RELOADERS CORNER: Press Tricks

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

There are a few tricks and treats, and traps, in reloading press designs and associated pieces-parts. Shellholder first. KEEP READING

shellholder tricks
I honestly have had my best luck with Lee brand. Lee is inexpensive but I’ve yet to have a bad one, or one that wouldn’t work on different press brands (and I’m not alone in this opinion; a famous Benchrest competitor gave me the “Lee tip”). SEE IT HERE

Glen Zediker

Last couple of editions started a “press primer,” and this one should finish it off, at least for now.

Shell Holder Options
A correctly dimensioned and well machined shell holder is absolutely necessary.

Small differences in individual shellholders, and certainly in different brands of shellholders, mean that a shellholder change makes it necessary to check case sizing and bullet seating results again. Adjustment will likely be required. If a shellholder is a little bit thicker or thinner such as will influence the cartridge case “height,” then that’s transferred to the end result as measured in, for instances, cartridge case headspace and bullet seating depth.

That is exploited by some who produce shellholders with varying heights. These come in a set and have incremental differences that allow you to move a case up or down by swapping the shellholder. If you load for different rifles using the same die, and if these rifles all have a different ideal cartridge case headspace, for instance, then there can be less compromise without having to use a different sizing die.

shellholder tricks
Redding offers shellholders with varying heights to allow for small effective changes in sizing. Handy, for instance, for someone who loads for more than one rifle and wants to use the same die. There are 5 holders, each with 0.002-in. height difference. SEE IT HERE

Not all shell holders are interchangeable! They’re supposed to be, generally, but I’ve purchased different brands for use in differently branded presses, and they won’t fit.

Shellholder Tricks
Speaking of fit, check over a new shellholder for burrs and make sure it fits fully and freely into its slot in the press ram. And, speaking of its slot in the press ram, I have long been a believer in getting rid of the “spring clip” virually all presses use to secure the shellholder in place. The spring clip sits the shellholder askew atop the ram.

This clip can be removed. I use an o-ring as can be found at a real hardware store to fit into the outside slot formerly occupied by the clip. The elastic o-ring keeps the shellholder from coming slap out, but also takes a little (to a lot) of getting used to because the shellholder is free to spin and shift. It no longer snaps satisfyingly and firmly into place.

shellholder tricks
I’ve shown this before but it (really) works well to improve alignment odds. Canning the shellholder retaining clip so the part can sit flush and move a little helps it all self-center. This is a 7/8 o.d. x 11/16 i.d. x 3/32 thick o-ring that suits most press rams.

This arrangement lets the shellholder fit flat-flush against the ram and, very important, allows some “wiggle room” to let the shellholder float so the cartridge case can seek its own center as it enters the die.

I am absolutely convinced that a floating shellholder is a big help toward attaining concentricity in a round.

All mating parts surfaces have to have a tolerance. Lower (closer gaps) is better, but it can’t get too low or the dang parts won’t fit together. The way I see it, the more room for movement the bigger trick it is to get everything in alignment, if we want to lock it all in-line. Shellholders are fairly loose all around: the shellholder has to fit into the press ram slot and then the case has to fit into the shellholder and these fits are fairly free. Attempts to lock a shellholder in place, frankly, are contrary to best alignment, with maybe one exception.

On the other end of this, and this qualifies as a press “trick,” Forster has its own take on shellholder design. The Co-Ax shellholder uses what amounts to clamping jaws that are engineered to take up the slack in each individual case and lock it in dead alignment with the press ram. I’ve used Forster long enough and made enough gage checks, and shot enough high-x cleans with the resulting rounds produced on this machine, to tell you that it it, indeed, works. Years ago I tried an aftermarket add-on version of this concept produced by Quietics, makers of the original “inertia” bullet puller. It’s still available. Like the Forster, the same setting will work with a variety of cartridge sizes and that was the main draw to this “universal” shellholder.

shellholder tricks

shellholder tricks
Forster uses a proprietary system that gets a case centered with the ram and keeps it securely centered during a die op. Their Co-Ax design is pretty much a clamping shellholder. SEE IT HERE

Keep the shellholder and its slot clean. As often said, running a separate decapping station keeps the majority of gritty gunk off the main press parts.

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

 

REVIEW: Rossi R92 Lever Action .45 Long Colt

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

This is among the best go anywhere solve any problem rifles. READ MORE

rossi r92 45
Short, handy, light and powerful the Rossi .45 Colt carbine has much to recommend.

Robert Campbell

For most of my life I have kept a lever action rifle handy for all around use. I have taken more game with the lever action than with any other type. During my time as a peace officer I kept a Winchester Model 94 .30-30 WCF lever action rifle in the trunk on more than one occasion. Such a rifle is capable of solving most of the problems encountered. I have the greatest respect for the AR 15 rifle and enjoy firing and using my .223 rifles. Few rifles are as versatile, accurate, and reliable as a good AR 15. Few rifles may be used for varmints and deer by simply changing loads- and then fired in a competitive match that weekend! I simply like the lever action and value its simplicity and ruggedness. I have seen lever actions in the hands of outdoorsmen, scouts and working cowboys that were beaten, battered, and even muddy. These things happen after a decade or two of use. But the rifles always work. When the likely profile is that you may need only a shot or two but that the rifle needs to hit hard, a powerful lever action rifle is a viable choice.

rossi r92 45
The Rossi carbine is available in several versions. This is a stainless steel version with the standard lever. For hard use this is probably the preferred version.
rossi r92 45
The lever action Rossi is also available with long barrels and even octagon barrels.

Recently I was in the market for a short handy lever action rifle. I did not seriously consider a Trapper model in .30-30 but sought out a pistol caliber carbine. There are many reasons for this choice. First, it is easier to find a range that allows pistol caliber carbines and this is a real consideration in many areas. Second, I am an enthusiastic handloader. As long as the brass holds out and I am able to obtain lead, primers and powder I will be shooting. I don’t hoard ammunition; I simply keep a reasonable supply. Ammunition is for practice, training, hunting and personal defense. My retirement portfolio contains other choices! While I like the pistol caliber carbine I am not sold on the carbine and handgun combination. When carrying the Rossi lever action rifle I am as likely to be carrying a .357 Magnum revolver as a .45, and more likely to carry my everyday 1911 .45 automatic. A long gun and a handgun are for different duties and compromise is evident.

rossi r92 45
While the combination of a revolver and rifle chambered for the same cartridge has some merit the author feels that they are a compromise and chooses his long and short guns on their own merits.

The lever action carbine slips behind the seat of a truck easily. It is flat, light, and may be made ready by quickly working the lever action. Once ready it may be made safe by simply lowering the hammer. Accuracy isn’t the long suit of the short pistol caliber carbine but it is accurate enough for most chores to 100 yards. Versatility is the long suit. It is a bonus that a good example isn’t expensive. I somehow found myself in the possession of Winchester 95 and Savage 99 high power rifles and a good Henry .22 rifle but no short powerful carbine. I addressed this deficit in the battery by purchasing a Rossi 92 carbine. These rifles are available in .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .45 Colt and .454 Casull, and I have seen examples in .44-40 as well. The .357 is economical and the best choice for Cowboy Action. With Magnum loads it is a fine defense caliber and will do for deer. The .44 Magnum is a great caliber. I have used it to drop large boar hogs and it hits like Thor’s hammer. The .44-40 is a handloading proposition for real power. I happened along a .45 Colt example. The rifle looked good, with nice Brazilian wood and the popular large ring lever. Since I had plenty of .45 Colt brass the choice wasn’t difficult. I have reached that pleasant stage in life when every firearm doesn’t have to have a well defined mission to earn its keep, and where a specialized firearm that does a few things well is good to have. The Rossi was destined to serve as a go anywhere do anything rifle. For short range hunting, probably an opportunity rather than a planned hunt, to dispatch predators, pests and dangerous animals, and for personal defense on the road, the Rossi seemed a good fit.

rossi r92 45
The Rossi carbine has a very short lever throw. It is fast, very fast. The saddle ring serves little purpose for most of us. The thong needs to be ditched for serious use.

Despite my Scot blood I am not the cheapest guy in the world but the rifle set me back less than four hundred dollars and I like that. This is the first example I have owned in .45 Colt, but the particulars of the rifle are familiar to me. The sights are pretty basic. There is a front post with a small brass bead and an open sight in the rear. The front post is adjustable for windage — with the proper punch — and the rear sight may be adjusted for elevation by use of the sight ladder. You have to know how to use these sights. I have heard more than a little grumbling concerning the difficulty of sighting in similar rifles. The front post must be set in the bottom of the rear notch for the proper point of aim. You do not hold it in the upper part of the rear leaf or you will shoot impossibly high. A tubular under the barrel magazine holds eight rounds. The lever action rifle was once referred to as a bolt gun — period literature is hard to read sometimes but interesting. The bolt is locked by rear locking wedges. The rifle is unlocked by working the lever. As the lever travels downward, the bolt moves to the rear and the extractor pulls the spent case from the chamber. The fresh round is fed from the magazine into a shell carrier. As the lever is closed the carrier feeds a fresh round into the chamber. Rearward travel of the bolt cocks the hammer.

rossi r92 45
The bead front sight is surprisingly precise at moderate range.
rossi R92
The rear sight is a good example of lever action rifle gear, with a sliding bar or ladder for elevation adjustment.

This is a generally reliable and trouble free system. However, be certain you learn to properly use the lever action. The lever is pressed forward, not down, and a certain cadence of fire comes with practice. I have witnessed the occasional malfunction in which a cartridge jumps from the magazine and under the carrier. This is devilishly hard to clear. A pistol caliber carbine such as the Rossi 92 has more leverage than a .30-30 rifle and the action may be manipulated more quickly. If need be you may put out a lot of lead with the Rossi 92. If you keep extra rounds on the belt the Rossi may be topped off one round at a time. The rifle weighs about five pounds loaded. It is only about 34 inches long — that’s compact. With the 16 inch barrel this rifle handles quickly and tracks between targets well. It is no trick to keep steel gongs moving at 50 yards. To test the rifle, firing at the 50 yard line, I set up an Innovative Targets steel target. This target is a great training aid. Using the steel insert rated for pistol calibers I was able to ring the target on demand.

rossi r92 45
The hammer spur is nicely checkered and gives good purchase. Note the locking wedges and the controversial safety arrangement.

Ammo Options
As far as ammunition, the Rossi was fired for the most part with my personal handloads using a 255 grain cast SWC. With the .44 Magnum carbine I have had to crimp over the bullet shoulder in order to assure feed reliability- loads intended for use in a revolver sometimes did not feed correctly in the carbine. This wasn’t the case with the .45 Colt carbine. Most of these loads generate about 800 fps from a revolver. At 25 yards the handloads struck a bit right and low but this was easily adjusted. In factory ammunition there are several distinct classes of ammunition. These include cowboy action loads that are lighter than standard, standard pressure lead loads, and standard pressure personal defense loads. There are heavy hunting loads such as the ones offered by Buffalo Bore. I fired a representative sample of each class of load. I fired a quantity of the Winchester 225 gr. PDX JHP defense load and also the Speer 250 gr. Gold Dot JHP load. Each was mild to fire and accurate. The bonded bullets should be excellent for personal defense. I also fired a quantity of the Hornady Critical Defense. This 185 grain bullet struck below the point of aim but gave good feed reliability. It would have easy to adjust the sights if I wished to deploy this loading. I also fired a small quantity of the Buffalo Bore 225 grain all copper bullet. What struck me is that these loads are practically indistinguishable as far as recoil. Each was mild, with no more recoil than a .410 bore shotgun. Only the Buffalo Bore load was noticeably hotter. But you are getting serious horsepower.

rossi r92 45
The Rossi carbine is fully compatible with factory .45 Colt loads, from standard pressure to +P.

Here are a few velocity figures —
Winchester 225 grain PDX, 1090 fps
Hornady FTX 185 grain Critical Defense, 1180 fps
Buffalo Bore 225 grain Barnes, 1310 fps

rossi r92 45
The 255 grain SWC handload on the left will solve a lot of problems. The Hornady FTX, right, is accurate and mild shooting.

The .45 Colt was designed for black powder way back in 1873. As such it is sometimes smoky and not as efficient as more modern calibers when loaded with smokeless powder. However a good quantity of the Black Hills cowboy action load gave both good accuracy and a full powder burn. A tight chamber and 16 inch barrel increases ballistic efficiency. As an example the Black Hills cowboy action loading breaks about 780 fps from a 4 ¾ inch barrel revolver, but over 1,000 fps from the Rossi carbine. While the bullet doesn’t expand it will do whatever the .45 Colt has ever done. The cartridge enjoys an excellent reputation as a manstopper. As for the gain in velocity over a handgun when ammunition is fired in the carbine, the average is a 100 fps gain with standard loads while heavier loads may gain 140-160 fps. This is a useful increase in power over the revolver but the real advantage is in accuracy. It is much easier to quickly get a hit with a carbine than with the handgun.

The action of the Rossi is easily the smoothest lever action I have used including original Winchester carbines. Pistol caliber carbines have plenty of leverage. The action is both smooth and reliable. The wood to metal fit is good, if not flawless. A point of contention is the L shaped safety found on the bolt. I simply ignore it. I would not remove it, some may wish to use it. Another source of some discussion was the large loop lever. This large loop is a great addition for use with gloved hands, but otherwise it isn’t more efficient than the standard loop. It may be slower to use than a standard loop. Still, it is the same large loop that Lucas McCain and Josh Randall used in the cinema and some like the looks. It is fast enough but in the final analysis serves no useful purpose and makes the light and flat carbine more difficult to store. I would not have sought out a big ring carbine, it was simply what was on the shelf. I did not feel strongly enough about the large ring to let it interfere with my decision to purchase the rifle. The same goes for caliber. Much could be said for the .44 Magnum version. However, the .45 Colt is a proven defense loading. At moderate range it will take deer sized game cleanly. I had the ammo. As for the buckskin tong around the saddle ring, ditch it. It sometimes interferes with handling.

rossi r92 45
At 3 yards the shotshell pattern would do in a rodent or snake. The shot capsule cut through the paper.

Another option with the Rossi 92 is the availability of shot loads. I used a handful of Speer/CCI shot loads in the carbine with good results. I did not cycle the rounds in the action more than one at a time. I would load a single shot cartridge in the magazine, feed it into the chamber, then load another. You feel the cartridge crunch a little as it chambers. I have the impression that the shot capsule might crack and crumble in the magazine from the force of a metal cartridge head under spring pressure butting into the plastic shot carrier. You would have a mess! The shot pattern is useful to 5 yards or so in dealing with vermin and reptiles. I like the option in a go anywhere carbine.

rossi r92 45
This is a Barnes X bullet in the author’s handloads. The .45 Colt is a versatile number that works best inside 50 yards.

When the Rossi is taken as a whole it is a capable carbine for many situations. It isn’t particularly accurate but it is accurate enough. It is inexpensive and fires a proven cartridge, with a good reserve of ammunition. If saddle rings and the big lever appeal to you the Rossi has much to recommend. But it is also a good performer and this is an attractive combination. When you look past the cinema depiction of the rifleman you realize that Lucas McCain was pretty smart to deploy a rifle and it gave him an advantage.

rossi r92 45
The author and the Rossi carbine- this rifle is fun to fire! This may lead to more practice sessions.

rossi r92 45

SEE MORE HERE

 

SKILLS: When You Need A Red Dot

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

What are the advantages and disadvantages to red dot optics? READ MORE

red dot sight

SOURCE: Springfield-Armory Armory Life, Adam Scepaniak

While some people who have not jumped on the bandwagon of red dots might view them as a gimmick, I can assure you they offer more than you might think. Red dots can be useful for individuals who may have vision impairments or wear glasses because there’s no need to focus on three points — the rear sight, front sight and the target you are engaging. For some people, having to focus on three varying points can be very difficult. Instead, you can have a singular focus on a red dot overlaid on your target.

red dot sight
A good red dot optic like this Vortex Sparc AR will give you a great sighting option for your rifle.

Real-World Applications
Red dots can be extremely useful for close-quarters target engagement, whether for a competitive league event, recreational shooting or self-defense. Instead of taking the micro-seconds to align a rear sight over a front sight, you can more quickly obtain a sight picture of a singular red dot over what you are shooting. Moreover, wherever a red dot appears, regardless of the shooter’s orientation or symmetry to the target, they will accurately hit.

red dot sight
Combining a red dot and iron sight set up on your SAINT can really amp up its performance.

Red dots may appear to “float” within the optic and that is a result of the red dot correcting for a shooter’s angle or level at which they are aiming. Wherever the dot appears, you will hit. This is a result of the effects of reduced parallax in non-magnified red dot optics. But, putting aside the tech-speak, the end result is that no matter where the dot may appear in the optic, it will be on target downrange. No need to perfectly center it. Simply get the dot on the target and press the trigger.

Another valuable benefit to red dots is their ability to provide good contrast in low-light situations. When iron sights may not be visible during dusk, dawn or overcast conditions, even to an individual with perfect vision, a red dot can create enough contrast to safely and successfully engage a target. Black iron sights on a dark silhouette may make placing a safe shot difficult because you don’t know precisely where on the silhouette you are aiming. A red dot will crisply and definitively show you your reference point.

Pros and Cons
One downside that should be considered for red dots is a need for batteries. The batteries themselves are usually cheap and the battery life of most red dots are improving exponentially to have a working lifespan of one to two years or even more. Even so, you may want to have extra batteries squirreled away in the pistol grip of your rifle or your pocket just in case.

red dot sight
When installing a red dot while iron sights are present, allow for enough space to manage your red dot. Do not block off any buttons you may need to press.

One tactic people will employ if they fear their red dot dying is to co-witness a red dot with their iron sights. The act of co-witnessing is to align their rear iron sight peep through the optic and to the red dot which is covering their front sight post. This triple-alignment assures you are as level and in line with your target as possible. If you happen to break your red dot or its battery dies you simple continue to shoot with your iron sights. This safeguard method is used by a lot of people, and they will flip down their rear sight if that sight picture appears “too busy” to look through.

red dot sight
One option for utilizing your red dot is by co-witnessing (seeing both the red dot and your iron sights) at the same time.

Another advantage with red dots is their capacity to allow the user to have greater spatial awareness around them while shooting. Since you are not tunnel-visioned or intensely focused on a front and rear sight, only the red dot, you can take in your complete peripheral vision and see everything occurring around you. This can be highly valuable in defensive situations so you are not blindsided.

There are lot of benefits to both iron sights and red dots when shooting with your rifle. Be safe out there and happy shooting!

red dot sight
Another co-witnessing option is to fold down your rear sight and align just your red dot and your front sight post.

Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

Adam Scepaniak
Adam is a manager at The Guns And Gear Store in Waite Park, MN. He’s also a writer for the NRA Shooting Sports USA, TheFirearmBlog, Sierra Bullets, All Outdoor, OutdoorHub, and Boyds Gunstocks. He is a Glock and Smith & Wesson Certified Armorer as well.

SKILLS: The Truth About Snub Nose Ballistics

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Which round is the best for you? READ MORE

snubnose revolver

Jason Hanson

Jay L., of Greenbrae, CA was a car collector who had amassed an array of 1970s-era cars in the past, but being 90, Jay had been selling off most of his collection. He dwindled down his cars to owning a 1996 Mitsubishi and a 2005 Ford.

One morning, around 10:45 a.m., a criminal entered Jay’s home, detained him at gunpoint, and searched the residence for valuables.

During this time, the burglar told Jay there was a contract out on him. Jay asked, “How could there be a contract out on me?”

To which the burglar replied, “I understand you’re the guy with all the expensive cars.”

At one point, the burglar led Jay at gunpoint to the bedroom, which he ransacked for valuables while 90 year old Jay sat on the bed concocting a plan.

Next, Jay told the burglar he needed to use the bathroom, which is where his five guns were hidden.

When the burglar refused, Jay pulled his pants down and said he would defecate on the spot.

The burglar let him go into the bathroom but would not let him close the door. Jay then asked the burglar, “Do you like to watch people?”

Then the burglar let him close the door and Jay went for his Smith & Wesson .38 snubnose.

As Jay exited the bathroom, the two men exchanged gunshots, resulting in Jay being shot once in the jaw and the burglar being shot three times in the abdomen.

Both men emptied their firearms and the burglar ran from the home.

The burglary suspect drove away from the scene before calling 911 and claiming he had accidentally shot himself.

He spent nine days in the hospital before he was taken to jail and charged with attempted murder, burglary, robbery and firearms offenses by a felon.

Clearly, Jay did exactly what he had to do that day to make sure he made it out alive.

There is no question the criminal was targeting Jay since he believed there was large sums of money in the home because Jay collected cars.

The thing is, many people who may be similar in age to Jay prefer to own revolvers since they are so simple to use and you don’t need the hand strength to rack the slide like you do on a semi-auto.

With that in mind, I often hear the debate about which handgun caliber is the best between .38, .38+P, or .357.

For that reason, here is a breakdown on the different calibers and what may be best for you and your situation.

.38 Special. The .38 Special is a classic revolver caliber and it’s impossible to go into any gun store and not find a selection of revolvers chambered in this round.

It has a history as a workhorse and gained popularity among law enforcement in the 70’s and 80’s.

Today, .38 special rounds are still carried by some law enforcement as a back up weapon, and are used by citizens who want a small revolver that can still deliver effective rounds. .38 Special rounds are great for new shooters and can be a very effective self-defense round in close quarters.

From a ballistics perspective, the .38 operates at a maximum average pressure of 17,000 PSI, with typical penetration being around 12 inches depending on all the variables.

Of course, the .38 special round is going to create less recoil compared to the other two rounds below.

While the .38 is still effective, it wouldn’t be my first choice for home defense since I would rather have a bit more power in my home defense round.

.38 Special+P. Prior to the development of the .38+P round, there was the .38 Special High-Speed round, which was intended for use only in large frame revolvers.

Nowadays, the .38 Special+P round is suitable for most medium frame revolvers and delivers a maximum average pressure of 20,000 PSI, and typical penetration of 13-14 inches, which is a significant, but not massive increase over the .38 special.

The .38 special+P is a moderately powerful round that is easy to shoot for reasonably experienced shooters.

In addition, the .38 special+P muzzle blast is louder than standard pressure .38 loads, but far less than .357 Magnum loads.

For many years, the standard FBI service load was the .38 Special +P cartridge. Their lower recoil and muzzle blast make them faster for repeat shots than full power .357 loads.

They are also less blinding and deafening when fired indoors at night. This is the round that I recommend for most people who want to carry a revolver.

.357 Magnum. The .357 was the first magnum handgun cartridge. The .357 rounds are loaded to a maximum average pressure of 35,000 psi, and typical penetration is well over 16 inches.

The recoil from full power loads is sharp and the muzzle blast definitely gets your attention. Fire a full power magnum load at night and the flash looks like the gun exploded.

Experienced shooters can generally learn to control the .357 size revolvers and with practice, very fast and accurate shooting can be accomplished with .357 loads.

In a survival situation, the .357 could be effective for hunting game for food.

There is no question that revolvers are still effective for self-defense situations.

While semi-automatics are highly reliable, they still have to deal with stovepipes, jams, and failure to feed issues on occasion. Some semi-autos are also prone to the pickiness of ammunition.

Revolvers don’t care about that. This is why revolvers are and will always be a solid choice for defensive purposes.

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.

NO, Gov. Northam, Your Gun Ban is NOT Constitutional

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam proposes new and unconstitutional legislation. READ MORE

gov northam

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

As Virginia gun owners have shown their displeasure with Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed attack on their rights in city and county meetings across the Old Dominion, Northam has been forced to answer questions about he and gun control financier Michael Bloomberg’s gun ban agenda. In doing so, the governor has proclaimed that he supports the Second Amendment and that his gun ban does not violate the U.S. Constitution. In truth, Northam’s proposed gun ban would violate the Second Amendment as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago.

On Monday, December 9, Northam told reporters, “I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment,” adding, “I hear people out there saying that they don’t want law enforcement to enforce unconstitutional laws. Well we’re not going to propose or pass any unconstitutional laws.”

In a Wednesday meeting with reporters, Northam offered a veiled threat to sanctuary jurisdictions that have promised to not enforce unconstitutional gun laws stating, “If we have constitutional laws on the books and law enforcement officers are not enforcing those laws on the books then there are going to be some consequences…” The governor went on to say “Any law that we pass in Richmond and the eight pieces of legislation that I put on the table back in July — they’re constitutional, so that’s not going to be an issue.”

Northam’s allies in Richmond have proposed firearm confiscation legislation that would prohibit the sale and possession of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms like the AR-15. The governor has stated that he intends to push legislation that would ban such firearms but grandfather possession by gun owners who register their firearms with the government.

Banning commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms under either proposal is unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that governments cannot ban these firearms as they are “in common use” for lawful purposes.

Taken alone, Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion in Heller is enough to dispose of Northam’s comments. In the decision, Justice Scalia made clear that the types of firearms protected by the Second Amendment include those “in common use at the time” for “lawful purposes like self-defense.”

The firearms industry has estimated that Americans own more than 17.5 million semi-automatic rifles. The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in the U.S. and therefore indisputably “in common use” and protected by the Second Amendment.

Further, in the 1994 case Staples v. United States, the Supreme Court determined that semi-automatic rifles were common. The case concerned the criminal intent requirement for a conviction for possession of an unregistered machine gun. The subject of the case had argued that he was unaware that the AR-15 in his possession had been modified for automatic fire and was not simply a legal semi-automatic AR-15. In the majority opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas made clear that the mere possession of a converted AR-15 is not enough to infer intent sufficient for conviction, as some firearms are “so commonplace and generally available that we would not consider them to alert individuals to the likelihood of strict regulation.” Justice Thomas went on to write that most categories of guns, including semi-automatic rifles, “traditionally have been widely accepted as lawful possessions.”

All doubt as to whether the Supreme Court’s decisions in Heller and McDonald preclude bans on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms was settled in 2015. That year, Justice Scalia joined Justice Thomas in a dissent from the denial of certiorari in Friedman v. Highland Park, a case concerning a local ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms.

Justice Thomas explained,

Roughly five million Americans own AR-style semiautomatic rifles. 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.

Northam’s attempt to portray his Bloomberg-sponsored gun ban as constitutional is an absurd and transparent attempt to forestall the surging Virginia grassroots gun rights movement. Virginia’s gun owners have every reason to take defensive action against Northam and Bloomberg’s unconstitutional gun control agenda.

All Virginia gun owners must organize to fight against unconstitutional Bloomberg-backed gun control in the Old Dominion. Please contact Gov. Northam and let him know you oppose his unconstitutional gun control measures. You can contact Northam using the Governor’s Office contact form below or call his office at 804-786-2211.

 

Pennsylvania Attorney General Issues Opinion On Partially-Finished Receivers In Extreme Deviation From Federal Law

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Attorney General Josh Shapiro states controversial opinion regarding firearm classification. READ MORE

80 percent lower

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Once again, anti-gun officials contort case law and statute to undermine our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Last week, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro issued a tortured opinion defining partially-manufactured receivers as firearms. This opinion flies in stark contrast to the current, and widely held, understanding that receivers that are unfinished and require additional work to operate as a functional frame or receiver are not considered firearms and therefore aren’t regulated as such.

Shapiro relies on two arguments to arrive at this absurd result. One, that unfinished receivers are “designed” to expel a projectile by action of an explosive. It doesn’t take a law degree to figure out how backward this thinking is. Partially-manufactured lowers are explicitly designed so that they are unable to expel a projectile by action of an explosive without further work. In other words, by their very nature, they are not firearms.

Two, Shapiro claims that these receivers “may be readily converted (to expel a projectile)” which he argues is analogous to the “may readily be restored” language of the federal National Firearms Act.

With this make-believe bridge, Shapiro then imports federal case law concerning the “may be readily restored” (to a machine gun) language to draw up extremely broad contours of what would be considered a firearm under state law. He uses extreme case law to lower the threshold for what constitutes a firearm to facilitate his anti-gun position and leanings.

Shapiro’s “theory” of treating non-functioning blocks of polymer, steel, or aluminum as “firearms” is the equivalent of calling a pile of aluminum tubes a bicycle or even considering a hickory or ash tree a baseball bat.

Make No Mistake — This opinion applies to much more than unfinished receiver kits!

Using the extremely vague description provided by AG Shapiro, almost any chunk of material (metal, polymer, etc.) could be considered a firearm and he and his anti-gun cronies can use this precedent to destroy our freedoms one step at a time.

 

Puerto Rico Enacts Pro-gun Overhaul of Firearms Laws

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Puerto Rico set to pass new pro-gun legislation. READ MORE

puerto rico

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The 3.5 million residents of the Unites States’ largest territory will soon be able to better exercise their Second Amendment rights. On December 11, Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vazquez Garced signed the Puerto Rico Weapons Act of 2020. The legislation overhauled the territory’s gun laws in a manner that will make it easier for the island’s residents and visitors to exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

The legislation’s most important provisions pertain to the territory’s firearms licensing procedure. Prior to the enactment of the Weapons Act, Puerto Ricans could apply for a possession license, or a much harder to obtain carry license. The Weapons Act combines the two licenses into a single license.

Moreover, this single license will be shall-issue. Previously, Puerto Ricans were required to petition a court for the approval of a carry permit. The legislation also puts in place a flat $200 initial licensing fee, and a $100 renewal fee. This is a significant improvement over the old regime, where firearm licensing fees could range wildly.

Americans on the mainland are also set to benefit from Puerto Rico’s new gun laws. The legislation sets forth that Puerto Rico will recognize Right-to-Carry permits issued in the rest of the U.S.

Puerto Rico’s Weapons Act is an important step forward for law-abiding gun owners in the island territory. While the island’s gun laws are still stricter than the vast majority of the U.S., there are a handful of mainland jurisdictions that could learn from Puerto Rico’s example and work to similarly streamline outdated and onerous gun control laws.

 

Texas Gun Control Advocates Deride Actual Firearms Safety Efforts

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Texas Governor Greg Abbot is promoting firearm safety education and equipment to citizens. READ MORE

tx

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Gun control advocates are not concerned with gun safety. This reality was brought home once again by the anti-gun reaction to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and the firearm industry’s work to ensure Texans have free access to gun locks.

Following a high-profile shooting in Santa Fe, Texas in May 2018, Gov. Abbott released the School and Firearm Safety Action Plan. As part of the plan, the governor called on the state to promote the voluntary use of gun locks.

To carry out this goal, Abbott partnered with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Under the plan, Abbott created a $1 million grant from the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division to help fund NSSF’s “Own It? Respect it. Secure it” and “Project ChildSafe” campaigns.

As explained in the governor’s plan,

The NSSF “Own It? Respect it. Secure it” initiative was developed to promote and encourage firearm safety and safe storage. It also supplements ongoing firearm safety and education campaigns such as Project ChildSafe, which has distributed more than 37 million firearm safety kits that includes a cable-style gun lock, lock-installment instructions, and a safety booklet. Project ChildSafe firearm safety education kits are free to law enforcement agencies.

NRA opposes mandatory storage laws. Such restrictions can leave gun owners defenseless at the critical moment that they need a firearm most. Moreover, American gun ownership is diverse. A one-size-fits-all approach to gun storage doesn’t consider the varied needs of law-abiding gun owners.

However, like NSSF, NRA encourages gun owners to take the appropriate steps to voluntarily secure their firearms. Through its Education and Training Division, NRA has taught millions of Americans how to safely own and handle firearms. NRA’s gun safety rules teach firearm owners to store firearms so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the first of the grant money was delivered last month and the first batch of firearm safety kits are now making their way to law enforcement agencies. The full grant is expected to fund 625,000 safety kits.

Gov. Abbott’s efforts to provide more than half-a-million free gun locks was not enough to please so-called “gun safety” group Texas Gun Sense. The Chronicle reported that Texas Gun Sense Executive Director Gyl Switzer expressed doubts about the program. The paper noted,

Switzer said free gun locks “are always a good thing,” but said she would evaluate the project with skepticism “since NSSF is the lobby arm for gun manufacturers.”

Why would a purported “gun safety” group care about how free gun locks are provided? Because their goal isn’t gun safety, it is gun control.

When it comes to gun control advocates, unless a measure encumbers honest gun owners, who they view as their political rivals, then it is not worth doing. Gun control isn’t about gun safety or public safety. Gun control is about controlling law-abiding Americans and indulging ugly political and cultural prejudices.

Gov. Abbott and NSSF should be congratulated for their efforts to promote gun safety while respecting the rights of gun owners.

 

Virginia Gov. Seeks Gun Registration As Down Payment On Gun Confiscation

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Virginia Governor proposes harsh firearm legislation. READ MORE

northam

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) must think that Old Dominion gun owners are stupid… After months of Northam and his Michael Bloomberg-backed General Assembly allies advocating for the enactment of gun confiscation legislation, the governor has told the Virginia Mercury that he will support a gun ban bill that would grandfather currently possessed firearms but require owners to register the newly-prohibited firearms with the government. As astute gun owners know, gun registration facilitates gun confiscation. Northam wants law-abiding gun owners to register their guns with the same people who have already stated that they want to confiscate them.

The evidence is clear: Virginia politicians want to confiscate your firearms.

On June 4, an embattled Gov. Northam announced a special session of the General Assembly in order to enact a raft of gun control legislation. During his remarks, the governor expressly said that “I will propose many of the same ideas that we have proposed before… A ban on assault weapons…”

On July 8, Del. Mark H. Levine (D-45) delivered for Northam and pre-filed gun ban bill HB 4021. The legislation garnered 23 cosponsors. That same day Sen. Adam P Ebbin (D-30) pre-filed the identical SB 4024, which attracted 16 co-sponsors.

The legislation would have banned the importation, manufacture, sale, transfer, and possession of what it termed “assault firearms.” The term was defined to include any semi-automatic centerfire rifle with a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 10 rounds or any semi-automatic centerfire rifle that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and has one of several enumerated features. These features included, a folding or telescoping stock, a pistol grip, a thumbhole stock, a second handgrip, a bayonet mount, a silencer, a flash suppressor, a muzzle brake, a muzzle compensator, or a threaded barrel. The legislation also would have banned commonly-owned semi-automatic shotguns and centerfire pistols with any one of several prohibiting features.

As Levine and Ebbin’s legislation prohibited possession of these firearms, the bills, which were drafted at Northam’s request, were firearms confiscation.

On November 18, Sen. Richard L. Saslaw (D-35) pre-filed SB 16 for the 2020 session. This legislation would ban the same types of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms as HB 4021 and SB 4024. Again, as the bill would ban the possession of these firearms, it is gun confiscation.

Northam is misleading the public
Discussing the governor’s proposed ban, Northam Spokeswoman Alena Tarmosky told the Mercury, “In this case, the governor’s assault weapons ban will include a grandfather clause for individuals who already own assault weapons, with the requirement they register their weapons before the end of a designated grace period.”

The website also reported,

The Northam-backed plan mirrors the federal assault weapon ban passed in 1994, which included a grandfather clause for weapons that were legally owned when the legislation was enacted. The federal ban expired in 2004.

It’s not clear whether the Mercury has been misled by Northam’s staff or whether the paper is misinformed on the matter of gun law in general, but this paragraph is directly contradicted by Tarmosky’s statement.

Under the 1994 Clinton assault weapons ban, gun owners could continue to possess and transfer prohibited firearms that were lawfully possessed prior to the ban. In direct contrast to the purported Northam proposal, the federal ban had no firearm registration requirement.

The details of Northam’s gun ban have yet to be released. However, the Clinton ban’s prohibiting criteria were far different than what has been proposed by Northam’s General Assembly allies. Whereas the proposed Virginia legislation would ban commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms with only one offending feature, the “assault weapon” definition under the 1994 federal ban required that a firearm have two prohibiting features. Further, the enumerated prohibited features under the Virginia legislation are far broader and include such innocuous characteristics as thumbhole stocks.

The Mercury item also noted that Northam told reporters, “I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment…” and “we’re not going to propose or pass any unconstitutional laws.” In reality, the gun bans proposed by Northam and his allies are unconstitutional under the Second Amendment as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago.

Heller decision author Justice Antonin Scalia made this clear when he signed onto a dissent from denial of certiorari in the case of Friedman v. Highland Park, which concerned a local ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. The dissent, written by Justice Clarence Thomas explained,

Roughly five million Americans own AR-style semiautomatic rifles. 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.

Gun registration facilitates confiscation
For undeniable evidence that gun registration facilitates gun confiscation, consider the experience of Virginia gun control financier Michael Bloomberg’s hometown of New York City.

In 1967 New York City passed an ordinance requiring gun owners to register their rifles and shotguns. In 1991 the New York City Council and Mayor David N. Dinkins enacted a bill to prohibit the possession of commonly-owned semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.

The year after the ban was enacted, a man`s home in Staten Island was raided by the police after he had announced that he would not comply with the city`s ban. He was arrested, and his guns were seized.

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) notified the 2,340 New Yorkers who had been licensed earlier to possess semi-automatic rifles and shotguns that any of those licensed firearms that were covered by the ban had to be surrendered, rendered inoperable, or taken out of the city. The recipients of the notification were directed to send back a sworn statement indicating what had been done with those firearms. NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters Jeremy Travis, told the Daily News at the time, “for now, the department is taking owners at their word, but spot checks are planned.”

During the mayoral administration of Michael Bloomberg, New York City again used its firearms registry to confiscate guns.

In 2010, the city passed an ordinance prohibiting the possession of rifles or shotguns capable of holding more than five rounds of ammunition. In 2013, the NYPD began sending out letters to registered gun owners alerting them that their firearm was banned. The letters demanded that gun owners either surrender their firearm, permanently modify the firearm to bring it into compliance with the ordinance, or remove it from New York City. Those who chose to modify or move a prohibited firearm were forced to submit documentation to the government that they had done so.

For more proof that registration facilitates confiscation consider New Zealand’s recent gun control measures.

In early 2019, the New Zealand Parliament enacted a ban on the sale and possession of all semi-automatic centerfire rifles and semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns capable of holding more than five rounds of ammunition. To enforce the prohibition, New Zealand required owners to surrender their newly-prohibited firearms.

However, New Zealand does not have a registry of most of the banned rifles and shotguns. This created a policy dilemma for New Zealand’s gun control advocates. Without knowing how many newly-prohibited firearms were in the country or who owned them, there was no effective way for the anti-gun officials to enforce their oppressive edict.

Complaining that the lack of a registry would hamper enforcement, New Zealand Police Association President Chris Cahill told the press in May, “We really have no idea how many of these firearms are out there in New Zealand… Which really points to how bad our firearms legislation has been, that we have let this get out of control.”

Gun Control NZ co-founder Philippa Yasbek admitted that the lack of a registry would make the firearms confiscation plan difficult. Yasbek was quoted by the Washington Post as stating, “These weapons are unlikely to be confiscated by police because they don’t know of their existence… These will become black-market weapons if their owners choose not to comply with the law and become criminals instead.”

Gun owners will not comply
Contrary to what Gov. Northam might think, gun owners are not stupid. Gun owners understand that firearms registration is an integral part of the gun control plan to disarm law-abiding Americans and choose not to comply.

According to New York State Police Data there was massive noncompliance with the SAFE Act’s registration provisions. Out of an estimated 1-1.2 million semi-automatic firearms within the state that were required to be registered under the act, 23,847 people registered a grand total of 44,485 guns. Using the lower estimate of one million semi-automatic firearms, the data shows a compliance rate of 4%.

A 2013 Connecticut law required residents to register commonly-owned semiautomatic firearms, and individual magazines with a capacity greater than 10, by January 1, 2014. Out of an estimated several hundred thousand guns and 2.4 million magazines that were required to be registered, Connecticut gun owners had registered 50,016 firearms and a mere 38,290 magazines.

In 1989, California enacted a law requiring registration of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. According to a February 17, 1992 Los Angeles Times article, in the years following enactment only 46,062 semi-autos were registered. The article went on to note, “The state Department of Justice has estimated there are 200,000 to 300,000. Others have calculated as many as 450,000 to 600,000.” The authorities attempted to bolster the lackluster compliance with a 90-day amnesty period at the start of 1992; this program only netted another 13,470 firearms.

Fight back
All Virginia gun owners must organize to stand and fight against Northam and Bloomberg’s gun registration plan. Virginia’s anti-gun legislators have made it clear that they intend to confiscate guns and any registration scheme would enable their unconstitutional plans.

 

REVIEW: Colt’s Cobra — A Great All Around Revolver

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

The new Cobra is an outstanding personal defense and outdoors revolver well suited to most chores. READ MORE

colt cobra
The Colt Cobra .38 Special is an excellent revolver in every way.

colt cobra

Bob Campbell

Colt once ruled the revolver market. But that was a long time ago when the goose hung high in Hartford. Today Colt’s Official Police and Police Positive are things of the past. But Colt has jumped back into the revolver market with a double action revolver. I have added the Colt Cobra to my Colt 1911s, AR 15s and .357 Magnums as a front line personal defense gun and outdoors revolver. The Colt Cobra is a stainless steel double action six shot .38 Special revolver. The Cobra is a modern revolver in every way, and while it bears a legendary name, the new Cobra bears only a passing resemblance to the original Cobra. The Colt Detective Special was the original .38 Special snub nose revolver. Based on the Police Positive Special frame, the Detective Special was the lightest .38 Special revolver of the day and remained the lightest six shot .38 for many years. The Cobra was the aluminum frame version. It is even lighter. Each shared the same action and configuration.

colt cobra
Note fiber optic front sight and heavy barrel.

The new Cobra is a beefier revolver with a robust frame and action. It fills the same niche as the original. As a long time Colt fan and Colt shooter I have to say the Cobra does things better in the newer version. The short barrel Detective Special – along with a number of full size .45 caliber Fitz Special revolvers- was conceptualized by Fitz Fitzsimmons, a long time Colt employee and trainer. Fitz wrote that long barrel holster guns were fine for western use and for uniformed officers in some instances, but the modern mechanized means of transportation demanded shorter fast handling revolvers. The shortened barrel was easier to draw inside a vehicle and less likely to be interfered with by steering wheels and gear shifters. He was correct. There are many reasons Colt lost its place in the market. Some feel that Colt did not reinvest its war time profits after World War Two and did not introduce sufficiently interesting new models, other feel that Colt simply priced themselves out of the business. Whatever the reason Smith and Wesson at one time held more than seventy five per cent of the police revolver market. Eventually Colt dropped all revolvers from production.

colt cobra
The original aluminum frame Cobra, top, is shown with a Colt Detective Special, bottom.

While many obtain self loading handguns for personal defense and home defense Fitz Fitzsimmons ideas concerning simplicity of design, fast handling, and reliability hold true today. The revolver may even be pressed into an adversary’s body and fired time after time. A self loader would jam after the first shot. The revolver may be left at ready with no springs at tension and the smooth double action trigger is easily managed by those that practice. The Colt Cobra features a smooth action that offers excellent speed and reset. An advantage of the Colt Cobra is the wide rear sight groove and a bright fiber optic front sight. The .38 Special is a good choice for the average to experienced home defense shooter. The Colt Cobra is also a good choice for concealed carry. The .38 Special is the most powerful cartridge that the occasional shooter can handle well. In this size handgun the .357 Magnum is simply too much.

colt cobra
In most ways the Cobra handles much like a four inch barrel .38 caliber revolver.

Compared to the common five shot .38 Special snub nose the Cobra offers six shots but is only slightly wider- about .11 inch. The Colt grip is an ideal size for most hands. The Hogue monogrip is a recoil absorbing design that isolates the hand from the metal of the revolver. The geometry of the grips compliments the design of the Colt Cobra. While the Colt Cobra resembles the original the trigger isn’t in the same location and the action is tight and smooth with no loose motion. The revolver doesn’t feel like the original Colt but represents an improvement. It should prove more durable in the long term and smoother as well.

My initial shooting was done with Fiocchi’s affordable and accurate .38 Special loads. I used both the 130 grain FMJ and the 158 grain RNL loading. These loads are clean burning. I enjoyed firing the Colt Cobra very much, going through 100 rounds at man sized targets at 5, 7 and 10 yards. Centering the front sight on the target resulted in a hit as long as the trigger was pressed smoothly. During recoil I allowed the trigger to reset. Groups were excellent. Moving to personal defense loads the Fiocchi 124 grain XTP provided good control. This premium ammunition exhibits the highest level of accuracy. I also carry revolvers when hiking and comping. Unlike the small frame five shot revolvers, the Colt Cobra is controllable and useful with heavy load. The Buffalo Bore .38 Special Outdoorsman, using a hard cast SWC, or the lead SWC hollowpoint are well suited to defense against feral dogs or the big cats. Members of our protein-fed ex-con criminal class would be another threat in the wild, and the Colt/Buffalo Bore combination is a good one. Recoil is stout but accuracy is good. As for absolute accuracy on several occasions I have fired a two inch five shot group at 15 yards. The Colt Cobra is plenty accurate. Like the original the Cobra is as easy to use well and as accurate as most four inch barrel revolvers.

colt cobra
Fiocchi ammunition exhibited a clean powder burn and provided excellent accuracy.

The Colt Cobra gets a clean bill of health. There really isn’t anything like it in the market. I think that you will find it well suited to modern problems.

LEARN MORE HERE