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General Gun News
Republicans in Idaho, New Hampshire, and Utah have put the brakes on attempts to implement more regulation on guns so far this week.
A bill to strip gun rights from misdemeanor domestic abusers was rebuffed by the Idaho House on Monday 39-31, with those opposed citing Second Amendment reasons and calling the measure unenforceable.
“Statistics show if people want to have access to a gun, they will,” said state Rep. Bryan Zollinger, R-Idaho Falls, speaking against the proposal. “There’s no way for us to enforce this.”
Others pointed out the move simply mimicked a federal law already in place that prohibits those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence from possessing a firearm. A fiscal analysis found that, by creating a state statute as well, as much as $31,000 a year in fines and fees could be collected from offenders, but this would largely be offset by increased workloads on Idaho’s courts, prosecutors, and public defenders.
In New Hampshire, the GOP-controlled House on Tuesday voted 178-144 against a proposal to ban bump stocks and raise the minimum age for rifle and shotgun sales to age 21. House Majority Leader Dick Hinch, of Merrimack, told the body that the rushed legislation should have been addressed earlier in the rapidly closing session, saying, “There was ample time during the session to develop amendments to existing bills, and that didn’t happen.”
In Utah, the House Judiciary Committee scuttled a proposal Monday that would have created a mechanism for police in the state to temporarily confiscate guns from those believed to be a threat to themselves or others. As in other states, with the House set to end its session in just a few days, heavy lifting on potentially divisive gun control measures proved unlikely, and Republican lawmakers were overall opposed to the move.
“This, to me, is more of a gun confiscation effort than it is a public safety measure,” said state Rep. Brian Greene.
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Inceptor introduces a new caliber into its ARX lineup, announcing that the .450 Bushmaster will join the ARX Preferred Hunting ammo series.
Built using Inceptor’s injection-molding process paired with proprietary copper-polymer materials, the .450 Bushmaster load offers hunters a lead-free ammo option. At the heart of the ARX line is the patent-pending ARX projectile. The non-expanding projectile delivers a light, fast, low recoil design that also maintains a flat trajectory, according to the ammo maker.
“Our mission is simple: leverage the latest technologies to create the next generation of defense, training and hunting ammunition with tried and true performance,” the company said in a statement. “We accomplished this mission with the introduction of our Inceptor Preferred Hunting line, featuring the patent-pending Inceptor ARX projectile.”
The .450 Bushmaster joins the Preferred Hunting lineup which already touts 50 Beowulf, .458 SOCOM and .45 Colt Lever. The new .450 Bushmaster load will be available in early spring 2018, according to Inceptor.
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Executives with American Outdoor Brands Corporation, the holding company for Smith & Wesson, drafted a detailed response to questions posed by the world’s largest money manager, BlackRock Inc, about the gun maker’s products and business practices.
The eight-page response described how AOB complies with the many regulations that govern the gun industry before its products reach consumers, but also placate BlackRock over concerns about any lax or ineffective measures.
“We believe it is important to tell you that we respect the national debate that is currently underway regarding firearms and safety,” said a letter signed by AOB chair Barry Monheit and CEO James Debney.
They said they “share the nation’s grief over the incomprehensible and senseless loss of life” caused by last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead and 15 others injured.
They added that they support “a comprehensive discussion regarding preventing violence in our communities” and that they’re “committed to reviewing all reasonable proposals with an open mind.”
But they argued that they think rather than imposing new regulations, the government should first better enforce existing laws to prevent prohibited buyers from obtaining firearms, address mental illness, and improve the federal background check system.
“The solution is not to take a politically motivated action that has an adverse impact on our company, our employees, our industry, our shareholders, the economies we support and, significantly, the rights of our law abiding customers, but results in no increase in public safety,” they said. “We must collectively have the courage to ensure any actions are guided by data, by facts, and by what will actually make us safer — not by what is easy, expedient, or reads well in a headline.”
BlackRock, which manages some $1.7 trillion in active funds, issued the notice last week to publicly traded gun companies and retailers requesting that they provide greater insight into their process. The fund giant wanted to provide more information to clients about its financial products as some people prefer to invest with their social and political views in mind.
Questions BlackRock posed ask about risks involved in selling guns, how the businesses monitor products during distribution and ensure guns are sold legally and safely, how they screen potential buyers, what they do to prevent misuse of firearms, and what their efforts are to advance gun safety education and products like “trigger locking technology.”
AOB addressed the questions in a few detailed answers and provided supplementary materials published by the trade association for the gun industry, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which Smith & Wesson is a member.
In the response, AOB said there’s limited reputational and financial risk involved in manufacturing firearms but the risk is “far greater” if they make and market products with features consumers neither want nor desire. “Or if we were to take political positions with which consumers of our products do not agree.”
The company went on to say that they don’t oppose “smart gun” technology, which would render a firearm disabled unless a user provides the correct personalized key like a fingerprint, but they do oppose mandating its use. Also, they clarified they do not think it’s their place to develop such products because “we are a manufacturing company, not a technology company.”
Yet, AOB does make safety a priority, saying they were one of the first companies to provide safety locks with firearms and explained that they donate money to gun safety education and youth shooting programs.
However, it’s worth noting that Smith & Wesson nearly went bankrupt in 2000 because of a boycott by gun rights advocates after the company entered an agreement with the Clinton administration to advance gun safety measures like trigger locks and smart gun technology. But the company has since conformed to the industry’s rank and file, which began operating under a different political climate after President Clinton left office and Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
The response to BlackRock called the gun industry “one of the most heavily regulated industries in the country” because gun companies are required to comply with both state and federal regulations. “If we violate any of these rules, we could lose our (federal firearms license) and would not be able to operate our firearms business,” the company said. Yet, they added that in their contracts with distributors and retailers they reserve the right to terminate an agreement if the group engages in any criminal conduct.
As far as tracking criminal misuse of their products, AOB called such a task “misguided” and “unrealistic,” much like a car company tracking alcohol-related accident with their products. However, they said they work with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to trace firearms allegedly used in crimes and supplied related data.
The ATF sends AOB more than 11,000 trace requests a year, which works out to 930 per month or 30 per day, and AOB sends a response within 24 hours. The company said they’re legally required to keep records dating back to 1968, but their records date as far back as 1896.
The two other companies, Vista Outdoor and Sturm, Ruger & Company, have yet to issue a public response to BlackRock and it’s unclear if they will.
BlackRock’s notice followed a national call for action on gun violence. Students and victims of the Florida shooting have led the movement to encourage corporate America to advance gun control policies since little has been accomplished on Capitol Hill. So far, dozens of companies and brands have taken action or released statements.
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Savage Arms has overseen a steady roll out of their new Model 110 variants, originally announced in early January 2018, launching the latest in the series — the Model 110 Varmint.
The Model 110 Varmint provides shooters with a comfortable fit and feel designed to deliver “impeccable accuracy” to varmint hunters looking to down small targets at longer ranges.
Utilizing the company’s newest technology, the AccuFit, the Varmint model allows prairie doggers and hunters to efficiently adjust length-of-pull and comb height for a more customized rifle feel. In addition, the rifle comes equipped with Savage’s AccuTrigger which is user-adjustable with a crisp pull.
“Together with the AccuStock, which secures the action three-dimensionally along its entire length, the Model 110 Varmint provides the fit and function of a custom rifle—right out of the box,” Savage Arms said in a press release.
The 26-inch heavy barrel on the long gun is button rifled and mated to the durable synthetic stock. Featuring a detachable 4-round box magazine, the rifle also delivers a fast-handling oversized bolt for easier manipulations.
Available in .223 Rem, 22-250 Rem or 204 Ruger, the Model 110 Varmint retails for $749.
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In addition to pending legislation, Democrats in the House and Senate are advocating further conversation on gun control to include bans, limits and mandatory secure storage laws.
“There’s so much we can do,” said U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, in the party’s weekly address. “We just need the willpower and intestinal fortitude to take on the NRA and get something done for the safety of the men, women, and particularly the children in our schools of this country.”
In addressing the Senate Judiciary Committee, Feinstein continued to stump for a return to her legacy ban on guns she termed “weapons of war” and their magazines as well as banning bump stocks and other measures.
The Senate’s top Democrat, New York’s Charles Schumer, last week stressed a three-part plan to include expanding background checks to close what he termed as loopholes for gun shows and internet sales. The second leg of Schumer’s plan would be to implement the same sort of “red flag” extreme risk protective orders that have been adopted by a handful of states in recent years to take guns from those who police or family feel could be at risk to themselves or others. Finally, Schumer wants a formal debate on assault weapons on the Senate floor.
However, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has shown a reluctance to take up any gun control measures in the near future with the possible exception of the bipartisan FixNics bill of background check system incentives that he is co-sponsoring. The body is set to head into a two-week recess on March 23.
In the House, Texas Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee on Monday called for mandatory gun lock laws and extending the period for delayed federal background checks for “dangerous weapons like the AR-15” from three to seven days as well as moving to ban such guns and limit magazine capacity. Further, she advocated upping the minimum age for firearm, ammunition and silencer sales to 21, though it should be pointed out the minimum age to buy a suppressor from a licensed dealer is 21 already.
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Rock Island Auction is set to offer a trio of desirable Colt wheel guns including a “Fluck” Dragoon, a military-marked Eli Whitney Walker and a civilian model fit for a Scandinavian skipper.
The rarest of the three, the only known original cased civilian Walker in circulation, is referred to by collectors as the Danish Sea Captain due to its first owner, Captain Niels Hanson, who purchased the gun in New York while in port and brought it back to Europe with him where it was passed down through his family and collectors in Denmark for over a century.
According to lore, the gun even survived being buried in a garden by its then owner during the Nazi occupation of that Baltic country during WWII. The estimated price for this rare bird, which has been extensively documented over the past 80 years? How about somewhere between $800,000 and $1.3 million.
Slightly more affordable but no less interesting is a gun made by Eli Whitney’s factory in 1847 to arm the newly formed U.S. Mounted Rifle Regiment.
The massive revolver — tipping the scales at almost 5-pounds in large part to its huge frame and nine-inch barrel — is one of just a handful of guns still in existence marked to the cavalry unit’s B company. Price? $110,000 – $160,000.
Rounding out the bunch is an 1848-vintage “Fluck” or “Pre-1st Model” Dragoon, of which some 300 were ordered to replace lost Walkers.
Still sporting a 7.5-inch barrel, the big .44 cap and ball gun was one of the first military contract pistols manufactured at Colt’s Hartford, Connecticut facility. It is estimated to bring between $14,000 and $22,500.
RIA is set to auction all three, along with more than 2,000 other collectible guns, in the upcoming April event.
Pro-tip for gun investing: find a time machine, go back to 1847/48 and buy all the Colts you can find.
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Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat who was among the first to call for a ban on the devices last year, signed legislation Tuesday to outlaw bump stocks in Washington.
Inslee applied ink to SB 5992, which makes it illegal to manufacture or sell a bump stock in the state after July and sets a one-year “buy back” program into effect before possession of such devices would become unlawful. The bill passed the Democrat-controlled Senate 31-18 and the House 56-41.
“Devices that turn legal guns into weapons of war have no place in the hands of civilians in Washington state, and sensible gun regulations, including banning these devices, can help reduce violence in our communities,” Inslee said in a press conference attended by state lawmakers and gun control advocates. “I applaud the Legislature for passing this bill, and I encourage lawmakers to continue to work to fight the scourge of gun violence.”
Under the guidelines of the new law, a bump stock is defined as a buttstock that, when attached to a semi-automatic firearm, effectively increases the rate of fire by using the energy from the recoil of the firearm “to generate reciprocating action that facilitates repeated activation of the trigger.” Unlike some recent bans, such as in Massachusetts or New Jersey, it does to target trigger devices such as cranks and binary trigger packs.
Starting July 1, selling or making bump stocks in the state will be illegal, subject to a class C felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. The Washington State Police is authorized under the measure to purchase bump stocks from owners until July 1, 2019, at a price of $150, a further departure from bans in other states which offer no compensation for turned in devices. For reference, maker Slide Fire currently sells such stocks for $179-$329. Possession in Washington after the expiration of the grace period would be a felony.
On the national level, while at least a half-dozen bills regulating or outlawing bump stocks are pending in Congress, the Trump administration has mentioned the possibility of both actions by federal regulators and executive orders in banning the devices, a hot-button political item since their use in a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas last October. Just two days after the incident, where a retired accountant killed 58 and injured hundreds, Inslee called on lawmakers in Washington to ban the once little-known devices. Of note, Inslee is the first Democrat to sign a ban into law in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, with Republican governors signing prohibitions in Massachusetts and New Jersey.
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Hundreds wearing shirts that said “Gun control does not work” filled the halls of the Rhode Island State House on Tuesday to let lawmakers know how they felt about pending bills.
So many Second Amendment advocates queued in line this week, the Providence Journal reported that the state fire marshal had to be called in to make sure the building was safe. The subject of the day: a proposed ban on firearms classified as “assault weapons” and a measure to allow police to temporarily confiscate guns from those deemed by a judge to be a potential threat.
“It’s people who assault people,” said Bob Schofield, 86, of Wakefield, who was among those waiting. “It’s not the rifle. I’d rather be the one with the firearm to stop the crazy.”
Among the groups behind the grassroots response were national gun rights organizations as well as local movements such as the Rhode Island 2nd Amendment Coalition and Rhode Island Self Defense Alliance. Besides Second Amendment advocates, the ACLU of Rhode Island has publicly come out against the so-called “red flag” bill, issuing a 14-page analysis slamming the proposal for being overly broad and by nature speculative, making it ripe for potential abuse.
“People who are not alleged to have committed a crime should not be subject to severe deprivations of liberty interests, and deprivations for lengthy periods of time, in the absence of a clear, compelling and immediate showing of need,” said the state ACLU chapter of the legislation.
Powerful Democrats in Rhode Island are behind the push for more gun regulation. Gov. Gina Raimondo, who recently joined with other regional Dems in forming an inter-state gun control pact, issued an executive order last week directing authorities in the state to use all legal steps to remove firearms from the home of those they feel are a danger, paving the way for the red flag bill.
State Attorney General Peter Kilmartin followed up Raimondo’s effort by introducing legislation to add a host of changes to the state’s gun law, including raising the age to buy a shotgun or rifle to 21 and curbing the ability to carry or transport long arms in public — citing a fictional stick-up man on a cable TV show as reason for the latter.
“Anyone who was a fan of the show ‘The Wire’ will remember the character Omar, who carried a loaded shotgun as he walked down the streets of Baltimore,” Kilmartin said in a statement. “We don’t need to turn the streets of Rhode Island into a war zone and need to close this dangerous loophole before someone gets hurt.”
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Gun Pro expands its series of Delta 1 Sights, adding the Sig Sauer and Springfield XD to its catalogue of compatible firearms.
Gun Pro says the Delta 1 Sights provide fast target acquisition through its intuitive single point alignment system. The patented design delivers an open sight picture allowing for simple yet accurate shot placement on target, according to the company.
“We’re excited to offer Delta 1 Sights, with their superb open sight picture and lightning fast sight alignment, to an entirely new group of firearms enthusiasts,” Greg Wittner, Director of Sales, said in a press release. “We are confident that our sights will revolutionize the sight market.”
The Sig Sauer and Springfield XD series sights join the Gun Pro lineup which already offers options for the Smith & Wesson M&P, 1911 Novak and Glock pistols.
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A bipartisan team of senators introduced a proposal this week to alert state authorities every time a gun buyer fails a background check.
The NICS Denial Notification Act — sponsored by Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey and Delaware Democratic Sen. Chris Coons — creates an alert system in 37 states and Washington, D.C., where firearms dealers use the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System to verify a gun buyer’s identity and eligibility status.
Thirteen point-of-contact states already notify local authorities when a prohibited person “lies and tries” to buy a gun. Toomey said this bill will require the FBI to do the same in states without their own background check processing systems within 24 hours of each denial.
“We can make progress on gun safety while respecting the Second Amendment rights of American citizens, including better enforcing existing gun laws and responding to warning signs that we get of criminal behavior,” he said in a statement. “This bipartisan bill is a critical step forward in helping to ensure that our communities can be safe from criminals.”
Coons said the bill will make communities safer and hopes its part of a larger effort to “comprehensively address gun violence.”
“We have to find ways to work across the aisle to reduce gun violence, and the NICS Denial Notification Act is one modest, commonsense way to do that,” he said.
Florida Sens. Marco Rubio, a Republican, and Bill Nelson, a Democrat, also signed onto the legislation this week. The two Florida lawmakers appeared at a CNN Town Hall last month with survivors of the Parkland shooting, fielding questions and discussing the merits of stricter gun regulations.
“While we work to ensure that our background check system contains the critical information necessary to be able to conduct an effective background check, we must also ensure that federal and state authorities are successfully communicating with one another when it comes to dangerous individuals and their attempts to acquire firearms,” Rubio said, adding the measure would require federal authorities to flag denials for state authorities or hold federal officials accountable if they aren’t.
While Rubio shot down an “assault weapons” ban last month, he expressed support for banning rifle sales to anyone under 21, strengthening the federal background check system, enacting gun violence protection orders and reconsidering his stance on high-capacity magazines. He vowed to work with Nelson and other Democrats to pass regulations with bipartisan support in the Senate.
Nelson remains supportive of universal background checks and “a comprehensive assault weapons ban.” He said Monday the NICS Denial Notification Act serves as “another commonsense way” to prevent gun-related violence.
“Efforts to reduce gun violence are only as good as the systems in place to prevent prohibited individuals from obtaining guns,” he said. “I hope we can continue this conversation and continue to work together on comprehensive gun reform.”
The proposal also mandates the Department of Justice release an annual report detailing prosecutions of background check denial cases.
Since 1998, NICS has denied more than 3 million potential buyers. Some 40 percent of those represented convicted felons, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The center joined Everytown for Gun Safety and six law enforcement and domestic violence organizations in endorsing the proposal Monday.
“Ensuring that state and local law enforcement have all of the necessary information about who in their communities is attempting to purchase firearms unlawfully is critical for public safety,” said Robin Lloyd, Director of Government Affairs at Giffords, in a statement. “The attempted purchase of firearms by a prohibited person is a potential violation of federal and state laws, and this bill will provide the information necessary for the enforcement of these laws.”
“When a domestic abuser or convicted felon tries to buy a gun and fails a background check, it’s a crime and a warning sign for law enforcement,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown, in a statement. “Under this bill, state law enforcement would be notified when a criminal tries to buy a gun, and given the information they need to help prevent the next crime from happening. We applaud Senators Toomey and Coons for introducing this bipartisan bill.”
The NICS Denial Notification Act has also earned co-signatures from Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, of Texas, Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democractic Sens. Tammy Duckworth, of Illinois, and Claire McCaskill, Missouri.
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For those who argue the framers of the Second Amendment only knew single-shot muskets, we present the Cookson repeater.
Dating to about the 1750s, the Cookson Volitional repeating flintlock shown above from the collection of the National Firearms Museum was crafted by London gunsmith John Shaw. This particular breechloader has a two-chambered magazine that holds a dozen .55 caliber lead balls in one part and a dozen 60-grain powder charges in the second, with each coming together when the crank is worked by the user.
Doug Wicklund with the NFM walks through the gun’s operation.
Besides the Cookson, there were also the earlier repeaters of the 16th Century Kalthoff family of gunsmiths in Denmark– which some accounts contend could hold as many as 30 shots– and those of Italian gunmaker Michele Lorenzoni. Ian McCollum in an early installment of Forgotten Weapons covers a 7-shot repeating Lorenzoni flintlock pistol below.
And we almost forgot to mention the weapon first described, in 1722, as a “machine gun”– the Puckle Gun!
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Federal Premium Ammunition adds to its series of Power-Shok Copper rifle ammunition, expanding the series to now include 300 Blackout.
The 120-grain load offers the same benefits as the original Power-Shok, featuring a non-lead bullet. The hollow point copper projectile delivers a large wound channel while the Catalyst lead-free primer boasts an efficient and reliable ignition, according to Federal Ammunition. The round’s design is finished off with Federal Ammunition brass.
“Practical hunters trust Federal Power Shok rifle ammunition to deliver reliable on-game performance that fills the freezer at an attractive price,” Federal Ammunition said in a statement. Power Shok Copper provides that same consistency and value in a non-lead bullet.”
Perfect for deer hunters, the company says the .300 BLK variant delivers a muzzle velocity of 2,100 feet-per-second with a ballistic coefficient of 0.251.
The ammo maker says the new .300 BLK round is currently on its way to dealers nationwide with a MSRP of $26.95.
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A grand jury opted not to charge the man who claimed self-defense in the deadly shooting of a 15-year-old boy at a gas station in Springfield, Ohio.
The Clark County grand jury voted unanimously to not indict Timothy Reed on any charges connected to the shooting death of William Beverly, Jr., according to local reports.
Reed shot and killed Beverly at about 12:45 am during an incident at a Speedway gas station on Nov. 5, local media reports.
When officers arrived, they found Beverly lying on his back inside the store. He had suffered gunshot wounds to his shoulder and on his back right side. He died at the scene.
Reed told a local newspaper he had given Beverly’s girlfriend and her friend a ride to the gas station so she could meet her uncle.
However, the girlfriend had planned on buying Xanax from a man at the gas station, so when they arrived, the man and Beverly approached Reed’s car.
“Moments after arriving, two men had approached my car. One began to attack,” Reed told reporters. “That’s when I preceded to defend myself.”
The grand jury ruled that Reed, who had a valid concealed carry license, was neither the aggressor nor the initiator.
“Timothy Reed had a bona fide and reasonable belief that he was in immediate danger of death or serious bodily harm, and that the use of deadly force was necessary to escape that danger,” the grand jury findings say.
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Atlanta-based lending service will not fund businesses that manufacture “assault style” firearms or ones that sell guns and ammo to buyers under 21.
With Monday’s statement, Kabbage Inc joined a growing list of financial companies to take a stand following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead and 15 injured.
“The technology community must work to prevent these horrifying and heartbreaking events from robbing our children of their futures,” the company said, adding the company will donate up to $350,000 to victims and to gun violence prevention charities.
Kabbage offers loan options up to $250,000 for a host of small business types, but less than one percent of its customers fall into the category of weapons maker or sellers that would be banned under the new policy, Bloomberg reported.
Two of the largest money management firms launched efforts last week to distance themselves from investing in the gun industry. BlackRock Inc and Blackstone reviewed policies regarding monies tied up in gun makers and sellers.
BlackRock asked publicly traded gun companies to provide insight into their policies so it could better provide clients investment options. Blackstone asked hedge fund managers to review portfolios if funds were directly tied to the gun industry.
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Testing the Henry Repeating Arms Big Boy Steel rifle, chambered in .44 Magnum, was a treat as it always is to fire a solid, American-made rifle. In the context of current events, the test also inspired some observations on the state of the industry and Henry’s standing in it.
The Henry Big Boy Steel series has blued finish on the brand’s classic lever-action platform, with a round barrel. Four calibers — .41 Mag, .44 Mag, .45 Colt, and .357 Mag—are offered in a 20-inch barrel rifle with a traditional loop lever, or 16.5-inch barrel carbine with a large loop.
This rifle’s tube-loading magazine holds 10 rounds, a handy number for target shooting and more than adequate for most hunting jobs. The lever action, transfer bar safety, rear semi-buckhorn sight with diamond-shaped insert, and brass bead front sight are classic Henry design.
A walnut stock with black rubber recoil pad, sling swivel studs, and a receive that’s drilled and tapped to accept Henry’s scope mount complete the package.
It may not be shiny like many of Henry’s other offerings, but this is one handsome rifle. Bold checkering highlights the stock as well as providing some grip. There were a few imperfections in the sample rifle in this test, where a few “checkers” appear to have had the tops rubbed off, and the light, unstained wood peeks through. It’s a minor defect and only visible upon close inspection.
Firing this big-bore rifle is both similar, and very different, from operating my other Henry Big Boy, a .357 Magnum carbine. Loading, sighting, and their identical 14-inch length of pull are known territory. But recoil is a different story. At seven pounds, the rifle weighs about half a pound more than its smaller counterpart, and like it, gives a solid feel that’s not hard to carry around. But blowback from the larger .44 round is substantial compared to the .38 or .357. This is a rifle sure to please those who like the power of a big kick.
Ammo in .44 caliber is neither cheap nor common at the local Walmart, so our test was limited to stock on hand. Federal’s 180-grain JHP box has a warning, “accurate only in revolvers,” so it’s no surprise that it delivered the least tight group; 2.75 inches at 25 yards. Winchester’s jacketed soft point 240 grain ammo produced a better five-shot cluster of slightly more than 2.0 inches. All shots were fired from a supported bench rest position with open sights. Though we weren’t set up with a scope, results would surely be even better with one.
In the Henry single-stage trigger, there is a slight inconsistency. When shooting slow and methodically, for precision, the trigger seems to alternate between a very crisp break and a slight roll – only about 1/16 of an inch – from one shot to the next. It’s a minor annoyance and one that many shooters wouldn’t notice, nor would I in field conditions. It’s not a deal-breaker.
After an initial firing session of 30 rounds, I felt some motion in the stock. Inspection revealed the tang screw had worked itself slightly loose. A little tightening fixed the issue. This is my third Henry rifle to experience, and this issue is uncharacteristic of the brand. It is worth noting, though, so screws can be checked on a regular basis. A bit of Loctite may be in order to prevent this problem on this or any similar rifle.
While the Big Boy .44 is not a precision rifle, this caliber delivers a wallop that’s more than adequate for big game at relatively close distances, and simply a lot of fun target shooting. Its working-gun finish means it’s not too fancy to get dirty, and not so flashy as to be a detriment to stalking an animal. Especially fitted with a magnifying scope, it’s a practical, enjoyable field gun. MSRP is $850, with real prices around $650-700.
Photographing this simple but beautiful rifle, nestled in fall leaves, it occurred to me that the Henry Repeating Arms brand seems much more mature than a gun maker that just celebrated its 20th birthday — a relative upstart in the firearms arena. Yet, the brand is already iconic and has a sterling reputation. Why? I thumbed through my mental rolodex of Henry rifles I’ve known, and people I’ve known who love these rifles. These are the conclusions of that pondering:
Memories. With the exception of their .22 survival gun, Henry has clung to the classic lever action repeater or single shot, bolt or pump actions that evoke memories of long-eared wool caps and felt pack boots warming up by the fire at hunting camp. They are the ballistic version of comfort food, lending a sense of reassurance that the heritage that inspired them is still alive.
Quality. The brand is known for its dependability and customer service – qualities usually associated only with luxury products in the modern market.
Personalized treatment. Want a rifle that honors your profession or company, or celebrates a career of outstanding service? Henry keeps a pulse on American pride, and makes several lines of custom-engraved receivers honoring, for example, first responders. There are other rifles commemorating historical events, and customized engraving is offered as well. The engraving work is top-shelf, making the guns an honor to give or receive.
American pride. I asked the Henry company rep why the company still does business in a place that’s known for its unwelcome stance on firearms – the state of New Jersey. He replied that President/Owner Anthony Imperato is serious about honoring and taking care of the plant’s original employees, for some of whom working at Henry is a family legacy. The company also has a plant in friendlier Wisconsin, where the Big Boy 44 in this report was made. Henry’s record of supporting charitable causes is perhaps unmatched in the industry when compared with other gun companies, especially ones less than 50 years old.
Marching to their own drum. “Will I see you at SHOT Show this year?” I asked the company rep. His reply was no, we don’t do that. It takes a certain kind of moxie for a company to not feel like the big trade shows are a must. But Henry has staked and maintains its claim on a niche that doesn’t require rubbing elbows with competitors and media to stay relevant.
From the outside at least, it appears the company doesn’t fret about the mercurial nature of the firearms industry. It just keeps cranking out firearms that owners are proud of, and that are unapologetically American. It’s obvious I’m not the only one who thinks that’s a wise, attractive way to do business.
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Estimated firearm sales dipped slightly last month, despite a wave of gun control proposals introduced in the wake of the Parkland shooting.
Dealers processed just shy of 2.3 million applications through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in February, 3.1 percent higher than 2017.
Estimated gun sales — the sum total of transfers in the NICS’s handgun, long gun, multiple and other categories — exceeded 1.1 million, a 2.5 percent decline over last year and the slowest February recorded since 2014.
Background checks serve as a proxy measure for gun sales, albeit an imperfect one. Applications for concealed carry permits, periodic rechecks for maintaining licenses and a slew of smaller categories for pawns, redemptions, rentals and other rare situations undercut the total amount of checks processed in one month. Guns.com removes these categories from the total figure to more accurately assess actual transfers, though it’s still an estimate.
Given the politically-charged atmosphere sweeping across the nation since a 19-year-old gunman murdered 17 students and staff at his former high school in southern Florida last month, however, the stage was set for an anticipated bump in federal background checks.
It’s a trend often witnessed after other high-profile mass shootings. In December 2012 — the same month as Sandy Hook — gun sales spiked 61 percent. The second half of the month accounted for eight of the biggest days for background checks that year. Four of them made the FBI’s top 10 busiest days ever list and the week after the shooting still ranks as the single busiest week in NICS history.
Maskin Netrebov, founder of New Jersey-based Maks Financial Services and contributor at Seeking Alpha, suggested last month’s “tepid at best” response comes after years of empty threats over gun control.
“In the most likely case, gun owners simply went out and purchased AR-15 lower receivers from companies such as Spikes Tactical for $100 a piece to throw in their gun safes or closets,” he said. “This way, if there is further gun control on the horizon, they will be able to complete their rifles in the future.”
While he posits evidence of increased buying may not materialize until the March data becomes available, Netrebov remains unimpressed.
“Short of outright new legislation, the gun buyers in this country are seemingly out of money and out of fears of imminent legislation which would restrict their firearms purchases,” he said.
James Debney, chief executive officer of American Outdoor Brands, told investors last week the outdoor conglomerate hadn’t heard much about increased sales in the second half of the month, either. He also didn’t anticipate any losses from the corporate backlash against modern sporting rifles.
Sure, Glocks, grenades, and M80s all work while submerged, but what about a good ol’ 12 gauge flare gun?
Taping an Orion Alerter single-shot break action flare launcher to a dumbbell and tossing it into a 10-gallon fish aquarium — no fish were harmed in this video — Edwin Sarkissian gets to work with one of the only California-legal pistols still on the market.
The bad news is (spoiler alert) they can’t make it happen unless the frame is above water, and then the aerial flare, which needs oxygen, doesn’t really do anything.
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A New Jersey grand jury indicted seven men last month for running a multi-state gun trafficking ring.
Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced Feb. 14 the men face first-degree racketeering charges, among other felonies, for allegedly arming criminals on the streets of Camden with guns obtained through straw purchases in Ohio.
“Dismantling prolific weapons trafficking is the best way to reduce the number of illegal guns being sold to criminals in our communities and used to inflict murder and terror,” Grewal said. “Each gun that we seize or prevent from reaching the street represents countless lives saved. The potential sentences that these men face should also serve as fair warning to those who illegally traffic firearms into New Jersey.”
State and federal law enforcement uncovered the trafficking operation while investigating accused ring leader Chucky Scott, 25, of Columbus, Ohio, and his accomplice, 26-year-old Anthony Hammond, also of Columbus. According to court documents, Hammond bought dozens of firearms throughout Ohio and turned the weapons over to Scott, who subsequently arranged sales on the black market through five middlemen in New Jersey.
Some of the weapons sold included two “illegal assault rifles” outfitted with large-capacity magazines, six 9mm pistols — four of which also included large-capacity magazines — a .45-caliber pistol and a .40-caliber pistol. The middlemen added a tax to each gun sold and kept it as profit. Some rifles sold for as much as $2,000, investigators said.
“The only purpose Scott and others had by flooding the Camden area with illegal guns was profiting off of the innocent lives of area residents,” said Col. Patrick Callahan, Acting Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “I am very proud of the investigative efforts and solid police work exhibited by the members of the New Jersey State Police Trafficking South and Fugitive Units along with our federal, state and local partners.”
Grewal said federal data shows more than three quarters of the guns recovered in New Jersey trace to other states. He said he remains committed to working with federal agencies to destroy the “iron pipeline of firearms” flowing into his state.
“This firearms trafficking case represents the highest level of cooperation, across multiple agencies, jurisdictions, and states,” said Trevor Velinor, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Columbus Field Division. “There is no place in our society for those who use firearms for criminal purposes, nor is there a place for those who supply criminals with those firearms. ATF is proud to work with our law enforcement partners to stop those who would foster violence in our communities.”
The five other men indicted include Camden residents Eduardo Caban, 40; Eric Moore, 47; Jamar Folk, 33; Darren Harville, 51 and Tymere Jennings, 35, of Marlton, New Jersey.
The men face a $200,000 fine and up to 20 years in prison for each first degree felony charge. A racketeering conviction also includes a mandatory period of parole ineligibility for up to 85 percent of the sentence imposed.
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Boyd’s Gunstocks is expanding its At-One series of fully adjustable gunstocks, introducing a new variant designed specifically for shotguns.
The At-One shotgun stock is available for the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 platform. The stock was created to fit every body type, with a fully adjustable length of pull and adjustable cheek rest. Length of pull can be modified from 12.5-inches to 14-inches while the cheek rest adjusts up and down with a push of a button.
Grips and forearms are modular with a variety of colors and two shapes to choose — traditional and target style. The stock boasts a “Bring It” push button which allows users to teak adjustments without the need for special tools or hardware.
First launched in 2017, Boyd’s says the At-One gunstock series gained in popularity, requiring the need for additional products for shotgunners. The gunstock is crafted using top-grade laminated hardwood dried to exacting specifications. This process ensures rigidity and stability while a sealant offers a durable yet attractive finish.
Prices vary based on gun make and gauge.
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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Monday signed a Democrat-backed measure to close the “Intimate Partner Loophole,” voiding gun rights in more domestic violence and stalking situations.
The legislation, HB 4145, expands Oregon’s current definition of a domestic abuser. Backed by Brown for years, the new law updates the definition to include those not married and add persons convicted of misdemeanor stalking to those barred from possessing firearms. The measure passed without a single Republican vote in the Senate and only swayed three GOP votes in the House, driven by Dems from the blue Portland-Salem-Eugene corridor.
“Today marks an important milestone, but we know we have more to do,” Brown said in a statement. “It’s long past time we hold the White House and Congress accountable. Now’s the time to enact real change and federal gun safety legislation.”
The legislation, a project of the Governor’s for the past several years, prohibits dating partners under protective orders in a domestic abuse situation from having guns. As part of this, it expands the definition of an “intimate partner” under Oregon law to include any couple that has had a sexual encounter — even if they never lived together — as well as any two people that have cohabitated at any time.
The law also deletes the Second Amendment rights of those with misdemeanor stalking convictions and requires the state to inform local law enforcement within 24 hours when a prohibited firearms possessor attempts to buy a gun.
Both local and national gun control groups were pleased with the bill’s passage into law. “Today Oregon became a safer place to live,” said former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. “Guns and domestic violence are a deadly, tragic mix, something that Oregonians know all too well.”
Second Amendment advocates argue the new law is not designed to expand protections for women but instead creates “new and dangerous tools” for possibly vindictive people to erase the right to keep and bear arms from someone they may have a grudge against.
“This was done to create a larger universe of people whose gun rights can be taken if someone requests a protective order against them,” said the Oregon Firearms Federation in an alert.
Brown signed the legislation before a crowd organized by gun control advocates from Ceasefire Oregon and Mom’s Demand Action. The latter group is backed by billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who contributed $250,000 to Brown’s 2016 election campaign.
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