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A New Lever-Action in the Arsenal: Henry Axe

Wed, 05/13/2020 - 05:00

Most guns fit neatly into categories—hunting, self-defense, cowboy action, plinking; yet, every once in a while, one defies labels. The Henry Axe fires .410 shotgun ammunition from a lever-action platform with metrics to match the Mossberg Shockwave and Remington Tac-14, direct bloodlines to Henry’s own Mare’s Leg “pistols.” Meet the new Axe in the woodpile.

Can You Own the Axe without a Stamp?

Like both the Mossberg and Remington before it, the Henry Axe is easily transferred and owned like any other firearm with the standard form 4473. Per determination by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the H018AH-410 Lever Action Axe .410 is classified as a non-NFA item.

Shotgun? Pistol? Rifle? Trying to fit the Axe into any of the aforementioned categories is futile, although the gun is capable of more than dabbling in any of them. Per a Henry, “We feel that simply being fun to pull out of the scabbard and shoot again and again should be a category all its own. For those that join us in considering this an important category, the Lever Action Axe .410 delivers in spades.”

What is the Axe?

Attention to detail on the Axe is exceptional, from the fit and finish to the cowboy logo detail on the butt of the “ax handle.” (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Henry’s Axe wears a short, round barrel with a length just over 15-inches. The barrel is threaded for Invector-style chokes and finished with a brass front bead. It holds five rounds of 2-1/2-inch shells, interestingly the same capacity as some of the company’s full length .410 shotguns.

Though we’re not entirely sure what you’d do with it, the receiver is drilled and tapped for optics mounting. American Walnut stocks show an above-average figure, even with the abbreviated length. The blued steel receiver is both practical and attractive — there’s also a transfer bar safety.

The entire gun is just over 26-inches long and includes sling studs for easy carry, though a traditional mare’s leg holster is also an option. This steel piece feels like a well-built tool, tipping the scales at a surprising 5.75-pounds. For reference, a 12-gauge Shockwave weighs less.

The Best of Both Worlds

For years, the biggest knock on Henry has been their lack of a side loading gate. That changed last year with the advent of Side Gate rifles that added the side port to Henry’s existing tubular magazine loading style. Carried over from their wildly successful launch of side-loading gate rifles—and full-sized .410 shotguns as well–Henry’s Axe can also be loaded via either the tubular magazine or topped off quickly through receiver’s side port.

Why Would you Buy a Henry Axe?

Henry’s successful side loading gate feature makes an appearance on the Axe, which can also be loaded through the tubular magazine.

What can you do with this gun that has no particular category? Let me count the ways this Axe can serve a purpose—and never forget that fun is also a reason. Though the Henry Axe is not a do-all miracle weapon, it does make a wieldy snake or pest gun that is easily stowed. The 26-inch length means it’s easily packed on the ATV, UTV, horse boat or anywhere else space is limited. Plus, plinking is enjoyable, summoning thoughts of Steve McQueen.

Nowadays, .410 defense and hunting loads are accessible so there’s no reason not to keep the Axe by the bed. We ran five different types of 2.5-inch rounds through our Axe to see what the shorty could do on target at 10-yards. We fired Federal Premium .410 Handgun 000 Buck with four pellets, Hornady Critical Defense Triple Threat which packs a .41 caliber slug and two .35 caliber round balls, Winchester PDX1 with 12 plated BBs and three plated flat-cylinder projectiles, and finally, two types of birdshot with Aguila’s #8 and Winchester SuperX High Brass #4.

Suffice it to say, if that target was an intruder, the full-choked Axe would have devastating consequences on the business end and no recoil on the other. The included Full Choke puts out incredibly tight patterns at defense distances.

Wielding the Axe

With a barrel length just over 15-inches and an overall length beyond 26-inches, the Axe “shotgun” is legal and transferable. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The Henry Axe is dressed in smooth stocks, and honestly, we never missed the checkering. The lever is smooth, as we’ve come to assume from Henry. Due to the abbreviated length, it’s got a bit of a learning curve. It takes time to truly get comfortable running the lever on what is essentially a handgun-type weapon. That’s not a bad thing, though, because the practice is pure enjoyment.

We also learned that shooting from the hip with accuracy is not as easy as it appears. The Axe gobbled up every type of .410 ammo, including reloads– and looked good doing it. Like the stellar fit and finish and attention to detail, the Axe includes sweet details like the engraved throwback Henry Cowboy logo on the ax handle pistol grip that gives the gun its name.

Mares Leg or Something More?

Henry’s .410 Axe is a lever-action shorty designed for fun first, with practical purposes like hunting and self-defense also in tow. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Hold the Axe at eye level or work from the hip and the smile will be the same, guaranteed. This is a heavily built gun in a baby bore and the recoil is naturally minimal. The Axe is more controllable than most counterparts on the market. The closest comparison, of course, is Henry’s own Mare’s Leg design. The Mare’s Leg has long been available in not only rimfires but also handgun calibers like .45 Colt, .44 Magnum, and .357 Magnum. Where the Mare’s Legs opts for a 12.9-inch barrel and a 25-inch overall length, the shotgunning Axe has a longer barrel at just over 15-inches and a length of 26.4-inches.

The Axe, complete with screw-in chokes, comes in with a lower MSRP than the centerfire Mare’s Legs, at $970 versus $1,048 MSRP. Neither platform is cheap, but when buyers spend the money on Henry’s Made in America or Not Made at All specialty firearms, two things are certain — first, the guns are built to last for generations and second the pure enjoyment will last equally as long.


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Categories: Gun News

Proud American Gun Owners and their Firearms Vol. 5

Wed, 05/13/2020 - 04:30

From 2012 to 2016, I toured America to photograph some of the millions of legal gun owners who proudly exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms. These photographs were published in my book called We The People.

In some cases, I was fortunate enough to make short videos with the folks in the photographs. Check the details below the photos for more info and corresponding videos.

Prokopios Ziros photographed in Las Vegas, Nevada sporting his McMillan Tac-50 with AAC silencer and Nightforce optic. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Glenn Fleming photographed in Scott, Louisiana sporting his FNH SCAR 16S dura-coated in green camo with a barrel chopped to 10.5-inches and an Aimpoint T1. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Kenton Tucker and Ed Harris photographed near Wikieup, Arizona at their Big Sandy Shoot. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Steven Seagal photographed in Phoenix, Arizona sporting his POF-USA 16-inch P415 in 7.62 X 39 with a Trijicon 1.5X optic. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Richard Overton photographed in Austin, Texas sporting his Browning Auto-5 shotgun. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Ryan Dean photographed in West Paris, Maine sporting his Bushmaster Carbon 15 M4 Generation 2 with bipod, Mag Well grip, Tac Light, 4×32 sniper scope. His sidearm is a Para Ordnance GI 45 1911. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Joe Carrere photographed in Mount Pleasant, Michigan sporting his Swedish K SMG. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Greg Wohler photographed in Boulder, Nevada sporting his AR-15 SBR customized by Valkyrie Combat. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

The Bundy family photographed in Bunkerville, Nevada. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Staci Richter photographed in Lockport, Illinois sporting an AK-74. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Brian Pandiscia photographed in Eden, Vermont sporting his HK-51. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Ted Nugent photographed in Las Vegas, Nevada sporing POF-USA rifles. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

The Williams Machine Gun Mafia photographed in Eden, Vermont sporting a lot of guns. Click on photo for video. (Ben Philippi)

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Categories: Gun News

New Jersey: First-Time Gun Owner Files Suit to Reopen Outdoor Gun Ranges

Wed, 05/13/2020 - 03:21

Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy closed New Jersey gun stores and gun ranges by executive order in March and, while retailers have been able to reopen after a lawsuit, a second legal challenge is now underway for ranges. (Photo: Chris Eger/

In the Garden State, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has allowed tennis courts, golf courses and parks to reopen but not outdoor gun ranges, and is now the subject of a federal lawsuit over it.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, cites Murphy as a defendant along with other New Jersey officials and was brought by healthcare worker Delores Ricci, 59, in conjunction with the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs.

Ricci, a first-time gun owner, recently purchased a handgun for self-defense and, having no prior firearms experience, believes it is important to head to the range with her new gun. Murphy’s March 21 executive order closing all ranges in the state due to COVID-19 shutdowns, contends the lawsuit, has eliminated that possibility.

This week’s legal filing against Murphy argues that the right to keep and bear arms protects the ability to become proficient in firearms use for lawful purposes, one that the Governor’s order has halted.

“The Second Amendment was designed precisely for the kind of emergency America now faces, to ensure that law-abiding citizens would be able not only to own firearms but to train with them to develop and maintain proficiency to provide for their own safety if necessary,” said the ANJRPC in a statement. “The idea that a single public official can simply turn gun rights off is absurd on its face.”

The lawsuit seeks to halt Murphy’s executive order in terms of barring outdoor shooting ranges from operating. When it comes to indoor ranges, which are also closed but aren’t addressed in the lawsuit, ANJRPC stresses they also plan to sue over that issue as well and “is prepared to take this new case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.”

Murphy’s order originally also shuttered gun stores along with ranges, a move his office backed away from in late March after a lawsuit by pro-gun groups. Firearm retailers have since been allowed to reopen.

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Categories: Gun News

Proud American Gun Owners and their Firearms Vol. 4

Tue, 05/12/2020 - 05:00

From 2012 to 2016, I toured America to photograph some of the millions of legal gun owners who proudly exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms. These photographs were published in my book called We The People.

In some cases, I was fortunate enough to make short videos with the folks in the photographs. Check the details below the photos for more info and corresponding videos.

Jeff Quinn photographed in Dover, Tennessee sporting a Colt Bisley chambered in .38 WCF caliber and a Freedom Arms Model 83 chambered in .500 Wyoming Express. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

22Plinkster photographed in Locust Grove, Georgia sporting
a pair of Colt Woodsmans 6-inch target pistols. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Charlie photographed at John Jovino’s Gun Shop in NYC sporting his Remington 870 shotgun. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Jim Supica photographed at the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia. He sports a Treeby chain rifle. It’s a 15-shot .54 caliber percussion repeater made about 1854 and submitted to the British military for their consideration. Fewer than a handful are known to exist. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Cam Edwards photographed in Farmville, Virginia sporting his Sig Sauer 1911 in .45 ACP. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

The Cheney family, photographed at Battlefield Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada sporting many guns. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Kevin Jackson and Melissa LaBoy photographed in St. Louis, Missouri. Kevin sports his Beretta 92A1 and Melissa her Henry .22 long rifle. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Dom Spano photographed in Eden, Vermont sitting atop his M-41 Walker Bulldog tank next to his Browning M2 .50 cal machine gun. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Gabby Franco photographed in Las Vegas, Nevada sporting a Remington AR-15. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Chris Cheng photographed in San Francisco, California. He sports his Houlding Precision AR-15 style rifle with a Daniel Defense 18-inch barrel, AAC muzzle brake, and Magpul goodies. The scope is a Leupold Mk 6 1-6×20 CMR-W. The pistol is a Tier 1 Glock 19 modified by Salient Arms International. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Branden Spear photographed in Cambridge, Maryland sporting his Mossberg 930 12-gauge shotgun. He stands in front of his patriotic house that he painted. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Jeff Zimba photographed near Fairfield, Maine sporting his POF-USA P416 with an LMT 40mm grenade launcher. He stands in front of a heavily modified Suzuki Samurai. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Tony photographed in West Point, Kentucky sporting his AK-74. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Spud photographed in Butler, Missouri sporting a Barrett Model 99 .50 cal rifle. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

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Categories: Gun News

Snake Gun Profile: The Colt King Cobra .357 Magnum

Tue, 05/12/2020 - 04:17

The stylized barrel rollmarks, complete with a cobra head, make the Colt King Cobra unmistakable. (Photo:

In honor of the Colt’s 150th Anniversary in 1986 a new revolver hit the market, the .357 Magnum Colt King Cobra, a snake gun now in at least its third generation.

Based on the company’s Mark V system shared by the medium-frame Trooper series of double-action six-shooters, the King Cobra got its name as an ode to smaller Colt Cobra wheelguns which dated back to the 1950s but were only chambered in .22LR, .32 Colt and .38.

Borrowing the solid rib heavy barrel/full underlug profile of Colt’s Python series but coming in at a more affordable $400 smackers at the time, it was half the price of the iconic serpent. This made it appealing to budding target shooters, law enforcement, and personal protection. Likewise, the price point made more competitive with other full-lug magnums of the time, namely Ruger’s then-new GP-100, S&W’s Model 586, and Dan Wesson’s 15HB.

Introduced first in a blued metal finish with black neoprene round butt grips, the King Cobra was only chambered in .38Spl/.357Mag and available in 4- or 6-inch formats. By 1988, stainless versions in both a matte and bright finish were introduced as was a short-lived 2-inch model. By 1990, an 8-inch model appeared.

This Colt King Cobra up for grabs in the Vault, a 4-inch model with a serial number that dates to 1988 production, is in what the company billed as “Ultimate Bright Stainless,” a finish that was only used on this model for four years. (Photo:

This 6-inch King Cobra has the more commonly-seen matte stainless finish. This particular gun dates to 1989. (Photo:

Falling out of production in 1992, production resumed only briefly of just the stainless models in 1994, then the line closed in 1998.

The rebooted King Cobra

A throwback to the days of the classic 1980s .357 snake gun whose name it bears, the new Colt King Cobra runs a 3-inch barrel, which the vintage gun never did in its standard production. (Photos: Colt)

On a steady path to expand their return to the wheel gun market, Colt resurrected the King Cobra series in early 2019 to offer a new version of the now-classic revolver after a two-decade hiatus. Still chambered in .357 Magnum, the reboot came standard with a full-lug 3-inch barrel and was announced just in time for last year’s National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas.

The “King” was popular on range day, with Colt’s booth crowded with those looking to give it a workout (Photos: Chris Eger/

We caught up with the new 3-inch King Cobra at the time and checked it out.

Featuring Hogue overmolded grips and a user-replaceable brass bead front sight, the newest wheel gun uses the same Linear Leaf spring trigger as in the rest of Colt’s Cobra line. Speaking of which, the retail on the King Cobra is $899, which is the same as Colt’s black DLC-coated Night Cobra .38SPL snub and $200 more than the standard Cobra 2-inch.

Showing they were serious about the series, Colt followed up with the King Cobra Carry.

The new Colt King Cobra Carry is a DAO .357 with a bobbed hammer and 6-shot cylinder (Photo: Colt)

Colt’s new magnum-caliber snub weighs 26-ounces and features a stainless steel barrel and frame mated to Hogue over-molded grips. The cylinder accepts the old Colt Detective Special pattern speedloaders. The six-shooter has a replaceable brass front bead front and an MSRP of $899.

By comparison, Smith & Wesson’s Model 60 stainless 2-inch in the same caliber has a retail of $729 but only has a five-shot capacity. Ruger’s real estate in the same neighborhood is the 2.5-inch version of the seven-shot GP100, which has the same price point as the Colt but tips the scales at 36-ounces.

Finally, the line has also expanded to include a King Cobra Target version introduced late last year, featuring a 4.25-inch barrel, adjustable rear sight, elevated fiber optic front sight, and custom Altamont wood medallion grips. With an overall length of 9.25-inches, the six-shot full-lug target revolver is pitched for use by competitive shooters and those who just like to hit the range.

The revolver uses an LL2 linear leaf mainspring and sports a fiber optic front and adjustable rear sight. It is capable of using either .38 Special or .357 Magnum loads. (Photo: Colt)

Justin Baldini, Colt’s Director of Marketing, said the Target model came about after they, “received a flood of requests for a 4-inch model with adjustable sights.”

MSRP on the King Cobra Target is $999, a price lower at retailers.


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Categories: Gun News

Winchester Releases AA Diamond Grade Shotshell

Tue, 05/12/2020 - 04:00

The AA Diamond Grade load is now shipping. (Photo: Winchester)

Winchester announced shipments of its AA Diamond Grade shotshell target load are now on their way to retailers and sporting clay courses.

Winchester’s AA shotshell loads sport a high-strength reloadable hull, patented AA wad, and hard shot. The Diamond Grade variant ups the ante with more round pellets with “higher energy retention downrange for dense, consistent, hard-hitting patterns.”

Winchester says AA Diamond Grade features precision sorted, copper-plated, 8% antimony — a hardening alloy– that is four times more than regular target loads.

Winchester AA Diamond Grade is a shotshell for sport shooters who want the very best ammunition when it matters most,” Matt Campbell, vice president sales and marketing, said in a news release. “We want to develop new products that meet the needs of our customers… AA Diamond Grade includes key features and benefits that sporting clays shooters and target shooters will understand and appreciate.”

Shipping 25 shells to a box, the 12-gauge AA Diamond Grade shotshell features four models with varying bullet weights and muzzle velocities. Pricing starts around $10.

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Categories: Gun News

Gun Events Back on Schedule, Groups Resume Operations

Tue, 05/12/2020 - 02:10

Shooting sports and gun culture events are rebooting after weeks of quarantine.

Emerging from two months of COVID-19 uncertainty and stay-home orders, shooting sports competitions and firearm events are slowly coming back.

Corresponding to national and statewide guidance to shelter-in-place or stay at home and limit non-essential travel during the onset of the Novel Coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., large events seen as conduits for gun culture in the country started to be canceled in early March. This included the NRA’s 149th Annual Meetings, the USCCA 2020 Expo, assorted NRA competitive shooting national championships, USA Clay Target League matches, the 2020 National Matches at Camp Perry, as well as the Knob Creek machine gun shoot.

Now, with light seemingly at the end of the tunnel on the nationwide lockdowns, some events are being tentatively rescheduled and groups are preparing to resume operations.

The 1,650-acre Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Arizona will reopen May 13 with one-hour online reservations required. All rifle and pistol shooting will be done at steel targets.

CMP’s 500-acre Talladega Marksmanship Park is set to reopen May 13 with updated protocols for staff and the public in light of current events.

Kalash Bash TX 2020 has announced rescheduled dates of Oct. 10-11.

The National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers 2020 Expo is set for Oct. 20-23 in Dallas, Texas with the group saying they “expect little to no impact on our event based on the measures taken across the country.” The NASGW Expo has increasingly seen the number of new firearms introduced at the event over the years, and 2020 could be the biggest for new guns yet.

The Red Oktober Kalashnikov Championship has confirmed the dates of Oct. 24-25 in Las Vegas.

Shoot Like A Girl is resuming their Coast to Coast Tour on June 6 in Missoula, Montana with plans to make it to Florida by November.

Shooter Symposium 2020 has been officially been rescheduled for Oct. 15-18.

Women Armed and Ready said they plan to “resume our meetings and range training in June of 2020.”

While not directly a “gun event” BLADE Show 2020 has been rescheduled for Aug 7-9 in Atlanta, Georgia, and is surely gun culture adjacent.

The 37th World Deer Expo, set for July in Birmingham, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Expo 2020, set for December in Las Vegas, are still listed as occurring. has emailed the exhibitors for further confirmation.

Finally, numerous local clubs and matches are adding dates to the schedule for this summer with many reporting a positive response. For example, slots The Ranch TX Club’s Dissident Arms Multigun Series, set to resume on May 17, are reportedly 75 % filled as of last week.

Practiscore, which posts USPSA, IDPA, IPSC, Steel Challenge, and ICORE matches, among others, has more than 3,100 events currently listed across the country, although care should be taken to ensure these are still green-lighted before attending.

Know of an event still occurring that isn’t listed? Contact us at as we aim to keep this list updated over the next few weeks. Also, be sure to bookmark this article and come back for future updates.

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Categories: Gun News

Ruger Stocks Climb on News of Spike in Sales

Mon, 05/11/2020 - 06:51

Sales of new products, such as the Ruger 57 pistol, a full-sized handgun chambered in 5.7x28mm, accounted for about 20% of the company’s sales last quarter. (Photo: Chris Eger/

One of the nation’s largest publicly-traded gun companies reported a revenue jump for the first quarter of 2020, followed by a rise in stock prices.

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR) last week announced $123.6 million in quarterly sales, an increase of about 7.8% over the same quarter in 2019. The company also reported a 37% spike in sales from distributors to retailers when compared with a year ago.

About 20% of the company’s firearm sales, some $23 million, came from guns introduced in the past two years including the Wrangler, a budget .22LR single-action revolver; the Ruger-57, the LCP II in .22 LR, the PC Charger, and the AR-556 pistol.

“Strong consumer demand, exciting new products, and reduced reliance on promotions led to improved earnings and cash flows, which strengthened our already robust debt-free balance sheet as we ended the quarter with $188 million of cash and short-term investments,” said Chief Executive Officer Christopher J. Killoy. “In addition, inventories were reduced at both Ruger and at our distributors as retail demand outstripped available inventories, particularly in the latter weeks of the quarter.”

The last weeks of the first quarter also saw the COVID-19 pandemic and Ruger responded in kind. Killoy outlined that the company has been encouraging employees to work remotely wherever possible while implementing social distancing throughout each manufacturing facility. Ruger has facilities in Connecticut, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Arizona.

“The impact of COVID-19 has increased in the past month, but we have been fortunate and have been able to keep all of our facilities safe and open with only limited restrictions on production,” said Killoy.

Ruger’s shares rose nearly 5% in after-hours trading immediately following the release of the 1Q 2020 report according to Market Watch.

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Categories: Gun News

Make Your Anniversary Perfect by Gifting a Gun

Mon, 05/11/2020 - 04:00

May is in full swing and that means we are now fully immersed in wedding season. Thanks to COVID-19, weddings and anniversaries this year look a little different. Just because you might not be able to visit your favorite restaurant or see that movie you’ve been anticipating doesn’t mean your special day has to be a wash. There are still some gifts that will be appreciated for their beauty but also functionality.

If you’ve always wanted to gift a gun to your significant other for your anniversary there are some steps you can take to set yourself up for success. In the video, we outline the best way to gift a gun to make that special day even more special. Enjoy!

Looking for a nice gun to gift to that special someone? Check out the Certified Used Guns from the Vault to see what we have to offer. 

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Categories: Gun News

Proud American Gun Owners and their Firearms Vol. 3

Mon, 05/11/2020 - 04:00

From 2012 to 2016, I toured America to photograph some of the millions of legal gun owners who proudly exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms. These photographs were published in my book called We The People.

In some cases, I was fortunate enough to make short videos with the folks in the photographs. Check the details below the photos for more info and corresponding videos.

Lt. Col. Robert K. Brown of Soldier of Fortune fame photographed in Boulder, Colorado sporting his DPMS-Panther Arms SASS .308 rifle topped off with an Aimpoint Hunter scope. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Justin Harvel photographed in Neosho, Missouri sporting his Black Rain Ordnance Fallout-15 SBR with a Black Rain Aris suppressor and an X-Products 50-round drum magazine. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Mike and DeAnna Madsen photographed in Malibu, California. Mike sports his Remington 870 Police Magnum 12-gauge shotgun. DeAnna sports her Smith & Wesson model 686 .357 magnum revolver. Click on the photo for a video where we cover the original photoshoot. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Jonathan Amborn photographed in Louisburg, Kansas sporting his ‘Lion of Babylon’ style AK-47. He stands in front of his Chevrolet K30 truck. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Johannah Zabal photographed in Mount Pleasant, Michigan sporting a select-fire H&K MP5. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

Gordon Hutchinson photographed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana sporting his 7.5-inch Ruger Redhawk chambered in .454 Casull. His holster is a Galco Kodiak. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Bill Tackett photographed in Las Vegas, Nevada sporting his POF-USA P-308 with a Sightmark 4-12×44 optic. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Marc Hampton photographed in West Point, Kentucky sporting his Ithaca 12-gauge shotgun. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Frank Allison (left) and Jeremy Ferguson photographed in Chicago, Illinois. Frank sports a Daewoo DR200. Jeremy sports a 24-carat gold plated AK-47. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

George Thornton photographed in Edgefield, South Carolina sporting the “Hunting Heritage” Browning 12-gauge shotgun. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Cody St. John photographed in Cocoa, Florida sporting a Diamondback Firearms DB-15. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

JoAnn Guidos photographed in New Orleans, Louisiana sporting her WASR-10 AK-47. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

Thomas Boyer photographed in San Francisco, California sporting his Smith & Wesson .500 magnum revolver. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

The Sumner family photographed at the Knob Creek Gun Range in West Point, Kentucky with a lot of guns. Click on photo for video. (Photo: Ben Philippi)

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Categories: Gun News

Maryland Governor Vetoes Ban on Private Long Gun Transfers

Mon, 05/11/2020 - 02:53

Last week Gov. Hogan vetoed HB4/SB208, which would have expanded background checks on private transfers of long guns in Maryland. (Photo: Chris Eger/

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan last week dripped veto ink on bills that would criminalize person-to-person transfers of shotguns and rifles without a background check.

The anti-gun measure, SB208/HB4, passed the Democrat-controlled Maryland General Assembly in March but Hogan scuttled the proposal on May 7 along with a package of a half-dozen other bills.

The expanded background check bill proposal, had Hogan signed it, would have prohibited a person from “selling, renting, transferring, or loaning a rifle or shotgun” to another individual unless a NICS background check had first taken place. Few exceptions, such as for police or military service or for inoperable guns given to a museum, were allowed. Those found guilty of doing so faced as much as six months in prison and a $10,000 fine.

“These bills would have banned the sale or transfer of long guns between private individuals without first paying fees and obtaining government permission,” noted the NRA in a statement. “Firearm transfers such as loans and gifts between friends, neighbors, or fellow hunters, would not have been exempted. Research shows such proposals have no impact on violent crime and Gov. Hogan is to be commended for refusing to recognize the false claims pushed by anti-gun advocates on this legislation.”

While some parts of the Old Line State– for instance, Baltimore– have notoriously high crime rates per capita, FBI statistics show that long guns are typically not used in murders in the state. For example, in 2018, of the 470 homicides recorded in Maryland, a single instance was attributed to a perpetrator with a rifle and 10 to shotguns. In 2017, eight of 475 homicides were chalked up to long guns.

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Categories: Gun News

Beautiful Black Ice: Checking out the New Kimber Rapide

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 09:11

The Kimber Rapide (Black Ice) is something of a modern gentleman’s premium M1911A1 with a truckload of features that give you a semi-custom U.S-made gun right out of the box. It pairs nicely with a nice folder like a Case Gunstock. (All photos: Chris Eger)

A unique take on the M1911A1 platform, Kimber‘s new Rapide Black Ice series handguns are new to the market and loaded with premium features that come standard.

Introduced to the public last November when the company unveiled its 2020 catalog and presented at SHOT Show this year, the Rapide is now headed to market. With a name familiar in Europe commonly used for a fast express train– and a popular Aston Martin model– the Rapide is billed by Kimber as a 1911 platform built for speed and is both competition and range ready.

The pistol is feature-rich including stepped cocking serrations, slide lightening cuts, a DLC coated barrel for extreme durability, extended magwell and new V-Cut match-grade trigger. It also comes with Tru-Glo TFX Pro Day/Night sights and G10 grips.

We have been evaluating an early production model over the past few weeks. The new Rapide comes in a choice of .45ACP, 9mm, and 10mm. We went with the latter, but general dimensions and features remain the same no matter the caliber.

When it comes to specs, the Rapide is familiar to fans of John Browning’s Government Issue as it comes standard with a 5-inch barrel which gives the single-action handgun an overall length of 8.7-inches. Weight unloaded is 38-ounces. Height is 5.25-inches. Frame width is 1.28-inches. The slide and barrel are stainless steel with a distinctive two-tone silver and gray Kim Pro II finish.

For what Kimber bills as contributing to faster lock time, the slide has lightening cuts in addition to front and rear stepped cocking serrations with five grooves at the rear and three forward. The DLC coated stainless barrel is almost black and shows through the cuts. Rollmarks on the slide are not obnoxious, with a stylized “Kimber” on the left…

And “Rapide” on the right. The guns are made at the company’s Yonkers, New York facility.

The match-grade barrel is also stainless steel with a black DLC coating. It uses a stainless steel match grade bushing and has a 1-in-16 left-hand twist rate.

The gun takes down much like any M1911, although it should be noted that it was very tight. It uses what Kimber described as a mil-spec guide rod. The .45ACP model sports a 16-pound recoil spring from the factory while our 10mm version carried an 18.5-pound model. The 9mm gets by with a 14-pound spring, because 9mm.

The gun is a 70-series, which is sure to please those who turn up their noses at mush brought about by the 80s. Also note that the bottom of the barrel on our T&E gun is electro-penciled with the last three digits of the serial number, likely done during the fitting and final assembly process.

The Rapide comes with excellent high-profile Tru-Glo TFX Pro Day/Night sights installed. The rear is ledged and serrated and has a green fiber optic in lit conditions.

The front sight incorporates a high-vis orange ring. Both the rear and front have tritium inserts for low-light conditions.

The standard grips are hex-head secured gray/black WavZ G10 panels with aggressive texturing although most M1911 panels should fit.

The grip safety is “tactical bumped” and the Rapide sports an extended beavertail to ward away slide bite. The gun uses a flat mainspring housing

The trigger is a V-Cut aluminum that specs say is set at the factory between 4- and 5-pounds. In our testing, we found our evaluation gun broke at a crisp 4.9-pounds on average. A high cut under the trigger guard allows for higher grip access to better manage recoil.

When it comes to surface controls, the gun has extended ambidextrous thumb safeties as well as a stippled slide stop.

The frame’s front strap has a very tight-pattern Kimber Stiplex stippling that forms a honeycomb.

The extended magwell is deeply beveled with flush-fit mags disappearing into the well while the extended base pad of the included Tac-Mag provides a better fit. Either way, the front of the magwell is notched so that stuck mags can be stripped away more easily.

The stainless steel Tac-Mag magazine holds 9-rounds on the 9mm version, and 8-rounds when it comes to .45ACP and 10mm. It houses a Rocket wire spring and oversized witness holes. Notice when you are in a more muted light, the Rapide looks almost slate gray

In the end, you get the impression that Kimber, best known for their M1911 offerings, has put a lot of time and attention to the Rapide series guns, as every inch of the pistol, from every angle, has something to talk about. Right out the box, it could serve target, personal protection or competition needs.

How does it shoot? We are currently in the middle of testing that and will get back to you in the coming weeks with the full run-down in a future article, so keep an eye out.

The Kimber Rapide (Black Ice) ships with a single 8-round (or 9 round in 9mm) Tac-Mag magazine for an MSRP of around $1,500, a price that will likely be a tad lower at retailers.

In any light, though, Kimber’s Rapide is striking


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Categories: Gun News

Firearms Group Legally Challenges Canadian Gun Ban

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 07:52

A collection of guns including a Ruger Mini-14, bottom, which is banned in Canada as of May 1, 2020, and a Mossberg 500 series 12-gauge shotgun, top,  which could be banned as well. (Photo: Ben Philippi/

On Wednesday, the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights (CCFR) officially launched a charter challenge of the government’s ban on “military-style assault weapons.”

The Liberals rushed the ban with an order-in-council from the cabinet, not through legislation. The group believes the ban is a wrongful deprivation of liberty arising from an improper exercise of legislative power.

They refer to section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that states, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”

“The government, in an entirely arbitrary and irrational way, has created legislation that will deprive us of our property and our freedom to live as we wish, on pains of incarceration for failing to comply,” said Rod Giltaca, CEO and executive director of the CCFR.

The CCFR has attained a lawyer who specializes in such challenges and acknowledges that it will be an uphill battle.

Opposition to the ban has been fierce. On May 5, a Canadian parliamentary online e-petition against the gun ban collected the most signatures in the shortest amount of time in Canadian history. Sponsored by Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner who tweeted, “Our petition to stop the Liberal confiscation plan that does nothing to stop the illegal use or importation of firearms has surpassed 100k signatures in just over 24 hours.”


Meanwhile, on May 4, the Canadian Sports Shooting Association concluded that if you removed the choke on certain 12-gauge shotguns, the bore diameter could be larger than 20mm. This meant that 12- and 10-gauge shotguns could be included in the ban that prohibits firearms with a bore diameter of 20mm or greater.

The CSSA-CILA made its findings public through an online legal document warning Canadian gun retailers and owners to stop selling, transporting, importing or using 10- and 12-gauge shotguns. This caused chaos and confusion among Canadian gun owners, especially hunters. There are an estimated 2 million shotguns in Canada and many hunters in the far north depend on them to sustain.

Canada’s public Safety Minister Bill Blair tried to calm the situation by tweeting, “Earlier today, the CSSA-CILA issued a statement alleging that our government is banning 12- and 10- gauge shotguns. This is absolutely incorrect and we will be reaching out to them to correct their misunderstanding.”

This did not ease tensions, however.

“We are not satisfied with a tweet from the minister that everything is OK as the basis for our whole industry’s future,” Alison de Groot, the managing director of the CSSA told CBC.  “There is lots of precedent in [Canadian] law and technical language in legal government documents our industry uses every day that conflicts with this tweeted response.”

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Categories: Gun News

VE Day at 75: Stacks of Mausers, Lugers, Walthers and More

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 06:05

Storeroom at Solar aerodrome, Stavanger, holding some of the estimated 30,000 Mauser rifles taken from German forces in Norway after their surrender. (Photo: Imperial War Museum)

Victory in Europe Day, or simply just VE Day, saw the acceptance of the German general surrender in World War II, and the return of Freedom to half of the Continent.

Celebrated on May 8, 1945, after the fall of the Third Reich, millions of German troops still needed to be disarmed across Europe and fresh stacks of Mauser bolt action rifles, along with the first generation of intermediate cartridge assault rifles such as the StG44 and semi-auto rifles such as the G43, grew around the continent.

Besides their own domestically produced rifles, the Germans absorbed and used guns from countries they overran such as Danish and Norwegian Krags, French MAS rifles, and even Russian Mosins.

Added to this were piles of MG34 and MG42 general-purpose machine guns along with  MP40 submachine guns.

There were not only German MG34s and 42s but also everything from 1918-vintage Bergmann SMGs to Austrian Schwarzlose machine guns and Hungarian Danuvia sub guns

Handguns of all sorts were collected, as the Germans not only adopted foreign guns they captured and manufactured their own, but also placed large orders abroad from countries such as Spain which were ostensibly neutral in the conflict.

The WWII German war machine used millions of handguns with Teutonic pistols such as Lugers, Mausers, and Walthers being sought after by trophy hunters who often had to settle for Astras, FEGs, and Dreyse models instead. The occasional Reichrevolver and other wheelgun also popped up. For instance, when German Luftwaffe boss Hermann Goering was taken into custody by U.S. troops on May 6, 1945, his personal sidearm was a S&W .38.

This larder of instant military surplus went to a variety of uses.


Many newly-Liberated European countries, such as Yugoslavia and Norway, rapidly repurposed stacked German weaponry and re-issued it to their own armies, which had been stripped of arms during the occupation. In the instance of Norway, they re-barreled thousands of inherited Mausers 98Ks in .30-06, 6.5x55mm, 7.62 NATO and even in .22 LR, dubbing them the M59, M59F1, M67, and so forth, an action that kept these veteran guns in service as late as the 1980s for reserve and training purposes.

If the trenches of the Hoth battle scene in The Empire Strikes Back seems very, um German, it is because it was filmed on Norway’s Hardangerjøkulen glacier in the early 1980s and, as the country had several surplus StG44s readily available, they were the basis for the blasters used by local extras portraying Rebel foot soldiers.


Others went into storage for possible future use. For example, trainloads of captured German arms speeded East to Stalin’s Soviet Union, where they were typically put into arsenal storage. Then the Soviets, in the interest of expanding the greater Marxist-Leninist cooperation sphere in the early days of the Cold War, shipped out boatloads of captured German guns to overseas allies on the cheap. For instance, early Viet Cong units were just as often equipped with MP40s and Mausers as PPSh-43s and Mosins.

Common US captured Viet Cong Weapons in Vietnam: AK, SKS, French MAS-36, and German Kar.98k. Mauser 98 the latter supplied by Soviet stocks

According to the FAN news agency, the Red Army collected more than 3 million such weapons during WWII and immediately afterward, and still have “a very significant amount of captured Wehrmacht small arms,” in storage.

So many, in fact, that today’s Russian Ministry of Defense plans to use thousands to pave the walkways of a church built in honor of past Heroes of the Motherland.

Brought back

American GIs and Commonwealth troops returning home from overseas often brought back “duffle bag” guns with some getting their guns checked and ticketed by headquarters staff and others electing not to take out such red tape. These firearms today can often be identified due to lack of official import markings, hinting the gun being a vet “bring back.”

As noted by the U.S. Army’s Center for Military History, “About 16 million Americans served in World War II, with 2 million serving in Europe. The U.S. population at the time was 140 million, so 11% of the U.S. population fought in World War II.”

These bring backs, once common, are now highly sought after and should be treated as museum pieces to some degree due to the history associated with them.

This Spanish-made Star Model B was brought back to the U.S. by a member of the 69th Infantry Division. The Germans ordered 27,000 of these guns for use by their military during WWII and, while not as sought after as a Luger, made a great war trophy. The GI who brought this one back had handmade sweetheart grips crafted for the gun from plexiglass– a material typically taken from shot-down aircraft canopies. It is now in the Camp Shelby military museum. (Photo: Chris Eger/

This Mauser M1914 pistol in .32ACP was made in 1920 and it, along with its leather holster, was brought back in 1945. Vets often wrote their names on captured holsters to ensure against sticky hands or, in cases where whole crates of guns were captured, simply to tell them apart. (Photo: Chris Eger/

The guns– brought back in the thousands by the Greatest Generation– were often sold, traded, and passed down inside families. This led to second or third lives for the antique hardware as hunting, target, and home defense pieces. Period literature, TV, and movies often are filled with references to these guns.

The 1946 novel, Mr. Adam, by newspaperman and war correspondent Pat Frank, includes references to a bring-back Browning. Of note, the Browning Hi-Power atop this passage was a 1944-production FN with German dirty birds that came back to the U.S. with a returning GI from Alabama in 1945. (Photo: Chris Eger/


The 1950 and 60s were perhaps the golden age for milsurp rifles and pistols, and with millions of Mausers, Lugers and Walthers available on the market, they were priced right

While a massive wave of surplus German guns came stateside with returning GIs in 1945, within a decade this surge became a downright flood as countries that had inherited their own supplies replaced them with more modern equipment– often U.S. provided M1 Carbines and Garands– and liquidated their old stocks on the commercial market. This led to the days of $60 Lugers, $20 Mausers, and $40 Walthers.

Unfortunately, this also led to a budding cottage industry in converting these low-cost firearms into sporterized rifles and more flashy pistols. Chrome was added, barrels were chopped, chambers were modified, stocks were replaced. Military rifles became Bambi-busters while sidearms became glove box and under-the-counter guns.

Today, the prices have gone but also many of the historic pieces have been greatly modified over the past 75 years. Nonetheless, their legacy as relics to the American and Allied service members who left their homes and fought to put these weapons under new management carries on.

The BYF-coded 98K is an example of a wartime rifle that is still in its more or less original condition. Something increasingly hard to find


Interested in a little souvenir of WWII of your own? Check out our Collector’s Corner, where history is just a click away. 

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Categories: Gun News

Dry Fire Basics – Practice the Draw to Save Time

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 05:00

We’re headed back to the dry fire practice ring to bring you another fun activity to beat the boredom and improve those shooting skills. Today, let’s work on drawing from the holster. A good, clean draw can make all the difference in a high-stress, self-defense scenario and it can shave up to a minute off your time in competition.

What you will need

*Before running any dry fire drills, visually and physically inspect your gun is clear, then clear the area of all live ammunition. *

Drill 1: Grip consistency

The line helps get a consistent grip. (Photo: Taylor Thorne/

Draw your firearm. Using a marker, draw a line over both hands where they meet thumb-side. This allows you to see if your hands are consistently meeting in the same place.

Drill 2: Draw height consistency

Draw and present the firearm approximately 2-inches from a wall or target. Use a piece of tape to note where the gun was pointed after the draw. The tape will act as a visual indicator to ensure you are raising the gun to the same spot each time, ultimately building muscle memory. Make sure when drawing, you bring the sights to your eyes.

Drill 3: 50% speed draw

With a weighted magazine inserted into the handgun, holster the gun and draw at 50% speed towards a target or aim point. Focus on establishing a proper grip and looking down the sights as you push the pistol towards the target.

Drill 4: 75% speed draw

With a weighted magazine inserted into the handgun, holster the gun and draw at 75% speed towards a target or aim point. Focus on maintaining proper technique.

Drill 5: Draw from surrender

With the handgun holstered and weighted magazine inserted, draw from the surrender position. The surrender position is defined as wrists above shoulders. For best results, develop a touchpoint, or location your fingers touch every time. Ear pro or the bill of a hat works well as a touchpoint to ensure a consistent draw each time.

Drill 6: Turn and draw

With the handgun holstered and weighted magazine inserted, start with your back facing the target in either the surrender position or with relaxed hands at the side. At the start signal, turn to face the target and draw. Do not break the 180-degree plane as your turn to draw. Also, reholster before turning around and restarting the drill. Always practice basic safety as if you are on the range even when you are not.

Tip: If you turn to the side with your gun, a draw can be completed quicker. Use the momentum of your turning body to help guide the firearm out of the holster. Also, consider foot movement. On a smooth surface, you can pivot, but on a rocky surface, a two-step turn is needed.

Final Thoughts

Get to dry firing and track your progress. Remember consistency is key! If you can perfect your draw while off the range, it will only improve your performance on the range.

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Categories: Gun News

Bagging a Tom: Tips for a Successful Turkey Hunt

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 04:00

While gun shopping is loads of fun, there’s more to a successful turkey hunt than simply having the latest and greatest boomstick. Here are a few tips from to help with bagging that beard-dragging boss gobbler — from gun and ammo selection to closing the distance on those wily birds, as well as what to do once the trigger has been pulled.

Select the Correct Gun and Ammo Combination

The Stevens-by-Savage 301 Turkey single shot wears a 26” carbon steel barrel that is topped with an extended extra-full turkey choke, all optimized for the Federal Premium TSS 410 specialty turkey loads. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Whether it’s a baby bore or a 10-gauge Magnum, the right gun is out there. For the former, partner Stevens-by-Savage Model 301 single shot with Federal Premium TSS ammunition for a low-recoil, surprisingly well-patterning companion. Options for the latter big-bore are limited in new guns, but Browning’s Gold 10 in camo is a solid choice. In semi-autos, TriStar has expanded its Viper G2 Camo Turkey line, as has Stoeger with the M3500 Predator/Turkey, or perhaps most interesting of all, the new Savage Renegauge Turkey.

Those are all solid options in newer guns but don’t discount the used rack where savvy hunters are likely to find the most deeply discounted and often very capable old standby models like the Mossberg 500/835 or Remington 870 pumps. Turkey hunting can be as much fun with a lever-action Henry .410 as it is with a CZ Reaper Magnum O/U Magnum 12. It’s not the action or chambering, but rather, the key to success is finding a gun that fits well and makes you feel comfortable. Then, practice until you’re completely confident.

Hit the Patterning Board

A 25-yard pattern with Federal Premium Heavyweight TSS #9 shot fired through the Stevens Model 301’s extra full choke is devastating. That gobbler would not have taken a step. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

It doesn’t matter if you spend $1,000 or $100 on your turkey gun, there is nothing that will make or break your hunt like the patterning board. You can cleanly harvest the largest turkey with everything from .410 bore up to the biggest 10-gauge. The key is patterning the gun to know how well your shot string holds together and at which distances.

At the end of the day, all of us hunters should strive to make clean, one-shot harvests. Plan on spending ample time on the shooting range shooting paper turkey targets from a variety of distances. This is the time to experiment with different chokes and turkey loads, as well as noting your maximum ethical shooting range. Last, but not least, don’t shoot only from the bench. Get down into the actual positions from which you plant to hunt — be that sitting under a tree, from a bipod or even prone.

Get Close Instead of Going Long

(Photo: Kristin Alberts/

While many gun and ammo companies emphasize being able to shoot greater distances with lethal shot patterns, there’s no replacement for honing your skills as a hunter getting those birds in close. There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as getting a trophy-sized Tom in close enough to hear the spit-and-drum or gobble that rattles your insides.

To that end, learning to use a variety of turkey calls — from box to mouth to slates — will be a rewarding practice and make you a better hunter to boot. Know the effective range of your scattergun from the patterning board, but never forget some of the most exciting hunts you’ll do are up close and personal.


Vista Outdoor’s JJ Reich ready to pull the trigger on a gobbler from behind a Surroundview Stakeout blind. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Put those turkeys to bed, as we hunters like to say. Translation: if you spend your time scouting, especially close to the season–or ideally the evening before opening day–you’ll get to pattern their movements. When you put them to bed, you know where those birds have roosted and can ideally move into that same area under cover of darkness the next morning.

Be careful not to push your luck and try to get too close, because all those turkey eyeballs will bust a hunter. The key lies in getting close enough to set up your decoys in an area to which the birds will feel comfortable coming down, and then a handy turkey caller can lure them into range on opening morning.

Mix Up the Tactics

Alps Outdoorz’s new Impact turkey vest packs flat for easy travel and still has plenty of call-specific pockets and a game bag big enough to fit this sweet pair of trophy toms. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Sometimes getting close to turkeys is not as simple as it sounds, and even the best-laid plans go awry. Plan to use multiple tactics for success. If the birds are hung up, you may have to be mobile. Traveling light and having a quality turkey vest like those from Alps Outdoorz can help you carry the essentials silently as you run-and-gun. Just remember to move slowly and look more than you walk, because those birds will see you before you see them.

Other times, the open terrain may be better suited to set up behind some strategically placed decoys. Both Primos and Montana Decoy make realistic, packable options. I find my greatest success with one or two hen dekes alongside a juvenile jake. Toms always seem to enjoy intervening in that spread, even when it means traveling across a field to challenge the pretend interloper. No matter your style of hunting, keep an open mind about trying new tactics and you’re most likely to find success in the turkey woods and field edges.

Snap Some Pics

The author stops for a quick photo after a hunt. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Before getting down to the nitty-gritty of cleaning and butchering your bird, be sure to preserve those memories in the field. Wild turkeys of every species are beautiful birds with rich colors, so why not show that off?

Cell phone cameras work wonders for setting up pics that both honor the harvest and serve as reminders of a memorable hunt. If you have a hunting partner, staging clean photos is a snap, but even solo hunters can use the camera’s self-timer for natural, in-the-field shots, which always look better than snaps taken later in a driveway or garage. Looking at that natural setting years down the road will take you back to the place and time of the hunt.

Transform from Hunter to Butcher to Chef

Canning is a good way to preserve meat for later recipes. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Tips for a successful turkey hunt don’t even end when the bird is on the ground. In fact, that should be when the real work begins. Not only have you just punched a tag, but you’ve also harvested a culinary treat that deserves to be treated as such. Save the fan, beard, and spurs, but also take care with the meat.

Too many hunters only “breast” a turkey—that is, remove the most tender meat—and discard the rest. Not only is that a crime of wanton waste in many states, but with a more attentive eye to slow cooking, the rest of the bird, even the darkest meat of an old boss gobbler, can be made tender and flavorful. I like to remove the drumsticks and cube the rest of the meat from the carcass. With the meat ready to chill, I turn my attention to other details, like retaining the wing feathers for arrow fletching and the bones for yelpers. Learn to make full use of all your game and I promise you’ll find hunting an even more rewarding endeavor.

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Categories: Gun News

Judge Voids Massachusetts Gun Store Closure Order

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 03:28

Gun and ammo retailers in Massachusetts can start reopening for business on Saturday under federal court order (Photo: Chris Eger/

On Thursday, a federal court issued an injunction against bans by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on the operation of gun stores as part of COVID-19 responses.

The four-page order by U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock, an appointment by President Ronald Reagan, came after hearings earlier this week on legal action brought by a host of retailers and pro-gun groups. While Woodlock ordered that firearms dealers still need to take proper steps to ensure social distancing and safety measures, he said that stores could re-open at noon on Saturday.

Speaking from the bench during a virtual hearing this week, Woodlock said, “There’s no justification here” for mandating the closure of gun shops.

The challenge was brought with the support of the Second Amendment Foundation, Commonwealth Second Amendment, and the Firearms Policy Coalition.

“We are elated that Judge Woodlock has ordered an injunction against Governor Baker and others so that law-abiding individuals can once again purchase firearms and ammunition,” said Adam Kraut, FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy in a statement emailed to “The citizens of Massachusetts have been deprived of their right to acquire arms for defense of hearth and home for too long during a time where it is most critical.”

The groups are requesting that individual gun or ammo purchasers, retailers, and ranges affected by “stay-home” or shutdown orders are encouraged to report their concerns and potential civil rights violations to FPC’s COVID-19 Issue Hotline. 

“Gun shops in other states have remained open,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb told, “and those stores have come up with creative strategies to serve the public without endangering anyone. We’re confident Massachusetts retailers will be equally ingenious in their compliance with social distancing and sanitation requirements. We will continue pressing these cases wherever they’ve shown up because we’re not just talking about business here, we’re talking about rights.”

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Categories: Gun News

Gun Shops Struggle to Survive Amid Canadian Gun Ban

Thu, 05/07/2020 - 06:28

Cary Baker, the owner of Iron Sights Training Center in New Brunswick, Canada, has lost over 60% of his sales due to the Canadian ban on “military-style assault weapons.” (Photo: Cary Baker/Facebook)

Cary Baker, the owner of the Iron Sights Training Center in New Brunswick, Canada, has over $350,000 worth of guns he can no longer sell. Baker is just one of the victims of Canada’s ban on “military-style assault weapons” enacted Friday. The ban effectively put the kibosh on 1,500 different kinds of firearms, preventing Canadians from selling, transporting, importing, or using those firearms.

Baker opened his business in 2018 using his pension and savings as a retired Army Major. “I set this up as a nice retirement business. I run it legally,” he said.

Although he vows to stay open, the ban impacts up to 60% of his overall sales. “The people that come into my shop that buy these firearms are good Canadians,” he explained. He has contacted American suppliers to see if they’re willing to take them back, but so far the answer has been no.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau granted a two-year amnesty period to allow current gun owners to comply with the ban. Trudeau said the government will decide on a buyback program in the coming months to provide “fair compensation” to people who own blacklisted firearms.

Adam Caruana (foreground) and Ben Nightingale, shoot their Glocks at a gun range outside Toronto, Ontario. (Photo: Igor Dertkin)

Adam Curuana is an avid shooter from Ontario who has appeared on in the past. “I personally stand to lose roughly $10,000 in goods that I’ve invested in over the last eight or nine years in this hobby,” he said.

Curuana is also the account manager at Amchar, a company that imports guns from the U.S. as a smaller distributor, Amchar has lost an entire line of products, which according to Caruana, is almost half its inventory.

“As a result of COVID, I’m the only member of this household that’s working right now. My better half is unemployed. For me to have my job jeopardized is going to put me out on the street,” he said.

The firearms ban was enacted through an order-in-council from the cabinet — not through legislation. Trudeau suggested that the government was prepared to announce the ban months ago but the COVID-19 outbreak delayed it. Further bans, possibly on handguns, may come next.

A full list of firearms banned in Canada can be found below.

Federal government banning … by User on Scribd

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Categories: Gun News

Wild Game Recipes: Elk Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Thu, 05/07/2020 - 04:30

If you like using home-sourced ingredients, this recipe is for you. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

If you like using home-sourced ingredients, this recipe is for you. It can be made with garden vegetables, wild meat, and home cannery. Though making cabbage rolls takes a bit of time, it’s well worth it when you sit down to dine.

While many cabbage roll recipes use only ground meat this one, adapted from my friend Connie, makes use of steak or roast for a hearty meal. We used both ground elk and elk steak, though most any wild game will excel in this dish.

Elk Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Start to Finish: Varies based on the cooking method

  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes (28-ounces)
  • 1 small can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato sauce (Can substitute home canned/crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil to sauté the onions, garlic, and celery until soft. Add the tomatoes — I like to substitute home-canned tomatoes and home-canned salsa instead of store-bought diced tomatoes and Rotel tomatoes. Stir well. For additional zing, add ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes or a few shakes of your preferred hot sauce. Stir well and add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer about 20 minutes. While the sauce cools, get to work on the stuffing:

  • 1-pound ground meat, can use any wild game
  • 1-pound wild game steak or roast, cubed small
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Brown the ground meat along with the chopped onion. Then, brown the small cubes of steak and drain the fat from both pans. Once cool, mix two cups of cooked rice into the meat. Allow to cool while you prepare the cabbage.

Cabbage Prep

Fill a large pot of water, adding a tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil. In the meantime, cut the tough core out of the cabbage before placing the head into the boiling water. Cover the kettle and allow it to come back to a boil. Peel the leaves off one at a time until you have 12 to 15 and lay them on a clean towel to dry. Chop the remaining cabbage and add that to the tomato sauce mixture.

Prepare your desired cooking vessel — cabbage rolls can be done in a large baking pan, Dutch oven, or slow cooker. Put a layer of sauce on the bottom before adding the rolls.

Using a sharp filet knife, trim the toughest part of the vein from the base of each cabbage leaf. Place roughly a ½ cup of meat mixture onto each leaf. Roll them, folding the sides under and place them into your pan, seam side down, on the tomato sauce layer. Continue filling and if needed, layer the rolls and add sauce between each layer, reserving enough to cover the top.

For a Dutch oven or covered baking dish, bake at 375-degrees for 90 minutes. If using a slow cooker, run them for roughly 2.5 hours. If it seems to be drying out during cooking time, add a bit of tomato juice or V8.

(Photo: Kristin Alberts/


While this recipe may take some prep time, it’s a recipe that can be made pretty much entirely from garden grown, hunt-harvested, and home-canned ingredients. It can also be frozen and baked later or prepared ahead and taken out to cook in the Dutch oven on a campfire.

We like to serve our cabbage rolls with baby red potatoes, a quickly sautéed vegetable like pea pods or asparagus and a nice hard roll or fresh bread to soak up the sauce.

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Categories: Gun News

CZ’s First Full-Sized Polymer Pistol: The CZ P-09

Thu, 05/07/2020 - 04:00

Every once in a while, I like to take a trip to the Vault and grab a pistol that may be a tad older and feeling a little less loved. For this review, I snagged CZ’s first full-size polymer pistol, the CZ P-09, to take it for a test drive.

Background and Specs

The CZ P-09 is the first full-size polymer pistol from CZ. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Based on the CZ 75, the P-09 ditched a metal frame in favor of a polymer one, becoming the company’s first full-size polymer pistol offering. The addition of polymer to the CZ pistol lineup brought the company into a more modern era, also pulling double duty delivering more rounds than other standard pistols.

Chambered in 9mm, the CZ P-09 packs a whopping 19+1 with a flush fit magazine providing plenty of rounds to accomplish training, range, or self-defense goals. Want even more lead? Grab an extended mag for 21+1. Be prepared, however, to drop some coin on those magazines as they don’t come cheap — $40 to $50 is about the going rate for a single mag.

The gun ships with a decocker installed but can be swapped over to a manual safety. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

The sights are standard but do well enough. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Measuring 8.1-inches in total length, the P-09 ships with a 4.54-inch barrel. The pistol boasts an Omega DA/SA trigger system and ships with a de-cocker installed but those can be converted to a manual safety with some additional parts — if you’re into that sort of thing. No surprise, I left the gun as is because I am not a huge fan of manual safeties. The de-cocker and firing pin block work together to allow shooters to safely lower the hammer on the P-09.

The P-09 offers some versatility to shooters by way of interchangeable backstraps — shipping in small, medium, and large. I opted for the smaller size because, well I am micro after all. Rounding out the features, the CZ pistol brings a 1913 Picatinny rail for lights, lasers, or any other compatible accessory.

Range Time

The CZ’s grip was a little large for my petite hands. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

The CZ P-09’s full-size design gave me plenty to grab onto at the range — though, as someone with small hands it sometimes proved tough to situate my grip on the first grab. Again, this system does come with backstraps but even with the smallest installed, I still found myself adjusting my grip. Some guns are just not meant for tiny people and this might be one of them.

Despite some gripping issues, the P-09 shot well with no issues. After a day of plinking through tons of different brands of ammo including Hornady, Federal, and Winchester, the CZ performed well. Even better, having such a large capacity of 19+1 meant I spent more time shooting and less time changing mags — which was really nice.

Though there are serrations on the slide for better gripping, I still found the slide to be rather heavy. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

The only major issue I encountered came down to the rather heavy slide. I found it slightly difficult to manipulate but worked through it. If you’re someone with arthritis or an injury that leaves you with little hand strength, however, you might want to forgo the P-09 as you’ll likely find it frustrating.

Slide aside, the CZ P-09 offered a pleasant shooting experience and manageable recoil.

Final Thoughts

The CZ P-09 would make a quality bedside gun. (Photo: Jacki Billings/

Where does the CZ P-09 fit on the scale of use? While some might be able to carry the full-sized gun, it was too big for me to pull off; but I could easily integrate this pistol into a home defense plan. With 19+1 rounds, it’s a no-brainer to keep this bad boy in a quick-access safe by the bed.

Retailing for around $499, the CZ P-09 is a nice polymer upgrade, holding to the CZ name. If this one catches your fancy, check out our full inventory of P-09 pistols as well as other CZ offerings on by clicking the button below.


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Categories: Gun News