Recommendations, Rules, and Essential Skills For All New Shooters, Part 1

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Team Springfield Armory’s Kippi Leatham shares her firearms education experiences. There’s a lot here to learn! KEEP READING

kippi leatham

SOURCE: Team Springfield, Kippi Leatham

I wasn’t introduced to firearms until I was 23 years young. But even as a new shooter, I always viewed my pistol as another tool in my toolbox of life skills. It’s a piece of equipment, like my 9 iron, that I want to have the utmost ability and confidence with when it comes to taking that shot, whether onto the green of the first hole or to knock down that 25-yard steel pepper popper during an IPSC World Championship.

Learning to shoot pistols and getting into competitions completely changed my life for the better.

Dedicating an enormous number of my adult years trying to master proper shooting techniques in combination with speed and accuracy has been a challenge and a thrill with highs, some lows and wonderful opportunities for travel and life-long friendships. And, as another bonus, I’ve also learned a skill that could one day save my life, Heaven forbid the need ever arises.

Making the decision to enter the world of firearm ownership and learning how to shoot, whether as a hobby, for hunting or home or self-defense, should not be taken lightly, as it comes with huge responsibility and a commitment requirement. To quote the great Jeff Cooper, “Owning a handgun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.”

As with any new hobby, craft or martial art, there are rules and essential skills every new shooter must learn. Let’s start with the most important aspect – safety.

SAFETY FIRST
Learn the universal firearm safety rules. And make a commitment to follow them from this day forward:

Treat all firearms as if loaded.

Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction — never point the muzzle at anything you don’t intend to destroy.

Keep your finger off of the trigger and out of the trigger guard until pointed at the target and you have made the decision to shoot.

Know your target, what’s beyond your target and what is in the line of sight.

Always securely store your firearms, keeping them inaccessible to children and other unauthorized users.

GET PROFESSIONAL HELP
I have worked with hundreds upon hundreds of new shooters over the past decade and have witnessed first-hand the challenges that newbies face. Which is why I highly recommend that first-time shooters take a class from a competent fellow shooter or professional firearms instructor as their first step.

There is so much to learn and a lot to actively think about, and the process can be downright overwhelming. So get a recommendation for a good instructor or Google “pistol classes” or “firearms instruction” to get your journey started. (Just try to avoid those Groupon deals with the picture of the woman with the low-cut shirt and improper grip.)

LEGAL UP
The legalities that accompany owning a firearm are complex, are constantly changing and vary by state. As a firearm owner, it is your responsibility to know the laws regarding purchasing, selling, possession, usage, licensing, carrying, self-defense, etc., that are in effect federally, locally (where you reside) and where you travel with your firearm.

A few good resources include:

NRA Gun Laws Map
NRA’s Citizen’s Guide to Federal Firearms Laws
Handgun Laws Website

MASTER THE LINGO
Before you attend your first class, take time to understand the terminology as it relates to your pistol and peripherals. Learning to shoot is a process, and part of the process is learning the nomenclature. You can reference your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website if you’re not already familiar with the proper terminology.

OPERATION
It’s also extremely important to understand how your semi-automatic pistol operates:

How to properly load and safe/decock it (if applicable)

How to properly unload it and check that it is empty

Next time, experiences and wisdom about getting to the shooting itself.

 

RELOADERS CORNER: Seating Depth Issues

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Don’t take anything for granted! Safety and suitability are both at risk if you don’t take time to analyze and act on this important topic. READ MORE

land illustration

Glen Zediker

As said often, it’s sometimes recent experience that leads to my Reloaders Corner topics. Whether it’s a question I’ve been asked, usually, or, in this case, a malfunction I’ve had, those things are fresh in my mind. I hope to believe, and have to believe, that any such topics aren’t only a question for them, or for me.

That brings us to bullet seating depths, which really means overall cartridge length, using some particular bullet.

Usually, when we’re loading for a rifle with a box magazine, either bolt-action or semi-auto, the cartridge overall length — that’s measured from the base of the case to the tip of the bullet — defines and determines the maximum length. Usually.

What ultimately determines the cartridge overall length maximum, though, is really the first point of contact that the bullet makes (will make) with the rifling or lands ahead of the chamber throat. That space, and therefore overall round length, has a whopping lot to do with the chamber reamer specs, and also the reamer operator’s judgment in some cases, but we need to know.

It also can have a whopping lot to do with the bullet! And that’s what the most of this next is all about.

So here’s the lesson to learn, and, for me, to relearn: Do not assume that if the round fits into the magazine it will be fine. I will, at the least, freely admit to my mistakes because, one, I dang sho should know better, and, two, if I know better and still don’t do better confession is my punishment. Well, not really, but it’s always a wake-up call.

Different bullets have different profiles, different ogive architectures. The ogive is the “curve” beyond the last point up the bullet that’s caliber diameter (meaning full diameter) ending at the bullet tip. My slang but descriptive term for this is “nosecone.” Tracing up this curve, some point will be equal to land diameter. So where this point is on the seated bullet and where this point is ahead of it in the chamber matters a lot.

Unless it’s done as a deliberate tactic, there needs to be some space, some distance between the land diameter point on the bullet nosecone and the lands. The amount of that distance is referred to as “jump,” because that’s descriptive. It’s the gap the bullet has to cross through to engage into the rifling. Usually the closer the better, and that “tactic” used often by precision shooters (mostly long-range and Benchrest competitors) is to purposely seat the bullet so it’s touching the lands. That’s done in the belief that if there’s no jump, then there’s no ill effects from jump. It’s very often right, and I’ve proven that to myself many a time. It’s not always right, but then if it was this all would be too easy.

The reason there needs to be some space is because when a bullet goes from just off to just on the lands, pressure jumps. It’s a “spike,” not a surge, but it’s enough to put a load that’s nearing the edge over the edge. In something like a .223 Rem. it’s about a half-grain-worth of propellant.

hornady 52
Here’s one I messed up with. The ogive or nosecone profile on this bullet is much “higher” than normal for a match bullet of this weight and it encountered the lands at a much shorter overall length than any others I had used. I learned the hard way, even though I already knew better.

So. Here’s the lesson I learned again, but this one wasn’t my fault! Honest! Several years ago, however, here’s one that was my fault: new (to me) match bullet, a short 52-gr. I wanted to try for reduced-course NRA High Power Rifle events. Rifle had a Wylde .223 Rem. chamber. A Wylde has a throat length between a 5.56 NATO and a SAAMI-spec. .223 Rem. That means the throat is fairly much more generous than commercial .223 Rem. specs. The maximum cartridge overall length in an AR15 box magazine is 2.260 inches, and I go 2.255 for a margin. I checked some industry manual data for this bullet and did notice that the overall cartridge length listed in the data spec table was a good deal shorter than that. I quickly did some “math” but without numbers (so it wasn’t really math) and decided that since I had a longer chamber I’d ignore that and just seat the bullets to 2.255. Blew primers right and left.

Back home and gage in hand and, dang, they weren’t kidding! I was about 0.020 into the lands at that cartridge length. That’s a honking lot. That’s also ultimately dangerous because of the free-floating firing pin tapping off the primer when a round is loaded into an AR15. A bullet that’s getting jammed into the lands is greatly more resistant to chambering freely and fully.

I humbly learned my lesson.

Get a gage and use it! The best out there is the Hornady LNL Overall Length gage. This tool lets you very easily find the overall round length that touches the lands with your bullet in your barrel. Very valuable, that.

lnl oal gages
A Hornady LNL OAL Gage will show right quick like and in a hurry with the seating depth that touches the lands is with your bullet in your gun. Valuable!

Use it in conjunction with its companion “bullet length comparator” insert for the very best precision. That tool measures a bullet at a point on its ogive that (usually) corresponds closely with land diameter. It won’t be perfectly the same, but it doesn’t have to be. What matters is that it gives a more accurate figure. Avoiding the bullet tip in a measurement eliminates that (guaranteed, by the way) inconsistency in accurate measurement because of bullet tip variations.

LNL comparator
A “comparator,” like this one from Hornady’s LNL line, is a much more accurate way to measure seating depth because the bullet tip doesn’t get involved. I like the curved one: easier and more accurate by my experience.

Now. To the recent experience: It was with a .300 Blackout (AAC) subsonic. I did not have the means to gauge this using my tools (then, but I do now). However, that wouldn’t have mattered in this case, and why is next.

Tested a factory load. Liked it. Noticed nothing unusual. Functioned perfectly, shot well. Brought it home and filled a magazine, loaded one in the chamber, and set it aside. Folks, just so you don’t think I’m irresponsible, that gun is what I keep at the ready for home-defense. So, my son, who had gone in to unload and then dry-fire the gun, came up and said, “Dad. The bolt won’t open.” Dang. It wouldn’t. I started thinking up all reasons that might be behind that. The bolt carrier would retract a little way, which was the limit of usual “play” in the bolt travel inside it, so I didn’t think anything was broken. To remove the round I pulled off the upper, took it to the shop, and pried back the bolt carrier from the underside. A couple of careful but firm enough strokes and it opened.

The bullet had really jammed into the lands! I mean really jammed. Extracting the round and looking at it, land impressions were clear, and measuring the extracted round showed it was 0.022 longer than the new, un-chambered round. Unseating the jammed round pulled the bullet that far out from the case neck.

I manually inserted another round of the same into the chamber and gave it a nudge-in with my finger, and, sure enough, there it sat not nearly fully into the chamber. Had to tap it back out.

jammed bullet
Here’s the “stuck” round, right, talked over in the article. Land impression is pretty clear, and pretty deep. Notice also that the bullet got pulled out a might upon finally opening the action. On left is the same round out of the same box that was pushed into the chamber; land marks also, just a lot lower!

So. Since it’s a factory load, I really couldn’t have had a clue that it wasn’t compatible with my chamber throat. But now I do. And, for a clue, do that same yourself. If the round won’t drop in and out of a chamber fully and easily, that might be a problem. I still don’t know what the actual measured amount of the excessive length might have been. To find that I’d have to get a box of those bullets and gauge them using the LNL tools. I’m not going to do that. I’ve chosen another load that’s no-issues.

I say “might be” because, again these rounds functioned well, but, also, well, that can’t be good…

I suppose I will now need to start handloading for that contraption. I have also written down 100 times: “I will always check the chamber throat, even if it’s not a long-range rifle…”

Find gages at Midsouth HERE and HERE

The preceding is a specially-adapted excerpt from Glen’s book Top-Grade Ammo. Available HERE at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Visit ZedikerPublishing.com for more information on the book itself, and also free article downloads.

REVIEW: Zenith MKE Z-5RS: An MP5 for the Masses

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One of the world’s most iconic firearms, here’s your chance to own an “MP5” but without taking out a second mortgage. READ MORE

anti terrorist mp5

Robert Sadowski

If there is one weapon that is on nearly every tactical shooter’s bucket list, it is the MP5. For most, spending quality trigger time with a MP5 was out of the question — until now. Zenith makes the MP5 delayed roller lock experience attainable.

Don’t call the Zenith MKE Z-5RS a wannabe MP5. The Zenith is a licensed version of the iconic Heckler & Koch MP5. A literal clone. Zenith Firearm in Afton, Virginia imports a number of H&K-licensed models from MKE (Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation) of Turkey.

The Z-5RS is a semi-automatic version of the H&K MP5A1 and uses a delayed roller lock action similar to the H&K G3 and PTR-91 7.62mm NATO rifles. This mechanism is decidedly simple. Using a bolt head with rollers and a bolt carrier, expanding gases from a fired round produce rearward pressure on the bolt head. Some of this rearward pressure is transferred to the rollers on the bolt head which cam against the tapered bolt carrier extension. This results in the bolt carrier moving rearward faster and delaying the movement of the bolt head.

mp5

mp5

The advantage of a delayed roller lock action is the simplicity of the design and ease of manufacture. Compared to true gas or recoil operated mechanisms, the delayed roller lock action is easier to build and utterly reliable. And popular! According to H&K some 100 MP5 variants have been built. Full auto versions are probably the most widely used submachine in use today.

Military and law enforcement in some 40 countries still use the weapon.

shooting mp5

The Z-5RS comes in a hard case with 3 30-round magazines, a 3-point sling, extra takedown pins (they are easy to lose), and cleaning kit. Like the MP5, it is constructed with a welded, stamped sheet-steel receiver. The fit and finish of the Z-5RS is well executed, with an all-business matte black finish.

The barrel measures 8.9 inches, and the muzzle is threaded 1/2-28. The sights are characteristic H&K with a rear sight consisting of a drum that adjusts for windage and elevation. The front sight is a protected post.

Working the cocking handle, I found the action slick and smooth. The cocking handle is non-reciprocating and located above the handguard and protrudes from the cocking handle tube at approximately a 45-degree angle on the left side of the gun. The fire control group is housed in a polymer lower receiver. The safety selector is large paddle easily operated for a right-handed shooter. Pull a few pins, and the Z-5RS breaks down into 6 components including the magazine.

With a weight of 5.5 pounds and an overall length of 17.9 inches, the Zenith requires a firm hold. When firing a pistol such as this, I prefer to use a one-point sling to brace the pistol. With the sling, I can push the pistol forward toward the target and use the sling as a brace to steady the weapon.

I ran three brands of ammo with three different bullet weights: SIG V-Crown 115-grain JHPs, Aguila 124-grain FMJs, and Atlanta Arms 147-grain FMJs. The Zenith chewed through everything I fed it. Working the gun sideways and upside down did not interfere with function.

At 10 yards, I was able to produce 5-shot groups averaging about 1 inch. Moving to 25 yards, I averaged less than 2 inches. Zenith also has one of those evil arm braces as an optional accessory. Think of the Z-5RS in the same way you would use an AR pistol for home defense, except a lot less muzzle blast and recoil.

If you have always had an itch for an MP5, the civilian-legal Zenith Z-5RS is affordable choice. So now you can check that off your bucket list!

There are different model variations available, and MSRP hovers around $2000 all of them. See them all HERE.

mp5 photo

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) Pushes May-Issue Federal Firearm Owner Licensing and Gun Confiscation

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He’s just all over the news… Here’s his “plan.” READ MORE

cory booker

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

On Monday, in an obvious and desperate attempt to garner attention in an overcrowded 2020 Democratic presidential field, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) threw long-cultivated anti-gun strategy and messaging to the wind and further exposed the gun control endgame when he released his “Plan To End the Gun Violence Epidemic.” The document is a slapdash gun control advocate wish list, at the core of which is a plan to create a may-issue federal gun owner licensing scheme and confiscate millions of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms.

As intended, Booker’s senseless gun control declaration garnered the serial grandstander modest media attention. Elaborating on his anti-gun agenda during an interview with CNN, Booker made clear his intent to imprison those who do not comply with his confiscation plan. Anchor Poppy Harlow asked the senator,

Your competitor in the 2020 race… has also, like you, proposed an assault weapons ban, but he’s proposing a buyback program. Where Americans that currently have those guns could sell them essentially to the government. But if they don’t within a certain period of time they would be prosecuted, so subject to be thrown in jail perhaps. Are you supportive of the same measure?

At first Booker equivocated, but Harlow continued to press the candidate, reiterating, “Would you prosecute people? Do you support the government buying them back, and if not, potentially people could go to jail if they don’t want to sell them back; yes or no?” While failing to directly acknowledge the logical penal consequences of his proposal, Booker responded to Harlow’s question by stating, “We should have a law that bans these weapons and we should have a reasonable period in which people can turn in these weapons.”

Booker’s proposal does not provide a definition of “assault weapon,” so it is unclear the exact firearms that would be implicated under his plan. However, given that Booker is a cosponsor of S.66, Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) “Assault Weapons Ban of 2019,” it can be deduced that the senator from New Jersey seeks to prohibit an even larger category of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms than Bill Clinton’s 1994 ban.

For a candidate that has made criminal justice reform a focal point of his campaign, Booker’s indifference to the incarceration of nonviolent and otherwise law-abiding gun owners makes clear that his compassion does not extend to those who defy his political sensibilities. And there is ample evidence that many would defy Booker’s preferred policies.

Enacted in 2013, the New York SAFE Act required owners of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms to register their guns with the state. An estimated 1-1.2 million firearms were implicated under the measure. Data released in 2015 revealed that 23,847 people had registered a total of 44,485 guns.

A 2013 Connecticut measure required gun owners to register certain configurations of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms and individual magazines that could hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. According to a 2011 report, there were an estimated 2.4 million such magazines in the state. Gun owners had registered 38,290 magazines at the registration deadline.

Booker need only to look at his home state of New Jersey to understand the folly of his proposal. An April 17, 1992 New York Times article, “Owners of Assault Guns Slow to Obey Law,” noted, “In New Jersey, which enacted an assault weapon ban in 1990, 2,000 weapons have been surrendered, made inoperable or registered as collectors’ items, according to the State Police. The state Attorney General’s office estimates that there are between 20,000 and 50,000 assault weapons in New Jersey.”

Aside from the impracticality and hypocrisy of Booker’s proposal, it would also be ineffective and unconstitutional. A congressionally-mandated study of the 1994 semi-automatic ban determined that “the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement,” in part because, “[assault weapons] and [large capacity magazines] were used in only a minority of gun crimes prior to the 1994 federal ban.” In joining Justice Clarence Thomas in a dissent from a denial of certiorari in Friedman v. Highland Park, which concerned a local ban on commonly-owned semi-automatics, Justice Antonin Scalia made clear that existing Supreme Court precedent (which he authored in District of Columbia v. Heller) precluded bans on such firearms. In the dissent, Justice Thomas explained that “several Courts of Appeals… have upheld categorical bans on firearms that millions of Americans commonly own for lawful purposes,” which he noted was “noncompliance with our Second Amendment precedents.”

The other core aspect of Booker’s gun control agenda is federal firearm owner licensing, which he likens to a driver’s license, complete with a firearms version of the DMV. Such a license would be required to merely own a firearm.

Americans should not be required to obtain a license that serves as a prior restraint on the exercise of a constitutional right. That aside, this lazy analogy is flawed.

Constitutional scholar and UCLA School of Law Professor Eugene Volokh has pointed out on multiple occasions what treating firearm ownership like car ownership would mean in practice. In a 2014 piece for WashingtonPost.com, Volokh explained,

Cars are basically regulated as follows (I rely below on California law, but to my knowledge the rules are similar throughout the country):

(1) No federal licensing or registration of car owners.

(2) Any person may use a car on his own private property without any license or registration. See, e.g., California Vehicle Code §§ 360, 12500 (driver’s license required for driving on “highways,” defined as places that are “publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel”); California Vehicle Code § 4000 (same as to registration).

(3) Any adult –and in most states, 16- and 17-year-olds, as well –may get a license to use a car in public places by passing a fairly simple test that virtually everyone can pass.

(4) You can lose your license for proved misuse of the car, but not for most other misconduct; and even if you lose your driver’s license, you can usually regain it some time later.

(5) Your license from one state is good throughout the country.

Now I suspect that many gun control advocates would in reality prefer a much more onerous system of regulations for guns than for cars.

Booker’s proposal proves Volokh’s suspicion correct.

Like all of his gun control proposals, Booker’s description of the licensing scheme is short on details. However, The New York Times reported that under Booker’s proposal, the application process would include “sitting for an interview.” The only reason to subject an applicant to an interview is to inject subjective criteria into the licensing process. Under such a scheme, a person’s ability to exercise their constitutional right would be at the discretion of federal government functionary and whatever prejudices they may hold.

Perhaps unbeknownst to Booker, over the last three decades the vast majority of states have removed subjective criteria and government discretion from their concealed carry licensing procedures. In some jurisdictions, such discretion had been, and still is, used to deny residents’ right to bear arms outside the home wholesale. In other jurisdictions that discretion has fostered corruption and been abused to limit the Right-to-Carry to the rich or well-connected.

All current polling and prediction market data suggest that that Booker is not a serious candidate for president. However, unlike even more vacuous candidates, Booker does possess significant political power as the junior senator from New Jersey.

While his flagrant hostility to gun owners may be intemperate and imprudent, Booker’s proposal does serve to show the radical confiscatory aims of the gun control movement. Moreover, it should be a warning to gun owners that these fringe ideas have well-positioned backers within the corridors of power.

 

Frank Miniter: Student Walkout at Colorado Shooting Vigil is a Good Sign

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Politicians attending a vigil in Colorado to push their agendas got the shock of their lives. READ MORE

school walkout

SOURCE: FOX News, Frank Miniter

The very public scene of hundreds of Colorado students and their parents walking out of a vigil that was turned into political theater by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence was so embarrassing that the gun control group actually issued an apology.

Before leaving the Wednesday night event, students shouted, in front of journalists who the Brady Campaign invited: “this is not for us,” “political stunt,” and “we are people, not a statement.”

The Brady Campaign had portrayed the event as a vigil in memory of Kendrick Castillo, a student hero who died from gunshot wounds after he and two other students charged one of the attackers Tuesday at the Highlands Ranch STEM School in Colorado.

VIDEO

Eight other students were injured in the shooting. Two students were arrested and accused of the attack.

Instead of putting together an event to bring people together to mourn, the gun control group brought in activists and Colorado politicians — Democratic presidential contender U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and Democratic U.S. Rep. Jason Crow — to push a one-sided political agenda.

The speakers said they weren’t there to just offer thoughts and prayers, but that they instead were there to push for more restrictions on the right to bear arms.

We saw this with events after the shooting at Parkland High School in Florida. The events, including a CNN town hall, weren’t open forums or vigils. They were orchestrated propaganda designed to push a political cause.

Law-abiding gun owners enjoy shooting competitions, hunting or simply want to defend themselves and their loved ones. They should not be blamed for the evil actions of criminals and those with serious mental health problems.

The CNN event even featured then-Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. He vociferously stuck to the gun control narrative. He should have known – and we would all soon find out — that a school resource officer stayed outside during the attack. President Trump later called the officer a “coward.”

Turning grieving students into props for an agenda has become what these gun control groups and the mainstream media do after shootings. This has become so choreographed that the Brady Campaign was caught flat-footed when hundreds of students and their parents wouldn’t be extras in the production.

This is an important moment because it signals that a less ideological time is coming.

Groups like the Brady Campaign and the politicians who agree with them have been treating legal gun ownership as a problem that needs to be solved. They are blaming law-abiding gun owners for the actions of criminals as a way to impose more controls on the citizenry.

This political treatment of an important issue has made it difficult to even have an intelligent discussion about the problem.

How can an open and honest dialogue be possible when the mainstream media and so many Democrats prefer to blame America’s 100-million-plus gun owners?

Law-abiding gun owners enjoy shooting competitions, hunting or simply want to defend themselves and their loved ones. They should not be blamed for the evil actions of criminals and those with serious mental health problems.

Guns have been commonly owned by Americans since before the beginning of our republic, but school shootings are a modern trend. Yet they are not new.

The most deadly attack on a school actually occurred in 1927 in Bath, Mich., when a trustee from a local school board detonated 600 pounds of dynamite he placed inside the Bath Consolidated School.

Andrew Kehoe killed 44 people, including 38 elementary school children and his wife. He then committed suicide by detonating a final explosion in his truck that also killed another three adults and a child.

There is a lot of evidence, however, that some things have changed.

There is certainly a mental health crisis growing in our youth in America. Suicide rates among the young, especially those between 15 and 24, have climbed rapidly in recent years. Levels of anxiety and depression among young people are also up.

The reasons for this growing epidemic are numerous and many researchers are studying the problem. But it is clear that if we honestly target the actual problem things can be done.

Often, after a murderer strikes a school or another so-called “gun-free zone,” we find that the person responsible was calling out for help. Parents try, but they too often can’t find enough resources.

The bureaucracy has also failed us again and again. Too often the killers weren’t stopped before they acted, even though many people reported them to the proper authorities.

Various federal, state and local agencies have also too often failed to give the names of people prohibited from owning firearms to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), so these people can at least be stopped from legally buying a gun.

Political differences aside, imagine if the media actually treated gun rights groups honestly. The National Rifle Association (full disclosure, I write a weekly gun rights column for the NRA) has the School Shield program that sends teams of experts to schools to help them create safer environments.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for firearms manufacturers, has lobbied for FixNICS and many other initiatives to keep guns out of the hands of those who are prohibited from owning them.

Instead of demonizing these groups, imagine if the mainstream media were willing to be more factual and nuanced in their reporting. Solutions would become much clearer in such a climate.

The students who boldly walked out en masse as they chanted “mental health, mental health” from what shouldn’t have been a political event did shock the mainstream media into actually reporting on the story. That’s a big step toward finding honest solutions to a horrifying problem.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY FRANK MINITER 

Does Shannon Watts Want a Ban on all Centerfire Rifle Ammunition?

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NRA asked a simple, straight question — and got no answer. Read about what’s behind this HERE

shannon watts

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Shannon Watts has developed her persona as a “full-time volunteer” who wants nothing more than to bring “common sense gun laws” to this country. However, she once again reminded gun owners of her true agenda with a recent tweet. We are used to individuals misrepresenting our message to push their own political agendas, but, in this case, we thought it necessary to correct the record.

In an attempt to attack an NRA-ILA article, Watts tweeted: “They’re proud of this? ‘In response to claims that ‘armor piercing ammunition’ could penetrate police body armor, … the @NRA stepped up, once again, and performance-based ammunition bans have been repeatedly defeated at the federal level.’”

We responded by pointing out “that all centerfire rifle ammunition pierces soft body armor” and asked Watts if she wanted “to ban all rifle ammunition used for self-defense, sport, and hunting?” If she had done a bit of research Watts would have discovered that NRA wasn’t alone in our opposition to “performance-based ammunition bans,” even ATF opposed the same legislation. In congressional hearings in 1982 and 1984, Department of the Treasury (where ATF was then located) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement, Robert Powis, testified against the same bills that NRA opposed.

Instead of answering a simple yes or no question Watts took it upon herself to delete a large number of comments on her instagram account from individuals who just wanted a simple answer. After disabling her comments we decided to pose the question again, “Do you want to ban all rifle ammunition used for self-defense, sport, and hunting?”

Naturally, the question was not answered. Instead Watts decided to declare to her followers that “I couldn’t be more thrilled that they’re [@NRA] terrified of a middle aged mom.” Falsely claiming that the NRA encouraged its followers to threaten her. While we certainly don’t condone making threats, we do think that someone who attacked us for our policy position should at least answer a simple question about that policy.

If she had done a bit of research Watts would have discovered that NRA wasn’t alone in our opposition to “performance-based ammunition bans,” even ATF opposed the same legislation. In congressional hearings in 1982 and 1984, Department of the Treasury (where ATF was then located) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement, Robert Powis, testified against the same bills that NRA opposed.

We’re not so sure that Watts didn’t already understand why we opposed these ammunition bans. In her tweet, the ellipsis just happened to remove the sentence where we identified the main problem with the bans: “Had they succeeded, all centerfire rifle ammunition would have been banned.”

This isn’t the first time Watts has let slip a position that even the most ardent gun control supporters would struggle to characterize as “reasonable.” Just last year, Watts was appalled that an 18 year old could purchase a .22 bolt-action rifle because it looked scary. As we noted at the time, focusing your gun control agenda on a bolt-action rimfire because it looks scary is “a pretty sorry showing for someone whose only claim to fame is imperiously hectoring the rest of the country on the evils of guns and gun owners and pushing prohibitory firearm policies and laws.”

To answer your question Shannon, yes, we are proud of our defense of rifle ammunition that millions of law-abiding gun owners use every year for self-defense, hunting, and target shooting.

Now, will you answer our question?

 

Kamala Harris Says She’ll Ban Imports of all AR-15-Style Assault Weapons if Congress Doesn’t Act

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Harris: I’ll give Congress 100 days to pass gun laws… READ MORE

kamala harris

SOURCE: CNN, by Kyung Lah

Sen. Kamala Harris on Wednesday announced that, if she is elected president, she will ban the importation of all AR-15 style assault weapons by executive action if Congress fails to act in the first 100 days of her administration.

Harris made the announcement at a campaign stop in New Hampshire. “Assault weapons are designed to kill a lot of people in a very short period of time,” Harris said.

“I think that this has got to be something that is understood, that we cannot any longer afford to allow people to make this a partisan issue,” Harris added. “Those guns, those assault weapons, do not discriminate and determine, ‘OK, is the person pointing it at, is it a Democrat or Republican.’ “

Harris’ proposal is the latest in a series of gun-related executive actions she has promised to take if she wins the Democratic nomination and defeats Donald Trump in 2020. Previously, Harris had said she’d use presidential executive action to mandate near-universal background checks, revoke licenses of gun dealers who break the law, limit fugitives with outstanding arrest warrants from buying guns and close the so-called “boyfriend loophole.”

Harris’ new proposal “would ban AR-15-style assault weapon imports because they are not ‘suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.’ Additionally, the Harris proposal would have the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives suspend all assault weapons imports until the agency studies and determines admissibility under the “sporting purpose” test, said the Harris official.

SEE the video HERE

Florida Alert! Governor DeSantis has SIGNED SB-7030

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Teachers in Florida will now be allowed to go through training and carry firearms on school campuses. READ MORE

florida legislature

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB-7030 within hours after receiving it. SB-7030 contains the language that authorizes local school boards to allow classroom teachers to go through training and carry firearms on school campuses.

News reports suggested that “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America” and another Bloomberg group, “Students Demand Action for Gun Sense in America,” were apparently pushing on Governor DeSantis to veto SB-7070 — the wrong bill.

According to News Service Florida, the “Demand” groups delivered a stack of signatures to the Governor’s office urging the Governor to veto a bill that would arm classroom teachers. It further reported that a DeSantis employee was asked by the group to tell the Governor to veto SB-7070 because it expanded the “guardian” program. THAT’S THE WRONG BILL!

Not only is their anti-gun reasoning flawed, their legislative information is wrong. SB-7070 is the K-12 Education Bill.

We are pleased that Governor DeSantis signed SB-7030.

When seconds matter, law enforcement is often minutes away. That’s why the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Commission, Chaired by Sheriff Bob Gualtiere, recommended to the legislature that they pass legislation to allow classroom teachers to be armed.

BACKGROUND:

SB-7030 Implementation of Legislative Recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission – Requires sheriffs to establish a school guardian program; requires the Office of Safe Schools to annually provide training for specified personnel teachers; requires district school boards and school district superintendents to partner with security agencies to establish or assign safe-school officers; revises requirements for school district zero-tolerance policies; provides standards and training for classroom teachers who choose to go through training in order to be armed at school.

The vote in the House was 65 – 47 with five (5) Republicans voting AGAINST the bill. The five are all newly elected freshmen. They are: Vance Aloupis (R-Miami), Mike Beltran (R-Valrico), Mike Caruso (R-Boca Raton), Chip LaMarca (R-Lighthouse Point) and David Smith (R-Winter Springs).

The Senate vote was 22-17 with Sen. Anitere Flores voting against it (along with the Democrats).

For those who want to contact Governor DeSantis and thank him for signing the bill, his email address is below:

Ron.DeSantis@eog.myflorida.com

REVIEW: Ruger SR1911 Officers Style 9mm

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This is one of the fastest-handling 9mm 1911 pistols, yet it is also reliable and accurate. READ MORE

ruger officer model

Bob Campbell

A few years ago, Ruger introduced a well-made and nicely-finished Government Model 1911 .45 ACP. The SR1911 has earned a reputation as an excellent value for its modest price. But Ruger did not stop there.

A few years later, Ruger introduced a Commander version. The standard Commander type — as currently manufactured by more than one maker — features a 0.75-inch shorter barrel than the 5-inch Government Model. The 4.25-inch barrel uses a standard barrel bushing. The frame is the same size as the Government Model. This all-steel handgun handles well and clears leather faster than the Government Model.

ruger officer model
This is a formidable but lightweight and easy to carry 9mm.

The Lightweight (LW) Commander is a Commander length 1911 with an aluminum frame. This results in a considerable weight savings. A LW Commander weighs 28 ounces versus 40 ounces for the Government Model. Each of these variants uses a standard 7- or 8-round 1911 magazine.

ruger officer model
The Ruger proved to be controllable and accurate.

The Officer’s Style is an even shorter variant. This pistol features a 3.6 inch barrel and a shortened grip frame. The Officers Style is a truly compact 1911. Due to the short slide and differences in geometry, the barrel must tilt at a more severe angle. The result is the barrel bushing is eliminated and the barrel is a bull type that butts into the frame for lockup. This design often results in excellent accuracy.

The original Officer’s Model was developed for use by General Officers in the United States Army. Colt introduced commercial versions to compete with compact pistols such as the Star PD — an excellent design. Ruger’s offering, which they tagged “Officer’s Style,”  is chambered in 9mm Luger, banking on the immense popularity of the cartridge.

ruger officer model
The pistol handles well with a good natural point.

The new Officers Style 9mm SR1911 is an attractive handgun. The slide is satin finished nickel. The slide features Novak combat sights with a three-dot outline. The slide lock, safety, magazine release, and beavertail safety are finished in black. The cocking serrations are the same unique slanted style used with the Ruger Commander.

The bushingless barrel is well fitted to the slide. A reverse plug caps off the recoil spring. The pistol features a stylish stepped slide that looks similar to the Browning P35, but it isn’t quite as sharply shouldered. The pistol doesn’t have a firing pin block or drop safety. Instead, it relies on a lightweight titanium firing pin and extra power firing pin spring for drop safety.

ruger officer model
Rapid speed loads and tactical loads were no problem with the Ruger 9mm.

The frame is a dark gray hard anodized. The contrast with the slide is pleasing to the eye. The grips are among the best designed and feeling grips I have seen on a 1911. They are G10 material engraved with the Ruger logo. These thin grips allow the SR1911 Officers Model to maintain a low profile. I like the custom grade extended beavertail. This beavertail safety properly releases its hold on the trigger halfway into trigger compression.

The pistol is delivered with two, well-designed and well-finished magazines. Trigger compression is a crisp 5.0 pounds without any rough spots or creep and modest take-up.

ruger officer model
Winchester Ammunition provided the horsepower for this test.

During the initial work, I used a goodly amount of Winchester USA 115-grain FMJ ammunition. To test cycle reliability I also used the Winchester Defender 147-grain JHP loads. These loads have proven accurate and clean burning in a number of 9mm handguns. The Ruger 9mm was no exception.

I fired a box of each bullet weight without a single failure to feed, chamber, fire, or eject. There were no break-in malfunctions or short cycles. After this initial 150 rounds, I switched to the Winchester 124-grain PDX +P. This load demonstrates 1,200 fps in most pistols and just slightly less in the 3.6-inch barrel Officer’s Style.

ruger officer model
Winchester PDX +P loads provide excellent protection.

This load offers excellent ballistics. This is a credible loading with good expansion and penetration. I fired these loads in rapid fire and the Ruger 9mm proved controllable, with well-centered groups at 7, 10, and 15 yards.

I field stripped and cleaned the pistol after the initial 260 rounds. There were no signs of eccentric wear. I returned to the range a few days later. To broaden the test I added a number of handloads using hard cast lead bullets. If the pistol isn’t reliable with cast lead bullets it may not have a place in my scheme of things. I also fired a number of Winchester’s 115-grain Silvertip, a popular load. I accuracy testing firing from a solid bench rest at 15 yards (in deference to the Ruger’s short barrel and sight radius). Accuracy was excellent as noted in the table below.

5-shot groups | 3-group average | 15 yards
Winchester 115-grain FMJ                       2.0 inches
Winchester 124-grain PDX +P                1.7 inches
Winchester Silvertip 115-grain JHP    1.8 inches

The 9mm 1911 Officer’s Style pistol makes a lot of sense. This is a reliable, accurate, and controllable handgun. It is light enough for constant carry but heavy enough to control recoil. It rides close to the body but maintains a good firing grip.

ruger officer model
The Officers Style is often carried in this Jeffrey Custom Leather EZ carry holster. Quality is excellent.

I have carried my example with the Jeffrey Custom Leather EZ Carry for some weeks. This holster is a great inside the waistband holster but also offers the option of carrying the holster between the belt and the trousers. It is rigid enough for such use. This is a good kit, and the Ruger Officers Style is among the best carry guns to cross my desk in some time.

ruger specs

See more HERE

 

RELOADERS CORNER: Case Trimmers

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An ideal case trimmer provides precision, speed, and affordability. Here are some ideas on avoiding compromise. READ MORE

Hornady Cam-Lok
Hornady Cam-Lock. Good trimmer at a fair price. See it HERE

Glen Zediker

At some point, or points, cases need to be trimmed to a shorter length. Brass flows. Therefore, a case trimmer is pretty much a given in the tool assortment for any handloader.

There are needs and wants, realities and ideals. That’s true with many things, and applies often to reloading equipment. Ideally, a case trimmer will go beyond just trimming the case to a shorter length. They all do that well enough. I think it’s important that a case has a square mouth — dead flat across the top. This is an asset to getting a bullet started well into the case neck during the seating operation.

A Good Trimmer
There are a variety of trimmers available from most of the popular industry tooling suppliers. And most follow a pretty similar form and formula: a little hand-cranked lathe. In these, the back end of the case is chucked into a collet-type fitting. A caliber-size pilot that’s centered in and surrounded by a cutting head goes into the case neck and supports the front of the case.

Not nearly perfect! There are a few reasons and sources for reduced precision. The tool alignment may be true at each “end” of the trimmer, but the case we’re working with probably isn’t true. Mostly, since there has to be a gap for the pilot to freely rotate, and since case neck walls aren’t all consistent in thickness, the fit isn’t close enough to prevent out-of-round rotation. Along with the inevitable case body warp there’s bound to be a tad amount of wiggle. Since the case is supported only at its head area, not by its body, there’s flex afoot.

None of that means the case neck won’t get trimmed to a shorter length, which is the general idea. It does, however, mean that it’s not liable to be perfectly squared up.

LE Wilson
LE Wilson. See it HERE at Midsouth.

A Better Trimmer
I rarely just overtly recommend one tool over all the others, but after a good many years working with case trimmers, I can and will tell you that the LE Wilson design is the best I’ve yet tried. I guess, yes, that is just opinion, but it’s really not.

The difference in this trimmer design is that the case is supported within a sleeve by its body. There’s no polarized suspension front and back. Mostly, there’s no pilot. The cutter on an LE Wilson faces off the front of the case squarely. The sleeve holding the case sit atop a pair of rails and the whole arrangement excludes case condition from the process.

le wilson sleeve
Tap it in… Then tap it out…

le wilson sleeve

So why doesn’t everyone use one? Honestly, I’m not entirely sure. It is a different arrangement, and it’s not cheap, especially not if you accessorize the fool out of it with a stand, a clamping device, and a micrometer. It’s not more than the other higher-end manual trimmers though.

It’s also fast! There’s no clamp-twisting to get the next case in place, and back out again. The sleeves are slightly tapered inside so the case is tapped in and then tapped out. With a little experience it’s amazingly quick to get through your block full of brass.

Flexibility
Virtually all case trimmers can provide additional utility, do different jobs. The cutter can be replaced with a reamer, and some can get reworked into outside case neck turners.

My choice is usually a stand-alone station, and that’s mostly because it’s pretty tedious refitting the appliances. I am, or at least have become, lazy.

forster case trimmer
Forster. This is a good choice especially for those who want to make a multi-purpose tool out of their base unit. There’s a big collection of add-ons that let work over primer pockets, turn case necks, ream case necks, and even hollow-point bullets. Its precision is better than most.
forster accessories
A a few of the things that can go on a Forster. Very versatile tool!

As with all said about alignment for case length trimming, that is also all the same for using a trimmer for other chores. And, yes, I still think the LE Wilson works best as a reamer, for instance, and that is because all the alignment precision is built into the tool itself; the case doesn’t play a role.

About options, by all means fit up a “combo-head” if it’s available that will finish the trim with a nice inside/outside chamfer/deburr. Big time saver. These can be a trick to get set just right, but it sure saves time.

Power
It sure is nice to get a break from the crank! There are, though, as I see it, two kinds of power case trimmers. Those that replace the hand crank with an electric motor and those that are designed from the start to be powered.

Some trimmers offer a means to add your own power source, like an electric screwdriver or drill.

Gracey Match Prep
Gracey Match Prep. Pretty much a big motor! It’s intimidating on first use, but just push the case in and it gets trimmed (and chamfered). It’s way quick in use and produces precise results.

My favorite proprietary power trimmer is a Gracey “Match Prep.” Designed by the late Doyle Gracey as a fast and easy way to trim huge quantities of Lake City brass for NRA High Power Rilfe shooters, it’s a serious machine. It works like a gigantic electric pencil sharpener, at least in spirit. Pick up a case and push it forward into a collar and it’s trimmed and squarely faced. No clamps or sleeves. The case shoulder stops against the inside of the collar, so it’s imperative that all cases are resized prior to use. As said last time, though, that’s really the only time you’ll get consistent results with any trimmer.

gracey holder
A key to a Gracey’s speed is that the cases stop on the case shoulder: just push it it!

I don’t know how many cases I can trim in an hour because I’ve never spent an hour using a Gracey. I can easily do 100 in under 5 minutes.

Another very good power trimmer is the Giraud. Its essential means for and in operation are about the same as Gracey but it is a nicer package with more features. Gracey is pretty daggone simple. That’s not all bad. I’d say Giraud is the best, and its price does reflect that.

One Last
Again, it’s important to evaluate the overall condition of a batch of cases, related to how many uses they’ve had. Having grown a little longer isn’t likely to be the only thing that’s changed in a case that exceeds whatever limit you set for it.

And, speaking of, the “trim-to” length is usually 0.010 inches shorter than the maximum SAAMI-stated overall case dimension.

Next time we’ll look at tools used to treat the trimmed case necks and finish this task in fine style.

Check out some more options at Midsouth HERE

Gracey
Giraud

The preceding is a specially-adapted excerpt from Glen’s book Top-Grade Ammo. Available HERE at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Visit ZedikerPublishing.com for more information on the book itself, and also free article downloads.