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Dems Seek $10 Million in Taxpayer Funds for ‘Smart Guns’

Sun, 10/20/2019 - 23:45

Gun companies have long held that there is little appetite for so-called “smart guns” on the consumer, military or law enforcement markets, and have continued to market reliable, traditional designs. (Photo: Chris Eger/

A group of House Democrats last week introduced a bill that would set aside Department of Justice funds to research so-called “smart guns.”

The aim of “The Advancing Gun Safety Technology Act” is to back “private-sector commercialization of gun-safety technology” through a $10 million pilot program in 2021 funded through DOJ. Companies who have an initial product design and a “demonstrable commitment to reducing unintentional or unauthorized shootings” would be eligible to apply for a grant through the program.

The bill is sponsored by U.S. Reps. Jackie Speier and Zoe Lofgren, both California Democrats with a history of backing gun control proposals, and is co-sponsored by a half-dozen other Dems from Florida, Massachusetts, Texas, and Washington D.C. A statement from Speier’s office said the bill, “would finally give innovators the financial boost they need to market technology that can save American lives.”

Smart guns, typically employing some sort of authorized-user technology like a fingerprint or passcode to unlock a firearm, are not a new concept. Perennially “just a couple away” for over two decades, few attempts have made it to commercialization. One, the $1,200 German-made Armatix iP1, was introduced in 2014 but failed to make headway on the market. The .22LR pistol, which required an RFID-equipped wristwatch to be able to fire, could allegedly be hacked with a $15 magnet and jammed with radio waves.

This has left a bad taste in the collective mouths of gun owners who are reluctant to trust such unproven technology. A survey published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in June found that 70 percent of gun owners surveyed would have a concern about whether the tech would work when needed and only 5 percent would be very likely to buy such a firearm if it added significantly to the gun’s price.

Firearms industry trade groups have long had a position that they are not opposed to authorized user recognition technology being applied to a firearm or to the further development of smart guns– as long as it is not made a requirement by lawmakers. However, gun makers stress the market for such guns doesn’t exist. Earlier this year, a Ruger shareholder report said that customer feedback showed “very little interest” in smart guns while American Outdoor Brands Corporation, owners of Smith & Wesson, issued their own shareholder report that explained the company “does not believe that current authorized user or ‘smart gun’ technology is reliable, commercially viable, or has any significant consumer demand.”

The National Shooting Sports Foundation points out that “Gun owners already store their firearms to prevent their access by those who should not have them. They follow safe handling and storage practices which are set forth in the owner’s manual provided with each firearm. They don’t see a panacea in smart gun technology, nor should proponents or policymakers.”

Filed as H.R. 4730, Speier’s measure has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

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Categories: Gun News

The Buck of a Lifetime: A Hunting Story

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 04:00

The view from Nick Kussoff’s hunting spot. (Photo: Nick Kussoff) is interviewing hunters and collecting stories on memorable hunts from around the country. Sometimes a buck comes into your life at just the right moment. For Nick Kussoff that moment was 2017 in Pennsylvania’s Black Moshannon State Park. On one of his last hunts in the Keystone State, Kussoff headed into the woods, earning a story he would remember for a lifetime.

I was getting ready to move down to Florida and I knew it was going to be one of my last hunting seasons in Pennsylvania. I was living in State College, Pennsylvania at the time. I had graduated from Penn State and just stuck around. One of my very good friends from my hometown of Scranton worked for the Forestry Department in Pennsylvania as a forester. He had the inside scoop on all the good hunting spots. He couldn’t go with me on opening day but he told me about this one spot.

There was a place we’d hiked before, where he was repairing fences. He said that his guides were seeing a lot of big deer. It was pretty tough to get to spot but he said it was worth checking out. I was already somewhat familiar with the area but he gave me a map and directions to the place.

The first day I went there, it was a little bit more difficult than I expected. I borrowed my roommate’s truck and drove a little further away than I wanted to, making the hiking more difficult than I had hoped for, but I get to my spot pretty much at daybreak and it was absolutely awesome. It was a creek bed in this valley between two steeper mountains. The mountains had been much steeper than I anticipated so it was a welcomed break when I got down there.

(Photo: Nick Kussoff)

I packed pretty light because I knew I’d be moving around. I had my grandfather’s Winchester 30-30 that he always took out with me. It was the first time the Winchester had been out since he had passed. It was pretty cool to bring it with me for that reason more or less.

I brought my camera so I thought I would take some pictures of the sun as it came out. I found a nice spot and I put my camera and gun down to get my pack off so I could take off my parka since I was getting a little warm. It was dead quiet when usually in Pennsylvania on opening day it sounds like World War III. All you hear is gunshots– especially on public property. This was in Black Moshannon State Park which is enormous but even at that if you go a day without seeing someone else, it’s really unique. But, so far, I didn’t see anyone else or hear anyone else. It was kind of eerie.

I took a few sips of water and went to pick up my stuff again. I had one of those feelings where you know something is watching you. I took a quick look around and maybe 30-yards behind me there’s a deer, just kind of watching me as I’m hanging out. All my stuff is on the ground and he’s got me basically fixed. He was just watching what I was doing. Then he turned his head. Growing up, I’ve seen a lot of big deer. I’ve watched them get bigger and bigger as the years went on and management got better and better.

(Photo: Nick Kussoff)

This was, hands-down, the biggest deer I had ever seen.

When he turned his head it was like a chandelier of antlers. I hadn’t had buck fever since I was 13 but at that moment I was freaking out. It was a moment of shock and panic. He was watching me the whole time, that close, and I was wide out in the open. I was standing there like an idiot. I didn’t know whether to move or wait him out.

He turned his head just a bit and I thought I had an opening. I crouched down and grabbed my grandpa’s gun. As soon as I did that, it was like something from David Copperfield. The thing just vanished. These were open woods and I still don’t know where he went. He just disappeared in the time it took me to grab the gun and turn around. Completely gone.

That was the only deer I saw that day. For better or worse, under the circumstance and given how far away my truck was, it was the best outcome but it was the buck of a lifetime. It was one of those moments where, if my grandpa had been with me, he would have thought it was pretty comical.

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Categories: Gun News

Beating Around the Bushmaster: A look at the 450 BM

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 03:26

Evolving from a Jeff Cooper concept, the .450 Bushmaster has grown in popularity in the past decade, especially in areas where deer regs have made it a must-have.

Cooper, a legendary gun writer and shooting theorist, wrote about a gun he described as “The Thumper” in his 1998 book, “To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth.” The idea was something akin to an M1 Carbine chambered in a round like the .44 AutoMag but able to reach out to 250 yards. Fast forward a decade and, following lots of groundwork and burning of lean muscle tissue into the night, Tim LeGendre of LeMag Firearms, developed the “.45 Professional” as a big-bore AR round then moved the design to AR-maker Bushmaster– hence the slightly shorter resulting cartridge’s name– and Hornady took it to market in 2007.

At the time, Hornady described the round as “the hardest-hitting production cartridge ever to be chambered in an AR-15-style rifle.”

Approved by SAAMI, the .450 BM has the appeal of being just one upper change away from working on most AR platforms, although magazines can sometimes be tricky, leading some manufacturers to produce low-capacity (to meet the needs of hunting regs) mags specifically chambered in the rounds.

Speaking of hunting, that is where the .450 BM shines, with the round delivering about twice the energy of a .223 Rem, producing a roughly comparable performance to .458 SOCOM and .50 Beowulf. Where it beats the latter is the fact that it is classified in many states such as Michigan as an acceptable straight-walled cartridge for deer hunting in many previously shotgun-only areas.

Whereas initial ammo offerings were limited, today there is growing variety on the market from both household names and niche cartridge makers when it comes to .450BM

This had led Hornady to expand their own branded .450BM loads to include 245-grain Interlock American Whitetail and 250-grain Flex Tip Expanding in both their Hornady Custom and Hornady Black lines.

Other ammo makers have also jumped on the bandwagon as well, with Federal producing 300-grain jacketed soft point Power-Shok and 260-grain Fusion soft points among other loads. Remington, Winchester, Doubletap, and HSM have set up comparable real estate in the Bushmaster neighborhood.


Besides AR uppers, Ruger has introduced all-up modern sporting rifle models chambered in .450BM as part of their AR556 MPR series while ATI did the same thing in their Milsport platform.

For those looking for bolt guns or single-shots, either for personal preference or to comply with local regulations and rules, there are lots of options out there.

Savage 110

The 3+1 capacity Savage 110 Engage Hunter XP uses a 22-inch barrel with a pretty serious muzzle break.


Savage Arms has of late introduced a few different models of their Model 110 bolt-action platform factory chambered for .450BM. This includes the 110 Wolverine and 110 Engage Hunter XP.

Ruger Gunsite Scout

Chambered in the powerful 450 Bushmaster, this Ruger Gunsite Scout can take down most large game. This used rifle is in excellent condition in the Vault for about $100 less than a new one.


Ruger’s Gunsite Scout rifle is lightweight, hitting the scales at 6.6-pounds. Coupled with the 16.1-inch barrel and it is a handy brush gun. The .450BM chambering, with a 4-round magazine, also gives the hunter a good bit of “thumper” on hand if needed.

Ruger American/American Ranch

The Ruger American Standard in 450BM carries a Go Wild pattern stock while the American Ranch runs an FDE synthetic. Both are available under $500.

For the more budget-conscious, Ruger also has a few other bolt gun offerings currently available in .450BM. These include the Ruger American Standard with a 22-inch barrel ($495) and the Ruger American Ranch which has a shorter 16.1-inch threaded barrel with an installed muzzle break ($422) on an 11/16″-24 pitch. Both feature lightweight synthetic stocks and Ruger’s Marksman Adjustable trigger that is user adjustable between 3 and 5 pounds.

Ruger No. 1 Standard

On the wide list of caliber options for Ruger’s No. 1 is the .450BM


Ruger’s falling-block No. 1 Standard is robust and sturdy, often seen in safari and dangerous game calibers. The company also markets it in .450BM complete with a black laminated stock. The Cold 20-inch hammer-forged stainless steel barrel has 5R Rifling and yields a compact rifle that is just 36.5-inches overall. While retail is $1899, our price is a good deal less than that.

All in all, these days, it looks a lot like the .450 Bushmaster is alive and doing just fine.

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Categories: Gun News

Great Gear for Bagging Whitetail Deer in 2019

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 23:30

Another hunting season approaching means another list of gear, and while not every deer hunter needs or wants all the same items, these things work. With retail prices from under $20 to over a grand, there is something for every hunter and style of hunting.

Tipped Ammunition

Choosing the correct deer ammunition amidst shelves stacked with all sorts of manufacturer claims can be a daunting task for hunters. While tipped rounds are far from ideal for bigger game, they are tailor-made for the thinner-skinned, medium-sized American White-tailed Deer. Rapidly expanding bullets will, on the whole, perform much better than heavier rounds that are not intended to transfer their kinetic energy as quickly. Deer hunters should give at least one of these a go both on the range and in the stand: Sig Sauer Elite Hunter, Hornady Outfitter, Nosler Ballistic Tip, Federal Premium Trophy Copper, and Norma BondStrike. Each one of those makes use of a polymer-tipped, boat tail bullet, while those seeking non-lead options will gravitate to the copper alloy construction of both the Hornady Outfitter and Federal Premium Trophy Copper. For more in-depth info on these tipped rounds, check out our feature.


A nice mix of our tipped rifle ammunition offerings, ideal for taking deer-sized game. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Bushnell Nitro Spotting Scope

While not all deer hunting involves copious time spotting and stalking, range time itself is a whole lot more enjoyable with a good spotting scope. Bushnell’s Nitro is ideal in both situations. Though it’s on the higher end for average range deer hunts, it perfect for hunters who need optics that can handle big game seasons in the Western states as well as local deer fields. Our test model is the 20-60x65mm with the angled eyepiece, though straight is also available. The glass is top-quality, fully coated, nitrogen-purged with a 16mm eye relief and 110’/50’ FOV. A magnesium chassis with a rubberized coating is both durable and practical. The rotating tripod ring makes the scope even more comfortable in awkward field positions. The Nitro Spotter carries a $749 MSRP, though real-world prices already have it listed under $600. For more in-depth info on the Nitro, check out our feature.


Bushnell’s new Nitro Spotting Scope, here in 20-60×65 works equally well glassing for game on backcountry hunts as it does on a tripod on the shooting range. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Montana Decoy Plot Pack

Decoy use is rapidly growing in popularity among deer hunters, both bow and gun. We’ve used them to draw in curious whitetails with great success on the edges of food plots as well as in more open terrain. This two-decoy set from Montana Decoy allows for the greatest versatility in a hunting setup. Whether it’s early-season feeding, pre-rut, or full-on chasing, hunters can use the included Motion Doe alone, add the second Buck/Doe either with or without its antlers attached or position the Buck aggressively with his antlers in place. In an innovative move, the company includes what they call a “teaser tail” that not only mimics an actual whitetail’s bushy tail but also allows for scent placement on this part of the deke. Even mobile hunters will appreciate the Plot Pack, as we especially enjoy how compact they fold and fit into a hunting pack, almost the size of a frisbee, so it’s easy to have them at the ready. The decoys spring open easily, the fabric material has held up well, and when positioned correctly, deer can’t help but come join the party. The retail price on the set is $139.99.

Montana Decoy’s two-deer plot pack is ideal for both bow and gun hunters (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Ozonics Scent Elimination Device

Though we usually lean much more to traditional types of hunting, this one is too intriguing to ignore. Instead of preparing for the hunt by covering with odor control sprays or layering on new scents, Ozonics offers these battery-run devices that use ozone to destroy human scent in the field. The HR-300 Scent Elimination Device is intended not only to de-stink your gear at home, but more importantly, is built to take out in the field. This same unit designed to be attached to your tree, placed in a ground blind can also be used in a scent control closet or container at home. Though ozone scent control always seems to find controversy, Ozonics is clear about staying well within government standards. The HR-300 sells for $449, while similar units are available at both higher and lower price points. While we have no good way to scientifically test the unit, we’ve had numerous deer walk right by the HR-300 in both ground blind and ladder stands.

Ozonics are battery-run devices using ozone to destroy human scent in the field (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Make sure to check out the wide selection of new and used rifles from the Vault for your next hunting trip.

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Categories: Gun News

Milsurp Bambi Dusters: Sporterized Military Rifles

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 05:09

While the rule of thumb in milsurp rifles is “No, bubba, no!” there are thousands of sporterized military rifles already in circulation that need love, too. This M1917 Remington “American Enfield” lost its ears and was sporterized decades ago but still clocks in regularly as a tried-and-true deer rifle. (Photo: Chris Eger/


Love them or hate them, there are thousands of surplus military rifles that are floating around as sporters.

Now let us be clear, in most cases, a more or less correct retired military rifle in safe shootable condition, be it a Trapdoor Springfield, Martini-Henry, M1903, or even an SKS, can double as a deer gun with the correct ammo and little further modification. Truth be told, I harvested my first whitetail as a somewhat shaky pre-teen with the help of a stock Argentine DWM Mauser that stood about as tall as I did at the time. These guns, with the right load (150 grains on Garands, please), work and work well.

But we aren’t talking about those vintage dual-purpose firearms. We are talking about the ones that have been “sportified” or, as some say, were “violated by bubba.” These guns, which still have the heart and soul of an old soldier, typically have seen scope mounts added, new Monte Carlo (or even synthetic) furniture added in place of the old full-length wood stocks, chopped-down barrels, and updated sights.

This is not a new thing.

Some of the most popular rifles on the hunting racks from “sea to shining sea” in the early 1900s were milsurp European arms like Remington Rolling Blocks in calibers like .43 Spanish, the big 10.4mm Italian 1871/87 Vetterli and the French M1874 Gras, chambered in 11mm. In a form of “swords into plowshares,” these went from arming soldiers to soldiering on in the task of putting food on the table and giving peace of mind as a symbol of democracy over the fireplace.

Fast forward to the 1920s and WWI surplus Pattern 17 (M1917) Enfields and M1903 Springfields soon began appearing alongside older Krag .30-40s and the flotsam of the Great War. New custom gunsmiths like Griffin & Howe in New York joined well-known Army-Navy retailers like Bannerman’s in converting these guns over to use as “sporter” rifles.

This 1927 Bannerman’s catalog has “Russian Springfield Rifles” which were Remington-made Tsarist contract Mosin M91s that were converted to .30-06 with new 22-inch barrels, alongside Krag sporters, .32CF Remington Rolling Blocks and Canadian Ross rifles. Talk about a time machine! (Photo: Chris Eger/

Much the same story continued after World War II when the always-steady trickle of Mausers became a downright tsunami of not only German-produced guns but also examples made by companies such as FN in Belgium, Husqvarna in Sweden, Brno in Czechoslovakia, and elsewhere. While many were sold as intact military rifles and brought joy as wall hangers, collectibles and in trips to the field and range, their cheapness and ready availability (at the time) led many to be converted to a handier offering.

Back in the 1950s, companies like Golden State Arms in Pasadena sold small ring Mexican 7mm Mauser actions for as low as $25, advertising they were ideal for rebarreling to “the latest big game caliber, .358 Win” or other chamberings such as .308 Savage, .257 Roberts, .22-250 and .35 Rem. At the same time, Belgian, Czech and German surplus Model 98 Mauser actions were sold, frequently re-barreled with Bushmiller or Apex barrels, chambered in everything from .220 Swift to .35 Whelen and everything in between. Golden State produced a number of these recycled Mauser actions in new walnut stocks.

From the Vault is this beautiful Golden State Arms “Santa Fe Field Mauser” in .30-06 has a 24-inch barrel and a Redfield 2-7×30 scope. Ready to go home for just $522

This Springfield M1903 has a serial number that dates it to about 1921 but it has been highly sporterized by the Wiedner Rifle Corp and re-barreled in .257 with a 24-inch barrel and Lyman front and rear sights in addition to a Monte Carlo wooden stock. Looking for someone who is a .257 or 1903 fan, priced at $579.99

Years ago, Century refurbished and rebuilt surplus German Mauser 98s into what they termed the “Centurion 98 Sporter” with a new 22-inch barrel. Sold in both .270 and .30-06, this example is one of the latter, however, we think the stock was upgraded as they were originally sold with synthetic furniture. For $399, why not?

Some of these rifles have been only “gently” sporterized and are still very close to their original condition. Typically, their conversion involved the addition of optics.

This Carl Gustav Swedish Mauser, still chambered in 6.5x55mm and carrying its bayonet lug, was long ago fitted with a Weaver Fixed Power Scope. Still, this interesting Swede is ready for the next chapter of its life in the Vault, priced at $569.98.

This Yugo M24/47 Mauser, in 8mm, looks mostly original, um, except for that extended eye relief Tasco 2x fixed power scope, that is. Still, it’s up for grabs.

Other rifles, which would be considered an abomination to dyed-in-the-wool military collectors, still make great hunting and sporting rifles with a bit of panache that your average Remington 700 or Savage 110 doesn’t possess.

This Ankara K. Kale Turkish Mauser dates from 1943 but that 26-inch stainless steel barrel, complete with a muzzle brake, and synthetic stock do not. While no longer perfect for a collector or reenactor, it is only $199!

This custom build is a bolt-action rifle with a Mauser action of unknown origin. Its 18-inch barrel has been re-barreled for .257 Roberts with a four-round magazine. It also has Burris scope bases and an oil re-finished walnut stock with a steel buttplate. Good to go for $399.99

Some guns are exquisite conversions– keep in mind that commercial Mauser actions have long been a favorite for safari guns and discerning hunters alike.

This FN-H Mauser, chambered in 7x57mm, has a 26-inch barrel with Weaver-style scope bases set in a walnut Monte Carlo stock with a rosewood forend cap. Ready to go home for $855

This CZ VZ 24 features extensive engravings on the magazine floorplate and is chambered in 6.5x68mm, a caliber well-liked in Europe for its high performance and flat trajectory. For more on this beauty, click on the image.

And for those who want to just build their own, there are still plenty of those old barreled actions floating around. Speaking of which:

This Husqvarna action, chambered in 6.5x55mm Swedish, is a great $199 gunsmith special.

In the end, these guns have led a long and interesting life. If they could only talk, right? Still, just because someone at some point tweaked its features to make it more ideal for the field doesn’t mean they aren’t still great rifles. Maybe just misunderstood.

Be sure to check out our used gun selection for great deals. You never know what you are going to find. (Photo: Richard Taylor/

No matter where you stand on saving orphaned military sporters, you never know what you are going to find while browsing the Vault of Certified Used Guns.


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Categories: Gun News

Optics Review: Taking a Peek with Trophy Xtreme Binoculars

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 04:00

The Trophy Xtreme binoculars by Bushnell offer a budget-friendly, comfortable design. (Photo: Chris Scarpitta/


A successful hunt relies on many factors but one of the most important comes down to being able to accurately view large areas of field and woods. Designed to maximize field of view at medium distances, the 8x56mm Trophy Xtreme binoculars by Bushnell promises to grant shooters a more robust viewing area in a single glance. Bushnell sent over some Trophy Xtreme binoculars for to take for a test drive to see if they measure up to the hype.


The Bushnell Trophy Xtreme 8x56mm binoculars offer a slim design, weighing in at 30.1-ounces. Its compact build is attributed to the binoculars’ roof prism design. These prisms are coated with Bushnell’s signature PC-3 Phase Coating. The lower 8x magnification and larger 56mm objective lenses yield a greater field of view than the 10x50mm variant of this line. At 1,000-yards you will be able to see an area that spans 300-yards across with this model. The larger forward lenses also gather more light particularly at dusk or dawn when it matters most on a hunt.

Included in the box are a neckband, soft case, and instruction manual.


The binoculars are fog-proof and water-proof which helps when in the field. (Photo: Chris Scarpitta/

When it came to heading out with the Trophy Xtreme 8x56mm binoculars, I enjoyed the fog-proof and water-proof construction. It allowed for unobstructed clarity despite being transported from a warm hunting spot to a cold blind and tree stand. All lenses are fully multi-coated for ultimate clarity and accurate color transmission; though I would have liked to see an additional coating or two on the lenses to help refine clarity and definition further. That being said, I certainly wouldn’t say that the glass was bad.

Aligning the barrels to the eyes is effortless — the hinged assembly sturdy enough to hold its position when worn around the neck. Twist-up eyecups locked into place and worked well regardless of eyeglasses or not. I found the rubberized surfaces to be tough as nails, particularly after being banged around a hunting pack. Attached lens covers also made for one less component to drop in the woods. Additionally, the placement of the gripping surfaces proved to be well thought out as the course areas fit right in the palm of my hand. My thumbs landed instinctually on the rough pads of the underside.

I used the binoculars to peek on a herd of whitetail deer snaking along neighboring woods 10-feet into the tree line as well as an unsuspecting squirrel as he popped his head in and out of a hole tightly situated in a dead tree.

Final Thoughts

The binoculars are tough as nails and great for hunting. (Photo: Chris Scarpitta/

An MSRP of just $200 certainly classifies these as budget glass, however, they certainly don’t feel cheap. Overall, I have absolutely no reservations taking these on a hunt in any weather condition.


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Categories: Gun News

.308 vs .223 for Hunting Whitetail Deer

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 00:00

The size difference between .308 and .223 is substantial but don’t let that fool you, both can take deer (Photo: Eric Jezierski/

For many years intermediate calibers were the name of the game when it came to selecting the right cartridge for hunting deer, but that is not necessarily the case anymore. Due to improvements in ammunition technology and our understanding of the energy a bullet carries with it, .223 Remington has become a popular deer hunting cartridge. While many hunters have been using .308 Winchester for decades when taking whitetail deer, the growing popularity of the .223 among shooters has made many consider using the smaller projectile for their caliber of choice. Let’s dive in and see if .223 is really the best caliber for the job on your next hunt.


For many years, most states required the use of an intermediate cartridge for whitetail deer hunting. There are still some states’ regulations that deem .223 too small, such as Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia to name a few. In states such as Minnesota and Wisconsin, laws have been updated to allow the smaller, faster round to be used.

In contrast, .308 is a caliber that is universally known as a fantastic deer hunting round in places that allow rifles for the sport.

What You Need to Take Whitetail Deer

A common measure is that is used to determine whether a round is powerful enough to take whitetail deer is the energy the bullet delivers. 1,000 ft pounds of energy is often thought of as the minimum power a bullet can carry to ethically take large game like deer.

Most .223 cartridges designed for hunting use will have over 1,200 foot pounds of energy when fired from a full length rifle barrel. This is considering that the projectile is roughly 62 grains or heavier, and the bullet if zipping along at a blazing 3,000 feet per second. By these measurements, the .223 has plenty of power to take down a whitetail deer ethically.

In comparison, a 175-grain projectile from a .308 caliber rifle will deliver over 2,600 foot pounds of energy when traveling over 2,600 feet per second. While this is more than double the energy of the .223, it is worth noting that increasing bullet weight does not always mean more energy delivered to the target. In fact, with most factory loads, the lighter weight bullets of .308 will usually deliver more energy upon impact.

It is also interesting to note that comparing the effects either of these bullets have in ballistic tests, both rounds have similar penetration depths. The .308 however creates a wider wound channel.


Why Choose .223

One of the most popular rifles today is the AR-15. One reason for its increased popularity is that the platform is affordable, ergonomic, and lightweight. Another reason is that we have a large population of veterans among us who are familiar with the platform, so they tend to gravitate back to it. Since the .223/5.56 is the most common chambering for the AR-15, it’s no surprise that people would want to use it to hunt with.

.223 is one of the most affordable rifle cartridges available today. This means that it is reasonable to assume that most of us have the propensity to train more with our rifles chambered in the caliber. Part of taking a deer ethically is being able to put a well-aimed shot where we intend to.


Why Choose .308

While .308 ammunition is more expensive than .223, it’s still relatively inexpensive and easy to practice with. Also, there is no doubt that .308 hits much harder than .223. Finally, .308 has much greater effective range.

With a greater effective range, .308 might be the clear choice if you are hunting whitetail deer in a location where you are expecting to take long range shots.

What Ranges Could You Take Deer At?

At 200 yards you can expect a .308 bullet to drop about two inches. At the same distance, a typical .223 hunting round will drop about three inches. Both rounds will begin to drop at an increasing rate beyond the 200-yard mark, with heavier .308 bullets dropping slightly more than the lighter .223.

One major concern is that .223 will lose energy much faster than the .308. Beyond 100 yards, .223 will have energy less than 1,000 foot pounds. This tells us that ethically .223 should be used at ranges of 100 yards or less. For some hunters this may not be a realistic option, but for many, a lot of those shots you might get at a trophy whitetail are likely to be well within that range.

The growing popularity of the AR platform has made the .223 a more common hunting round (Photo: Eric Jezierski/

Whitetail deer are skittish creatures who prefer to live in dense forests where they are well-hidden from predators. If we consider the success that bow hunters have with whitetail deer at ranges of 50 yards and in, suddenly 100 yards seems like a very reasonable range.

You’ll have to determine for yourself if you really think that you are going to need to range out beyond that 100-yard mark to take your deer. This should be done through a two-part process. First, scout your hunting land to understand where the deer are and where your stand will be. Second, make a realistic assessment of how far you think you can hit the small target that is the vital organs of the whitetail deer. Note that the final shooting position will likely be different from the bench rest you might have zeroed your rifle on.

Choosing the Right Bullet

Regardless of the caliber you choose, it’s important to choose the right ammunition for the job. Soft points or hollow points should be used to ethically take a whitetail deer. These bullets are designed to expand upon impact, prevent over penetration, and cause maximum damage to the vital organs of game when the shot finds its mark.

Final Thoughts

Both calibers are up to the challenge of taking a deer home and helping you put venison in the freezer. While .308 is a trusted caliber among deer hunters, .223 is quickly gaining a following among the community. If you aren’t currently using .223, it is at least worth your consideration.

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Categories: Gun News

New Tipped Ammunition Deer Hunters Must Try

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 23:30

A nice mix of our tipped rifle ammunition offerings, ideal for taking deer-sized game. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Deer hunters have shelves upon shelves of rifle ammunition from which to pick at this time of year–brightly colored packaging, catchy tag lines, and promises of big bucks on the ground. While it’s certainly not possible to try even a quarter of all the options in any caliber, hunters will be well-suited to send several rounds down range this year. Many of the new polymer-tipped rounds are built by the companies specifically for optimal performance on the rather thin-skinned whitetail deer. Here are five of our favorites, with each excelling in accuracy.

Nosler Ballistic Tip

The quality of Nosler ammunition precedes itself, so its no surprise that their Nosler BT (Ballistic Tip) makes this list. In fact, the new tagline for BT is “Made for Whitetail” with the rapid expansion projectiles designed for devastating shock on deer-sized game. Per the company, “every bullet weight and velocity is optimized for maximum effectiveness on deer, antelope, and hogs.” With several new-for-2019 chamberings, BT is now available in 15 different calibers. Aside from the all the expected rounds, the company gives hunters interesting choices in 7.62×39, .25-06, 6mm Creedmoor, .260 Rem, .280 Rem, and .280 Ackley Improved.


Nosler’s BT (Ballistic Tip) ammunition is marketed as “Made for Whitetail” and indeed that should be the target with these rounds. The 15 different calibers are sure to put venison in the freezer this season. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Norma BondStrike

Norma may not be as popular on the American hunting market as some of the other brands listed here, but with more rounds like this, that underrated factor won’t last. The new BondStrike line of extreme long-range ammunition is geared toward medium-sized game like deer and hogs. The blue polymer tip is mated to a match-style boat tail bullet. The only downside to the new BondStrike is that it’s currently only available in .30 caliber options: .308 Win, .30-06 Spfld, .300 Win Mag, .300 RUM, and .300 WSM. The company has more calibers slated for upcoming release, including the much awaited 6.5 Creedmoor. Those hunters who can’t find BondStrike may also be interested in the company’s TipStrike or EcoStrike, matched for rapid expansion and non-lead hunts, respectively.


Norma may be underrated on the American hunting market, but their new BondStrike line of tipped hunting rounds will perform well on deer-sized game. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Hornady Outfitter

While it’s hard to argue against using Hornady’s premium Precision Hunter ammunition, many of those bullets are on the heavy side for White-tailed deer. Enter Hornady Outfitter. Hornady’s brand new line of Outfitter ammunition is loaded with GMX copper alloy bullets with a polymer tip. Built for controlled expansion on medium to large game with 95+% weight retention means they’ll work well on deer, and with some of the larger calibers, are quite serviceable for bigger game as well. The nickel-plated cases are, per the company, “waterproofed to ensure protection from moisture.” Outfitter already comes in a dozen chamberings, from .243 Win to .375 H&H and .375 Ruger, with several short mag options as well.


Hornady’s brand new Outfitter tipped ammunition is loaded with the copper alloy GMX bullets and available in a dozen calibers. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Federal Premium Trophy Copper

Besides the Hornady Outfitter hunters looking for non-lead ammo can also look to Federal Premium’s Trophy Copper offerings. Federal Premium truly outdoes themselves, offering Trophy Copper in 24 different chamberings, far more than any other on our list. The polymer-tipped, boat tail bullets sit on nickel casings. Per the company, Trophy Copper is intended for “superior penetration and aggressive expansion.” In addition to all the expected calibers, they cover the bases for lovers of all the short magnums, as well as unsung whitetail takers like .25-06, 7mm-08, and .338 Federal. While they stock plenty of heavier calibers as well, the deer chamberings are aplenty.


Federal Premium’s Trophy Copper is one of the best non-lead options for deer hunters and is available in more calibers than any of the others. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Sig Sauer Elite Hunter Tipped

Sig Sauer may be fairly new to the hunting ammunition market, but they’re already making waves and pitching dreams of trophy animals. Designed for accuracy and performance at extended ranges, Sig’s new Elite Hunter Tipped ammunition is, per the company, loaded for “long range accuracy with devastating on-target performance.” The blackened-jacket, yellow-tipped, boat tail bullets sit in nickel plated cases. These controlled-expansion tip bullets come in a dozen popular calibers from .223 up to .300 Win Mag, covering every deer hunter’s arsenal. Bullet weights are optimal for medium-sized game like deer, from the 130-grain .260’s to 165’s in .30-06 and 180’s in .300 Win Mag. The new Sig ammo has just started shipping and will be hitting local gun store racks and online listings shortly.


Sig Sauer is fairly new to the hunting ammunition market, but their Elite Hunter Tipped rounds are a deer-hunter’s dream. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/


Choosing the correct ammunition for any particular game animal can be a difficult thing for some hunters, but this year more than any other, premium ammo manufacturers are taking out the guesswork. Every one of our tipped rounds is available in all the most popular deer hunting calibers. Hunters should give at least one, if not all of these, a go in the deer woods.

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Categories: Gun News

New Army M4, M249 Replacement Contenders Make a Splash

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 03:40

General Dynamics-OTS, which is working with True Velocity and Beretta, this week showed off their new RM277 platform (left) which fires 6.8mm composite -cased cartridges (right) Photos: Gen Dyn-OTS/True Velocity)

Futuristic new guns competing in the U.S. Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapons program were shown to the public this week.

Intended to replace the current standard M4 Carbine and M249 SAW light machine gun, the new NGSW contenders — which use 6.8mm (.277-caliber) hybrid ammunition with an EPR bullet– were on hand at the largest land warfare conference and tradeshow in North America: the Association of United States Army annual meeting (AUSA 2019) taking place this week in Washington DC.

While AUSA has lots of interesting new guns, such as Northrop Grumman’s new XM913 50mm Bushmaster Chain Gun and Rheinmetall’s new 130mm/L51 smoothbore tank gun, it was the NGSW candidates that drew crowds.

Military Times’ Gear Scout got up close to the MCX Spear entry from Sig Sauer, which notably features a free-floating reinforced M-LOK handguard, side-charging handle, fully ambidextrous controls, folding buttstock, and suppressor. When it comes to their ultra-light NGSW-AR, proposed to be the successor to the M249, the machine gun has AR-style ergonomics, quick detach magazines, a side-opening feed tray, increased 1913 rail space for night vision and enablers, a folding buttstock, and suppressor.

General Dynamics Ordnance & Tactical Systems, which is working with True Velocity and Beretta, showed off their new RM277 NGSW platform, a bullpup with lots of modularity. Notably, the gun uses True Velocity’s 6.8mm composite-cased cartridge, which has a “drastic reduction in cartridge weight and enhanced accuracy.”

Textron, which has subcontracted with ammo maker Winchester-Olin and firearms maker Heckler & Koch, was in attendance at AUSA with their new NSGW platforms as well. As noted by Soldier Systems, their program’s 6.8mm cartridge “performs similar to 270 WSM.”

Shephard Media’s Scott Gourley ran across the Textron design.

Textron Systems spotlights their latest Next Generation Squad Weapon design at #AUSA2019

— Scott Gourley (@ScottGourley1) October 14, 2019

The three competitors are currently undergoing 27 months of testing. The Army plans to purchase 85,986 NGSW systems with an eye towards replacing guns in combat units first. Ultimately, the winner could stand to deliver 250,000 NGSWs and 150 million rounds of ammo plus options for further contracts.

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Categories: Gun News

Springfield Armory: New 5.56 SAINT Pistol w Trinity Brace

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 02:49

Using forged 7075 T6 aluminum hard-coat anodized uppers and lowers as well as a pretty sweet brace, the new Springfield Armory SAINT pistol is touted by the company as having “Hard-use durability and rock-solid reliability.” (Photos: SA)


Featuring an adjustable Trinity Force Breach Brace, Springfield Armory’s latest SAINT pistol installment has hit the market.

Billed as being “Maximum Performance, Minimal Price,” the 5.56 NATO chambered pistol from the Illinois-based gun maker uses a 9.6-inch chrome moly vanadium while the adjustable brace “provides enhanced stability and meets ATF requirements for pistol classification,” as noted by SA.

The new 5.56 SAINT pistol has a nickel boron coated trigger, 9.6-inch CMV barrel, railed BCM handguard with an integrated hand stop, and a pinned Picatinny gas block. Also, note the A-2 flash hider.

Other features include a forged 7075 T6 upper and lower receiver, as well as a shot-peened and magnetic particle inspected M16 bolt carrier group machined from Carpenter 158 steel. The gun sports a BCM Gunfighter PMCR two-piece handguard with M-LOK-attachment points and a BCM Mod. 3 pistol grip. The upper is optics ready while the steel gas block is topped with a Pic rail.

Weight is 5.5-pounds unloaded while the pistol runs measures 25.75 to 28.25 inches long due to the adjustable nature of the brace.

MSRP is set at $849 and the pistol comes standard with a single 30-round Magpul Gen M3.


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Categories: Gun News

A Family Passes It’s Hunting Tradition to the Next Generation

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 02:01

In the year 2000, Mark Muller, president of Max Motors, purchased a run-down ranch near Amoret, Missouri.

 “The point of it was to get my kids out of the city,” said Muller. “And let them go pee in a stream and take a .22 down in the woods and go squirrel hunting and ride a dirt bike and have some freedom.”

That same year, Muller invited the men of his family to the ranch for the 10-day Missouri whitetail deer hunting season. It happens every November, and it has come to be known simply as Deer Camp, and it is now a tradition amongst the crew.

“Deer Camp is about men getting together, celebrating our manhood, eating, drinking and doing what we want to do. It’s all about God, country, family and celebrating the rights we have and taking the harvest off the land,” said Muller.

Last year, Muller’s son Marko, shot a good-sized doe on opening day with his Remington 700 chambered in .270 Winchester.

“A lot of people don’t get it,” said Marko. “You go to the supermarket and you can buy a steak. You can buy chicken, but they don’t understand what it’s like to actually go out into nature and hunt and harvest your own meat.”

Less than 24-hours after shooting his deer, he had it butchered and a hindquarter cooked on the smoker — ready for dinner. The family gathered around, bowed their heads and gave thanks.

“It makes you feel a lot more proud and accomplished… that we’re eating something that I literally just killed a day ago,” said Marko.

One thing that has concerned Muller is passing the hunting tradition, and his deer campto the younger generation. At last year’s event, he officially invited his sons to carry the torch. To his delight, they agreed.

“We will carry on this tradition. For sure. We like it too much.” said Marko.

“My dad started something that’s really beautiful here. It would be a shame if we didn’t continue that,” said Mark’s youngest son, Matthew.

So it looks like Muller’s Deer Camp is here to stay. God Bless America.


Muller’s dining room showcasing some of the trophy bucks harvested on his property over the years. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

Flags hang in Mark Muller’s 120-year-old barn. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

The Muller family and friends at the barn party to celebrate the opening of the 2018 Missouri 10-day whitetail deer hunting season. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

Matt Muller arrives at his deer stand on a cold snowy morning. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

One of the many deer stands on Mark Muller’s property. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

Deer snacking on soy as seen from the deer stand. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

One of the many deer stands on Mark Muller’s property. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

One of the many deer stands on Mark Muller’s property. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

One of the many deer stands on Mark Muller’s property. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

The Muller crew with their day’s harvest. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

Marko Muller butchers his deer. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

A beautiful sunset is seen from a deer stand on Mark Muller’s property. (Photo: Ben Philippi /

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Categories: Gun News

What are the Best Shotgun Gauges and Bores?

Tue, 10/15/2019 - 23:30

There’s plenty of shotgun ammo floating around the market, but it’s not all created equal. Before grabbing some off the shelf it’s helpful to know which is best suited for your planned shotgun outing. With multiple sized gauges to choose from, which one should you nab? The staff has the details on the best gauge for each purpose.

Deer Hunting

For deer hunters opting for a shotgun over a rifle chamberings in 12-gauge and 16-gauge offer the most effectiveness with some hunters beefing up to 10-gauge. If you are looking to take advantage of the range envelope provided by jacketed sabot slugs and you don’t mind a stout recoil, then a bolt action slug gun like the Savage 212 or Browning A-Bolt would suit you well. Winchester and Hornady both make excellent slug ammo to accompany deer hunters.

Two mature mule deer bucks in late summer on Seedskadee NWR (Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS)

If slugs are off-limits in your locale, look to 00 buck or 000 buck as your next go-to ammo to humanely harvest a whitetail. Anything down to a 20-gauge will work for deer, especially if you want less recoil.  Depending on state conservation regulations, some recoil-timid hunters have had good luck with .410 slugs, especially in the Southeast at close range and with the right load. A word of caution though – make sure to put in some practice ahead of the season to perfect those ethical shots so you’re ready when that big buck comes strolling by.

Bird Hunting

When it comes to bagging birds, there are multiple factors at play when deciding on ammo. Bird hunters must take into consideration shotgun choke and barrel length as well as the type of game being hunted and distances. Further, here is where niche bores like 28-gauge really shine. That being said, big-name manufacturers like Federal, Winchester, and Fiocchi have made it easy for consumers offering a variety of loads specific to the bird hunt. As each bird species requires its own load, it’s easiest to nab a box of ammo from one of the aforementioned manufacturers. A simple rule of thumb is to make sure to match the picture on the box to the bird you’re hunting and you’re good to go.

A hunter and his dog scan for doves in Texas (Photo: Don Summers/

In the end, it’s best to match ammo to your shotgun keeping in mind the amount of recoil you can handle. Again, take some time to practice with your chosen platform spend some time before hitting the field.

Home Defense

Word of warning before we dive in – always check with your local and state laws regarding home defense regulation so you know what is and isn’t permissible in your area.

For home defense ammo, the best gauge is always the one you’re going to train with and can accurately manage under stress. A common misconception is that little aiming is required with shotguns, but that is a myth that we’re here to bust. While a 12-gauge will, yes, likely not need quite as much precision as a 9mm bullet, those stocking a shotgun for home defense still need to be able to accurately hit a target.

The proper gauge for home defense is a personal decision. (Photo:

While some say a slug or 00 buck is best for home defense, other experts argue those loads are too much and risk penetrating walls. Ultimately, it comes down to pairing your load to your overall defense plan. The ammo you choose is a personal choice depending on how your home is constructed and who lies within those walls.


At the end of the day, the best way to find the right gauge for you is to take a few out for a test run. After you narrow down what the purpose is, rent some shotguns at the range or grab a buddy’s and run some ammo through it to see what works best for you.

Looking for a new shotgun to add to your home defense set-up or your hunting inventory? Check out for some awesome deals on some awesome guns.

Check out the great selection of new and used shotguns available from

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Categories: Gun News

Bushnell Nitro Spotting Scope a Smart Buy for Hunting

Tue, 10/15/2019 - 05:00

Bushnell’s new Nitro Spotting Scope, here in 20-60×65 works equally well glassing for game on backcountry hunts as it does on a tripod on the shooting range. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The new Bushnell Nitro spotter deserves a long, hard look for those hunters and shooters in the market. Here’s why.

The Specs

Our model is the 20-60x65mm with an angled eyepiece, though straight is also available. Our 20-60 power magnification scope with its 65-millimeter objective lens provides a 110-foot/50-foot field of view. Eye relief is a generous 16-millimeters, with an exit pupil measurement of 3.4mm. The overall length is 15.7-inches, putting the Nitro right in line with comparable units. The weight is 55.7-ounces or just over three pounds. The sturdy magnesium build and rubberized coating make it both easily packable and durable. We have no concerns tucking it into the side pouch of our hunting packs in the field nor toting it through rugged terrain and brush.

In a thoughtful move, the company also includes a small, self-contained lens cloth that can attach to the scope in multiple locations. The Nitro spotter ships in a semi-rigid black zipper case with a molded interior, keeping it well-protected for travel to and from hunting locations or range sessions.

Bushnell’s new Nitro Spotting Scope marks an ideal, mid-range price point with top-end quality an ad an Ironclad Lifetime warranty. It ships with a semi-rigged zipper case. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The Nitro is neither top of the line, nor the bottom of the heap for optics. In fact, it’s nicely positioned about 2/3 up the pike, with quality to match higher-priced competitors. Only the Forge line from Bushnell sits above the Nitro. While the 15-45×65 Nitro Compact retails for $599.99, our 20-60x65mm lists at $749.99.


Go Long with Nitro

We went more in-depth on the new Bushnell lines of riflescopes when they debuted in 2018. The Nitro specifically has a mid-price point that appeals to the everyday hunter who expects performance but doesn’t want to break the piggy bank. There are always questions surrounding the lower end of any company’s lines, the mid and upper echelon Nitro and Forge models are among our favorite riflescopes. It’s no surprise that the Nitro Spotting Scope impresses equally well.

We made extensive use of it during recent range sessions that involved both zeroing rifles and shooting out to 400-yards. The Nitro is no slouch saved only for range use, though it did excel alongside a shooting bench. The angled eyepiece is ideal for viewing from both seated and more mobile positions, as in action hunting terrain where rocks, ridges, and swales prevail.

The magnesium chassis with rubberized coating and stippling is both durable and practical. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

This Nitro spotter is in line for some heavy use during big game seasons in the western US, where its clarity and features will be welcome and easy on the eyes as we glass for game such as pronghorn, mule deer, bison, and elk. The glass is quality, fully coated, nitrogen-purged, fog-proof and of IPX7 waterproof construction. Its magnesium chassis with a rubberized coating is both durable and practical. A rotating tripod ring makes the scope even more comfortable and user-friendly in awkward field positions. That ring is quick to adjust with the twist dial near the base. At the bottom of the rotating ring is the spotter’s integral tripod mounting plate, which makes quick attachments to any standard base.

The Ironclad Warranty

It’s difficult to recommend an optic these days if it doesn’t come with a solid lifetime warranty, especially for hunters who are not notoriously gentle on their gear. The new Bushnell is no exception. That Ironclad Warranty on the Nitro covers the lifetime of any product made on or after April 2017. Per the company’s website, “If this product isn’t working properly due to a covered defect, we will, at our option, either repair or replace the product and ship it back to you at no charge. This warranty is fully transferable and does not require a receipt, warranty card, or product registration.”


Whether in the market glassing long-range big game or setting it up for some serious range sessions–or even attaching a cell phone for some fantastic magnified wild game camerawork–Bushnell’s new Nitro Spotting Scope marks an ideal, mid-range price-point with top-end quality.

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Categories: Gun News

Bolt-Action Handgun Hunter – the Nosler M48 Independence

Tue, 10/15/2019 - 04:00

A bolt action that shoots sub-MOA right out of the box is becoming a must among new rifles these days. But this is no rifle. It’s the new Nosler M48 Independence bolt-action HANDGUN. Here’s why hunters need to take note.

Meet the M48 Independence

The new Nosler M48 Independence is a single shot, bolt action handgun built to be the best-of-the-best in terms of accuracy in a hunting handgun. The 15-inch stainless, heavy contour barrel has a threaded muzzle for either a suppressor or brake.

An exceptional two-stage trigger rivals that of target rifles, and a CNC-machined aircraft-grade aluminum single-piece chassis-style stock rounds out the package. The action is bedded and the barrel free-floated. Both the barreled action and stock are coated in Cerakote, in Matte Black and Gun Metal Gray, respectively. While the M48 ships with a Hogue Overmolded pistol grip, it’s designed to accept most AR-15 grips. The handgun weighs in at six-and-a-half pounds sans scope or accouterments.

The author takes aim with the M48 Independence fitted with a Leupold 4-12×40 riflescope, replacing the more traditional handgun optic. (Photo: Stan Pate/

The Independence comes quickly on the heels of the M48 NCH (that’s Nosler Custom Handgun). The M48 fills a big void left almost 20-years ago when Remington pulled their XP100 bolt-handguns. Each M48 Independence is machined and built from U.S.-made parts by the gunsmiths in Bend, Oregon.

Calibers include 22 Nosler, 24 Nosler, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08 Rem, and .308 Win.

The MSRP may sound steep at $2,495, but this beauty fills a rather small but very demanding niche.

Range Time

The mid-grip stock is somewhat foreign to those of us accustomed predominately to rifle and traditional pistol or revolver hunting. The mid-grip positioning is ideal for creating balance on the handgun which would be front-heavy with that 15-inch barrel and a more standard rear grip. At over seven pounds with an optic, the M48 is as heavy as many bolt-action rifles, but that weight is welcome in such a precision handgun. That heavy build helps make recoil manageable, especially when firing traditional rifle chamberings.

The cross-bolt safety is nicely positioned, and its inset design allows easy tactile reinforcement as to its position. When controlled from either side, the safety can be moved quietly, which is a consideration for stealthy hunters. Though some will wish for larger calibers, the range of short action chamberings is more than adequate to take down medium to larger game animals.

Accuracy Testing

The M48 Independence is not cheap, but it exudes all-American quality and easily achieves sub-MOA performance. In the hands of a capable handgunner, the M48 will outshoot many rifles. My hunting partner, Stan Pate, and I headed to the range with a healthy mix of premium factory 6mm Creedmoor ammunition from Nosler, Hornady, and Federal.

We fired a nice mix of premium factory ammunition in 6mm Creedmoor from Federal Premium, Hornady, and of course, Nosler. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The 1:7.5-inch twist rate of our 6mm Creedmoor’s barrel stabilized the range of bullets from 70 to 105-grains with ease. Pate fired a best three-shot group of just 0.575-inch with Hornady Varmint Express. Every one of his groups, regardless of ammo, was easily sub-MOA. In addition to the bedded action, quality barrel and aluminum stock the trigger aides greatly in accuracy. Nosler’s two-stage, fully adjustable trigger broke crisply at 3.25 pounds on our Lyman digital Pull Gauge.


The Optic Dilemma

Though the M48 Independence does not come from the factory as a combo, our T&E gun was initially wearing a Leupold 2.5-8x Vari-X III handgun scope. That’s a fine piece of glass and held up its end of the accuracy bargain. The problem, however, is that we couldn’t get that handgun optic mounted far enough forward on the mid-grip Nosler to make it comfortable to shoot from a natural position. The quick answer here is a simple one, mount a riflescope instead.
In keeping with the American-made theme, we swapped in an older Leupold 4-12X40 duplex rifle scope. That optic change allowed us both to get comfortable behind the Independence. Whatever you do, give this baby some good glass, because it can reach out.



While this is not a budget gun accessible to the masses, it’s no one-trick pony either. The Nosler M48 Independence does it all, from varmint hunting to bigger game hunting. Nosler’s brand of Independence means an American-made, custom-quality, bolt action, dead-accurate hunting handgun. Let freedom—and steel–ring.

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Categories: Gun News

Colt to Deliver New Black Army M1911 to Market

Tue, 10/15/2019 - 01:10

Based on the original WWI-era blueprints, the new Black Army replicates the guns Colt made for the military during 1918 and early 1919. (Photo: Colt)


For those looking for a GI M1911 with classic Great War styling without the classic Great War price, Colt could have just the ticket.

Teased by the Colt Collector’s Association as coming soon, the new Colt Black 1911 Black Army is listed on the company’s website as a “vintage limited run.”

The so-called “Black Army” .45s is a term often used by collectors to describe the late World War I finish techniques applied to Colt’s 1911s from about mid-1918 through early 1919. Although given the standard brushed Carbonia Blue finish, like the pistols that preceded them, it was applied to more roughly finished frames and slides, which resulted in a noticeably darker hue that looked almost black in certain light. As few of these wartime guns escaped later arsenal parkerization and modification to the follow-on M1911A1 standard, correct “Black Army” models are highly sought after, commanding prices in the $7K range.

Colt’s new take on the Black Army of yesteryear carries a dark matte blued finish complete with the vintage longslide’s replicated rollmarks and inspector’s marks. While externally it looks ready to crawl across No Man’s Land in the hands of a Doughboy to hunt for the Kaiser– with a smooth straight mainspring housing, WWI style manual thumb safety, and lanyard loop– on the inside, it is a 70 Series Colt.

MSRP is $999, a price that puts it on par with the current production Colt 1991 Government. Sorry, due to state restrictions in California, Massachusetts, and Maryland, it is not compliant in those states– even though its ancestor was a hundred years ago.

For those who can’t wait for the new Black Army’s debut, we also have an exquisite 100th Anniversary 1911 Model Colt Repro in the Vault, made in a limited run in 2013.


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Categories: Gun News

U.S. Clays Team Smokes Guinness World Record, Breaks 14,176 clays in 12 hours

Mon, 10/14/2019 - 23:40

The CZ-USA Team included David Miller, Levi Henrichs, Makayla Scott, Jessica Strasser, and Weston Zolck. They used Aquila shells and CZ 1012 shotguns to break an amazing 14,176 clays in 12 hours. (Photo: CZ)


A team organized by CZ-USA this month managed to obliterate Guinness world record for clays shooting that has stood since 2005.

An official Guinness World Records attempt, the group aimed to break a previous Guinness record for the most sporting clays shot by a five-person team in 12 hours. That standing record, for 4,602 targets, was set by a team at UK’s Kent Gun Club in March 2005.

The new record– a staggering 14,176 clays–  was set at the Powder Creek Shooting Park in Lenexa, Kansas, over the weekend.

This month’s five-member team– spearheaded by David Miller, CZ-USA’s shotgun manager, and pro-shooter– was composed of avid youth shotgunners who had previously participated in an A.I.M. or SCTP competitive shotgun shooting event. The members, chosen by CZ through an essay contest, were Levi Henrichs, Makayla Scott, Jessica Strasser, and Weston Zolck.

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14,167 clays in 12 hours! Congrats to our team of five on a new World Record using their CZ 1012s! #Repost @jamespinsky • • • • • • @czusafieldsports @czusafirearms David Miller(center), and his team of four youth shooters, (left to right) Weston Zolck, Makayla Scott, Jessica Strasser, and Levi Henricks, set a new world record for the number of sporting clays broken in a 12-hour period by a five-person team with 14,167. #cz1012 #czshotguns #semiautoshotgun #semiauto #worldrecord #clayshooting #claytargetshooting #czusafieldsports #youthshootingsports #sctp #aim #rkba #pro2a #shallnotbeinfringed #repealthenfa #nationalcarryreciprocity

A post shared by CZ-USA (@czusafirearms) on Oct 13, 2019 at 10:34am PDT

“This new world record took a great deal of practice, commitment and concentration,” said Miller in a statement. “And these young shooters never faltered! I’m very proud of these young people and their stellar work ethic. This new world record could not have been set without their dedication to excellence.”

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Jessica Strasser, one of four youth shooters on the @czusafieldsports @czusafirearms 5-person sporting clays world record setting team, preps her hands for a few more hours of shooting. The team set a world record for the number of broken clays by a 5-person team in a 12-hour period braking more than 9000 clays so far.

A post shared by James Pinsky (@jamespinsky) on Oct 12, 2019 at 5:53pm PDT

The team fired Aguila shells and used CZ’s new 1012 series shotguns, and the attempt was held on Oct. 12 as a reference to the design. Using a gas-less spring bolt operating system, CZ says the 1012s run cleaner and more reliably than contemporary semi-auto shotguns on the consumer market.

CZ has five initial models of the 12 gauge 1012 headed to the market, all with 28-inch vent ribbed barrels with a 3-inch chamber and a 4+1 magazine tube. The overall length is 49 inches while the average weight is a handy 6.5-pounds, which should have a broad appeal to a diverse range of sportsmen.

All have a cross-bolt safety and 14.5-inch length-of-pull. Each shotgun ships with five extended chokes with an MSRP ranging from $659 to $749 depending on the model.


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Categories: Gun News

Enter to Win an ATN Optic + Ammo Package from

Mon, 10/14/2019 - 23:30

Enter to win an ATN Sight + $100 of ammo from

ATN ups the ante for tech-savvy hunters hoping to catch every moment in the field with the X-Sight 4K Buckhunter 3-14X smart Ultra HD daytime hunting scope.

Packed with features to make any tech-head’s mouth water, the X-Sight 4K Buckhunter goes beyond the standard riflescope, offering HD quality video recording and streaming. Using an Ultra High Definition 4K sensor, the X-Sight provides clear, full-color images. The digital scope allows hunters to catch their hunt in 1080p resolution to share with friends, family and, who knows, make you an Insta-Famous.

The scope offers a magnification of 3-14X with a 460-foot field of view and 90mm of eye relief. In addition to recording capabilities, the scope also features a nifty dual-stream option allowing shooters to simultaneously record video to the microSD card while also streaming in HD.

Sachal Baig with ATN told that the dual-stream option goes beyond hunters with an online presence, reaching educators and even veterans.

“It can be used in various settings, for example, if you are teaching a new shooter how to shoot, by streaming a live feed to your phone or tablet, you can see exactly what the shooter is looking at with his/her scope and you can advise them on where to shoot. You can see what they are doing before and after they pull the trigger,” Baig explained. “We have seen customers using this feature with wounded veterans as a guide was able to see exactly where the shooter was pointing and could tell them when to pull the trigger.”

In addition to the dual-stream feature, the X-Sight 4K Buckhunter also provides a smart rangefinder, integrated ballistic calculator, electronic compass, recoil activated video and one-shot zero where shooters can sight in the scope with, you guessed it, one shot.

The X-Sight 4K Buckhunter brings a weather-resistant design to the table with battery life around 18+ hours, thanks to that lithium-ion design. Measuring 13.8-inches by 3-inches by 3-inches, the riflescope tips scales at around 2-pounds. Built from hardened aluminum alloy, the scope offers impact-resistant properties that coincide with high caliber shooting.

The X-Sight 4K Buckhunter 3-14X ships with eyecup, scope cover, USB-C cable, sunshade, and lens tissue. Retailing for $599, is currently giving one of these bad boys away along with $100 worth of ammunition — winner’s choosing.


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Categories: Gun News Expands to Ammunition, Magazine, Optics Market

Mon, 10/14/2019 - 23:30

Not just guns and gun news anymore

BROWSE THE ENTIRE GUNS.COM SELECTION, the country’s go-to site for gun industry news and great deals on firearms, proudly announces today the expansion of their website to include a wide range of ammo, magazine, and optics.

The new website features a clean, modern design that allows visitors to easily seek out and find the best deals on not only the guns they want but also those much-needed firearm accessories– all without the hassle. Although remains proud of its legacy and reputation in the industry, the company has listened to customer feedback and is bringing more options to the savvy consumer.

“User-friendly and easy to navigate, we designed the new website and accompanying product line expansion with the customer’s needs foremost in mind,” said Chris Callahan,’s President. “We already carry more than 10,000 firearms at any given time between our Vault of Certified Used Guns and new models available.”

Callahan continued, “Now to that, we have added thousands of new ammunition and magazine choices from household names that people love such as Federal, Hornady, and Remington. Coupled with optics lines from the likes of Trijicon, Sig Sauer, and Nikon — as well as both factory and reliable aftermarket magazine choices– and we have a winning one-stop combination for those who just flat out love guns.”

To check out’s expanded new lines, as well as their new and used guns, simply visit the site.

If its gun or gun related, you know where to go.

About started in 2011 with one person and a laptop. With the goal of creating a website where gun enthusiasts could come for news, product reviews, and the latest information on the issues that impact gun owners, rapidly grew into the most trusted source of information about guns online. In those years, we have published thousands of articles and reviews, keeping gun owners in the know about the issues they care about. Now, in addition to being your dependable source for news, we have evolved into an online marketplace that celebrates gun ownership.

Over the years, the team talked to thousands of firearm enthusiasts, store owners, manufacturers, and industry organizations. It became apparent that the process of buying a gun online was too cumbersome, slow, and confusing. We set about to change that. And so, we began the process of building a better way to buy guns online – one that brought ease and savings to customers, while protecting and growing local gun store owner revenue. Today, this has evolved to include thousands of offerings covering ammunition, optics, magazines and other shooting accessories.

We want our customers to be completely satisfied with their purchases and will do our best to make sure that happens.


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Categories: Gun News

Four Do’s and Don’ts for Success on Your Next Deer Hunt

Mon, 10/14/2019 - 04:00

Being prepared will ensure a more comfortable hunt. (Photo: Jeff Wood/

Preparation is key to a successful hunt and while it’s easy to remember the most obvious items like camo, arrows and your deer tag; there’s more to deer hunting than just shooting the animal you’re after. With that in mind let’s go over a few things you can do to ensure a successful hunt.

DO Prepare Your Equipment


Besides a standard checklist of the necessities – zeroed rifle, ammo, knife, hunter orange, etc – it’s a great idea to also have an equipment readiness checklist. Check scope rings and action screws as well as any mechanics that could cause issues in the field before heading out to make sure it all works properly.

I prefer to test fire my hunting rifles just before the hunt. This not only serves as a function test but also works to foul the bore. Leaving my barrels fouled before a hunt, I find they shoot more predictably in the field. Make sure you also have the tools on hand necessary to service your equipment should it be needed.

In addition to primary equipment, it’s always helpful to have backups available in the event there is an issue or problem. I always bring at least two guns and enough ammo for both. A broken firing pin could end a once in a lifetime hunt, bringing a second rifle could prove to be a lifesaver.

Don’t forget to prep for all weather conditions. (Photo: Jeff Wood/

DON’T Forget to Bring Comforts

So many deer hunts can be miserable due to a lack of simple preparation. Hunts are hard enough on their own, but they’re made worse when you are tired, hungry and cold. Spend adequate time preparing little things to make your trip into the wild more comfortable. Even in you aren’t successful in your hunt, at least you’ll be comfortable.

A foam pad to sit on in the snow or a mosquito net to keep biting bugs at bay or even a good trekking pole is a must for a more comfortable time in the field. Also, invest in a couple of pairs of shoes – boots for the trails and a comfy pair of sneakers to change back into at camp. Extra clothes, back-pack, cold-weather, and rain gear can all be the last thread keeping you from folding.

Again, make sure you have two of everything vital to the hunt and your survival.

DO Prepare for the Harvest

Prepare for the harvest ahead of time so you aren’t taken by surprise. (Photo: Jeff Wood/

Sometimes we hunters focus solely on the hunt and neglect to prep for the harvest. It may seem like counting chickens before they hatch, but good preparation for this shows diligence towards our goal. Being committed to the goal will help keep hunters in the right state of mind.

A cooler full of ice, several knives, rope, and other tools to properly handle a downed animal will ensure the meat doesn’t spoil and nothing is wasted. Depending on the terrain you hunt, you may want to have alternative strategies to extract your quarry such as handcarts or sleds.

DON’T Neglect Your Body

The exhaustive labor involved in hunting can tax the human body like few other things. Do yourself a favor and get your body in shape before the season starts. Good nutrition and sleep are always helpful before and during hunting season. Everyone’s body is different and needs its own care regimen prior to exerting the load of a big hunt. Find out what works best for you — whether it’s diet or exercise — to be in your best shape. It not only will make your hunt better but will also keep you safer in the wilderness.

Final Thoughts

I’ve been on a few deer hunts over the years and nothing teaches you a lesson better than being unprepared. With that in mind, save yourself some heartaches by prepping prior to heading into the field.

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Categories: Gun News

Glock Gen 5 G17 wins Major NATO Military Contract

Mon, 10/14/2019 - 02:41

Portugal is hanging up their Walthers and assorted other 9mm handguns in favor of a Coyote Tan G17 complete with a lanyard loop and night sights, reminiscent of the G19X. (Photo: Glock)


The army of Portugal has selected Glock to supply special new Gen 5 G17 models to replace the country’s dated military handguns.

Portugal, a founding member of NATO, fields a 35,000-strong professional army with a history that goes back to the 12th Century. Since the 1960s, the country has relied on a variant of the Walther P38 to fill its needs as a 9mm sidearm. This era is set to close as the Lisbon has selected a Coyote Tan G17 to replace the legacy pistol.

“We are proud to be selected to support the missions of the Portuguese military with the latest generation of Glock pistols,” said Richard Flür, director of international sales at Glock GmbH. “The Portuguese Army is among multiple military and law enforcement entities which Glock strongly supports in the region and we are excited to welcome them to the Glock family.”

The “Exército” engraving simply means “Army” in Portuguese with the rampant lion and sword part of the service’s coat of arms. (Photo: Glock)

According to a press release from Glock, the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) launched a tender earlier this year for the Walther replacement. Glock reportedly competed against several manufacturers and was awarded in the tender in late July.

The Portuguese military adopted Walther P38 as the M961 in the 1960s to replace the Luger P08, and it is still in use with that country today. (Photos: Portuguese Army)

The P-38 has been augmented by more modern designs in recent years, such as small buys of HK USP and P30 pistols as well as some Sig P228s, but remains the standard handgun before the Glock deal. Portugal has a long tradition of fielding European-made 9mm semi-autos, as the P-38s, termed the M1961 in Portuguese service, replaced DWM Luger models which in some cases predated World War I.

The country is amidst a modernization program where it comes to small arms, having only recently approved the purchase of FN-made SCAR rifles to replace 1960s-era HK G3 battle rifles, some of which had seen extensive service in colonial wars in Africa.

The G17 was originally designed as a replacement for the Austrian Army’s pistol in 1980 and has since been adopted in later generations by the militaries of Finland, Great Britain, Norway, and others. The Gen 5 model, introduced in 2017, features a reversible magazine catch and ambidextrous slide stop lever, Glock’s new Marksman Barrel (GMB), an enhanced trigger system, as well as front slide serrations.

Sadly, Glock says there are no plans to release the coyote variation of the G17 Gen5 selected by the Portuguese Army to the commercial market at this time. (Photo: Glock)


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Categories: Gun News