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Ah, the riddle that is shorty shotties and NFA compliance

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 04:13

Quick, which of these are 10 years in prison if not transferred with a stamp and why? (Photo: TXMGO)

Texas Machine Gun & Ordnance posted a handy reference to explain some of the peculiarities that are the National Firearms Act and guns that fire shot.

Adopted in 1934 and interpreted variously since then, the NFA’s definitions on Title II Any Other Weapons (AOWs) and Short-Barreled Shotguns (SBSs) are a bit cut and dry when it comes to barrel and overall lengths. However, when you get into the weeds of the just what is the difference between a regular Title I firearm (such as the Remington Tac-14 or Mossberg Shockwave), a pistol-grip shotgun, or an SBS or AOW, it can get confusing in a squre-is-a-rectangle-but-a-rectangle-is-not-a-square type of way.


While assembling some Pistol Grip Only Shotguns today, it occurred to us how silly the NFA can be.

These are all the same guns, from the same factory, came from the same distributor in the same shipment, and the bottom 3 are ll fitted with the same 14″ barrel.

1. The gun comes in as a regular Title 1, Pistol Grip Shotgun.
2. We add a 14″ barrel to it, and it becomes an NFA regulated Any Other Weapon which transfers with a $5 tax stamp.
3. Once we add a Shockwave grip, and its overall length comes up to 26.2″; it is no longer an AOW and reverts back to being a Title 1, Pistol Grip Shotgun.
4. But if you add a stock to the same gun, it becomes a Short-Barrel Shotgun, which transfer with a $200 tax stamp.

Your tax dollars at work.

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Categories: Gun News

Just what does the gun emoji most commonly shoot at?

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 04:11

The researcher found that sarcastic “just shoot me” and reflexive gun emoji pairings to the left-facing muzzle of the emoji pistol were extremely popular

A lexicographer did some research into just how people use the pistol emoji on their devices and found a few interesting data points.

Jane Solomon, who works for and is a member of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee — the group that votes on new emojis — crunched the numbers on 100 million tweets sent in August 2016. She discovered that about 45,000 or so involved the pistol emoji paired with another emoji either before or after.

In about two out of three cases, the pistol, which has a muzzle that points to the left, appeared after another emoji, in effect pointing the barrel at it when viewed together. The most common pairing was with the pistol pointing at faces, which Solomon noted could be used sarcastically, in a “just shoot me” or “Kill me now/I am dying/RIP me” statement.

“It seems that the sarcastic and reflexive gun emoji pairings are extremely popular, which matches my expectations and the knowledge I brought into this exercise,” she said. “One result that surprised me was the high collocation with the gun and various heart emoji. I had never personally thought of the gun emoji as a means to express heartbreak, but it’s there in the data.”



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Categories: Gun News

Gun rights groups join Remington in Sandy Hook suit

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 23:15

A handful of gun rights groups last month joined Remington in its defense against liability claims surrounding the December 2012 mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

The groups filing requests to join the case in support of Remington Outdoor Company include the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, Gun Owners of America, the National Rifle Association and firearm industry trade association the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Among the arguments brought by attorneys representing families of the victims in that shooting — which included 20 children under 8 years old and six adults killed, as well as two adults wounded — was that Remington knowingly sells military-style rifles to civilians.

The gun used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was a Bushmaster XM-15, a semi-automatic AR-15 made by Bushmaster Firearms, a subsidiary of Remington.

Newtown-based NSSF argues it has a vested interest in the preservation of the hunting and shooting sports industry and works to protect companies from “lawsuits based on theories of liability that are without basis in the common law,” the group said in its amicus request.

“These lawsuits have most typically assigned blame to firearm industry members for damages caused when criminals misuse lawfully sold, nondefective firearms,” the request says. “The burden of litigating these lawsuits poses a threat to the hunting and shooting sports industry and to the constitutionally-protected right of access to firearms by law-abiding citizens.”

The 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act protects gun manufacturers and licensed dealers when a firearm made or sold by one or both is used in the commission of a crime.

The plaintiffs in the case are asking for an exception to the law, placing fault on Remington for the way it went about marketing a firearm capable of doing as much damage as it did — setting a precedent that wouldn’t bode well for the firearms industry should the court find for the families.

They claim the firearms company targeted consumers like the 20-year-old “video-game playing, military-obsessed” gunman who shot up the elementary school.

“The AR-15 is not a ‘sporting rifle,’ modern or otherwise. It is not a weapon that is merely capable of assault or superior for assault. It is a weapon designed for those with the awesome power – and responsibility – to inflict mass casualties in combat,” says a 62-page brief filed by the families in March.

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Categories: Gun News

Teen cadets go on joyride after stealing LAPD patrol cars (VIDEO)

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 13:14

Three teens who previously took part in the Los Angeles Police Department’s cadet program are in a bit of trouble after they stole three patrol cars and other items last week then led police on a chase that ended in multiple crashes.

The teens, who were not publicly identified because they are 15 to 17 years old, were arrested following the fiasco and presumably no longer enrolled in the youth program.

Authorities noticed the missing SUVs around 5 p.m. Wednesday and while one was almost immediately recovered near the police station, it was several hours later before the other vehicles were found and the teens apprehended. The two cruisers were disabled after the teens crashed them and one innocent bystander suffered minor injuries when her vehicle was struck during the pursuit.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said the vehicles must be signed out with an automated system before leaving the department and it appears the teens “gamed” the system by using the credentials of a sergeant who was on vacation at the time. Beck said in addition to stealing the patrol cars, authorities believe the teens “may have been impersonating” officers.

Beck said a “top-to-bottom” investigation will be conducted and the program has been suspended at the two stations the cadets were assigned.

[ Los Angeles Times ]

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Categories: Gun News

Felon under investigation for Instagram video featuring gun, cash and kid (VIDEO)

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 13:07

Authorities in Ohio have launched an investigation after a video surfaced on Instagram showing a man waving a gun while driving with a wad of cash in his lap and a young child sitting next to him.

A concerned citizen, who did not want to be identified, brought the video to the attention of authorities as well as local reporters. Although the man was identified, his name was not published because, thus far, he has not been charged with any crime related to the video.

However, reporters caught up with the man’s grandmother, Mamie Sanderfer, who was deeply disturbed by what she saw. Sanderfer said he showed up at her house after the video surfaced but she did not welcome him into her home.

“I wouldn’t let him in when he came by the other day,” Sanderfer said. “Matter of fact, I had three of my great grandchildren. I said you’re not coming in my house with no gun. And he got upset and left.”

Records show the man has an extensive criminal history and is currently wanted for failure to appear in felony court.

[ Fox 8 ]

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Categories: Gun News

iPhone app leads to recovery of 34 stolen guns

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 13:06

Chad Sales (Photo: Washington County Jail)

Thanks to the help of a locator app on a stolen iPhone, authorities recovered nearly three dozen guns that were stolen from a Northwest Arkansas gun shop last week.

Arrested on numerous charges related to the theft is Chad Sales, 31, of Fayetteville.

Police were called to Arky Armory just after 7 p.m. Tuesday on reports of a break-in. Authorities said portions of the sheet metal and insulation had been removed from the side of the building. Missing from the business was a total of 34 firearms, 17 suppressors, an iPad, and iPhone and two credit cards, which were fraudulently used five times before they were recovered.

Authorities then used a tracking app on the phone to locate Sales. In addition to all of the stolen goods, officers also found drugs and paraphernalia, which included a syringe full of methamphetamine.

Sales, who has a prior criminal history for charges ranging from burglary and theft to assault and terroristic threatening, was charged with 53 counts of theft of property and other charges.

[ Arkansas Democrat-Gazette ]

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Categories: Gun News

Toddler pulls gun from toy box during welfare check

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 12:57

Rosalyn Renee Faniel (Photo: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office)

A 34-year-old mom from Florida was arrested last week after her 3-year-old child pulled a loaded gun from his toy box while authorities were at the Boynton Beach home conducting a welfare check.

Police and an investigator from the Department of Children and Families were at the home following up on reports of child neglect and drug sales. As they were talking with the mother, the child began taking toys from his toy box, but then he pulled out a 9mm, which was loaded with a round in the chamber and the safety off.

The officer quickly secured the weapon and no one was injured.

The boy’s mother, Rosalyn Renee Faniel, said the gun did not belong to her and someone else must have placed it with her child’s toys. Authorities also found a box of 9mm ammunition in a box on top of the refrigerator, as well as a scale, and a powder that later tested positive for Oxycodone.

Faniel, who already had a warrant for petty theft, now faces charges for child neglect.

[ CBS 12 ]

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Categories: Gun News

MMA champ, TV hunter Matt Hughes hospitalized after wreck

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 11:42

Matt Hughes, left, filming a scene for his show “The Takedown,” which airs on The Sportsman Channel. (Photo: Facebook/The Takedown)

Matt Hughes, a former UFC champion who has become a fixture at major gun-centric events, has been hospitalized due to a car wreck outside of Springfield, Illinois, on Friday.

“Matt is stable and has no broken bones or internal injuries. He has some minor lacerations and bruising and is currently being weaned from his ventilator. He is not yet awake and not responding as we would like to see but we see the fight in him,” his family said in a statement on social media Sunday.

According to reports, Hughes, who lives in Hillsboro, was airlifted to a hospital on Friday after his truck collided with a moving train. Authorities say he approached a railroad crossing point and his truck was struck on the passenger side.

The 43-year-old UFC hall of famer has appeared at SHOT Show, the NRA show and other major events for the past several years. He also hosts a hunting show on The Sportsman Channel called “The Takedown.”

His family has asked for prayers and said they will release more information when it’s available.

“Matt’s strength and determination along with God’s Mercy and Grace will bring him through this,” the said.

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Categories: Gun News

Texas large knife carry reform bill signed into law

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 11:28

Bowie, Texas is home to the world’s largest Bowie Knife, a blade important to the Lone Star State’s history and legal to carry starting Sept. 1. (Photo: Bowie Chamber of Commerce)

A bipartisan House bill repealing the Lone Star State’s 1871 ban on Bowie knives and other large blades was signed last week by Gov. Gregg Abbott.

The measure removing several restrictions on the carry of knives, HB 1935, passed the House 131-1 and the Senate 30-1 last month before being signed by Abbott without comment last Thursday.

The language of HB 1935 drops the carry of illegal knives such as “Bowie knives, daggers, dirks, stilettos, poniards, swords, and spears” from Texas penal code on weapons, a crime which currently carries fines of up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, or both. Previously, one could only exhibit such blades in public if they were part of a ceremony or historical demonstration.

Still off limits for knives with blades over 5.5 inches will be places such as schools, correctional facilities, houses of worship, and bars that derive more than half their income from alcohol sales. The offense for bringing a restricted knife into a prohibited place will be a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and carries no jail time.

Those under 18 will not be able to buy or carry a location-restricted knife.

Texas has long held a historical connection to the Bowie knife in particular, with Alamo hero James Bowie making the long-bladed weapon famous. According to the Texas State Historical Association, during the 1835 Siege of Bexar, Texans used Bowie knives to dig through roofs and walls and to fight Mexican troops in hand-to-hand combat while the early Texas Rangers carried the blades into battle alongside their famous Colt Dragoon revolvers.

During the legislative process to pass the measure, the bill was supported by state carry groups such as Open Carry Texas as well as Knife Rights, a fight that Todd Rathner, director of legislative affairs for the latter, refers to as the “Second front in defense of the Second Amendment.”

“In many instances knife law reform is also ‘criminal justice reform’ that is why we get bi-partisan support in so many places where we work,” Rathner, who is also an NRA board member, told in an email. “The Texas bill is the culmination of Knife Rights efforts that began in 2013 with the repeal of the ban on switchblades, enactment of knife law preemption in 2015 and now the elimination of illegal knives from the code.”

Open Carry Texas founder CJ Grisham, welcomed the news of Abbott’s signature, saying, “It has been a shame that for so long Texans have been unable to carry a knife bearing the name of one of the defenders of the Alamo. The Texas legislature has restored a small part of our state pride.”

The new law takes effect on Sept. 1.

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Categories: Gun News

Houston man convicted of multiple armed robberies and firearms charges

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 11:24

Marvin Lewis (Photo: Austin-American Statesman)

A Houston man was convicted Friday of multiple charges related to a series of robberies in Texas and Ohio from 2014 through 2015.

According to a Justice Department news release, 40-year-old Marvin Lewis, who represented himself during the trial, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats or violence; seven counts of interference with commerce by threats or violence; 12 counts of money laundering; four counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence; and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Evidence presented at trial showed Lewis was responsible for 13 robberies and attempted robberies over a two-year period beginning in November 2014. Lewis’ targets included several jewelry stores throughout the Austin and Houston area and one in Ohio.

Lewis was also found to have made deposits under $10,000 to avoid having to report the currency transactions and also carried out other financial transactions, such as gambling and purchasing a 2010 Porsche Panamera, to try and conceal the sources of the cash.

Law enforcement authorities in Austin also arrested the man Lewis hired to commit the robberies in Texas. At the time of his arrest, the man, 38-year-old Brandon Grubbs, possessed a pistol Lewis had given him.

Grubbs pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats or violence and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. He faces up to life in prison.

Lewis also faces up to life in prison and is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 13.

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Categories: Gun News

Orlando-area gun range offering free firearms safety course

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 11:21

Machine Gun America is offering free firearms safety courses to honor the Pulse nightclub shooting victims. (Photo: Machine Gun America)

An Orlando-area gun range is offering a free firearms safety course in honor of the Pulse nightclub shooting victims.

Machine Gun America, a gun range in Kissimmee, Florida, offered the free five-hour class this past Saturday and plans to offer it again this coming Saturday, WFTV reported.

Staff members told WFTV that they wanted to give back to the community in some way and to also promote firearms safety and education.

“But what we want to do is provide an education to where if there is something that goes wrong—whether its workplace violence or whether it’s terrorism or these shootings—you’ll at least have the education to where you can empower yourself,” said Scott Bryan, a Machine Gun America staff member.

Along with the firearms safety course, Machine Gun America will also be offering free gun locks and firearms transfers for the rest of June, while supplies last.

Space for the firearms safety course is limited. Send an email to to sign up.

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Categories: Gun News

Chicago: 8 killed, 49 wounded in weekend shootings

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 10:50

The outbreak of summer shootings continued in Chicago this weekend as eight more people were killed and 49 others wounded between Friday evening and Monday morning.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported the weekend’s latest fatal shooting took place in the west side Humboldt Park neighborhood at around 2:30 a.m. Monday. Responding to a call, officers found a 33-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the back lying on the sidewalk. The man was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The weekend’s first fatal shooting occurred around 11:45 p.m. Friday in the south side neighborhood of Englewood. A 25-year-old man was killed and two others wounded when three men walk up with guns and opened fire on the sidewalk. The 25-year-old man died at the scene, while the two others were taken to local hospitals.

Six more people were killed and 47 more wounded in other shootings across the city.

According to Chicago Sun-Times data, 240 people have been shot so far in June and more than 1,600 people have been shot in Chicago in 2017. So far, 279 people have died as a result of those shootings.

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Categories: Gun News

South Carolina man gets over 5 years for illegal firearms possession

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 10:48

A South Carolina man was sentenced to 70 months in prison Friday for possessing a firearm and ammunition as a prohibited person.

Twenty-two-year-old Deshawn Edwards, of Spartanburg, previously entered a guilty plea to the charges on Feb. 6, 2017, according to a Justice Department news release.

The change of plea hearing included the presentation of evidence that showed officers recovered four firearms and ammunition from Edwards’ residence on Nov. 1, 2016, while conducting a search.

Edwards was prohibited from possessing guns at the time due to his criminal record.

Edwards’ arrest was part of Operation Real-Time, a program aimed to arrest and prosecute individuals with criminal histories who continue to illegally possess firearms. Since August 2015, the program has netted 115 defendants and led to the seizure of over 130 guns.

U.S. Attorney Beth Drake commended the cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies that has so far made the program a success.

“We work best when we work together,” Drake said. “This ‘real time’ identification of high risk offenders is smart policing, and we welcome the opportunity to work alongside our state chiefs and sheriffs in taking violent repeat offenders out of our communities.”

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Categories: Gun News

Alex Jones pressed on Sandy Hook conspiracies 

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 10:26

Alex Jones during his interview with Megyn Kelly, which aired on NBC on Sunday. (Photo: NBC News)

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones provided no greater insight nor did he disavow his repeated claims that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax during his interview Sunday night with Megyn Kelly.

“I tend to believe that children probably did die there. But then you look at all the other evidence on the other side. I can see how other people believe that nobody died there,” Jones told Kelly when she pressed him on his past statements.

The “evidence” he’s referring to are speculative interpretations of videos and rumors surrounding the incident. Many of those interpretations support the narrative that the shooting was created by the government to strip away gun rights from the American people.

Since the 2012 incident, Jones has has been wishy-washy on just what kind of hoax Sandy Hook was. In some instances he described it as an entire fabrication and in others he characterized it as a government plot. But he chalks it up to him reviewing every position and playing devil’s advocate.

Regarding one statement he said on his show in 2014 — “The whole thing is a giant hoax. The whole thing was fake.” — he said he was playing devil’s advocate, despite making a declarative statement.

“Yes. Because I remember, even that day, to go back from memory, then saying, ‘But then, some of it looks like it’s real.’ But then what do you do, when they’ve got the kids going in circles, in and out of the building with their hands up? I’ve watched the footage. And it looks like a drill,” he told Kelly.

The shooting, which left 20 first-graders and six educators dead on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, spurred public debate over gun control that resulted in an exponential spike in gun sales and 109 new state gun laws — the majority of which loosened restrictions.

And Jones’ baseless claims about Sandy Hook have also had real-world consequences. Earlier this month, a Florida woman was sentenced to five months in prison for harassing the father of a child slain in the shooting. The woman said she informed her belief that Sandy Hook was fake by reports by Jones’ InfoWars and other similar publications.

Kelly’s report on Jones revealed his editorial process, or lack thereof, in which he would gather a collection of news reports from the Internet, read them on air and then opine in realtime. Printed articles published on his website are often aggregated and published under little to no supervision, so how information is vetted is unclear.

Jones’ website responded to Kelly’s interview by calling it a “dishonest hit piece,” an opinion he offered days before the report aired when he “leaked” an audio recording of a pre-interview discussion.

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Categories: Gun News

Gun Review: Mle. M.16 Berthier rifle in 8mm Lebel

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 08:35

The venerable little French Berthier, chambered in the hard hitting 8mm Lebel, proved it’s worth in the trenches of WWI and subsequent wars. (Photo: Francis Borek)

When the First World War began, most of the warring nations felt that it would be a quick fight. France felt that it was only a matter of time until their armies had re-taken the lost provinces of Alsace and Lorraine. Germany believed that in only a few weeks, their soldiers would once again be marching through the streets of Paris. Belgium felt that a line of thinly manned fortifications could hold back the most modern army in the world. Britain somehow believed that 80,000 soldiers would tip the balance of power in a war of millions.

Very quickly the warring nations learned (more or less) the horrifying reality of modern warfare, and that they were going to be in for long and protracted conflict. Desperate for rifles, the nation of France reached out to her colonies and pulled out a rifle that was never intended to fight on the frontlines of a proper European war. But as this conflict has shown, nothing about it was proper.


There is a distinction that has to be made first. “Colonials” in this story is not a reference to native soldiers from foreign lands. Colonials were Frenchmen who were stationed and fought overseas. Some came from France, others were born to French parents in the colonies. These soldiers had rather colorful names to match their equally colorful attire. Spahis, Zouaves, Tirailleurs, Colonial infanterie, and the famous Legion Etrangere (French Foreign Legion) all were considered to be colonials and grouped together in the Colonial Corps when the war began.

The turned down bolt handle and the screw holding in the bolt head. Keep an eye on that screw. (Photo: Francis Borek)

By the time of World War I, the standard issue French service rifle was the Mle. 1886 Lebel. It was big, heavy, held nine rounds and was the first weapon to use smokeless powder cartridges. It was also awkward to load, and the balance shifted while firing. The Lebel also could not be easily scaled down to a carbine length for cavalry and smaller statured native troops in French Indochina who had issues with its length and weight. French leaders were also leery of arming the colonial soldiers with Lebels for a variety of reasons, mostly financial.


The response was a rifle design that fed from a three-round Mannlicher clip called the Berthier. Cavalry adopted a compact Berthier carbine, while the Cuirassers adopted a carbine with an odd stock comb to allow them to shoot wearing their outdated steel cuirasses. The Indochinois rifle variant received quite a bit of praise for it’s handling characteristics despite only having three shots. Soon a variant for native troops in Senegal was also adopted and dubbed the Senegalese or Mle. 1907. Eventually most colonial and native troops would be armed with Berthiers. They were cheaper, lighter, and well liked by users.

When the French army started to desperately need rifles — and learned how time consuming the Lebel was to produce — they reached for the Berthier. Modifying the design of the Senegalese variant to take a Lebel bayonet, it was dubbed the Mle. 07-15. Discovering that even the Mle. 07-15 was a little too long for trench warfare, the French army modified the design of the Berthier carbine and dubbed it the Mle. Mousqueton 16, finally adding a five-round magazine.


The M.16 was intended to be the standard production Berthier model. Despite this, the French wound up cobbling together the majority of their Berthier rifles during rebuilds due to an excess in parts. It is entirely possibly to find a Mle. 07-15 marked as a Mle. M.16 and vice-versa. The five-round magazine was also a rarity in the trenches, and the three-round variant was far more common. Despite this, the clips are interchangeable between three- and five-round magazines. Though a five-round clip jutting out of the bottom of a three-round magazine looks a bit odd.

Close up of the Mannlicher clip and the extreme angle on which the cartridges rest upon each other. (Photo: Francis Borek)


Pick up a Berthier M.16 for the first time, you’ll discover it’s a featherweight compared to other rifles of the era. In fact, the M.16 is lighter than many of the AR-15 rifles on the market these days.

The stock has a straight wrist and is cut short with a steel buttplate. The rear of the stock features a cutout and sling bar to match up with a ring at the front of the rifle. My stock in particular features no less than seven repairs and also lacks any sort of grasping grooves. The stock appears to be varnished, although it is possible that so many poilus (infantrymen) over the years rubbed down the stock with gun oil. Now that oil has hardened into a varnish.

The bolt handle is angled 90 degrees downwards, though there isn’t much space between the stock and the handle. The magazine juts out of the rifle at a harsh angle to accommodate the 8mm Lebel’s rim and taper. There is a spring loaded dust cover at the bottom of the magazine where the spent clips fall out of the rifle. If the cover is closed, the clip will rest freely at the bottom of the magazine until a new clip is inserted which will push the old one out.

The stock shows it’s age with all of the repairs. (Photo: Francis Borek)

Beyond taking the bolt out of the rifle, French soldiers were not expected to fully strip their weapon. The screws require a two-prong screwdriver which were only issued to armorers. To remove the bolt, unscrew the large screw in the bolt while it is partially retracted. Now remove the bolt head and the rest of the bolt can be removed without incident. The screw can come loose under repeated firing, so keep an eye on it.


The Mle. M.16 Berthier is a promisingly handy little rifle right up until you fire it and discover just how hard it recoils. Though the short length and light weight makes it a fine rifle to carry, it doesn’t translate to being a soft shooting rifle. In kind, the Mle. M.16 doesn’t so much shoot as it roars like an angry beast.

The sights are a bit odd. The rear sight features a very wide square notch while the front sight is a big, fat square post. Sitting on top of that post is a tiny notch. The post is meant for combat shooting, while the notch is meant for precision aiming should the need ever arise. In practical use however, the notch is basically useless. Firing from the standing position at 100 yards, the Mle. M.16 pulled in a reasonable five-inch group with handloaded ammunition. It’s certainly not to the standards we demand today, but it was good enough back then. As mentioned recoil is quite harsh, and I feel some sympathy for those who were forced to fire these from the prone position.

The useless notch on the front sight and the stacking hook. (Photo: Francis Borek)


The Mle. M.16 is a bit of an odd duck. She is a little awkward to handle, ammunition is tough to find and the en bloc clips are expensive. Yet even today, she could make an excellent little brush gun or truck gun. The 8mm Lebel hits hard, and the rifle is light enough to be carried anywhere you need it. The en bloc clips load quickly and smoothly, and the sights are quite robust.

Prices can vary wildly. This rifle was purchased for $189, either because the owner of the store didn’t care about French rifles or felt the rifle was probably refinished. Berthiers in nicer condition can often fetch higher prices, especially now that we are in the centenary of the First World War.

The Berthier’s career was remarkably long lived, serving in almost every war that involved a European nation until after World War Two. She’s not the fastest, nor the prettiest, but the Berthier did job when she was called upon to do so. You can’t ask much more than that.

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Categories: Gun News

Megyn Kelly reports on Alex Jones and ‘Infowars’ (VIDEO)

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 08:08

On her new show with NBC, Megyn Kelly reported on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and the influence he has had on current conservative politics.

Jones runs the website InfoWars, which has propagated narratives like Sandy Hook and 9/11 are hoaxes without evidence. The site has gone mainstream as it has allied itself with President Trump during his presidential campaign.

[ NBC News ]

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Categories: Gun News

From buying to building: Why AR-15 fans are DIYing

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 07:28

The AR-15’s modular design allows consumers to swap parts and tailor the gun to suit specific goals. (Photo: Peninsula Guns and Tactical)

With its modularity and ability to conform to user needs, the AR-15 is easily considered America’s preferred rifle. Though many gun owners chose to head down to their local gun shop to grab a factory built AR from the shelf, some dedicated fans are circumventing the gun store in favor of building their own, custom gun. But why are shooters forgoing stock guns in favor of time consuming builds? The answer, AR aficionados say, comes down to customization, cash and control.

The AR-15 developed its iconic name from ArmaLite who designed the first AR or ArmaLite Rifle. In 1959, the company sold the rights to Colt, who modified the rifle by relocating the charging handle from under the carrying handle to the rear of the receiver. The redesigned rifle was repackaged and marketed by the United States military as the fully automatic M16. Not to be limited to just one clientele, Colt soon created a semi-automatic civilian version known as the AR-15.

The AR-15 soared in popularity among gun owners who found it to be a versatile platform. Transitioning from hunting to sport shooting to home defense, the adaptable rifle gave consumers more bang for their buck. Even better, the modular design allowed the system to be easily modified and personalized to suit individual preferences — a key feature that would eventually lead some consumers down the path of building rifles from the ground up.

Creating a rifle that is customized to a shooter’s exact specifications and needs is one of the driving forces behind why more gun owners are looking to DIY. The ability to carefully craft a purpose-built setup catered to the mission — be it home defense or plinking on the range — is what makes the AR-15 platform unique.

Ghost Firearms, a Florida-based parts maker specializing in AR components, offers everything from individualized pieces to full build kits. President of Ghost Firearms T.J. Nader told in early June that personalization drives sales of his company’s colored and skeletonized AR-15 lowers.

“We have seen strong interest in our colored upper receivers and Skeleton lowers in colors. Considering the AR industry likely produced and sold around 1.5 million stripped lowers in 2016 we are seeing strong demand for parts to build out these lowers into rifles or pistols,” Nader said. “People are unique and very in tastes.”

When creating an AR, each part can be carefully selected to ensure high performance and quality during operation. Reddit user Nreyes238 expounded on the topic during an online discussion, explaining that building offers not only customization but also control for gun owners.

“If customization is your goal, then building is the way to go. You want a specific lower, and a certain trigger, and all matching furniture in that limited edition color from X manufacturer…you won’t find this on a shelf,” Nreyes238 commented.

Parts and accessories manufacturer Wing Tactical shared the sentiment, listing control and customization as one of the main reasons hobbyists are turning to building.

“You get exactly what you want,” the company said. “From the right buttstock to fit your shoulder to the right handguards for the perfect grip, your rifle will be perfect for your comfort. It’s made with custom AR-15 parts, so you can own a high-performance rifle as well, with a high-quality gas system and a reduced power trigger spring. You can enjoy whatever additions you desire, because you’re making it.”

While tricking out guns and tweaking them to exact specifications ensures shooters are getting the most from their rifles, cost also plays a part in why shooters are tackling DIY projects of this magnitude.

Though in some cases gun owners might get away with a complete AR-15 from a major gun maker $100 to $200 cheaper than a custom gun, builders enjoy the luxury of shelling out cash at their own pace. Jumping on sales, buying piece by piece and budgeting affords those that build the opportunity to craft a high quality gun without breaking the bank. Additionally, gun owners get the added benefit of intimately knowing their rifle.

“Ultimately, you may end up spending $100-200 more building it yourself, but in the process you learn the technical nature of the firearm,” Reddit user Romanonnom said in a online AR discussion. “I can tell you, before building my first AR, I didn’t know a thing about how it functioned. Sure, you can read about it, but nothing takes the place of the hands on experience of building it.”

Romanomnom added, “For me, and I think a large majority of people, that initial cost is worth it.”

Though the benefits seem tempting, other AR-15 fans warn that building does come with its disadvantages. Namely, time and resale.

Time-to-cost ratio comes into play when evaluating the merits of buying versus building. If budgets are tight and time is plenty, building becomes a more viable alternative; however if time and patience are the main values, it’s better to buy. Builders agree that if getting out on the range immediately is the goal, grab a gun off the shelf.

“Buying gives you the opportunity to save costs (if you are getting exactly what you want off the shelf), shoot ASAP, requires less effort, and requires less decisions,” Nreyes238 said.

Resale also plays a part in the decision to build. Packaged guns from major manufacturers can easily be traded or sold while so-called “Frankenstein” guns don’t move so quickly.

“To me the biggest downsides of building (this includes using a pre-built upper) is lower resale value and lack of warranty. It can be tough selling a ‘Frankenstein’ gun for what you have into it and while individual parts may have warranty’s you won’t have someone to send the entire gun back to of you have problems with it,” online user Wckdwabbit commented on an AR-15 discussion forum. “That being said, if you built the whole gun you know it better than anyone else and are more likely to be able to fix anything that pops up.”

Controlling the parts and more importantly the cash flow to craft a custom gun brings hobbyist to the table, ensuring the AR-15’s continued success stateside.

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Categories: Gun News

Homeowner who helped capture escaped inmates never pulled gun (VIDEO)

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 07:15

A Tennessee homeowner who encountered two escaped inmates last week minutes before they were captured after more than two days on the run, briefly spoke with the media Friday to clear up some things which he says have been blown out of proportion.

In a brief statement, 35-year-old Patrick Hale, confirmed that while he was armed, in contrast to what has been widely reported, he never had to draw his weapon when he encountered the inmates who were wanted for the murder of two Georgia corrections officers.

“We ended up with the best possible scenario compared to every other family that was affected by these two guys,” Hale told reporters as he stood with his wife, Danielle, and the couple’s young daughter.

Several hours before Hale’s encounter with escaped inmates Ricky Dubose and Donnie Russell Rowe, the duo broke into an elderly couple’s home, tied them up, and held them captive for three hours before leaving with the couple’s cell phones and Jeep.

As Dubose and Rowe were leaving the elderly couple’s home, a Tennessee state trooper was headed to the home for a welfare check. The chance encounter prompted a 10-mile chase, at the end of which the pair wrecked the Jeep.

After wrecking the vehicle, an exchange of gunfire erupted, but no one was injured. Dubose and Rowe then fled into a wooded area and soon thereafter was when they encountered Hale.

Hale said at 6:40 p.m. he received two calls from two friends warning him of the events that had just transpired with Dubose and Rowe.

“[At] 6:46, I loaded every weapon I could in my house to be prepared in the event that they needed to be used,” Hale said.

One minute later, Hale looked outside to see two white males crossing a barbed wire fence approximately 300 yards from the back door of his home. At that moment, Hale, who was home alone with his young daughter at the time, said he “prayed like I have never prayed before.”

At 6:48, Hale said he called 911, grabbed his daughter and made the decision to either get in the panic room and be trapped there or get in the car and try to get away. He chose the latter.

Hale said he and his daughter got into the car and quickly backed up, only to realize that the inmates had been running and were much closer to his house at that point. He also said the two took off their shirts and began waving them around as if to slow Hale down.

Nonetheless, Hale continued to slowly back up, but the inmates continued to get closer.

“At that point, I realized I had two ex-cons wanted for murder, that just shot at law enforcement and nothing to lose, and for some reason, they started to surrender and laid down on their stomachs in my concrete driveway,” Hale said, adding, “If that doesn’t make you believe in Jesus Christ, I don’t know what will.”

Hale noted that his car looks very similar to a police cruiser, which he believes contributed to the inmates’ decision to surrender.

“I had a weapon on me, but I never had to draw the weapon like it has been released in the news,” he said.

Hale said the inmates just simply laid down in his driveway and didn’t say a word. After about 20 seconds, however, they did get up, walk over to a faucet to get a drink of water, then returned and laid back down on the driveway. Upon hearing this, one reporter asked Hale what was going through his mind when the inmates got up for a drink.

Hale responded: “That I had a truck that was recently filled up with gas with the keys in the front seat with a loaded shotgun that I left in the front of my house and were they going to get to it or not.”

Hale then reiterated that he was armed but never had to use his weapon. He said within three minutes of his 911 call, more than 45 law enforcement officers showed up at his house.

Hale indicated he’s no hero, that he simply called 911. Nonetheless, the title has stuck, and now some are wondering whether the hero homeowner will receive the $130,000 reward that was being offered for information leading to the capture of the convicts.

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Categories: Gun News

FBI offering $100K reward for info on 85-year-old fugitive

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 07:10

Donald Eugene Webb, pictured here in a photo from 1979, is wanted for the murder of a Pennsylvania police chief that occurred nearly 40 years ago. (Photo: FBI)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is asking for the public’s help locating a fugitive who has been wanted for nearly 40 years.

Donald Eugene Webb, who would now be 85-years-old, was added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list on May 4, 1981, following the December 4, 1980, murder of a Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, police chief.

Webb remains one of the longest-running fugitives on the list and is the only U.S. fugitive wanted for the murder of a police chief, according to the FBI, who is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the whereabouts of Webb or his remains.

At the time of the murder, Webb, who is described as a career criminal, was already wanted in connection to the burglary of jewelry store in the Albany, New York, area. Webb had reportedly told his associates that he would not go back to jail.

On December 4, 1980, around 3 p.m., Saxonburg Police Chief Gregory Adams initiated the routine traffic stop of a Mercury Cougar driven by Webb. During the stop, Adams was brutally beaten about the face and head with a blunt instrument, then shot twice. Adams did not survive his injuries and Webb, who was living in New Bedford, Massachusetts, at the time, fled from the scene and became a fugitive.

Almost three weeks later, the vehicle driven by Webb was recovered in a hotel parking lot in Warwick, Rhode Island, but Webb was nowhere to be found. Inside the car, investigators found evidence that Webb was likely injured during the confrontation with Adams.

In addition to first-degree murder, Webb is wanted for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

In the past, Webb had connections to the Patriarca Crime Family in Providence, Rhode Island, and was also known to associate with criminals in southern Florida. He has used the following aliases in the past: A.D. Baker, Donald Eugene Perkins, Donald Eugene Pierce, John S. Portas, Stanley John Portas, Bev Webb, Eugene Bevlin Webb, Eugene Donald Webb, and Stanley Webb.

Webb is said to be a master of assumed identities and is described as “a lover of dogs, a flashy dresser, and a big tipper.” He is 5’9” and weighs approximately 165 pounds. He previously had graying brown hair, although it could be completely gray now. He also has a small scar on his right cheek and right forearm and could have the word “DON” tattooed on the web of his right hand and “ANN” tattooed on his chest.

Additional photos of Webb can be seen here.

“We’re asking the public to take a close look at these photographs that we recently acquired and contact us if they have any information about Mr. Webb’s whereabouts,” said Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division. “The FBI cannot make the assumption Webb is deceased without verification. We’re in the final stages of this investigation, and, given Mr. Webb’s age, we’re doing everything we can to bring some closure to Chief Adams’ family and the citizens of Saxonburg.”

Anyone with information about Webb is asked to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or submit an online tip here.

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Categories: Gun News

Appeals court upholds Nashville’s ban on gun shows

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 06:51

A vendor who has been booking gun shows at the fairgrounds for more than 30 years has lost another round in his suit against the venue over their new policy against such events. (Photo: WKRN)

The Tennessee Court of Appeals last week sided with the Metro Nashville Fair Board’s decision restricting gun shows at its venue.

In a 3-0 opinion handed down last Thursday, the court rejected the challenge by gun rights advocates with the Tennessee Firearms Association and long-time gun show event organizer, Bill Goodman Gun and Knife Shows. In a 15-page ruling, the court held that neither plaintiff had standing to question whether the fair board was violating the law, and that the grounds were recreational in nature, thus skirting state preemption laws.

“Making a decision to allow or disallow a gun show at a government-owned recreational facility is a power specifically recognized ‘by state law,'” said Court of Appeals Judge Brandon O. Gibson. “It is not an unauthorized or preempted de facto local limitation on the transfer of firearms.”

Goodman had been renting fair space since the 1970s, but in 2015 ran afoul of local gun control advocates who pressured Metro to clamp down on the events. The show organizer argued their productions complied with state and federal laws and promised a lawsuit of the board continued with their decision, a threat that saw both sides meet in court last year.

Davidson County Chancellor Carol McCoy agreed with the board last summer, holding the plaintiffs lacked standing and she could not force the fair board to enter into an agreement with them. That ruling was upheld on appeal last week.

Kenny Byrd, a former Metro board commissioner who helped implement the gun show rules while on the board, told The Tennessean he welcomed the news of the suit’s rejection on appeal.

“Now, more than ever, cities need to be able to implement reasonable gun protections,” said Byrd. “We have saved lives by stopping city-funded gun shows.”

Gun rights advocates see the opinion as a continuation of prohibiting activities at the fairgrounds that had previously been extremely popular, the legal battle for which may not be over.

“The decision of the court of appeals may be challenged by asking the Tennessee Supreme Court to consider the matter,” says an alert from the TFA.

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Categories: Gun News