, learning the basics and fundamentals before they are steered out onto the range for one-on-one, guided instruction.

The brunt of planning, coordination and supplies has largely fallen on the back of Ector who tirelessly works to better each year’s event. Cobbling together ammo and guns for the event, Ector says procuring the tools and resources he needs isn’t always easy. Frequently, he turns to social media requesting donations from local gun shops and followers. This year, however, Ector received a boost from Gun Owners of America who offered to donate a free gift to each attendee. In addition to training and range time, participants will walk away with a pink hat featuring the Gun Owners of America logo.

An attendee poses with her target and Legally Armed in Detroit founder Rick Ector, right. (Photo: Legally Armed in Detroit)

Though time and resources are somewhat limited, Ector said the goal comes down to teaching women the basics of firearms safety and handling in addition to encouraging interest and further education. Most importantly, though, Ector hopes to foster a sense of community among female gun owners and those interested in self-protection.

“There’s this phenomenon that happens when there’s a whole bunch of women that are into guns. You see networking and friendships blossom and flourish, all from this movement,” Ector elaborated. “I hear stories about people meeting here and then forming a gun group. They’re all shooting together. It’s a great side effect.”

In addition to forming friendships, Ector hopes his annual event inspires other instructors, 2A advocates and gun ranges to create their own events in their local areas. “My fingers are crossed that someone from a surrounding state or from around the country will have the courage to do this somewhere else. I haven’t seen one yet but it would be great to grow this thing outside of southeastern Michigan.”

The class is slated to run Sunday, May 19 at Top Gun Shooting Sports Gun Range in Taylor, Michigan. Pre-registration was required for the event but if you missed this year’s sign up, Ector says plan on attending next year — the event is always held the Sunday after Mother’s Day.

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Categories: Gun News

Nosler Debuts 6mm, 115 Grain Reduced Drag Factor Bullets

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 05:21

The RDF 6mm bullet is designed for long range efficiency. (Photo: Nosler)

Nosler’s Reduced Drag Factor Bullet Line will see a new addition as a 6mm, 115-grain HPBT joins the series.

Designed to push shooting distances even further, the 6mm bullet looks to bring consistency to long range shooters. Though the RDF bullet setup is not intended for big game, the Nosler creation is engineered for long-range efficiency.

Its optimized compound ogive allows handloaders to seat bullets easily — a bonus for handloaders prepping hundreds of rounds pre-match. Comparing the design against other match bullets, Nosler says gun owners will see a marked difference in the bullet constructions. Nosler’s RDF boasts a “tightly profiled design” with a 40-percent reduction in meplat size. The result? Handloaders no longer need to point and trim tips.

The RDF bullets are designed to be easy on handloaders. (Photo: Nosler)

Nosler says the RDF line in itself eases the loading experience while producing flat trajectories and the least amount of wind drift possible.

“The RDF line was designed from the ground up by Nosler’s world-class team of engineers with the goal of delivering exceptionally high BCs that result in the flattest trajectory and least wind drift possible,” Nosler said in a news release. “With the introduction of this bullet, distances that were once too far to consistently and accurately shoot are now a reality.”

The 6mm, 115-grain RDF bullet is currently available online and in stores in 100 count and 500 count boxes.


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Categories: Gun News

NRA Announces Personal Protection Expo, Sept. 6-8

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 04:42

Smith & Wesson pistols on display at a previous Expo. (Photo:

The National Rifle Association’s Personal Protection Expo, previously titled NRA Carry Guard Expo, is slated to return Sept. 6 through Sept. 8 in Fort Worth, Texas.

The three-day educational event centers on providing access to gun owners interested in furthering their knowledge and skill as it relates to personal protection and concealed carry. Designed to address both those new to the gun owning world and seasoned veterans to gun ownership, the event will showcase products and provide 120 seminars from which to learn. Seminar topics to be offered include self-defense, home defense, preparedness, situation awareness, concealed carry and medical training.

What to consider during a home invasion? A few people wanted to know during the NRA Carry Guard Expo in Milwaukee on Aug. 25, 2017. (Photo: Daniel Terrill/

The NRA says the main exhibit hall of the Fort Worth Convention Center will bring firearms and accessory companies together to offer self-defense and concealed carry gear and guns. Additionally, a Concealed Carry Fashion Show will be held to show gun owners various ways to conceal guns.

“The NRA Personal Protection Expo is the firearms education event of the year,” the NRA said in a press release. “Visitors can attend more than 120 seminars and workshops featuring the best personal protection and concealed carry practices taught and demonstrated by leading experts and instructors from across the country, including NRA staff from Competitive Shooting and Education & Training.”

No information has been provided on the cost of tickets or registration for the event.

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Categories: Gun News

Hot Gobbler Optics: Aimpoint Micro H-2 Red Dot Proves Itself on Turkeys

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 05:15

Our test Aimpoint Micro H-2 sits atop the new Savage 220 bolt action shotgun. With Federal Premium TSS loads, we cleanly harvested trophy toms from 16 yards to 53 yards, and the dot size and brightness settings of the Aimpoint were ideal. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

While optics on turkey smoothbores are becoming the norm these days, many hunters — current company included — are reluctant to make the transition. That all changed when we spent a Texas Rio Grande turkey hunt with the Savage Model 220 bolt action shotgun topped with an Aimpoint Micro H-2 red dot. The rest is happy history.

Aimpoint Micro H-2

Though we have always hunted with irons or fiber optic open sights, there’s finally a red dot optic we can get behind for turkey slaying. We had the pleasure of using the Micro H-2’s atop Savage’s 220 bolt action 20-gauge turkey-specific smoothbores, and it worked flawlessly. The sight is classified by the company as a “reflex collimator sight with LED” but to us, it’s a hardcore red dot.

Integral Weaver/Picatinny-style base allows easy mounting on most guns, while Aimpoint offers a half-dozen additional mounts for easy mating with a variety of specific rifles and shotguns. It ships with a set of see-thru, flip-up lens covers and uses stainless steel mount threads for added durability. The housing is anodized aluminum finished in an unassuming matte black.

The Aimpoint Micro H-2 with its 2MOA dot worked perfectly on gobblers. It mounted quickly to the Savage 220’s top rail, though if your gun is not picatinny/Weaver friendly, the company makes a host of other rifle and shotgun mounts. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

This second generation of Micro H-2 is advertised to allow greater light transmission, and while we have not viewed a Gen 1, we had no problem scanning the terrain at dusk and dawn. In addition, the twelve brightness settings were more than ample to master any lighting conditions.

Both windage and elevation adjustments can be made using the top of the protective caps, so no additional tool is required at the patterning board. Sighting in the Savage shotguns with the Aimpoints was a breeze, and we were quickly placing a devastating group at 40 yards. The unlimited eye relief of a such a red dot sight allows even inexperienced shooters to hunt successfully with both eyes open, thus allowing a full and brighter view of the surroundings.

Run-and-Gun Ready

The Micro H-2 — like other Aimpoint optics — is fully waterproof, not just water resistant, and submersible to a depth of 15 feet. Hunters have a choice of 2MOA, 4MOA, or 6MOA dot sizes. We used the 2MOA, which was perfect on both turkeys and the patterning board from 5 to 50+ yards. Larger dot sizes tend to obscure hunting targets, especially at longer ranges. Another boon, especially for the more mobile, run-and-gun hunter, is weight, or in this case, the lack thereof. The H-2 weighs in at only 3.28 ounces bare and 4.79 ounces with the flip covers and additional mounting base, making the Micro H-2 a lightweight addition to most any turkey rig.

Ridiculous Battery Life

Quality doesn’t come cheap, with the Aimpoint Micro H-2 retailing from $717-$812. But get this, the ACET technology using a 3V lithium, type CR 2032 battery allows 50,000 hours of operation on one battery. That’s over five years of continuous use! Twelve brightness settings handle everything from the brightest sun to faded dusk.

Vista Outdoor’s JJ Reich ready to pull the trigger on a gobbler from behind a Surroundview Stakeout blind with the Aimpoint on point. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

There is zero worry about the battery giving out and ruining a hunt, nor about recoil breaking down the optic, which is a common occurrence with lesser sights. This piece is purpose-built for hunters.

Happy Hunting

Next time you find yourself wishing for a quality optic atop that turkey-thumping shotgun, give Aimpoint a look. Even if the Micro H-2 doesn’t fit the bill based on either price or compatibility, there are a number of other optics and mounting options, including a Micro S-1 that attaches directly to the ventilated rib of most shotguns. There’s no concern about lining up the beads or taking odd-angle shots when using a red dot. If you can see the dot and get it on the gobbler’s neck, pull the trigger and the shot should be right on the money. No matter your choice of aiming solution, we at wish you a happy hunting season filled with turkeys in your sights.

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Categories: Gun News

22Plinkster Pings Ejected 22LR Casing in Mid-Air (VIDEO)

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 04:55

Plinkster extraordinaire 22Plinkster takes on 22LR cases in his latest YouTube video, shooting ejected brass in mid-air.

Using a Ruger Mark IV with Volquartsen parts and add-ons, 22Plinkster attempts to shoot the ejected CCI casings before they hit the ground. Holding the pistol flat as he shoots, he must quickly flip the gun upright to take aim at the falling brass. Though it takes a couple of practice shots, 22Plinkster eventually nails it — as if anyone is surprised.

Check out the video for the sweet shot, in slow-mo no less.

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Categories: Gun News

Federal Unleashes Hydra-Shok Bullet Components

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 04:39

The newly released components extend the Hydra-Shok family to handloaders. (Photo: Federal)

Federal launches new Hydra-Shok components, delivering a popular self-defense load to handloaders.

Originally debuted in 1989, Hydra-Shok occupied the personal protection space, presenting an ammo option geared towards protecting home and family. The hollow point design paired with center post offered shooters a consistent, reliable performance and expansion.

Boxes come in either 50 round or 100 rounds. (Photo: Federal)

Federal has since expanded its options to bring the design to handloaders. Available in a variety of weights and diameters, the components ship in 50-round or 100-round count boxes with prices ranging from $16 to $18 for 50 round boxes and $30 for 100 rounds. Current offerings include 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .357 Mag. and .38 SPL.

“Federal Premium Hydra-Shok, the bullet design that’s defined self-defense for a generation, is now available as a component for handloaders,” Federal said in a news release. Federal says shipments of the components are currently headed towards ammo dealers.

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Categories: Gun News

The Well Armed Woman Launches #NotMeDay Movement

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 04:24

The #NotMe movement encourages women to protect themselves through training and education. (Photo: The Well Armed Woman)

The Well Armed Woman continues to advocate for women with the launch of #NotMeDay — a social movement encouraging women to take up their own arms for protection.

Slated for June 1, the organization encourages women to head to a local range decked out in the color purple or official #NotMe clothing from Nine Line Apparel to “stand in solidarity with sister self-protectors.” At the range, participants will fire three symbolic rounds to represent empowerment, preparation and the refusal to be a victim.

#NotMe participants are encouraged to wear purple on June 1 as they head to the range. (Photo: The Well Armed Woman)

“Women are tired of being the prey of violent criminals and are doing what it takes to protect themselves and their loved ones,” Carrie Lightfoot, #NotMe Day Organizer and founder of The Well Armed Woman Shooting Chapters, said in a news release. “#NotMe Day is an opportunity for all women to join together and show the world that women refuse to be forever bound to the unequal battlefield of violence.”

Women participating in the #NotMeDay event are encouraged to take a selfie and share it on social media with the hashtags #NotMe. Survivors of previous violence are also encouraged to include the hashtag #NeverAgain in their social media posts. The goal is to show the world that women refuse to be victims.

Registration through The Well Armed Woman Shooting Chapters is free, though a $10 donation is encouraged. For more information and to find a local Well Armed Woman Chapter, head over to the official event registration page.

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Categories: Gun News

Finding Romance in a Single Shot .410 and Heavyweight TSS (VIDEO)

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 07:00

Savage is now in the business of bringing new life to previously forgotten platforms. First, it was the recent revamp of the Model 220 which resurrected the bolt action shotgun, and now, one of the most sought-after items is also one of the smallest and more inexpensive in the company’s lineup, the Stevens-by-Savage Model 301 single shot .410 bore.

There’s nothing generally romantic or terribly interesting about a single shot shotgun. They’re quite basic. They’re inexpensive. They are not usually overly attractive.  So how can a company bring that back and have it achieve stunning success?  All those things—save price—change with the introduction of the Model 301, a purpose-driven turkey hunting shotgun dressed for success and built to excel with the partner company Federal Premium’s ammunition.

Meet the 301

Heavyweight TSS turkey loads, with dense tungsten alloy #9 shot, have transformed the previously inept .410 into a serious gobbler gun.  Partner that capable ammunition with the most tightly-choked specialty gun hell-bent on putting out deadly patterns with minimal recoil, all in one of the most inexpensive platforms on the market and we have the Model 301.  There’s not much to say about the gun design-wise. It’s a single shot, break action which is a simple design with few moving parts that has a track record of reliability.  For looks and field stealth, Savage spruces up the Model 301 with molded details in the durable synthetic stocks, all finished in either Mossy Oak Bottomland or Obsession camouflage.

The Stevens-by-Savage 301 Turkey single shot wears a 26” carbon steel barrel that is topped with an extended extra-full turkey choke, all optimized for the Federal Premium TSS 410 specialty turkey loads. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The three-inch chambered .410 wears a 26-inch carbon steel barrel that is topped with an extended, extra-full turkey choke, all optimized for the TSS payloads. A removable one-piece rail makes it easy to mount an optic, a current booming trend amongst turkey hunters. Metalwork is finished in matte blue for an unassuming look in the field. MSRP is a surprisingly low $199, with real-world prices already coming in around the $150 mark.

Field Thoughts

Length of pull on the 301 is a reasonable 13.75-inches which fits me very well but may be slightly long for youth or small-frame shooters. The rubber butt pad is a clean addition, though really, recoil is non-existent.  Though the gun ships with only the one extra-full turkey choke, the company makes use of the Win Choke thread pattern, so additional tubes will be available. Swivel studs come standard and are a welcome addition for turkey hunters often carrying decoys and other gear. A manual hammer-block safety, while not entirely expected, is a nice addition.

One of our favorite features on the gun are the sighting options. The 301 has a brass front bead as well as a removable optics rail. So, right off the bat, it is suitable for either iron-sighters or red-dot, scoped shooters. Taking that one step further, the bead sight has been designed to be compatible with Tru-Glo fiber optic systems, meaning the front can be easily transformed without a gunsmith.

Not only is the Model 301 a light-recoiling shotgun with the .410 bore, but it is also a lightweight gun, weighing barely over five pounds. What a treat in the turkey woods! (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The most immediately noticeable thing about the gun is the weight, or lack thereof.  Tipping the scales just a few ounces over five pounds, the 301 is incredibly light while also remaining well-balanced.  This may just be the most pleasurable gun to carry afield that yet has next to no recoil. At 41.5-inches overall, it’s also a maneuverable gun that conjures feelings of youth, while at once packing the potency of a bonafide turkey killer. Either of the two Mossy Oak camo patterns are ideal for turkey hunters, with Bottomland perfect for thick timber or darker field terrain, while Obsession disappears in the greenery.

On the Patterning Board

Naturally, the bulk of our patterning was done with Federal Premium TSS loads. At 25-yards, that #9 shot on the turkey target appears to have nearly decapitated the bird, which represents a stunning increase in the lethality of the baby bore.  In fact, the shot on target at 25 yards with the .410 would easily rival the pellets in the kill zone put out by a 12-gauge a dozen years ago using larger lead shot. From 25, we walked that back to 30, 35, and even 40 yards with slowly expanding, but still incredibly tight groups in the vital zone. While I will never advocate for taking long shots on turkeys when I find the greatest joy in getting them in close, a .410 has never shot like this. Clearly, the extra-full choke works wonders with TSS.

We sent nearly 50 rounds through the 301, and the gun performs admirably, as we expected.  Though patterns were not nearly as impressive with either Federal Game Loads or Winchester Super-X, both functioned just fine. Operations on the 301 are smooth, from the hammer and safety to the trigger. The ejector, meanwhile, sends empties flying with authority.

The Case for Single Shot World Domination

Normally, I’d say I have little interest in talking to you about a single shot shotgun. But we’re both still here, and there’s a reason for that. First, the Model 301 is the most reasonable entry point into the specialized sub-gauge turkey hunting market.  With Federal Premium’s TSS .410 turkey loads putting devastating patterns on target with #9 shot from the small bore, the 301 has been optimized from the choke down to excel with that load.

Our 25-yard pattern with Federal Premium Heavyweight TSS #9 shot fired through the Model 301’s extra full choke is absolutely devastating. That gobbler would not have taken a step. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Second, not only does that combination make for an interesting and more challenging hunt for experienced hunters, but also, with the increased potency from the rounds, the .410 now becomes a viable youth and beginners gobbler-getter. The reduced recoil of the smaller bore, which heretofore had a severely limited range, has been rejuvenated with TSS and made accessible with the Model 301. The other smooth benefit to the platform is the ambidextrous nature of the single shot. Even for those not completely sold on the .410 bore, but still appreciating the affordable platform, the company offers the 301 Turkey in 20-gauge as well.

While Naysayers Nay, the 301 Bags Birds

There will always be hunters who proclaim the .410 as “not enough gun” to cleanly harvest turkeys, but those willing to buy the correct ammunition and put in some time at the patterning board quickly find that not only can a .410 do more now than ever before but is also both an incredibly pleasurable gun to take afield and a potent one as well.

There’s no one single gun or chambering that is “the” turkey gun. We hunters can all agree, though, that respecting the quarry means making a clean kill. And I have no doubt that with TSS loaded in the Model 301 Turkey, I can cleanly harvest a trophy gobbler inside of 40 yards with a single shot. Whether you’re new to the baby bore gobbler craze, have a new shooter in need of a gun, or just want a different challenge in the turkey woods, the Model 301 deserves a long look. There’s a reason that demand still outweighs supply, but trust me, this little baby is worth the wait.

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Categories: Gun News

Vincent Hancock Wins Fifth Consecutive World Cup

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 06:00

Vincent Hancock, center, dominated the latest World Cup event taking first. (Photo: USA Shooting)

Vincent Hancock turned in another dominating performance at the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup in South Korea, earning another first-place skeet shooting victory.

This first place finish is Hancock’s fifth consecutive World Cup win and his sixth international win overall. Hancock earned the top spot Saturday, qualifying with 123 targets then beating second place winner, and fellow American Christian Elliot, in a shoot-off for the finals position. In finals, Hancock slammed 57 of the 60 targets, claiming the top spot.

“Thank you God for the opportunity to do what I love,” Hancock said on social media. “Thank you to my wife and little girls at home that put up with me being gone so much and thank you to my sponsors that help make this dream a reality. I couldn’t do it without any of you!”

Hancock, left, and fellow American Christian Elliot on the podium. (Photo: Vincent Hancock via Facebook)

Hancock added about teammate and silver medal winner Elliot, “Congratulations to Christian for an amazing competition and for winning his first World Cup Medal. He’s one of the best teammates, competitors and friends that somebody could ask for. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be there to witness his first medal of what I am sure will be [many] in the future. “

The World Cup event continues, with Women’s Trap headed into qualifications Tuesday.

ISSF WC Shotgun, Changwon, KOR. Skeet Men 11.05.19

ISSF WC Shotgun, Changwon, KOR. Skeet Men 11.05.19

Posted by ISSF – International Shooting Sport Federation on Saturday, May 11, 2019

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Categories: Gun News

Demolition Ranch Asks Are Extinguishers Bulletproof? (VIDEO)

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 05:35

Demolition Ranch, known for some crazy shooting antics, tackles fire extinguishers in the channel’s latest series of shooting hijinks.

Determined to discover how the fire safety tools stack up against a variety of weaponry, Matt at Demolition Ranch pits the extinguishers against .22 LR, 9mm, .308 and 50 BMG in addition to armor piercing and incendiary rounds. Noting that things could easily go awry, Matt hunkers down with each volley of fire.

Demo Ranch’s conclusion? Well, you’ll have to check out the video yourself but needless to say, fire extinguishers are built pretty tough.

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Categories: Gun News

Toughest Hunters in the Alps Set to Hit Austria in October

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 05:05

The 2nd Annual Steyr Challenge will kick off in the Alps Oct. 5. (Photo: Steyr Arms)

Steyr Arms brings the 2nd Annual Steyr Challenge to Seetaler Alpe in Austria, challenging teams from all over the world to compete for the title of “Toughest Hunters in the Alps.”

The match puts a four-person team, plus one alternate, through a seven-kilometer mountain run with 300 meters of elevation gain, different shooting disciplines, abseiling and sawing. The Steyr Challenge will allow a maximum of 25 teams representing countries from around the globe to compete in the match scheduled for Oct. 5.

Steyr Arms is currently on the hunt for teams to represent the U.S.The company says interested teams should send in an audition video detailing why their team wishes to meet the challenge head-on. The audition must be sent in before the deadline of July 15. Audition submissions are free; however, should the team be selected there is a $250 registration fee. Teams are also responsible for their own travel to and from Austria, though lodging and food will be provided at no additional cost. Teams must fly in by Oct. 4 to receive preliminary information and training on rifles used for the competition. The actual Steyr Challenge will occur on Oct. 5 with an awards ceremony after.

“Don’t miss this opportunity to represent the U.S., be a part of this ultimate challenge and claim the title of “Toughest Hunters in the Alps,” Steyr Arms said in a news release.

For more information on the event, head to the Steyr Challenge website.

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Categories: Gun News

Sig Sauer Introduces Commemorative Pistols to Benefit LE Fund

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 04:28

Sig Sauer releases commemorative pistols honoring law enforcement. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

Sig Sauer brings three new commemorative pistols to market, benefitting the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The 1911 Nitron, 1911 Stainless and P320 Carry will raise funds for the NLEOMF, with a portion of proceeds headed towards the non-profit. The Sig Sauer 1911 Nitron boasts a Nitron coated stainless steel frame and slide engravings. The top of the slide offers an American Flag and Thin Blue Line with the right side offering the memorial badge and rose while the left is outfitted with the words “Respect, Honor, Remember” and a Protector Lion. The .45 ACP pistol brings a hammer-fired design with SigLite Night Sights, Rosewood grips and three 8-round mags.

The 1911 Stainless features a stainless steel frame and similar engravings, though the Stainless version is equipped with a left side slide quote — “It is not how these officers died that made them heroes it is how they lived.” The Stainless is a .45 ACP handgun, hammer-fired, with SigLite Night Sights. The pistols sport Blackwood grips and also ships with three 8-round mags.

Rounding out the NLEOMF pistols is the Sig Sauer P320 Carry. Another Nitron coated pistol, the 9mm striker fired handgun delivers a stainless steel frame with engravings. The pistol is outfitted with a Carry grip module, SigLite Night Sights, ambi slide catch and ships with three 17-round mags.

“This week is National Police Week and Sig Sauer honors our law enforcement officers that put themselves in harm’s way every day while remembering those that paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Tom Jankiewicz, Executive Vice President Law Enforcement Sales, said in a news release. “The production of these unique pistols will raise awareness for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, and provide funding to support the important work they do on behalf of our nation’s law enforcement officers.”

Both the 1911 pistols will see $100 from each sale go towards the NLEOMF, while $50 from the P320 Carry will go towards the fund. The NLEOMF originated in 1984 to remember fallen officer in addition to making the job safer for current LEO. The fund also built and services the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, honoring those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

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Categories: Gun News

Gear Review: Walker’s Razor XV Mutes Gunfire, Protects Small Talk

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 06:25

The Walker Razor XV easily accommodates rifle shooting without interfering with the shooter. (Photo: Frank Melloni)

When it comes to shooting with friends it’s hard to maintain a conversation at the range without screaming over the sounds of gunfire. Removing ear protection is not an option, as just a few rounds will leave ears ringing for the afternoon or worse. Many gun owners have found solace, though, in the use of electronic ear protection.

A Little History

Electronic hearing protection entered the scene more than a decade ago, however only in the form of earmuffs. Despite acting as the simplest solution, many shooters still find earmuffs interfere with their cheek weld — the contact point between the shooter’s face and buttstock. This becomes particularly apparent while learning how to properly mount a rifle or shotgun. Not to mention, earmuffs become stifling to wear in warmer months.

Larger headsets were once the only means to house this state-of-the-art technology; but as with anything tech related, time brings down the size as well as the cost. Today this technology is small enough to fit in just a few square inches of space and Walker’s did just that with neckband ear pro Razor XV.

The Razor XV

The Razor XV accompanied me for a little more than a year and I have been thoroughly satisfied with its performance. Weighing just 2-ounces, the entire package sits comfortably on my shoulders, microphones positioned in a natural location to pick up sound in any direction. This design also keeps the Razor XV out of the way of rifle and shotgun stocks while shooting. The retractable plugs can accept any of the included foam inserts, available in various sizes for a custom fit. The technology in the Walker’s Razor XV hearing protection cuts off during gunfire and turns back on once it ceases. This process happens in milliseconds, protecting hearing while keeping up with smack talk on the range.

The Walker Razor XV manages offers enough protection for even magnum rounds. (Photo: Frank Melloni)

Bluetooth technology is also built into the Razors XV’s with one button activation. After a brief pairing sequence, the Razor XV is capable of taking phone calls, streaming a walkie-talkie or even listening to music.  I found the sound quality to be exceptional, and at the same time, this ear pro offers the noise suppression you want from foam earplugs. While using this feature I highly recommend turning the volume turned down to a reasonable level, as to still be able to hear cease-fire commands, firearms malfunctions and other important aspects required to maintain situational awareness at a range. The Razor XV isn’t relegated to just range use. I first realized the value of these in a noisy airplane. With the Bluetooth capability, I was able to enjoy my movie in spite of the obnoxious turbine engine just a few feet away. While these excel at the range, the Razor XV also works in a pinch should gun owners need to watch TV or work in a crowded, noisy area.

The entire unit is powered by a built-in LIPO battery that charges via micro USB. Auto shut off keeps the ear pro from dying in a range bag; though if you forget to charge them, just one hour on a car charger will get you through most range sessions. A full power charge has an advertised life expectancy of 10 hours. I found that to be mostly true, however, it was slightly less when using them to stream music via Bluetooth.

Final Thoughts

My last year with these earplugs has been outstanding. They have kept my head cool and my throat from becoming raw more times than I probably realize. I’ve been fortunate enough to convince my closest shooting buddies to buy them as well, allowing for an absolutely natural conversation on the range. Shooting with friends should be about having a good time and the occasional good-natured mockery — not screaming over gunfire. The Walker’s Razor XV delivers just that all in a compact bundle that rivals some of the best audiophile equipment on the planet.

The Walker Razor XV retails for $159.99.

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Categories: Gun News

Kim Rhode Wows with Fourth Consecutive Win at ISSF World Cup Event

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 05:15

Kim Rhode is one of the most decorated Olympic athletes. (Photo: Jacki Billings)

Kim Rhode continues to prove why she is one of the best of the best in the shooting sports, pulling out a dominating performance that earned her a fourth consecutive win at an International Shooting Sports Federation World Cup Event.

Held in Changwon, South Korea, Rhode missed 6 out of 185 targets between qualifications and the final event held Friday, May 10. Rhode smashed 57 out of 60 targets in the final to take the top spot. Italy’s Diana Bacosi took silver while fellow Italian Chiara Cainero took the bronze.

Rhode, middle, on the podium, after earning her fourth ISSF World Cup win. (Photo: USA Shooting)

“It’s like a flashback to the Rio podium,” Rhode said from Korea. “I’m still in shock and can’t believe I’ve been able to win four straight World Cup golds. With so much talent out there on the line, I still can’t believe I am lucky enough to wear the red, white and blue, let alone win gold. Right now, I’m focused on making the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team, so all the rest is just icing on the cake!”

Rhode has been a powerful competitor since she entered the sport and continues to smash records. She became the first American athlete to medal at five consecutive Olympic Games in an an individual sport in 2012 then four years later topped that accomplishment by becoming the first female to ever medal at six consecutive games.

USA Shooting continues to compete at World Cup events on the journey towards the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

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Categories: Gun News

Max Michel Takes First at 2019 Magnus Sports Cup

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 05:00

Max Michel demonstrates some shooting techniques at SHOT Show. (Photo: Jacki Billings)

Team Sig Captain Max Michel delivered a winning performance at the 2019 Magnus Sports Cup held in Washington, Utah nabbing first place in the Carry Optics Division.

The competition, which took place May 1 through May 5 at the Southern Utah Practical Shooting Range, put Michel through 17 courses of fire with a P320X5 in 9mm. The Sig pistol was equipped with the not yet released Romeo3Max open reflex sight.

“It’s great to see Max continue his win streak in the Carry Optics Division, and do it with the Sig Sauer Electro-Optics Romeo3Max Optic,” Tom Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President Commercial Sales said in a news release. “Max was not only the fastest shooter at the Magnus Cup within his division but one of the most accurate shooters amongst all 450 competitors as well. His determination to continually better his performance in carry optics, and dedication to his training shows in the results, and his continued wins for Team Sig.”

Michel tackling a stage on the way to first place. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

The Romeo3Max features a compact design with 30mm Max round lens. The optic offers a vivid red dot and “unrivaled optical clarity” with a 6 MOA dot size. Equipped with 12 illumination intensity levels, the sight delivers a runtime of 20,000 hours.

Noting that this was his first Magnus Cup, Michel said he was pleased that his gear performed well and helped secure him the win.

“This was the first ever Magnus Cup and it did not disappoint. The match challenged all of the physical and technical skills an IPSC shooter would need to possess in order to be at the top of their game,” added Michel. “My gear ran perfectly. The Sig Match Elite Ammunition was extremely accurate, and my Romeo3Max optic continues to turn heads because of my performance, and my P320X5 ran beautifully. I’m really proud to say that everything that helped me take first in the Carry Optics Division was a Sig Sauer product.”

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Categories: Gun News

Testing How Bayonets Affect Practical Accuracy (VIDEOS)

Sun, 05/12/2019 - 05:15

The debate on how significantly an attached bayonet shifts the point of impact on a military rifle barrel continues to rage.

The latest installment comes from Robski with AKOU who tests out the shift that a spike has on a Norinco Paratrooper out to 200 yards on a plate. Of course, he is testing practical accuracy on a torso-sized plate at a relatively close range for rifle work and doesn’t compare it much further but it is still interesting.

To be sure, anytime you add something to a rifle barrel it can change the harmonics of the barrel, which in turn can shift a point of impact from the point of aim. Naturally, sliding several extra ounces of pig sticker over the muzzle can fall into this category.

Curiously, Russian Mosin-Nagant rifles, especially the older M1891s and 91/30s, seem to shoot more accurately with a bayonet attached as the legend goes that they were designed to always carry said pointy bit in the mounted position. Tsarist soldiers weren’t even issued bayonet holders, or so the story goes.

For the anecdotal evidence, check out the two below videos.

And going even further down the rabbit hole, check out the accuraccy comparison with and without sword bayonet insatlled on the Napoleanic-era Baker rifle.

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Categories: Gun News

LAPD Impound 1,000 Guns from California Man (PHOTOS)

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 08:00

An anonymous tip from a neighbor triggered a search warrant on the Bel-Air residence of a California man that held over 1,000 firearms.

The Los Angeles Police Department on Wednesday described the search warrant at an affluent Holmby Hills residence as “one of the largest recoveries in LAPD history,” and released images of some of the guns heaped on the pavement.

The collection was extensive and wide-ranging, judging from photos released by the LAPD.

This pile of handguns includes numerous rare Colt “snake” guns, Ruger Blackhawks and Redhawks, Webley break action revolvers, Smith & Wessons of all sorts and at least one Dan Wesson. (Photos: LAPD)

While this array may look impressive for the cameras, it is heavy with Ruger rimfires including over a dozen 10/22 Takedowns, a Boy Scout commemorative, a few Ruger Mini-14s, and a single M1 Carbine.

Another image shows semi-auto Thompson carbines, more rimfires, hunting rifles, a few AR-pattern guns and a couple of SKSs including one in a TAPCO SVD stock of the type popular in the 1990s.

While authorities say they received info that a person was selling and manufacturing illegal firearms at the location, the man arrested in the case, Girard Saenz, 57, was out on a $50,000 bond Thursday. Saenz is reportedly a contractor who owns several pieces of real estate in both the LA and San Franciso area.

Los Angeles area officials have long maintained a strict policy of melting down recovered and impounded firearms as well as those purchased via “buybacks.” In the past, this has included rare and collectible guns including a pistol once owned by performer Sammy Davis, Jr.

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Categories: Gun News

That Time I Met Chuck Norris

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 06:00

“What are you going to say?” Kristin Alberts asked for the third time. I shrugged. I had no answer. In all my years, I never expected to be at this point — waiting to see one of my idols.

“I don’t know,” I responded in earnest.

“You have to think of something poignant to say. It’s Chuck Norris,” she enunciated, her Wisconsin accent impressing the words on me even more.

It wasn’t a name. It was a statement. Chuck Norris.

My love of Chuck started back in my younger years, pigtails swinging from each side of my head. I spent many days tucked away in a back bedroom of my grandparents’ home, belly down on a floral bedspread watching Walker Texas Ranger. My parents worked long hours and as such, I spent most of my early years digesting the programming at my grandparents. Chuck, of course, was a staple in cable broadcasting in the mid-90s.

Walker Texas Ranger was one of the only shows I deemed entertaining enough to regularly tune into. I watched in amazement as he always got the bad guy and with such flair that it was hard not to be mesmerized by his martial arts moves. Occasionally, I would hop out of bed and emulate what I saw. Kick to the chest. Punch to the face. The imaginary bad guy falling dramatically out of plate glass window while I, Jacki Tennessee Ranger, stood triumphantly above — saving the day once again — in pigtails and purple overalls, of course.

Chuck’s work has always been synonymous with kicking butt and taking names. The epitome of action stars, films like Lone Wolf McQuade, Missing in Action and Way of the Dragon somehow transcended time finding fans in every generation – illustrated by the array of fans, young and old, patiently waiting to see the movie star.

The sign posted at Glock’s booth prior to Norris’ appearance. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Now, decades later I stood in a ridiculously long line with everyone else waiting for the opportunity to meet the man himself. Kristin and my plan to meet Chuck formed after Glock announced across social media that he would attend the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. What started as banter on Facebook, quickly evolved into a full-fledged commitment to meet Chuck. Texting Kristin upon arrival at the show that morning with the schedule, we agreed to meet up for the 1 p.m. signing.

“I’m under the Mossberg sign, across from Glock,” my phone alerted me a little after noon. I steered towards Kristin’s location and scanned the crowd. Almost immediately, I saw Kristin’s familiar, friendly face and blue polo shirt. She was immersed in a line that wrapped around the corner, her Canon camera and monopod in one hand and phone in the other.

“I should have gotten in line earlier,” she said, a half apology.

“No worries. I’m later than I thought I would be.” I slipped in line with her, muttering an apology and a shoulder shrug to the lady behind her scowling at my disregard for proper line procedure. “How long do you think this will be?” I asked Kristin, hoping it would be a fast endeavor. I had stories to write, pictures to capture and deadlines looming – the life of a journalist pounding the proverbial pavement at a major show.

“The line starts on the other side of the Glock booth, then winds over here,” she said gesturing to the area we occupied opposite Glock. “They should process everyone fast, right?” It was half question, half hope-filled statement.

Years ago, I stood in line for 30 minutes to see R. Lee Ermey, aka Gunny, Glock’s much-beloved representative since the early 2000s. The line to meet him at NRAAM in Nashville had moved swiftly. I even had time to ask him a few questions so there was no reason to think today’s wait wouldn’t compare.

The energy in the room shifted suddenly as a flock of people descended upon the Glock booth. A sea of people, phones out chattered enthusiastically. “He’s here.” A couple in line ahead of us whispered to each other.

“Do you see him?” Kristin asked, attempting to peek around the fans in front of us.

I stood on my tiptoes, stretching out my entire 5-foot 2-inch frame desperate to grab a look. For a brief moment, I saw the top of brown hair. “I think I saw his head,” I responded.

“He’s up there, but he’s surrounded.” The 6-foot man in front of us explained. “Everybody loves Chuck.” I briefly contemplated asking this tall stranger in front of me if he would lift me on his shoulders like a child to get a better view, but somewhere that seemed too weird even for Chuck Norris. I glanced at my watch. It was now 1 o’clock. Chuck was officially on the clock signing autographs.

The author, left, and Kristin, right, waiting in line. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

I shifted the backpack on my shoulders as I rocked from one foot to the other.

“We should have had someone from bring us something to eat,” Kristin quipped an hour into the wait. My stomach growled in response. We were no closer to the Glock booth, in fact, we were still across the aisle, contained within the confines of red rope that twisted and turned. My desperation grew. I looked down at my watch for the thousandth time. It was just after 2 p.m.

“I feel so bad. I should be working, not wasting my time standing in line,” I said to Kristin.

“It’s not a waste. It’s Chuck,” Kristin replied casually. As we stood in line we chatted about her love of Chuck. She too had been introduced as a kid and was enamored with him. The thought of spending a whole day in line, simply to meet Chuck and get a picture was just par for the course for one of his biggest fans.

“You’re going to ask him something, right?” I leaned against the back of the Glock booth, my feet seriously aching now. It had been close to two hours of standing on thin carpet laid over concrete floors.

“Yeah, I feel like I should,” I responded.

“What are you going to say?” The question that loomed over my head. I looked back at my reporter’s notebook. I had jotted a few notes down in the event we got an interview.

-Fave Chuck Norris meme/joke?
-Open or concealed carry? Which Glock?
-How’s your first NRAAM?

“I guess one of these,” I turned the notebook where she could read. “Because I suppose ‘Will you marry me’ is out of the question since his wife is here.”

Kristin laughed heartily, her cheeks turning red with amusement. “You could always try.”

Kristin and I passed the time talking about all things Chuck. Our favorite movies, what he must be like on set and whether he would sign the Glock 19 nestled in my holster. (The verdict on that was no.) We took the time to brainstorm future articles, fleshing out ideas and topics for Kristin was easy to talk to, her good-natured demeanor making her the perfect partner to pass the time with.

I looked down at my watch as we wrapped up a conversation on different techniques we used to film b-roll for video reviews. 2:45 p.m. A Glock rep walked through the aisles announcing that Chuck would only sign until 3 p.m. At that point, he’d be whisked away for a break until his next signing at 4 p.m. If we didn’t make it to him in the next 15 minutes, we’d be waiting another hour. The fans behind us audibly groaned. I looked nervously at Kristin. She suggested edging closer to the Glock rep and flashing the press pass. See if it could move us through to Chuck before the 3 p.m. cutoff.

We moseyed closer. Chuck was in full sight now, seated beside his beautiful blonde wife. Kristin and I both nervously giggled like school girls but the ringing sound of an iPhone alarm snapped us out of our flights of girlish fancy.

“I have to shut this down. It’s 3,” the Glock rep said apologetically.

I touched my press pass. “We’ve got deadlines. Our editor really wants this for a celeb gallery we’re doing.” I said, which didn’t deviate too far from the truth. I knew we’d sit for another hour for Chuck Norris but that would be one more hour away from the assigned work I was at NRAAM to do. My heart pounded as I watched the Glock rep, the man who held our fate in his hands, contemplate whether to let us slip by. Was this it?

He nodded us forward. “I’m sorry, folks,” I could hear the rep say behind us.

Chuck signs autographs at the Glock booth the first day of the NRA Annual Meeting. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

I said a hearty thank you as we sidled up to Gena, Chuck’s wife. “Hi Jacki, where are you from?” She asked glancing at my press pass.

Without thinking I blurted, “” but then backtracked and shakily said, “Tennessee. I’m from Tennessee.”

She commented on the beauty of Tennessee, then asked how the show was going as she wrote my name on a post-it note and passed it to Chuck. “Great now!” I responded with too much enthusiasm.

“What do you think of Glock’s decision to hire Chuck?” Gena asked as Chuck moved the post-it to his line of sight and began signing my name on the picture Glock commissioned for the event. He looked up briefly, waiting for my answer.

“I think it’s the smartest decision Glock could have made. Gunny left some big shoes and I think you’re the only one to fill them,” I said, staring at the legend in front of me.

He smiled warmly. “Well thank you for that, Jacki. I appreciate your support. How are you today?”

“Great!” I practically shouted. “Can I get a picture? It’s for We love you,” I asked as he handed the signed photo to me.

“Sure you can.” He walked around the table as I handed my phone to the Glock employee designated as the photographer. He draped his arm around my shoulders and hugged me tightly. He smelled of roundhouse kicks and awesomeness. I smiled — the biggest, goofiest grin as the camera’s shutter snapped. He let go and I grabbed my phone. “Does your friend want a picture to?” He asked, noticing Kristin with her phone out and at the ready. She said yes before I could respond — the sign of a truly loyal friend. Grabbing me again, Chuck and I faced Kristin who fired off a few photos.

As I stood next to the legendary actor, I was fully immersed in the experience. So much so that the reporter’s notebook in the pocket of my red blazer was completely unnoticed by me. My moment to ask him one of those questions I had mulled over for two hours passed as I thanked him for his time.

“I hope to see you again, Jacki.” He said with a wave.

“Oh, you will,” I said before mentally kicking myself for how creepy and stalker-like that sounded. Kristin was up next. I pulled my Canon Mark II to eye level, snapping photos as she chatted with Chuck. She took a picture with him then, before we knew it, our time was up. Chuck was whisked out of the signing area as we made our way through the crowd, spilling onto the main thoroughfare.

Kristin Alberts, fellow writer, poses with Norris. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

My shaky hands clutched the picture of Chuck as I tried to calm my racing heart. “Did that just happen?” I asked Kristin, my voice coming out as a high-pitched squeal.

“I’m not going to get anything else done today! I’m going to be thinking about this all day,” she responded back enthusiastically.

It was there amongst the crowd teeming in the aisles that I remembered my purpose. I was a journalist with the responsibility to ask questions. In the presence of greatness, I had failed. I had not asked a simple question of Chuck Norris. I hung my head slightly. In all my years as a working journalist, I had never failed an assignment. Never failed to get my story. This was a first.

I sighed deeply at the missed opportunity. “I totally blanked. I didn’t ask him anything,” I told Kristin.

“You met Chuck Norris and he hugged you!” She emphasized with a look that told me I was crazy for being sad. Ultimately, she was right. I had met one of my idols and he lived up to the hype.

Though I failed to complete my task of interviewing Chuck, the autograph tucked into the protected laptop sleeve of my backpack was a subtle reminder that all was not lost. I can’t say what his favorite Chuck Norris meme is or what model Glock he carries but I, at the very least, came away with a story.

The author meeting Chuck Norris at the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. Norris took over responsibilities as Glock’s spokesperson. (Photo:

The autograph card signed by the man himself. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

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Categories: Gun News

Ruger Celebrates 70 Years with Limited Edition Mark IV (PHOTOS)

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 05:30

The new limited edition 70th Anniversary Mark IV Standard is specally engraved and comes in a custom wood case similar to the way the guns were shipped in 1949. (Photos: Ruger)

Bill Ruger‘s classic 1949-era Standard pistol has been rebooted in a commemorative edition to celebrate the company’s 70th anniversary.

While the new limited edition Mark IV Standard is the fourth generation of the .22LR rimfire semi-auto that gave birth to one of the best known gun makers in the country, it has several callbacks to the classic gun. The most obvious of these is the 4.75-inch tapered barrel and fixed sights.

Going further, the special model has a unique laser engraving atop the receiver and on the rear of the bolt, as well as a “70TH” serial number prefix.

Note the engravings denoting the model as a 70th anniversary edition

In an update from the legacy Standard .22s — which are notoriously hard to field strip — the new Mark IV version has an easy one-button takedown. Using a one-piece aluminum grip frame and checkered plastic grips with a red and white Ruger hawk logo, the collectible plinker weighs 28.2-ounces and runs 9-inches overall.

Right hand view. Note the tapered barrel and fixed sights

Unlike the original, it uses the much more popular push-button magazine release rather than the circa 1949 model’s heel release.

Best of all, rather than a more modern plastic case, the Mark IV Standard ships with a wooden custom box similar to the way Ruger shipped guns back when Vic Damone and Mel Torme were in the Top 40.

Compare the current box at the top of the post with this wooden shipping container used in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Back before the Gun Control Act of 1968, you could order one of these right to your house. (Photo: Chris Eger/

MSRP on the new Mark IV Standard is $529 and ships with two, 10-round magazines.

For fans of the original, be sure to check out the used Mark I Standards we have in stock as well.

The Mark I Standards do not offer an easy push-button take down and have a heel mag release but they do have panache. (Photo:

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Categories: Gun News