Category Archives: Accessories

REVIEW: Superlative Arms Short Stroke Retrofit AR15 Piston System

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There’s been much said about AR15 gas system problems. Here’s another solution that really offers something different! READ MORE

superlative arms piston system

Major Pandemic

Over the last decade, piston driven AR systems have gained a lot of attention due to their ability to deliver cooler running reliability similar to the exceedingly reliable piston based AK platform. One of the many advantages of the AK platform has been its piston based operation which isolates operation gas pressures at the front to the gun away from the shooter and bolt and trigger group. This piston based system delivers a cooler and clearer running AK gun which arguably delivers more reliability. Some very bright folks figured out several ways to transfer that piston system over the the AR15 platform thus combining the accuracy of the AR15 platform with the reliability of the AK.

HISTORY
There have been a number of companies offering short and long stroke piston system. Long Stroke systems have the op rod attached to the bolt carrier such as AKs and Tavors. Op rods are not attached to the bolt carrier on short stroke systems. The main compromise between the two is that the Long Stroke system designs are typically heavier but inherently offer an integrated gas design that bleeds off excessive gases. The new Superlative Arms patented system extends this bleed off capability to a low profile Short Stroke system all while still providing gas pressure adjustment.

Let me first point out that Superlative Arms is the co-patent holder of the design offered by Syrac Ordnance and was also its manufacturing partner of the Syrac adjustable gas block and Piston system product line. Superlative could have been offering its own line of adjustable gas blocks and piston systems identical to Syrac’s however they developed their own unique patented gas bleed off design. Superlative’s bleed-off system is offered in both a direct impingement adjustable gas block and also in the co-patented short stroke low profile gas system. Though there are many similarities, Superlative Arms is on the market with their own systems.

superlative arms piston system
The super low profile block fits under virtually any handguard rail.

DESIGN
The Superlative Arms or piston system uses their patented bleed-off. Instead of limiting the gas pressure, this system functions more like a pressure regulator which limits the gas delivered to the gas tube or op rod piston and the rest of the excess gas is vented out the front of the gas block. Typical adjustable gas block systems have had some problems due to gas port and adjustment screw erosion from the captive excessive gas temperatures and pressures at the gas port. Many of us have seen this problem manifest themselves in wandering gas settings or even adjustment screw blowouts.

By porting and venting off that excessive high heat pressure the instant the pressure hits the gas block, the Superlative Arms system greatly reduces erosion and pressure based failure problems right at the gas block all while running cooler and cleaner for both their DI and piston systems. This bleed-off design in turn reduced the beating delivered to the adjustment mechanism and op rod.

Some previous short stroke piston systems have experienced problems with gas block durability and retempering of the op rod springs. In order to assure completely problem-free operation Superlative goes the extra mile and makes the piston block from melonited 416 stainless steel and uses a heat treated Inconel steel spring which is impervious to the pressures and heat generated by an AR15 even running in full auto. Superlative has accomplished this design feat all within a very small compact low profile design that is barely larger than most low profile gas block designs.

superlative arms
Unlike other adjustable systems which block gas, Superlative Arms bleeds it off. This results in a longer-lasting, less problematic solution. Unlike other adjustable systems which block gas, Superlative Arms bleeds it off. This results in a longer-lasting, less problematic solution.

INSTALLATION
Superlative Arms Direct Impingement (DI) adjustable bleed-off gas block is a simple swap for people who want to retain a DI based system. Pull off the old gas block, move the gas tube to the new Superlative gas block, reinstall, tune to assure reliable last round lock back and you done. Like all retrofit gas piston systems, the Superlative arms kit install is a bit more involved.

The Superlative Arms retrofit gas piston system includes everything a user would need for conversion of a existing AR15 including the gas block, op rod, op rod spring, and carrier. Any AR15 bolt can be used with their carrier. All the Superlative kits are all essentially the same with the exception of the pistol, carbine, mid, and rifle op rod lengths — just order the appropriate gas rod length specific kit..

First time installation requires some patience and about thirty minutes. Unlike a DI gas block install, the left/right and fore/aft alignment of the gas block is critical to reliable operation. With a stiff fixed op rod responsible for converting the blast inside the gas block to a shove on the carrier, it has to be free from any binding and also precisely the right length from the face of the carrier to the gas block.

superlative arms
An “AK-style” gas piston promises cooler and cleaner operation, and this did indeed deliver both!

The basic process is to install the gas block loosely on the barrel and insert the stripped op rod (minus the spring) into the gas block and tighten down the gas block piston plug. Then the task is to assure the op rod spins freely without binding with the carrier (minus bolt) fully seated in the upper receiver. If you have a fully seated carrier and freely spinning op rod then you can tighten down the gas block. If the carrier does not fully seat or the op rod does not spin freely, the gas block needs to be turned or moved out as appropriate. Of note the gas block should not be slammed right against the shoulder on the barrel — mine both required positioning the gas block off the shoulder of the barrel about 1/32-in.

Once those initial adjustments are made, the op rod is removed and then re-installed with the spring and the plug fully seated then backed out on-half turn. Similarly the carrier is removed and reinstalled complete with a bolt, cam pin, firing pin, and retaining pin. A final installation check is made to assure the carrier fully seats and positive hammer drop is achieved. All that is required now is to adjust the gas pressure in a process similar to any adjustable gas block.

This is a rise and repeat process of assuring the gas block sees just a bit more pressure than is required to offer a last round hold back of the carrier — generally one half turn pressure increase tuning over the lowest setting that will hold the bolt back.

superlative arms di
A more simple solution is one of Superlative Arms Direct Impingement type gas bleed off blocks. Outstanding quality!

FIT, FINISH, FEEL, FEATURES, & FUNCTIONS
If you are familiar with Syrac’s top notch gas block quality then you are already familiar with Superlative’s Manufacturing quality since they have been the manufacturer up to this point. The fit and finish is outstanding and the Ion Bond finish on the carrier and melonite on the block finishes are excellent.

Functionally the system offers a lot of advantages including being able to tune the pressure to just enough to drive the bolt carrier. The result is that there is less recoil, cooler running system, less carbon build up, and greatly reduced gas blowback on SBRs and AR15 pistols.

superlative arms
My two test guns: a Yankee Hill Machine rifle which was a test of the systems low pressure operation. Zero problems. The second build was a conversion of an Aero Precision and Phase 5 Tactical AR15 pistol build. AR15 pistols gas pressure are notoriously high. This was a test of how the Superlative Piston system would handle high pressure systems and it worked flawlessly!

FINAL THOUGHTS
Only a 1000 or so rounds in, I am impressed. Both offer something that is different than anything on the market, and a design which potentially offer greatly expanded durability over traditional AR15 piston systems. I have said many times that an adjustable gas system is the best upgrade any AR owner can make — note due to the low pressure issues I do not recommend any adjustable gas system for 300 Blackout or 7.62×39 AR15 builds.

Find all the parts you need to build your AR at Midsouth Shooters Supply! Click Here to Shop Now!

See more HERE and view all the SPECS

MSRP: $289

Major Pandemic

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

REVIEW: Magpul X-22 Backpacker Ruger 10/22 Takedown Stock

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Here’s a quality upgrade for the popular Ruger 10/22 Takedown rifle model. Read the complete review HERE

magpul takedown stock

magpul takedown stock

Major Pandemic

Magpul has been on an aggressive innovation design track for the last few years. One of the coolest products is the Magpul X-22 Backpacker Ruger 10/22 Takedown Stock. Magpul took all the great features and ergonomics of their awesome X-22 stock and created a light packable version specifically for the Ruger 10/22 Takedown Stock which allows for compact storage of the barrel and receiver.

FEATURES
The notable feature of the Magpul X-22 Backpacker Ruger 10/22 Takedown Stock is that instead of a separate barrel and separate receiver flopping around in you pack, Magpul has designed the hand guard to lock into the under part of the buttstock. This provides an all-in-one stowable secure rifle solution which does not require a secondary soft case to keep parts from banging around. Deployment is easy — press the release buttons on each side of the handguard and the barrel releases from the buttstock and the barrel breech is pulled from a passed hole. This little hole that the breech keys into offers protection to a critical part of the barrel which if damaged or dented could cause significant problems.

The barrel is then just slipped into the receiver like any other Ruger 10/22 Takedown model and rotated into place. Simple. This stowable feature is the big feature, but there are still plenty more Easter Eggs hidden in the stock.

From a feature perspective this is a standard-sized stock with real buttpad and does not feel like the dwarf stock Ruger included with the factory takedown models. The funny thing is that although the Magpul stock feels larger, it is actually shorter than the factory Ruger stock. The Magpul X-22 Backpacker Ruger 10/22 Takedown Stock features a MOE SL compatible buttpad which means that if you want you can extend the length of the stock with a swap to the 0.7-inch buttpad. The larger size has not gone to waste. Magpul has hidden a sizeable ammo compartment and water-resistant compartment inside the stock.

magpul takedown stock
The barrel breech is protected with the rubber key hole and the handguard locks into the buttstock.

The stock includes both a flat and elevated cheek rest. The cheek rest is actually a hinged lid for the ammo compartment which can accommodate three full loaded 10/22 10-round magazines or one magazine and a 50-round paper box of ammo with still a little room to spare. Even more, this compartment is configurable via slip-in dividers. You could jam far more than 60-rounds of ammo plus other items into this space if you worked at it! The taller cheekpiece riser provides additional space compared to the low riser. Because I had AR-style Techsights on my Ruger 10/22 Takedown I was able to use the high-rise cheek rest and maximize my onboard storage.

magpul takedown stock
The storage compartment is configurable.

The other little compartment is located in the base of the grip and is o-ringed and water resistant. The plug is quite tight so I would imagine that it should do a pretty decent job of keeping water out, but I would probably place dry tinder or matches in a secondary waterproof bag before stuffing it into this area. In this case, a partially disassembled ferro rod with flammable firestarter tinder paracord fit easily into the grip with room to spare.

magpul takedown stock
The small grip compartment space is water resistant.

The Magpul X-22 Backpacker Ruger 10/22 Takedown Stock is compatible with Magpul QD mount inserts at four points on the stock and is compatible with the new Backpacker optic mount which provides a solid base sized for any red-dot optic.

magpul takedown stock
Room for two mags or a mag and a full 50-round box of ammo.

EASY INSTALL
Install is so simple it only requires about five minutes and just a standard screwdriver: the Magpul Receiver and Barrel groups both re-use the factory screws. Unscrew and remove the factory barrel band and handguard from the factory barrel assembly. Unscrew and remove the reciever from the factory buttstock and reverse the previous two processes to install the Magpul X-22 Backpacker Ruger 10/22 Takedown Stock. It could not be more simple.

SHOOTING IMPRESSIONS
I could say that the gun feels worlds different and is infinitely easier to shoot, but I still think I would be under-emphasizing the significant ergonomic upgrade over the factory stock. To be fair, the factory stock never felt even close to comfortable for me — it worked, it just was not comfortable. The Magpul ergonomics delivered more stability than the factory stock. The only downside to the upgrade is that the handguard size is reduced, but I am more than willing to make that trade for the other features the Magpul X-22 Backpacker Ruger 10/22 Takedown Stock provides.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Even with a standard 18.5-in barrel, the Magpul X-22 Backpacker Ruger 10/22 Takedown Stock delivers a disassembled 19.5-in. packable size. Keep in mind this stock’s length of pull is actually about 3/4-inch shorter than the factory stock. It could be slid into larger-sized packs, but is still a little big for most 3-day-sized packs. I am looking forward to swapping out the factory barrel for a lightweight sleeved match-grade Whistlepig or Volquartsen barrel to shed a bit more weight. The bottom line is this is a really excellent stock which has some innovative features — features that solve problems like shrouding the barrel breech from damage. This is as good as it gets to pack up your Ruger 10/22 and take it with you.

MSRP $109.95

SEE FULL SPECS HERE
CHECK OUT THE RIFLE HERE
VIEW 10/22 ACCESSORIES AT MIDSOUTH HERE 

Major Pandemic

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

REVIEW: Burris XTR II Riflescope 5-25x50mm

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Looking for a super-clear long-range scope with all the bells and whistles? This one delivers all the most-wanted features at a lot lower price than its competition. READ ALL ABOUT IT

burris scope

Major Pandemic

One of the trends I am seeing in the market are optics manufacturers really starting to push themselves again to deliver exponential jumps in quality. The Burris’ premier XTR II lineup at this year’s SHOT show is a great example. The XTR II is Burris’ new flagship optic line. The Burris XTR II 5-25x50m was a must for a top end Devil Dog precision rifle build.

burris xtr ii
Burris XTR high precision self centering 0-40 MOA mounts were used to provide ultimate flexibility and precision.

First off let me say that I was disappointed with how the demise of Devil Dog Arms unfolded, however they still made one of the best quality AR format rifles in the industry complete with premium Black Hole Weaponry barrels and HiperFire Triggers. This Devil Dog .308 has proved to be an exceptionally accurate gun with the capability to easily deliver groups in the 1/2 MOA range — the high power crystal clear capabilities of the XTR II 5-25x50m allowed me to take advantage of that accuracy. The SCR Mil Reticle also allowed a lot of data for on-the-fly windage and elevation compensation adjustments without the need to touch the dial.

The original XTR v1 line of scopes was a huge success for Burris, but customers were asking for even more. Not only did Burris deliver a crystal clear 5-time zoom range on this XTR II 5-25x50mm optic, but they upped the tube thickness by 25-percent over the original. Burris also configured the optic design as a First Focal Plane (FFP) scope. FFP is the hot feature among precision and sniper-style shooters. It, in essence, zooms the reticle along with magnification changes. The result is that whatever holdover you have on the BDC or Mil-dot is the same at any magnification, in this case from 5X all the way through 25X. The big thing is that this design makes elevation and wind holdovers simple and easy without having to think about what magnification you are on. If you have a 5-MPH cross wind on a 300-yard target and that is the second dot down and a quarter mil over based on your zero, then no matter what magnification you are on that same holdover will deliver the same shooting solution. Pretty cool. When comparing this to a standard BDC equipped standard second focal plane scope, the reticle does not zoom, so your hold at the maximum range is not the same at any other magnification level.

XTR II
This XTR II was mounted on a Devil Dog 308 to take advantage of the accuracy potential of the Black Hole Weaponry match barrel.

I choose the SCR (Special Competition Reticle). This is designed to offer the faster-paced long range shooter a significant amount of data including 1/2 Mil-Dot markings, 1/10 Mil-Dot ranging brackets, and an extended illumination reticle. The goal of the design was to provide the shooter with all the data they needed to take the shot quickly and accurately whether they reached for the turrets or used the precision Mil-Dot hold over points in the reticle. Once a shooter knows their bullet drop holds based on Mil-Dot target sizing, they can quickly take a precision shot extremely quickly even at multiple targets at different distances.

First Focal Plane Mil reticle
The Burris XTR II 5-25 optics features a First Focal Plane Mil-based reticle.

FIT, FEEL, FEATURES, & FUNCTIONS
There is a lot to love about this high-tier optic. At around $1400 on the street, it’s priced up there with the premium Japanese and German scopes, but, for the quality it is considerably less expensive than many with similar features at double that price. The glass is unbelievably crisp and clear, and this is what you get in the higher tier.

Burris has everything packed into this optic with the exception of laser ranging including the new style thicker and heavier duty and allegedly brighter 34MM tube, big audible click turrets with MRad adjustments matched to the Mil-Dot reticle (as they should be). And the reticle is even illuminated.

I generally have serious gripes about illuminated reticles because most companies try to deliver sunlight red dot illumination brightness, however in this case Burris delivered perfection. Too many times, manufacturers make illuminated reticles far too bright for the night work they were originally developed for. The illumination on this 5-25x50mm XTR II delivers 11 settings of illumination plus “OFF” positions between each setting so you don’t need to cycle through all the brightness settings just to turn the reticle illumination on or off.

XTR II subtense
The sub-tense of the reticle can be used in a variety of ways according to the shooters needs.

Burris even has a well-thought-out side-focus knob. Then there is the huge magnification range! Normally you would see a 3-10X or 3-14, but here we have a scope that can deliver everything you might need on close targets all the way out to very long distance.

XTR II knobs
The XTR II line feature heavy audible click turrets which make adjustment precise.

FINAL THOUGHTS
This optic has lived on a few builds already but settled on my Devil-Dog-based AR .308 build.

I am not one of those who likes or enjoys figuring out the math on a reticle calibrated for 25X when I need to be at 5X of magnification. For me, simpler is better and I like the FFP concept both in theory and in use. Literally just print out a ballistics card noting all the holdover points for your pet round and you are good to go at any magnification. This is a great optic which deserves to be on a rifle that can match its precision, and that’s the reason I tightened it onto one of my most expensive and accurate AR10 builds.

xtr ii

READ MORE FROM BURRIS

Shop All Burris at Midsouth Shooters Supply

xtr ii specs

Major Pandemic

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

SKILLS: Concealed Carry on the Go

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

Console storage vault
Console storage vault.

Jason Hanson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read on for specific recommendations…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seat drape
Seat drape.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Guide To Traveling With An AR15

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

gun case

SOURCE: Team Springfield, posted by Steve Horsman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t Buy This… Buy That

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Guns and gun accessories go together, no doubt. However! Some are indispensable. Here are a few. READ MORE..

pistol magazines

by Jason Anderson

If you’ve ever gone to a gun store and purchased a firearm or just picked up a gun magazine, you have undoubtedly been inundated with the many, many gun accessories you can add to your firearm.

The reality is there are some people who spend more on gun accessories than they do on the gun itself. Which begs the question are any of these accessories really necessary? The short answer is yes — as long as you purchase the right accessories.

Accessories for your gun are worth every penny if you buy ones that actually make a difference in performance. Don’t waste your money on an add-on that has no functional purpose. With that in mind, here are the most important gun accessories I recommend for your firearm:

Tactical Light: This is the No. 1 gun accessory I recommend. If you wake up in the middle of the night from the sound of someone in your house, you’ll need a light to investigate. Most people will just grab a flashlight in this scenario, which is fine. But if you decide to go this route, I encourage you to practice shooting while holding your flashlight so you get used to having only one hand on the gun instead of two.

You can also buy a tactical light/laser combo that will help you aim in the dark, but like anything gun related, these gadgets can be expensive, and they’re not something you want to go cheap on

Holsters: Whenever you purchase a new gun, you should buy a holster at the same time. Owning multiple holsters is beneficial for a few reasons. First, you need to make sure you always have a holster that works with the clothes you’re wearing. For example, the holster I wear with my jeans wouldn’t work with the shorts I wear on my morning run.

Second, you need to have a holster that best fits your lifestyle. What I mean is if you’re always going to carry concealed, you might want an inside-the-waistband holster. However, if you live on a large piece of property and regularly patrol it, you may find that an outside-the-waistband holster is more comfortable and convenient

Sling: When it comes to long guns, I believe a sling is a must-have accessory. A sling makes it easier to carry your gun while hunting or patrolling. Plus, a sling often makes it easier to transition from a long gun to a pistol in an emergency. Don’t forget, if you buy a sling, you will have to purchase swivels to attach the sling to your gun, but this accessory is well worth the price

Extra Magazines: I recommend everyone have — at the absolute minimum — three magazines for each gun they own. The fact is, if you are in a bug-out situation, you should have all three mags loaded and ready to go. Even if you just keep your guns at home, you should keep your extra mags ready. If, heaven forbid, multiple intruders break into your home, you’ll be glad you’re prepared. In addition to having extra magazines, remember to practice reloading them so you won’t miss a beat in an emergency

Gun Cleaning Kit: A basic gun cleaning kit isn’t expensive, and while it’s certainly not the sexiest gun accessory, it’s one that’s often overlooked. Keeping your gun clean and well oiled is critical to ensure it functions properly when you need it. Now, I know people who say they’ve shot thousands of rounds with a Glock without having to clean it. While that may be true, the fact is grime and dirt will build up eventually, so always remember to clean your gun regularly.

pistol cleaning kit

Some people spend thousands of dollars to add all kind of bells and whistles to their firearms, but I’m a big believer in the idea that a quality self-defense gun doesn’t need a lot of fancy add-ons. One final note: No matter what, please don’t do a trigger job on your self-defense gun. You don’t want to find yourself facing a prosecutor trying to explain why your gun has a two-pound trigger.

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.

 

REVIEW: Leupold FX-II 4x28mm Handgun Scope

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Looking for a high-performance scope to realize the accuracy potential of your handgun? Get a good one… READ MORE

leupold handgun scope

by Major Pandemic

During my review of the EXTAR AR15 pistol, I saw that it had accuracy potential far more than what people give the AR15 pistol format credit for. This pistol deserved a fitting optic that could take advantage of the accuracy without diminishing its close-range capabilities. I chose the Leupold FX-II 4x28mm scope. This scope has enough magnification to exploit the potential of the AR15 pistol format but also plenty of eye relief for arms-length aiming.

EXTAR
Adding this Leupold FX-II brought out the full accuracy potential of this fine EXTAR pistol.

FIT, FINISH, FEEL, FEATURES & FUNCTIONS
Leupold has a long and well-deserved reputation for high-quality optics. Leupold really only makes two pistol models: the FX-II fixed power 4X magnification and the VX-3 variable power scope.
Compared to a rifle scope, handgun optics are actually subjected to higher than normal recoil due to the lower weight of the firearm, and the sometimes very powerful cartridges being shot in handguns. In the past, some shooters used triple or quad rings to help distribute recoil more evenly to the scope tube and provide more rigidity. The reality, though, is that lower quality optics just do not hold up to the punishment some handguns dish out. Leupold pistol scopes are famous for their durability on heavy recoiling pistols. And they have a warranty that will put anyone’s mind at ease.

The Leupold 4x FX-II pistol scope offers all the usual Leupold optic features including their Multicoat 4, Xtended Twilight Lens System, Diamondcoat II and other proprietary image, reflection, light transmission, and durability enhancements. Leupold also delivers some impressive gas waterproofing which actually increases image quality as well.

The 4x FX-II features Twin Bias Spring Erector System, Super Fast-Focus Eyepiece, Lockable Fast-Focus Eyepiece, Clasic/Standard Lockable Eyepiece, Micro-Friction 1/4 MOA, and 1/4 MOA Finger Click. With a 1-inch tube diameter 6061-T6 aircraft quality aluminum main tube the FX-II delivers a simple mountable scope with very common and less expensive rings.

leupold fx
Leupold makes some of the finest and most durable optics on the planet.

Most people incorporate far too much magnification on both handguns and rifles. The 4X Leupold FX-II handgun scope delivers a usable magnification that is not frustrating to hold steady at arms-length. Once you up magnification beyond that, you can become frustrated with a reticle which keeps jumping around unless shots are taken from an very stable rest. 4X magnification on a handgun is just right and provides the precision needed to reach out beyond distances that eyesight and iron sights can deliver.

Having shot behind a number of handgun optics, the biggest challenge is having an optic that delivers a large enough eye-relief box/window. If the eye-relief box is too narrow, the shooter is constantly fighting the distance the gun is from the eye to see the full field of view and reticle. The Leupold delivers a huge flexible eye-relief box which enables you to concentrate on the target and not finding the right scope mount length.

FINAL THOUGHTS
The Leupold FX-II Handgun scope delivers a proven and reliable design which is specifically built to take the increased punishment a handgun can deliver even the really big handgun rounds like 45-70 and even .308. Obviously the EXTAR 5.56 AR15 pistol didn’t even phase this scope, however it did deliver a super light pistol which when equipped with a scope was more than accurate enough for varminting and plinking all the way out to the 300-yard-line.

leupold fx-II specs

Check it out HERE at Midsouth
Leupold information HERE
Extar

Major Pandemic

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

 

Leupold Debuts the VX-Freedom

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VX-Freedom-Warm_BannerAds300x250

Relentless Reliability: The Leupold VX-Freedom

Innovation is in the very core of the American spirit – we aspire to be independent, to build our own solutions, to constantly improve. It was that core trait that drove Marcus Leupold – son of Fred, the legendary co-founder of Leupold & Stevens, Inc. – to throw aside a riflescope that failed him and build something better. More than 70 years later, that spirit still thrives at Leupold, and it’s embodied tenfold in the new VX-Freedom line of riflescopes.

You want relentless reliability? The VX-Freedom delivers it. You want elite optical performance at a price you can’t ignore? Consider that box checked. You want to unleash your rimfire rifle, dominate from any tree stand, or tag out across an open draw? The VX-Freedom’s got you covered.

The entire VX-Freedom line is designed, machined, and assembled right here in the U.S.A. with one purpose in mind – to give you the freedom to put a Leupold on any long gun you own, knowing it will perform for a lifetime.

VX-Freedom_3-9x40-CD

Elite Optical Performance
Only a company with Leupold’s history and engineering expertise can deliver an American-made optic that boasts performance and affordability like the VX-Freedom. You’re looking at best-in-class optics – crisp, clear images with unmatched edge-to-edge clarity. It’s complete with military-spec lens coatings that provide abrasion resistance, protecting the riflescope in the most challenging terrain. As Tim Lesser, vice president of product development for Leupold & Stevens, Inc., explained, the new line has been built from the ground up to deliver on the promise of the Leupold brand.

“The VX-Freedom is built to deliver the versatility and performance hunters and shooters have come to expect from our brand,” Lesser said. “Whether you’re looking for your first scope or your fortieth, there will be a VX-Freedom that’s purpose-built to suit your needs.”

VX-Freedom_Hunting

Rugged Reliability
Every scope line that comes out of the Leupold factory is “punisher tested and verified” – a relentless process of pounding the optic in a way that replicates a lifetime of abuse. On top of that, it’s engineered to disperse energy during every shot, which adds to its rugged nature. Finally, the VX-Freedom’s new, ergonomically advanced power selector ring is low-profile but provides exceptional grip, making it easy to use even in the cold, wet, or while wearing gloves.

Let There Be Light
It’s no secret that the first and last 20 minutes of any big game hunt are often the most crucial – it’s when the animals are most likely to be up and moving and when you’re most likely to get a shot. Thing is, that’s also when there’s not much light to work with, and you can’t hit what you and your optic can’t see. That’s why the VX-Freedom line incorporates Leupold’s Twilight Light Management System, a proprietary lens coating system that increases the amount of usable light that reaches your eye.

VX-Freedom_Power_Selector

Translation: Your optic will still be able see Bullwinkle during those last five minutes of legal light, even if your naked eye can’t. That means you’re more likely to be calling buddies to help you pack out a kill under the stars.

Unparalleled Versatility
At launch, the VX-Freedom will be available in some of the industry’s most popular magnification ranges: 1.5-4×20, 2-7×33, 3-9×40, 3-9×50, and 4-12×40 – all featuring second focal plane reticles and 1-inch maintubes. They’re great for muzzleloaders, rimfire rifles, and centerfire rifles. But Leupold didn’t stop with just improving the riflescope design, they also decided to offer three brand-new reticles with the VX-Freedom. Alongside the standard Duplex and Pig-Plex offerings, the Freedom is available with a Tri-MOA, Rimfire MOA, or UltimateSlam reticle.

VX-Freedom_Gold_Ring

The Tri-MOA reticle is designed to fill tags – hash marks in 1-MOA increments give you precise reference points for quick, accurate shots, and the upper portion is clear, making it easy to keep an eye on the game animal in your sights. The Rimfire MOA reticle stretches your favorite plinking rifle’s legs out to 200 yards and beyond. The vertical hash marks are set for rimfire rifle ballistics at 1-MOA increments. The UltimateSlam, meanwhile, offers hold points from 50 to 300 yards for muzzleloaders and shotguns.

Built to Last
The VX-Freedom series is everything you’ve come to expect from a Leupold optic. It’s tested to the very same ruggedness standards as the company’s top-tier riflescopes. It’s also backed by the Leupold Full Lifetime Guarantee – you’ll be able to put it through its paces and not have to worry about it holding up.

VX-Freedom_Dials

“We’re relentless because we know our consumers are relentless,” Lesser said. “At the end of the day, you don’t quit, and you don’t back down. Our products won’t, either.”

Click Here to check out the new Leupold VX-Freedom at Midsouth Shooters Supply!

New for 2018: Hornady Adds Nine New Calibers to Precision Hunter Line

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Following its great success with its exclusive Precision Hunter ammo, Hornady is offering even more calibers and loadings. Read more!

Hornady Precision Hunter

SOURCE: NRA Publications, by Philip Massaro

Making a gigantic splash with the ELD-X bullet, Hornady followed suit with the Precision Hunter line, offering that sleek hunting bullet in their loaded ammunition line. Based upon the success of the initial developments, Hornady has expanded that line for 2018.

With a very high Ballistic Coefficient, and bullets that run on the heavier side of average for a given caliber, the ELD-X bullet will get the job done in a multitude of different hunting situations, from near to far.

This year’s new offerings include nine new calibers. Included are 6mm Creedmoor (103-grain), .25-06 Remington (110-grain), .257 Weatherby Magnum (110-grain), 6.5 PRC (143-grain), .270 WSM (145-grain), .280 Ackley Improved (162-grain), 7mm WSM (162-grain), .338 Winchester Magnum (230-grain) and .338 Lapua (270-grain).

As it usually is with Hornady, they’re thinking about not just those newer, long-range cartridges, but of the hunter with a rifle that he or she has loved for some time, and wants to extend the capabilities of that rifle by feeding it modern bullets. I especially like that they’ve decided to give the .270 and 7mm WSM cartridges a breath of life — I know many owners of rifles in those calibers who’ve complained (and rightfully so) about ammunition availability. The Precision Hunter line has been very accurate in my own rifles, as well as those of friends and colleagues, and I’m excited to see how the new offerings will perform.

Hornady Precision Hunter

Check it out HERE at Midsouth!

2018 SHOT SHOW

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The biggest event in the industry is coming up soon! Read all about it…

SHOT SHOW 2018

The Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) is the largest and most comprehensive trade show for all professionals involved with the shooting sports, hunting and law enforcement industries. It is the world’s premier exposition of combined firearms, ammunition, law enforcement, cutlery, outdoor apparel, optics, and related products and services. The SHOT Show attracts buyers from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.

At the 2017 SHOT Show, industry professionals packed the aisles from the opening bell, and attendance totaled nearly 65,000, to make it the second most attended SHOT Show ever.

2018 will see the 40th Anniversary event and is not to be missed!

DETAILS HERE!