The news of the leaked white paper for the proposal to deregulate some rules from the ATF has been making it’s way around the web this week.
In an 11-page white paper labeled “not for public distribution,” but which has been obtained by Texas & U.S. Law Shield, Ronald B. Turk, associate deputy director and chief operating officer of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, outlines several steps the agency could take to remove many restrictions on gun regulations, including suppressors and stabilizing braces, in the United States. Texas Law Shield Independent Program Attorney Michele Byington walks U.S. Law Shield News Host Sam Malone through the proposals.
What are your thoughts on the deregulation of these accessories?
As Texas & U.S. Law Shield have previously reported, advocates of hearing protection want to pursue new legislation to make suppressors easier to buy, and a key backer is Donald Trump, Jr.
“It’s about safety,” Trump Jr. explains in the video interview above recorded last September with the founder of SilencerCo Joshua Waldron. “It’s a health issue, frankly.”
“Anyone who has ever worried about hearing loss from shooting might want to lend their ears to this cause!” said Emily Taylor, an attorney at the Houston law firm of Walker & Byington.
Now the issue is advancing on several fronts.
On January 9, 2017, Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC), co-chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC), introduced H.R. 367 to remove suppressors from the National Firearms Act control and treat them the same as long guns, replacing the outdated federal transfer process with an instantaneous NICS background check.
The measure picked up 42 Republican co-sponsors, including fellow CSC member Congressman John Carter (R-TX), and one Democrat co-sponsor, CSC Co-Chair Gene Green (D-TX). The measure was immediately referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Judiciary Committee.
The bill, whose official title is “To provide that silencers be treated the same as long guns,” takes a public-health angle to safeguard the hearing of the nation’s 55 million gun owners.
“This legislation will enable gun owners to have better access to hearing protection products and improve safety for the shooting sports by removing extensive wait times for burdensome paperwork processing that does not advance public safety,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “NSSF is appreciative of Sen. Crapo’s leadership on this firearms safety issue and his willingness to stand alongside lawful American gun owners, hunters, and shooting sports enthusiasts.”
An earlier measure with the same goal is H.R. 3799, known more widely as the Hearing Protection Act of 2015.
About all the bills, Taylor explained, “Currently, the manufacture, purchase, and possession of firearm silencers are regulated by the ATF and must comply with the requirements laid out in the National Firearms Act. Similar to a short-barreled rifle or shotgun, anyone who wants a firearm suppressor must first get approval from the ATF and pay the required tax. An extended waiting period comes along with the time it takes the ATF to process these requests.”
“The Hearing Protection Act seeks to amend the law so that firearm silencers are treated the same way as long guns,” Taylor added. “The bill would make it so that there is no longer a tax associated with the transfer of a firearm silencer, and anyone who pays a tax on a silencer after October 22, 2015 could receive a refund of such tax.
“Additionally, anyone who possessed a firearm silencer would be treated as meeting any registration and licensing requirements of the NFA. Lastly, the bill would preempt certain state laws that tried to impose taxes or registration requirements on firearm silencers.”
Maybe yes and maybe no, but if you do need a rail gun you will need it badly!
By Bob Campbell
Among the decisions to be made when purchasing a personal defense handgun is caliber, action type, and size and weight. Also now among the options to be considered is the light rail. A “rail gun” is common parlance for a handgun with an accessory rail. The rail is there to mount a flashlight bracket or a laser sight. Some handguns leave the buyer no choice. All modern Glock pistols, save for the very smallest such as the Glock 42 and Glock 43, have light rails. The Colt 1911 may be had with or without a rail, and the popular CZ75 is another available in both versions.
An important part of owning a handgun is pride of ownership. You have to be happy with the handgun.
Some feel that a light rail isn’t fitting on a traditional design such as the 1911. Others feel that the added weight and the possibility of snagging on the holster are real problems. There are also difficulties in finding a proper holster for a rail gun. As an example, the Springfield Armory Range Officer Operator and the Rock Island 2011 Tactical have different light rail designs and demand different holsters.
But then there are those who like the light rail and some have been in a position where white light has been beneficial to their survival or in situations where they wish they’d had the light. Many handguns feature the technical over the tactical, but the light rail is a tactical improvement. The catch is the pistol is a reactive weapon, when the pistol is drawn in response to an attack. Few, if any, concealed carry permit holsters will carry a handgun with the light attached. They may carry a light in their pocket, but very few will practice quickly attaching the light to the handgun. If you can anticipate a fight, then you had best avoid it or at least get to cover. It is better to have the rail and not need it than to need it and not have it of course. You just have to ask yourself, “Are you are willing to embrace the rail and obtain a suitable light or laser and learn to use it properly?”
The 1911 pistol balances well. Nothing feels better in my hand. Some 1911 rail guns are neutral. The new Rock Island 2011 with its monolithic rail is very well balanced. It isn’t quite muzzle-heavy but it certainly dampens recoil due to extra weight out front. The Colt Rail Gun may be an improvement in balance over the Colt Government Model. The CZ 75 is among my favorite handguns. But after a hard test and firing hundreds of rounds of ammunition I find the CZ P-01 a great compact 9mm that is very well balanced. I can fire the pistol more accurately than the full-size CZ. The P-01 features a light rail on its long dust cover. I like this a lot. Keep an open mind when considering a rail gun.
The best place for a rail gun is home defense. No handgun is too large to keep at home ready! As an example, one of my personal favorite handguns for “just shooting” is the Glock Model 35 .40 caliber. This long-barrel pistol balances well and it is plenty accurate. The accuracy load, the Hornady 155 grain XTP, breaks over 1180 fps from the Glock 35. The pistol has factory night sights, and with an Insights M3 combat light I don’t think there is anything better as a home defense handgun. This brings us to another consideration.
When choosing a combat light make the choice one that is appropriate for the application. A neat compact light such as the Viridian types seem ideal for the Glock 23 class of handguns. No need in having a light protruding past the muzzle. With the Glock 35 this isn’t a consideration but with my compact CZ pistols the smaller lights are best. And it isn’t always lights: it might be the Lasermax Spartan laser for some applications. This is a handy, affordable, and well-designed laser that gives the user a sharp point of reference when the sights cannot be seen. If you do not have a rail gun you would have to purchase expensive laser grips, which are are not available for every handgun.
The rail gun should also be proofed with its attachment in place. On occasion handguns have had their cycle reliability affected with the light attached. I think that this is less likely with steel frame guns. Handguns with frames that give or flex a little in recoil are most susceptible to this problem. This is simply another consideration when you deploy the rail gun, and the answer is simple: test it!
For myself I continue to deploy standard handguns for the most part, usually a Commander .45 or a CZ 75 variant. But I am not blind to genuine progress. I keep a rail gun with light attached and ready to go in the home. Just in case.
Bob Campbellis an established and well-respected outdoors writer, contributing regularly to many publications ranging from SWAT Magazine to Knifeworld. Bob has also authored three books: Holsters For Combat and Concealed Carry (Paladin Press), The 1911 Semi Auto (Stoeger Publishing), and The Handgun In Personal Defense (The Second Amendment Foundation).
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Despite many gun owners stocking up prior to the 2016 Presidential Election, firearms retailers still expect a good holiday sales season.
Like most other retailers, gun sellers thrive during the holidays. Last year’s Black Friday featured record activity for a single day, according to Federal background check data. This year, Christmas actually came early for U.S. gun shop owners. Spurred on by fears of a Hillary Clinton victory and the accompanying threat of restrictive gun legislation, U.S gun shop owners had staggering sales in the months prior to the election, but these same retailers may now be hard-pressed to match last year’s record holiday sales (December 2015 was the second busiest month ever, next to December 2012 in the face of an Obama-driven push for more restrictions). Analysts believe that this year’s holiday sales may appear to be floundering due to gun owners having stocked up in anticipation of a possible Clinton presidency. Overall, though, there’s no cause for alarm.
Federal background check data showed that gun retailers had a record October this year, the month preceding the November Presidential Election. As reported last issue, gun store traffic has fallen off substantially since Donald Trump won the presidency. The following day, November 8, shares of Smith & Wesson Holding Corp dropped 15% (but with a rebound this past week), while Sturm Ruger & Company’s stock is 17% lower.
Now, with this year’s Black Friday upon us, gun dealers say traffic is regaining momentum after the post-election drop.
“I’m not expecting it to be any slower than our normal Black Friday,” said Kellie Weeks, owner of Georgia Gun Store in Gainesville: “But if Hillary had won, we would have sold out already…”
History repeats… After Democratic candidate Barack Obama was elected in 2008, November background checks jumped 48% compared to the prior November, according to data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. By comparison, background checks rose a more modest 5% in November 2004 after Republican George W. Bush was re-elected.
The Federal background checks are the best source for factual data on gun sales, which gun manufacturers do not publicly release. This data is refined and relayed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). The NSSF eliminates applications for conceal-carry permits (typically made by people who already own guns) from the data to give a better reflection of actual firearms purchases.
Through October 2016, background checks are up 15% compared to the same time last year, suggesting another a strong year of overall sales.
Wall Street expects Smith & Wesson’s revenue to increase 28% in 2016 and 11% next year, based on data from Thomson Reuters.
Let’s relax a little and go buy the guns that we really want to have, and let’s get back to enjoying that pursuit. It’s a far better feeling to buy something you’ve always wanted rather than something you might not be able to ever get again… So what’s on your Christmas shopping list?
According to the Major, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a truly good red-dot sight…
by Major Pandemic
It used to be that you had to spend the price of your gun just to get a quality red-dot that would endure the abuse dished out in the field. Today we are fortunate that new manufacturing technologies and materials have advanced to the point that a good red-dot can be had for under $100 and a truly high quality red-dot such as this Hi-Lux model are just over $200.
Just after the initial release my then-new Hi-Lux Micro-Max B-Dot sight was mounted on a basic AR15 pistol build and it was later moved to my Sig MPX 9mm pistol. One year and approximately 8000 rounds of .223 and 9mm later, the Hi-Lux Micro-Max B-Dot has performed amazingly well, still holds zero, and I am still on the first factory included battery. From my perspective it is one of the top values for a high quality red-dot sight, so much so that I ordered another one.
This time the red-dot was mounted on a very special Aero Precision M4E1 custom AR15 pistol build. The build has it all — AP M4E1 integrated handguard mount, a unique cool and functional upper design, an ambi-lower, KNS anti-rotate pins, Ballistic Advantage match barrel, HiperFire EDT2 trigger, and Phase 4 Tactical buffer tube, BCG, Charging Handle, and FatMan Brake. It is a heck of tricked out build that needed a great red-dot and the Hi-Lux is the perfect choice offering a lot of features, great optical clarity and a crisp red-dot.
FIT, FINISH, FEEL, FEATURES, AND FUNCTIONS The Hi-Lux Micro-Max B-Dot is typical high quality that you would see on all Leatherwood Hi-Lux optics. The red-dot design is robust and designed to take a lot of abuse. Once upon a time, only Aimpoint could boast about a 50K+ hour run time, but now this $220 red-dot can deliver that same long run-time.
The Hi-Lux Micro-Max B-Dot also features a tintless tube which in turn provides an extreme amount of clarity and enhanced low light vision. It is one of the few red-dot sights which gives the shooter clear glass versus a dark sunglasses tint. From a form factor the sight is completely cross compatible with all Aimpoint T-1 mounts which are available everywhere. If you have a favorite Aimpoint T1 mount it will work with the Hi-Lux. A couple of my favorite mounts are the Sampson QR T-1 QD mount and American Defense Manufacturing ADM T1 Micro QD Mount. Hi-Lux offers its own $35 co-witness riser, which is hard to pass up for the price, and is the mount I ordered for this build.
The Hi-Lux Micro-Max is extremely compact 2.5-inch length and comes with flip-up lens covers, screw on/off kill flash filter, and spare CR2032 battery compartment in the battery cover. Dot size is 2 MOA, tube size 20mm. Of note, with the added kill flash filter and lens covers installed it does add a bit of bulk over an Aimpoint T1 or similar Primary Arms Micro Dot but not any significant weight. I think most people will appreciate the snap and screw on features unless they really need to strip all the add-ons off for some reason.
My initial Hi-Lux Micro-Max B-Dot sight held zero perfectly through more than a few bumps bangs and scrapes and thousands of rounds of 9mm and 5.56 NATO. I did have some initial concern that the extremely lightweight Hi-Lux Riser might not hold up well to side hits due to the I-beam steel design; however, I have never had an issue and it is far stronger than it looks.
Instead of the typical rotary setting switch, Hi-Lux decided on using push-button operation instead that provides click ON, hold for OFF, and click UP/DOWN to cycle through the 12 dot brightness settings.
FINAL THOUGHTS The Hi-Lux Micro-Max B-Dot is one of my favorite red-dot sights. It functions perfectly, delivers excellent clarity, and offers plenty of daylight to low-light dot brightness settings. I will not likely be in a situation where I need a Kill Flash attachment, however the lens covers work extremely well. Owning a safe full of red-dot sights, my experience is that they get dirty quick and the flip-up covers really help assure the glass is clean and bright when I need to shoot.
Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. MajorPandemic.com
If we were to ask you what kind of dies you started out with, there’s a good chance you’d respond with some caliber of LEE dies. Gavin, with Ultimate Reloader, takes us back through the LEE Pistol Dies, like it’s the first time.
“My very first set of reloading dies were LEE 44 Magnum pistol dies that came with the LEE Pro-1000 press that I started out with. Since then, I’ve acquired many more sets of LEE dies ranging from 30-06 to 9mm to 45 ACP to 357 SIG and quite a few in between. LEE Pistol Dies (technically handgun dies, but I’ll use the term “pistol” to cover both autoloader and revolver here) are some of the most popular dies because of their combination of features and value. In this post, I’ll cover the different die sets that LEE offers, compare features, and I’ll even show a demonstration of setting up some dies on a progressive reloading press!”
Feel free to hit this link to check out the full article on Ultimate Reloader!
M1A owners looking to wring more accuracy out of their rifles should know that Faxon Firearms has introduced its own match-quality barrel for this popular competition platform. MSRP, $299.
Faxon’s M1A Super Match Barrel has a competition profile, with weight to the rear and a balanced profile towards the muzzle. The barrels are button rifled, stress relieved, and have hand-polished .308 Winchester chambers. The M1A Super Match barrels feature 1/10 twist rifling versus the common 1/11, to create a barrel designed for the heaviest target loads. The surfaces are finished in a black-oxide coating.
Nathan Schueth, director of sales, marketing, and product development for the company, said, “We are thrilled to expand into a new platform. We applied our expertise from manufacturing thousands of general-purpose machine-gun and AR barrels to create match-ready barrels for the M1A.”
The installation-ready Super Match barrels are made of 4150 GBQ steel and measure 22 inches in length. They have standard M1A muzzle threads and fit all M1A / M14 Rifles (with timed threads). They weigh 3.3 pounds. An 11-degree target crown completes the muzzle end. The barrels are Magnetic Particle Inspected, fully stress relieved, and air-gauge tested.
The M1A Super Match Barrel is to the true match-winning profile with heavy weight to the rear and a balanced profile towards the muzzle.
— The Massachusetts assault weapons ban mirrors the federal ban Congress allowed to expire in 2004. It prohibits the sale of specific weapons like the Colt AR-15 and AK-47 and explicitly bans “copies or duplicates” of those products.
— “Copies or duplicates” mean “state compliant” versions of Modern Sporting Rifles sold in Massachusetts. Such “state compliant” versions lack a flash suppressor, a folding or telescoping stock, or other helpful shooter features. The AG will notify all gun manufacturers and dealers to make clear that the sale of semi-auto rifles with certain features is now illegal in Massachusetts.
— The effect could mean that all AR-15s that have been modified to comply with Massachusetts law are now illegal purely because they are AR-15s. This could eventually outlaw all semi-automatic weapons in the state, which should violate D.C. v Heller’s explicit “common use” standard.
— Healey said in her Globe article that “if a gun’s operating system is essentially the same as that of a banned weapon, or if the gun has components that are interchangeable with those of a banned weapon, it’s a ‘copy’ or ‘duplicate,’ and it is illegal.”
Bottom Line: Some of our customers in Middle America will notice this state-law change and not be too concerned about it, because it is Massachusetts, and things like this are to be expected there.
Quite a few of our customers and fellow countrymen in the Bay State are now in limbo because basic AR-15 parts may turn a vanilla semi-auto rifle into “copies or duplicates” of those products.
Will this turn into another nudge in the direction of our fellow Americans losing their rights? There seems to have been a precedent set with California cities banning firearms, the strict laws placed in Chicago (which seems to be working, he lied), and other “leaders” treating their constituents more like an authoritarian society.
Hopefully the people of Massachusetts sound off in a clear, unified, voice at the ballot box this November.
This is a specially-adapted excerpt from the forthcoming book, “Top Grade Ammo,” by author Glen Zediker, owner of Zediker Publishing. Click here to order from Midsouth.
by Glen Zediker
“Segregation” is sorting and separating. If someone is looking for the best performance, which, in my mind, is the most consistent performance, from stock-on-hand, then it’s a worthwhile chore. However, it is a chore. Keeping that in mind, the item below hopes to help a handloader decide how to proceed when there are 100 new pieces of brass set out on the workbench.
I segregate new brass for my tournament rounds. The “tournament” is NRA High Power Rifle. That’s fired at 200, 300, 600 yards. Clearly, the “best” of my brass goes to the 600-yard-line. I do this with new brass because, as I said in an earlier installment, cases should be kept with the same load, and I want to know my best cases before I fire-form with my 600-yard load. Keep same for same.
The questions are: How many piles do you want? and What criteria do you use?
In sorting cases, the finer the increments that define what you assess are Grade A, B, C (and possibly D, E, and F) cases, the greater the range encountered, and the fewer single examples that will occupy each group.
Establishing criteria limits (defining the contents of each pile) comes mostly from experience in checking examples of the stock. One thing you will learn from segregation is what the component is “supposed to be.” You’ll see a pattern. The more you measure, the more you’ll learn, and it will help to establish the criteria you end up banking on.
For me, I sort by wall-thickness variation, specifically, case-neck-wall-thickness variation. All other things being the same, and the tooling being what it should be, consistent case-neck walls result in bullets looking into the dead center of the rifle bore. Some call it “concentric,” and I do too.
You’ll need either an “inside” micrometer (which has a ball-end, made for tubing measurement) or, way faster and easier, a specialty fixture that incorporates a dial indicator. The micrometer will be more precise because it will provide a number in the 0.0001’s, but that gets back to the realism of the criteria. A quality dial indicator still shows less than 0.0010 variations, just look at the needle position between whole marks. Measure at 4 points around the neck. My expectation is “0” for my 600-yard brass: no variation, which really means I accept anything that’s under 0.0010. I end up with piles in 0.0005 increments: less than 0.0010, 0.0010, 0.0015, 0.0020, and any larger doesn’t get fired in competition. I do this because it’s direct and fast, and because I am looking for good, better, and best case groupings to coincide with my needs for 200, 300, and 600 yards.
If I get lazy, which is more common now than not, I size all the cases (to get the necks shaped up) and then check runout at the neck on another specialty tool: a concentricity fixture (some call it a “spinner”). The system I’ve been using here of late serves both duties. Make sure to have run some sort of inside-neck sizing appliance, either an expander in the sizing die or a mandrel after the fact. If not, the results will not be viable. This explanation isn’t too detailed, but the variations get “pushed” either inside or outside depending on the last tooling the case neck was treated to, and it needs to be pushed to the outside.
Does it really matter? Yes. There have been tests done by many trying to establish the point where wall variations or runout influenced group size. Since this point varies in different tests I’ve seen, I have to believe that the rifle/ammo combo has a mighty influence. It’s very likely that the better the package, the more sensitive it will be to showing up variations. I do know that when Hornady tested this at 200 yards (on their indoor range), they found that variation in wall thickness of 13% had a significant influence on group sizes; in this instance, that equated to about 0.0015 inches variation.
There is another popular and viable means of segregation and I’ll work that one next time. How you choose to segregate brass does have something to do with what the ammo is ultimately used for.
Iowa became the 42nd state to legalize suppressors when House File 2279, introduced by Rep. Matt Windschitl and Rep. Terry Baxter, was signed by Governor Terry Branstad on March 31. And to celebrate, a national suppressor-owners’ rights organization is throwing a free shoot next week.
After three years of efforts by the American Suppressor Association (ASA) and the Iowa Firearms Coalition (IFC) to educate lawmakers on the benefits and realities of suppressors, HF 2279 was met with positive response. The legislation passed earlier this session 46-4 in the Senate and 78-21 in the House.
Effective immediately, the new lawalso makes Iowa the 39th state to allow for the use of suppressors while hunting.
“The legalization of suppressors in Iowa is a tremendous victory for the law abiding citizens of The Hawkeye State,” said Knox Williams, President and Executive Director of the American Suppressor Association. “For the past three years, the ASA has worked alongside the Iowa Firearms Coalition, the National Rifle Association, Rep. Windschitl, and, this year, Rep. Baxter to get this legislation passed so that the sportsmen and women of Iowa could use these benign accessories to protect their hearing while in the field and at the range. We are incredibly excited that Iowa is now one of 42 states that allows suppressor ownership, and one of 39 states that allows their use while hunting.”
To celebrate the new law, the American Suppressor Association will be hosting a public suppressor shoot from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 16 at the Big Springs Shooting Complex.
To find the range, use Google Maps and search for the address, 5015 Highway 146, Searsboro, IA 50242. That will get you a pointer right by the range gate, according to the Big Springs Range website.
Knox said, “We will be bringing the top manufacturers from across the country to showcase their products, and educate any interested Iowans on why they should be excited that Iowa became the 42nd state to legalize suppressors. Admission and ammo are free, so we encourage you to join us!”