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CZ Fans Rejoice! Special 45th Anniversary CZ 75 B Inbound

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 01:50

The 45th Anniversary CZ 75 B is limited to 1,000 specially numbered pistols. (Photo: CZ)

CZ’s iconic modern handgun, the CZ 75, is set for its 45th birthday in 2020 and to celebrate a special limited edition is planned.

Complete with a high-gloss blued finish and extensive engraving on the slide, frame and custom wood grips, the run of 45th Anniversary CZ 75 Bs will be limited to 1,000 9mm pistols in a special serial number range.

“Designed in 1975, the CZ 75 is the flagship model of the CZ handgun line with over one million produced,” notes CZ in a statement. “An entire family of pistols is available based on the basic CZ 75 design: compacts, de-cockers, single action only, ambidextrous, alloy frames as well as competition pistols.”

The 45th Anniversary CZ 75 B uses hammer-forged barrels, a 3-dot sighting system with optional Tritium night sights, and CZ’s classic DA/SA trigger. Barrel length is 4.6-inches, producing an 8.1-inch overall length, while weight is 35.2-ounces. (Photo: CZ)

Still, the company says the “CZ 75 B is used by more governments, militaries, police and security agencies than any other pistol in the world,” making it “quite possibly the perfect pistol.”

While those are sure to be fighting words to any number of acolytes of platforms from designers such as John Browning and Gaston Glock, there is no denying the CZ 75 has had long legs since it first emerged nearly a half-century ago.

Designed by brothers Josef and František Koucký at the CZ factory in then-Czechoslovakia after more than six years of development, the all-steel 9mm parabellum double-stack was a broadside response in the 1970s to the S&W 59, Browning Hi-Power and Beretta Model 92, the West’s contemporary 1st gen “wonder nines.” It soon became a hit and was a best seller around the globe that has remained in production ever since.

MSRP on the limited edition 45th Anniversary CZ 75 B is $1,720.

Still a fan of the platform but don’t need the bling? You can get a more understated standard model CZ 75 B starting at around $500 smackers.


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Categories: Gun News

New Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P M2.0 Pistols

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 01:03

Big Blue’s new Performance Center M&P M2.0s come in options for optics-ready and ported slides as well as 4.25- and 5-inch barrels in 9mm and .40S&W. (Photo: S&W)

Smith & Wesson on Tuesday announced a new series of M&P M2.0 pistols that have been given the Performance Center treatment.

Billed as being competition-ready, the updated Performance Center M&P M2.0s, chambered in 9mm and 40 S&W offerings, have a host of improvements over standard models. This includes a tuned action as well as options for ported barrels and optics-ready slides. Lengths include 4.25- and 5-inch barrel formats.

“Performance Center M&P M2.0 pistols were designed with the competitive shooter in mind and are packed with features for the competitive shooter,” said Tony Miele, Sr. Director, New Products and Performance Center, in a statement. “For those looking to mount an optic on their pistol without custom work, the new C.O.R.E. pistols have slides cut for optics straight from the factory and will support the majority of popular pistol reflex sights on the market.”


In the C.O.R.E. Pro models, which are optics-ready but also carry 3-dot white co-witness sights, the pistol includes mounting plates for the most popular reflex sights. Available in .40 or 9mm and in 4.25- and 5-inch variants, MSRP begins at $700.

There is also a Performance Center M&P M2.0 with a ported barrel option and no slide cut that includes adjustable fiber optic sights. Like the C.O.R.E models, it offered in .40 or 9mm and in 4.25- and 5-inch variants, MSRP begins at $651.

Finally, there is the best of both worlds, a Performance Center M&P M2.0 that has both the ported barrel and slide and is an optics-ready C.O.R.E. model. MSRP starts at $714.

The guns include standard M2.0 features such as front cocking serrations, an aggressive grip texture, four interchangeable palmswell grip inserts for optimal hand-fit and trigger reach, and an Armornite durable corrosion-resistant finish. Each Performance Center M&P M2.0 pistol ships with two full-size magazines and a Tipton cleaning kit in a semi-rigid case.


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Categories: Gun News

Terminal Ascent: A Name in Hunting Ammunition You’ll Want to Remember

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 09:00

Federal Premium is going all-in right from the beginning launching not just a handful of chamberings, but rather including eleven of the most popular long-range hunting calibers from the 6.5’s to the .300 Magnums. (Photo: Federal Premium)

When Federal, the world’s largest producer of sporting ammunition, claims its newest product is “the best hunting bullet ever built within the 98-year history of the company,” hunters everywhere take notice. sat down with Federal company leaders and product engineers at its plant in Anoka, MN to get the inside scoop on 2020’s hottest ammunition launch–Terminal Ascent hunting ammunition and bullets.

What is Federal Premium Terminal Ascent?

Federal Premium’s Terminal Ascent is a premium factory rifle ammunition loaded for match-grade long-range accuracy with a bonded, boat-tail-profile hunting bullet. It’s important to note that unlike many other ammunition companies and reloaders, Federal builds its own proprietary bullets in house from raw materials, and the Terminal Ascent projectiles are the result of decades of improvement and engineering.

The company’s blue Slipstream polymer tip—along with a smaller meplat and hollowed channel below– is intended to both flatten trajectories and, more importantly, initiate lower-velocity expansion. With the advertised potential of the bullet to expand at only 1,350 fps, the round will find a welcome audience with hunters using handguns and other shorter-barreled rifles where speed and terminal performance must be carefully considered. While lower velocity expansion speaks to long-range responsiveness, the key to Terminal Ascent’s potential is its all-range performance.

Though the round is new, it’s not quite as brand-new as you’d think. Instead, Terminal Ascent has deep roots in the company’s earlier designs from Trophy Bonded Tip to Trophy Bonded Bear Claw. The closest comparison and nearest relative, however, is with Federal’s previous long-range ammunition from which the new Terminal Ascent springs—Edge TLR.

This cutway shows the Terminal Ascent projectile’s copper shank and bonded lead core, intended to retain weight for deep penetration at any range. (Photo: Federal Premium)

Bullet weights for the chamberings that overlap with Edge TLR remain the same, though a few additional have been added to Terminal Ascent, like the 6.5’s and the 28 Nosler. Most of the ballistic coefficients also remain static, though a few are slightly improved. The SlipStream tip, in fact, is not new, but was first used on the Edge TLR. Likewise, the AccuChannel technology is not new, having been used on Edge TLR. This time around, though, Federal engineers studied and tested at length to learn that two AccuChannel grooves, along with a few other proprietary changes, provided the absolute best results.

Getting the Groove On!

While the loaded ammunition should be impressive, with nickel-plated casings, sealed primers and clean-burning powder, the technological genius rests largely in the projectile. The major change is not one but two AccuChannel grooves intended to both improve accuracy and minimize drag.
“The industry’s average groove has 90-degree steep walls, whereas Federal’s AccuChannel has a sloped rear wall, which lets the air flow in and out of the groove, reduces the pressure on that point, and reduces drag,” Federal said in a press release.

While traditional grooving can negatively affect the ballistic coefficient, new channels have a significantly lesser effect. Further, the bullet’s sleek Slipstream tip and lengthened, svelte profile translate into high ballistic coefficients. Ballistic Coefficient (BC) is a term commonly tossed about these days, and to that end, hunters who rely upon BC when choosing a long-range bullet be pleased with the Terminal Ascent caliber offerings.

How Terminal Ascent Could Benefit All Hunters

A test run on using a .30 caliber, 175-grain Terminal Ascent bullet fired at 100-yards. This projectile shows the desired mushrooming and excellent weight retention. (Photo: Federal Premium)

Accuracy is the first–and of course a crucial–part of the success of any new hunting round, but with the rising interest in hunting at extended ranges comes an even more important terminal performance consideration. If a bullet performs well only at ranges beyond 300-yards, then shots on game at closer ranges may not be clean, with bullets often failing to penetrate.

Likewise, bullets that do well on thinner skinned game at ranges of 100-yards or less may likely not maintain appropriate performance at extended distances, leading to wounded or lost game. As ethical hunters, we strive for the quick, clean harvest.

If Federal claims hold true, Terminal Ascent could be a viable hunting option for most any North American big game and range. As a caveat, however, no ammunition—no matter how great—replaces significant range time practice and an honest introspection on ethical hunting shot distances.


Federal Premium is going all-in right from the beginning launching not just a handful of chamberings, but rather, including eleven of the most popular long-range hunting calibers, each maximized with the ideal bullet weight for high BC and terminal performance at all ranges. In addition to the healthy line of factory-loaded hunting ammunition, Federal also announced a Terminal Ascent bullet component line offering in 50-count boxes.

Like any other hunting product, the proof is in the accuracy on the range and then reinforcement in performance on animals in the field, and will be heading out to hunt with Terminal Ascent in the very near future.

In the meantime, check out the entire list of Terminal Ascent offerings.

  • 6.5 Creedmoor 130 grain– MSRP $52.95
  • 6.5 PRC 130 grain– MSRP $50.95
  • 270 Win. 136 grain– MSRP $44.95
  • 270 Win. Short Mag 136 grain– MSRP $46.95
  • 280 Ackley Imp. 155 grain– MSRP $52.95
  • 28 Nosler 155 grain– MSRP $52.95
  • 7mm Rem. Mag 155 grain– MSRP $50.95
  • 308 Win. 175 grain– MSRP $42.95
  • 30-06 Sprg. 175 grain– MSRP $42.95
  • 300 Win Mag 200 grain– MSRP $53.95
  • 300 WSM 200 grain– MSRP $53.95

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Categories: Gun News

4 Tips to Up Your Winter Concealment Game

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 04:00

Winter is here and that means a return to cold weather concealed carry. Though the concepts are the same year-round, winter weather presents its own set of challenges to concealed carriers. From bulky clothing to gloves, gun owners that carry must tweak their setup to accommodate the winter months.

Don’t worry, though, has your back with some tried and true tips to alleviate the worries that winter brings.

1. Break out that full-size gun

Larger guns are a go in the winter!  (Photo: Jacki Billings/


Unlike in the summer when lighter, shorter clothes dictate the need for smaller guns; cool temps afford concealed carriers the ability to opt for larger firearms. If you’re usual carry is a Glock 43 in June, step up to the Glock 19 or even the G17 come January. Not only does this grant you more rounds but it offers a larger footprint to grab under all those layers.

An OWB holster, like the Bravo Concealment rig, makes drawing under layers easier. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

While we’re on the topic of guns and holsters, you might want to even consider using an outside-the-waistband holster if frigid temperatures plague your local area. An OWB holster sits out the outside of the pants and is more easily accessible if you tend to sport multiple heavy layers on the go. Be mindful with OWB, though, that you’ll need a cover garment – like a vest or longer sweatshirt – to prevent keeping your coat on 24/7.

2. Be mindful of clothes

While a zipped up coat is cozier, it may cause difficulties or extra considerations when drawing. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

It’s easy to get excited about winter carry and its endless possibilities, but don’t forget that clothes often make or break the concealed carry experience. Longer coats, though fashion-forward and on-trend, make drawing more difficult than shorter coats. If a peacoat is in your future, you might want to leave it unbuttoned so that you can still grab that gun if needed.

If you’re sporting multiple layers, also be cognizant of how that can impact your draw. Can you free the gun from under a t-shirt and sweatshirt combo or is it better to conceal with just a sweater? Test out your winter wear before heading out on the streets to ensure you have a good grasp on any limitations.

3. Grab the right accessories

Gloves that allow for dexterity and movement are essential for wintertime concealed carriers. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

For once, I’m not talking about ammo or optics — although if you want to stock on those too, we’re not going to stop you. As temperatures drop and snowflakes fill the skies, you’ll most likely find yourself reaching for some gloves to keep your fingers toasty and warm. Before donning your favorite pair, though, it’s prudent to test them out with your preferred firearm to ensure you can still operate the gun.

Mittens are cute but not functional when it comes to firearm manipulations. With the gun unloaded and cleared, dry fire with your gloves. If you can still manage to pull the trigger, rack the slide and clear potential malfunctions with your set then rock on! If not, it might be time to invest in a new pair. We prefer the SKD PIG gloves as they keep my hands warm without sacrificing dexterity.

4. Practice, Practice, Practice!

Drawing with a coat requires practice to nail down. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Let’s be real, you should be practicing year-round if you intend to carry; but, definitely put in those reps in the winter months. If you’re changing carry position, you need time to re-train your brain and that’s only accomplished through practice. If you’re adding more layers or a coat to your ensemble, understanding how this impacts your draw is essential to stay safe.

We suggest setting aside time each day to dry fire as well as a quick dry fire session before leaving the house – especially if you’re in a new outfit. A little bit of preparation goes a long way towards preventing catastrophe.

On the hunt for a new carry gun or need to stock up on ammo in the meantime? We’ve got your six! Head over to to peep our entire inventory of new and used guns as well as the accessories you need to concealed carry this winter.

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Categories: Gun News

A New Breed of Bolt Action: Daniel Defense Delta5

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 04:00

What happens when a custom-quality company like Daniel Defense, known for their semi-automatic modern sporting rifles merges that technology with the bolt action hunting and precision shooting space. The Delta 5, that’s what.

Meet the Daniel Defense Delta5

The Daniel Defense Delta5 comes ready for hunting seasons and long-range competition. With the pedigree of Daniel Defense’s history in the modern sporting rifle market, the company’s first bolt action rifle is a winner right out of the box. There’s a user-interchangeable cold hammer-forged barrel and a stainless-steel action that is mechanically bedded and uses an integral recoil lug. The three-lug bolt has a 60-degree throw, floating bolt head and the bolt knob itself is removable for easy alteration. The action is mechanically bedded, with the mini chassis and metalwork done in 6061 hard coat anodized aluminum.

The trigger shines with a single-stage, adjustable Timney Elite Hunter, with settings from one-and-a-half to four-and-a-half pounds. The two-position safety moves quietly in the field, while the ambidextrous magazine release is easily accessible. The included Picatinny scope base has 20 MOA of elevation, meaning less adjustment for longer-range shooting. The muzzle is threaded at 5/8 x24 TPI with a thread protector and a recessed crown for additional protection.

The Hunter Elite Trigger from Timney is ready to go right out of the box (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Daniel Defense initially offers the Delta5 in either .308 Win or 6.5 Creedmoor, with more chamberings likely coming down the line. While the .308 Win uses a 20-inch barrel, the 6.5 Creedmoor has a 24-inch Heavy Palma weight barrel. With an MSRP of $2,199, the gun is not cheap, but it targets a specialty market with more than enough features to entice long-range target shooters and hunters alike.

Field Impressions

Our test rifle came in the incredibly popular 6.5 Creedmoor with 1:8-inch twist rifling and is loaded with custom features all in a factory production rifle. The ergonomic stock screams customization and modularity and is built of carbon-reinforced polymer for an exceptionally solid feel. Both the comb height and yaw can both be adjusted with the ambidextrous knob.

Similarly, length of pull can be adjusted to allow for full comfort behind the rifle, and the rifle ships with both 0.25-inch and 0.5-inch spacers for LOP adjustment. If accessorizing is your thing, the stock allows a total of 14 M-LOK points at both the forend and buttstock. Quick detach M-LOK QD sling points come standard. Commonly found on bench guns, the rear bag hook at the base of the buttstock makes shooting from soft rests a treat.

The Delta5 ships with a single PMAG magazine capable of holding five rounds, though the rifle will accept any AICS pattern magazines. Everything ships in a Daniel Defense branded hard plastic case. Our test 6.5 Creedmoor rifle tipped the scales at 9.5-pounds bare and pushing 12-pounds when dressed with a 4-16×44 Vortex Viper HS LR optic, rings, and full magazine. That’s a weighty piece, but the recoil was one of softest 6.5s ever to hit our bench.

Our rifle came in 6.5 Creedmoor, but regardless of your caliber it’ll come with a 5-round PMAG (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Range Time

The company takes the highest pride in their barrel build and quality, which ultimately is the heart and soul of a long-range bolt action rifle. The Delta5 uses what the company considers an H-Palma Contour barrel, which they claim retains 95-percent of the accuracy of the hefty bull Palma but with only 64-percent of the weight.

Our Timney trigger came out of the box just a hair under 4-pounds, and we found no adjustment needed, though it could easily be regulated by the shooter. The trigger is a true gem of smoothness and crisp precision, made even sweeter with that slick bolt action. The threaded muzzle would be a welcome home for a suppressor or brake, though we were quite pleased with the rifle as-is.

Our time with the Delta5 was in late Fall and early Winter—cold and windy. Yet the rifle kept cutting hole after hole on the range. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

For accuracy testing, we shot a nice mix of factory 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition with both match and hunting-style projectiles: Hornady MATCH 140-grain ELD-Match, Sig Sauer 130-grain Elite Hunter, Federal Premium 135-grain Berger Hybrid Hunter and Norma Professional Hunter 130-grain Scirocco II. The rifle shot every brand with sub-MOA results at 100-yards, but it loved the Hornady MATCH. Three shot groups with all of that ammo easily shot sub-3/4 MOA, with the majority of the groups hovering around ½ MOA.

Our best three-shot group measured only 0.21-inch with the Hornady MATCH ammunition. We expected superior accuracy from a hyped Daniel Defense rifle, but this performance went above and beyond.


Though the rifle would be too hefty for all but the most physically fit mobile hunters to carry on extended hunts, especially at elevation, the rifle would be excellent from a stand or more stationary hunting style. Those willing to brave the poundage would be paid back dividends in accuracy.

The Delta5 from Daniel Defense may seem like it hits a limited market, though, in fact, that’s far from the truth. Modern sporting rifle fanatics will find familiar features with even greater accuracy. Bench shooters and long-range competitors should embrace the Delta5 for several reasons, including capability and functionality.

The long and short of the story is that the Delta5 is a shooter’s rifle—sweet features, soft-recoiling, and right on target.


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Categories: Gun News

NICS Background Checks for Gun Sales Up in December 2019

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 01:32

Federal background check data suggests a 4 percent increase in the number of gun sales nationwide last month (Photo: Eger/

December 2019 saw a bump in the number of firearm background checks when compared to the same month in 2018.

The unadjusted figures of 2,898,501 checks conducted through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System last month is a 15.1 percent jump from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,517,286 in December 2018.

When adjusted — removing figures for gun permit checks and rechecks by states which use NICS for that purpose — the latest total remains an impressive 1,553,965, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade organization for the U.S. gun industry. This number is 4 percent higher when compared to the December 2018 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,494,087.

December 2019 is also the eighth month in a row that the number of adjusted checks was higher than the previous year’s data and 2019 ended with overall higher figures than were seen in 2018.

The true number of guns sold nationwide is likely higher. It should be noted that NICS numbers do not include private gun sales in most states or cases where a carry permit is used as alternatives to the background check requirements of the 1994 Brady law which allows the transfer of a firearm over the counter by a federal firearms license holder without first performing a NICS check.

Over 20 states accept personal concealed carry permits or licenses as Brady exemptions.

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Categories: Gun News

France Orders 75,000 Glocks, Goes FN SCAR-H PR for Sniper Rifle

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 00:23

The French military over the past several years has been modernizing from FAMAS bullpup rifles to HK416s, and now will receive Glock G17 Gen 5 MOS pistols and FN SCAR H PR sniper rifles as well. (Photo: French Army)

News from Paris is that the French armed forces will be investing millions of Euros in new Glock pistols and FN rifles.

The French Direction générale de l’armement (Directorate General of Armaments), on Monday, detailed two big contracts for new firearms, the largest of which is for 74,596 semi-automatic pistols to Glock for €44 million. Defense Minister Florence Parly explained the new handguns will go to replace pistols that in some cases date back to the 1950s.

The French military currently uses Châtellerault-made MAC50 pistols and a version of the Beretta 92F, the Saint-Etienne-produced PAMAS G1.

The French Army will receive 80 percent of the new handguns while the Navy and Air Force will largely split the balance. In addition to the Glocks, which began delivery late last year and will proceed through 2022, the DGA announced that some 51 million rounds of 9mm ammunition will be acquired from Czech ammo giant Sellier & Belliot along with UTM training kits from the U.S.

A quantity of 7,000 suppressors will be acquired as well.

While the Glock model selected was not detailed by DGA, French language gun magazine Retex described the new pistol as a G17 Gen 5 MOS with a threaded barrel, suppressor height night sights and a two-tone layout with a Coyote frame under a black top half. Glock 17s are also used by the French national counter-terror team, GIGN, and other units.

The announcement comes just a few weeks after NATO ally Portugal announced they were ditching their long-serving Walther P-38s for an all-Coyote Glock G17 Gen5. The Glock stands tall among Western European militaries, being the choice of the UK, Holland, Poland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and others. Notably, the armies of Germany, Italy, and Belgium use handguns produced domestically in those countries from HK, Beretta, and FN, respectively.

Speaking of FN

The MAS36-based FR F2 is to be replaced by the more modern FN SCAR-H PR (Photo: French Army)

The DGA also made it official that a new variant of FN’s SCAR-H, dubbed the SCAR-H PR with the “PR” standing for Precision Rifle, was selected to replace France’s vintage FR-F2 bolt-action rifle. The Saint-Etienne-produced FR-F2, which has been the country’s standard sniper rifle since the 1980s, is based on the WWII-era MAS-36 platform with a 10-round magazine.

While the SCAR-H PR is chambered in the same 7.62 NATO round, the standard magazine capacity on the select-fire FN is 20. Differing from the regular production SCAR-H, the SCAR H PR has a slightly longer barrel, with an overall length listed as 40.16-inches over the standard 16-inch barreled SCAR 17’s 38.5-inches. Said length is also just shorter than that of the SCAR MK 20 SSR/20S.

Photos released by the DGA show the SCAR-H PR with an unidentified optic. A release says that Germany’s Telefunken-Racoms and Belgium’s OIP will supply a mix of IL and IR optics for the new rifle, which will also be equipped with suppressors.

Some 2,620 FN SCAR-H PRs will be ordered with deliveries beginning this year and is expected to complete by 2022. Additionally, French military contractor TR Equipement has detailed that Paris has ordered small quantities of FN’s very sweet compact 5.56 NATO SCAR SC as well.

Say what you want about the French military, they have good taste as the SCAR SC is très agréable. (Photo: Chris Eger/

In addition to their NATO, EU and UN commitments, the French military is deeply involved in fighting Islamic terror groups in Africa, where over 4,500 troops are currently deployed

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Categories: Gun News

CCW Ammo Showdown: Battle of the .45ACP

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 04:00

The Black Hills .45 ACP takes on the Hornady .45 ACP in this head-to-head. (Photo: Josh Wayner/

The .45 ACP is one of the most popular and storied cartridges in American history. While other calibers have come and gone, the .45 ACP has remained, never losing relevance. It boasts a very high bullet mass and has a reputation as a fight-stopper. Today, two popular .45 ACP loads go head-to-head. The Black Hills 230-grain JHP takes on the Hornady 230-grain XTP.


The ammunition was tested alongside a Glock 21. (Photo: Josh Wayner/

Some say the .45 ACP has seen its day. This school of thought comes as the result of the skyrocketing popularity of 9mm in modern semi-automatic pistols. Jacketed hollow points are what makes the modern 9mm very effective and the adage “9mm can get bigger, but a .45 never gets smaller” has persuaded some concealed carriers to make the jump from .45 ACP to its smaller 9mm counterpart.

While the sentiment does carry some weight, what cannot be denied is the lasting cultural and practical significance of the .45 ACP. The .45 bore has a significant following all across America and there are many fine guns chambered in it. Not to mention, today’s .45 ACP jacketed hollow points are probably some of the most versatile bullets available.

For this match-up between Black Hills and Hornady, we used a Glock 21 to test the capabilities each round had to offer. The Glock is stock except for upgraded sights and Taran Tactical magazine extensions. These extensions only add a bit of length but increase the capacity to 16+1 rounds of .45 ACP — nothing to sneeze at.


(Photo: Josh Wayner/

Accuracy was tested from a bean bag bench rest at 15-yards. Five, five-shot groups were fired from the Glock 21 and were averaged.

Both loads performed very well here. In a first for the author, there was no real discernible difference in on-paper accuracy. Both loads had a consistent average of 2.5-inches at 15-yards. The extreme variations were also identical, with the smallest groups coming in at 2-inches and the largest coming in at just under 3-inches. The point of aim was also the same. There is no significant difference.

Winner: Tie


Black Hills, left, vs. Hornady, right. (Photo: Josh Wayner/

Again, there was no detectable difference between the loads. The Black Hills variant averaged 801 feet-per-second while Hornady came in at 821 feet-per-second – not a significant difference at least in terms of declaring a winner. 20 feet-per-second is about as close as you can get statistically for two different brands of ammo.

Winner: Tie


When it came to recoil, again, there was no real difference. The Glock 21 is an easy gun to shoot and neither of these loads had particularly fearsome recoil. The author mixed a magazine indiscriminately with both types of ammo and could not tell a difference as far as recoil impulse or blast. There was a minor difference in terms of slide cycling velocity, which brings us to….

Winner: Tie

(Photo: Josh Wayner/

Handling Characteristics

This was the only part of the testing where Black Hills pulled slightly ahead. While the recoil was the same in the hand, the Black Hills load had a smoother cycling impulse.

It was minor, but Black Hills produced slightly less muzzle flip making for faster follow-up shots. The Hornady load was just a little snappy in terms of handling.

Winner: Black Hills

Gel Performance

Hornady brought the best expansion. (Photo: Josh Wayner/

Both of these brands were fired into bare gelatin from Clear Ballistics at a distance of 5-yards to simulate a self-defense situation. The performance here, unlike in the other metrics of the testing, showed an advantage towards Hornady in reliable expansion. All of the XTP bullets fired into the gel expanded in a very uniform way and had a very consistent penetration depth of 14-inches.

The Black Hills JHP’s expansion was somewhat less consistent than Hornaday. Penetration also varied slightly, but the depth of penetration was much deeper at an average of 17-inches. While all of the XTP bullets expanded uniformly, the Black Hills bullets behaved like a combination of a full metal jacket and jacketed hollow point. The jackets and cores of these bullets are very hard, which means that they’re going to get much deeper into the target with less resistance.

Winner: Hornady



The Black Hills load won but ever so slightly. (Photo: Josh Wayner/

Black Hills wins….but barely. This was a pretty tough call. Overall, everything about these two loads was basically the same; however, Black Hills edged out the competition due to its smooth handling and greater penetration depth.

That being said, the Hornady XTP is a fantastic bullet and it only lost because we were forced to declare a winner. It should be noted that if this competition was out of 100, Hornady would’ve come in at 99/100. It was so close that it could’ve gone either way.

In short, both of these loads are excellent choices for .45 ACP shooters.

Shop’s ammo selection for all your training and concealed carry needs.

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Categories: Gun News

Savage’s 1st Semi-Auto Shotgun: The Savage Renegauge Series

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 03:39

Developed over several years, Savage’s new Renegauge series of semi-auto shotguns are designed to conquer the nastiest of conditions.

Pitched as the company’s first autoloading shotgun (unless you count the time they used to make Browning humpbacks as the Savage 720 in the 1930s and 40s) the new Renegauge uses a proprietary Dual Regulating Inline Valve (DRIV) gas system. The DRIV system, according to the company, has an “unparalleled ability to regulate the gas that cycles the shotgun’s action,” thus allowing everything from low-brass target shells to Magnum loads to cycle with reliability and without any adjustments.

“Renegauge is unlike any other semi-automatic shotgun, and demonstrates our commitment to innovate as an independent company,” said Al Kasper, Savage’s President, and CEO. “This project has been in the works for years because we wanted to enter a new category in a big way. The team in place now did an amazing job getting this to the finish line.”

In addition to the DRIV system, the shotguns come standard with a vent-ribbed Melonite-finished fluted barrel and a stock with an adjustable length of pull, comb height, drop and cast. Other features include oversized controls, chrome-plated reciprocating components, a one-piece chrome-plated action bar assembly and red fiberoptic sights. The platform uses Beretta/Benelli pattern choke tubes and ships with three– Improved, Modified and Full.

While Kasper says that Savage will expand the Renegauge offerings in the future, the 2020 catalog will have no less than a half-dozen different 12 gauge models spooled up.

The standard black synthetic model Renegauge will be offered in both 26- and 28-inch models with an MSRP of $1,449. (Photo: Savage)

The Renegauge Waterfowl model, in a Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades camo pattern, will be available in 26- and 28-inch variants for an MSRP of $1,549. (Photo: Savage)

When it comes to gobbler guns, the Renegauge Turkey, with a 24-inch barrel, will be available in Mossy Oak Bottomland… (Photo: Savage)

…and Mossy Oak Obsession for $1,549. (Photo: Savage)


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Categories: Gun News

Mossberg Debuts New 10-shot 940 JM PRO Competition Shotgun

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 02:34

Geared to competitive shooters, the new Mossberg 940 JM Pro 12 gauge semi-auto shotgun was announced this week.

Offered in black and MultiCam models, both with a 24-inch vent rib barrel, the 940 JM Pro is based on Mossberg’s popular 930 series shotgun, but with lots of optimizations.

Like what? Well, HIVIZ front fiber optic sights and Briley extended chokes, out-of-the-box adjustability for length-of-pull (13 – 14.25 inches), drop, and cast; and a new gas system on the 9+1 capacity 940 billed as being able to “run up to 1,500 rounds before cleaning and will reliably cycle any type of quality factory-made 2.75- or 3-inch ammunition.”

The 940 was developed in conjunction with well-known competition shooters, Jerry and Lena Miculek.

The standard model has a black synthetic stock and forend with tungsten gray-anodized receiver with a gold-anodized surface controls (bolt handle, bolt release button, mag extension nut, safety button, trigger, and cocking indicator).

For those who want a more field-ready gun, there is a second version of the 940 with a MultiCam stock and forend while the receiver and controls carry a black anodized-finish. Of note, the HIVIZ TriComp sight system on both models haves nine user-interchangeable LitePipes, in three colors and three shapes.

These 940 JM Pro series features nickel boron-coated internal parts, and a competition-level loading port, elevator, and follower. The adjustable stock and streamlined forend, coupled with an oversized and contoured charging handle and bolt release button combine are ideal for quick manipulation as is the enlarged and beveled loading port, ideal for quad-loading.


The 940 JM Pro ships with three Briley chokes (Cylinder, Improved Cylinder, and Modified) with an MSRP of $1,015, a figure which should drop well below four-digits with retailers.

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Are you as excited as @lena_miculek is about the new Mossberg 940 JM Pro Competition Shotgun? We are! @jerrymiculek #Mossberg #Shotgun #940JMPro

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Categories: Gun News

Modern Materiel is Making Waves in a Crowded AR-15 Market

Fri, 01/03/2020 - 11:00

The Modern Materiel story begins in 2015 with owners Joe Savio and Pete Alesso. Savio and Alesso set out to build New Jersey compliant AR-15 rifles. In a sea of restrictions, both Savio and Alesso felt New Jersey consumers were getting the short of the stick often relegated to “neutered versions” of big brand rifles. Savio brought his experience as a firearms instructor and consultant while Alesso’s Cerakote business and Federal Firearms License provided the ability to manufacture guns.  Modern Materiel was thus founded and focused on producing rifles with all the premium aspects of an expensive boutique build at a fraction of the cost.

The Mod Mat SBF Multi is a quality built gun with an attractive appearance and price point (Photo: Don Summers/

Using a simplified approach to gun making,  a single gunsmith assembles the gun from start to finish, including test firing. A second gunsmith then inspects each gun for quality before packing and shipping. This single point of contact prevents quality issues while keeping returns and malfunctions low. This, in turn, ensures customer satisfaction.

Not only efficient, this is the closest you will get to a custom gun in a production environment. Modern Materiel has worked tirelessly to bring 100-percent American made rifles to New Jersey clients with parts sourced domestically.

Modern Materiel’s rifles aren’t just for those from the Garden State (Photo: Don Summers/

As a small company means they are also hyper-focused on delivering unparalleled customer service which has earned them spots on law enforcement patrol squads and special operations teams in New Jersey. Additionally, they offer a “No Gun Down” policy. If any rifles should get tied up in an investigation, they offer a replacement.

A quality build mixed with great customer service is a recipe for success and Modern Materiel isn’t slowing down anytime soon. We’re going to have more reviews of the company’s ARs in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned to for full reviews and to see these rifles in action.


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Categories: Gun News

New Bergara B-14R .22LR Precision Training Rifle

Fri, 01/03/2020 - 06:00

The new Bergara B-14R is pitched to those who want a full-sized 22LR trainer for use in NRL22 and PRS .22 competition matches or to complement their long-range precision rifle. (Photos: Bergara)

Bergara recently announced its new B-14R, a .22LR built on a full-scale Remington 700 footprint, is now shipping.

A complement to the company’s successful B-14 line of bolt-action rifles, the B-14R (Rimfire) has all the features consumers who want a precision “trainer” are looking for including a 90 lift and longer bolt-throw, replicating the same feel of a REM700 platform along with the ability to use that huge array of compatible parts.

“Because the B-14R is based on a full-size receiver design, it also provides a perfect platform to allow any shooter the ability to customize their rifle with all kinds of compatible accessories already in the market,” said Bergara in a statement.

Using a 1-in-16-twist 18-inch 4140 barrel with a threaded muzzle, the B-14R comes standard with Bergara’s fully-adjustable HMR stock with a full-length mini-chassis.

The B-14R uses a 10-round single-stack .22LR magazine built to similar dimensions as a standard short action AICS mag.

Weight of the B-14R is 9.5-pounds and the rifle comes ready for a Remington 700 compatible scope mount

MSRP of the Bergara B-14R is $1150.


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Categories: Gun News

Night Vision for Consumers: Why You Should Buy One Now

Fri, 01/03/2020 - 04:00

Night vision isn’t just for military members, civilians can benefit from this tech. (Photo: Eric Jezierski/

One of our most relied upon senses in the field is sight, but when the sun goes down, we often lose the upper hand. Animals once at our mercy during the daylight hours, now boast a significant advantage due to enhanced senses of smell and hearing.

All is not lost though as there is a clear way to maintain the tactical and hunting edge even in the nighttime hours – of course, we mean night vision. When most people hear night vision, they immediately imagine operators creeping through compounds at night; but, night vision isn’t just for the military any longer. Every day civilians can now put these handy pieces of tech to use in their own lives.

To prove it, we’ve gathered a few reasons why night vision makes life easier.

On the Hunt

Many predators have naturally enhanced senses that give them the ability to move undetected in the dark; so, to get the jump on these animals, you often have to stalk them in the night. Night vision equipped products make this possible by removing the cover of darkness from nuisance animals like coyotes and wild hogs.

Whether learning game movement patterns for upcoming hunts or just figuring out what might be lurking in your backyard, binoculars and monoculars offer plenty of spotting opportunities. Binos and monocular night vision devices are an excellent and affordable means to migrate into night vision.

View from night vision. (Photo: Eric Jezierski/

Easy to use, these devices are portable and therefore perfect for tracking animals in the wilderness. Entry-level products will clearly pick out wildlife during the night at distances up to 150-yards, while higher-end products can be effective as far as 500 to 600-yards.

Hunters who know they’ll be aiming predators under the veil of darkness, a night vision equipped riflescope proves valuable as you are one trigger pull away from downing your target. While low-end products will get the job done, higher-end items with laser range finders, such as from ATN, make shots even easier by automatically adjusting the position of the reticle to account for bullet drop. In short, if you have the dough spring for the top-end models.


Tactical Training

If tactical is more your zone, night vision presents the opportunity to practice in dark conditions. Whether you’re military, law enforcement or just a Tactical Timmy, knowing how to operate at night is sure to give you an edge.

For tactical training missions, users can opt for a night vision scope on their favorite rifle or a night vision device worn on the body. Both of these options offer shooters yet another effective tool in the tactical kit.

Tactically minded folks can benefit from training with night vision. (Photo: Eric Jezierski/

Remember the Moment Forever

Regardless of whether you are scouting, taking game, training or just interested in exploring nature at night, on-board or wireless recording systems provide the opportunity to capture what you see. Companies like Pulsar and ATN both make products with integrated recording capability.

Record your low light moments with night vision tech that also include recording capabilities. (Photo: Eric Jezierski/

Recording your shots or your training missions allows gun owners to share special moments with friends and family, relive that crucial shot over and over or work on training areas that need improvement. A little pricier than your standard night vision models, these are well worth the cash if you prefer to keep mementos of hunts or training sessions past.


Final Thoughts

(Photo: Eric Jezierski/

Night vision devices have never been more accessible to the civilian market. Changing laws and hunting methods, as well more affordable pricing is removing the barrier to entry.

Improvements in technology are also making today’s night vision devices exponentially more useful than those that previously were only available to military personnel. Adding a night vision device to your current set-up will make you more effective in the field and give you a whole new way to experience the night.

Ready to grab your own NV ready accessory? Head to to check out all our night vision products.

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Categories: Gun News

KRISS USA Announces New .22LR Vector Line Up

Fri, 01/03/2020 - 00:22

The rimfire KRISS Vector line includes both carbine (shown here) and braced pistol models in three different color options. (Photo: KRISS)

Virginia-based KRISS USA on Thursday announced a rimfire expansion to their Vector series firearms with six new guns chambered in .22LR.

The new rimfire Vector will officially hit the market at SHOT Show in Las Vegas later this month but KRISS let the cat out of the bag early. The rimfire line will include three Vector CRB carbines with 16-inch barrels and an M4-style stock while the three braced pistol Vector SDP-SB models come standard with an SB Tactical stabilizing brace and 6.5-inch barrels. Each will be offered in black, flat dark earth, and alpine white color options.

“We are very excited to add .22 Long Rifle to the list of calibers that the Vector is now chambered,” said Tim Seargeant, the marketing manager for KRISS. “The release of the Vector .22LR is an important milestone in the development of the Vector platform by making it more accessible to shooters of all skill levels and budget-minded consumers.”

Importantly, the new plinkers will be the most affordable KRISS Vectors on the market, with an MSRP of $649– a pricepoint about half that of centerfire models.

Both styles of rimfire Vectors use 10-round magazines, although 30-round models will be available.

The Vector CRB .22LR model runs a 16-inch threaded barrel, surrounded by an M-LOK modular handguard. Standard features include a Picatinny top rail affixed with low profile front and rear flip sights, ambidextrous safety, and a 6-position M4 stock. (Photo: KRISS)

The Vector SDP-SB .22LR model features a 6.5-inch threaded barrel. Standard features include a Pic rail, ambi safety, and an SB Tactical stabilizing brace. Both models are available in black, FDE, and alpine white color options.


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Categories: Gun News

Gun Review: Diamondback DB9 Gen 4 After 3 Months & 1,000 Rounds

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 23:30

The 9mm Diamondback DB9 G4 is an affordable striker-fired micro-compact that is small enough for pocket carry. (All Photos: Chris Eger/

A pint-sized 9mm carry pistol that can be stored almost anywhere or worn with almost anything, the Diamondback DB9 Gen 4 brings a lot to the table.

The micro-framed DB9 Gen 4, with an unloaded weight of just 13.4-ounces, while maintaining a 3.1-inch stainless steel barrel that gives an overall length of 5.73-inches, is described by Diamondback as the “smallest and lightest” 9mm on the market. With a flush-fit magazine shoe installed, its height is 4-inches flat. The maximum width is 0.89-inches. This puts it a hair larger than “mouse gun” semi-autos in .22LR, .32ACP and .380 Auto, but more than, say a J-frame .38.

The DB9 stacks up a skosh bigger than the mouse guns out there, while coming in smaller– and slimmer– than a snub-nosed .38 and way shorter than compact 9mms.

About the closest 9mm micro-compacts we can find of a similar size are the Kahr CM9, SCCY CPX-2, and Ruger EC9S, all of which are an ounce or two heavier. The Kel-Tec PF-9 runs lighter when unloaded is a tad longer than the DB9.

[Related Spec-Check: Comparing the Diamondback DB9 Against Other Common Carry Guns]


In short, if you can carry a wallet or mobile device, you can pocket carry a DB9 comfortably.

Is that a DB9 in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

If a gun is over 4-inches in height or over an inch thick, you can hang it up for pocket carry– or deep carry for that matter. Many of the lilliputian guns hitting that stride include the Beretta Pico, Ruger LCP/LCPII, AMT Backup, Kel-Tec P3AT, S&W Bodyguard and Kahr P380– but the thing is all of the preceding are .380s. Notably, the DB9 lives in that range but runs on 9mm, which is a bonus.

At about a pound, you get a holstered 9mm with seven rounds on tap.

Weight, with seven JHP rounds loaded and the DB9 stuffed into a Hunter leather pocket holster, hit 17.4 ounces on my postal scale. A pound of prevention, more or less. There are, for sure, drawbacks to such a carry technique. For instance, drawing from a front pocket is hard while seated, making back pocket carry more ideal if you spend lots of time on your keister– but you have to train for it. As with anything, your mileage may vary.

Such carry may not be ideal for everyday use, but I did find it great for going to the gym as I find it weird to wear a belt with track pants. Likewise, while kayaking in shorts or doing yard/housework, the Diamondback in pocket carry was a good fit.

The DB9 was great for “gym carry” and other activities where you may find yourself sans belt but still with pockets.

For those who want to go “deeper” the DB9 is small enough to work with Paris Theodore’s old-school (circa 1974) Seven Tree’s groin holster or today’s newer DTOM or Smart Carry line, however many are cautious about having a hog leg directly over their peas and carrots.

We also spent a lot of time with the DB9 in a FoXx hybrid IWB holster with good results

For belt carry, the DB9 works fine in the 3-to-4-o’clock (personal preference) or appendix (if you are into that sort of thing) provided you get a decent holster. Using a FoXx hybrid IWB holster the DB9 carried fine on the belt, although after spending most of the past couple decades with various Glock, Smiths and SIGs in that position, the Diamondback had a notably lighter footprint. This also lends well to use as a BUG to a larger handgun.


At the Range

Although snappy with +P rounds, the DB9 is controllable

The replaceable (Glock pattern) steel sights include a red front post with green rear dots while night sights are readily available. Note the front and rear slide serrations and fenced slide stop lever

Shooting 7.5-pound single-action first round with a reasonable reset on the trigger, the pocket pistol has good sights for a gun its size, especially when compared to other guns in the same class (looking at you, LCP/EC9). This allows for decent accuracy.

At practical accuracy under 25 yards, the DB9 holds its own.

Further, it is reliable.

The DB9 is not finicky when it comes to 9mm ammo. The closest thing I had to a malfunction in over 1K rounds fired was short stroking the slide on two occasions during loading drills with a closed slide.

The DB9 ate a wide-array of ammo from various manufacturers including both FMJ and JHP loads.

With that, keep in mind that the recoil spring is super stout on this palm-sized pocket pistol, especially when over a full magazine, and you must go about charging a DB9 with your game face on. This could put the gun as something of a training issue for those with low hand/grip strength. Such an issue is overcome by locking open the empty pistol and inserting a full magazine, then releasing the slide.

Although reliable and accurate, the DB9 was not a fun gun to shoot.

With big mitts, there is the occasional snakebite. See what we did there?

While you can fire 50 or 100 rounds at a time through the DB9, after that you are just kind of beating yourself around. In other words, the gun is great for monthly (ideally) practice but if you are going to go to a week-long 1,500-round tactical handgun course, you may want to leave this one at home and reach for something more comfortable.

Closing thoughts

Whether it was at the gym or kayaking offshore, the DB9 was an easy companion that gave peace of mind– even in pocket carry without taking up room in clothing options that were outside the norm. Able to be stored almost anywhere or worn with almost anything north of a banana hammock without printing, Diamondback’s palm-sized 9mm works across the board as a self-defense handgun in several situations.

Plus, did we mention they are American-made and only run about $225 bucks? 

Besides, a 9mm you will carry with you is worth more in real terms than a heavier or bulkier one you leave at home, right?


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Categories: Gun News

Shadow Systems MR918 Brings Snazzy Features to CCW

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 05:00

Shadow Systems burst onto the scene in 2019 with its own concealed carry-esque pistol, the MR918. Looking straight into the eyes of Glock perfection, the MR918 looks to upend the stalwart pistol and become the go-to for users looking for custom-like concealed carry.

As a concealed carry fan, I took on the task of testing the new MR918 platform to see if it lives up to its hype.

What is the MR918?

The MR918 from Shadow Systems adopts a Glock look but these pistols are more than they seem. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Released at SHOT Show 2019, the MR918 is a striker-fired polymer pistol chambered in 9mm. Now, you might look at this and think to yourself, “Sure looks a lot like a Glock.” You’d be right and that’s because the design was inspired by the Gen 4 Glock 19. Though it adopts a similar aesthetic, Shadow Systems maintains that their polymer frame is 100-percent their design taking a couple of years to develop.

The pistol comes in two flavors – the Combat and Elite. The Combat brings a base model to the table, while the Elite offers elevated, high-end features such as a ported, optics ready slide and threaded barrel. Speaking of the barrels, both models deliver a customized look adding a gold-ish accent to the black slide and frame.

The Elite, left, and the Combat, right. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

The MR918 pistols offer a weight around 24-ounces, measuring 7.125-inches in length and with barrels coming in at 4-inches, though the Elite’s threaded version adds an extra half inch.

The frame on both variants sport an interesting grip texture found on areas that you normally wouldn’t see texturing on, like forward of the trigger. All of this works together to provide positive contact points for shooters so if you’re hands are sweaty or wet, you’re not losing your grip on the gun. Now, texturing can sometimes go overboard to a point that is painful or destructive; but Shadow Systems seems to have struck a nice balance between an aggressive style that isn’t over the top.

The Elite’s optics ready slide accepts the Trijicon RMR Type 2. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

In addition to some spiffy texture, the MR918 also opts for a double undercut trigger guard and an extended beavertail — a nice bonus for those of us that like to choke up on the grip. Additional perks include a flared magwell for easier reload, a flat-faced trigger, tritium front sight, three interchangeable backstraps and a handy pusher tool to deal with that backstrap pin.

It’s worth noting that the MR918’s finish, which makes the gun look nice, is quite bothersome to keep clean. It readily picks up fingerprints and hand oils as well as scratches from the holster. Now, all this wipes clean and doesn’t impact the functionality of the pistol; but if you’re a stickler for aesthetics this could rub you the wrong way.

The pistols offer a flat-faced trigger. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

On the Range

From the get-go, the MR918 impressed me. I started with the Combat model at approximately 7-yards. My first three shots provided a close grouping — much closer than I’m used to seeing with my CCW, a Gen. 4 Glock 19. For an hour, I continually threw a bevy of rounds downrange — everything from Winchester white box to Hornady Critical Defense with no issues. All the while, my targets were peppered with nice, tight groups.

The MR918 is extremely easy to handle. Recoil was minimal and I was able to control the firearm, easily placing those follow-up shots exactly where I wanted. It became apparent that, though a seemingly trivial accessory, the interchangeable backstraps contributed to better accuracy.

The MR918 performed well on the range. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

With high, neutral and low options, I had swapped the neutral backstrap in for the low variant and it made all the difference. The low backstrap was slimmer which allowed my petite hands to gain a more natural grip on the gun – even better, unlike my Glock, my index finger wasn’t stretching to reach the trigger which frequently throws my Glock shots to the left. I was hitting dead center with the MR918 all because the gun provided a better grip angle for me.

The Elite version provided the same results as the Combat – shooting flawlessly and fitting perfectly in my hands. The Elite also featured the bonus of an RMR cut. I paired a Trijicon RMR Type 2, previously seen on the FN 509 MRD, with the MR918 to see how the two would do. The Trijicon rode steadily on the Elite and after a volley of fire and a day at the range, it was still securely in place.

(Photo: Jacki Billings/

For me, the addition of the red dot and the RMR cut slide made little difference. I suffer from astigmatism and I’ve yet to find a red dot that doesn’t produce an irritating and distracting starburst pattern. For the sake of testing, I ran the Trijicon though I did so on its lowest setting so I could maintain a sight picture with the iron sights — which bring a 1/3 co-witness with the optic.

Concealed Carry

The MR918 Combat slipped into my Dark Star Gear AIWB holster with ease. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

The issue for most concealed carriers looking to make a switch always comes down to gear. No one wants to restock their inventory of holsters for an entirely new set-up, myself included. Shadow Systems has thought this through though and, since the build is on par with the Glock 19, the MR918 Combat easily slips into any holster designed for the Gen 4. G19 platform.

Word of caution, if you opt for the Elite make sure your holster comes with an RMR cut otherwise it won’t fit with a red dot attached. Also, depending on the style of holster you have that extra half-inch, courtesy of the threaded barrel, can prove problematic.

The MR918 Combat in the Dark Star Gear Orion. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

The Combat package, though, fit flawlessly in all of my Glock holsters including my personal favorite EDC from Dark Star Gear. As it features similar dimensions, the draw felt about the same so there were no major adjustments needed.

Final Thoughts

The Elite offers a spiffy look. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

While the MR918 was a pleasant surprise, its price is not. Starting at $878 for the Combat package and $988 for the Elite, the pistols aren’t cheap. Given that you can get a Gen. 4 Glock 19 used for around $400, for the average consumer the MR918 won’t make sense; but, then again, the MR918’s market isn’t the average gun guy.

The MR918 fits that niche of gun owners who want custom but don’t want to have to do the work themselves or send their beloved gun off for work. This is where the MR918 excels – with gun guys and gals who will surely swap sights, barrels, and slides off stock guns. The MR918 justifies its high price tag by doing all the heavy lifting for consumers. It’s best to remember what you’re getting with this package instead of focusing on just the sticker price.

(Photo: Jacki Billings/

All in all, the MR918 performed better than expected and in a move that shocked even me, has slowly taken the place of my Glock 19 as my EDC. I intend to do a follow-up review in about 6 months to see how this gun truly holds up to the rigors of concealed carry but until then, if you’re on the hunt for a custom gun under $1,500 with a few bells and whistles Shadow Systems has you covered.


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Categories: Gun News

New for 2020: The Colt Python is BACK in 6, 4.25-inch Stainless Models

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 01:27

The rebooted classic DA revolver is chambered in .357 Magnum and also accommodates 38 Special cartridges. (Photo: Colt)

Colt this week made it Facebook Offical: the vaunted Colt Python is back for 2020, available in two different stainless models.

Colt first introduced the full-lug six-shot heavy target style revolver in 1955 as something akin to the Cadillac of wheelguns. The big “I” frame .357 Magnum (although some .38 Special target models were made) was king of the block when it came to wheelguns for generations, which caused prices on used snake guns to skyrocket when the Python was put to pasture in 2005.

Now, after a 15-year hiatus, the Python is back in a 4.25-inch and 6-inch variant.

“We know the Colt Python is one of the most beloved and collected firearms in American history, and its re-release has long been demanded by enthusiasts,” said Justin Baldini, Product Director at Colt. “We took our time on R&D – we needed to be sure the look and performance of this redesign lived up to its legendary name and kept its impeccable reputation for quality and accuracy. This new Python lives up to the legend in every way.”

Colt describes the stainless finish on the new Pythons as “semi-bright.” Sorry, gang, no Royal ColtGuard E-Nick or Royal Python Blue at this time. (Photo: Colt)

Changes that came as part of the reboot included re-designing the internals to trim the number of parts (14 less to be exact), thus streamlining the trigger group, while improvements were made to reinforce the new Python through the use of stronger stainless steel alloys. The results say Colt, is that the upcoming Python has a smooth-as-butter trigger, and is more reliable, easier to maintain, and more robust.

“The testing process included over 40,000 trigger pulls on a single Python,” said Colt in a statement. “Trigger pull scans show lighter trigger pull weights, less friction and increased consistency, re-enforcing the Python’s reputation as a gun that can be heavily used and passed down through generations.”


Other features include a recessed target crown, user-interchangeable front sight with a red ramp, an adjustable rear, and an updated walnut grip with a gold Colt medallion. The double-action trigger pull is listed as 7-to-9.5 pounds. The overall width is 1.55-inches while the height is 5.5-inches. The barrels are both 1:14 LH twist with 6 grooves.

The new 6-inch barrel Colt Python has an unloaded weight of 46-ounces and an overall length of 11.5-inches.

The new 4-inch barrel Colt Python has an unloaded weight of 42-ounces and an overall length of 9.75-inches.

The new Colt Python .357 Magnum is set to retail for $1499 MSRP. This puts the Python about $200 more than the Colt Bright Cobra and in about the same price range as the Dan Wesson 715 and S&W Competitor Performance 686.

Baldini has more details on the new Python in the video below.

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Categories: Gun News

The Great Nor’Easter Raised $35,000 For Our Veterans

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 00:29

On a crisp fall morning, competitors sporting both 3 gun and USPSA gear gathered in the parking lot of the Pioneer Sportsmen Club in Dunbarton, New Hampshire. It was the weekend of September 13-15, 2019. They were there to compete in The Great Nor’easter. 

In only its third consecutive year, The Great Nor’easter has become New England’s largest 3 gun competition and one of the largest USPSA competitions in the area. Local cadets were there to kick off the meeting with a color guard and all present said the Pledge of Allegiance.

The competitive shooting community is passionate about helping our country’s Veterans, and Aiming for Zero’s event The Great Nor’easter brings these two communities together. Aiming for Zero, a sector of Active Heroes, is a channel for the shooting community to focus their efforts to prevent Veteran suicide. The Great Nor’easter has risen to be a top-five event nationwide for Active Heroes. 

Taylor Thorne, the organizer of The Great Nor’Easter with her custom AR-15. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

The event is organized by a group of dedicated volunteers. At its helm is the ever-enthusiastic Taylor Thorne. “We’re here to have fun,” she said, “but also to raise money for a great cause.” In the first year, 2017, 110 competitors participated and $12,000 was raised. This year, 2019, they hosted 180 competitors and almost tripled the fundraising to $35,000. That’s an impressive feat.

Thorne and her team are proud of the people that help and attend. “When you go to the match itself you feel just how much the community cares, you see people helping each other, and one can witness patriotism as its peak,” said Thorne. Top competitors of both USPSA and 3 gun shooting sports came out to share and try their hand at 7 unique stages. There was a shoot house, high and low ports, obstacles such as see-saws, cooper tunnels, and platforms. All were designed to challenge and thrill shooters. 

Sponsors set up tents and socialized with the community. Lunch was provided by the Zahn family, passionate about the cause drive down from Maine every year to cook and donate their proceeds to Aiming for Zero. Raffles were held with all kinds of prizes up to a full Altas Gunworks build, which started online and saw donations from all over the world. (if the Australian donor won it would have been interesting to see how that transfer would work!) was excited to witness The Great Nor’easter and support Aiming for Zero. It’s important to show the good work our competitive shooting community does. If you are interested in competing or supporting Aiming for Zero’s Great Nor’easter next year, mark your calendar for September 11-13, 2020. You can find much more information on their Facebook page.

Shop for all your competition firearm needs at

A competitor wears an Aiming for Zero t-shirt. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

Local cadets at The Great Nor’Easter. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

The American Flag hangs outside the Pioneer Sportsmen Club in Dunbarton, New Hampshire. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

Ian Stimbeck and Nate Thomas competed in The Great Nor’Easter. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

Ryan Link with his Remington 1100 shotgun. He was competing with his father. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

Nate Thomas’s competition belt. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

The face you make when it’s your turn and they hand you your AR-15. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

A competitor’s belt. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

Nick Mellino competed in The Great Nor’Easter. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

Atlas Gunworks donated a pistol which was raffled off to raise funds at The Great Nor’Easter. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

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Categories: Gun News

21 Rounds: New Ruger 57 5.7x28mm Pistol Touted for 2020

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 00:24

Billed at being roughly half the price of an FN Five-SeveN, the new Ruger 57 uses 20-round steel magazines that flush-fit in the grip. (Photo: Ruger)

The full-sized and full-featured Ruger 57 handgun was announced just in time for the New Year and comes standard with a 20+1 capacity.

Announced on New Year’s Eve by the firearms giant, the 5.7x28mm Ruger 57 uses a through-hardened, billet steel slide with lightening cuts coupled with a glass-filled nylon frame. When it comes to specs, the new pistol has a 5-inch barrel with an overall length of 8.65-inches and a weight of 24.5-ounces. Of note, that makes it almost a dead ringer for FN’s Five-seveN pistol, which was developed in the early 1990s for its eponymous cartridge.

Where the Ruger 57 makes a radical departure from the FN Five-seveN is in price, with the Ruger pistol carrying an MSRP of $799 against the FN’s $1,435 (which is closer to $1100 at retailers).


“The Ruger-57 is destined to become one of America’s favorite handguns,” said Ruger President and CEO Chris Killoy. “This pistol is soft shooting, accurate, powerful and just plain fun to shoot.”

The Ruger 57 has a windage and elevation adjustable serrated rear sight and a rapid acquisition fiber optic front sight. Additionally, the slide is drilled and tapped for use with a separately available optic adapter plate.

Did we mention the Ruger 57 has an MSRP of $799? (Photo: Ruger)

Other features include a Picatinny-style accessory rail for lights and lasers and a Secure Action fire control with what Ruger bills as a “short, crisp trigger pull and positive reset.”

The Ruger 57 is a new entry to the limited 5.7x28mm handgun field and comes ready to mount an optic. (Photo: Ruger)

Prior to release, Ruger sent out a number of review guns to 22Plinkster, The Firearm Blog, Jeff Quinn with Gun Blast and Slav Guns, and Kevin Jarnagin with Gun Talk Media. Check out what they have to say in the below vids.

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Categories: Gun News

New Year’s Resolutions for the American Gun Owner

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 04:00


A couple of guys who had the resolution of having more fun at the range (Photo: Ben Philippi/

As we move into the new decade it’s important to plan to make 2020 the best year yet. There are many New Year’s Resolutions you may want to attempt in 2020 and we suggest at least a couple of them be related to your favorite firearm. Below you’ll find a list of resolutions the Editors of put together for the American gun owner. Different gun owners need different resolutions, we suggest picking a couple from below and running with them.

2020 will be the year… that I take my dry-fire practice to another level, 30 minutes a night at least 3 times per week.

Use dry fire trainers to work on fundamentals and consistency. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

2020 will be the year… I vote with my dollar and spend a majority of my dollars at businesses that support the Second Amendment.

2020 will be the year… I finally take that hunt of a lifetime. Whether it’s ringnecks in South Dakota, elk in Montana, or ducks in California, I’m finally going on the hunt I’ve always wanted.

Few places in the world could ever come close to rivaling those South African sunsets. Safaris are about much more than hunting—the animals, wild cuisine, conservation, and of course, the scenery is second to none. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

2020 will be the year… I get in amazing shape and shoot more than ever to compete in the Tactical Games.

The second annual Tactical Games. (Photo: Ben Brown/

2020 will be the year… I finally shoot that caliber I’ve been talking about wanting to shoot.

Three solid options in modern .416 Rigby ammunition are the Barnes VorTX and Hornady Dangerous Game Series Bonded or Solids, which performed flawlessly in the author’s Dakota Arms Model 76. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

2020 will be the year… I pledge money to a worthy pro 2A cause such as The Second Amendment Foundation, Walk the Talk America, Wounded Warrior, or any number of other reputable pro 2A causes.

Consider pledging money to Second Amendment Foundation or any other pro-2A group this year.

2020 will be the year… I introduce a friend or colleague to firearms for the first time.

George and Mike, a couple of dads just trying to legalize freedom at the range (Photo: Ben Philippi/

2020 will be the year… I bag that buck that’s been eluding me the past few years.

Scent Kapture always brings home the big bucks! (Photo: Kristen Alberts)

2020 will be the year… I carry everywhere that is legally possible and take my training seriously.

With the right gear and mindset carrying every day is achievable for anyone (Photo: Jacki Billings/

2020 will be the year… I buy that gun I’ve always wanted.

A beautiful case hardened Colt SA Army (Photo: Don Summers/

What do you think? Is there something we missed? Are there any resolutions you’re going to take to heart? Let us know in the comments below!

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Categories: Gun News