A Guide To Traveling With An AR15

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While some might think it’s not possible at all (it is) here are a few tips on how to reliably transport your AR15, and other firearms, to your next destination. READ MORE

gun case

SOURCE: Team Springfield, posted by Steve Horsman

One question that I see frequently on the Internet and in forum chat rooms has to do with flying with firearms. Whether you are traveling domestically with a handgun or a long gun, following the guidelines set forth by the individual airline and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is of the utmost importance.

Note that the airlines and TSA can (and do) change requirements occasionally, so be sure to always check current regulations. Click HERE to get the regs.

LOCAL LAWS
Equally as important as knowing the airline and TSA rules about flying with firearms is knowing the local firearm (and ammunition) laws where you are traveling through (layovers) and to. You also need to know the laws of your return flight / departure location — where you will be traveling out of when going home. What might be legal in one state, may just be a felony in another. It is always YOUR responsibility to check the laws of local jurisdictions any time you travel. And keep in mind that laws change regularly and that laws often vary for rifles, shotguns, and handguns.

SHORT AND SWEET
Before I get into the deets, here is the short and sweet on air travel with guns. Firearms must:

Be unloaded
Be locked in a hard-sided case / container
Be transported in checked baggage only
Be declared each time you present checked baggage

FREQUENT FIREARM FLYER
I frequently travel with firearms, and whether I’m heading to a shooting competition, a work-related convention, or a training event, the process has become familiar. I’ve learned how to make traveling with firearms as easy as possible.

For many though, flying can be stressful, and bringing along guns may create some additional anxiety. However, if you are knowledgeable, polite, and just follow the rules, traveling with firearms should become a smooth, streamlined process. And even if things don’t go as planned, keep calm and carry — creating issues for the people at the ticket counter will NOT make things easier.

CLARIFICATION
Before we go any further, and just to be clear, when I reference flying with firearms I mean, and only mean, flying with firearms that are in your checked luggage. Unless you have federal law-enforcement credentials, it is illegal to have a firearm in your carry-on or on your person when boarding an airplane!

POLICY PARTICULARS
Over the decades, I have flown on almost every big-name domestic airline. During my travels, I have noted that many of the airlines have slightly different policies as they relate to flying with firearms, especially if flying with ammo or internationally (but that’s a different topic entirely). My advice again is to know the airline’s policies before you leave for the airport (policies can be found on the airline’s website), to abide by the airline’s requests and to be polite, even if one airline’s policy is different from another.

TSA rules and procedures should be standard. Click here to go directly to the FIREARMS and AMMUNITION page.

And it’s not a bad idea to print the regulations so you have a copy with you at the airport, should the need arise to reference them.

PROPER PACKING
Let’s start with how to pack the firearm. Successful flying with firearms starts at home, with an unloaded gun. When I travel with my SAINT™ Edge AR-15, I always put the unloaded rifle inside a soft case and then place the soft case inside a hard plastic case — one that is specifically designed for carrying long guns. Some of my favorite hard-case brands are Pelican, Storm, and Explorer. I know there are other manufacturers out there, but these are the cases that I have tested and traveled with. You can also get some hard cases with foam inserts that are custom formed or cut specific to your model of firearm. And that’s pretty cool!

These hard, impact-resistant rifle cases are rugged. They are touted as crush-proof, dust-proof, and water-tight and stand up to frequent travel, and the abuse of baggage handlers who are having a bad day. Such cases have handles and wheels to make transportingmuch easier. There are also designated areas on the cases for placing padlocks. I highly suggest purchasing TSA-approved cables and locks for all of your gun cases. Flying can be a strain on the brain, and approved locks just make dealing with TSA that much easier and fast.

CURBSIDE — NO GO
Note that when arriving at the airport, you cannot check your luggage with the baggage handlers outside, which is sometimes referred to as “curbside check in.” You must take your gun case to the ticket counter to “declare” your firearm.

When it’s your turn with the ticketing agent, notify them [nicely] that you have an unloaded firearm to declare in your luggage. The ticket agent will ask you to fill out a firearm declaration card (for each firearm). Write your name and mailing address on the card, and then sign and date the back side. READ this card. You are declaring that you have a firearm and that the firearm is unloaded.

The agent may ask to see the unloaded firearm. They then will ask you to place the orange copy of the declaration card inside the case with the firearm and then LOCK the external hard case. The TSA agents are going to want to see this card when they scan your bag, so make sure it’s easily viewable / accessible.

Once you are checked in and your bags have been tagged, most airlines will have a representative escort you to the TSA area. Once there, the TSA agent will scan your bag and may open your bag for inspection (in my case, every single time). Once TSA gives you the green light, you are allowed to leave and head to security (hope you are TSA Pre-Check). And that should be the end of your firearm-related duties, until you land.

I have run into virtually no issues when traveling with firearms, with the rare and one exception of flying out of New York City. But that too is a topic for another article.

AMMUNITION ASIDE
Sidenote: I pack my ammunition and unloaded magazines in separate, small storage containers, in the same hard case as the gun or in another case if weight is an issue. If you pack ammunition in the same case that your firearm is in, it must be in the original ammunition packaging, or a hard box that is designed for ammunition.

I have had people advise me to load the ammunition into the firearm’s magazines. I would NOT, I repeat, NOT, do this. Also note that airlines have a weight limit on the amount of ammunition you can check in your luggage. And it’s never enough! So consider shipping your ammunition “ground” if you need a considerable amount, as might be the case for a multi-day match.

WHEELS DOWN — PRIORITY ONE
Once you’ve landed, head straight to baggage claim. Your gun case may come out on the carousel or it could be with over-sized baggage or held in the airline customer service area. Again, different airlines, different airports, do baggage delivery differently. Ask questions to locate your gun case as soon as possible.

Once your case is in your possession, and before you leave the airport, make sure your firearm(s) is actually still in the case. Always keep a description of the firearms you travel with — makes, models, and serial numbers minimum — with you in the event of loss or theft. Report loss / theft to the airline customer service rep and local law enforcement IMMEDIATELY.

HI-TECH TRACKING
Technology continues to improve our lives, and with the availability of smart luggage tracking devices, our future travels may become even more worry-free. I have not personally tested any of the GPS luggage trackers, but it’s on my list of to-dos. If you have a device you trust and like, drop me a line. I’m going to buy one soon, as these GPS tracking units seem like a good investment, an affordable piece of insurance, to guarantee that my gun arrives safe and sound to my final destination — and back home again.

READY TO FLY WITH FIREARMS
So now you have no excuse NOT to travel to the USPSA Multi-Gun Nationals. Registration is still open. 🙂 By following these simple travel guidelines you shouldn’t have any issues when flying with your new SAINT™ Edge rifle. Your only concern will be how well you are going to perform at the match! Best of luck with your travels and match results, fellow shooter — go book your airfare and get ready to “declare.”

Editor’s note: Since an AR15 can “come apart” easily, separating upper from lower, it can fit nicely into a shorter but perhaps deeper case, one that’s not so overtly screaming “RIFLE CASE.” I transport mine in this manner, and it’s also easier to carry a shorter case around.
— G. Zediker

REVIEW: Mossberg JIC II 12 Gauge

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The ultimate survival gun? Maybe. Here’s one from Mossberg that’s designed to be there for you “just in case…” KEEP READING

mossberg jic
Mossberg JIC.

by Major Pandemic

When you think of the ultimate survival gun you should think of the versatility, durability, and power of a proven 12 gauge shotgun. Available shotshells run the gamut from slugs capable of downing any North American game, fletched long-range defensive rounds, door-breaching rounds, signal flares, heavy goose and turkey loads, light-recoiling clays loads, and the standard variety of buckshoot, BB, pellets, and many more.

12ga. shot shells are also among the easiest and most forgiving to reload and can be even reloaded using black powder. If you were faced with having only one gun for survival, most any survival expert will tell you that a 12ga. will serve you better than any other type of firearm.

This was the thinking behind the Mossberg JIC — Just In Case — series. The series features Mossberg’s 500 line originally packaged in waterproof, floating, bury-able tubes which provided protection. The newer JIC II series takes the concept a step further by offering a Cordura pack-based carry solution.

jic
The JIC is a very compact package.

FIT & FEEL
The JIC II version is packaged in a more user-friendly format than the giant tubes on the previous models. Mossberg found that people loved the ready-to-shoot concept of the original JIC watertight tube, but were also asking for a more compact and discreet soft-cased version as. Mossberg worked with 5.11 (a top tactical clothing and accessories manufacturer) to come up with a simple case design which was durable, light, and as small as possible. The result was the Cordura JIC II case which holds the Mossberg 500 in disassembled state, and houses assembly tools, a gun lock, and provides plenty of room for ammo.

12ga
The 12ga. is one of the most versatile rounds available and an outstanding choice for a survival gun.

What makes this and the other JIC kits cool, convenient, and unique is a shotgun and storage solution wrapped into one. In this kit, the insanely popular 500 Series Cruiser shotgun which features a pistol grip and 18.5-in. barrel reduces the overall size of an average Mossberg shotgun to just under 29 inches.

jic tools
All the tools needed to assemble the JIC are included in a small pouch.

FEATURES
From a features perspective, I was a little confused when my Mossberg JIC II arrived, as it differed a bit from the pictures I ordered from and even from Mossberg’s own website. The end result was that all the pictures show a model a bit different than what I received. Mossberg’s picture shows an included sling and attached loop forend sling, but the model I received included neither, which was a bit of a bummer.

The case itself is designed to hold the barrel, action, and pistol grip securely via Velcro straps in a disassembled state, and provides a pocket for the takedown pistol grip bolt, washer, and hex wrench. With the case packed, it measures a very compact 22x9x2 which can be easily slipped under a seat, secured to a pack via the rear Velcro loops, or carried via the included shoulder strap. The disassembled action with the pistol grip removed just barely fits in the pack, which indicates to me that Mossberg was making every effort to reduce carried size.

The Mossberg 500 should, at this point, need no review, but for those that are not familiar with this slick-cycling shotgun, it features twin action bars for positive functioning, 5+1 shot capacity (with 2-3/4-in. shells), 18.5-in. barrel, pistol grip, and sling swivel studs. The shotgun can handle up to 3-in. magnum shells if you dare, and is finished with matte phosphate.

This version of the 500 Cruiser is less frilly version than some of the versions Mossberg now makes; this one is tipped only a simple bead sight. Ergonomically, the Mossberg 500s differ from other brands in the position of the safety and slide release. The slide release is located next to the thumb versus forward of the trigger guard, and the safety is a thumb-operated tang mounted for ambidextrous use, versus being located behind the trigger guard. The receiver is made from mil-spec aluminum and has a polymer trigger guard. It may not be fancy, but the 500 Series is light, simple to use, and is a proven design that works every single time.

FUNCTIONS
Assembly from the case is pretty quick and very simple. Unzip the full-length, lockable zippers to fully open the case, un-velcro the receiver, barrel, and pistol grip, and remove the grip’s bolt, washer, and hex wrench from the little internal pocket. Press the slide release and move the action to half open and insert the barrel and then tighten the thumbscrew until tight (about seven turns) to secure the barrel. Install the pistol grip with the included bolt, washer, and hex wrench and the gun is ready to shoot! In total, you can have the entire shotgun together in about a minute.

jic assembly
Assembly takes about one minute.

Pump shotguns all work about the same way: load shells by pushing them into the magazine, press the slide release, rack the action to chamber the first round and release the safety, if necessary, to shoot. Once a round is fired, the slide action automatically unlocks and the shooter can rack-cycle the action again to shoot again and again. It could not be more simple.

The pistol-grip version has its sizing, maneuverability, and weight advantages, and the pistol grip even mitigates a fair amount of recoil. The downside it that the pistol grip does take a little practice for accurate shots while managing the recoil at eye level. Shooters need to assure a safe recoil zone is maintained for eye level shooting or you may find the backside of your fist smacking you in the face.

mossberg 500
This package is wise and impressive choice for “just in case.”

Hot buckshot and slug rounds generate a fair amount of recoil; however, firing the JIC II Cruiser was manageable for both hip and line-of-sight shooting. For new shooters, shotgun recoil takes a while to adjust to. It just just takes practice.

I was pretty impressed that even with Hornady Zombie Max 00 Buckshot loads at 25 yards, I was able to easily destroy a 20oz Coke bottle with eye level shots over and over again. These rounds usually group in the 2-3-in. range at that distance so a fair amount of accuracy was required. Turkey loads make it easy to hit just about anything at 25 yards with the Improved Cylinder choke of this barrel. My prefered shooting grip was a solid two-hand pistol grip when shooting for accuracy off hand. For less-stationary defensive shots I used a “pushing” forend grip and “pulling” trigger-hand grip to manage recoil.

Dropping the shotgun down on the bench, I found it pretty easy to keep all my slugs in a 2-3-in. circle at 25-yards, but to be honest, 6-rounds of slugs and I decided that I was done with that experiment. Slugs are a bit brutal to shoot in any pistol-grip-style pump-action shotgun.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Thankfully Mossberg did not adorn the JIC II case also with the household name of “Mossberg” otherwise it would be obvious what the case carried. The prominent JIC II logo can be clandestinely recolored with a black sharpie or by removing the stitching for those who require a more subdued case look.

This is a compact little kit that goes together quickly and takes up very little room and provided all the functionality of the well-refined and time-tested Mossberg action. Slip a 50-round shot shell bandolier sling into the case with a variety of buckshot, slug, bird shot, flare, and BB rounds and you can cover about any need which may arise.

The 12 guage shotgun is the ultimate survival firearm. It’s also great for home defense, and for around $350 on the street, this shotgun remains one of the best deals in firearms. The JIC II kit just makes it that much easier to take a great shotgun along, you know… “Just in Case.”

LEARN MORE HERE

jic specs

Major Pandemic

[Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. Click HERE to learn more.]

RELOADERS CORNER: What I do…

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There are a lot of ideas and options when it comes to loading the “most important” ammo. Here’s the 5-step process I ended up with… READ MORE

dial indicator

Glen Zediker

I spend a lot of time telling everyone else what they should do, and probably more time telling them what not to do, or what they could do… I thought it might be best to tell you all exactly what it is that I do to prepare a batch of ammo for a tournament.

That’s a quick way to show you what, clearly and obviously, matters to me. I admit: I don’t always do all the things that I talk about. A big part of my role here is to pass along information, answer questions before they’re asked, in a way of looking at it. There’s information, and then there’s action, and that’s not a contradiction, to me. For instance, I can tell you all about case neck turning, and metplat uniforming, and many other preparation steps. I have done them all, sometimes do them, but dang sho not always.

Believe me: I have tried everything and much, much more than I’ve ever talked about in these paragraphs.

Following is what I have found works to my satisfaction. Since I’m dealing with a fair amount of cartridges at any one time, there is, no doubt, a time and effort element that’s important to me. In other words, what’s coming next are the things I really think I must do to give my score the best boost I can reasonably give it.

Step One: Get my cases together and size them. I load in 100-round batches, so I start with five boxes, or whatever corresponds to 100 rounds. Without so much as a second glance, I run them all through my full-length sizing die: lube each and cycle it through. If nothing else, most new cases are not nearly ready to load. The case necks are usually banged up, not round, so at the least I’d need to size the inside and outside of the case neck, and I’ve found that, while other appliances will suffice for that, it’s just easiest to use my sizing die.

Step Two: I trim them all. This isn’t done as any matter of safety, just consistency. I set my trimmer to at the least touch each case mouth. This is very important! The next prep steps rely on having cases that are all the same length.

case trimming

Step Three: After chamfering inside and outside (I use a 17-degree on the inside and a standard tool for the outside) I run a flash hole uniformer through each. This is why it’s important to have them all the same height. That way the uniforming tool cuts to a consistent depth.

inside uniformer
After full-length sizing all my new cases (to mostly get the necks shaped up), I trim all the cases to ensure length consistency to start, because the next procedure, inside flash hole deburring, demands it. Shown is from Hornady. CHECK IT OUT HERE

Step Four: Primer pocket uniforming. I run each through this process. Now, I have had some lots of brass that make this normally simple process a chore, and that’s because the reamer is too snug a fit to the pocket. We all know that primer pockets are at their smallest on new cases. That is, by the way, one reason I’ve mentioned that the primer pocket “feel” is a leading indicator after the first firing as to the pressure level of the load. In keeping, there are times when I wait until recycling the first-fired cases before running the uniformer. It depends on how readily the cases will accept the reamer.

primer pocket reamer
Primer pocket uniforming is an important step in my own process, but sometimes I wait until the first-firing. Depending on the tool used, and how much power can be applied to assist, this job can be a chore on a tight pocket. Shown is a Lyman tool. CHECK OUT TOOLS HERE

Note: I consider my “best” ammunition to be that which I load on my once-fired cases. At the same time, I won’t hesitate to use new cases for a tournament (but not for a Regional or bigger event). Over a whopping lot of time keeping notes, my “second-firing” rounds tend to shoot a tad better, but it’s a miniscule amount. That’s why I don’t really sweat over the primer pockets on the first go-around.

Step Five: Roll them all! I run all the cases through a concentricity fixture, aka: spinner, to check runout. I segregate on the following criteria: “flatliners” no visible runout, less than 0.001, 0.001, up to 0.0015, more than that… Five piles. One reason I do 100-round batches is because I need, technically, 88 rounds for a tournament. Since I am using “name-brand” brass, I easily find my 44 prone-event cases that are going to be no more than 0.001 out of round. The remainder are proportioned better to worse for the 200 yard events. It’s not that I don’t think each round matters, because it does, and, honestly, the 200-yard Standing event is what wins a tournament, but that’s way on more on me than the ammo. A case with 0.015 runout is not going to cause a “9.” That case will produce groups way inside the X-ring.

Co-Ax Case and Cartridge Inspector
I segregate using a runout indicator, a tool shown before in these pages. Some argue, logically, that the best way to find cases with the most consistent wall thicknesses is to measure wall thickness, but, my experience has shown that, ultimately, concentricity is the result of wall thickness consistency. Sho is faster. Shown is a Forster Co-Ax Case & Cartridge Inspector

Now. I fully realize that segregating by runout, concentricity (“centeredness”), is not the same as actually measuring case neck wall thicknesses. However! “Flat-liners” are what ultimately result from consistent case neck walls. Since I have also sized the inside of the case neck, not just the outside, the spinner does give an accurate indication of case neck wall consistency.

case segregation
After sorting by runout, here’s what I get, or what I got once… These were graded (left to right) 0.0000 (no perceptible runout), up to 0.0010, 0.0010, 0.0015, and more than that. So, here, there were 37 cases that were at or near the level of neck-turned cases, and another 37 showing only 0.001, but way on easier.

Since it’s often the night before that I’m doing this, spinning is way on faster than measuring…

Then I prime, fill, seat. Get some sleep.

This article is adapted from Glen’s books, Handloading For Competition and Top-Grade Ammo, available at Midsouth HERE. For more information about other books by Glen, visit ZedikerPublishing.com

Springfield Armory® Features SAINT™ AR-15 Series at National Patrol Rifle Conference and Championship

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Springfield Armory will feature its SAINT lineup of AR-15s as patrol rifle considerations during the annual National Patrol Rifle Conference (NPRC), June 1-2 in Detroit, Michigan. READ MORE

saint carbine

SOURCE: Springfield Armory

Each year the NPRC brings together law enforcement officers across the country for a patrol-focused conference highlighting seminars and active shooter training drills that promote improved readiness and preparedness. The second day of the conference is dedicated the Patrol Rifle Championships which include both competition and live-fire scenarios for both current and former law enforcement officers.

During the Patrol Rifle Championships, each competitor faces multiple courses of fire that reflect circumstances a law enforcement officer might encounter on the job. Each stage is meant to test and evaluate three areas of expertise: marksmanship, CQB techniques and a general understanding and responsiveness to patrol rifle engagements. Springfield Armory shooter and veteran LE Officer, Steve Horsman, will be competing in the match using his SAINT with Free Float Handguard.

“We are excited to present our SAINT AR-15 line to the law enforcement community at the NPRC,” says Springfield Armory VP of Marketing, Steve Kramer. “We believe every officer in the nation deserves to have a combat-grade patrol rifle that they can stake their life on. Our SAINT line is designed to be that rifle.”

The SAINT AR-15 lineup is well-equipped for patrol with a variety of options to fit any department’s needs. Combat-grade in both construction and reliability, the original SAINT AR-15, SAINT with Free Float Handguard, and SAINT Edge are lightweight, made from aircraft grade 7075 T6 aluminum, and feature fully Magnetic Particle Tested shot peened bolts. Additional features include the proprietary adjustable Accu-Tite™ tension system to reduce receiver play, and premium Bravo Company furniture. As a shorter offering, the SAINT SBR and SAINT Edge SBR house the premium features and components of the full-length SAINT and SAINT Edge in an 11.5” barrel for maximum portability and versatility. The SAINT Pistol chambered in 5.56 and .300 BLK rounds out the SAINT family with a 7.5-in. and 9-in. barrel, respectively. An SB Tactical SBX-K forearm brace finishes the package for a compact, yet formidable patrol firearm.

For more information on the Springfield Armory SAINT line of AR-15s, CLICK HERE

The ONLY Way to Stop Kids from Shooting Up Schools

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We all know it’s not guns, so what is it? Jason Anderson shares his thoughts on some root causes for these tragedies. READ MORE

troubled teen
It’s not easy being a kid nowadays. Pressures from bullies, social media, and more mean we must pay close attention to our children.

 

by Jason Anderson

Any time a child loses their life… Especially at the hands of a murderer, it’s a horrific tragedy.

But, anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that gun control is not the answer. (Unless you want to give up your freedoms and end up living in a place where only criminals have guns, or under a communist regime like North Korea.)

So, how in the world can we stop these school shootings then?

Well…the other day, I read about two young women who were sentenced to jail for smuggling drugs around the world. Apparently, some rich guy paid them to carry the “cargo” to different places.

One of the young women said she did it to increase her Instagram followers so she could have pictures of her jet-setting all over the world.

My point is, these days, our young people are tremendously influenced by social media. Back in the day, if there was a bully, you got in a fight in the cafeteria and that was that. But now, people can tease and harass each other on Facebook and all of the other social media sites so these poor kids can be tormented 24-7, even when they leave school.

Case in point: When I was in high school, I tried out for the basketball team. On the night of tryouts, I had the flu and was really sick. But, I wanted to tryout so badly I went anyway.In the middle of tryouts, I suddenly threw up all over the basketball court. (I’m talking large chunks everywhere.) I ran to the bathroom to clean up and they wouldn’t let me finish the tryout. Of course, some kids made fun of me for puking everywhere and I think it lasted for probably two days and that was it.

But, imagine if that happened today.

No doubt, someone would have videotaped me puking all over the court. It would be put on YouTube and Facebook. It would probably have a gazillion views by now of me puking and then running to the bathroom. I would probably be reminded of my puking event for weeks upon weeks. (There goes my high school dating life.)

Geez, it’s rough to be a kid today, don’t you think?

The thing is, since social media isn’t going anywhere, parents have to monitor their children more closely. They’ve got to monitor Facebook pages, Instagram accounts, and text messages. They need to take a more active interest in their kids’ lives.

When someone says: “The shooter showed no signs they were going to do this…” I find it hard to believe. There’s always signs, always cries for help, as small as they might be.

No parent wants to believe their kid could be a murderer (and I don’t think my kids could be either). But, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to check their web browsing history or their phone when they’re teenagers. While they might not be preparing to do a school shooting, I still want to make sure they’re not doing drugs or other bad things. That is my obligation and responsibility as a parent. Remember, you’re their parent first, and their friend second.

The bottom line is, I do wish kids treated each other better. But, I don’t see that changing because since the beginning of time, kids have been bullying and teasing each other.

So, parents need to step up to the plate more and watch their kids and help them when they can see their kids are struggling.

I wish there was a “magic” pill or better answer to solve this problem.

But, I can assure you, to maintain our freedoms, taking away gun rights is not the answer and never has been.

Remember, the Second Amendment isn’t a suggestion… It’s a right.

Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and New York Times bestselling author of Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life. To get a free copy of his book, visit www.SpyEscape.com.

Texas Gov. Introduces “School and Firearm Safety Action Plan”

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Texas Gov. recently released his “Action Plan” in response to the Santa Fe incident. READ MORE

Gov. Abbott

SOURCE: texas.gov.com, AP

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott introduced a 44-page plan intended to keep schools safer. The focus is on increased law enforcement presence, more armed school personnel, better threat assessment, and better mental health interventions.

“This plan is a starting point, not an ending place,” said Governor Abbott. “It provides strategies that can be used before the next school year begins to keep our students safe when they return to school. This plan will make our schools safer and our communities safer.”

Abbott’s “School Firearm Safety Action Plan” resulted from a series of roundtable discussions hosted by the governor following the Sante Fe TX shooting on May 19.

The primary focus for the recommendations are on school security, but also suggests 5 firearm-specific measures, including fortifying criminal reporting that might influence NICS background check.

The plan also addresses Texas’ Safe Firearm Storage Law, which has recently come under scrutiny. Currently, the law only allows prosecution of parents for what’s deemed unsafe storage if their child is under 17 years of age. This absolved the father of the Santa Fe shooter from liability.

Abbott seeks to raise the age to 18, and increasing the penalty level to a 3rd-degree felony when access results in death or serious bodily injury, plus seeks to remove the “readily dischargeable” statutory definition.

The plan also encourages the state legislature to “consider the merits” of allowing courts to issue “red flag” or “extreme risk” protective orders. This would allow law enforcement, a district attorney, a school employee, or a family member to file a petition seeking the removal of firearms from a person suspected to be dangerous to himself or to others. Governor Abbott insists that such a law must follow due process by providing the person both a notice and a hearing, and that any such protective order would be for a limited duration of time, provide for mental health treatment, and offer a clear path to the full restoration of rights and return of firearms when the person is no longer deemed to be a danger.

Regarding proposed school measures: the plan outlines several measures which include increasing law enforcement presence, implementing behavior threat assessment programs, addressing the means to provide more secure school infrastructure, and active shooter and emergency response training.

Abbott’s “Action Plan” includes a section outlining how the school marshal program might be expanded, and also provide training that focuses more on firearms use. This program allows school districts to identify and train personnel, including teachers, to respond to active shooter situations with firearms. Under current law, school marshals who have direct contact with students are required to store their firearm while on campus, making the weapon hard to access and use in the event of a crisis. The proposal seeks to change this and allow marshals to keep their firearms on their person.

Abbott says he has identified nearly $110 million in total funding, including $70 million that is already or will soon be available.

READ Gov. Abbott’s proposal HERE

Trump Administration’s Proposed Rulemakings a Win-Win for America’s Firearms Industry, National Security

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New propsals seek to “build a taller fence around a smaller yard,” and the upshot will benefit American sportsmen, and the industries that provide for them. READ HOW

trump

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

On Thursday, May 24, the Trump Administration published two rulemakings designed to enhance the competitiveness of American companies in the firearms and ammunition sectors, remove burdens for small businesses, and modernize export controls for the post-Cold War era. The moves will benefit both the domestic firearms industry and improve national security. The publication of the proposals also triggered a 45-day comment period during which members of the public can provide feedback on the plans and share their own experiences with the underlying regulations.

The rulemakings are part of a larger, longstanding project to modernize America’s export regime for military and “dual-use” equipment and technology. Dual-use items are those considered to have both military and civilian applications. The governing philosophy of the project is to “build a taller fence around a smaller yard” by strengthening controls on the most militarily sensitive items while allowing less sensitive material with well-established civilian uses and markets to be subject to a more business-friendly regulatory climate.

They two big players overseeing U.S. exports are the State Department, which administers the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the U.S. Commerce Department, which handles the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The items regulated by the ITAR are on what is known as the U.S. Munitions List (USML), while those subject to the EAR are on the Commerce Control List (CCL).

Whether on the USML or CCL, however, the items are still subject to close government oversight, including the requirement in most cases that any person or entity wishing to export them to any foreign nation get a federally-issued license to do so.

Nevertheless, items on the USML controlled under ITAR are generally treated more strictly, with national and international security considerations trumping all other factors in the granting of licenses. Any business that manufactures an item on the USML, or even just a part or component of such an item, also has to register with the State Department and pay an annual fee, which is currently set at $2,250. This registration is required even if the manufacturer has no intent to ever export the items. Compliance fees, including for licenses, are also generally higher for USML items, given the complexity of the regulations and the more stringent vetting given to license applications.

Manufacturers of items on the CCL, or their parts or components, do not have to pay an annual registration fee to the Commerce Department. Moreover, regulation of these items is more flexible to promote the goal of increasing U.S. manufacturers’ and businesses’ worldwide competitiveness.

By properly apportioning export control between the two lists, the government will be able to apply maximum resources to overseeing the most consequential and sensitive equipment, while giving American businesses who manufacture consumer products a larger footprint in international markets. The result is greater security and a more robust U.S. economy.

Currently, most firearms and ammunition (with the exception of certain sporting shotguns and shotgun shells) are controlled under ITAR and the USML. This has led to a host of problems for gun-related businesses in the U.S. and made it more difficult for U.S. businesses in this sector to be competitive internationally.

First, many American firearm businesses are small operations that do not export their products and never intend to do so but still have to pay annual registration fees to the State Department because what they do is considered “manufacturing.” So if a U.S. company that manufacturers springs wants to branch out into magazine or recoil springs for firearms, for example, it has to pay the State Department’s registration fee, even if those springs are exclusively sold in the U.S.

On the other hand, if a foreign company wanted to use those springs in the firearms it manufactures abroad, it would have pay more for doing so because of all the ITAR red tape the U.S. spring maker would have to go through to export the springs. This makes the U.S. springs a less attractive option.

Two other problems that arose with the ITAR during the Obama administration concern what is considered controlled “technical data” and who is considered a regulated “manufacturer.”

As we reported at the time, part of building the “taller fence” for export control involved an initiative to tighten up rules for the “export” of “technical data.” In practice, this meant that publishers of technical information about firearms and ammunition – including exploded parts diagrams, gunsmithing tutorials, and handloading information – risked being swept up into the ITAR’s regulatory scope, particularly for items posted online.

Obama’s State Department also issued a confusing “guidance” document that expansively defined firearm “manufacturing” to include various common gunsmithing operations performed on existing firearms. This drove many smaller gunsmiths to limit or quit their business activity for fear of triggering the ITAR’s registration requirements or of incurring inadvertent violations that could bring ruinous penalties.

All of these problems would be alleviated if the Trump administration’s rules were enacted as proposed, as most non-automatic firearms of .50 caliber or less, as well as their parts, components, accessories, and magazines of up to 50 rounds capacity, would be moved from the USML to the CCL.

Another Obama-era ITAR change made it much more difficult for private individuals to travel abroad with personally owned firearms for lawful purposes such as hunting or competition because of an added requirement to document the “export” through an official website designed for commercial exporters. That requirement, unfortunately, would persist under the current version of the Commerce Department proposal but might be changed if affected parties explained their concerns during the comment period.

A further basis for comment could include the rules’ treatment of sound suppressors. Although these items are very common among hunters and recreational shooters both in the U.S. and abroad and do not provide the U.S. or its allies with any special military advantage, the published proposals would leave them on the USML.

The easiest way to file comments is through the U.S. government’s online regulatory portal, Regulations.gov. The State Department’s proposed rule and comment form are available at this link. Use this link for the Commerce Department’s proposal.

President Trump promised to be a friend to America’s gun owners, and these proposed rules show him making good on that pledge. Your input will encourage the Commerce and State departments to see these rules through to final enactment and help guide the process in the most positive direction possible. The NRA has long advocated for these changes and is extremely pleased to see progress being made toward that end.

RELOADERS CORNER: Meter Use Tips

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How well you set up and operate a powder meter has a lot to do with ammo consistency. Here are a few tips on getting the most from this tool. READ MORE

Glen Zediker

Going back to our last conversation, the topic was dispensing propellant charges, and whether to weigh each charge or dispense each charge using a powder meter. Generally, most seem to agree that weighing each is the sure way to better consistency. I don’t always agree with that, and I say that mostly because my chronograph and group size numbers don’t support superiority of either approach. However! I sure do know that metering charges is way on faster and easier than weighing them all out!

Once again: the only answer that works is to experiment for yourself and settle the question based on empirical evidence. Right: shoot it and see!

This next offers a few tips I’ve had good success with over the years. I can tell you that, without any doubt, learning how to set up and operate a meter has a decided influence on those chronograph and group size measurements.

scale weight
I am adamant about following this process to set a meter: Don’t throw and weigh single charges to adjust the meter. Throw and weigh 10-charge portions, with the scale set, of course, to 10-times the desired single-charge weight. I do not recollect one time when my meter adjustment did not change following this process from what I first arrived at weighing single throws. Here’s how I set it to adjust for a 24.0 grain throw.

First: I very strongly recommend setting the meter throw based not on one single charge, but on multiple charges. Here’s my method: After running a few single throws to get it close, I set my scale to 10 times the desired single-throw propellant charge weight, then throw 10 charges into the scale pan. I have done this (so) many times over (so) many years that I can tell you that I have no memory or record of this tactic not influencing the final setting I have dialed in. Do this 3-4 times and see what you see. There’s a huge likelihood there will be an adjustment needed. And for some reason, supported by my notes at least, the final setting is usually a tick lower than I gauge for one-throw-at-a-time weight checks.

Now, I know that if the meter is accurate then each single charge will weigh what it should, but maybe the difference that makes this method work best is that scales aren’t perfectly accurate. Maybe it’s the damping system, or continual issues with calibrations, but a 10-throw lot ultimately results in a more precise setting. I’ve proven that too many times to myself to qualify it with a “may.” No, it does.

As mentioned in a past article, the smaller the propellant granules the more precise each fill can be. Longer-grained kernels provide more air space and “stack” more than smaller-grained kernels. It’s also clear that the higher degree of precision on the meter internal sliding surfaces, the more “clean” the strike-off will be.

And, meter operation has a whopping lot to do with the consistency of filling the meter drum. Just like tapping a case bottom settles the propellant to a lower fill volume, same thing happens filling the drum in a meter.

powde meter operation
Not too heavy, not too light. Work the handle the same each time, and have it come to a positive stop. “Thunk. Thunk.” Focus on a consistent speed. This has a huge effect on how consistent the throws will be.

The trick to good throws is working the meter handle consistently, and also settling on a contact force when the meter handle comes to a stop in the “fill” direction: It should bump but not bang… I wish I could be more clear on that, but it’s a feel. Don’t go too slowly, gingerly taking the handle to its stop, and don’t slam it there either. You want a positive, audible “thunk” when the handle stops. If it’s the same each time, fill consistency will, not can, improve. Focusing on operating the handle at a constant rate of speed teaches this in short order. It’s a positive movement that, for me, takes about one second to lift the handle.

harrells meter
I recommend longer drop tubes (meter or funnel). The longer tube has the same effect as tapping the case to settle the propellant. This helps in loading stick propellant into small-capacity cases. Rubber-band a dryer sheet around the propellant container to static influence, which can be an influence, especially in the Western regions.

There’s a few more tips in the photo captions, and here’s another: Do not leave propellant in a meter! Return it to a sealed container when you’re done for the day.

This article is adapted from Glen’s books, Handloading For Competition and Top-Grade Ammo, available at Midsouth HERE. For more information about other books by Glen, visit ZedikerPublishing.com

 

MATCH REPORT: Sokalowski Wins 2018 NRA Bianchi Cup

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Crawfish Cup winner, SFC Adam Sokolowski is the 2018 NRA Bianchi champion! READ MORE

bianchi champion

SOURCE: Various news outlets

With a perfect score of 1920-176X, SFC Adam Sokolowski of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) is the 2018 champion of Colt’s NRA Bianchi Cup, the NRA Action Pistol championship event. Additionally, Sokolowski won the Multi Gun Championship with a score of 3822-329X.

SFC Adam Sololowski
SFC Adam Sololowski.

Mark Blake was second, ending up in a points tie with 18-time Bianchi Cup winner and perennial “top gun” best-bet, Doug Koenig; scorecard review broke the tie.

Sokolowski won Midsouth Shooters Supply Crawfish Cup earlier this year, and became now the third time the winner of this event went on to claim the NRA championship. We’re very proud that the Crawfish Cup has attained that status: if you can win here you can win there…

SFC Sokolowski holds another distinction as an NRA Action Pistol champion: he is the only shooter who has won all three Bianchi Cup divisions — Open, Metallic, and Production (and the first-ever perfect score in the Metallic [sights] division. This man can shoot a pistol! And all that in just four years on the circuit.

Rob Vadasz is the 2018 Metallic champion with 1912-155X, his sixth win in this division. Second place Metallic was Enoch Smith (also 2018 World Action Pistol Metallic Champion) 1907-150X. Third was Roman Hauber with 1906-141X.

In the Production division, Sokolowski’s AMU teammate SFC Patrick Franks took the championship home to Ft. Benning with a 1894-136X. Franks previously won back-to-back Bianchi Metallic Championships, as well as having earned a NRA National Precision Pistol Championship. Second went to legendary action pistol shooter Rob Leatham of Team Springfield Armory with a score of 1862-129X. Seiichi Ishikawa followed Rob in third place with 1822-109X.

SFC Patrick Franks
SFC Patrick Franks, Production champion.

Anita Mackiewicz, now a three-time champion, won the Women’s Championship with a score of 1911-153X. Second place went to last year’s winner, Cherie Blake, 1910-137X. 2016 champion Tiffany Piper finished third with 1903-154X.

Read complete coverage by John Parker HERE and HERE

 

REVIEW: Henry Evil Roy .22 Rifle

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How about some pure fun on the range? This .22LR blends authentic style with competition-ready quality. READ MORE

henry 22

by Major Pandemic

When the Henry Rifles first re-appeared, the public enthusiastically embraced the brand and for good reason. Anthony Imperato and family have made it a passion to restore the Henry firearms name and even made it better in the process. The Henry rifles are beautiful to own, look at, and shoot. This Evil Roy .22 is yet another incredible rifle from Henry.

I have noted before that when it comes to Henry Rifles, there are only two types of people; those who have yet to shoot a Henry and those who have and now lust after them. Just as Ruger has arguable made one of the best updated single action cowboy revolvers, Henry has updated the Henry design to deliver something so refined that Benjamin Tyler Henry himself would have only dreamed was possible back with the original design. I love them and own several Henry rifles in .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum, and .22LR and this Evil Roy Henry seemed to be just the perfect gun to add to the collection.

The international winning CAS (Cowboy Action Shooter) Gene Pearcy with his CAS alias of “Evil Roy” partnered up with Henry to create something a bit different. Evil Roy suggested taking the very popular Henry Golden Boy .22LR rifle but with a shorter 16.5-inch barrel, with a more durable plastic buttpad, a brushed nickel receiver and barrel band, and a shorter overall stock — a combination and/or slight modification of existing parts of various models. The result is a short, quick-handling, and accurate .22LR rifle that is a blast to shoot.

gene pearcy
Gene Pearcy, AKA “Evil Roy.”

FEEL
The Evil Roy is at its heart a Golden Boy with a few configuration changes which include the nickel finish receiver with grooved scope rail, shorter 16.5-barrel, shorter stock, and plastic buttpad instead of brass.

Although I have no real complaints with my original Golden Boy, there were times where I felt the 20-inch barrel was a bit long. For youth shooters, the full-sized Golden Boy stock can seem a bit big.

evil roy 22
Short and fast compact package that is perfect for plinking or a hunting.

The thought of a lever action rarely crosses many people’s minds when shopping for a new rifle, until they put one in their hands. Henry Rifles draw you in, the fit feel and finish begin your mind’s journey back in time to the Old West, and by the time you pull the trigger and rack in the next round as you watch your tin can dance, the hook is set so deep that a love affair of Henry rifles is inevitable. Someone once told me more Henry rifles are sold at the range than in gun stores… Everyone falls in love with Henry rifles not only because of their history and quality, but also because they shoot and cycle exceptionally well. Most people will say the same thing when they pick up a Henry, “they knew something about firearms and shooting back then.” The Evil Roy is a bit lighter than the Golden Boy but still retains the balance, pointability, and of course accuracy.

evil roy rifle

FEATURES
The Evil Roy is priced with an MSRP of $499 and is about $50 less than the standard Golden Boy. It carries the same high quality features as their Big Boy brothers. The Evil Roy rifles feature the same historic semi-buckhorn style rear sight, brass bead front sight, stunningly beautiful blued octagonal barrel, banded barrel, steel parts, and perfectly finished American walnut stock. It also add a large action charging loop versus the smaller loop. The Big Brother has a solid brass receiver, the Golden Boy a Brasslite receiver and the Evil Roy has a nickel-base alloy receiver that is also grooved for a .22 scope mount.

henry stock
Henry has brought back the art of the stock.

FUNCTION
The Henry Evil Roy tube magazine holds 12 rounds of your favorite .22LR ammo or up to 16 of the spooky quiet 22 Short/CB rounds. That is a huge ammo capacity by any standard which makes the Henry Evil Roy a blast to shoot up box after box of inexpensive ammunition. The Evil Roy feeds and fires anything from a .22CB all the way to hot .22LR high velocity rounds. The reload does takes a bit longer than a magazine change but is simple enough and requires the magazine spring tube to be pulled partially out and rounds slipped into the tube. One company makes a speed loader if you are so inclined, but I just use a 3/8-inch aluminum tube with a stopper as a speed loader.

The next point I feel I must make is how fast the Henry Lever actions can be fired. Shoot the Henry Evil Roy next to a semi-auto 22 and you will be surprised how well you keep up the pace. The large loop helps to improve speed. The action is safe and simple to operate, shoots faster than a bolt action and slows the beginners (and old) shooters down enough that shots connect more consistently connect due to better sighting. Lever actions are also far less dirty than their semi-auto cousins because gas is not being blown back during the cycling process. Due to the cleaner cycling, lever actions are also very reliable as the round count continues to grow all afternoon.

henry scope
Aided by a Burris scope, the Evil Roy shot very accurately.

From a safety perspective, the simplicity of the transfer bar safety prevents accidental firing when decocking/lowering the hammer. The Henry Rifles have what I call a “single-action revolver safety” which negates the need for additional safety mechanisms. For hunting, having the ability to safely have a live round in the chamber and only requiring the hammer to be cocked prior to a shot makes this a very safe rifle to carry. As the rifle’s lever is racked, a new round is automatically chambered and the hammer is cocked — it could not be simpler.

ACCURACY
The Henry Evil Roy rifle is an easy gun to shoot accurately using only the semi-buckhorn sights, but adding on the 4X Burris Micro scope delivered some nice little1/4-inch 25-yard groups with SK Standard and CCI Standard Velocity rounds.

Once you see how well the Henry Evil Roy shoots, you start to forget about shooting bulls-eye targets and start hammering spinners and cans.

The front brass bead front sight works great. The rear semi-buckhorn is also highly functional, but just notmy favorite. My plan is to swap the rear sight with a historically fitting brass Skinner peep sight which I have on several of my other Henry Rifles.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I was not sure at first whether I would shoot it as much as my Golden Boy, but with the flexibility to pop a scope on and off really added a lot of utility and upped the precision.

Any time someone wants to start shooting, I start with the Henry. These rifles are safe, simple, and non-threatening for anyone to use, and with the shorter length stock it is also a kid friendly rifle to use for learning. This is one heck of a family-oriented rifle that everyone loves and it is that universal appeal that is special about the Henry Evil Roy — everything about this gun is not just good but great.

henry rifle specs

Click HERE to see more!

Major Pandemic

[Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. Click HERE to learn more.]

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