Category Archives: Accessories

On Guns, Joe Biden is Full of It

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Biden is untruthful about gun control plans. READ MORE

biden auto worker

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Presumptive Democratic 2020 Presidential Nominee Joe Biden is not one for clarity, tact, or a firm grasp of the facts. However, even an American public that has long been aware of his shortcomings was taken aback this week when the former vice president launched an unhinged attack on a pro-Second Amendment auto worker. Aside from further exposing a waning control of his faculties, the exchange revealed Biden’s deep antipathy towards the Second Amendment, his profound ignorance on the firearms issue, and his willingness to lie for political advantage.

The verbal dispute occurred on last Tuesday, as Biden toured a Fiat Chrysler plant in Michigan as the state was holding its primary. As Biden made his rounds, auto worker Jerry Wayne went up to the presidential candidate and asked him about his position on the Second Amendment. Speaking with Fox News’s Fox and Friends the following day, Wayne explained that he “asked [Biden] how he wanted to get the vote of the working man when a lot of us, we wield arms. We bear arms and we like to do that. And if he wants to give us work and take our guns, I don’t see how he is going to get the same vote.”

Wayne told Biden, “You’re actively trying to end our Second Amendment right and take our guns,” to which a visibly agitated Biden responded, “You’re full of **it.” Following Biden’s use of profanity, a female Biden staffer attempted to quell the confrontation. Biden responded by shushing the assistant.

Biden then claimed that he supports the Second Amendment, providing as evidence his ownership of 12 and 20-gauge shotguns. An angry Biden then professed “I’m not taking your gun away” and denied ever having said that he would take guns away. Wayne responded that there was video of Biden expressing his desire to take guns, to which the candidate responded with a denial.

At that point Biden thought it appropriate to point a finger in Wayne’s face and clarify that he was going to “take your AR-14s away.” The befuddled politician presumably was referring to America’s most popular rifle, the AR-15. When Wayne protested Biden pointing a finger in his face, a now irate Biden challenged the auto worker to a fight, telling him “Don’t tell me that, pal, or I’m going to go outside with you’re a**.”

Demonstrating a firmer grasp on U.S. civics than the Syracuse Law graduate*, Wayne responded to the unhinged “public servant” by saying “You’re working for me, man.” Continuing his profanity-laced tirade, Biden responded with, “I’m not working for you. Don’t be such a horse’s a**.”

Confused, Biden then appeared to conflate commonly-owned semi-automatic rifles with machineguns. Wayne was then forced to explain to the former vice president the difference between semi-automatic and automatic firearms. An addled Biden then shouted “Do you need 100 rounds? Do you need 100 rounds?” before wandering off.

Describing the interaction for Fox News, Wayne recalled that Biden “kind of just went off the deep end.”

SEE THE VIDEO HERE

That is an understatement.

Joe Biden does not support the Second Amendment

Biden continues to boast about his role as lead sponsor on the Senate crime bill that contained the 1994 Clinton ban on commonly-owned semiautomatic firearms and magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds. The ban was allowed to expire in 2004 after a federally-funded study determined that “the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.” Despite this record of failure, in 2007 Sen. Biden introduced S.2237. This legislation would have reinstated the so-called “assault weapons” ban.

At present, Biden’s campaign website touts his plan for a more restrictive ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms and magazines. Further, while attending a private $500 a person fundraiser in November, Biden revealed his intent to ban 9mm pistols. According to an article from the Seattle Times, while at the soiree, the 77-year-old asked attendees “Why should we allow people to have military-style weapons including pistols with 9mm bullets and can hold 10 or more rounds?”

The U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that the Second Amendment prohibits the gun bans Biden advocates.

In the landmark Second Amendment case District of Columbia v. Heller, the Court concluded 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 AR-15, which it appears Biden was attempting to cite in his most recent anti-gun rant, is the most popular rifle in America and therefore undoubtedly “in common use” and protected by the Second Amendment.

In 2015, Heller decision author Justice Antonin Scalia reiterated that the Second Amendment and Heller preclude so-called “assault weapons” bans when he signed onto a dissent from the denial of certiorari in Friedman v. Highland Park. In the dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas explained,

Roughly five million Americans own AR-style semiautomatic rifles [with many millions more owning them in 2020]. 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.

In targeting 9mm pistols, Biden has called for a ban on one of the most popular firearms in America. According to ATF’s Firearms Commerce in the United States FY 2019, there were over 3.6 million pistols manufactured in the U.S. in 2017. This was more than 1 million more guns than the next most popular category of firearms, rifles. Further, over 3.2 million handguns (including revolvers) were imported in to the U.S. in 2017.

In its annual report on the U.S. firearms industry, Shooting Industry reported that 9mm caliber pistols are the most commonly produced pistol and have been for many years. In 2017 alone, there were more than 1.7 million 9mm pistols produced in the U.S. Cumulatively there are tens of millions of 9mm pistols in the hands of law-abiding Americans.

As with so many anti-gun politician, when Biden claims to support the Second Amendment he is not being honest.

Joe Biden wants to take your guns.

At a campaign rally in Dallas on the Monday before the Super Tuesday primaries, failed U.S. senate and presidential candidate Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke endorsed Biden for president. Sharing the stage with his former rival, Biden stated, “I want to make something clear. I’m going to guarantee you this is not the last you’ll see of this guy.” Biden went on say, “You’re going to take care of the gun problem with me. You’re going to be the one who leads this effort. I’m counting on ya.”

Following the campaign event, Biden and O’Rourke went to local burger chain Whataburger, where the septuagenarian continued to heap praise on the former manny’s anti-gun advocacy. Speaking about Beto and gun control, Biden stated, “This guy changed the face of what we’re dealing with regarding guns, assault weapons… and I just want to warn [Beto’s wife] that if I win I’m coming for him.”

By offering Beto a role on guns in a potential future administration, Biden has made clear that he supports Beto’s gun control position. That position is gun confiscation.

During the September 12, 2019 Democratic debate, Beto O’Rourke was asked about his proposal to confiscate commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. Beto responded in part by saying, “hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15.” The Beto campaign would go on to sell t-shirts with the anti-gun slogan.

Less than a week later, Beto reiterated his call for gun confiscation on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time. During an interview, Chris Cuomo asked Beto, “All right, so let’s state the proposition. Are you, in fact, in favor of gun confiscation?” Beto responded with “Yes.”

There can be no doubt that Biden understands Beto would confiscate firearms, as he shared the debate stage with him on September 12.

Moreover, Biden himself has stated that he intends to take firearms. Biden had the following exchange with CNN’s Anderson Cooper when asked about firearm confiscation during an August 5, 2019 interview.

Cooper: So, to gun owners out there who say well a Biden administration means they are going to come for my guns.

Biden: Bingo! You’re right if you have an assault weapon.

Biden must think he can get away with lying to Second Amendment-supporting working people. In the friendly confines of a CNN interview, Biden is more than happy to admit his gun confiscation plans. However, put him in front of a group of workers and he tries to hide his radical anti-gun agenda.

Thanks to autoworker Jerry Wayne, Biden wasn’t able to get away with it this time. Wayne was correct to ask Biden about his history of attacking the Second Amendment and support for firearms confiscation. Biden, on the other hand, was full of it.

SKILLS: Holsterless Handguns — Viable?

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A true packing pistol should be viable if simply shoved in the waistband… READ MORE

no holster carry
Carrying the piece crossdraw in the waistband works well for many shooters.

Bob Campbell

For years most of us have counseled concealed carry handgun carriers to choose a proper holster. A holster keeps the handgun stable and angled for the proper draw. Just the same, who am I to go against two hundred years or more of tradition? Wild Bill Hickock kept his revolvers in a tightly woven sash. Few early holsters were suitable for concealed carry. Even today many folks like pocket carry. I will leave that for another time. Many of us like to shove a handgun in the belt for a quick run to the store or for more casual carry. Among my friends that are retired cops the trend seems to be toward such carry. That’s fine as long as they know what they are doing. The handgun must be tightly sandwiched in between the belt and the body and reasonably secure, not likely to be dislodged. I am not recommending concealed carry with no holster, far from it, but I am also a realist and feel that this common practice should be discussed.

no holster carry
If there were ever a better packing revolver than the Colt SAA the author has never seen it.

Sam Colt designed pocket, belt and holster guns. Each was a different size, for different needs. They generally ran .31, .36 and .44 caliber. Today we have sub-compact, compact and service size pistols. Some are less suited for concealed carry than others. As an example, I usually carry a Commander .45. I may carry a Government Model .45. I have learned after much experimentation that rail guns can be tricky on the draw. The Springfield Operator seems the best of the bunch when coupled with the Galco N3 holster, and a sharp draw isn’t difficult. Sometimes this isn’t true with other designs. If you are going to carry the 1911 in the waistband then the casual outlook probably doesn’t include a rail for mounting a combat light. The rail may snag on clothing. It is important to practice the draw. It is obvious that carrying the pistol cocked and locked isn’t the best idea if the handgun isn’t carried in a holster. The 1911 may reasonably be carried hammer down in relative safety if the pistol features a firing pin block or extra strength firing pin spring as most all modern 1911s do.

no holster carry
A cocked and locked 1911 rail gun, upper, may not be the best choice for waistband carry. The P210 9mm, lower, is long but slim and rides well without a holster. It is also easy to cock the hammer quickly.
no holster carry
This rail may snag the undergarments — practice a few draws to be certain.

The problem is cocking the hammer on the draw. It isn’t that difficult with the modern Government Model with a spur hammer. Some practice needs to go into this draw and making the pistol ready. It is slower than cocked and locked carry. But it is faster than carrying with an empty chamber. If you are carrying a self loading handgun with an empty chamber you really need to be carrying a revolver! When it comes to other single action hammered self loaders we have a mixed bunch. I am not exactly a snowflake, but I find the hammer of the Browning High Power 9mm very difficult to cock on the draw. The hammer is powered by a very heavy spring. The High Power will certainly crack most any primer, which is the design intent, but that hammer renders the High Power much less desirable for holsterless carry. I have to use two hands to rack the High Power. The CZ 75 is another matter. This piece is snug against the body, nearly perfect for carrying in the waistband. While the CZ is a double action first shot pistol it is pretty easy to cock the hammer on the draw. I am very much enjoying the SIG P210A. This is a wonderfully accurate and very well made single action handgun. I find cocking the hammer on the draw quite easy. I don’t feel comfortable carrying any striker fired handgun thrust in the waistband. Neither should you. Some self loaders dont work well based on design. Among my favorite light handguns is the Bond Arms Bullpup 9. The Bullpup 9 is a great shooter and its double action only trigger makes it a safe enough pistol to pack without a holster. The problem is the super compact geometry. The piece just doesn’t fit and balance well in the waistband.

no holster carry
The Model 69 .44 Magnum, top, is a good waistband gun — the Ladysmith, center, is pretty good but the snub .38, bottom, may squirm too much.

For the most part revolvers do not work nearly as well in the waistband without a holster. The snubnose .38, among the most trusted defensive handguns, is too short and squirms in the waistband. A three inch barrel version is a bit better. I sometimes carry the Model 69 2.75 inch barrel Combat Magnum .44 in the front, to the right of the belt buckle, and it is okay for a casual walk. The absolute best balanced revolvers for casual in the waistband carry are the plow handled Single Action Army types. This is among the reasons so many lawmen kept the SAA long past its prime, it is simply well balanced and fast handling. A 4 ¾ inch barrel SAA is about as compact as most double action .357 revolvers and balances well if worn in the front and tucked into the waistband. If you are worried about the revolver slipping into the pants then open the loading gate (crossdraw in the waistband also works as well) as you draw close the loading gate.

no holster carry
Striker fired pistols such as the SIG, top, are not the best choice for carry without a holster. The DAO Bond Bullpup, lower, is a good handgun but the geometry demands a holster. Just not enough real estate to keep the piece steady in the belt.

I think that there are times when holsterless carry works well. It isn’t ideal but then all types of concealed carry are a compromise.

REVIEW: The Glock M44 — Glock Imperfection?

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It isn’t perfect but the Glock M44 is a good addition to the Glock battery. READ MORE

Glock M44
The Glock M44 is a great all around trainer and target practice handgun.

Heyward Williams 

The Glock model 44 rimfire was met with some derision by those wishing to own a single column magazine 10mm or perhaps the long awaited Glock carbine. I don’t know if Glock is seriously considering these firearms but they listen, they certainly do. They listened when American officers asked for self loading pistols to level the playing field. Chiefs, bean counters, and administrators were grudging to give officers much needed hollow point bullets. They avoided leveling the playing field (anti-gun and anti-cop goes hand in hand). The Illinois State Police paved the way with self loaders but the Democrats in charge limited them to FMJ ammo. A Republican governor finally made the change. In most jurisdictions administrators agreed to issue self loaders when a double action only was offered. The big American makers turned a deaf ear to American cops offering a warmed over Americanized P 38 for police service. They thereby abrogated the police market to the Europeans for the next four decades. Glock’s Model 17 9mm was the first Glock followed by many other Glock pistols, including my favorite, the Glock 19. Glock responded to police requests with the Glock M 22 .40 and the .45 GAP, an underrated caliber with many applications. That is all a thrice-told story.

The .22 rimfire Glock is today’s headline.

Glock has boldly moved out of the personal defense and service market. Many makers or aftermarket makers offer rimfire conversions for their handguns. Some work well, others not so well. I have used a .22 caliber handgun for marksmanship training, practice, and small game hunting for decades. They are just fun guns. You don’t have to have a reason to own one. Shooters that neglect to own a .22 handgun are missing out on an important tool. The cost of a handgun pales over the cost of an extensive training regimen. The .22 allows many thousands of rounds of rounds of ammunition to be fired for a pittance. The problem is the .22 is a hoary old design. The rimmed cartridge case and heel based bullet don’t make for the most reliable feeding — not to mention powder designed for rifles. The resulting pressure curve makes for difficulty in convincing a pistol to feed properly. Most makers warranty their pistol with work only with high velocity loads. Since standard velocity loads are generally more expensive than bulk produced high velocity loads this isn’t a demerit. CCI alone manufactures billions of .22 LR cartridges a year.

Glock M44
The Glock 19, top, in 9mm, is a bit heavier than the similar Glock 44 .22, bottom.

The Glock M44 is a Generation 4 type with a finger groove frame. The pistol is designed to mock the popular Glock 19 9mm. The Glock 44 is well suited for rimfire practice for those that own Glock centerfire handguns. The pistol is equally well suited to beginning shooters and those that enjoy informal target shooting and small game hunting. A radical departure from the Glock 19 is a lightweight slide that is a hybrid mix of polymer with metal reinforcement. A steel slide would be too heavy to be actuated by rimfire recoil. While it may be tempting to fit aftermarket sights, perhaps the same XS sights found on your Glock 23 as an example, makers tell me they do not recommend steel sights be pressed into the polymer Glock hybrid slide. Downer there. Otherwise the takedown, magazine release, and trigger action are straight up Glock.

Glock M44
The internals of the Glock 44 and Glock 19 are similar. The Glock 44 has a longer ejector and different locking block.

You cannot place the Glock 44 slide on a Glock 19 frame. The locking block and other parts differ. The barrel is removeable. The barrel is what Glock calls a Marksman barrel. The chamber is fluted to aid feed reliability. A threaded barrel will be available within weeks, so Glock tells us. Spare magazines are about twenty eight dollars. The pistol is supplied with two magazines. And no loading tool. The easy load design doesn’t need a loading tool.

Glock M44
An easy load magazine is a big plus for the Glock 44.

The overall length is 7.28 inches. Barrel length is 4.02 inches. Standard Glock type frame inserts are included. The Glock 44 features a rail for mounting combat lights. Unlike most .22 caliber rimfire handguns the Glock 44 may be dry fired without harming the firing pin. The difference most apparent in handling is weight. The Glock 44 weighs just over 14.5 ounces, nine ounces less than the Glock 19. The Glock 44 uses a single column ten shot magazine. Glock tells us that a high capacity magazine is difficult to convince to feed with the rimmed .22 Long Rifle cartridge. The magazine features a nicely located tab on the follower that makes loading easy. Depress the tab and load one round at a time to properly stack the ammo in the magazine, do not depress the tab and drop cartridges into the magazine. The proper sequence ensures feed reliability. The Safe Action trigger breaks at 5.8 pounds compression.

Glock M44
The M19 and M44 frames are similar but not identical.

I have fired the Glock 44 extensively with a lot of help from the grown grandchildren. The pistol is a fun gun. Personal defense drills may be run quickly. It really isn’t much faster to fire a string than the Glock 19, at least accurately, as you have to be careful to center the sights and the whippy slide makes it a bit more difficult. No problem, this is a .22. So — cross training with the 9mm is pretty realistic. As for hunting I will no longer have to hold the Colt Frontier .22 in one hand and a light in the other. I can use  both hands and light up a racoon with the TruGlo combat light on the rail of the Glock 44.

As for reliability, well, it isn’t up to the usual Glock standard. Various institutional shoot outs have subjected the Glock 9mm to ten to forty thousand rounds of ammunition and found the piece very reliable. Occasionally a trigger return spring will break at thirty thousand rounds. Big deal. The Glock 44 has a drawback in mounting after market sights, but that’s ok. Just not perfect commonality with the service gun. The trigger action may be changed out with an aftermarket trigger group so that’s good. The slide and barrel differ in the locking block so you cannot put a Glock 44 slide on the Glock 19 and that’s good.

Reliability is the big problem. It isn’t as reliable as Glock claims. With several types of High Velocity loads it is almost, but not quite, one hundred per cent. Be careful how you stagger the cartridges in the magazine. Subsonic ammunition is supposed to work. Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Once the piece is dirty sub sonics don’t work as well. The first sign is the slide doesn’t lock open on the last shot. The pistol is reliable with CCI Mini Mags, either RN, HP or segmented. These loads are one hundred per cent at least up to about four hundred rounds. Don’t laud my efforts too much, it was a lot of fun. Keep the Glock 44 .22 pistol clean and lubricated and it will go several hundred Mini Mags without a hiccup. That’s all we can ask. It is a neat .22, a Glock, it is less reliable than some .22s and more so than others.

SEE MORE HERE

 

 

Hawaii: Mag Ban and Ammo Restrictions Eligible for Vote on Senate Floor

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New bill is an unfair proposal to Hawaiians. READ MORE

hawaii

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Senate Bill 2519 SD 2 prohibits the manufacture, possession, sale, barter, trade, gift, transfer, or acquisition of magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds. Individuals may continue to possess any magazines acquired prior to the effective date, but they can only be transferred to a new owner through inheritance. These so called “high capacity” magazines are in fact standard equipment for commonly-owned firearms that many Americans legally and effectively use for an entire range of legitimate purposes, such as self-defense or competition. The bill recognizes the utility of these magazines by carving out an exemption for law enforcement, but will still violate the rights of ordinary citizens. Just last year, a 9th Circuit opinion ruled that California’s ban on standard capacity magazines was unconstitutional in Duncan v. Becerra. This case is currently under appeal. There is no reason to believe that a similar restriction would not suffer the same fate.

Senate Bill 2635 SD 2 restricts the purchase and possession of ammunition, and requires licensing for ammunition sellers. SB 2635 was amended by the Senate Judiciary Committee to include provisions found in HB 1902, and features a similar approach of over-regulation and bureaucratic involvement.

SB 2635 now requires anyone wishing to buy ammunition to provide proof of firearm registration for the particular caliber of purchase. The registered owner of a firearm may also officially designate an alternate who, after being subjected to fingerprinting and a background check, will be issued a permit to purchase ammunition for that firearm. Additionally, the bill attempts to deal with the common issue of firearms with the capacity to fire multiple calibers. It falls far short of actually addressing the issue however, instead giving discretion to the police department on whether or not they will include additional calibers on the permit, with no outlined process for appeal. Further, the bill still fails to consider many other real-world problems, such as long guns that were acquired prior to 1994, which under current law, are not required to be registered, and instances where a family member or friend who are not designated as an alternate may wish to purchase ammunition for a hunt or recreational outing.

Of course, criminals will simply sidestep these new requirements while law-abiding gun owners and businesses are subject to yet more bureaucratic restrictions.

 

Virginia: Gun Ban Bill Defeated!

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Virginians’ rights upheld by help of 2nd Amendment supporters. READ MORE

virginia gun laws

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Thanks to Second Amendment supporters around the Commonwealth ceaselessly voicing their opposition to a sweeping gun ban, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-5 to reject House Bill 961 on February 17th. Bloomberg’s House majority in the General Assembly is not going to deliver their most coveted agenda item to their billionaire master.

House Bill 961 was a comprehensive ban on many commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, suppressors, and standard capacity magazines. The original bill sought to impose a licensing and registration scheme for citizens who wish to keep affected firearms they lawfully owned prior to the ban, with felony penalties for noncompliance. It also broadly banned any part that could be used to change a firearm into a banned configuration. While the House Public Safety Committee amended the bill to allow citizens to keep currently owned firearms and suppressors, there was no option for citizens to keep their lawfully acquired magazines with capacities greater than twelve rounds, forcing millions of Virginians to dispose of their property, become a criminal, or surrender them to the government.

Hodgdon Powders Q & A

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We hear this all the time, which we don’t mind. It’s difficult for us to convey info from a manufacturer, so when they come right out with a Q&A on subjects like limited inventory, we’re more than happy to relay the info back to you as quickly as possible.

Below, you’ll find some quick answers to some supply issues from Hodgdon Powders. They’re one of our favorite vendors. Straight forward folks with the customer in mind from start to finish.

Why can’t I find Hodgdon powders like H4350, Varget, Retumbo and H1000?

As you have seen, Hodgdon powders, especially rifle powders for long-range and precision shooting, can be difficult to find. Dealer shelves that were formerly filled with cans of powder now have empty spots. Here are answers to your questions straight from Hodgdon.

Q: Is Hodgdon still making powder?
A: Yes, we continue shipping powder as quickly as possible. In fact, we will ship more powder in 2020 than last year. The real problem behind empty dealer shelves is complicated, but is related to shifting supply and demand challenges. As supply decreased in 2019, demand only increased. No one wants to ship more powder than Hodgdon.

Q: What is causing the supply challenges?
A: Quite simply, our manufacturing facilities have not kept up with our orders. Additionally, military contracts began specifying Hodgdon powders in the last few years for military ammunition, impacting our supply. With expanded government regulation, shipping explosive and energetic materials has become more challenging, which also impacts available supply. Lastly, rapidly changing consumer preferences for different powder types has impacted both demand and supply. We worked with all Hodgdon providers to resolve open issues and expect powder supply to improve in 2020 as a result.

Q: Is Hodgdon still in business?
A: Yes, Hodgdon has been in business (and family owned) for over 70 years. We are here for the long haul and are doing everything we can to supply our powders to handloaders. Dealer shelves are empty because powder is purchased as soon as it arrives at the dealer’s stores but we will continue to ship more in 2020.

Q: Is the shortage of reloading powder being caused by Hodgdon shipping their powder to the ammunition manufacturing companies?
A: While Hodgdon does sell powder to ammunition manufacturing companies, more than 80% of our powder is sold to our core market – handloaders just like you. Hodgdon has always been committed to the individual handloader.

Q: When will I start to see more powder on dealer shelves?
A: While Hodgdon will continue to ship powder as rapidly as possible, we have a significant backlog in demand. Some powders will be in stock more quickly, but we believe it will take much of 2020 to improve availability for all powders.

Q: I have seen/heard many rumors and conjecture on powder shortages with Hodgdon Powder.
A: If you do not hear it directly from Hodgdon Powder Company, please be skeptical.

What questions do you have for Hodgdon Powders? Leave a few in the comments!

See more comments from Hodgdon’s Facebook post:

RELOADERS CORNER: Factory Ammo

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Factory ammo is a fact of firearms life. How does it relate to us, as handloaders, and, how do we relate to it? READ MORE

factory ammo
Trying a boxfull of a few different ideas might help settle on what ends up being handloaded. There’s a lot out there to try.

Glen Zediker

I’ve long been an ammo snob because of my focus on target sports, and on the creation of ammo for same (a focus both for myself and for my published materials). If you’re building ammo to stake a score on then it has to be the best, it has to be custom, and that is a substantial investment in a lot of time and tools. And testing. Testing testing testing.

I’m now shooting more factory-made rounds than ever, and one reason is because of I’m doing a lot more work with more varied firearms. For me, handloading is a serious step up, not a casual step in. I don’t load for several of the different guns I have because of that. My son, Charlie, has been doing a good deal of published reviews, for instance, and neither of us is about to set up a station just to test a firearm chambered in anything we don’t already load for.

factory ammo
I keep this sort of thing on hand, and I also use the “better” grade of mil-spec for use in my guns. Hornady Frontier works well.

factory ammo

I also have come to accept that it may be a more fair test of a gun to run ready-made through it, but only because that is how it’s usually done: get a gun, get a few boxes of ammo, go to the range, and see what you have. I have every confidence that, given enough of that time and testing, I can make any rifle out there shoot better with a handload — I’ve seen that over and over and over again. But, I say factory ammo is a fair test because overall and after enough different tests with different guns there will be a pattern develop reflecting ammo quality. There are, therefore, decided performance tendencies I’ve seen in factory ammo, and, as with many things that have, at a base level, cost as a variable — it’s predictable.

“Premium” factory ammo shoots better! Of course it does. That’s assembled with, mostly, a quality bullet. For rifles it’s the barrel, for ammo it’s the bullet that matters most. So, if you’re wanting to see how well your new gun can shoot, choose a box of factory ammo that’s got the better bullet. That also gives you the chance to get started assembling a component list when you spool up the press to make your own for it. If you doubt that, ask any old NRA High Power Rifle shooter about “Mex-Match.” And, since I’m handy, I’ll tell you! Pull the bullet from a mil-spec load and replace it with a commercial match-grade bullet of a suitable weight. Groups shrink 50-60%.

The Value Of Factory Ammo
Are there times when factory is prefereable to custom?

Yes. At least, maybe.

factory ammo
This is what sits in my magazines that sit in or near my guns kept at the ready. I don’t bust clods with it. I don’t handload NATO-spec.

I keep factory ammo in my “ready mags.” That might surprise some. Yes, of course I “trust” my handloads. Usually, though, I won’t be shooting a lot of whatever is loaded into my house gun, and that’s all about bullets. I’ll shoot a ton of handloaded rounds through my main carbine, but not with the bullet I want being there if needed.

On that topic: it is the bullet options that factory ammo provides that can give it an edge over a routine-use handload. For instance, some of the “specialty” defensive or hunting factory recipes use bullets that often aren’t even available otherwise (or not readily). Or, and as said, it’s a better value all-around to get a few boxes of what you have chosen to represent best fulfillment of needs, get a zero with some, and then keep the rest at the ready, than it is to load them yourself. That requires routine load recipe testing, which requires purchase of more bullets, maybe different propellants, and so on.

Plus, since most are treated to sealant or at the least little to no contact with humans, there’s less chance of “stiction,” which can and will happen. (That’s when the bullet “freezes” in the case neck, and it raises pressure.) I’ve seen it, and it’s from plain corrosion, which is fueled mostly from handling the components. I’ve had it turn up in rounds loaded for no more than a year (and they popped a few primers). Some use latex gloves, and I started up that after this experience.

Specifics
First I apologize for this short list because there’s a lottamo out there. I only feel right, right now, about telling you what I have used that I really like.

Of the factory ammo I’ve shot, and this is across a range of cartridges, the Hornady line has overall been the most impressive. That’s for handguns and rifles. Hornady has a wide range of specialized loads (specialized bullets) that are well thought out, and, by my experience, well constructed. Stuff shoots well! For instance, their lower-cost “mil-spec” simply shoots better than others similar I’ve tried. Likewise, for hunting, defense, and targets, there will very likely be a load that’s been well-proven. Again, it’s usually the bullet that’s the difference. I shot a lot of good scores with Hornady bullets in my handloads, and some of their designs for impact effectiveness have proven themselves indeed effective.

I also like Nosler. It’s not cheap. Neither are the bullets or brass used in it! Nosler has been my go-to for .223 Rem. brass for a good while. Its quality is very good and it’s ready to load right out of the box, and it’s tough enough. I switched to Nolser match bullets also. I mostly got to shooting Nosler factory ammo when I got my 22 Nosler. Hornady has a wider selection for different needs, but my experience has been that I haven’t found anything that beats Nosler on-target. And I get to keep the cases!

I’m leaving a lot of makers out. Clearly, there is good and not good factory-loaded ammo. Those I know with a lot more rounds downrange from freshly-factory-sealed containers have good things to say about Federal Premium, and often favor Black Hills, and also agree with me about Hornady and Nolser.

Variety
There are a lot (a lot a lot) of options in bullets especially for .300 Blackout, for instance. The Blackout is that much more variable because of super- and subsonic.

factory ammo
Those specializing in specialized ammo often have more than one take on a load concept. Here are two subsonic developments from Hornady: a little heavier and a little lighter.

The .223 Rem. range, along with other popular cartridges, includes the “target” use loadings. Some are pretty good. However! I honestly think there’s a tad amount, to a lot, of kidding the self to think it will be better than what you can load for yourself. If you want to really find out how well your gun shoots, getchaseff to the loading bench.

As suggested, it might be wise to try a few factory loads in a new gun before making the investment in choosing components for your handloaded ammo to come.

The preceding is a adapted from information contained in from Glen’s newest book America’s Gun: The Practical AR15. Available at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Visit ZedikerPublishing.com for more information on the book itself, and also free article downloads.

SKILLS: Do You Need A Rifle Scope?

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To push the limits of your tactical rifle a long-range rifle scope might just be what you need, or not… READ MORE

rifle scopes
Some shooters romanticize the idea of getting a huge rifle scope so they can shoot a country mile. It is best to find balance in realistic goals for your rifle and the optic.

SOURCE: Springfield-Armory Armory Life, Adam Scepaniak

In previous articles we discussed the merits of utilizing and understanding the practicality of iron sights as well as when red dot sights can improve speed and awareness and be beneficial to those of us with less than perfect vision.

That now brings us to the topic of more conventional rifle scopes with magnification. There is a novelty in being able to push one’s shooting prowess to its limits and see exactly how far you can connect on a shot. Simultaneously, you don’t want a rifle scope on an all-purpose carbine that is so overmatched for your target that close quarter targets become unfeasible to engage.

There is a certain balance that must be achieved in magnification, weight and other ancillary features to accomplish the mission at hand. In the third part of this series on carbine sighting systems, we will now cover the pros and cons of rifle scopes on your modern sporting rifle.

Realistic Goals
With most people’s modern sporting rifles being chambered in .223 Rem/5.56mm NATO, your effective range is roughly 600 yards (without deep-diving into reloading your own ammunition and some other wizardry performed on your firearm). Understanding this is essentially the practical limit of the cartridge, you then need to ask yourself how far you are actually going to shoot.

Secondly, how close do you want to shoot? If you top off your rifle with a titan of a scope you may not be able to engage anything quickly under 100 yards. Conversely, if the magnification of your rifle scope is too weak, how comfortable are you shooting long distances with low magnification? Identifying your working range, or the distances you intend to engage targets, will lead you to what magnification your rifle scope should be.

rifle scopes
A good quality scope, such as this Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6X, can offer you close range performance as well as the ability to reach out to longer distances.

My answer to that proposed question was potentially 300 yards at a maximum and possibly 10 yards at a minimum. Sounds nearly too close and too far at the same time, right? Well, there are a bevy of rifle scope manufacturers who make optics that could amply cover that range of distance. With a rifle scope that is 1-4X, 1-6X or 1-8X, you have the ability to shoot both near and far while not adding significant weight to your weapon platform.

Real-World Applications
With a rifle scope that can be dialed down to 1X or essentially no magnification, you have the ability to do the work iron sights or a red dot can accomplish. This affords the shooter a greater field of view and better awareness of their surroundings. This can be exceedingly valuable for defense or hunting situations. Also, many rifle scopes offer the feature of lit reticles so your optic could truly do the work of a red dot in close quarters.

At the same time, you can spike your magnification up to potentially 6X or 8X to engage long-distance targets. This makes that example of a 300-yard shot more feasible without sacrificing your ability to shoot something a stone’s throw away in front of you. While some of your friends might boast of their ability to shoot far with little magnification, it is better to make your shots as easy as possible instead of tight-rope walking the limit of your abilities behind a rifle.

Practical Considerations
Another consideration aside from the magnification of your optic is the size and weight. Most modern sporting rifles are viewed as mobile firearms — something someone can easily carry or sling over their shoulder. At a weight of roughly 6 lbs., it really diminishes the mobility of your firearm if you tack on a gawdy 4-lb. rifle scope. While it might appear cool for social media and your range buddies, it will fail a “practicality test.”

rifle scopes

rifle scopes
Something that a rifle scope can accomplish that iron sights or a red dot cannot is to make a long, difficult shot more easily possible.

With a rifle scope that can be brought down to 1X, you get the benefits of greater awareness and field of view with the ability to apply magnification.

So, if you have an AR-15 in your stable like a SAINT and want to turn it into more of a workhorse, a rifle scope can add a lot of value! If you believe a scope will be too overpowering or will ruin your chance of close-up shots, think again. A well-chosen rifle scope has the potential to give you the benefits of iron sights, a red dot, and magnification all in one.

The only thing that might deter some people is the price that comes along with it. Good rifle scopes can start around $200 and easily exceed $2,000 fairly quickly. As mentioned earlier, it’s all about finding that balance of what you wish to accomplish and what will get you there. Be safe out there, and happy shooting!

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.

 

RELOADERS CORNER: Press Tricks

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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.

 

SKILLS: When You Need A Red Dot

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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.