Category Archives: NRA

Muzzleloaders Now Targeted by “Giffords” Gun Prohibition Lobby

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More deceit, lies, and the emergence of a very clear agenda from the anti-gunners: read how the “Giffords” seeks to disarm Americans and even take away great-grandad’s gun…

muzzleloader

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

It didn’t take long after the events in Las Vegas, Nevada for gun control advocates to resort to their usual tactic of blaming hardware for the acts of an evil man. Numerous anti-gun bills were introduced almost immediately, with arch anti-gun Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) leading the charge. “This is written in clean English,” Feinstein insisted of her bill. “It does not take anyone’s gun.” Less than a month later, however, Feinstein abandoned the pretense of “not taking” guns and introduced perhaps the most sweeping gun and magazine ban in U.S. history.

Close on her heels last week was the recently-rebranded “Giffords” gun control consortium, which released a report that used the current debate over firearm legislation to, well, advocate for gun bans too. But the Giffords report went well beyond the usual gun control talking points in extending its attack all the way to muzzle-loading firearms. From the modern to the archaic, no gun is safe from the newly-emboldened prohibition lobby.

Considering these proposals, it’s hard to imagine how any firearm can thread the needle through all the justifications gun control advocates use to argue for additional bans.

Semiautomatic carbines that use detachable magazines must go, they say, because they can fire too many (relatively small) rounds too quickly.

But muzzleloaders — which fire one shot at a time and must be laboriously loaded through by hand down the barrel — can deliver what “Giffords” calls “a particularly lethal .50 caliber round” and are therefore unacceptable as well.

Bump stocks should be banned, according to the report, because they increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle held against the shoulder.

Yet dispensing with the stock entirely — as in the case of AR- or AK-style pistols — also presents a problem for the “Giffords” group because that creates guns capable of firing rifle-sized cartridges that are “concealable like handguns.”

But concealability of course isn’t the only problem for “Giffords.” Exceptionally large guns are out, too. The Giffords report goes on to fault modern .50 caliber rifles for combining “long range, accuracy, and massive firepower.”

Of course, the actual use of .50 caliber rifles to commit crime in the U.S. is vanishingly rare, thanks to their considerable weight, bulk, and price tag. A five-foot long gun that weighs nearly 33 lbs. and costs as much as many used cars is not likely to be the sort of tool most common criminals will lug from one crime scene to the next.

Where does this all lead? The Boston Globe answered that question this week with an article headlined, “Hand over your weapons.” It states: “The logic of gun control lies, at bottom, in substantially reducing the number of deadly weapons on the street — confiscation is far and away the most effective approach.” This thesis is accompanied by the usual celebration of Australia’s mass gun confiscation effort, an almost mandatory feature of any journalistic exploration of gun control these days.

And while admitting that “America is not Australia,” the Globe writer nevertheless asserts “there’s no way around” the conclusion that widespread gun ownership is to blame for violent crime in America and that the solution must involve confiscating “millions of those firearms.”

It’s telling that the “Giffords” organization — once among the more moderate of the gun control advocacy groups — now demands curbs on the sorts of muzzleloaders that it admits “fell out of favor as a firearm of choice almost a century ago, and are generally seen as primitive antiques.”

But what’s really out of favor and antiquated, in the unforgiving worldview of gun abolitionists, is your Second Amendment rights. The values of America’s Founding Fathers are just as obnoxious to them as the revolutionary-era rifles that helped win America’s freedom.

What do you think?

HUNTING: 4 Things You Must Know Before You Shoot

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Being a responsible hunter means accepting your role in upholding and respecting humane etiquette and safety. Here are a few things to consider before pulling the trigger or loosing the arrow… Keep reading.

elk

by Justin McDaniel

If I hadn’t heard the brush crack, I probably wouldn’t have seen the buck in the first place. Jumped by another hunter, the eight-pointer came slipping through some grapevines above my stand when, unexpectedly, he made a 90-degree turn and entered the open field beside me.

With the buck partially silhouetted against the skyline, I was faced with one of those split-second decisions that all hunters face at one time or another.

To shoot or not to shoot, that was the question.

One of the trademarks of a good hunter is knowing when to shoot and when to let game walk. Following these basic shoot/don’t shoot principles will help you to make the right decision when crunch time arrives:

ONE: Always properly identify your target before shooting.
A hunter should never shoot through trees or brush at a noise, movement or dark shape. Instead, a hunter should positively identify his or her target and have a clear shot at the animal’s vital area before pulling the trigger. If you’re hunting deer or other big game, only shoot when you have a clear picture of the area behind the animal’s front shoulder. For goose and other waterfowl, never shoot randomly into a flock. Always focus on a single bird and aim for the head and neck area. Doing otherwise could wound or cripple multiple birds. If you’re hunting in a gender-specific season, such as spring gobbler, look for the defining characteristics of a male bird, such as feather and head color and the presence of a beard. If your state has antler restrictions for deer hunting, only shoot when you can clearly identify that a buck is legal.

TWO: Always know what lies beyond your target before shooting.
Based on this safety rule, I had to let that 8-point walk when he was silhouetted against the skyline. It’s always best to wait until you have a solid backstop beyond your target, such as a hillside, or to shoot downward from an elevated stand. You should never shoot toward the crest of a hill. If a home, barn or other building sits on the property you hunt, be mindful of its presence and never shoot at game in its direction, no matter how confident you are of your marksmanship abilities. No trophy is worth the price of putting another person at risk, so if the final landing place of your shot is in question, don’t take it.

THREE: Be aware of the location of other hunters and never shoot in their direction.
When hunting with others, it’s important to know their location and set a “zone of fire” so that each hunter in the group knows exactly where he or she may shoot without putting others in danger. For example, if three pheasant hunters walk abreast through a field, the middle hunter’s zone of fire would be any flushes directly in front of him or her. The hunter on the right would only take shots offered directly in front or to the right, and the third hunter’s zone would be any shots in front or to the left. In addition to knowing the location of the hunters in your own party, always be on the lookout for other hunters who may be near you, and never shoot in their direction. Likewise, when hunting birds or rabbits with a dog, be aware of the dog’s location and never shoot rabbits or low-flying birds in the dog’s vicinity.

FOUR: Know your limitations and be aware of the maximum range of your firearm or bow.
If knowing when to shoot is one of the most important skills for a hunter to possess, competency with one’s equipment is equally essential. Practice often with your firearm or bow in hunting-type scenarios and understand your level of proficiency. In short, know your range. If you feel confident you can make a 100-yard shot, don’t take “pot shots” at a deer 300 yards away. If you practice 30-yard shots with your bow, don’t panic and take a bad shot at a deer 45 yards away. Similarly, if a deer is running at full speed, hold your shot and wait for the deer to stop or slow down before shooting. While it’s important to recognize your own abilities, it’s also key to understand your equipment’s capabilities. While a 12 gauge with 3-inch shells might do the trick on a turkey at 30-40 yards, don’t try to extend that range and take a bad shot at a tom that’s hung up 50 yards out.

It’s no exaggeration to say that sometimes the shots you don’t take are more important than the ones that you do. Putting another person at risk or crippling game is too high a price to pay for being impatient and taking a bad shot. Learning these basic shooting rules will allow you to differentiate between a good shot and a bad one, making you a safer, smarter hunter in the long run.

SKILLS: Three Self-Defense Myths That Just Won’t Die

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Don’t buy into these age-old myths! Sheriff Jim tells the truth, and the truth might just save your life… Keep reading!

defensive rounds

SOURCE: NRA Publications, Shooting Illustrated
by Sheriff Jim Wilson

Just about the time it appears they have been proven false and dismissed, the same self-defense and gun myths pop again. Part of this is probably due to the fact there are always new people who finally realize they need to do something about their personal safety and begin seeking answers. Unfortunately, it is also due to the tendency of some people to pass on advice they have heard, but never took the time to find out if it is really true. Since it sounds cool, it must be right. This is one of the many reasons why defensive shooters need to receive professional training. With a good, professional instructor, it is remarkable how many of these myths quickly fall by the wayside and are replaced by cold, hard facts. Let’s look at three of the old self-defense myths that just won’t die and discuss the truths they conceal.

Myth No. 1: Hit him anywhere with a .45 and it will knock him down. This myth probably started with the advent of the .45 Colt back in the 1870s, but it has been repeated most often when people refer to the .45 ACP. Nowadays, you will hear it touted regarding the .44 Mag., the .41 Mag., the .40 S&W or whatever new and powerful pistol cartridge that has just been introduced. The truth was discovered way back in 1687, when Sir Isaac Newton published his third law of motion. Newton stated that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, if a bullet shot from a handgun was so powerful that it could actually knock a person down, it would also knock the shooter down. There are a lot of reasons why a person who is shot may appear to fall down, or even be knocked down. But, the truth is the force of the bullet striking him is not knocking him off his feet. That only happens in the movies and TV. In reality, a person who is shot with even a relatively powerful handgun may show very little indication of being hit. There will also be very little sign of blood, especially at first. Therefore, the defensive shooter should not rely on these as cues that the fight is over. The important thing is to recover from recoil, regain your sight picture and quickly re-evaluate the threat. If the criminal is still armed — whether or not he is on his feet — and if he appears to still be a threat, additional shots may be necessary. Just don’t expect the bad guy to go flying off his feet, because it probably won’t happen.

Myth No. 2: There’s no need to aim a shotgun, just point it in the general direction of the bad guy and fire.
The shotgun is an awesome firearm that is altogether too often overlooked by today’s defensive shooters. However, it is not a magic wand. People who claim you don’t have to aim a shotgun have simply never done patterning tests with their favorite defensive smoothbore. When shot exits a shotgun barrel, it does so in almost one solid mass. That mass is smaller than a man’s fist. It is only as the shot travels downrange that it begins to spread apart, and it spreads much more gradually than a lot of people expect. Whether you are using buckshot or birdshot, from 0 to 10 yards you should consider it to be one projectile. Actually, by about 7 yards the shot has begun to spread noticeably, but not as much as you might think. From 10 yards to about 25 yards, the average shotgun will deliver a pattern that will still stay on the chest area of a silhouette target. But, by 25 yards some of the pellets may stray off target. When dealing with a threat at 25 yards and beyond, it’s time to think about transitioning to a slug. Instead of taking anyone’s word for it — mine included — the defensive shotgunner should run pattern tests using his shotgun from extremely close range out to 25 and 30 yards. He will also find his shotgun performs better with one brand of ammunition than others. There are a lot of reasons for this preference for particular loads, but the defensive shotgunner should know this occurs and make his selection accordingly. The smart defensive shooter will run tests until he knows which load his gun prefers and exactly what his shot pattern is doing at the ranges his shotgun could be called upon to perform. Always true: don’t just believe it, test it!

Myth No. 3: If you have to shoot a bad guy in your front yard, drag him into the house before calling the cops.
As ridiculous as this may sound, it is one of the self-defense myths that just won’t go away. A student brought it up once in a defensive pistol class. There are couple of good reasons why this is a terrible idea.
To begin with, most states determine the justification for using deadly force as being a reasonable response to prevent immediate death or serious bodily injury. Therefore, if a person is justified in defending himself inside his home, he is also justified in defending himself in his yard, because he is under an immediate attack in which he could be killed or seriously injured. This varies from state to state, so check your own state’s laws before determining your home-defense plan. The second, equally important, reason is the crime scene will quickly make a liar out of you. Any investigator worth his salt will know within five minutes that you moved the body. And, if you’re lying about that, you are probably lying about everything else, or that’s what the investigator will assume. It is the quickest possible way to go directly to jail. Protecting yourself in a completely justifiable shooting can get expensive. So can lying to the police about a shooting.
Part and parcel to obtaining a defensive firearm should be obtaining advice from a criminal defense attorney. He can tell you what your state laws are, how they are interpreted in court and the limitations regarding use of deadly force and how they apply to a legally armed citizen. Getting that sort of advice from the guys down at the bar or from an Internet commando is a sure-fire recipe for disaster.

REVIEW: 450 Bushmaster Ruger American Rifle Ranch

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The new Ruger American Rifle Ranch chambered in .450 Bushmaster was inspired in large part by new deer-hunting regulations in Michigan. The result is a handy, lightweight brush gun that packs plenty of punch. Read more!

SOURCE: NRA Publications/American Rifleman, by B. Gil Horman

Michigan expanded what was formerly known as the “shotgun zone” (in the lower peninsula) into the Limited Firearm Deer Zone in 2014, much to the delight of local hunters. In addition to shotguns, deer hunters can now use rifles chambered for straight-walled cartridges between 1.16- to 1.80-inches in length topped with .35-cal. or larger bullets. This definition allows for popular big-bore revolver cartridges including the .357 Mag., .44 Mag., .454 Casull, and .500 S&W.

However, there is a straight-walled rifle cartridge designed for the AR-15 platform which also meets the Michigan requirements. The .450 Bushmaster thumper round launches .452-cal. bullets weighing 250 gr. or 260 gr. from a 1.70-inch long cartridge case at velocities over 2000 fps. The resulting round boasts performance on par with the .45-70 Gov’t but in a more compact configuration. With Michigan hunters buying up straight-walled cartridge carbines and rifles like hotcakes, the folks at Ruger saw an opportunity to modify an existing platform to fill the niche.

.450 Bushmaster
.450 Bushmaster is a compact but hard-hitting cartridge ideal for whitetails in thickly wooded areas. At less than 6 pounds, recoil is stiff.

The new Ruger .450 Bushmaster American Rifle Ranch is the third member of the American bolt-action line designed to fire AR-15 semi-automatic cartridges, including models chambered for the .223 Rem. and .300 Blackout, and 7.62X39mm. The 16.12-inch cold-hammer-forged barrel is free-floated and has a muzzle threaded at 11/16-24 TPI. The muzzle is then fitted at the factory with a specially-designed muzzle brake.

The steel receiver is topped with a factory-installed 5-inch long aluminum optics rail compatible with Picatinny-type mounting surface. The single-piece, three-lug bolt features a full diameter bolt body, dual cocking cams, and a round knob bolt handle; the handle’s 70-degree throw keeps it clear of the optic.

Rifle Ranch safety
The tang-mounted sliding safety provides easy and intuitive operation. On the left side of the receiver is a bolt release which can be used to remove the bolt assembly without the need to touch the trigger.

The receiver is mounted to the lightweight Flat Dark Earth synthetic stock using Ruger’s patent-pending Power Bedding integral bedding-block system, which plays a key role in the rifle’s top-notch accuracy. The exterior of the stock is nicely shaped with non-abrasive texturing and serrations along the fore-end and grip. Other stock features include a rounded integral trigger guard, an exceptionally soft recoil pad, and front and rear sling swivel studs.

The Ruger Marksman single-stage adjustable trigger provides the feel and performance of aftermarket upgrades, which are often fairly expensive to buy. An Allen screw mounted to the front of the assembly (which is exposed when the action is removed from the stock) can be used to shift the trigger pull weight from 3 lbs. to 5 lbs. This particular trigger was set to 4 lbs. 4 oz. when it arrived, and exhibited a clean, crisp break with almost no overtravel. The safety lever found in the center of the trigger, much like that of a Savage Accutrigger or Glock pistol, locks the trigger and prevents it from cycling until it’s properly depressed.

Ruger Rifle Ranch trigger
Ruger Marksman single-stage trigger adjusts from 3 to 5 pounds.

Other versions of the Rifle Ranch ship with flush-fit 5-round rotary magazines. To accommodate the sausage-sized .450 Bushmaster, this rifle ships with one single-stack, 3-round magazine that extends about an inch below the magazine well. The magazine’s polymer release lever is incorporated into the front of the magazine instead of the receiver.

Rifle Ranch magazine
Due to the bulk of the cartridge, this Ruger Rifle Ranch model holds 3 rounds in a single-stack configuration, unlike its siblings which feature a rotary-style 5-round. The magazine release is built into the polymer magazine.

I’ve had the opportunity to handle a few different models of the American bolt action and I have to say that overall I am impressed with the line. They’re not fancy or pretty like some of the classic hardwood-stocked bolt guns. But the fit, finish and performance are a big step above their price tags.

Some folks may see the addition of a muzzle brake as a nicety, but in truth it’s a necessity for this gun. Experiencing the hearty recoil of this 5 lbs. 8 oz. rifle with the brake firmly installed quelled any curiosity I might have had to shoot a few rounds with the brake removed for comparison. This is not a gun for the recoil sensitive. However, the combination of the muzzle brake and effective recoil pad keeps the rifle manageable for those who don’t mind a little excitement when pulling the trigger.

At the range the American Rifle Ranch ran flawlessly. The bolt cycled smoothly and the trigger felt great. The rifle fed, fired, and ejected with zero malfunctions. All of the controls functioned properly. It’s a compact rifle that swings nicely and will be comfortable to carry on those all-day hikes.

Rifle Ranch bolt
The smooth-operating bolt features a 3-lug design and a short, 70-degree lift.

The primary limitation of choosing to buy a .450 Bushmaster these days is a limited selection of ammunition. At the time of this writing, the only two companies offering this cartridge are Hornady and Remington — with both providing just one option. Remington didn’t have any of its Accutip loads in stock for testing. So, the only load I had on hand to work with was Hornady’s Black label 250-gr. FTX with a listed velocity of 2200 fps. (using a 20-inch barrel) for a muzzle energy of 2686 ft. lbs. To see how this load performed out of the shorter 16.12-inch, 10 consecutive rounds were fired across a Lab Radar chronograph. The velocity average was 2184 fps. for a muzzle energy level of 2648 ft. lbs. That’s about a 1-percent drop in velocity with only a 38 ft. lb. loss of energy with a 3.88 shorter barrel.

Hornady .450 Bushmaster
There’s not a wide variety of different loadings available for .450 Bushmaster, but this Hornady Black demonstrated outstanding performance on target. Learn more HERE and HERE

For accuracy testing, the rifle was couched in a benchrest and fired at 100 yards using a trusty Bushnell Legend Ultra HD 3-9x40mm riflescope. Of the five, 5-shot groups, the smallest was 1.03-inches with an average of 1.10. Based on these results, if Hornady’s Black load is the only one on the dealer’s shelf, you’re going to do just fine.

Ruger’s new American Rifle Ranch chambered in .450 Bushmaster is another example of how the company is striving to meet customer needs with quality products at a reasonable price. This brush gun and ammunition combination is well-suited to taking medium and large game at moderate distances. If you prefer a wood stock to synthetic, then take a look at the new Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle, which is now offered in .450 Bushmaster as well.

.450 Bushmaster group

Ruger American Rifle Ranch 450 Bushmaster specifications

Visit the factory information page HERE

Dianne Feinstein Wants to Ban Commonly-Owned Semi-Autos, Again!

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I guess we all figured THIS one was coming, and, well, here it is… Read more.

Dianne Feinstein

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

On Wednesday, November 8, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced S. 2095, which she is calling the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2017.” The 125-page firearm prohibition fever dream is perhaps the most far-reaching gun ban ever introduced in Congress.

Subject to an exception for “grandfathered” firearms, the bill would prohibit AR-15s and dozens of other semi-automatic rifles by name (as well as their “variants” or “altered facsimiles”), and any semi-automatic rifle that could accept a detachable magazine and be equipped with a pistol grip, an adjustable or detachable stock, or a barrel shroud. And that’s just a partial list. “Pistol grip” would be defined as “a grip, a thumbhole stock, or any other characteristic that can function as a grip,” meaning the ban could implicate even traditional stocks or grips specifically designed to comply with existing state “assault weapon” laws.

Needless to say, semi-automatic shotguns and handguns would get similar treatment.

Also banned would be any magazine with a capacity of greater than 10 rounds or even any magazine that could be “readily restored, changed, or converted to accept” more than 10 rounds.

While Feinstein’s bill would graciously allow those who lawfully owned the newly-banned guns at the time of the law’s enactment to keep them, it would impose strict storage requirements any time the firearm was not actually in the owner’s hands or within arm’s reach. Violations would be punishable (of course) by imprisonment.

Owners of grandfathered “assault weapons” could also go to prison for allowing someone else to borrow or buy the firearm, unless the transfer was processed through a licensed firearms dealer. The dealer would be required to document the transaction and run a background check on the recipient.

Should lawful owners of the newly-banned firearms and magazines decide that the legal hazards of keeping them were too much, the bill would authorize the use of taxpayer dollars in the form of federal grants to establish programs to provide “compensation” for their surrender to the government.

This bill is nothing more than a rehash of Feinstein’s failed experiment in banning “assault weapons” and magazines over 10 rounds. Except this time, Feinstein would like to go even further in restricting law-abiding Americans’ access to firearms and magazines that are commonly owned for lawful self-defense.

The congressionally-mandated study of the federal “assault weapon ban” of 1994-2004 found that the ban had little, if any, impact on crime, in part because “the banned guns were never used in more than a modest fraction” of firearm-related crime.

Don’t let Dianne Feinstein infringe on our Second Amendment rights with a policy that’s been proven to do nothing to stop crime. Please contact your U.S. Senators and encourage them to oppose S. 2095. You can contact your U.S. Senators by phone at (202) 224-3121.

REVIEW: FN 509 Pistol

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Here’s a close look at FN’s entrant in the Army’s XM17 trials. It turns out there weren’t really any losers, and the big winner was the American pistol shooter. Read all about it…

FN 509

SOURCE: NRA Staff, by Tamara Keel

The Army’s XM17 Modular Handgun System (MHS) competition ended up delivering an embarrassment of riches to the American pistol shooter. The Sig Sauer P320 MHS won, but several of the runners-up have found their way to gun dealers’ shelves in the months since the competition ended. This is the offering from Fabrique Nationale, which has trickled to the commercial market as the FN 509.

While not the exact gun used in the trials, it is, I want to say, “close enough for government work,” but that would be a lame joke. It would be somewhat true, though, since between the MHS contest and the release of the 509 to the market, FN met with representatives from law enforcement agencies to solicit input on various changes that would make its XM17 entrant more marketable to the domestic-law-enforcement market.

Basically, the FN 509 is an improved version of its existing striker-fired, polymer duty gun, the FNS, which has seen some success in both law enforcement and in the action-pistol world. The new version features a plethora of modifications from the familiar FNS, some to fit specific requirements of the MHS contract and others to make it an even more attractive choice as a fighting pistol than its predecessor.

Gone is the slight beavertail on the back of the full-size FNS frame; the FN 509 has the more rounded contour of the FNS Compact. I’m assuming this has something to do with the maximum overall length specified by the MHS program. The gun measures overall at just under 7.5 inches.

The slide on the FN 509 is similar to that of its progenitor, but the grasping grooves fore and aft are more aggressive, and worked well even with hands that were slippery with sweat and sunscreen. The slide boasts a satin-textured, rust-resistant finish.

The sight dovetails are dimensionally identical to those of Springfield Armory XD and Sig Sauer. This means there are a variety of aftermarket sighing options. Unlike the factory sights on the FNS, the 509’s rear-sight body features a bluff front rather than a Novak-style slope, the better to perform one-handed malfunction clearances by running the slide off a boot heel, belt, or holster mouth.

FN 509 details
Takedown is accomplished in a familiar manner, and the pistol breaks down into the expected component pieces.
(left) More-aggressive front serrations aid in press-checks and slide manipulation. (center) Want to change the white dot up front? Numerous options exist. (right) The rear sight’s front face is a ledge for one-handed racking of the slide.

The grip on the FN 509 is full-size, as it must be to accommodate the 17-round magazines specified by the program. The gripping surface textures are a quilt-like combination pattern of pyramid-shaped raised points of varying sizes as well as “skateboard tape” style accents. It looks odd, but it works fine. One of my last days with the gun was spent at a very hot and humid indoor range. Even dripping with sweat, the FN 509 had enough texture in the right places to allow me to shoot 4- and 5-round strings rapid fire without feeling like I was trying to hold onto a bar of soap.

FN 509 grips
(left) A variety of textures and patterns help to anchor the FN 509 in the shooter’s hand. An interchangeable backstrap contains a lanyard loop. (center) Two backstrap offerings allow the 509 to be fitted to the shooter’s hand. (right) Magazine capacity, as established under the MHS program guidelines, is 17 rounds.

The bottom of the grip on the FN 509 is heavily scalloped on the sides to permit a good grip if one needs to rip a magazine out to clear a malfunction. When I unpacked the gun, I field-stripped it and lubricated it with a few drops of Lucas Extreme Duty Gun Oil in the usual places, and then commenced to shooting. Over the course of the next 784 rounds without any further lubrication or cleaning, the gun suffered one user-induced failure-to-feed, on the last magazine, trying to provoke a “limp-wrist” malfunction with some Speer 147-grain TMJ Lawman ammo.

One of the stated goals of the MHS program was to get a gun that was as adaptable to the gamut of end users as possible, regardless of hand size or hand preference. Implementation of this ranged from the completely swappable frame shells of the SIG Sauer P320, to the wraparound backstraps of the Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0, to the Glock entry’s add-on backstraps carried over from the company’s Gen4 offering. The FN 509, by way of contrast, ships with two interchangeable inserts that take up the lower three quarters of the backstrap. There is a choice between either arched or flat, and neither really alters the reach to the trigger. No worries about it being too large for any end user, though, since the circumference around the trigger is, at just less than 7 inches, less than an eighth of an inch more than an M&P with the small backstrap and barely a quarter-inch greater than even a diminutive single-stack 9 mm like the Walther CCP.

Trigger pull weighed in at a consistent 6 pounds on my scale, with a light takeup that met an abrupt wall, and then broke cleanly. Before I actually put it on the scale, I would have bet money that the trigger broke at 5 pounds — it feels lighter than it is.

 

Trigger reset was distinct and short. It was easy to shoot this gun well. My very first day at the range, I pulled it out of its box, lubed it to spec, and used the first 50 rounds from the gun to shoot a clean Dot Torture drill, cold. This impressed me even more, since the last three days had seen me consistently dropping a shot for a 49/50 with my Glock G19 carry gun.

FN 509 details
(left) External extractor, enlarged ejection port, and protected levers all lead to improved reliability. (right) A four-slot accessory rail allows attachment of lights, lasers, or combination accessory items.

The barrel of the FN 509 features a thicker bearing area around the muzzle, with a smaller contour along the remaining barrel length, which shaves ounces compared to a full-thickness barrel for the entire length. This likely contributes to my postal-scale measured empty weight of 26.5 ounces. Even with 17+1 rounds of 124-grain Federal Premium HST in the gun, it still weighed only 34.3 ounces, which is well less than an empty M1911 Government model.

The muzzle’s crown is countersunk to enhance accuracy and protect it from damage. Grabbing three different factory loads at random from my ammo stash, accuracy testing was performed at 15 yards shooting off sandbags. Two of the loads, Winchester NATO 124-grain FMJ and Federal 147-grain +P HST Tactical, turned in best five-shot groups smaller than 2 inches. Even steel-cased Russian TulAmmo 115-grain FMJ turned in a couple groups right about 2 inches. (The TulAmmo, or at least this lot, was also amazingly consistent, velocity-wise, from the FN 509, with a standard deviation for the 10-round string of only 10.77 fps.)

 

The FN 509’s Spartan origins are reflected in its packaging, at least with the test gun. It arrived in a brown cardboard box with a hinged lid, and inside the box was a zippered black nylon pouch with a tastefully embroidered FN logo in gray thread on the outside. The inside is lined with fuzzy soft cloth and has a pocket to hold the spare mag and whichever of the two backstraps isn’t in the gun.

There is the mandatory cable lock and an instruction manual in the box as well. There is no pin or punch provided to drive the roll pin out that secures the backstrap in place. The first time this is done will probably require a bench block and maybe a second set of hands. I’m not saying it’s depot-level maintenance, but nobody’s going to be doing it at the range.

One other praiseworthy change from the FNS is that the controls are better “fenced off” with raised areas around them. It’s a lot harder to inadvertently eject a magazine or ride the slide stop and prevent the slide from locking back (or to accidentally bump it up and lock the slide back on a full magazine) on the FN 509 than it was with the FNS.

The magazine release is noteworthy, in that it’s not just reversible, but actually ambidextrous. There’s no need to pull the button out and flip it around, and that’s what caused problems for large-handed shooters in the FNS — the flesh at the base of the shooter’s trigger finger could activate the right-side button. Not so with the new FN 509, or at least not that I could make happen.

The only real issue I found with the test sample was that the rear sight was just enough off-center to the right that it was throwing groups off slightly in that direction. A bit of attention with a sight pusher or a whack with a dowel would fix that in short order, but I just held an inch or so of Kentucky windage at 10 yards and everything was cool.

All in all, this is a mature pistol from FN. The time the company took to solicit opinions from potential end users shows in the finished product. It runs reliably, shoots accurately, and has a very usable trigger right out of the box. If these are things that are important to you, the FN 509 is definitely still in the running for Your Handgun System competition.

FN 509 specifications

Check it out HERE

Frightfully Un-Fun: Gun-Grabbers Target Halloween Costume Weaponry

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What’s TRULY and DEEPLY scary about this Halloween… Read on…

kid in jail

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

For Thanksgiving, Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety issues anti-gun talking points intended to be used to berate your family at the dinner table. At Christmas time, gun control Grinches pester children to turn-in their toy guns. As part of the crusade to ensure no holiday is spared their political commentary, this year the anti-gun scolders finally got around to meddling with Halloween.

Earlier this October, Chapel Hill, N.C. busybody parents Amanda Hanig and Jordan Gillis founded Goodies Not Guns, a campaign that encourages parents to forbid the use of toy weaponry in their children’s Halloween costumes. The group has a Facebook page and Twitter account where supporters are encouraged to share photos of weapons-free costumes.

While unlikely the couple’s intention, Goodies Not Guns is a fitting name for their project, as Hanig and Gillis do come across as uptight goody-goodies. With their earnest appeal to the nation’s parents, the pair seem like the kind of killjoys who delighted in reminding the teacher that she had forgotten to assign homework.

In a testament to Hanig and Gillis’s skill in self-promotion, the campaign has garnered attention from North Carolina television stations WRAL and WFMY, and was the subject of an ABC News article. The anti-gun effort has also received a twitter follow from the Giffords (formerly Americans for Responsible Solutions), and the blessing of the Brady Campaign; who, on Oct. 20, tweeted out, “Shout out to local gun violence prevention advocates for working to promote safety in their communities. #GoodiesNotGuns.”

Despite relishing this support from the institutional gun control lobby, Gillis assured WFMY that Goodies Not Guns “is not about guns and gun ownership.” However, his wife has been more forthright about the group’s goals.

During the same interview, Hanig told the media outlet, “Beyond Halloween one of our missions is to sort of reevaluate how guns are viewed within society.” In an interview with WRAL, Hanig made clear, “Goodies Not Guns was sort of created as a way that we as parents — and as humans — can take back a little bit of the power of what’s happening in our communities with the pervasiveness of guns.”

Goodies Not Guns’ rules are stringent. Even carrying toy arms while portraying our nation’s heroes and public servants is off limits. Gillis told WFMY, “[I]f they wanna be an army man or a police officer, and that’s someone they look up to, Great! That’s awesome! You can be a police officer without a weapon.”

Further, the overbearing couple aren’t content to abolish merely realistic-looking toy guns. The Goodies Not Guns Twitter feed has griped about Star Wars costumes that feature bright orange and white laser blasters. Toy blades are out too, as another tweet objected to a ninja costume complete with sword.

As additional justification for the campaign, Hanig told WRAL, “maybe it’s a good idea to not have Halloween costumes that promote violence, because violence promotes violence promotes violence, and if we want a more peaceful world for our kids, we should start now.” As NRA-ILA has previously pointed out, such assertions about toy guns are unwarranted.

Addressing this issue with WebMD.com, clinical psychologist and best-selling author Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D. noted that “There’s no scientific evidence suggesting that playing war games in childhood leads to real-life aggression.” In a chapter written for the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, Jennifer L. Hart, MEd and Michelle T. Tannock, Ph.D. of the University of Nevada Las Vegas shared a similar sentiment. The researchers stated, “If playful aggression is supported, it is highly beneficial to child development,” and that, “The act of pretending to be aggressive is not equivalent to being aggressive.” In a portion of the chapter explaining the policy implications of their research, the pair noted, “Educators who hold a foundation of understanding will be better able to communicate the importance of not only allowing playful aggression but also supporting it with the inclusion of war toys in early childhood programs.” Moreover, upon surveying the evidence on this subject, a wide range of commentators, including some who have no affinity for firearms, have come to a similar conclusion.

Hanig and Gillis’s campaign has received significant attention from the gun control community, but their project is in line with a broader effort to politicize Halloween. There was a time not too long ago when it was generally understood that All Hallows’ Eve granted Americans reasonable license to be just a little bit scandalous, offensive, or shocking. However, the most infantile portions of the radical left have increasingly turned the holiday into a battleground in the culture wars. Goodies Not Guns is just another front in this lamentable effort to remove all semblance of fun and fantasy from the holiday.

This latest attempt to hijack a holiday raises an important question: when will the anti-gun zealots finally get around to pulling Easter into the political morass? The way the all-consuming culture war is heading, it’s probably only a matter of time until PETA comes out against the gifting of chocolate rabbits as offensive and in need of prohibition.

halloween costumes
Earlier it was Independence Day squirt guns, now here’s the latest step in the anti-gunner’s quest to take all the fun out of everything kids hold near and dear… Folks, get a grip! It’s kids in costumes, not a threat to anything or anyone.

SHOOTING SPORTS: 3 Great Shooting Disciplines for New Shooters

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Fun and simplicity are the two keys to choosing a first shooting sport experience. These are proven great beginnings! Read more…

smallbore rifle
Smallbore rifle.

SOURCE: Shooting Sports USA, by John Parker

These days there is no shortage of new sports for prospective shooters who believe they are ready to take the plunge into formal competition. The three disciplines listed below are ideal for beginners.

ONE: BB Gun/Air Rifle
Air guns are traditionally regarded as guns for beginners. Some types, such as the familiar BB gun, are excellent as a “first competition gun,” while there are numerous other types designed and used by seasoned international competitors. One great reason for air rifle shooting is how easy it is to set up a range, even in your own home.

Juniors can compete in BB gun until their 16th birthday. NRA rules define BB guns as: Any shoulder held smoothbore BB gun with metallic sights, in which the propelling force is developed through the use of a compressed spring, gas or compressed air. Courses of fire are 40 shots; 10 each in prone, standing, sitting and kneeling, or the three-position course of fire which omits sitting. Also something to note: NRA BB Gun rule 7.10 provides for ISSF-style “Finals” for top competitors at matches to have a chance to show off their shooting prowess. Matches with Finals also provide for a great learning experience for those who plan to continue his/her shooting career.

The NRA Sporter Air Rifle Position rules govern the conduct of 10 meter three-position and four-position air rifle shooting. The rules allow for any type of compressed air or CO2 rifle with a few restrictions: Only .177-cal. pellets are allowed, and the weight of the rifle may not exceed 7½ pounds. Prone, sitting, kneeling and standing are the four positions utilized. Common courses of fire for sporter air rifle are: 10 shots each prone, standing, sitting and kneeling; 10 shots each prone, standing and kneeling; 20 shots each prone standing, sitting and kneeling; 20 shots prone, standing and kneeling; 40 shots standing; and/or 60 shots standing. NRA Sporter Air Rifle also has rules for a “Finals” for sanctioned matches, very much like BB gun.

BB guns and air rifles are an excellent way to begin competing in the shooting sports. In recent years, air guns have undergone dramatic improvements in reliability, durability and accuracy. These guns offer flexibility?because they can be fired safely by shooters of all ages and experience levels.

TWO: Smallbore Rifle
Smallbore rifle competition is the logical next step after learning the ropes with an air gun. It’s a sport that dates back to 1919, back when companies like Savage and Winchester introduced special .22 target rifles, the Winchester Model 19 NRA Match Rifle and the popular Savage Model 52. To be a precise and accurate smallbore shooter, you’ll need a quality rifle, sights and ammunition. But you really don’t need a new rifle to try out the sport of smallbore rifle; if you have a decent .22 LR in your safe, just use that to begin.

The NRA Smallbore Rifle rules allow for just about any .22-caliber rimfire rifle for use in competition. There are no restrictions on the barrel length or the weight of the rifle.

NRA Smallbore courses of fire are shot over 50 feet, 50 meters and 100 yards. There are four positions utilized (see Section 7 of the NRA Smallbore rules): prone, sitting, kneeling and standing. All four may be used, or even just one, depending on the match. NRA smallbore can be fired indoors or outdoors.

Recently a new form of prone shooting?Metric prone?has gained in popularity. It’s a combination of the two styles of smallbore prone shooting, NRA and ISSF, using a more difficult target with a shorter course of fire.

THREE: GLOCK Shooting Sports Foundation (GSSF)
Are you more interested in action shooting, rather than shooting at static paper targets? There’s no denying the satisfying feeling one has when shooting steel and hearing that characteristic “ding.” GSSF is one of the most popular practical shooting disciplines around, and not because it’s an easy sport?it’s mostly because the main requirement is the use of a GLOCK pistol, which isn’t that hard to scrounge up if you don’t have access to one already. GSSF stages will include steel plate racks or poppers, and others will use the NRA Action Pistol D-1 tombstone target, or combinations of both steel and paper.

Think of GSSF as “practical shooting-lite.” There’s a total of eight divisions: Civilian, Guardian (law enforcement, firefighter, military etc.), Subcompact, Competition, Heavy Metal, Major Sub, Masterstock, and Unlimited. No holsters are necessary, and the common G17 model can be used for any category except for Subcompact and Major Subcompact.

GSSF shooters are divided into masters and amateurs. Masters are defined as “competitors who are classified as ‘master class’ in USPSA, PPC, ICORE, NRA, Cowboy Action, or shoot on an Armed Forces shooting team, or have been promoted to master by GSSF.” All other shooters are considered amateur.

Want to learn more about the shooting sports? Visit www.ssusa.org!

SKILLS: Trigger Jerk: How to Solve It

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Trigger break is the “last thing” that happens in making an accurate shot, and if it’s not done well, you’ll probably miss… Here’s how to fix it.

finger on trigger

SOURCE: NRAFamily.org, George Harris

The Problem: Up until this point in your firearm training, the emphasis had been on achieving an acceptable sight picture and squeezing the trigger in a slow and steady manner until the gun fired as a surprise. That had been working fairly well, until you attended a tactical shooting class where all the drills and exercises were timed. Your shots were so slow, the instructor joked about getting a sundial to time you. His emphasis was making a relatively accurate shot in minimum time, which he referred to as command detonation. By the end of the class you had developed a command trigger jerk, as well as a pretty significant flinch to go along with it. You see the value of making a shot on demand, especially in a defensive situation, but hitting the intended target while jerking the trigger and flinching as well is iffy at best.

The Solution:
The objective of shooting is hitting your target. With that in mind, a person can’t shoot fast enough while missing the target to accomplish anything but the expenditure of ammunition. A good axiom to go by is: Shoot only as fast as you can hit your target. Keeping that in mind, it seems like perhaps you need to redirect your thinking a bit to speed up your shot delivery.

The first thing to do is remove the word “squeeze” from your vocabulary when referencing trigger operation. Squeeze in any other sense of the word means compressing all of your fingers as well as the palm of the hand together to hold or apply pressure to an object. Think of squeezing a tube of toothpaste or the hand of another with whom you don’t want to lose contact. Making those types of motion with a gun in hand will cause the muzzle to move off the target, low and to the inside as the trigger is being moved to the rear, therefore resulting in a miss.

In this case the trigger jerk comes from the tightening of the whole hand on the gun trying to make the shot as quickly as possible without regard to the muzzle’s position on the target. The flinch is usually a result of several stimuli that trigger responses in the emotional mind. Think fight-or-flight, self-preservation response, or the subconscious response to an unexpected or surprise event.

Being under the assumption you have undergone the noise- and recoil-inoculation drills in your previous training (both of which will all but eliminate the tendency to move involuntarily — flinch — when the gun fires) likely leaves the sound of the beep (go signal) as the likely culprit for the cause of trigger jerk. This is because it comes unexpectedly at random times which, for lack of a better phrase, scares you into action.

One of the methods we use to overcome the phenomenon of trigger jerk is simply to listen to the “go signal” while thinking that this signal is permission to do something you like to do. That is to shoot. This puts your brain into a “Let’s do it!” perspective as opposed to an “Oh $@&*%!” response when the signal is given.

The next step is to correct the deficiencies in trigger jerk, grip and trigger manipulation to where the trigger finger can move at any speed, independent of the rest of the hand, without affecting the position of the muzzle on the target. This can be done dry with the “Wall Drill,” which will give the basis for the live-fire segment, which we call the “Now Drill.” Try it without the beep at first, then integrate the beep once the trigger can be quickly and smoothly operated without moving the muzzle.

The “Now Drill” is a really simple exercise for the experienced shooter. A good starting point for a shooter new to the concept is placing an 8-inch paper plate at 7 yards while standing with the finger on the trigger, aiming at the plate, waiting for the command to fire. When the signal to fire is given, the initial goal is to hit the plate in one second or less with one shot. As proficiency and skill improve, times can be shortened and distances increased to further the challenge of shooting an accurate shot on demand.

A cautionary note should be included for this drill. Regardless of whether you call it command detonation, the now drill, or anything else, the student should have basic marksmanship skills firmly ingrained and extensively practiced well beforehand. This will lessen the likelihood of creating unnecessary problems such as a trigger jerk or a flinch when trying to increase their speed.

He who hits first wins, regardless of the speed of the opponent’s miss.

NRA’s Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox Issue Joint Statement

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NRA calls for BAFTE review on rapid-fire devices. Here’s the story…

NRA

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

The National Rifle Association issued the following statement on October 5, 2017:

“In the aftermath of the evil and senseless attack in Las Vegas, the American people are looking for answers as to how future tragedies can be prevented. Unfortunately, the first response from some politicians has been to call for more gun control. Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks. This is a fact that has been proven time and again in countries across the world. In Las Vegas, reports indicate that certain devices were used to modify the firearms involved. Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law. The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations. In an increasingly dangerous world, the NRA remains focused on our mission: strengthening Americans’ Second Amendment freedom to defend themselves, their families and their communities. To that end, on behalf of our five million members across the country, we urge Congress to pass National Right-to-Carry reciprocity, which will allow law-abiding Americans to defend themselves and their families from acts of violence.”

Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. More than five million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation’s leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services. Be sure to follow the NRA on Facebook at NRA on Facebook and Twitter @NRA.