Category Archives: AR-15

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.

Pro-Gun Rally By Thousands In Virginia Ends Peacefully

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Thousands in Virginia showed to support their unalienable rights. Zero problems, major statements! READ MORE

va rally

SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Thousands of gun-rights activists from around the country rallied peacefully at the Virginia Capitol on Monday, protesting plans by the state’s Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation that have become a key flash point in the national debate over gun violence. About 22,000 people attended the rally, 6,000 on Capitol Square and 16,000 outside the security gates, authorities said.

The size of the crowd and the expected participation of white supremacists and fringe militia groups raised fears that the state could see a repeat of the violence that exploded in 2017 in Charlottesville. But the rally concluded uneventfully around noon, and the mood was largely festive, with rally-goers chanting “USA!” and waving signs denouncing Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.

Many protesters chose not to enter the designated rally zone, where Northam had instituted a temporary weapons ban, and instead packed the surrounding streets, many dressed in tactical gear and camouflage and carrying military-style rifles as they cheered on the speakers.

“I love this. This is like the Super Bowl for the Second Amendment right here,” said P.J. Hudson, a truck driver from Richmond who carried an AR-15 rifle just outside Capitol Square. He was one of the few African-American rally goers in the crowd that was overwhelmingly white and male, and frequently was stopped and asked to pose for pictures wearing his “Black Guns Matter” sweatshirt.

Police announced one arrest: a 21-year-old Richmond woman charged with wearing a mask in public after she allegedly ignored an officer’s warnings to remove a bandanna covering her face.

The Richmond protesters came out in the thousands despite the frigid temperature to send a message to legislators, they said.

“The government doesn’t run us, we run the government,” said Kem Regik, a 20-year-old private security officer from northern Virginia who brought a white flag with a picture of a rifle captioned, “Come and take it.”

Northam was a particular focus of the protesters’ wrath. One poster showed his face superimposed on Adolf Hitler’s body.

But Democratic lawmakers said the rally wasn’t going to impact their plans to pass gun-control measures, including universal background checks and a one-handgun-purchase-a-month limit.

“I was prepared to see a whole lot more people show up than actually did and I think it’s an indication that a lot of this rhetoric is bluster, quite frankly,” said Del. Chris Hurst, a gun-control advocate whose TV journalist girlfriend was killed in an on-air shooting in 2015.

Some of the protesters waved flags with messages of support for President Donald Trump. Trump, in turn, tweeted support for their goals.

“The Democrat Party in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia are working hard to take away your 2nd Amendment rights,” he tweeted. “This is just the beginning. Don’t let it happen, VOTE REPUBLICAN in 2020!”

TRUMP TWEET

The Virginia State Police, the Virginia Capitol Police and the Richmond Police had a heavy presence, with officers deploying on rooftops, others patrolling in cars and on bicycles.

Authorities were looking to avoid a repeat of the violence that erupted in Charlottesville during one of the largest gatherings of white supremacists and other far-right groups in a decade. Attendees brawled with counterprotesters, and an avowed white supremacist drove his car into a crowd, killing a woman and injuring dozens more. Law enforcement officials faced scathing criticism for what both the white supremacist groups and anti-racism protesters said was a passive response.

In contrast to Charlottesville, there was little sign of counterprotesters challenging the gun-rights activists.

Police limited access to Capitol Square to only one entrance, and a long line formed to get into the rally zone.

Gun rights advocates also filled the hallways of the building that houses lawmakers’ offices. One couple, Jared and Marie March, traveled from Floyd County, over three hours west of Richmond, to meet with lawmakers.

“Guns are a way of life where we live,” said Marie March, who was concerned about a proposed red-flag law which she said would allow citizens to be stripped of their guns due to “subjective criteria.” A proposal to establish universal background checks amounted to “more Big Brother,” she said. “We just feel like we need to push government back into their rightful spot.”

Monday’s rally was organized by an influential grassroots gun-rights group, the Virginia Citizens Defense League. The group holds a yearly rally at the Capitol, typically a low-key event with a few hundred gun enthusiasts listening to speeches from a handful of ambitious Republican lawmakers. But this year, many more attended. Second Amendment groups have identified the state as a rallying point for the fight against what they see as a national erosion of gun rights.

The pushback against proposed new gun restrictions began immediately after Democrats won majorities in both the state Senate and House of Delegates in November, with much of the opposition focused on a proposed assault weapons ban. More than 100 localities have since passed measures declaring support for the Second Amendment.

 

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.

 

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.

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

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

gov northam

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Justice Thomas explained,

Roughly five million Americans own AR-style semiautomatic rifles. The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting. Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons.

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

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

 

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

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

80 percent lower

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Virginia Governor proposes harsh firearm legislation. READ MORE

northam

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The website also reported,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roughly five million Americans own AR-style semiautomatic rifles. The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting. Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Why You Need Iron Sights

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This is part one of a three-part series on sighting options for your rifle. This first entry covers iron sights. READ MORE

iron sights

SOURCE: Springfield-Armory Armory Life, Kit Perez

While the AR-15 (or “Modern Sporting Rifle”) continues to balloon in popularity for competition, hunting, and defense, there is one facet of it that does not seem to get that much attention: iron sights. Why is that? Many people who are enamored with the AR-15 are equally infatuated with optics. Whether it is magnified optics or red dots, both types of sights are tremendously popular compared to iron sights. So, with optics coming to the forefront of shooter preferences, why and when would someone want to still run iron sights? Fully knowing what a basic set of irons are capable of might be half the battle.

Always On
The misperception of iron sights might stem from the various upbringings we have all had with firearms. If you were introduced to guns as a child with a single-shot, bolt-action .22 Long Rifle with iron sights you likely progressed from there to bigger, better and more modern firearms. Other factions of shooters may have joined the arms bandwagon later in life and began with an AR-15 with an optic, or potentially a different scoped rifle. If you initially skipped over iron sights in your start with rifles, it would be admittedly difficult to regress back to “lesser” technology. Unfortunately for that aforementioned group, lacking a rudimentary understanding of iron sights means you’re missing a basic skill of marksmanship.

When the conversation of “should you use iron sights,” or at a minimum understand them, comes up, I immediately think of Murphy’s Law: What can go wrong, will. Moreover, the technology in optics can fail. Whether it’s a battery dying or glass being irreparable damaged, if you have back-up iron sights you can always remain in the fight, hunt, or competitive event.

Old-School Rangefinding
So, removing the thought of Murphy’s Law from your mindset, why else should you understand and deploy iron sights? For one, the width of a mil-spec front sight post (FSP) can be used to measure the relative size and distance of objects. A mil-spec FSP such as the one present on the Springfield Armory SAINT AR-15 is 0.07” wide. Some fast math tells us that is loosely 3.2 mils at 100 meters.

iron sights
The SAINT’s rear sight has two peep apertures you can use — one is for normal aiming and the other for quick, close-quarters shooting.

More people should become comfortable and familiar with this view because if your optics fail this may be all that you have to work with, for better or worse.

The military teaches that a mil-spec FSP at 150 meters is the average width of a military-aged male’s torso (approximately 19” across). So, for example, if a whitetail deer is facing you straight on and your FSP completely covers the deer’s chest, that particular deer should be at loosely 150 meters. While this is a very primitive ranging technique, in the 21st century it’s great knowledge to keep tucked away in your mind. And it always works. No batteries to run out or glass to break.

Even More Options?
With many sets of iron sights such as on the SAINT, you also get multiple rear apertures through which to aim. Sometimes they’re referred to as day-time and night-time peeps (small and large) while more modern shooting manuals identify each aperture as being utilized for normal shooting and faster close-quarters target acquisition. The ability to have two choices in a rear aperture and greater awareness by not being forced into “tunnel vision focus” with an optic can be quite valuable.

iron sights
While you might think you don’t need those iron sights that come on your SAINT rifle, they are actually a highly capable aiming system.

Since iron sights can serve a two-fold purpose in their peeps and there are handy secrets in their dimensions, when should you use them then? Some of the best applications are for hunting and competition. If you’re going to be participating in a 3-Gun competition, an educational carbine course, the Tactical Games or a similar style AR-15 course of fire, then iron sights could be immensely valuable. In regards to hunting, the ranging ability and fast target acquisition could be handy for unpredictable game appearances. Also, when Murphy’s Law finds you, the likelihood of a nearby gas station stocking your obscure watch battery for your primary optic will be abysmally low. When you’re competing or hunting, it’s often better to “have and not need iron sights than need and not have.”

iron sights

So, if you just added an AR-15 to your arsenal and are thinking of stripping the factory iron sights off of it, think again! They offer a lot of value. Possibly consider using them as a back-up and know that you’ll be more informed and prepared. Be safe out there, and happy shooting!

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.

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.

Bloomberg-Bought Virginia Legislators Introduce Confiscatory Gun Ban

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New Bloomberg-based legislation poses serious threat to Virginia gun owners. READ MORE

bloomberg

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Michael Bloomberg’s bought and paid for Virginia legislators have wasted no time introducing legislation that would make the Old Dominion’s gun laws worse than those of the billionaire’s home state of New York.

SB 16, introduced by Sen. Richard L. Saslaw, would create a total ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, like the AR-15. Even worse, the ban would even extend to common firearm parts. The restrictions included in the proposed legislation does not grandfather current owners. The legislation is clearly designed to be firearms confiscation, as current owners would be forced to dispossess themselves of their property or face a felony conviction.

Saslaw’s legislation provides,

It is unlawful for any person to import, sell, transfer, manufacture, purchase, possess, or transport an assault firearm.

Otherwise law-abiding gun owners found in possession of an “assault firearm,” even one they purchased prior to the ban, could be convicted of a Class 6 felony. A Class 6 felony is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment.

The legislation lays out several criteria by which a firearm would be defined as an “assault firearm.” This includes,

A semi-automatic centerfire rifle with a fixed magazine with a capacity greater than 10 rounds.
A semi-automatic centerfire rifle with a detachable magazine that has one of the following characteristics:
(i) a folding or telescoping stock; (ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the rifle; (iii) a thumbhole stock; (iv) a second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; (v) a bayonet mount; (vi) a grenade launcher; (vii) a flare launcher; (viii) a silencer; (ix) a flash suppressor; (x) a muzzle brake; (xi) a muzzle compensator; (xii) a threaded barrel… or (xiii) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (xii)

A semi-automatic centerfire pistol with a fixed magazine capacity greater than 10 rounds.
A semi-automatic centerfire pistol with a detachable magazine that has one of the following characteristics:
(i) a folding or telescoping stock; (ii) a thumbhole stock; (iii) a second handgrip or a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand; (iv) the capacity to accept a magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip; (v) a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the pistol with the non-trigger hand without being burned; (vi) a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; (vii) a threaded barrel… or (viii) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (vii);

A shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
A semi-automatic shotgun with one of the following characteristics:
(i) a folding or telescoping stock, (ii) a thumbhole stock, (iii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the shotgun, (iv) the ability to accept a detachable magazine, (v) a fixed magazine capacity in excess of seven rounds, or (vi) any characteristic of like kind as enumerated in clauses (i) through (v).

With this definition, SB 16 would outlaw America’s most popular rifle, the AR-15, along with countless other rifles, pistols, and shotguns that Virginians use for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense.

A knowledgeable firearms owner will take a look at the ridiculous definition and realize that such ham-handed legislation must be born out of petty vindictiveness or a complete ignorance of firearm technology, as there is no logical public safety rationale.

For example, the legislation is so broad that it would ban hunting guns like the Mossberg 935 Turkey shotgun for its “pistol grip.”

Banned shotgun
Banned!

The ban would prohibit the possession of guns like this Model SP-10 Magnum Thumbhole Camo due to its thumbhole stock.

banned shotgun
Banned!

The ban would also capture guns such as this version of the Browning BAR Mark II Safari hunting rifle, as it has a detachable box magazine and a muzzle brake.

banned rifle
Banned!

Moreover, the “any characteristic of like kind” language that appears after each list of prohibited features introduces an unacceptable vagueness into the definition of what does or does not constitute an “assault firearm.” Law-abiding gun owners would be forced to prophesy just how a court might interpret those unclear provisions.

As bad and senseless as the prohibition on certain firearms is, the proposed ban on firearm parts truly shows how Michael Bloomberg is cashing in on his political investment.

The legislation provides,

“Assault firearm” includes any part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert, modify, or otherwise alter a firearm into an assault firearm, or any combination of parts that may be readily assembled into an assault firearm.

This passage would appear to make all of the firearm parts listed under the various feature tests in and of themselves “assault firearms” and therefore prohibited. As the individual part is treated as an “assault firearm,” possession of such a part would be punishable in the same manner as a prohibited firearm, as a Class 6 felony.

Many firearms are modular. For instance, the same muzzle brake or flash suppressor could be used to turn a semi-automatic firearm into an “assault firearm” under the bill’s definition, or it could be used by a hunter or precision rifle shooter on their bolt-action rifle.

In recent years the popularity of the AR-15 platform has led to the adoption of AR-15 parts in other types of firearms. An example of this trend is the Ruger Precision Rimfire rifle. The firearm is a bolt-action rimfire rifle that accepts an AR-15 pistol grip. As the pistol grip part is a prohibited feature on a semi-automatic rifle that can accept a detachable magazine and is designed for use on a prohibited AR-15, the mere grip itself could be banned under this legislation.

ruger rimfire
Banned!

SB 16 also bans the importation, sale, and transfer of standard capacity firearm magazines that are designed to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Many handguns commonly-owned by law-abiding citizens for concealed carry come standard with magazines that would be banned. Otherwise law-abiding gun owners who violate the magazine provision could be found guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail.

All Virginia gun owners must organize to fight against Bloomberg-backed gun confiscation in the Old Dominion. In the coming days NRA will keep gun owners apprised of the latest developments in Richmond and the actions necessary to defend the right to keep and bear arms. In the meantime, please sign up to volunteer to help defeat this and other terrible legislation.

 

REVIEW: Deadfoot Arms AR Folding Stock Adapter

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If you are looking to store and transport your rifle in an extra short case, the Deadfoot Arms AR Folding Stock Adapter is just what you are seeking. READ MORE

deadfoot

David Kenik

Deadfood Arms offers a folding stock adapter for the AR15 platform that allows the stock to be folded to the side, yet the rifle remains fully functional. Entire magazines can be fired while the stock is folded.

The ability to fold the stock enables the rifle to be stored and transported in a small case. The compact form makes it especially suitable for service as trunk gun. The ability to shoot while folded is valuable when time is critical and too limited to unfold the stock in an emergency situation.

Unlike the traditional, AR15 carbine, buffer tube that measures 7.25 inches long, the Deadfoot Arms’ system only extends 2.5 inches beyond the upper receiver. They accomplished this by replacing the AR’s standard bolt carrier group and buffer system with a shortened version that they designed and manufacture, called the Modified Cycle System (MCS.)

deadfoot
Here’s the whole kit. All you need is in the box, along with different springs to tune function.

The MSC consists of Deadfoot Arm’s M-16 Style Bolt Carrier Group, short buffer tube, plunger, endcap, a buffer spring and choice of two recoil springs.

deadfoot
Sturdy, robust, and well engineered.

The Deadfoot Arms bolt carrier measures 5-1/4 inches long, compared to the traditional, AR carrier which measures 6-5/8 inches. It is coated in TB-41 ION Bond DLC (Diamond Like Coating) which is a very durable coating, highly resistant to corrosion.

The system includes two colored recoil springs. The blue spring is standard strength and the red spring is light strength for use with low-power rounds such as subsonics. A black spring is available for ARs chambered in 9mm NATO.

The first step in the installation process is to thread the hinge system with the short buffer tube to the lower receiver. Then attach your choice of stock to the hinge system. The buffer spring is placed over the plunger and inserted through the hinge system into the BCG. The recoil spring fits inside the plunger and is held in place by screwing on the endcap. While is seems complicated, once you do it the first time it becomes quite simple.

To fold the stock, simply press the button underneath the hinge and swing the stock off to the side. Systems are available to fold to either side. While folded, the stock is held by friction so there is no locking mechanism to hold it in place. Just swing the stock to the standard position until it clicks in place and fire when ready.

deadfoot
When locked in place, the Deadfoot is rock solid.

Due to the spring and plunger design, separating the receivers equipped with a Deadfoot Arms Folding Stock Adapter is different than the standard AR15’s manual of arms. Before separating the upper, the adapter’s endcap must be unscrewed and removed which releases the plunger, recoil spring and buffer spring. While different than the standard AR, it is very simple and fast.

deadfoot
An AR carbine with a Deadfoot Folding Stock Adapter is a much more compact package.

Once installed, the system acts and shoots like any other AR15. If you are looking to store and transport your rifle in an extra short case, the Deadfoot Arms AR Folding Stock Adapter is just what you are seeking.

See more HERE