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General Gun News
A video posted this week by the Weapons Training Battalion at Marine Corps Base Quantico details the arrival of the new Sig Sauer-made M18 pistol.
The more compact version of the M17 Modular Handgun System first adopted by the Army in 2017, the M18 is based on Sig’s P320 and is set to replace the M9 Beretta in Marine service. In the above video, Col. Howard Hall details the advantages the Sig has over the legacy Beretta, which was first adopted in the 1980s to replace WWII-vintage M1911 pistols.
The M17/18 series allow grip sizes to be rapidly changed out and are optics-ready using a night sight plate on the slide top.
While the Army intends to field the full-sized M17s primarily, with M18s reserved for use by individuals and units requiring a concealed weapon, such as overseas training teams and advisors, investigators, and special operations personnel, the Marines are exclusively choosing the smaller handgun.
As noted in the Navy’s FY 2019 procurement budget justification for the Marine Corps, 35,000 of the smaller Sigs will not only replace M9s but also the Colt M45A1 CQB .45ACP railgun and the newly-acquired M007 Glock.
Likewise, the Navy is set to purchase 60,000 M18s to replace its current M9 handguns.
The Air Force is also going all-M18, using the 9mm to phase out their M9s and M11s, the latter a version of the Sig Sauer P228, used by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Further, the M18s ability to use blank firing kits and Simunitions will allow it to replace the venerable .38-caliber Smith & Wesson M15 revolver, which is still used to train military working dog teams.
The post Marines Replacing Beretta M9 with the New Sig M18 (VIDEO) appeared first on Guns.com.
One of the simplest of post-World War II sub guns, the Madsen M50 proved popular enough to give both James Bond and Capt. Kirk heartburn. Larry Vickers with Vickers Tactical lights up one of these Cold War classics in the above short.
Made by the Dansk Industri Syndikat, a Danish company best known for its Madsen-branded firearms, the M50 is a blowback action 9mm full-auto-only that is constructed from two pieces of stamped metal that clamshell together. Firing from an open bolt, the 7-pound Copenhagen-born SMG fires at a sedate 550 rounds per minute as long as the 32-round stick mag holds out.
Sold extensively throughout Latin America and Asia, the guns popped up in coups and conflicts througout the latter half of the 20th Century.
The compact (and cheap) Danish burp gun was also super common in Hollywood throughout the 1960s and 70s, appearing in dozens of films, television series
The Rat Pack’s resident scotch expert, Dean Martin, toted a Madsen M50 in the 1966 spy flick, The Silencers.
Speaking of spyfilms, Jill St. John, as Bond girl Tiffany Case, grabs an M50 in 1971’s Diamonds are Forever opposite Sean Connery. She was able to score one from a bungling henchman.
The “Soviet paratroopers” that drop in on Rock Hudson at Ice Station Zebra? Yup, armed with Madsen M50s by the caseload.
The gun also made an appearance in Star Trek, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, The Godfather franchise and the original 1960s Misson Impossible, among others.
John Moses Browning’s M1911 was the standard handgun of the U.S. military for over 70 years, and here is how the GIs headed to Europe and the Pacific were trained to use it.
The above video, posted by premium 1911 maker Cabot Guns, surfaced this week on the occasion of VE-Day, the 74th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.
From 1912 to 1945 more than 2 million M1911s were produced for the military by companies ranging from firearm industry regulars like Remington-UMC, Colt and Ithaca to non-traditional manufacturers like typewriter maker Remington Rand, Union Switch & Signal, and the Singer sewing machine company. They did a good job, as the guns remained in service well into the 1980s when replaced by the Beretta M9/92F. Heck, the Army still has 92,000-ish 1911s in storage in Anniston, Alabama.
While the vintage training film is entertaining, keep in mind that the basic rules of firearms safety, storage, and use have upgraded a bit since the age of The Greatest Generation, so don’t go recreating it without those more modern guidelines in mind.
The post Two World Wars: Getting Trained on the M1911, the 1940s Way (VIDEO) appeared first on Guns.com.
The balance between safety and security when it comes to concealed carry is addressed by pro shooter Jerry Miculek, with demonstrations for effect.
In the above video, Miculek, who shoots for Smith & Wesson and others, covers the topic of carrying a handgun with or without a round in the chamber. For many, it comes down to the opinion that walking about with a loaded mag but an empty chamber can add a second or two to your draw time.
In the end (spoiler) having to rack the slide to load a round adds 6/10th of a second to Miculek’s draw time. The noted speed-shooter points out that, “If I had my pistol in my hands and you give me 6/10ths of a second I’m gonna put a few holes in you,” going on to say that in such an instance, “it is better to give than to receive.”
Of course, your mileage may vary.
The post Jerry Miculek on Keeping One in the Pipe While Carrying (VIDEO) appeared first on Guns.com.
Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday approved a measure that would make it easier to arm educators and school faculty in the state.
DeSantis eschewed calls from gun control groups and signed SB 7030 into law this week. The move allows school or contract employees, as well as law enforcement officers, to be armed under Florida’s new Guardian Program provided they are appointed by the local district superintendent and approved by the school board. The current program is more limited in who can participate, in most cases specifically excluding teachers.
Selected volunteer Guardians must complete extensive training and have a valid concealed carry license. The training course includes some 144 hours, of which about two-thirds consists of firearms use. About half of the districts in the state currently utilize the more narrowly tailored version of the program. As of January 2019, 688 guardians had been assigned to public schools in the 25 participating districts.
The bill passed the Republican-controlled state legislature earlier this year with largely partisan approval.
Nationwide, at least eight other states in addition to Florida allow school employees to carry firearms on campus. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, all these states require the employee to get approval from a local school board or superintendent and most require either a concealed carry permit or additional training as a prerequisite.
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Although Linda Hasselberg has been around guns her entire life, she just recently got her concealed carry license. The small business owner in Texas Hills, Texas, said she wants to be prepared for a potentially dangerous situation. “I carry because I want to make sure that everyone around me is safe,” she said.
Hasselberg’s carry gun is a Kimber Micro 9, which she prefers because it’s easy to rack the slide. That aspect was important to her due to an issue in her hands. “I not only wanted to make sure my gun was easy to shoot but that as I got older, I would still be able to carry and use it,” she said.
When Hasselberg carries, she said she doesn’t want people to know, especially when they’re visiting her store. So, for now, she’s using a Lirisy conceal carry belt pouch. “Nobody knows my gun is in it and no one is going to ever be able to get it off of me,” she said. “A big plus, I also have a place to carry my cell phone. It’s easy to get into and my gun is always ready to grab.”
The post Linda has Quick, Secure, Off-Body Carry with Lirisy CCW Bag (VIDEO) appeared first on Guns.com.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro sliced through the country’s controversial gun control laws this week, which produced a surge in shares for Brazil’s largest gun maker.
Brazil has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world, while the country of over 200 million inhabitants at the same time also has one of the highest murder rates, two concepts that Bolsonaro linked in his campaign for office last year. This week he kept his campaign promises and relaxed some controls on personal gun ownership and use adopted by past administrations.
“We are following a path totally opposed to authoritarianism, which always seeks to disarm the population,” said Bolsonaro on his social media account, which has nearly 12 million followers. “We are mainly attending the good citizen, who follows the laws and respects society.”
As detailed by the Rio Times, the new decree will open Brazil to more gun imports as well as enable more individuals to legally own, use and carry firearms. Additionally, the move will boost the yearly ammo purchase limit on restricted categories of firearms from 50 cartridges to 1,000 and on unrestricted types to 5,000.
Many of the current controls were implemented during the administration of leftist president and union boss, Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, who held power in the country from 2003 to 2010. De Silva was convicted last year of public corruption charges and is currently imprisoned.
Although the country is home to one of the largest handgun makers in the world, Taurus, private ownership of legal pistols and revolvers is rare due to tight regulations. With the adoption of Bolsonaro’s decree, the Brazilian gunmaker saw their stock jump 21 percent, according to Reuters. Taurus said the order “could significantly increase the demand for firearms by hunters, shooters and collectors (CACs) and law-abiding citizens for their self-defense and defense of their property.”
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Throughout Russia this week, large military parades with lots of interesting hardware were showcased as the country celebrated the anniversary of victory in World War II.
The 74th annual parade, held on May 8, commemorates the end of WWII in Europe in 1945. Across the world’s largest country on Wednesday were held no less than 30 large events with the biggest show taking place in Moscow’s Red Square.
Meanwhile, one of the neatest smaller events was held in Kola Bay near Murmansk in the Russian Arctic. There a recreation of the Petsamo-Kirkenes offensive of 1944 was staged complete with not only a T-34 and DP-28-armed bike but also all sorts of other vintage hardware to include Mosins and PPSh SMGs.
In all, the Russian military had 57,000 troops, 1,500 vehicles and 139 aircraft on parade duty this week.
More photos here if you are curious.
Starting from the ground up serving parts and accessories to consumers, Faxon jumped into the pistol arena in January 2019 with the launch of its first, complete handgun — the FX-19. Available in two models, Patriot and Hellfire, the FX-19 series comes stacked with Faxon parts offering a custom look right out of its hard-sided box.
Both pistols bring a Faxon PF490C frame with 1911 style grip angle, extended mag release and custom polished slide and rails. The slides themselves are machined in house at Faxon and bring an optic cut for Trijicon RMR or Holosun SO7C optics. The Patriot sports a Faxon Match Series G19 barrel while its counterpart the Hellfire comes with a threaded Faxon Match Series G19 barrel. Additionally, the Hellfire offers suppressor-height night sights and an enhanced low-profile magwell.
Curt Staubach, Director of Marketing for Faxon Firearms, told Guns.com in an interview that each little feature integrated into the pistols’ design brings a whole new aesthetic to the platform.
“The FX-19 Patriot and Hellfire pistols are the culmination of a true team effort by a lot of folks at Faxon who simply made the pistols they’ve always wanted. For us, it’s a lot of small improvements that add up to greater whole,” Staubach said. “From the more aggressive texturing on the top of the frame to get a better grip with your off-hand, to the subtle stepped front serrations on the Hellfire slide that catch your thumb and index finger on press checks, we sweated the small things to put together a solid and reliable package that just works and feels good.”
The road to the FX-19 has been a long one. Faxon, best known to rifle and pistol builders for its aftermarket parts, moved into the realm of complete pistols after realizing a bigger market was available. This market catered to consumers who want a unique look and custom feel without having to toil away in a garage to build it themselves. There lies the success of the FX-19, Staubach said.
“For those that want to go out and build their own pistol, by all means, go for it! If you’d like to include a Patriot or Hellfire slide, pistol barrel, or other Faxon accessory for your build, we’d be honored if you considered us. But for those that don’t have the time, technical ability, or desire to do all that, we’re offering a solution that’s ready to go,” he explained. “It’s peace of mind, knowing it’s designed, manufactured, and tested from the ground up as a complete and reliable package.”
Though the idea of a Gucci gun out of the box is picking up steam, with companies like Zev and Shadow Systems also offering complete pistol builds catering to this custom market, Faxon says in house engineering and machining capabilities place them above the rest. With the means to machine slides and barrels from bar stock, Staubach says the company isn’t limited to using existing slide profiles or barrel blanks. Instead, the FX-19 is truly unique to Faxon. Additionally, Staubach says the company has worked to provide guns that already fit into existing holster molds, with no special tooling needed to accommodate carry.
“We made a conscious choice to make our first foray into the pistol market with a line that is innovative, but still works with existing holster molds and frame footprints,” Staubach said. “It’s an exciting time to be in the firearms industry and the pistol market is on the cusp of some amazing innovation. We’re just getting started.”
With a flat trigger and X-series enhancements, the optics-ready Sig Sauer P320 XCarry is now available in a Coyote finish. Featuring a modular polymer X-series grip and extended magazine well, the 9mm XCarry has a 3.9-inch barrel housed inside a slide that sports front and rear serrations and lightening cuts.
The slide also features an X-Ray front sight with night sight rear plate that is fully compatible with the ROMEO1 optic. The Coyote finish makes the gun similar to the one adopted by the Danish military to replace their Sig P210s last year.
The polymer frame has an extended beavertail grip and high undercut trigger guard. The gun ships with three 17-round magazines.
The post Sig Sauer P320 XCarry in Coyote Now Shipping (VIDEO) appeared first on Guns.com.
The venerable Glock is synonymous with reliability and ruggedness, proving itself over the years as a worthy contender in the self-defense and personal protection realms. With five total iterations to its name, Gaston Glock’s creations each come with their own quirks and attributes making them unique in their own right. I snagged three generations of Glock 19 pistols from the Guns.com warehouse – the Gen 3, Gen 4 and Gen 5 – to evaluate the similarities and differences among these series.Glock Generations
Glock rolled out the Gen 3 in 1998, an upgrade to its second generation of pistols. The first generation to see a designation, the Gen 3 elevated Gaston’s features in the hopes of providing a more ergonomic feel. Serving up a new grip area, complete with finger grooves, the Gen 3 also brought with it thumb rests on each side of the pistol for a more comfortable and natural grip.
The Gen 3 continued its upgrades with a universal accessory rail for mounting lights and laser accessories. Making the gun more customer friendly, the Gen 3 revised its extractor, allowing it stick out a tad further than previous designs so as to act as a loaded chamber indicator. Now gun owners no longer needed to press check or guess whether a round was in the chamber, they had a visual representation alerting them to such.
The Gen 4, launched in 2010, further improving on the Glock design. The Gen 4 continued the finger grooves trend but upgraded the texture on the grip itself. Offering a more stippled approach, Glock looked to help shooters maintain a more solid grasp on the gun while shooting. The Gen 4 also delivered more ambi features for left-handed shooters including the addition of an ambidextrous magazine release.
The Gen 4’s crowning achievement is likely its smooth shooting. The Gen 3 is clunky and heavy, recoiling with more force than modern Glock shooters are accustomed to. The Gen 4, by comparison, provides a smoother experience with minimal recoil on the 9mm platform. It doesn’t hurt that Glock saw an opportunity to offer a more comfortable shooting experience through the use of interchangeable backstraps. These backstraps aimed to allow more shooters to find a better fit from their Glock grips.
The Gen 5 offered a full circle moment for Glock fans, updating the internals while also throwing back the design to the pre-Gen 3 era. Updated in 2017, the Gen 5 ditched the finger grooves much to the delight (or dismay depending on how you see it) of small-handed shooters. The grip texture remained the same, but the design benefits from an ambi slide stop – again, catering to left-handed shooters.
Additionally, Glock gutted the internals, replacing its insides with a new trigger system, extractor, firing pin safety and Glock Marksmanship Barrel. Does the barrel improve performance? Marginally, at best. It’s not a wow factor and in fact most shooters will likely not notice a difference in shootability between the Gen 4 and Gen 5 platforms. The Gen 5 finished its design off with a flared magwell, aiding shooters with tactical reloads and the like.Which One Is Right for Me?
We’d be remiss if we didn’t start by saying you can’t go wrong with Glock. Regardless of generation, each Glock is a solid build delivering accuracy and reliability. That being said, each features their own unique attributes that may speak to gun owners more so than the other.
The Gen 3 is a classic, a vintage throwback to the late 1990s. If you’re partial to nostalgia, the Gen 3 is for you. Sure to turn heads at the range with a look that sets it apart from newer generations, the Gen 3 earns a spot in any Glock fans collection. An evolutionary reminder of Glock’s past, the Gen 3 is perfect for collectors or those that wish to cling to the past. A word of warning though. The Glock Gen 3 series features a single recoil spring, as opposed to the double spring of the Gen 4 and Gen 5 series. This means that the Glock 19 Gen 3 is a snappier model than its later versions. Heavier and with a clunkier feel while shooting, the Gen 3 can be a surprise for shooters accustomed to later model Glocks.
The Gen 4 brought about a more modern era to the Glock design. Including more ambi features and a new and improved grip texture, the Gen 4 delivers an updated take on the classic design. A great middle man between the past and the present, the Gen 4 is a great mesh between the Gen 3 and Gen 5. However, if you hate your fingers being forced into a set position, the Gen 4 might be more of a headache. For those with bigger hands or smaller ones, the finger grooves prove to be annoying to work around. On the range, the Glock Gen 4 is a smooth shooter, thanks to its double recoil spring. Easily manageable, the Gen 4 produces great results and groupings.
Rounding out the Glock 19 generations, the Gen 5 is the newest of the new. Perfect for that gun owner who has to have the latest and greatest, the Gen 5 saw the return of a straight grip, no finger grooves, in addition to kicking up some internal features that smooth out the overall operation. The Gen 5’s flat grip is a blessing for those of us not partial to the grooves, elevating ergonomics. The Gen 5, though, does come with a new DLC coating that looks nice but accumulates finger prints. If you’re particular about the way your guns look, you’ll spend quite a bit of time wiping down that Gen 5 slide to get it looking just right. Other than that, the Gen 5 is a winner. Shooting smoothly and with little recoil, again thanks for that double recoil spring design, the Gen 5 can plink all day at that range.Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, all three Glocks make great additions to any pistol collection and all three reliably serve as concealed carry options. While I prefer the mechanics and looks of the Glock Gen 5 series, you can’t go wrong with any generation.
The post Glock Gen 3, 4, or 5: What Generation is Right for Me? (VIDEO) appeared first on Guns.com.
Examples of Ruger’s new Wrangler .22LR revolver are filtering out to the market and the initial feedback seems positive. Richard Mann with Empty Cases checks it out in a quick 60-seconds video, above, calling it a “great first gun for a son, daughter or wife.”
What Ruger basically did with the Wrangler was to produce a Vaquero version of their classic Single-Six series .22LR revolvers– it even takes the same grip panels– but at less than half the price. How cheap? The MSRP is $249 if that tells you anything.
Guns.com caught up with Ruger last month at the NRA Annual Meeting in Indy and got the low-down on specs.
For a much deeper dive on the entry-level rimfire revolver, 22Plinkster opines on the new gun for almost 12-minutes in the below. “If you want to get into single-action without spending a lot of money and still want a quality revolver, this one will do it,” he says.
The post Visiting with the New Ruger Wrangler Budget Rimfire (VIDEOS) appeared first on Guns.com.
A Texas youth clays competitor managed to squeeze in some prom pictures at the end of a state championship and tried to break the internet along the way.
Mia A. Cariaga’s 2019 prom photos were taken at the San Antonio Gun Club after Day 1 of the State Junior Olympics Championships and, showing off a flowing red gown to complement her double-barrel over-and-under shotgun, made a statement.
“Junior Olympics before prom? No problem,” noted Cariaga on Twitter this week in a post that was reposted over 200 times, including by USA Shooting and the National Rifle Association.
With more than 2,000 replies, those on social media noted she was exercising the right to “bare arms” and were generally supportive, although she did get dinged for not wearing eye and ear protection in the poses.
“Beats the hell out of a corsage!” said one. “Beautiful young lady who smells like gunpowder. Beating the boys back with a stick,” wrote another.
“We hope you shot great and had a blast at your prom. What a day you’ll always remember,” responded USA Shooting.
We hope you shot great and had a blast at your prom. What a day you'll always remember. https://t.co/lCmRNqjATD
— USA Shooting (@USAShooting) May 6, 2019
To see how she shoots, Mia’s father, Michael Cariaga, posted a video of a shotgun clinic held last week prior to the Championships.
Canik this week announced a new subset of their TP9SF 9mm pistols that are more budget-friendly while still having all the features users want. The two new guns in the ONE line are both TP9SF models, one a full-sized pistol with a 4.46-inch barrel, and the other deemed an Elite version with a more compact 4.19-inch barrel. Both have a black Nitride finish on the barrel and slide over a polymer frame with a MIL-STD-1913 under-barrel accessory rail. The standard model ONE TP9SF is an 18+1 capacity handgun that is 7.55-inches long overall. MSRP is $299.
The Elite ONE TP9SF is slightly shorter, running 7.28-inches overall. As it is also about a half-inch shorter in height, the pistol has a 15-round flush-fit magazine. Notably, it also has front slide serrations, which the standard model does not. MSRP is $329.
Each model includes Warren Tactical sights, one magazine, one additional backstrap, a hard plastic case, and the same limited lifetime warranty as on other Canik handguns. “The ONE Series provides a proven product at a great price,” said William Sucher, Century Arms’ VP of business development. “With Canik already being one of the most affordable and reliable handgun lines on the market, this creates an even easier entry point for new shooters, first-time concealed permit holders, and seasoned shooters who haven’t yet had the Canik experience.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday signed seven new gun control bills sent to his desk by the state’s Democrat-controlled state legislature. The measures include several to remove gun rights from those thought to be in danger, a ban on 3D-printed firearms and removal of the ability for those with a valid concealed pistol license to buy a gun without additional background checks at purchase.
“Our state is a leader on gun safety, but more work is needed to protect our students & the people of WA,” said Inslee, a Democrat, on social media after he approved the bills.
The bills include:
- HB 1465 removes a provision allowing a licensed gun dealer to deliver a handgun to any of the 600,000 individuals with a valid state-issued concealed pistol license without the completion of an additional background check at the point of sale. While several states allow such an exemption, Washington will not be one of them.
- HB 1739 makes it a violation of state law to make or possess “undetectable and untraceable firearms,” which is already a federal crime. The bill also outlaws sending a printable 3-D gun file to a person who is ineligible to possess a firearm. Punishment for the new class of state crimes ranges from a misdemeanor to a class C felony.
- HB 1786 applies the same procedures and standards for the mandatory surrender of firearms under the state’s 2016 Extreme Risk Protection Order or “red flag” law to the surrender process for other types of protection orders.
- SB 5027 strengthens the state’s ERPO law to include enforcement against those under age 18. The ERPO process can lead to an order prohibiting firearms possession for up to one year and could be renewed annually.
- SB 5181 suspends the firearm rights of a person detained for 72 hours under the involuntary treatment act. The suspension would last six months and could be challenged in court.
- SB 5205 requires courts to determine whether a defendant has a history of violent acts when dismissing nonfelony charges because the defendant is incompetent to stand trial. This could result in the removal of firearm rights.
- SB 5508 concerns concealed pistol licensing in the state, requiring that all background checks for such permits be conducted through the Washington State Patrol’s Criminal Identification Section and must include a fingerprint background check through the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Supporters of the legislation included Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and an array of local and national gun control organizations. The groups, many of whom supported key candidates in 2017 to flip control of the formerly Republican-led state Senate, welcomed the passage of the bills.
“I am so proud of the progress we made this legislative session,” said Renee Hopkins, CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. “We put forward our most robust legislative agenda ever and got more priority bills passed this session than in all previous sessions combined thanks to our new gun responsibility majority.”
Groups standing in opposition to the measures included a wide range of Second Amendment advocates. They argued that the proposals would do little to take guns away from criminals and in many cases only affects otherwise law-abiding firearm owners.
“They’re just as happy expanding the list of people that can’t have guns,” said Joe Waldron, a spokesman for the Gun Owners Action League of Washington. “Piece by piece, they’re chopping away.”
Hailing from the Great White North, Kayla Wirth balances a good-natured Canadian vibe with a fierce competitiveness that fuels each competitive stage. Wirth’s charm is all in her girl power mantra — a battle cry for more women to take up arms and get involved in the shooting sports.
Guns.com caught up with Wirth to learn more about her backstory and why she thinks women are coming out on top.
GDC: Give our readers a little background about you. What got you into the shooting sports?
Wirth: I’m from Vancouver, Canada and I work at a local indoor gun range/rental range. I’ve been there for over eight years and that definitely opened the door for everything I do now. I hunt, started that about four years ago, and I shoot competitively, which I started about three years ago.
GDC: From a competitive side, what’s the best part of heading to matches?
Wirth: I’m very competitive and the best part is beating the boys. I’m beating my shooting partner, Winston, half the time. It’s, like, really cool. That and seeing the women. When we went back to Nationals, there were so many more women there. It’s growing, definitely growing.
GDC: You mentioned growth. Has there been a significant increase in the number of women entering the shooting sports or competitive shooting? It certainly seems like it’s on the rise.
Wirth: Yes! It feels like it’s becoming less of a “man’s sport,” you know. Just like in other areas of the world, women are coming up on top. There are quite a few women that are now competing and they’re bringing some good competition. It’s really nice to see that.
GDC: Is there a certain age demographic of women you see more?
Wirth:There’s no age. There are 16 and 17-year olds getting into it and all the way up to women in their 60s. It’s really cool to see the older women that are still going at it. They’re going toe to toe with these men. Then there are the younger ones that just have so much more opportunity. They’re just growing.
GDC: Last question, you mentioned working at a rental range and I know you are also a Range Officer. Are you also seeing more everyday women coming into your range to shoot — outside of competitive matches? I think we Americans often have the perception that Canadians aren’t into guns as much.
Wirth: At my rental range, we have a lot of female clientele. Women feel more comfortable coming to talk to me. It’s really great to be a positive role model, in a sense. I’ve had a couple of girls that come in and they really like (shooting). They get their gun license and now they have their own firearms. They get into that swing of things and there are so many different disciplines that they can get into. It’s really good.
Given innovations in ammo, baby bore shotguns once relegated to small game have now become a viable turkey hunting option. The trend of getting after turkeys with the once underwhelming .410 is on a meteoric upswing. Hunters used to assume it took a 12-gauge—or bigger—to clean harvest turkeys. The times they are a-changin’. Companies like Federal Premium, Mossberg and Savage Arms just put the gobblers on notice with modern innovations. Naysayers will always claim .410 “too small” to humanely kill tough, trophy sized toms, but in this case, the proof can be found both on the patterning board and in the field.Specialty Ammunition Sets the Stage
The major limiting factor for the .410 shotgun has been its slimline, small-capacity hull and the subsequent inability to pack large amounts of lead shot. With tungsten variants all the rage, it turns out less really is more.
Federal Premium has been leading the charge on the .410 turkey market. The name of the game here is small pellets with big performance. Heavyweight Tungsten Super Shot, or TSS, is a tungsten alloy superior in both density and performance to standard tungsten.
For comparison, even regular tungsten is far better than lead. TSS is a 3-inch .410 load with a 13/16 ounce of No. 9 shot that uses a specialized, full-length wad designed to prevent direct contact of the super-hard TSS with the barrel. TSS puts almost unbelievable patterns on target with that No. 9 shot, extending both the range and lethality of the baby bore.
Then, hot on the heels of the game-changing Heavyweight TSS comes the Hevi-X Strut from Hevi-Shot. Although I have yet to pull the trigger on these loads, they are an interesting addition to the market. The 3-inch shells are packed with a 9/16 charge of No. 6 tungsten shot. The No. 6 shot size means considerably fewer pellets downrange than the No. 9 TSS, but the tradeoff means larger shot moving at slightly greater speed.Specialty .410 Turkey Shotguns
While most any .410 shotgun will do, to get the most of modern ammunition, a 3-inch chamber and full choke are important considerations, and an extra full choke is better still. If you have a nostalgic old standby baby gauge that patterns well, there’s no reason not to use it. If not, however, there are multiple options on the market that will get the job done, including a pair of new-for-2019 turkey specific .410s from Mossberg and Stevens/Savage.
While bare beads work just fine with practice, new shotguns with their provisions for optics mounting and fiber optics make it even easier to find success with smaller gauges for new and experienced hunters alike. In the end, though, there is no—I repeat, no—replacement for practice and time at the patterning board. Here are three baby-frame shotguns with which I’ve harvested turkeys.
Mossberg 500 Turkey: The ultra-reliable Model 500 pump action platform gets micro sized to .410 specifically for turkey hunters. Along with the 3-inch chambering, there’s full Mossy Oak Bottomland camo coverage and a fixed full choke in the 26-inch vent rib barrel. Holding five rounds in the tube plus one in the chamber, the Mossberg brings serious firepower to the turkey woods, should a follow up shot be needed, or better yet, opportunity for a double. Check out our full review on for more details.
Stevens Savage 301: The new-for-2019 Stevens-by-Savage single shot, break action .410 was purpose built to bring affordability to the .410 turkey market. Best of all, the gun with the $199 MSRP is optimized specifically for the Federal Premium TSS loads with a 26-inch barrel and extended extra full turkey choke. This 5-pound scattergun puts more pellets in the turkey head/neck at 35 yards than some of the bigger-bores using lead, and does so with much less recoil while not sacrificing terminal performance. Check out our full review on for more details.
Henry Lever .410: Though the Henry lever action .410 is not brand new, it is a capable and interesting platform for non-conventional turkey hunters. The 24-inch barreled model is the optimal choice, which ships with a full choke. Though we have harvested several turkeys with the Henry, the major downfall is the 2.5-inch chamber which does not allow use of the 3-inch specialty loads, making the maximum effective range of the Henry—and any other guns that cannot chamber TSS—significantly less. In this case, we have limited our shots to inside of 20 yards. See our video of a turkey hunt with the Henry.Legality
Innovations make.410 shot shells more potent and lethal, thus more suitable for turkey hunting than ever before. However, law has not entirely kept up with the technological developments.
Federal Premium’s director of conservation, Ryan Bronson, explained there are still more than a dozen states that prohibit the use of .410 and 28 gauge for turkey hunting. The reasoning, though, is based on shot size rather than lethality or bore size.
“Most of these turkey ammunition restrictions were put into place when lead was the only shot material available,” Bronson said and added that there are a number of states on the verge of updating their laws. “We’re pleased to see this movement gaining traction. It’s an important first step in making hunting more accessible for more people,” he said.Lethality
Modern tungsten-based ammo and tightly-constricted chokes help the .410 reach out farther and with more knockdown power than ever before. Using Heavyweight TSS, patterns held out to an impressive and confidence-building 40 yards. Compared to .410 shot shells of years ago, range for No. 4 or No. 6 game loads was limited to not more than 15 yards just to make a clean kill.
While innovations in ammunition are driving the .410 hype-train, firearms manufacturers following suit with guns dressed for success also help put more deadly patterns down range. For instance, guns like the Stevens/Savage Model 301 with its extra full turkey choke keep that shot string together tighter and longer, thus extending effective range and wallop.
Just because we “can” reach out previously-unforeseen distances in excess of 40 yards with a .410 turkey gun does not mean that we necessarily “should.” Though these guns with tight chokes and tungsten-based shots have both the pattern and knockdown power, it will always be a necessity to remain mindful of the limitations of the gauge. While TSS puts out lots of pellets, a tightly choked .410 also puts a pretty long and narrow shot string down range. The importance of being right on target, with lesser room for aiming error, is sure.
While many modern hunters seem bent on wanting to see at how great a distance they can kill a turkey, I will always maintain that the greatest joy of the hunt is getting birds in close. Calling them, hearing that thundering gobble in your wheelhouse, and adrenaline rush of close encounters with wild turkeys sets hunters up for great success with not only the .410, but any bore.the Case for .410 Turkey Loads
I initially opted to turkey hunt with my old single-shot .410 because it was the first gun I ever owned. No doubt, many other hunters have related sentimental feelings for the baby bore. It is an accessible and light recoiling youth gauge, and a light weight long gun makes for an easier day in the field.
After a long winter, hunters have been champing at the bit for spring turkey season. Through extensive field testing in some challenging early Texas conditions, here’s the gear that rose to the top.Federal Heavyweight TSS
Most manufacturers are now fully on board with potent, albeit pricey, tungsten loads. But there’s good reason. Tungsten hits harder than lead. The metal allows ammo makers to create smaller pellets, so they pack more into each shell. Federal takes it a step further, though. TSS makes use of a tungsten alloy with a density that is 22 percent higher than standard tungsten and 56 percent more than lead. Federal Premium TSS loads are available in the standard 12 gauge and on down to the baby .410 bore.
One of my favorite products of the year is the new “Blended” Heavyweight load, which packs two shot sizes in a single shell. I took down multiple trophy gobblers at distances 16 to 53 yards away using 20-gauge medicine in either #7/#9 or #8/#10 blends. The patterns at 40 yards were incredibly dense and no gobbler took a step. Quality comes at a premium though. A five-round box retails for $31.95.Primos Clear Cutter Box Call
Perhaps one of the most recognizable of all turkey calls, the venerable box design seems simple enough. Yet, Primos has been able to take it up a notch for 2019 with the one-sided Clear Cutter. Partnered with a comfortable and practical thumb groove, the single-edged box puts out incredibly realistic clucks and cuts with little practice. Inexperienced callers can quickly put out a long and raspy yelp from the hand-tuned Mahogany and Walnut box. Veteran callers will appreciate the tones as well. The Clear Cutter ships with box chalk for an MSRP of $40.99 and will do most anything a turkey caller requires from a box.Aimpoint Micro H-2
There’s finally a red dot optic I can get behind for reliable turkey slaying. I had the pleasure of using the Micro H-2 atop Savage’s 220 bolt-action 20-gauge turkey-specific smoothbore shotgun. The Micro H-2 is available with a wide-range of bases to fit most any long gun platform. It ships with flip-up lens covers, and uses stainless steel mount threads, as well as Weaver or Picatinny style-bases.
Quality doesn’t come cheap. The Aimpoint retails between $717-$812. Get this, though, the ACET battery technology allows 50,000 hours of operation on one battery. That’s over five years of continuous use! Twelve brightness settings handle everything from the brightest sun to faded dusk. There is zero worry about the battery giving out and ruining a hunt, or recoil breaking down the optic, which are common occurrences with lesser sights.
Also, the H-2 is fully waterproof, not just water resistant. Hunters have a choice of 2MOA, 4MOA, or 6MOA dot sizes. I used the 2 MOA dot size, which was perfect on turkeys and the patterning board from 5 to 50+ yards.Primos Diaphragm Calls
Mouth calls may not work for every hunter — I can tell stories to this end — but for those who use them, Primos offers perhaps the widest selection of diaphragm calls for the hands-free turkey-imposter. For 2019, there is a host of new offerings, including five calls in partnership with Mossy Oak camouflage, as well as others in Kuiu and Verde.
Whether hunters are seeking loud kee-kee-runs, smooth purrs, or raspy yelps, there’s a call for you. The Mouth Yelper Two-Pack retails for $22.99, while a basic Diamond Select starter three-pack is only $6.99. The volume and control over some of these calls is remarkable, and in a thoughtful move, most are trimmable for a custom fit.Alps Outdoorz Impact Vest
While retaining features mobile hunters love, the Impact is more packable and lightweight than most turkey vests available. In fact, I recently stowed the Impact in tight airline luggage and still found plenty of well-thought-out storage and even a cavernous game back at the rear.
The NWTF-branded vest features a “sit anywhere” stadium-style setup, meaning no tree is needed as a backrest. A slate call pocket holds two slates and three strikers, a silent box call pocket, five shotshell loops, and three diaphragm pockets. In a slick design move, the front pocket removes completely to be used with a shoulder stap for run-and-gun hunts.
The Impact makes use of quiet brushed fabric and is available in either Mossy Oak Obsession or Bottomland camo with an MSRP of $99.99 – $119.99. The “standard” size fits most any hunter, while a “small” option is geared toward youth and smaller-framed huntresses.Double Bull Surroundview Stakeout Blind
Ever wished for a sweet turkey blind that fits in your vest? Wait no longer. The Double Bull Surroundview Stakeout setup makes use of the company’s hot new one-way, see-through fabric, but puts it into an ultra-portable rig instead of a full-size blind. The Stakeout is a two-walled, hub “blind” with three triangular windows and the Surroundview mesh that allows the hunter to see through the blind, while remaining completely hidden on the inside.
For more details on how the Surroundview technology works, check out my review of the full-size Double Bull Surroundview 180. The Stakeout measures 59 inches corner-to-corner, 37 inches in height, and weighs just 4.5 pounds. It’s incredibly quick to set up, by simply popping out the two hubs, and sticking a few stakes in the ground if wind is a concern. MSRP is $99.99.Mossy Oak Tibbee Technical Apparel
The new-for-2019, Tibbee shirt and pants make ideal Spring turkey season attire. This has to be one of the coolest, most lightweight garment combos on the market. The 100 percent polyester top and bottom are cool and breathable without being noisy.
Though the camo colors are vibrant, there’s a dull finish so as not to spook game with the slightly reflective finishes found on similar garments. The long sleeve button down shirt has ample pockets and shoulder gussets for full range of motion. Meanwhile, the pants have zippered vents, drawstring cuffs, a gusseted crotch, and waist adjustment tabs.
Both are available in sizes Small through 3X with an MSRP of $54.99 and current online sales bring them down just over $40. There’s a Mossy Oak pattern to fit every terrain, including Obsession, Break Up, Greenleaf, and Bottomlands. Tibbee kept me cool in the hot Texas sun on a recent turkey hunt.RedHead RCT Waterproof Snake Boots
Though tall snake boots may not be a necessity in all areas of the country, they sure can be a life-saver in many locations. Even if striking sakes are not a concern, the rugged design of the 16-inch high snake boots also protect from thorny brush and water as well. The BoneDry lining is supposed to make the boots waterproof. Though I did not wade fully into the creek to find out, they did handle wet mornings and shallow water with ease.
It can be difficult to find a comfortable snake boot, but these fit the bill for us. If the RedHead brand doesn’t fit quite right, try LaCrosse’s Venom boots which are quite similar in features, albeit slightly more expensive. The side-zip makes donning and doffing the tall boots a breeze, and with three lower eyelets and seven upper lace-hooks for quick cinch adjustments, allowing them to be tailored even to thicker calves. Sizes run in halves from 8 to 13. MSRP on the RedHeads is $159.99, but a current sale puts them at $119.97.NWTF Membership
No turkey hunter’s arsenal will ever be complete without a membership to the National Wild Turkey Federation. I’m always astonished at the number of hunters who neglect to support organizations like this one that work daily to increase the quality of the hunting resources we hold dear. For every dollar raised by the NWTF, 89 cents goes to the mission of conserving wild turkey populations, protecting the habitat, and preserving our hunting heritage. Since 1985, NWTF volunteers and partners raised and spent more than $488 million toward that mission. A one-year membership is only $35, and if you join through the website, they include a $25 Bass Pro gift card.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program bestowed $157,000 in scholarships to deserving junior marksman through its CMP Scholarship Program.
The money will be used during the 2019-2020 school term by the 157 junior male and female applicants. The $1,000 scholarships were available to graduating high school JROTC, 4-H and junior shooting club members with good moral character who also are scholar marksman.
CMP board members read through a total of 208 completed applications before settling on the lucky students. CMP said out of the total 208 applications, 125 were submitted by girls and 84 by boys. In addition to 157 national scholarships, the CMP also awarded 10 local scholarships in the Port Clinton, Ohio area.
“The CMP is dedicated to its commitment to youth programs and furthering the education of the successful young adults involved within them. Through these scholarships, the CMP is able to uphold its goal of awarding those who present exceptional talent, determination and citizenship within the field of marksmanship,” the organization said in a news release.
Interested and eligible students are encouraged to apply next year for the next round of scholarships in 2020. Information on deadlines will be released this fall.
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The mechanically curious Nagant gas seal revolver was the primary sidearm of the Tsarist Russian Army for 20 years and has an interesting back story. To show just how interesting is Othais and Mae in the above hour-long study from C&Rsenal on the Belgian-designed seven-shot wheel gun chambered for an anemic 7.62x38mmR cartridge.
One of the tidbits Othais delivers is that the Nagant originally cost the Tsar 29 rubles a pop to include 100 rounds of ammo per gun. We have no idea how much an 1895 Imperial ruble is worth in terms of today’s dollars but that sounds like a deal.
While these milsurp handguns ran in the sub-$50 range when they were first imported in numbers in the 1990s, they have shot up significantly since then as the supply was exhausted.
Interestingly, the M1895 Nagant is one of the few revolvers that can be reliably suppressed due to its gas seal design. Check that out in the below from Machine Gun Mike and see just how quiet these things can get.
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