PRODUCT NEWS: Shooters World SW4350 Propellant

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A newly-formulated old-favorite propellant gets put to the test by Olympian Ken Johnson. READ THE RESULTS

Ken Johnson

I’ve been having dreams about 4350. But not the kind of dreams you’d think a ballistician would have. The book, “The Art of Memory” therein provides clues as to why my brain thought it would be smart to sprinkle this stuff on my ice cream. WAIT! Before you wave your magic finger and go back to Facebook…

Well, sure enough, it’s a useful propellant. Moderately slow. Too slow for .308, but in terms of propellants better suited for higher chamber-to-bore ratios, it’s a wise choice to have on hand. And it seems to be the favorite punch to serve to the Prom Queen (Miss Jezebel Creedmoor) at the Prairie Revival School dance. More soon…

I shot 4350 in .243 Winchester with a 107 Sierra Match King, back when I won the very last 300-Meter 3-Position Rifle event at the Pan American Games, Argentina 1995. I have fond memories of Argentina. And, the accuracy of that 4350 powder.

Our manufacturer has been making 4350-speed propellant for approximately 70 years. They know the burn speed, and they know how to make it right. Recently, they upgraded the chemical stabilizer from 1940s technology to that of the European Chemical Hazards Agency compliant goop. Current vernacular describes this propellant as “REACH Compliant.” It’s good to know that you won’t be poisoned by this powder now, if you sprinkle it on your ice cream… That was a joke. Don’t do that.

Now, for those who’ve followed the history and application of THIS propellant in a parallel universe, you’ll know it to be slightly slower in burn rate than other 4350 offerings. In our analysis, we found that to be largely true.

So…about that dance with Miss Creedmoor… I decided to run a test of our SW4350 data against H4350 data to determine relative accuracy performance. It was a relatively warm July day in the Panhandle of North Florida, a few miles inland from the Forgotten Coast.

The thermometer read 94.5 degrees. The humidity would be classified as “swamp.” Mirage was switching left-to-right, and right-to-left again. Heavy at times, like shooting through a swimming pool, but as easy to read as Dick and Jane. Hornady virgin, unmolested brass. I did absolutely nothing to the brass, other than seat a primer, dump some powder, and cram in a bullet. All charges were weighed to 0.10-grains. Federal 210M primers. Nosler Accubond 130s. Fired at 250 yards. Standard SAAMI 6.5 Creedmoor chamber. I did all the gun plumbing. 1-7 twist 5-R Rock Creek 24-inch barrel. Predator action, torqued to 65 inch-pounds.

Now I’ll grant you, I didn’t shoot hundreds of rounds of each sample. But, I did double-blind the test. So, I didn’t know which ammunition I was shooting. All I knew was “1” went on top, and “2” went on the bottom. And, my apprentice had a good time playing with my head. She tends to do that, especially when “doing the dishes” is on the line! That bride of mine, she keeps life interesting.

Below, the various groups shot alternating between the two samples. According to my results, SW4350 had less vertical dispersion than the H-version.

SW4350 vs. H4350

I can tell you that the mirage was running that day. And I never noticed it boil at all. So, I cannot find cause for the vertical shots. But you be the judge, and let me know your thoughts!

ken johnson

As an added bonus to celebrate the release of the new SW4350, Shooters World Powder is covering your HAZMAT! When you buy 4 pounds of Shooters World Powder, you get FREE HAZMAT on your entire order. This is your chance to try one of the most popular powder types out there, at a better price, with some exciting results!

Click Here to shop all Shooters World Powders!

About the author: Ken Johnson works with Shooters World in the capacity of Ballistics Managing Partner, Laboratory Manager, and Ballistician. In addition, Ken has had a long and distinguished career as a championship shooter both with the USAMU and USA Olympic Team, having won numerous gold, silver, and bronze medals in the Pan American Games, World Championship, and other international events, as well as national championships at Camp Perry. 

Midsouth Shooters SIG BDX Giveaway!

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A while back, we took a look at the new SIG BDX (Ballistic Data Xchange) Kit. You can find the complete article right here!

Midsouth Shooters Supply, celebrating their 49th year of serving reloading customers around the world, is excited to announce their new mobile-friendly website, new product offerings, and a week of big giveaways to celebrate their birthday!

midsouth birthday giveaway

What started as a modest, catalog-driven reloading supply company in remote New Market, TN, has grown into a technology driven, customer-focused powerhouse in Clarksville, TN. Focused on the best customer experience possible, they updated their website by making it mobile and tablet friendly. “Our customer has gotten far more comfortable shopping on their smartphone,” says Jere Jordan, GM at Midsouth, “We want to facilitate their needs better, so we’ve updated our site, so our customer can shop with us the way they want to shop and made it faster and more user-friendly.

“It’s almost our 50th anniversary, and we’re growing faster than ever before,” Michael Ryan, VP of Marketing at Midsouth, recently stated, “We’re focused on keeping up with the customer, and not necessarily the competition. We buy in bulk, break down the inventory ourselves to avoid packaging fees, and pass the savings along to the customer. This has given us the opportunity to offer things like our new Flat Shipping, overpacking for hazmat items where our customer can get the most out of each order, and exciting bulk offerings like our Varmint Nightmare X-Treme, Match Monster, and OEM Blemished bullet deals.”

Along with the new mobile website, Midsouth is launching their 49th Birthday giveaway week. A week of huge deals, exclusive offers, and daily giveaways will be capped off by one huge grand prize. They’ve partnered with SIG Optics to giveaway a truly innovative product. The new BDX line of optics from SIG offers a Bluetooth paining from a range finder, to the scope. Coupled with the app, the rangefinder/scope kit eliminates bullet drop due to distance, wind, and more factors, making your next hunt a remarkable success! You can enter to win HERE! All other prizes during the week will be chosen at random.

Owners Connie and David “Dirt” King stated, “Yes 49 years is truly something to celebrate!
In fact, we just celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary!

Dirt and Connie King in the early days at Midsouth Shooters
Dirt and Connie King in the early days at Midsouth Shooters

Our relationship with the factories and our suppliers has been good and honest, producing not only great business opportunities, but many lifelong friends as well. As for our customers, there is no way to let them know how much we truly appreciate their business over the years. We have enjoyed meeting in person and talking to many of them over the phone. Most shooters are interesting and just plain fantastic people. Then there’s our amazing staff! They make such a dream team. Some of them have been with us since we hired them as college interns 20 years ago. When we look back over the years we are truly in awe! Most our thoughts and feelings can be wrapped up in one single word: GRATITUDE!!!

Midsouth Shooter’s SIG BDX Giveaway!

RELOADERS CORNER: Blissful Moderation

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Glen Zediker recollects and reflects on the first advice he ever got on choosing a load: all things in moderation, pressure and velocity included! READ IT ALL

range load
When you just want to load up and go have a go at the range, there’s no need for speed. But! There is a need for enough pressure-power for reliable, clean function. I suggest trying something in the “medium” range for daily use. Your rifle, your barrel, your cases, and your senses will all thank you for reducing the shock by taking “two steps to the left” to find a load. Promise: you will not notice anything at all negative from any lack of “power.”

Glen Zediker

I spend a great amount of space in this department warning, and I hope educating, on the signs, signals, dangers of excessive cartridge pressure. That’s all been and being done because, for the majority, maximizing velocity is an ammo-goal. Hunters, varmint and game, competitive longer-range shooters, usually want the most they can get from bullet flight performance, and also impact strength.

For me, there’s zero doubt that more speed is a better score on a full-length NRA High Power Rifle course. (Side note: it is a fallacy that lighter loads are more accurate. They’re not, or not because they’re lighter. Some of the best perforations I’ve seen are with maxed loads.)

But! I shoot a toned-down load for reduced-distance courses (as well as for the 200-yard events on full-length), and my general-purpose clods-and-cans load is a lower-stress recipe.

I mentioned last time that I had recently fired a good deal of current NATO-spec ammo and was, I guess “impressed” is the right word, with its power level. The stuff I make up for afternoon fun-runs is a good deal less stressed.

I’m not at all recommending a “light” load. Just let’s call it a solid “medium.” Looking over my notes for the past umpteen years, going through my last most current load-data notebook, I saw what was to me an interesting happenstance. I tended to be pretty much right at one-and-one-half grain less than maximum (and about two grains with .308-class rounds).

dirty case
Signs of a load that’s too “light” include, clearly, one that won’t cycle the action reliably on a semi-auto. Another couple, for any action type, include an unusually dirty chamber and sooted-up cartridge case necks and shoulders. A little lighter still and you might see a primer that’s backed out a tad. Those all result from the case not expanding fully to seal the chamber forward and stretch to comply closer to chamber dimensions end to end. A little reduction won’t normally show any of this, and, tip: go a tad toward the faster end of suitable burning rate for general use.

Thats not a light load! It’s “three halves,” three one-half grain drops. That half-grain, and some might recollect my mentioning this a few times in the past, is my always-recommended “come-off” step for any pressure sign (not a tenth or two, but a “full” half grain). Any other over-pressure indicator from that point then signals need to come off another “full” half-grain. So I pretty much come off those two halves from the get go, add another, and, guess what? Never nary a pressure concern.

Slightly faster-burning propellants, in my experience, lend themselves better to the “medium” power level reduction in terms of maintaining accuracy. As always, “faster” and “slower” are values within a small range of propellant rates suitable for a particular cartridge and bullet. And, in following this plan, when needed bump it up to full speed with predicatable results.

For .223 Rem.-class cartridges, a half-grain is worth ballpark 40-50 feet per second, again depending on propellant.

The advantages of a “medium” load are predictable, but here’s my list: plain old easier on the gun, and on the barrel, and on the self. Again (and again) I’m not talking abut a “light” load, just one that’s maybe 95-percent, a solid 150-200 feet per second less than published maximum. Case stress will be reduced, and that’s associated with length trimming frequency and overall “life” before primer pocket enlargement and general stretch-thinning, cracking symptoms retire the brass.

Back to my “story,” which was the interesting happenstance (all this was all brought back to me by the initial outing with my new old AR15 I talked about last edition, and my 16-year-old son asking me if I could teach him how to reload because we ran out of ammo so quickly…): So. When I first learned to reload I was 15. This event coincided with my first AR15 rifle, which was purchased new at a Skaggs drugstore. Right. My mother did not eagerly agree to sponsor a reloading setup, but, being a wise-enough woman, did interpret the math the same way I did: I could shoot a lot more for a lot less if I was doing my own. So, I had a friend, Gary. Most fortunate man to know. Gary, and I see this more clearly each year that passes, knew more about guns and shooting than any 10 people I have since encountered.

We went to Bald Bob’s Sporting Goods in Rifle, Colorado. He chose an RCBS kit for me, a piece at a time. Bob sold RCBS only. Press, dies, scale, meter, case lube, doo-dads, and, of course some propellant and brass and bullets and primers. And a Sierra Bullets loading book. So, back home, and a short time later, there I sat before my new array of green pride-and-joys. After stern lectures about things I was never supposed to do, and at least an equal number of things I was always supposed to do, we got this show flowing downriver.

Gary had chosen IMR 4198 for me for a propellant. He said it was clean-burning and economical. Didn’t take much of it. I had some Speer 55-grain full-metal-jacket bullets, some Remington cases to go along with the empties I had saved in a paper bag, and some CCI primers. Now. We looked at the loading tables in the Sierra Manual, and he had me find my cartridge and bullet. (He already knew exactly where we were going, so this was for my benefit.) He pointed out the “maximum” load and the “starting” load, one on the far right and the other on the origin point of the table on the left. He then counted back two places from the far right: 20.5gr. He said, “There. That’s the one. It’s not going to give you any troubles, and it’s adequate for function.”

“That was easy,” I thought.

I have since learned that advice was too good not to share.

If you’re looking for a good load, and you know the propellant is wisely-chosen, going two steps down from the manual-listed maximum should, indeed, be a great place to start, or to stay if you are sans chronograph. Time after time, I have noticed over the many, many years I have now been doing all this, that the “two steps back from max” procedure is safe, sane, and satisfying.

reduced load list
Here’s a page (“the page”) from my now-ancient Sierra manual. Not all manuals agree (not nearly) on max loads, and not all are done in multiple increments, but the essential advice is reducing the max load by two steps, or about one-and-one-half grains of propellant in this case (reduction amounts vary, certainly, based on the cartridge). It’s wise advice from a wise man, and I’m talking about Buddy Gary. I just pass it along because it sho works for me!

I shot about a gozillion rounds of 20.5 grains of 4198 through that SP1. Since it was not a max load, I could also change the bullets without worry, going from one brand to the next at the same weight, of course. I could change cases and even primers. It was a tenth shy of one-and-one-half grains under maximum. I don’t recollect ever grouping that rifle on a paper target. I zeroed it based on preference and I also don’t recollect ever missing anything I aimed at by more than a little bit, and never twice.

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

REVIEW: PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 Pistol

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Designed to replace MP5-style weapons, this “Daiblo” is a sleek and sturdy AR15 pistol. READ ALL ABOUT IT

PWS AR15 pistol

Major Pandemic

While almost every other manufacturer of AR15s is chasing the entry-level price-point customer, Primary Weapons System introduced a $2000 fully-loaded AR15 pistol which sold out immediately! Every inch of this reliable push-rod long-stroke piston-driven AR pistol is dripping with custom and innovative parts.

The market success of the MOD2 MK107 should be proof enough that customers are craving something different, something exclusive, and are more than willing to shell out the cash for feature-loaded AR15s. PWS is regarded by many as one of the top tier of high-tech combat AR platform guns, and has a long history of delivering super premium AR platforms complete with their famed and super reliable piston system.

PWS MOD2 MK107
Feed it good ammo and the accuracy will astound you! Reliability in my test was 100-percent.

CONCEPT
It is important to understand that this AR15 pistol is unlike any other. It’s more than a standard pistol with a cool set of receivers and fancy flash hider. Instead this pistol represents PWS’ latest AR15 platform refinements from its push-rod long-stroke piston-driven MOD1 predecessor. Many consider the PWS piston system as the best on the market. It is in essence a reduced-size AK-47 piston system. PWS modified this design into the AR platform which delivers a push-rod attached to the carrier, a much lighter recoil impulse than other piston systems and a significantly better platform for suppressor use. Disassembly is easy and simple. Break open the upper, removed the charging handle, BCG, and attached long stroke piston, clean the piston and reassemble. Since there is no gas blowback with the piston system, the BCG and upper stay clean and cool even after 1000s of rounds of suppressed shooting.

PWS MOD2 MK107
The gas piston system is a scaled down AK type, and it’s been well proven. Gun stays clean even with a suppressor.

The intent of this pistol was to offer a transitional firearm which could be purchased and shot as a pistol. If the owner wants to have a registered SBR, this configuration delivers a lot of fun shooting during the long wait for an ATF short-barreled-rifle tax stamp. Once a tax stamp is in hand, the rearmost cheek brace and guide rods can be swapped to a Maxim Defense buttstock. Of course some people may elect to just leave it as an AR15 pistol to allow more flexibility in ownership and transportation over state lines.

FEATURES
The MOD2 series adds additional refinements. Additional weight savings is one. A new custom-forged receiver incorporates weight reducing reliefs. Yes I did say “forged.” These are not modified mil-spec receivers, or billet, but rather custom forged upper and lower. For the record, forging does deliver a stronger part.

In the process of strategically lightening the receivers they ended up looking amazingly cool!

PWS MOD2 MK107
Proprietary design forged receivers are lightened and feature full ambi controls.

The lower ambi controls are similar to the Sig MPX with ambi-selector and bolt release in the same position. The lower receiver features an integrated trigger guard, larger flared mag well, and inlets for all the extra ambi-parts. The upper receiver has been trimmed down though reliefs, but also lightened with the omission of the forward assist. Other nice touches are beefing up certain areas to increase strength such as near the barrel extension union on the upper and also adding a captured ejection port door pin.

PWS reduced the number of piston gas pressure adjustment points to just three on the MOD2. To assure the hammer-forged 1-8 twist .223 Wylde barrel’s bark was directed away from the shooter, they attached the PWS CQB brake. I have used this brake on many firearms over the years and personally believe any AR or AK intended to be shot indoors should not be without it. There is magic within that CQB flash hider that I have not found any other muzzle device to deliver.

PWS MOD2 MK107 brake
The PWS QCB muzzle device is amazingly effective, really taking the blast and bark away from the shooter.

The bolt carrier group is PWS’ own anti-tilt piston design finished in a lithium embedded salt nitro treatment (Nitromet). Trigger group is a tuned ALG NiBo which feels extremely good for a duty trigger. The PicMod handguard is yet another PWS innovation which delivers standard picatinny rails which are also KeyMod compatible.

PWS maxim defense adjustable cheek rest
The Maxim Defense Adjustable Cheek Rest gives a solid cheek weld and is easily adjusted, collapsed, and extended via a lower paddle latch.

The most noticeable accessory is the Maxim Defense Adjustable Cheek Rest which delivers a solid cheek weld in a variety of shooting positions. The cheek rest is easily adjusted, collapsed, and extended via a lower paddle latch. The cheek rest can be easily swapped out with an arm brace accessory, or with prior ATF SBR registration, a buttstock using the same paddle latch. PWS has officially switched from Magpul to Bravo Company furniture, and the angle of the Bravo Company grip is excellent for a compact shooting format.

THE EXTRAS
Included is an exceptionally well-made Crossfire soft case capable of accommodating many accessories, 1 Lancer 30-round (depending on state) magazine, BCM Keymod Quick Detachable Sling Mount, a set of Keymod RailScales, $50 gift card to PrimaryWeapons.com, $70 discount card off a Vertx backpack which is sized to fit this pistol, a PWS patch, brochures and manuals. In total, about $300 worth of accessories and coupons is a well appreciated package that lets PWS customers feel the love on a firearm of this caliber.

SHOOTING
With the MOD2 version, PWS did drop factory sights off the installed equipment list, so some type of optic is needed. I elected for the brand new Vortex 1x Prismatic Sparc. This true 1X optic features a button changeable red or green illuminated double-circle dot reticle. It’s freaky fast to get on target, runs on 1 AAA battery, has an etched reticle reticle that is visible even if the battery is dead or removed, a swappable MOA or 5.56 BDC turret, and enormous field of view and stunning clarity.

Vortex 1x Prismatic Sparc
Vortex 1x Prismatic Sparc optic is an outstanding choice.

Due to the fun involved of shooting this setup, I went far beyond my typical 400-round testing and had not one single issue with any ammo tested. Switching to a 1-6 Lucid scope, the PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 pistol is more than capable of 1-inch 100-yard groups with Federal Gold Match or Hornady Match ammo, but back with the Vortex mounted it was fun to bang away on 6-inch steel all the way out to 400 yards. I found the Vortex Sparc BDC turret settings put me on the target and offered accurate holdovers at the extended ranges.

CARRY
This is a pistol… So based on your local, you should be able to carry it concealed inside a pack just like you would your Glock if you have your concealed carry license. As mentioned, PWS includes a discount for a  Vertx pack which will enclose the entire pistol, but I did had a Sneaky Bags 27-in. SPYDER case which has the look of a tennis racket bag. The SPYDER was a perfect single-sling pack for the fully assembled PWS pistol with 20-round magazine loaded plus offered a ton of storage. Most importantly, this clandestine concealed carry “Sneaky” setup allowed a very fast presentation.

PWS case
A well-made Crossfire soft case is included, and it has plenty of room for accessories. I prefer a much smaller package, so choose a SPYDER bag.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Where the budget AR15 rifle market is softening, the short-barreled PDW AR15 pistol and SBR market is blazing hot. There has been so much un-needed attention to the AR pistol segment from the “Arm Brace ATF re-clarifications,” I am sure some dealers are throwing their hands up on whether to carry AR15 pistols at all. PWS has side-stepped all that with the Maxim EXO adjustable cheek rest while clearly laying out two options for owners — buy and shoot now as a pistol and/or register as an SBR.

PWS pistol

This pistol is targeted toward those who want all the benefits of an SBR without the headaches of going through the long wait and registration process…and want the best AR in the process. The PWS MOD2 MK107 AR15 pistol is an ideal PDW firearm for personal protection without legal headaches and oversight that a rifle or registered SBR might bring. After all it is “just a pistol!”

READ FULL SPECS HERE

SOURCES
Primary Weapon Systems
Vertx
Crossfire
Bravo Company
Vortex Optics
Sneaky Bags

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.]

 

Fired FBI Director James Comey Pushes Gun Control, Bashes NRA

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Comey advocates for stricter gun laws and delivers harsh criticism for NRA in a UK address. READ MORE

james comey

 

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Fired FBI Director James Comey’s self-aggrandizement tour continued apace last week. Momentarily turning his attention from attacking President Trump, Comey used the occasion of a trip to the largely-disarmed United Kingdom as an opportunity to advocate for stricter U.S. gun laws and to level barbs at NRA.

In an interview with the UK’s iNews published last Tuesday, Comey appeared to express his support for ongoing efforts to restrict young adults ages 18-20 from acquiring firearms and for a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. Comey told the media outlet:

“Surely there are things we can agree upon that relate to who’s able to buy a weapon, what kind of weapon and at what age, what the capabilities of the weapon are, how many rounds does it hold, and things like that, that in no way threaten the rights under the US constitution of people to keep and bear arms.”

Comey’s statement on gun control is puzzling. Legislation that extinguishes young adults’ ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights is by its very nature a threat to, “the rights under the US constitution [sic] of people to keep and bear arms.” Moreover, so is a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. That’s not just NRA’s position; that’s the position of the U.S. Supreme Court, which affirmed an individual right to keep and bear arms in the District of Columbia v. Heller case.

In Heller, the late Justice Antonin Scalia explained that the Second Amendment protects the ownership of firearms, “of the kind in common use at the time.” The AR-15, the favorite target of current gun ban legislation, is America’s most popular rifle. Moreover, Scalia Joined Justice Thomas to dissent from a denial of certiorari in the case of Friedman v. Highland Park, which concerned a ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. In the dissent, Thomas wrote:

“The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting. Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons.”

Addressing NRA, Comey stated, “One of the worst things that goes on in the US is the current voice of the National Rifle Association, because it sells fear in the wake of any incident.” The former FBI director went on to add:

“[NRA’s] constant argument is: ‘It’s a slippery slope. If we restrict a particular kind of weapon or raise the age of purchase, it means the end of gun ownership in the US.’ And that argument is a lie… There’s no slippery slope in America when it comes to guns. It’s a concrete staircase, which is our constitution…. We just have to decide should we go up a stair or down a stair.”

While Comey might liken U.S. gun laws to a, “concrete staircase,” it’s unlikely many gun owners in jurisdictions such as California, New Jersey, and New York feel confident in their footing. For them the slippery slope of gun control is an everyday reality. Faced with a federal judiciary that is often unwilling to honor the rulings of the Supreme Court, as Justice Thomas has pointed out on numerous occasions, the Second Amendment offers these Americans little security.

Moreover, the slippery slope isn’t pro-gun fear mongering, it’s gun control advocates’ stated policy. In a 1976 New Yorker interview, National Council to Control Handguns (precursor to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence) Chairman Nelson T. Shields stated:

“I’m convinced that we have to have federal legislation to build on. We’re going to have to take one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily—given the political realities — going to be very modest… So then we’ll have to start working again to strengthen that law and then again to strengthen the next law, and maybe again and again. Right now, though, we’d be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice. Our ultimate goal — total control of handguns in the United States — is going to take time.”

Moreover, the character of recent gun control efforts has made Comey’s position untenable. In March, John Paul Stevens took to the opinion page of the New York Times to call for the repeal of the Second Amendment. In recent years, the New York Times and the Boston Globe have run pieces calling for firearms confiscation. On the 2016 campaign trail, Hillary Clinton lamented the Heller decision, refused to acknowledge that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, and endorsed Australia’s confiscatory gun control measures. Anti-gun protests are replete with calls to disarm citizens.

An exchange that appears near the end of the iNews item might reveal the most about Comey. The fired FBI director explained that he chose not to carry a firearm while at the FBI, stating, “I was surrounded by armed people all day long. If I wasn’t safe in the hands of the FBI, then our country was really in trouble.” Here Comey admitted that despite being one of the nation’s highest ranking law enforcement officials, he was unwilling to concern himself with any personal responsibility for his own safety and the safety of those around him.

Government Admits AR-15s Are Not ‘Weapons of War’

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State Department and Department of Justice offer definitions of “military equipment,” and it’s NOT an AR-15… READ MORE

ar15

SOURCE: Breitbart
AWR Hawkins

In its settlement with Cody Wilson’s Defense Distributed the government admitted that semi-automatic firearms below .50 caliber are not weapons of war.

On July 10, 2018, Breitbart News reported that the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) brought a suit against the State Department on Wilson’s behalf. The suit was filed in 2015 and was the result of State Department action to force Wilson to quit sharing 3-D gun files online.

Wilson and SAF fought the suit on First Amendment grounds and secured a settlement with the State Department and the Department of Justice, the latter of which finalizes the settlement.

The amended regulations proposed in the settlement show the government will no longer look at semi-automatic firearms below .50 caliber as “military equipment” or weapons of war.

In offering a definition of “military equipment” the settlement says:

“The phrase ‘Military Equipment’ means (1) Drums and other magazines for firearms to 50 caliber (12.7mm) inclusive with a capacity greater than 50 rounds, regardless of the jurisdiction of the firearm, and specially designed parts and components therefor; (2) Parts and components specifically designed for conversion of a semi-automatic firearm to a fully automatic firearm; (3) Accessories or attachments specifically designed to automatically stabilize aim (other than gun rests) or for automatic targeting, and specifically designed parts and components therefor.”

Attorneys in the case expounded on the amended regulations by pointing out that the settlement “expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to .50 caliber widely available in retail outlets in the United States and abroad [a scope that includes AR-15 and other assault-style rifles], are not inherently military.”

Second Amendment Foundation founder and executive vice president Alan Gottlieb spoke to Breitbart News about the settlement, saying:

“Not only is this a First Amendment victory for free speech, it also is a devastating blow to the gun prohibition lobby. For years, anti-gunners have contended that modern semi-automatic sport-utility rifles are so-called “weapons of war,” and with this settlement, the government has acknowledged they are nothing of the sort.”

The federal government now saying semi-automatic firearms below .50 caliber are not inherently military means that they are admitting that rifles like the AR-15 are civilian in nature. This makes perfect sense, as they existed years before the military adopted the fully automatic version.

Gottlieb added, “Gun rights organizations like the Second Amendment Foundation will now be able to use this government admission in debate and courtrooms from New York to California.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

SKILLS: Counter Sight Fixation

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Watching the front sight is important to accuracy, but there’s more out there to pay attention to! READ MORE

rob leatham rob pincus

SOURCE: Team Springfield, Rob Leatham and Rob Pincus

It’s amazing what “over thinking” can do to your accuracy. Whether you’re in competition or self-defense mode, speed and accuracy are a key part of your shooting acumen. So why do we let fixating on the front sight deter both of those elements?

DON’T FIXATE — JUST AIM
One of the biggest myths about shooting is that we only need to see the sights when firing the gun — the front sight in particular. If it’s bullseye accuracy you are after and the speed of the shot is of little to no concern, knock yourself out. Take aim, put your finger on the trigger and then idle for several seconds, double and triple-checking your sights before firing.

If it’s close and fast, though, and time means winning or dying, you will need another tool.

The truth is when the goal is speed, you will go slower if you “over-aim.” This is because fixating on the front sight can hinder your ability to pull the trigger.

You should be able to get the accuracy you need with an increased level of speed by not requiring that crystal clear front sight.

Here’s why: Often while going for that perfect sight picture, an internal mental battle occurs. Going for “perfection” instead of accepting “good enough,” increases the likelihood of mistakes. Flinching (pulling the gun out of alignment) increases due to the hesitation of pulling the trigger. This of course leads to poor accuracy and it’s slow.

Keep it simple and speedy.

Point the gun at the target, aim, move to the trigger and fire. This should all occur very quickly. Not always one smooth motion, but still done fast. Faster than you can read this sentence.

There are so many old sayings like “slow is fast” or “smooth is fast,” and so on, but just remember this: Fast is fast and accurate is accurate. Sometimes fast is violent and not perfectly clear visually.

Too slow — just like too fast — is bad. Remove any hesitation once the decision to fire has occurred. Only an obstruction of the target or a late decision to abort the shot should stop the process.

If you’re a competition or defensive shooter who wants to maintain a fast pace, don’t bother trying to maintain a perfect, clear sight picture for every shot. It’s not going to happen.

WATCH THE VIDEO

SKILLS: Concealed Carry on the Go

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Dealing with a concealed weapon when you’re out on the road and away from home raises a few questions, here are a few answers! READ MORE

Console storage vault
Console storage vault.

Jason Hanson

LOCATION: Parking lot. Tucson, Arizona
TIME: 8:40 p.m.

An unsuspecting woman had just gotten in her vehicle when a man with a hatchet appeared and demanded her car keys.

The woman retrieved a handgun from her car and told the man to leave, but he ignored her commands. As he raised his hatchet to strike the woman, she shot him. She held the suspect at gunpoint until police arrived to secure the scene and render medical aid.

According to police, the woman stayed on scene and complied with all police requests. The suspect was treated at a local hospital and is expected to survive his injuries. Currently, charges are pending against the man even though he was shot, because the woman shot him in self-defense.

The fact is this woman quite literally saved her life by having an accessible firearm in her car.

Have Permit, Will Travel
With summer here, lots of people will be hitting the roads to visit unfamiliar locales far and wide. So today, I want to share with you some tips for storing firearms in your vehicle.

Just because you are going out of town (or even driving to the store) and can’t carry your gun, you do have options for leaving it in your vehicle. Obviously, I’m a big believer that your gun should always be on your person, but I realize that there are places you may not legally be able to take your firearm — or maybe you don’t want to.

Now, I recommend storing a gun differently based on whether you are in the vehicle or plan on leaving it in the vehicle.

What I mean is if you are in the car traveling, you still want to be able to quickly access your gun in case you need it. However, if you are going into a courthouse for a few hours (for example), you should make sure your gun is secured and out of sight.

Read on for specific recommendations…

You Can Take It With You
There are a number of different holsters on the market designed for use in cars to give quick access to your firearm while you are in your vehicle.

CrossBreed makes a modular holster backed with Velcro so you can conveniently mount it almost anywhere in your car. These types of holsters are a good idea if you spend a lot of time in your car and don’t want to keep your gun on your person.

CrossBreed holster
CrossBreed holsters can have variable use options, including a car mount.

In addition to mounted holsters, you can also find holsters that attach underneath your steering wheel, allowing you to draw quickly while seated. These holsters clip to the piece of plastic that surrounds the steering column.

Another popular alternative is seat drapes. These hang down in front of your seat with a pocket holster to secure your firearm. The nice thing about this option is that seat drapes are easy to remove when not in use.

These are all great options for storing your firearm when you are in the car, but they are not ways I recommend storing your gun when you aren’t there. The fact is these methods usually leave the gun visible, which is the last thing you want to do when you are gone.

Seat drape
Seat drape.

Leave It Behind
On the other hand, let’s say you always carry your firearm but work in a secure building where you can’t have it with you. You need to store it in your car in a manner that will keep it secure, hidden and out of the hands of criminals.

One of the most common places people keep guns in their cars is the glove box. But if someone breaks into your car, this is the first place they’d look. Although if you keep it locked, they might not waste their time trying to get in.

Another option is the center console, which you should also keep locked if you decide to use it. In fact, several companies make locking inserts you can put in the center console to secure your firearm.

Some of those companies are Tuffy, Console Vault, and Guardian. These locking consoles are among the best options for keeping a firearm secure in your vehicle when you are gone.

Another option is to store your gun under the front seat. Some of the same companies I mentioned above also make lock boxes that can slide under the front seat.

Or you could simply buy a small firearms lockbox and secure it to the seat with the cable it comes with. This would prevent a criminal from stealing your firearm even if they did find the safe.

Typically, you are more vulnerable to criminal threats when you’re in your vehicle. It’s critical that you are prepared to defend yourself.

So whether you are taking your family on a road trip or just leaving your gun in your car to go grocery shopping, make sure that your firearm is stored safely and securely.

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.

RELOADERS CORNER: 5.56 NATO: “GO,” “NO-GO”

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This “warning” has been around, and around, for years, but it’s still not always heeded, or understood. Read why and how it matters HERE.

nato stamp
The circle-cross stamp is a NATO-spec cartridge. Your barrel might be marked “5.56” or a more lengthy disclosure referencing its specs. If it’s “.223 Rem.” do not fire a NATO round through it! Your barrel might also not be marked at all. I’ve increasingly seen that. Get it checked. A NATO round will chamber perfectly in a .223 Rem. All exterior dimensions are patently the same, again, it’s the pressure level.

Glen Zediker

I know this is “Reloaders Corner,” but, every now and again at least, I rip open the end of a cardboard factory cartridge box, or five.

I just got finished building up a “retro” AR15 for a new book. Reasons for that are a few, but probably the main one was that I wanted to recollect the one that “got away,” well, the one that I let go. Errant short-sighted judgment, as is common in youthful people. So I built a replica M16A1, circa mid-60s, well, of course, with only two selector stops. At the heart of that rifle is an original-spec barrel, chrome-lined, NATO chamber.

5.56 stamp
This is a NATO chamber stamp. If it’s “.223 Rem.” that’s NOT the same!

That’s leading to this: I opened up a few boxes of “genuine” NATO 5.56 to check it out with, something I honestly haven’t fired for years and years. Dang. That stuff is potent. Over the past several years, the pressure level has increased. Current standard is a little over 62,000 PSI. (NATO is technically measured differently than commercial, but the figures I give here are accurate for comparison.) Compared to SAAMI specs for .223 Remington (commercial) that’s a solid 7,000 difference. (That SAAMI-spec figure has likewise increased over the years, judging from recent test figures I’ve seen respecting commercial .223 Rem.; most references heretofore were max at 52,000 PSI.)

The main impetus for this article, though, came from a recent experience at a local gun shop. I went in search of a sub-sonic .300 Blackout load, and they had one in .300 Whisper. The counter person told me that it was “exactly the same as .300 Blackout, just like .223 is the same as 5.56…” Whoa. Neither statement is true, although Whisper specs are plenty close enough to Blackout that no differences factor in safety or function. However! I didn’t take the time to lecture, but, dang, .223 Rem. and 5.56 NATO are not nearly the same.

First point: do not fire NATO-spec ammo in a rifle with a chamber marked “.223 Remington.” It will, not may, be over-pressure. Reasons have to do with chamber specifications for 5.56x45mm NATO and those for SAAMI-spec .223 Remington. There is a significant difference in the leade or “freebore” cut comparing SAAMI to NATO. That’s the space in a chamber ahead of the cartridge case neck area that leads into the rifling. NATO is radically more generous, meaning “bigger”: longer, more volume. (About 0.150 inches, based on my measurements of bullet seating depths that touch the lands.) There is relatively much more room for expanding gases to occupy in a NATO chamber. In a SAAMI chamber there’s much less room for expanding gases to occupy. The additional pressure is about the equivalent of another full grain (or more) of propellant in the case. Yikes.

high pressure nato
Here’s what happens putting a factory-fresh NATO round through a .223 Rem. chamber. This case is clearly beat. Sure, it might, should, hold up for that firing, but the case is done and the gun took a needless hammering.

nato beat case

There are other little nit differences to pick between the SAAMI and NATO cartridge, and, therefore, chambering specs, but they don’t really factor in a material sense. There’s bound also to be just as many small differences in cartridge dimensions from one maker to the next. I’ve measured enough to tell you that’s true.

Now. What this has to do with reloading (finally, I know) is based on a question I’ve gotten over the years, a concern to some, or at least, as said, a question. And the answer is that you’re better off going with .223 Remington loading data for any ammo intended for “general” range use. That means blasting away on an afternoon. Just because it’s a NATO chamber does in no way mean you’re supposed to run NATO-spec ammo through it! Back it off and enjoy it more.

If you’re relying on a factory-published data manual to give a place to start, or stop (something from Sierra, Hornady, Lyman, or so on) pay very close attention to the test barrel specifications. Clearly, barrel length has a big influence on attaining the published velocities, and some load combinations are going to be worked up using considerably longer barrels than what the most of us have on our AR15s. But the biggest factor is the chamber used in the test barrel. If it’s a SAAMI-spec (sometimes called a “SAAMI-minimum”) chamber then the data should be on the conservative side. Should be. Do not, however, bank on any idea that you should jump straight to the maximum load listed if you’re loading for use in a NATO. There are, always, too many factors that otherwise create more or less pressure (primers, cases, propellant lot, and more).

As time goes by it probably is less likely to encounter a semi-automatic “.223” that’s not a NATO, but it will be marked as such! Clearly, most ammo is used in the most popular guns. That’s not going to be a bolt-action anymore. Make no mistake, though, AR15s exist plentifully that have SAAMI chambers, and I see a lot of aftermarket barrels that are cut with that minimum-dimension reamer.

ANOTHER OPTION
So what’s a “Wylde” chamber? This is a chambering spec developed by Bill Wylde, one of the early and leading pioneers in the quest for improved AR15 accuracy. It is popular and available, especially in aftermarket barrels. What it is, is a chamber that’s in-between SAAMI-minimum and NATO, leaning closer to NATO. Rumors are true: it’s safe to fire NATO-spec factory loads through a Wylde. The Wylde was designed upon the introduction of the heavier competition bullets with the idea of providing more freebore to accommodate the necessarily longer cartridge overall lengths necessary with something like an 80gr. Sierra, but keep the amount of jump to a minimum with shorter bullets fed from the magazine.

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

REVIEW: Sig MPX Pistol

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The “new” MP5? Author says it’s better than that! Read MORE…

Sig MPX

Major Pandemic

The Sig MPX is an innovative configurable PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) platform that can be purchased in a variety of forms including pistol, pistol plus Sig Brace, rifle, and NFA regulated SBR. The model I choose for review is the MPX Pistol with folding Sig Brace adapter. This setup can be easily purchased just like any handgun on the market.

Sig PDW
It’s compact, just like other PDWs, but its capabilities in this role are unparalleled.

WHY A SIG MPX
Of the guns most lust to have, the H&K MP5 is on that list. It is the quintessential 9mm PDW that still serves in many militaries, law enforcement SWAT teams, and global hostage rescue teams for many reasons — it is utterly reliable, short, accurate, easy to shoot fast, and pretty hard hitting. We have all built up an image of perfection in our minds and all want one. Then you actually fire an MP5 and find out that the looks are still there, but the years of experience are showing.

As a civilian, you cannot buy a new MP5. Original $5000+ used MP5s are a bit beat up with a been-around-the-block-a-few-times look, sights are not as user friendly as modern day designs, mag well is not particularly easy to find during reloads, the manual of arms is so different from our ingrained AR15 habits that it feels a little weird, there is no last round hold open on most MP5s (some do), optic mounts are goofy, the stamped receiver looks cheap and outdated, replacement parts are getting super pricey, and the price the user pays (if they can find one) is still too high. In this case, pulling a factory-fresh MPX from its box delivers everything I want without the worry of the mileage and cost of an MP5.

Sig brace
A Sig brace completes the package.

Despite its reputation H&K has made some poor marketing decisions. H&K was in some financial deep water and why they would not do consumer retro releases of some classic guns is beyond me. At a time when $400 Euro H&K P7 trade in guns are going for $3000 on GunBroker.com and shooters are still screaming for a civilian MP5 it seems H&K is leaving money on the table. Why has the semi-auto SP6K (updated MP5 semi-auto pistol) not made it to U.S. shores? Sig Sauer decided there was money to be made in the MP5 market and developed the MPX to go right after the throat of H&K with a supportable, adaptable, highly configurable 9mm PDW format. Instead of “me too” product, Sig also addressed all those gripes users had with the MP5 design. If you have always wanted an MP5, the Sig MPX will deliver more grins per dollar and I would argue is far better!

SIG SAUER MPX
The MPX is arguably the sexiest and most titillating thing in decades to come out of Sig Sauer since the MCX was introduced with the same profile but in 5.56 NATO. I mean good lord look at this thing — it is dripping with custom design concepts.

The design perfectly mimics the AR controls; however, Sig did not stop there and added full ambi-controls on the magazine release, bolt charging handle, bolt release, and selector switch. Everything you can do with your support hand, is possible with the shooting hand. Ambi selectors always annoyingly rub on my trigger finger, however Sig has made the right side selector toggle as short as possible to minimize this known AR15 ambi-selector issue. The charging handle stroke is a bit shorter than your AR15. All around all the controls are well executed.

MPX controls
Controls are well thought out and ambidextrous.

Sig made the MPX easy to customize. The new G2 version is fully KeyMod-compatible with the plethora of aftermarket keymod accessories. The picatinny spec rail at the rear can be left bare, or with just one torx screw a folding or fixed adapter can be used to mount a AR15 compatible cheek stabilizing tube and/or Sig Pistol Brace. If you have received your Form 1 NFA Tax stamp, one of Sig’s fixed, folding or or collapsible stocks can be added. Even the grip and trigger group are AR15 compatible. Flexibility is the base of this design.

The MPX is also a caliber-convertible platform which offers users the option to swap out barrels and bolt systems from the factory 9mm to .357SIG or .40 S&W all just by removing two bolts.

MPX barrel swap
Barrels can be interchanged to allow .40 S&W or .357 Sig.

The heavily flared magazine well makes authoritative insertions fast and easy. Honestly, the MPX is hard to shoot without cracking a giant smile.

Even the magazines are freaking awesome looking. Lancer Systems who is well known for premium magazines developed the design for the MPX. Mag functioning is smooth and flawless. Restocking rounds is push-in AR-style versus slide-in handgun mag style which lessens thumb pain.

MPX magazines
The 30-round magazines are a thing of beauty, and function perfectly.

YES THAT IS IT
Make sure you go ahead and get extra mags! I now have six. Also just plan on buying 9mm ammo in 1000 round bulk packs, because otherwise if you only take 50-100 rounds to that first range session you will feel like your hot new girlfriend/boyfriend got you worked up and then left you high and dry.

Shooting the MPX really does not feel any different than shooting any other AR15 pistol or registered SBR other than the recoil is almost non-existent. Although a completely unfair comparison, by contrast my 9mm Keltec Sub2000 has a sharp little snap but the MPX does not. Sig did a great job with the piston-driven gas system to deliver a cleaner running gun and strip out that jarring snap of the 9mm round hotly exiting the longer barrel.

Accuracy is superb. Where the MP5 would really shine were head shots under 75 yards, the MPX shines at this range as well. Hitting my Action Target hostage swinger (6-in.) at 100 yards was pretty easy also, however I did notice the 9mm round did not have the power to swing the hostage target to the other side at that range. The gun is easily a single-ragged-hole gun at 25-yards, and at 50-yards 3-4 inches for offhand groups was not difficult with quality defense ammo.

This is a superb home and personal defense gun. With the Hi-Lux Micro B-Dot red dot sight added this was a fast little gun that delivered everything I love about .223 AR15 pistols without the deafening report. The MPX has a softer handgun report out of the 8-in. barrel, far from the ear splitting boom an AR15 pistol delivers indoors and outdoors. With the right low penetration ammo such as Federal Guard Dog or the very hot Liberty Civil Defense 2000-FPS 450-FPE, the MPX delivers accurate high-energy dumping rounds combined with limited liability from pass through rounds. For me, this gun is starting to make more sense for home and backpack carry personal defense than my AR15 pistols…

MPX ANNOYANCES
The painful price point allows one to be critical of annoyances. The MPX is expensive. I understand there was a ton of R&D on this gun, however that does not lessen the entry pain when it comes time pay. Current MSRP is $2162.00.

The magwell is easy to find, as said, but tactical reloads where the bolt is not locked back require a very firm whack to get a full magazine to seat. Although technically a piston-driven gas system, and cleaner running than straight blowback operation, this is still one dirty gun after a few hundred rounds. There really is no way around it — handgun rounds equal dirty guns.

Sig mag well
Mag well is hard to miss!

For the price, I would have expected a Tritium insert on the front sight post and two included magazines. The polymer dust cover and finger stop booth feel like they will break and any moment, but have not. The dust cover needs to be a bit beefier and I suspect one hard whack in a door jam and it’s a goner.

The magazines themselves are selling for $60-$70 each which is painful even though they are stunningly well-made. The trigger is horrible. I am stunned Sig Sauer could make something this terrible. How can Sig give me one of the smoothest double-action pistols on the market but includes a trigger that feels like it had sand dumped into it. I am glad the trigger is compatible with AR15 replacements because it is possibly the worst feeling AR-style trigger ever.

The instructions were terrible. The ten pages of obvious safety warnings should have been used to tell how to configure everything that came in the box: the extra QD slung mount took a good hour to understand how and where to attach it..

Until you break in the folding stabilizing brace, which takes about forty or fifty repetitions of feeling like you are going to snap the stabilizing brace off, you could swear that it locks both open and closed. I also found the stabilizing brace length to be about an inch too long to stabilize against the cheek. Some might find it perfect though.

MPX gas system
Operation is via gas piston.

FINAL THOUGHTS
The MPX had zero functional issues wasting away an afternoon and 1000 rounds of whatever was the cheapest 9mm ammo available in bulk.

This little pistol can slip into most small packs or messenger bags and delivers a very fast response option with crisp precision. I would recommend buying 20-round magazines for this carry option as the 30-rounders are a bit long. The MPX system screams for SBR stamping and that cool Sig collapsible stock. The MPX was designed for the person wanting a gateway to SBR registration — once you have your SBR Stamp, a stock swap is only one bolt away. Buy the MPX like any other pistol, go and shoot it, send in the Form 1 NFA eForm to “SBR” the gun with a gun stock, and you can still go shoot the gun while you wait for that process to complete.

The Sig MPX is well thought out, totally flexible and configurable for future upgrades. This is an investment firearm which is more than just a fun gun.

SEE FULL SPECIFICATIONS HERE

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.]