Category Archives: Handguns

Video: One-Handed Walther CCP Takedown

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Dan Davies shows how he takes down his every day carry gun of choice, the Walther CCP.

Walther Arms representatives ran into Dan at the USCCA show in Atlanta on May 1, 2016. He told the company of his affinity for the CCP and how he takes it down one handed. The video below shows how he does it:

Do you think the Walther CCP is too hard to break down? What do you think of Davies’ method?

Midsouth Shooters Crawfish Cup Part 3: The Competition

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It’s Match Day at the 2016 Crawfish Cup, and the air is filled with morning haze, a few mosquitoes, and palpable anticipation!

87 Competitors took to the range on the day of the competition. The shooters gathered under the pavilion for the competitor meeting, where it was announced that the official referees from the NRA would provide practiced eyes on the competition. Also in attendance was Damien Orsinger, the region’s NRA representative, whom we were thrilled to see.

Damien

With these exciting developments relayed to the competitors, the final range rules were given, and they dispersed into their 8 person squads to begin their assigned event: The Mover, the Barricade, the Falling Plates, and the Practical Event.

If you’re like us, you may have a slight knowledge of what each event entails.  The Falling Plates are pretty self explanatory. Each competitor lines up at 10 yards, and must shoot a series of 6 plates within a specified amount of seconds. The difficulty increases with distance, all the way out to 25 yards. You saw in Part 2. It’s not as easy as it looks.

The Barricade presents even more challenges as the competitors must set themselves behind a partition, without eyes on the target. The buzzer sounds, the target turns to face the competitor as he or she leans out from the barricade to take their shot. This must be done within seconds, from varying distances, and using alternating hands. Imagine coming out from behind a wall 35 yards from your target, drawing your gun, gaining your sight picture, and firing from your non-dominant hand, all within a matter of seconds. Yes, it sounds impossible.

The Practical Event shares some commonalities with the Barricade. Competitors line up to face a target which is turned away from them. They must fire a series of shots within a few seconds, and at varying distances. From here, the two events begin to differ wildly. The shots taken are within quick succession. For instance, one must place one shot in each target within three seconds, two shots in each target within four seconds, and three shots in each target eight seconds. Oh, did we mention there’s two targets! Yea, two targets. It only gets more difficult from here, as the amount of shots, total time to take the shots, and the distance changes dramatically. In the end, a competitor must make their final shots in two targets, three in each, at 50 YARDS! Hey, at least you can go prone. I know I would have to lie down, and I probably would just stay there.

Finally we have the Moving Targets Event, or the Mover. The shooters take on this event solo. A hush falls, the mover hums to life, and a target races across the berm. All the while, the shooter waits for movement, draws, and fires a number of shot before the target reaches the opposite side from which it started. Draw, lead, and squeeze. Now, back out a few yards. Fewer shots, same amount of time, about 6 seconds. Go further back now. Again. Now, you’re at 25 yards. You have to hit this target three times with each pass. It passes you 4 times at this distance. At 25 yards, that black circle you’re aiming for, is little more than a dot, even with your red dot, stick shift, years of training, practice yesterday, and anxiety under control, trying to compensate for each shot within a few seconds separates competitors from champions.

Even with a perfect score, you’re not guaranteed a win. The top competitors are trying to get as many X’s as possible. An X is a shot within the inner-most circle. Hit there, and you’re set. Get more shots within the “big” black dot, and the cup has a better chance of going home in your luggage.

Check out the gallery below, and see these true competitors hard at work in their sport.

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It was unlike anything we’d ever witnessed. The blend of speed, skill, accuracy, and precision culminated in a dramatic and inspiring performance from every competitor, whether they were a novice, or a world class professional. Each shooter stood tall, took aim, and gave it their absolute best on the firing line.

From Range Master George Mowbray, “The 2016 Crawfish Cup turned into a shootout amongst the elite competitors of the sport! The Open Gun Super Squad was comprised of last year’s winner, Bruce Piatt, 2014 winner Kevin Angstadt, 2013 winner Doug Koenig and challengers Mark Itzstein, Kim Beckwith, Troy Mattheyer, Jeremy  Newell and first time Crawfish Cup competitor Tony Holmes.”

George detailed how the drama unfolded throughout the day in his match narrative. He said, “Kevin Angstadt jumped out to an early lead in the TK Custom sponsored Practical Event, posting an impressive 480 points with 45 tie-breaking X-ring shots. Bruce Piatt also had a 480 on the Practical Event, but with 39 X’s. Troy Mattheyer was in third place with a clean score and 37 X’s. Mark Itzstein and Tony Holmes followed with 36 and 32 X-ring hits respectively. 2013 champion Doug Koenig had a high X-count of 44 on the Practical, but let one shot slip out of the ten-point ring, ending the event with 478 points. Still an impressive start to the match, nonetheless.”

“Next up for the top squad was the Briley Custom Barricade event. Typically, it is a high X-count event for the top Open Gun competitors, and today didn’t disappoint. Caspian’s Bruce Piatt and Mark Itzstein, sponsored by Secure Firearm Products, posted perfect scores of 480 points with a perfect 48 X’s on the event. This was a personal best for Itzstein and his first 48-X Barricade Event in competition and propelled him past Troy Mattheyer and into third place behind Midsouth Shooters Angstadt, who still led with 91 X’s and Piatt with 87 X’s.”

George continued, “Next came the Falling Plates, which was sponsored by Lucas Oil Outdoor Line. All of the squad easily cleaned the event with 480-48X scores. Going into the final event, it was a tight race with Midsouth’s Kevin Angstadt clinging to the lead he established at the outset with a total score of 1440-139X, to Piatt’s 1440-135X. Itzstein, Mattheyer and Holmes rounded out the top five with X-counts of 132, 129 and 123 respectively. As is usually the case at the Bianchi Cup National Action Pistol Championship.”

“The drama peaked when the four greats met for their final event of the day, the Moving Target, sponsored by Secure Firearm Products. The new state-of-the-art Mover raced targets before Bruce Piatt, Tony Holmes, Doug Koenig, and Kevin Angstadt. Tied in Falling Plates, X’s gathered in both Barricade and Practical, the Mover began to separate our champions into their positions. The slightest misstep, hesitation, or distraction could equal defeat. In the end, one champion rose above the others to take the day.”

“When the final shot rang out, Bruce Piatt repeated as the 2016 Crawfish Cup Champion with a score of 1920 points and 176 X’s. Tony Holmes jumped into second place by shooting a 478 on the Mover, finishing with a 1918-153X. Smith & Wesson’s Doug Koenig also had 176 X’s, but dropped 4 points overall to finish with a 1916-176X. Kevin Angstadt was close on his heels firing a 1916 with 173 X’s. Mark Itzstein also shot a 1916, but could only muster 158 X’s to finish in fifth place. Troy Mattheyer shot an eight point shot and a five point shot on the Mover to finish with a very respectable 1913-157X performance. The top three competitors, Piatt, Holmes and Koenig, are all sponsored by H & M Black Nitride giving Black Nitride a clean sweep at the Crawfish Cup.” Check out the press release from Black Nitride Here!

The-Cup

Check out Part 4 for more scores, match details, and plans for 2017!

Midsouth Shooters Crawfish Cup Part 1: Welcome to Lake Charles!

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2016 marks our first venture into action pistol, and it was an amazing experience, filled with great people. Action pistol is a sport, in every sense of the word. It takes a ridiculous amount of dedication, discipline, and attention in order to be a competitor.

Our group arrived in Lake Charles, LA to a torrential downpour. Thankfully, the clouds parted shortly after our arrival. In 2015, the competition, as well as the competitors, weren’t so lucky…

2015 Crawfish Cup monsoon
2015 Crawfish Cup monsoon

This year was blessedly cooperative weather-wise. The wide field of 87 competitors, ranging in all ages, and pistol varieties, were eager to get their feet wet on the course of fire, so to speak. Greeted by the range master, as well as the lead range officer, George Mowbray, and Gary Yantis, the heart and soul of the match. Their experience and expertise are only matched by their hospitality, and their willingness to impart any knowledge one wishes to gain about anything Crawfish Cup.

Range Master George Mowbray and Head Range Officer Gary Yantis
Range Master George Mowbray and Head Range Officer Gary Yantis

Gary and George, both pro pistol shooters with decades of experience between them, have built an amazing match thus far. In 2015, the match saw 70 competitors, with Bruce Piatt taking home the cup. 2014 had a similar field of competitors, with the Midsouth sponsored shooter, Kevin Angstadt raising the cup. 2013 had world class shooter Doug Koenig adding the Crawfish Cup to his trophy case. Every year saw outstanding competitors, and George and Gary making sure every competitor had a safe, fair, and fun competition. Having them to work with in preparation for 2017 only fuels our desire to exceed the progress we made this year in providing the best experience for every competitor on the road to the prestigious Bianchi Cup.

Click Here to check out the Gallery for this year’s Crawfish Cup!

Something that makes the Crawfish Cup special is the field of competition. We had the immense pleasure of meeting great people at every turn. Please head over to the competitor profile section to meet a few shooters from all over the U.S. Each one brought something special to the match. Also attending this year were the three members of the Yackley 5ive, Tim and Sean Yackley, and their mom, competitor Becky Yackley. These bright young men are the future of action pistol. We got the chance to bounce a few questions off them prior to the match:

Tim, Sean, and Becky Yackley
Meet Tim and Sean Yackley, and their mother, Becky Yackley.

Tim and Sean Yackley are not only involved in every aspect of action pistol, they take their dedication beyond Crawfish and Bianchi Cup, and into long range shooting, 3-gun, all the way down to working the reloading bench. When asked about their level of commitment to the shooting sports, they said, “One of the things that really makes us love shooting is seeing what we’ve been able to do with all the little things we’ve done:  we don’t have anyone training us, it’s a lot of our own work, over years.  As kids, it’s neat to see the tiny bits of work we do with each other turn into a great performance – stuff like working on particular skills and seeing that help each other in a match, or taking a small piece of advice someone gave us on say, shooting barricades, and seeing it play a role in something we figure out and can grow from – those things really make the little parts of everything we’ve done, with help from lots of people come into play.”

These Lucas Oil Outdoor sponsored shooters are already making a name for themselves. Tim Yackley took home first place in the Master Category, at age 13! Proof positive of a stellar career in shooting sports, and a definite presence at The Crawfish Cup.

Team Cerino stands out, and it’s not just because of Michelle’s tiara. Chris and Michelle are fierce competitors, and have a great rapport with every other shooter they encounter, adding a level of fun to each section of the match that we had no idea could exist in such a regimented structure.

Chris and Michelle Cerino
Chris and Michelle Cerino on match day at 2016 Crawfish Cup

Vera Koo is not only a shooter of legend, she’s a true ambassador to the sport. Earning High Lady, and Grand High Lady this year at the cup was a great achievement. Beyond that, she donated $300 of her own money to be divided up, and given as door prizes to other shooters.

Vera Koo heads to her next match
Vera Koo, Grand High Lady recipient heads to the next stage of the match

See, it’s the elements that lie underneath the surface of the competition. These acts of comeradery, generosity, and respect are what propel The Crawfish Cup to the next level.

Check out part 2 for more on the individual matches, competitor interactions, and information on the 2016 Crawfish Cup and their sponsors!

Have you participated in Action Pistol, or any other shooting competition? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Ten Essential Tips for CCW Holders

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10-CCW-Tips_Page_01Beretta’s free e-book, Ten Essential Tips for CCW Holders, has some useful tips to consider, in particular for gunowners who are contemplating the pros and cons of everyday carry for themselves.

As the Beretta CCW booklet says, “Carrying a concealed handgun requires a certain amount of confidence. You need to be confident in your knowledge of laws and regulations. You have to have confidence in your accuracy, and you need to trust that you can carry a gun effectively, securely and comfortably. If a gun is a burden for you to carry, you probably won’t.” So far, so good.

Click here to download 10 Essential Tips for CCW Holders as a PDF.

The topics covered are:

  1. Introduction
  2. Knowing How to Carry Your Gun Comfortably and Effectively
  3. Dressing to Keep Your Weapon a Secret
  4. Understand Your Weapon’s Capabilities
  5. Choose a Suitable Caliber
  6. Practicing Basic Skills
  7. Try Your Hand at Point Shooting
  8. Training to Clear Your Weapon
  9. Stage Your Weapon
  10. Closing to Engage a Threat

And Beretta offers some additional information which may be of value to our customers who are considering making the move to concealed carry:

  • 55% of gunfights take place 0-5 feet.
  • 20% of gunfights take place in 5-10 feet.
  • 20% of gunfights take place in 10-21 feet.
  • 95% of gunfights take place in 0-21 feet. (Source: FBI)
  • The average man can cover 21 feet of ground in 1.5 seconds.
  • The average man cannot draw a gun from concealment in under 2 seconds.
  • The average gunfight is over in 3-5 seconds.
  • 3 to 4 shots are usually fired.
  • Most gunfights take place in low-light conditions.
  • On average, one shot in four strikes someone.

Here are three of the ten tips in more detail:

Dressing to Keep Your Weapon a Secret

Once you’ve chosen a holster and a gun, you have to hide them both. The trick is keeping the gun both concealed and accessible. The main give-away is the gun’s outline being visible through clothing (printing). Some tips on choosing the right clothing to carry concealed:

  • Wear pants that have enough room in the pocket or in the waist band to comfortably carry the gun.
  • Shirt tails provide good coverage. Wear shirts that are meant to be worn untucked, and make sure your shirt extends past your waistband.
  • If you will be wearing shorts and T-shirts, you will have to consider carrying a small gun. A slim gun in an IWB holster should easily be covered by a shirt.
  • In fall and winter, heavy clothing will allow the concealment of even full sized handguns.
  • Suit jackets and coats make concealment easy.

Choose a Suitable Caliber

Here the rules are easy to understand. Larger rounds require larger guns, and typically do more damage. Small-framed handguns with short grips can be difficult to grasp. But larger guns are harder to conceal. Again, there is a balance that must be considered.

  • The .25 ACP is a tiny round that is fired from tiny guns. While easily concealed, the .25 ACP is not known for its stopping power.
  • The .32 ACP is moderately larger, and can be a perfectly effective round (though most consider a .32 to be a backup for a larger gun).
  • The .380 ACP is a very popular choice. The .380’s recoil is manageable, which allows for more accurate repeat shots. And many ammunition manufacturers make excellent .380 defensive rounds.
  • The 9mm is very popular, and close to the upper limit for lightweight concealed carry.
  • The .40 S&W is slightly larger, still. It is a popular choice for many law enforcement agencies.
  • The .45 ACP is a venerable handgun round, and offers excellent stopping power, though it is a bit slower than the 9mm.
  • The 10mm is seen by many as the upper limit of practicality. It is a .40-caliber bullet backed by more powder.

Many feel like the debate over caliber misses the mark. Practice, skill, and accuracy will do more for your success than a big bullet. Look for a gun that’s easily concealed in a caliber you can confidently handle and work on your shot placement.

Training to Clear Your Weapon of a Malfunction

What can go wrong will go wrong, and that applies to handguns as well. Sometimes primers don’t ignite the powder. Or the bullet will fire, but the gun won’t extract the spent brass. Or the next round won’t feed quite right. Anytime this happens, you have to fix the problem. Try a tap-rack. Pull the slide back with your non-dominant hand, hard, and let it go again, like you would if you were chambering a round. Sometimes a little shake will free a loose piece of brass. When the slide falls, it usually picks up the next round, or may push a stuck round into place.

This is easily practiced. Snap-caps and/or dummy rounds will allow you to simulate these problems without live rounds in the gun. See how easy (or hard) jams are to clear, and how quickly you can do it. Keep practicing these drills until the tap-rack becomes second nature.

In the worst case scenarios, you will need to lock the slide back and drop the magazine in order to clear the issue. Practice this, too. Your life may depend on your ability to understand the problem and fix it quickly.

When you decided to begin daily carry, what was the biggest obstacle for you personally to overcome? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments section below:

Rifle to Pistol Transitions – Shooting Tips from SIG Sauer Academy

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SIG Sauer Academy Director Adam Painchaud demonstrates his method of transitioning from a rifle to a pistol and back again to the rifle. There are a lot of reasons why you might put down a perfectly good long gun and go to a handgun — running out of ammunition, experiencing a malfunction, or simply being in too-tight a space. Painchaud covers how to make the transitions safely and quickly in this 7-minute 41-second NSSF video.

Five Guns Every Shooter Should Own

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Owning firearms takes money, which comes as no surprise to anyone here at MSS. So one important question is, when you’re building your collection, what are your must-haves and can’t-do-withouts?

Everyone’s list is different, but here’s one that makes a lot of sense to us for five guns every shooter should own:

#1
.22 LR rifle and ammunition to feed it. What action and brand of rifle? Your pick. How much is enough rimfire ammo to have on hand? We think keeping a rolling stock of 5,000 rounds minimum is about right.

#2

.22 LR handgun. A complement to #1, so it can be semi-auto or wheelgun.

#3
Defensive concealable handgun. Most will prefer semi-autos, but wheelguns are fine. Need to keep on hand at least 500 to 1,000 rounds minimum — and extra mags or speed-loaders depending on your pick.

#4

Semi-auto battle rifle. 5.56 chambering is a mainstay, of course, but 30-cals do more farther away. Again, money raises its ugly head when you’re counting round inventory, but we think 1k is the minimum to have on hand for this.

#5
A 12-gauge shotgun. Pumps are famous for their reliability, and upkeep is minimal. Rounds to have on hand include at least 250 bird-suitable shotshells (#7’s), a similar amout of buckshot loads, and a similar amount of slugs.

If we were to expand the list one slot, we’d next include a bolt rifle chambered in the same cartridge as #4, which would suggest the semi-auto and bolt gun both be .308s. Another way to go would be to co-chamber #3 and #4 in a handgun round, such as the 45 ACP. A handgun-cartridge-chambered carbine has a lot going for it, but you would have to accept reduced range.

What’s your lineup of five must-have firearms? Let us hear about it in the comments section below.

 

MSS isn’t recommending any particular brand or models here, just a suitable collection of five should-have firearms. Top, Ruger makes several rimfire rifles and handguns that can make this list, including the SR22 pistol, the 10/22 rifle, and the 22/45 pistol. The company is also selling suppressors for them now as well. Cans are handy, but optional, on our list. Second from top is a suitable self-defense sidearm, this one being Springfield Armory’s 1911 Range Officer Pl9129LP chambered in 9mm Luger. Below that is a semi-auto self-defense rifle; this one is a Daniel Defense DDM4V7LW chambered in 5.56 NATO. And rounding out our list is, bottom, a Mossberg 590 Magpul 50669 Pump 12 Gauge. What does your list include?
MSS isn’t recommending any particular brand or models here, just a suitable collection of five should-have firearms. Top, Ruger makes several rimfire rifles and handguns that can make this list, including the SR22 pistol, the 10/22 rifle, and the 22/45 pistol. The company is also selling suppressors for them now as well. Cans are handy, but optional, on our list. Second from top is a suitable self-defense sidearm, this one being Springfield Armory’s 1911 Range Officer Pl9129LP chambered in 9mm Luger. Below that is a semi-auto self-defense rifle; this one is a Daniel Defense DDM4V7LW chambered in 5.56 NATO. And rounding out our list is, bottom, a Mossberg 590 Magpul 50669 Pump 12 Gauge. What does your list include?

Crawfish Cup: Look Behind to Look Ahead

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Top-level shooters from across the U.S. are gearing up to shoot in the Midsouth Shooters Supply 2016 Crawfish Cup NRA Action Pistol Regional Championship, which will be held on April 22-23, 2016 at the Southwest Louisiana Rifle and Pistol Club located outside Lake Charles, Louisiana. What makes this shooting competition so inviting to the best Action Pistol shooters in the game?

George-and-Bruce-Piatt2
George Mowbray Presents Bruce Piatt with the 2015 Crawfish Cup Overall Champion Award

“Here’s a bit of trivia; most of the Bianchi Cup winners since 2011 have won the Crawfish Cup the same year. We are excited to have so many World Class shooters shoot our match,” said George Mowbray, match director for the Crawfish Cup.

Crawfish-cup-2015

The Southwest Louisiana Rifle and Pistol Club has been hosting NRA Action Pistol Tournaments since 1987. Starting out with portable, static targets that had to be set up and removed for each match, volunteers who run the Crawfish Cup have slowly and continuously built the range into one of the best Action Pistol ranges in the country.

“We strive to duplicate the range experience of the Bianchi Cup with very similar equipment and procedures,” Mowbray said. “We want to build the identity of the Crawfish Cup as a competition where pros can hone their skills, and amateurs can match their skills against some of the best in the country.”

Crawfish-Range
Competitors take aim at the 2015 Crawfish Cup

Under several different names, the match has been run near Lake Charles since the late 1980s. In 2011, Mowbray said the organizers adopted the name Crawfish Cup to draw attention to the Cajun delicacy that is in its prime season during April and May.

“He went on to say, “We also shifted the date of the Crawfish Cup to late April, typically about four weeks prior to the Bianchi Cup, in hopes of attracting more attendance from top competitors who start focusing on Action Pistol in the spring and from International competitors coming to the U.S. to compete in the National Action Pistol Championship. We have regularly had competitors from New Zealand and The Netherlands, as well as  Australia. For many years, attendance at our regionals ran from 40 to 45 competitors. When we renamed the match the Crawfish Cup, and moved it closer to the Bianchi Cup, we instantly saw an increase of about 15 more competitors.”

In 2013, Doug Koenig and Carl Bernosky attended the match and have apparently spread the word that not only is the range constantly improving, but is also a well run match.

The organizers also made a critical decision to reschedule the match so that competitors who wanted to attend the NRA’s Annual Meeting and shoot the match that fell on that same weekend, could be squadded to shoot the match on a Friday, and then leave to attend the NRA’s Annual Meeting.

“In 2014, Doug Koenig flew in, shot the match, and flew out to attend the NRA Annual Meeting,” Mowbray said. “We think that says something about the quality of the Crawfish Cup Regional, and Doug’s commitment to the sport.”

Doug-Win
From Left: Doug Koenig, Gary Yantis, George Mowbray. George and Gary present Doug Koenig with the 2013 Crawfish Cup Overall Champion Award

Also, Mowbray pointed out that last year, past Bianchi Cup Champion Bruce Piatt was among the 75 competitors who participated in 2015. At the 2015 Crawfish Cup, Piatt beat Koenig by three Xs, but Koenig came back to win at the 2015 Bianchi Cup. Other former Bianchi Cup Champions have included Kevin Angstadt, who in 2014 won the Crawfish Cup and followed it with a win at the Bianchi Cup.

2014-Overall-Champion
From Left: Gary Yantis, Kevin Angstadt, George Mowbray. Gary and George present Kevin Angstadt with the 2014 Crawfish Cup Overall Champion Award

Also, Mowbray notes that several people have set national records at the Crawfish Cup. In 2014, Martin Johnson set new records as a Senior competitor using a metallic sight firearm in the Practical Event, the Barricade Event, and the Falling Plate Event. Also that year, Vance Schmid set a new national record for a Senior competitor using a Production Firearm in the Moving Target Event (Modified).

“With all the improvements that we’ve been able to make to the range with the help of Midsouth Shooters Supply, we’re able to increase our range capacity,” Mowbray said. “With the addition of another moving-target range, we’re able to accommodate about 120 competitors at the one-day match.”

Mowbray noted that in 2015, the Crawfish Cup surpassed $11,000 in donated merchandise, which was awarded via random drawing, giving all competitors an equal chance to leave the match with some very nice prizes. Mowbray said, “The more we get the word out there, and the more folks we’re able to bring on as sponsors, the more we can grow the competition.”

In addition to top-level competition, part of the match’s draw is its Cajun flavor. Competitors are all invited to dinner at a locally-owned and operated restaurant Friday night before the match, featuring boiled crawfish and other Cajun cuisine. Also, the owner of the restaurant brings his big grill on a trailer to the range and grills chicken, burgers, and sausage for the competitors on Saturday as his contribution to the match.”

The Crawfish Cup is more than just a competition. It’s quickly becoming a time for friends to gather, take in some local culture, and compete in a sport that’s unlike any other,” Mowbray said. For example, in 2014, the match staff organized an airboat tour of the Atchafalaya Basin, enabling competitors to get up close and personal with alligators and other wildlife in their natural swamp habitat.

Airboar trip 2014 (24)
Airboat Tour through the Atchafalaya Swamp
Airboar trip 2014 (50)
The airboat driver stops to ask a local or directions…

Mowbray said, “We are recommending this tour this year as well, although we’re not officially organizing it. It’s located about 80 miles from Lake Charles, and can be arranged individually at www.basinlanding.com.”

“We’re looking forward to the shoot this year,” Mowbray said, “and we’re up to the challenges that a growing competition brings, and the anticipation that starts to build as we get closer to The Crawfish Cup!

Click the date below for Crawfish Cup Results from:

2015;   2014;   2013;   2012;   2011

Next issue, we’ll take a look at the origins of the field, get a first-hand look at some of the top competitors, and give you a better idea of what The Crawfish Cup is going to look like in 2016.

Glock on Mars?

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Photo courtesy of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Photo courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

One of the latest photos beamed back to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) from a Mars rover appears to show the first handgun ever spotted on Mars. Some commenters say it’s a spitting image of a Glock 17. Others argue that the big slide and overall size make it a spitting image of a Desert Eagle. What’s your take?

Virginia Reciprocity Agreements May Be Renewed

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The Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc., (VCDL), an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization defending the right to keep and bear arms in the state, released a statement regarding the pending cancellation of carry reciprocity with 25 other states. Most important: The just-passed February 1, 2016 cutoff date for dropping recognition of 25 states has been extended to March 1.

Click here to read our previous coverage.

VCDL reported that there is a package deal in the works between Governor McAuliffe and the Republicans in the General Assembly dealing with 1) concealed handgun permit (CHP) reciprocity, 2) voluntary background checks at gunshows, and 3) those subject to a permanent domestic violence protection order.

VCDL-logoThe VCDL release said, “To many CHP holders, CHP reciprocity is a HUGE deal, especially if they travel out-of-state regularly and want to be able to carry discretely. For example, there is no solution to carrying in South Carolina if we don’t have an agreement between our two states.”

Gunowners should know the deal is still in the works, and there is no absolute guarantee this will become law — but there’s a reasonably good chance it will.

There are three components that make up the deal, each component represented by matching bills in the House and in the Senate.

1: Reciprocity Details

Virginia will honor the carry permits from all states, VCDL reported. “This is considerably better than current law and something VCDL has been trying to get for at least seven years now,” the release said.

Because Virginia will honor all other states, Virginia CHPs will be recognized by all the states affected by the reciprocity cancellation, plus three new states will be given reciprocity status: New Hampshire, Georgia, and Colorado.

Further, going forward, the State Police and the attorney general will have no say in the new law. If another state requires a formal agreement to honor Virginia CHPs, the new law requires the attorney general to enter into any such agreement.

It’s important to recognize that reciprocity does not mean equal treatment inside all other states, VCDL said. For example, someone from New York will be able to carry in Virginia, but a Virginia resident won’t be able to carry in New York, unless New York is willing to enter into a reciprocal agreement with Virginia.

2: Voluntary gun-show background checks

Background checks for a private sale are completely voluntary. The State Police shall be at every gun show in Virginia, by law. The gun show promoter shall notify the State Police of the location and times of the gun show at least 30 days in advance, shall provide a free location for the police to set up, and shall have signs letting attendees know of the voluntary background checks at the State Police booth. The State Police may charge a reasonable fee. If a background check is run, the seller receives some special legal protections that are currently not available for private sales. If a background check is not run, the seller doesn’t have any more, or any less, legal protections than under current law.

For those gun owners who would feel safer selling a gun to someone who has had a background check, this provides a new option, in addition to the current option of either asking if the person has a CHP or going through the more laborious and expensive route of letting an FFL do the transfer. It also has no effect on private sales conducted anywhere outside of gun shows, where this voluntary option is not provided.

3: Persons subject to a permanent domestic violence protection order cannot possess firearms until the order expires.

The only permanent protection order this restriction applies to is one for domestic violence and nothing else. VCDL said, “The subject of the protection order must have had his day in court along with any legal counsel. Temporary protection orders do not affect possession of firearms.”

For further effects of the deal, click the following links:

McAuliffe’s Cave On Concealed Carry In VA Suggests Problems For Clinton in Iowa

Five things that (kind of) explain McAuliffe’s gun deal with Republicans

Everytown For Gun Safety Comes Unglued Over Terry McAuliffe’s Gun Control Reversal

Sour Grapes: Gun Control Advocates Feel ‘Betrayed’ Over McAuliffe Reversal On Carry Rights

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SHOT Show 2016 Special Edition: New Handguns

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Guest post by Richard Mann, courtesy of SHOT Daily.

Handguns remain the top-selling firearms in America. Even though manufacturers are having no problems selling revolvers and pistols, they have stepped up for 2016 to keep customers happy with new models and innovations, primarily in suppressor-ready variants with the inclusion of semi-auto versions of machine-styled pistols.

Cimarron

Cimarron offers firearms used to tame the frontier in Texas and the American West. Often regarded as the leader in Cowboy Action authenticity, Cimarron has supported Cowboy Action Shooters since 1987. For 2016, Cimarron continues that tradition with three new pistols in the Eliminator series. Cimarron’s new Eliminator Octagon features a 4.75-inch octagonal barrel, checkered Army-style grips, and a pre-war frame. It also has a 25 percent shorter hammer stroke for fast, easy cocking, which is a real plus for one-handed (duelists and mounted) shooters. It has a case-hardened/blued-frame/cylinder assembly and is available in .357 Magnum/.38 Special and .45 Long Colt. SRP: $778.70

Cimarron’s new Eliminator Competition features a 4.75-inch round barrel, checkered single-action grips, and a pre-war frame. Like the Eliminator Octagon, it has a 25 percent shorter hammer stroke and a Cowboy Comp U.S. action job. The Eliminator Competition is available in a color case-hardened/blued-frame/cylinder assembly or stainless steel. It’s also available with a standard or low, wide hammer. Available in .357 Magnum/.38 Special and .45 Long Colt. SRP: $713.70.

Cimarron’s new Eliminator Thunderstorm is available with a 3.5- or 4.75-inch barrel and checkered grips. Its specially designed Thunderstorm hammer is low and wide for comfortable no-slip cocking. The hammer—along with the 25 percent shorter hammer stroke and Cowboy Comp Thunderstorm action job—makes it an ideal competition gun for mounted shooters. The Eliminator Thunderstorm is available in standard blue or polished stainless steel in .45 Long Colt. SRP: $747, blue; $973, stainless.

Cimarron is also offering four laser-engraved revolvers from Pietta, Italy. All are great looking and affordably priced. They are available in two finishes: nickel and old silver frame (OSF). OSF is a two-tone finish, where the barrel, cylinder, and grip assembly are blued and the frame is left in white for a polished steel finish. There are also two grip options—a poly-ivory grip or checkered walnut. SRP: starts at $648.70. (cimarron-firearms.com)

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Coonan

Known for its unique 1911 handgun chambered in .357 Magnum, the company is introducing a new class of 1911s chambered in .45 ACP. This new .45 ACP Pistol utilizes all of the proven technologies from Coonan’s 1911 .357 Magnum Auto. These “Coonan Difference” features include a linkless barrel, pivoting trigger, and an external extractor. It has a Novak rear sight and a blade front sight. Night sights or an adjustable rear sight are optional. The Coonan .45 ACP package includes a 7-round single-stack magazine, a carrying case, and a lock. SRP: $1,375. (coonaninc.com)

CZ-USA

CZ continues to innovate and surprise, and for 2016, it has a full complement of new and exciting handguns. Following in the footsteps of its clad-in-black sibling, the FDE Scorpion hosts all the same features that have made the Scorpion Pistol such a hit. New for 2016 is a barrel that is threaded 18×1 to accept the factory flash hider, but also threaded 1/2×28 underneath the flash hider to allow for the easy addition of a suppressor or aftermarket muzzle device. The folding stock goes on quickly and easily, and is sold in a 922(r) compliance kit so you have all the required parts to stay on the up-and-up. CZ also sells an arm-brace adapter kit that allows the fitting of aftermarket arm braces or cheek weld devices. An 11-inch Picatinny rail rides on top, and aluminum adjustable sights are fitted from the factory. Chambered only in 9mm Luger.

CZ’s Bren 805 S1 Pistol has an 11-inch barrel and has proven a popular SBR candidate for customers wanting to convert it into an NFA firearm. Those who don’t wish to register with the ATF can always equip it with CZ’s adapter kit, which allows easy installation of aftermarket arm braces or other devices meant to help stabilize large-format pistols. Chambered in .223/5.56 and using the STANAG magazine from the AR16/M16, it easily accepts optics and lights on its top and bottom Picatinny rails.

In the last few years, there has been a huge spike in requests for suppressor-ready firearms, and for 2016, CZ has more than doubled its threaded-pistol lineup. Clad in urban-gray, CZ’s limited-edition Urban Gray Suppressor Ready Series of pistols come with a set of high suppressor sights equipped with tritium lamps front and rear. Extended-capacity magazines boost the capacity on all but the SP-01 by two rounds. Some models, like the P-01 Omega and the 75 Omega, are completely new. Variants include a P-09 with a 12+1 capacity, a P-07 with 17+1 capacity, a 75 SP-01 and a 75 B that hold 18 cartridges, and a 75 P-01 with a capacity of 16+1. SRP: $537 to $723.

Recognizing that practicing with .22 rimfire ammunition is less expensive and just plain fun, CZ has added a new Kadet Kit to the line. Designed to swap onto current P-07s and older P-07 Duty pistols, the P-07 Kadet Kit enables shooters to train using cheaper .22 LR ammo. With a 10-round magazine and fully reciprocating-slide function, shooting the P-07 Kadet Kit will be identical to shooting the host pistol in factory form. The CZ P-07 Kadet Kit ships with two 10-round magazines. SRP: $237.

Turning the Tactical Sport up a notch, the CZ 75 Tactical Sport Orange borrows a number of design features from the Czechmate and incorporates a few of its own. With the slimmer trigger guard, revised grip geometry, and finer checkering from the Czechmate frame, it adds a thumb stop and fully adjustable target sights. With the same long slide and full-length dust cover as the standard TS, it also shares the single-action-only trigger, giving it an incredibly light pull and short reset. SRP: $1,784. (cz-usa.com)

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Dan Wesson

With more folks than ever choosing to hunt with a handgun and the continuing resurgence of the 10mm cartridge, Dan Wesson decided it was time to bring the heat. Dan Wesson’s first long-slide 1911, the Bruin, was born to hunt. The long slide means a long sight radius, and the 6-inch barrel allows full-power 10mm loads as much time as possible to use their powder charge. Fully adjustable tritium sights ensure that when shooting hours arrive, you’ll be able to see the sights. Additionally, there’s a tritium/fiber-optic combo front sight to make sure the front glows day or night. SRP: $2,064, .45 ACP; $2,194, 10mm.

With suppressors becoming more and more mainstream, another interesting pistol from Dan Wesson is the Discretion. With its match-grade stainless barrel, which is extended and threaded, it is suppressor-ready out of the box. Its aggressively ported slide, serrated trigger, and competition-inspired hammer give it a radical look. High tritium sights allow for sighting over the top of most pistol suppressors. Available in 9mm Luger and .45 ACP. SRP: $2,142.

Dan Wesson has seen a steady increase in requests for a non-bobbed Valor Commander, and for 2016, it has delivered. What sets the Valor apart from the rest of Dan Wesson’s 1911 lineup is the sheer amount of time spent hand-polishing, hand-fitting, and finishing. Not only do they get the best quality parts, they get the most individual attention of any model Dan Wesson builds. It is arguably the best size .45 ACP or 9mm Luger 1911 for concealed carry. SRP: $1,688 to $2,012.

The Pointman series from Dan Wesson has been offered in limited quantities in the past, and demand has always outpaced production. Featuring a serrated rib on top of the forged slide, it has an adjustable target sight in the rear, a fiber-optic sight in the front, and front and rear cocking serrations. The frame is forged stainless with an undercut trigger guard and 25-LPI front strap checkering. The flats are polished to a soft, brushed finish, and the rounds are sandblasted for a nice contrast. Double diamond cocobolo grips finish off the Pointman, which is available only in .38 Super. SRP: $1,597.

Sharing the features that make the Dan Wesson Valkyrie one of its most popular concealed-carry 1911s, the Valkyrie Commander simply adds an aluminum Commander-size frame, making it ideal for those who need a bit more purchase than an Officer-size frame allows. The Valkyrie Commander is available in 9mm Luger and .45 ACP with a black duty/anodized finish. SRP: $2,012.

In Dan Wesson’s efforts to appease 1911 aficionados, it has not forgotten wheel gunners. The Dan Wesson 715 Pistol Pack is as it was before—designed and built to be the most accurate, rugged, and versatile revolver on the market. This year sees the revival of the Pistol Pack, famous for its swappable barrels. The Pistol Pack is shipped with 4-, 6-, and 8-inch barrel/shroud assemblies, in the modern heavy vent shroud profile. A custom Dan Wesson hard case, with compartments for the additional barrel assemblies and a factory-supplied barrel wrench kit, is included. SRP: $1,688. (cz-usa.com)

Dan Wesson Valor Commander
Dan Wesson Valor Commander

Kahr

Kahr has two new handguns for 2016. Part of the Value Series Plus product line, the .380 ACP CW380TU features a 2.5-inch conventional rifled barrel, a trigger-cocking DAO action, a locked breech, and a Browning-type recoil lug. Overall length is 4.96 inches, and height is just 3.9 inches. This pistol weighs 10.2 ounces without the magazine. It has a drift-adjustable white bar-dot combat rear sight and a pinned-in polymer front sight. New for 2016 is the finish. It has a black polymer frame stainless slide with a Cerekote tungsten finish (dark graphite gray) on the slide, slide stop lever, and trigger. SRP: $419.

Also part of the Value Series Plus product line, the .380 ACP CT3833TU features a 3-inch conventional rifled barrel, a trigger-cocking DAO action, a locked breech, a Browning-type recoil lug, and a passive striker block. Overall length is 5.52 inches, height is 4.4 inches. Pistol weight without magazine is 11.44 ounces. New for 2016 is the Cerakote tungsten finish (dark graphite gray) on the slide, slide stop lever, and trigger on a black polymer frame with stainless slide. SRP: $419. (kahr.com)

Magnum Research

U.S.–based Magnum Research is introducing a new version of the iconic Desert Eagle, with the addition of its new Cerakote tungsten finish to the .44 Magnum and .50 AE Desert Eagle products. Cerakote is a multi-step process, which results in a high-temperature ceramic coating that holds up well under normal use. The tungsten model is complemented with attractive black appointments, which gives the pistol even more appeal. The new Cerakote Tungsten Desert Eagle is offered in either the .50AE or .44 Magnum. SRP: $1,696. (magnumresearch.com)

Magnum Research Desert Eagle Cerakote Tungsten Finish
Magnum Research Desert Eagle Cerakote Tungsten Finish

Nighthawk

The custom 1911 giant Nighthawk has several new finely crafted pistols for 2016. The Silent Hawk is a Recon-style commander with a Tri-Cut slide, custom cocking serrations to match an Osprey silencer, a threaded barrel, tritium tall suppressor sights, and mid-length grip-screw bushings. It has a total blackout finish and custom NH/Silencer Co. brand logo. SRP: $4,295, .45 ACP; $4,495, 9mm Luger.

The Summit Hawk is a Recon-style commander with a Tri-Cut slide, custom cocking serrations to match an Osprey silencer, a threaded barrel, tritium tall suppressor sights, and mid-length grip-screw bushings. It has an NP3 finish and a custom NH/Silencer Co. brand logo. SRP: $4,995, .45 ACP; $5,195, 9mm Luger.

The Heinie Kestrel is all black with stainless controls. This model includes a thinned scalloped frame and mainspring housing that is great for concealed carry and people with smaller hands. The build also includes custom features such as rear slide serrations, top slide serrations, a crowned barrel, a beveled and recessed slide stop, and thin Aluma Grips with the Nighthawk Logo. It is available in 9mm Luger or .45 ACP. SRP: $3,495. (nighthawk custom.com)

Republic Forge

Republic Forge manufactures world-class Model 1911 pistols, and it has announced the addition of blued and color-cased finishes to its all-­American 1911 lineup. Unprecedented in the custom 1911 market, firearms enthusiasts can navigate to Republic Forge’s website and build their very own Republic Forge pistol. Featuring user-friendly navigation and an unparalleled collection of customizable options, the “Build Your Own” application will transform the firearms purchasing experience. Now customers have a new case-hardened finish as an option. (republicforge.com)

Republic Forge Model 1911 Pistol Color-Case-Hardened Finish
Republic Forge Model 1911 Pistol Color-Case-Hardened Finish

Ruger

Never one to wait until SHOT Show to bring out its new firearms, last fall Ruger expanded its popular line of Lightweight Compact Revolvers with the addition of an LCR chambered for the underappreciated and very versatile .327 Federal Magnum. This 6-round LCR has an additional round of capacity compared to other centerfire LCRs. It’s a double-action-only revolver and also features a concealed hammer to minimize snagging during concealed carry. This new LCR maintains all the features of the critically acclaimed original LCR, and utilizes a compact Hogue Tamer grip with finger grooves, which is highly effective at reducing felt recoil. The LCR in .327 Federal Magnum has a 1.875-inch barrel, an overall length of 6.5 inches, and a weight of 17 ounces. It will also fire .32 ACP, .32 Short, .32 S&W Long, and .32 H&R Magnum ammo. SRP: $619.

Ruger also announced a polymer-stock 22 Charger and 22 Charger Takedown pistol. The Charger was first introduced in 2007, then re-engineered in 2014. Weighing just 3.1 pounds, the polymer-stock 22 Charger pistol is otherwise identical to the laminate-stock model. It has an overall length of 19.25 inches and features a 10-inch precision-rifled, threaded barrel with a 1/2-28 thread pattern that accepts most popular muzzle accessories. The new stock is paired with a standard A2-style pistol grip, making the platform easy to customize with a MSR grip. SRP: $309, standard model; $409, takedown model. (ruger.com)

Ruger LCR .327 Federal
Ruger LCR .327 Federal

SIG SAUER

SIG SAUER has returned the venerable P225 pistol to its catalog. The P225A retains the exceptional look and feel of the original P225, but it features an enhanced trigger and the precision manufacturing and quality from the state-of-the-art SIG SAUER facility. The P225A is a single-stack 9mm pistol with the time-tested double-action/single-action trigger system. A fully machined stainless-steel slide comes in the durable Nitron finish. A hard-coat-anodized frame sports two-piece grips with the SIG mark medallion. (sigsauer.com)

SIG Sauer P225A 9mm Luger Nitron finish
SIG Sauer P225A 9mm Luger Nitron finish

Smith & Wesson

Smith & Wesson Corp. is now offering its highly acclaimed M&P Shield pistol in both 9mm and .40 S&W, with a factory ported barrel and slide. These new Shield ported pistols, available exclusively from the legendary Performance Center, provide a host of premium features desired by the most astute shooters. Engineered on a high-strength polymer frame measuring .95 inch in width, the Performance Center M&P Shield is standard with a 3.1-inch factory-ported barrel. The new barrel, along with the pistol’s three precision-cut ports across the top of the stainless-steel slide, aid in reducing muzzle flip and improve the ability to remain on target after firing. The new M&P Shield pistols have been further updated with fiber-optic sights and an enhanced trigger. SRP: $490.

Smith & Wesson has also added greater versatility to its premiere line of M&P pistols by offering two new versions of the M&P with an additional threaded barrel included in the box. The new 9mm variants—which include the Performance Center M&P Ported and the Performance Center M&P C.O.R.E. (Competition Optics Ready Equipment)—allow owners to easily attach a sound suppressor without the use of additional tools. The additional threaded barrel included with both pistols brings an added retail value of $175 and feature a thread pattern of 1/2-28.

A custom-designed, machine-engraved SW1911 pistol is also joining the line this year. The new SW1911 features a scrollwork design created by Smith & Wesson’s Master Engraver and made possible by a highly precise diamond-tipped tool. The engraving embellishes the all-steel canvas and elevates the venerable 1911 platform to a new level of sophistication and beauty. Chambered in .45 ACP, the pistol showcases decorative machine engraving on the left and right side of the stainless-steel slide and frame. This intricate linework extends across the pistol’s 5-inch barrel, and when combined with its glass bead finish and rosewood colored grips, transforms this modern-day workhorse into a living piece of art. (smith-wesson.com)

Traditions Performance Firearms

For 2016, Traditions has introduced four new models into its popular blackpowder revolver lineup. All four feature laser engraving. While beautiful to look at and display, these engraved revolvers are also 100 percent functional. Models include two 1851 Navy revolvers. One is in blue with walnut grips, while the other is in nickel with simulated ivory grips. There is a blued 1858 Army with walnut grips and a blued 1860 Army configured similarly.

Traditions has also added two new models to the popular Frontier series of 1873 Single Action Revolvers. Like all Traditions single-action revolvers, these, too, come equipped with a transfer bar to give a high level of safety. One of the new introductions is an 1873 Single Action Sheriff’s model, with a 3.5-inch barrel and color-case-hardened frame. The other is an 1873 Single Action with an oversize grip frame and a 5.5-inch barrel. Both have color-case-hardened frames and are chambered for .357 Magnum. (traditionsperformance.com)

Walther

Designed for personal protection and recreational shooting, the PPQ .45 Auto is the first true production Walther .45 Auto in the company’s storied history. The gun is equipped with the Carl Walther quick-defense trigger and is fashioned with the traditional front and rear slide serrations. Like all PPQ models, it also has fully ambidextrous controls. This new .45 has a polygonal rifled 4.25-inch barrel and houses three separate safeties. Accessories can easily be mounted on the mil-spec Picatinny rail. (waltherarms.com)

Walther PPQ .45 Auto
Walther PPQ .45 Auto