September 24th, 2020

Case Diagnostics — How to Find Defects in Cartridge Brass

Case Diagnostics 101 Sierra Bullets .223 Rem 5.56 brass cartridge safety

Ever wondered what caused a particular bulge or marking on a case? And more importantly, does the issue make the case unsafe for further use? Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks offers some insight into various issues and their causes in two Case Diagnostic articles from the Sierra Blog.

Incipient Case-Head Separation
This is a Winchester .308 Win case that has a real issue. This case has a very obvious incipient case head separation in the process of becoming a complete failure.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

This is most commonly caused by over-sizing the case causing there to be excess headspace on the case. After a few firings and subsequent re-sizing, this case is just about ready to come completely apart. Proper die adjustment is certainly a requirement here. Of course this case is not safe to reuse.

Excessive Pressure (Load Too Hot)
If you will notice in the picture of the case rim, there are two pressure signs to notice. First, look at the primer. It is basically flattened to about the max of what could be considered safe. If this was the only pressure sign noted, I would probably be fine with this load, but would constantly keep an eye on it especially if I was going to use this load in warmer temperatures. This load could easily cross into the “excess pressure” realm very quickly.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

There is another sign of pressure that we cannot ignore. If you’ll notice, there is an ejector mark apparent that is located over the “R” of the R-P headstamp. This absolutely tells us that this load would not have been in the safe pressure range. If there were any of these rounds loaded, they should not be fired and should be dis-assembled. This case should not be reloaded.

Split Case-Neck
Here we have an R-P .22-250 case that has died the death. Everything looks fine with this case except the neck is split. This case must be tossed.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

A split neck is a normal occurrence that you must watch for. It is caused by work-hardening of the brass. Brass cases get harder with age and use. Brand new cases that are stored for a period of time can become hard enough that they will split like this case within one to two firings. I have had new factory loads do the same thing. Then as we resize and fire these cases repeatedly, they tend to get harder and harder. Eventually they will split. The life of the case can be extended by careful annealing practices. This is an issue that would need to be addressed in an article by itself. Of course this case is no longer usable.

In the classes that I teach, I try to use examples like this to let the students see what they should be looking for. As always, if we can assist you, whether you are new to reloading or very experienced, contact us here at Sierra Bullets by phone at 1-800-223-8799 or by email at sierra@sierrabullets.com.

Dented Case Body
Here we have a Lake City 7.62×51 (.308 Win.) case with two heavy marks/dents in the case body.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

This one may be a bit of a mystery. It appears as if this case may have been caught in the action of a semi-auto rifle when the firearm jammed or the case failed to clear during the cycling process. I probably would not reload this case just to prevent any feeding problems. This also appeared to be a factory loaded round and I don’t really see any pressure issues or damage to the case.

Multiple Problems — Lake City 5.56×45 unknown year.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

This case has suffered multiple failures and cannot be re-used. First its has have a very rounded shoulder that is split. Upon first look it was obvious that this round had been a victim of excess pressure. The firearm (perhaps an AR?) was apparently not in full battery, or there was possibly a headspace issue also. While taking a closer look, the primer was very flat and the outside radius of the primer cup had been lost. High pressure! Then I also noticed that there was an ejector mark on the case rim. This is most certainly an incident of excessive pressure. This case is ruined and should be discarded.

CLICK HERE for MORE .223 Rem Case Examples in Sierra Blog

To see more examples, view both Part I and Part II of the Case Diagnostics from Sierra Bullets:

» Reloading 101: Case Diagnostics Part I
» Reloading 101: Case Diagnostics Part II

It is very important to observe and inspect your cases before each reloading. After awhile it becomes second nature to notice the little things. Never get complacent as you become more familiar with the reloading process. If ever in doubt, call Sierra’s Techs at 1-800-223-8799.

Sierra Bullets Case Diagnostics Blog

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September 23rd, 2020

Remembering John Nosler — Pioneer in Bullet Design

RIP John A. Nosler

John Nosler lived 97 years, passing in 2010. During his long lifetime, John was an iconic figure in the shooting and hunting world. Considered a true pioneer in bullet and ammunition design, Nosler developed the famous Partition bullet in the 1940s. Born on April 4, 1913 in Brawley, California, John built his business from scratch. He founded his bullet company in 1948. He was considered to be one of the great innovators whose designs helped create the premium bullet category and influenced ammunition manufacturers worldwide.

Moose-Hunt Inspires Partition Bullet Design
While hunting in Canada, John experienced a bullet failure on the hide of a mud-caked bull moose. He then began developing a revolutionary new projectile, which he called the “Partition”, because of the barrier that separated the bullet into two sections. One year later, John and a friend traveled back to British Columbia with his new Partition bullets, which were designed to provide deep penetration and expansion. The men bagged two moose with two shots, and the rest is history.

Nosler Partition Bullet John Nosler

NRA Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award
In recognition of his contribution to the shooting sports industry, John was the unanimous choice for the inaugural 2007 NRA Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award. The award was the highlight of a long and fruitful career. Even though he officially retired in 1988 when his son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Joan Nosler purchased the company, John still managed to come to the office on a daily basis until his health declined.

Today, John’s son Bob Nosler still presides over the company as president and CEO of Nosler, Inc., based in Bend, Oregon. Along with bullets, the company now produces cartridge brass, loaded ammunition, and hunting rifles.

To learn more about John Nosler and his bullet designs, get your hands on Going Ballistic, a “Professional Memoir” told by John Nosler to outdoor writer Gary Lewis. CLICK HERE to hear a short John Nosler audio clip or to order the book from the author.

John Nosler remained an avid hunter and shooter even late in life. Gary Lewis recalled that, at age 92, John Nosler attended the opening of a new shooting range outside Bend, Oregon. Even in his nineties, Nosler managed to drill two shots inside nine inches at 1000 yards. John Nosler leaves a legacy that will benefit hunters and shooters’ nationwide. The John A. Nosler Endowment of The NRA Foundation, sponsors the NRA’s Basic Rifle Training Program which instructs novices in safe rifle handling.

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September 22nd, 2020

Read Shooting Industry Magazine for Free — Digital Editions

Shooting Industry Magazine archives digital editions

If you want to stay current with trends in the firearms industry, and see important new product releases before they hit dealers’ shelves, you should check out Shooting Industry magazine. While tailored for firearms/outdoor gear retailers and industry professionals, this monthly journal also provides valuable information for all gun owners. We read Shooting Industry to learn about sales trends, new products, and current gun laws issues.

READ for FREE — Shooting Industry is now available in a digital format for FREE. There are free archives going back 13 years to December 2007.

Get FREE Digital Shooting Industry Magazines for the Past 13 Years
You can access, for free, nearly 13 years of Shooting Industry back issues, plus all the recent 2020 issues. CLICK HERE for the current issue along with all issues for the last three years: 2018, 2019, 2020. IMPORTANT — To access older issues, you much first launch a recent digital edition. That will give you access to the full 13-year archive, as explained below.

Here are links for the last three issues — July, August, and September 2020. Simply click each cover to read full issue for FREE:

shooting industry magazine September 2020

SEPTEMBER 2020
Top Stories:
Gun Storage in Pandemic
Tracking Big-Game Hunters

shooting industry magazine august 2020

AUGUST 2020
Top Stories:
Self-Defense Long Guns
Pandemic Spurs Hunting

shooting industry magazine august 2020

JULY 2020
Top Stories:
First-Time Gun Buyers
U.S. Firearms Industry Today

How to Access Magazine Archives Back to December 2007
Once you have launched the digital version of a recent issue, you can access the past 13 years of Shooting Industry back issues by using the ARCHIVE Button. First click on the MENU icon (three horizontal lines). Then click on the link for ARCHIVE. When you click on “Archive”, a list appears on the right. Scroll down to select any issue from September 2020 back to December 2007.

Shooting Industry Magazine archives digital editions

BONUS! FREE Back Issues of GUNS Magazine and American Handgunner
In the Shooting Industry Archives, you will also find free digital editions of GUNS Magazine and American Handgunner. These will be found in the archive tables on the right. Just look for GUNSxxxx in the list entry for GUNS Magazine back issues, or AHxxxx for American Handgunner back issues.

Shooting Industry Magazine archives digital editions

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September 21st, 2020

Historic Handgun — Colt M1911 Survived 2060-mile WWII Escape

Corregidor Pistol NRA

What a tale this rusty Colt could tell — this M1911 pistol is more than a vintage military side-arm. It is a symbol of courage, determination, and triumph over adversity. This pistol was carried on a 2,060-mile open-boat ocean crossing from the Philippines to Australia. In May of 1942, the skipper and 17 crewmen of the Minesweeper U.S.S. Quail courageously decided to sail from Manilla to Darwin, Australia rather than surrender to the Japanese. Lt. J.H. Morrill and his crew made that long ocean journey in a 36-foot launch, braving enemy air and sea forces and dangerous ocean conditions.

This pistol is part of the NRA Museum Collection in Fairfax, Virginia. This historic Colt M1911 was a featured “Gun of the Day” on the NRA Museum Facebook Page where you’ll find hundreds of other interesting firearms. We believe the remarkable story of this pistol deserved to be told here…

Colt M1911 Pistol — Escape from Corregidor
The minesweeper U.S.S. Quail was the last operational American naval vessel in the Philippines when Japan began its occupation of the country in May 1942. After his vessel was disabled at the strategically-important island of Corregidor near the entrance to Manilla Bay, Lt. Commander J. H. Morrill scuttled the ship and gave his crew a choice: either surrender to the Japanese or attempt to escape, by sea, to Allied territory thousands of miles away. Rather than surrender, 17 crew members elected to join Morrill on a dangerous passage in a 36-foot open launch/lifeboat. Gear was scavenged including this M1911 recovered from a dead serviceman. With few charts or navigational aids, Morrill and his men successfully completed an epic 58-day 2,060-mile journey to Australia and safety.

The Japanese bomb Corregidor in 1942:
Corregidor Pistol NRA

Corregidor Pistol NRA

Corregidor Island today, with War Memorial:
Corregidor Pistol NRA

Credit NRA Museum, Corregidor.org, and U.S. Government photo from Wikipedia.

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September 20th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Old “Number 2″ — Cherished M1A of Ray Gross

Ray Gross M1A M14 service rifle .308 .30-06 Distinguished rifleman badge
Old “Number 2″ belonging to Ray Gross. Click Photo for full-screen Image.

Ray Gross, one of America’s great rifle competitors, has served as captain of the United States F-TR Team. While Ray is best known for his F-Class shooting and leadership, Ray is also an experienced service rifle shooter, who secured his Distinguished Rifleman Badge 25 years ago. Ray has shot many rifles during his competitive shooting career, but the M1A rifle above held a special place in Ray’s heart. This old semi-auto earned Ray his Distinguished Badge, and he’ll never forget that, though he parted with the rifle in 2016.

Ray Gross M1A M14 service rifle .308 .30-06 Distinguished rifleman badge

Posting back in 2016, Ray told us:

“I said goodbye to an old friend… Affectionately known as ‘Number 2′, she is the rifle that I earned my Distinguished Rifleman Badge with in 1995 (#1159).

That rifle was also responsible for a fair amount of Venison in the ’90s, as well. But since then, she has spent a lot of time in the closet. Last time I got her out was to destroy a bunch of hard drives containing evidence collected during my Computer Forensics days. She deserved better than that.

I will miss the beautiful sound of all that American steel slamming into battery when I tripped her bolt.” – Ray Gross

M14 rifle Springfield M1A camp perry Shooting Sports USARay Gross was profiled in Shooting Sports USA last year. He explained how he started his competitive shooting career with an M1A rifle:

How did you begin in competitive shooting?

I began competing in 1991, at age 27. I bought an M1A and joined the Midland County Sportsman’s Club. One day I was at the club shooting the M1A when a member, Rich Koskela, came over and invited me to join them shooting competitions. Up until that point, I had no idea there was such a thing as NRA Competitive Shooting and I had been a member since 1986. Anyway, Rich and some of his friends showed me the basics and at my first match, I finished in the top half and first MU.

What are your major accomplishments in the shooting sports?

In 1995, I earned the Distinguished Rifleman Badge and a few years later switched to Palma rifle. On the way to making my first Palma team in 2003, I won the Army Cup, the Andrus trophy twice and the Sierra Trophy once. As a coach, I won the Herrick match, and seven F-TR National Championship team matches. Internationally, I’ve coached three gold medal America Match teams (The USA has only won four in Palma Rifle), and earned a Silver and Bronze coaching on the Palma Team in 2015 and 2019. In 2017, I led the U.S. F-TR Team to a World Championship. This year (2019), I also won the NRA ELR National Championship (25-lb max Division).”

Ray Gross M1A M14 service rifle .308 .30-06 Distinguished rifleman badge

M14 rifle Springfield M1A camp perry Shooting Sports USA

“Descended from the M1 Garand, the M14 utilized multiple improvements that made it a far superior firearm for combat and a much better rifle for competition.” — Dick Jones, Shooting Sports USA.

In the April 2018 issue of Shooting Sports USA, you’ll find a good article on the civilian version of the M14, now sold commercially as the Springfield M1A. An evolution of the battle-proven M1 Garand, the M14 was designed to shoot the 7.62×51 (.308 Win) round instead of the larger .30-06 Springfield cartridge used in WWI, WWII and Korea. While the vast majority of today’s M1As are chambered for .308 Win/7.62×51, Springfield Armory also produces a 6.5 Creedmoor version.

Ray Gross M1A service rifle

Dick Jones reports that accurized M14/M1As could post remarkable scores: “The accuracy potential of the M14/M1A is unquestionable. During their reign as service rifles, they produced multiple perfect 200 scores at 600 and 1000 yards in the hands of top shooters. This is a difficult feat with a modern, scoped, magnum-caliber rifle and remarkable with an iron-sighted battle rifle. Good competition rifles can group 10 shots under one MOA, and the meticulously-massaged rifles used by the top shooters during my career would consistently put up 10 shots under an inch at 200 yards off a test cradle.”

M14 rifle Springfield M1A camp perry Shooting Sports USA

For many years, the semi-auto version of the M14 was “top dog” in iron sights Service Rifle competition. Now that discipline is dominated by .223 Rem (5.56×45) AR-type rifles, but the bigger .308-caliber rifle, now sold as the M1A, remains popular. And in non-pandemic years, the CMP hosts a major M1A Match at Camp Perry, sponsored by Springfield Armory. This is a very popular event with 100+ competitors and significant cash prizes.

See how the modern M1A is built in this Springfield Armory Video:

As racing improves automobiles, competition improves firearms, and the current crop of Springfield M1As, from the Basic to the top-of-the-line Super Match and Loaded models, reflects the years of development. The M14 and its variants are … still considered by many to be the best battle rifle in the history of the U.S. Military. — Dick Jones, Shooting Sports USA

Military Version Operation Revealed — M14 Training Film

The original military version of the M1A was the select-fire M14. The 27-minute official U.S. Army video below demonstrates the operation of the M14. Field-stripping is shown from the 5:13 time-mark through 8:30. Cut-away drawings show the M14’s gas operation at 8:40.

Watch M14 Functioning Cycle Starting at 9:25 Mark:

The M14’s complete 8-step functioning cycle is demonstrated from the 9:25 time-mark through 22:41. These eight operations are: 1) Feeding; 2) Chambering; 3) Locking; 4) Firing; 5) Unlocking; 6) Extracting; 7) Ejecting; and 8) Cocking. This movie is fairly long, but fans of battle rifles will find it well worth their time. Every M1A owner should definitely watch this video start to finish.

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September 20th, 2020

BLAZING AMMO — The Great SAAMI Ammo Fire Test

With the big fires happening on the West Coast, many have wondered about hazards faced by gun owners in fire zones. This important video shows what really happens when loaded ammunition burns. You will probably be surprised. Contrary to Hollywood notions, the ammo doesn’t ignite in a massive explosion. Far from it… basically the rounds “cook off” one by one, and the bullets release at relatively low velocity. We’ve featured this SAAMI research project before, but it is worth reprising for those who have not yet seen the burn tests.

A few years back, SAAMI released an important video concerning ammo and fire. With professional fire-fighters standing by, over 400,000 rounds of ammo were incinerated in a series of eye-opening tests. If you haven’t had the chance to view this video yet, you should take the time to watch it now

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) has produced an amazing 25-minute video that shows what actually happens to sporting ammunition involved in a fire. This video shows the results of serious tests conducted with the assistance of professional fire crews. We strongly recommend you watch this video, all the way through. It dispels many myths, while demonstrating what really happens when ammunition is burned, dropped, or crushed.

Watch SAAMI Ammunition Testing Video

Video Timeline

  • 2:10 Impact Test (ignited outside firearm)
  • 3:40 65-foot Drop Test
  • 5:08 Bullet Impact (.308 Win firing)
  • 7:55 Blasting Cap Attacks
  • 9:55 Bulldozer and Forklift Tests
  • 12:20 Boxed Ammo Bonfire
  • 15:37 Bonfire without Packaging
  • 17:21 Retail Store Simulation Burn
  • 20:55 Truck Trailer Burn

Over 400,000 rounds of ammunition were used in the tests. Some of the footage is quite remarkable. Testers built a bonfire with 28,000 rounds of boxed ammo soaked in diesel fuel. Then the testers loaded five pallets of ammo (250,000 rounds) in the back of a semi-truck, and torched it all using wood and paper fire-starting materials doused with diesel fuel.

The video shows that, when ammo boxes are set on fire, and ammunition does discharge, the bullet normally exits at low speed and low pressure. SAAMI states: “Smokeless powders must be confined to propel a projectile at high velocity. When not in a firearm, projectile velocities are extremely low.” At distances of 10 meters, bullets launched from “cooked-off” ammo would not penetrate the normal “turn-out gear” worn by fire-fighters.

We are not suggesting you disregard the risks of ammo “cooking off” in a fire, but you will learn the realities of the situation by watching the video. There are some amazing demonstrations — including a simulated retail store fire with 115,000 rounds of ammo in boxes. As cartridges cook off, it sounds like a battery of machine-guns, but projectiles did not penetrate the “store” walls, or even two layers of sheet-rock. The fire crew puts out the “store fire” easily in under 20 seconds, just using water.

Additional Testing: Drop Test, Projectile Test, Crush Test, Blasting Cap Test

Drop Test
The video also offers interesting ammo-handling tests. Boxes of ammo were dropped from a height of 65 feet. Only a tiny fraction of the cartridges discharged, and there was no chain-fire. SAAMI concludes: “When dropped from extreme heights (65 feet), sporting ammunition is unlikely to ignite. If a cartridge ignites, it does not propagate.”

Rifle Fire Test
SAAMI’s testers even tried to blow up boxes of ammunition with rifle fire. Boxes of loaded ammo were shot with .308 Win rounds from 65 yards. The video includes fascinating slow-motion footage showing rounds penetrating boxes of rifle cartridges, pistol ammo, and shotgun shells. Individual cartridges that were penetrated were destroyed, but adjacent cartridges suffered little damage, other than some powder leakage. SAAMI observed: “Most of the ammunition did not ignite. When a cartridge did ignite, there was no chain reaction.”

Bulldozer Crush Test
The test team also did an amazing “crush-test” using a Bulldozer. First boxes of loaded ammo, then loose piles of ammo, were crushed under the treads of a Bulldozer. A handful of rounds fired off, but again there was no chain-fire, and no large explosion. SAAMI observed: “Even in the most extreme conditions of compression and friction, sporting ammunition is unlikely to ignite. [If it does ignite when crushed] it does not propagate.”

Blasting Cap Test
Perhaps most amazingly, the testers were not able to get ammunition to chain-fire (detonate all at once), even when using blasting caps affixed directly to live primers. In the SAAMI test, a blasting cap was placed on the primer of a round housed in a large box of ammo. One cartridge ignited but the rest of the boxed ammo was relatively undamaged and there was no propagation.

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September 19th, 2020

Saturday at the Movies with Miculek

Jerry Miculek Saturday Movies Videos revolver pistol

About Jerry Miculek… The Man, The Myth, The Legend

The video above begins: “My name is Jerry Miculek. Guns are what I do.” Jerry Miculek is a true legend in the firearms community. Acknowledged as the best wheelgun speed-shooter in history, Jerry is also an accomplished rifle and shotgun shooter with many class victories in 3-Gun competition. He also has been a prolific YouTube Video creator. For this Saturday at the Movies story, we are featuring five notable Jerry Miculek videos. You will find over 200 more informative and entertaining videos on the Jerry Miculek Pro Shooter YouTube channel

1. Shooting Twin Double-Barreled M1911 Pistols Simultaneously

Here Jerry shoots two, double-barrel .45 ACP 1911 pistols (AF2011) at the same time, one in each hand. Jerry was the first-ever person to accomplished this 4-barrel feat with twin handguns. Employing the dual double-barreled pistols, Jerry send 20 rounds downrange in under 1.5 seconds. This amazing sequence is captured with hi-speed cameras for vivid slow-motion playback. There are some spectacular close-ups as the bullets leave the muzzles. Worth watching!

2. Take-Down and Full Cleaning of AR-15

If you want to keep your black rifle running smoothly and reliably, you must clean it regularly and follow the correct maintenance procedures. In this video, Jerry Miculek takes down and cleans an AR-platform rifle belonging to his daughter Lena. This is a good video because Lena’s rifle was “run hard and packed up dirty” so you can see where carbon and grease build up. This 35-minute video is very thorough. Jerry is one of the nation’s top action carbine shooters, so listen carefully to his advice on cleaning and lubrication.

3. Jerry Reviews Magnetospeed T1000 Target Impact Indicator

MagnetoSpeed makes more than barrel-mounted chronographs. The T1000 is a target hit indicator that illuminates a super-bright red light when you hit a steel target. The T1000 was designed to be mounted to the back side of AR500 steel targets. In this video Jerry tests the MagnetoSpeed T1000 indicator light system. We like the T1000, especially for longer ranges where impacts on plates may not be easily visible. And you never have to paint your steel targets again to show impacts!

4. Shooting 240 Yards with 85-Year-Old K-22 Rimfire Revolver

Jerry Miculek is probably the greatest (certainly speediest) revolver shooter in history. He has set multiple world records with Smith & Wesson wheelguns. Here he tests a true classic — an 85-year-old S&W model K-22 revolver chambered for the .22 LR rimfire cartridge. Jerry uses this handsome classic blued revolver to hit targets at 240 yards!

5. 80,000 Philippine M1 Garands in One Place

Last year Jerry Miculek recently the CMP where he looked at the vast inventory of military rifles, including 80,000+ M1 Garands recently received from the Philippines. CMP tech staff showed Jerry some rare Garands that had never been issued. If you’re interested in classic military arms, you should definitely watch Jerry’s video. Gina Johnson, CMP’s general manager, told Guns.com that: “We have roughly 86,000 rifles from the Philippines and roughly 13,000 rifles from Turkey in our possession”.

Along with the 80,000+ Philippines Garands, the CMP received 13,000 from Turkey. The arrival of these 99,000 M1 Garands is great news for rifle collectors. Garands have been in short supply in recent years. Garands were getting harder to acquire from the CMP. In fact, over the past two years, many common Garand varients have been “sold out” on the CMP site.

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September 19th, 2020

Savage 110 Elite Precision — PRS/NRL Factory Class Rifle

Savage Arms model 110 Elite Precision rifle PRS NRL ELR tactical modular rifle

Looking for an match-worthy PRS/NRL rig for under $1700.00? Check out Savage’s new Elite Precision model 110. GunsAmerica Digest recently did a very thorough test of the 110 Elite Precision, declaring that this modern Savage is “Competition-Ready Out of the Box.”

The 110 Elite Precision has many notable features:

1. Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) Adjustable Core Competition (ACC) Chassis
2. Trigger adjusts from 1.5-4.0 pounds
3. Barrel comes with timed muzzle brake from factory
4. MDT Stocks easily accepts Weights and Accessories
5. Takes AICS-compatible Magazines
6. Titanium Nitride coated bolt body

This rifle boasts an excellent MDT ACC modular chassis. GunsAmerica stated: “Combined with the excellent trigger, an AR-compatible vertical grip, flared magazine well, and AICS mag system (along with a host of additional features), the 110 Elite Precision comes with everything you need [for PRS/NRL matches].” The stock has ARCA rails on the fore-end and M-LOK mounting points for accessories and/or weights. You can add an additional 9 pounds of steel to customize the balance/mass of the rifle to improvide stability and minimize recoil.

Savage Arms model 110 Elite Precision rifle PRS NRL ELR tactical modular rifle
The Cheekpiece and Buttpad are adjustable, along with Length of Pull (LOP).

Another reviewer noted that the 110 Elite Precision has important accurizing tweaks from the factory: “Key upgrades include a blueprinted action … Savage squared the receiver face and cleaned up the receiver threads to ensure they’re concentric with the barrel’s bore. This combination goes a long way in eliminating the occasional flyer that can ruin a good group or cause a miss in a match.” Source: GunsandAmmo.com.

Decent Accuracy with Factory Ammo
What kind of accuracy can you expect? Decent for a factory barrel and factory ammo. With Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, shooting off a sled, the test rifle delivered 1.1-MOA average groups. We would expect considerably better accuracy using a proper front rest with a bag-rider fitted to the fore-end. Likewise, the gun would almost certainly shoot better with handloads with Lapua brass and Berger bullets. Handling was good: “The Elite Precision is about as shootable as it gets. The 12.6-pound rifle produces very little recoil with the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, and … the ACC chassis can be weighted to control recoil even further.”

Savage Arms model 110 Elite Precision rifle PRS NRL ELR tactical modular rifle

Actual owners have been impressed with the 110 Elite Precision. One buyer posted: “You couldn’t build a complete PRS rifle that is this good of a platform for even close to the price!” GunsAmerica tester Jordan Michaels concurred that this rig is a great choice for PRS/NRL factory-class: “If you’re in the market for a rifle to compete in a long-range competition, the Savage 110 Elite Precision is an excellent choice.”

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September 18th, 2020

SHOT Show 2021 in Las Vegas — Uncertainty Remains

SHOT Show 2021 January Las Vegas Covid-19 pandemic hotel travel closure

Will there be a 2021 SHOT Show in Las Vegas? The answer is that nobody knows for sure. While the NSSF, the show’s organizer, is proceeding as planned for a big event, there is no clear “green light” decision from Las Vegas government and public health officials. The NSSF has talked about having an event with a more open layout, fewer booth personnel, and social distancing restrictions, but it is unclear how that would work. Also, given the fact that January 2021 SHOT Show might still be cancelled in its entirety, attendees need to be concerned with their hotel reservations, specifically getting deposits back. We know many show attendees are taking a “wait and see” approach, and holding off on making hotel and transportation arrangements.

The Shooting Wire observed recently:

As of today (9/16/2020), we know the NSSF and their SHOT working group are moving forward with plans for a 2021 SHOT Show. We also know it will be bigger physically, and considerably different experience from previous versions.

SHOT Show 2021 will feature a more expansive and “distanced” layout, with larger aisles, smaller numbers of booth workers. It’s likely that social distancing, sanitizing, masks, and a whole COVID-19 compliance regimen — as is mandated by the state and local governments at the time — will be in place.

The real question that will have the largest impact is this: What will the COVID-19 compliance regulations look like by January 2021? If there are still restrictions on gatherings, it would be pretty tough to have an event the magnitude of SHOT for groups of 50 or fewer attendees at a time.

SHOT Show 2021 January Las Vegas Covid-19 pandemic hotel travel closure
That’s NOT social distancing. We can’t imagine this scene in today’s COVID-19 Pandemic environment.

What Will Happen to Hotel Reservations if SHOT Show is Cancelled?
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has issued Information on Hotel Cancellation Policies, regarding the reservations for SHOT Show 2021:

Many people have been reaching out to our team about hotel reservations and policies that are in place during this uncertain time. As you may know, there are two ways in which those coming to SHOT Show can book a room through our official channels — directly through the Venetian|Palazzo link on SHOTshow.org or through onPeak.com for all our other partner hotels.

OnPeak – With respect to hotel rooms booked through onPeak, every reservation is held without deposit until December 16. If the show is not permitted to take place, all reservations will be canceled without a deposit being taken so there will be no cancellation fees due. If you decide not to attend the SHOT Show, you will be able to cancel your reservation up to December 15 without a cancellation fee.

Venetian|Palazzo — The Venetian|Palazzo have always had a one-night nonrefundable deposit policy, and that still holds should someone choose to cancel their reservation. However, if the SHOT Show is not permitted to take place, the Venetian|Palazzo will return the deposit this year.

NSSF hopes this helps clarify the current hotel reservation policies and provides comfort for those planning their stays in January. In the meantime, please continue to visit the SHOT Show Hotel & Travel page as it continues to update with adjusted rates welcoming the SHOT Show community back to Vegas.

SHOT Show Floor image courtesy DKC company a supplier of lead consumables for the firearms industry.

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September 18th, 2020

Congressional Report Card Issued by NSSF

Congress house representatives U.S. Senate Report Card Second Amendment gun rights

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has released its 2020 Congressional Report Card. This report card grades all 431 U.S. Representatives and 100 U.S. Senators on key legislation of critical importance to the firearm industry, as well as the Second Amendment rights of America’s hunters and target shooters. See Complete Congressional Report Card HERE.

In the Report Card, the NSSF awarded 17 U.S. Senators and 97 U.S. Representatives the highest “A+” rating. This includes U.S. Senators Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). Congressman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) was also among the lawmakers awarded the highest rating.

Shown below is the U.S. Senate Report card. The Report card for the House of Representatives is four pages long, too lengthy to display here. CLICK HERE for House Report.

Congress house representatives U.S. Senate Report Card Second Amendment gun rights


CLICK HERE for U.S. House of Representatives Report Card »

Congress house representatives U.S. Senate Report Card Second Amendment gun rights

This nonpartisan scorecard reflects the voting record of each legislator. These grades indicate their public voting record as well as the weight and importance of these lawmakers sponsoring and co-sponsoring key legislation, their work on committees, letters signed to support issues and leadership to stand for our industry. “This scorecard is of vital importance to voters as we head into November elections. This tells voters exactly where their lawmakers stand on issues they care about like recreational shooting and hunting and the right to keep and bear arms” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF VP and General Counsel.

The NSSF notes that grades are meant to analyze the level of support of each lawmaker during the 116th Congress and do not constitute an endorsement or opposition to a candidate’s election. The entire report, including the list of key legislation that comprised the scores, is available HERE.

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September 17th, 2020

Sight-In Your Hunting Rifle with Just Four Shots

hunting zero zeroing sight-in easy NSSF boresighting
Photo courtesy Vortex Optics.

Hunting season is right around the corner. We know many readers have acquired a new hunting rifles, or perhaps are using new ammo or a new optic. If you’ve got new gear, you’ll want to sight-in and zero your hunting rig properly. Here’s how…

Here’s a simple procedure that lets you get a solid zero in just four shots. Of course you probably want to fire a few more rounds to confirm your zero before you head off to your hunting grounds, but this will let you get on-target with a minimum amount of time and ammo expended. (This assumes your scope is securely mounted, and the bases are not drastically out of alignment.)

QUICK-TIP: The Key to this procedure is Dialing to Shot One Point of Impact (POI). Re-aim at center of target after SHOT ONE. Then with the rifle motionless, use the turrets to put the middle of the cross-hair (reticle) on the first shot location. Be sure NOT to move your rifle while clicking.

1. First, remove the bolt and boresight the rifle. Adjust the position of the rifle so that, looking through the bore, you can see the center of the target with your eyes. Secure the rifle in the rests to maintain its position as boresighted. Then, without moving the rifle, center the reticle. That should get you on paper. With the rifle solidly secured in front and rear rests or sandbags, aim at the center of a target placed at your zeroing distance (50 or 100 yards). Confirm there are no obstructions in the barrel! Then load and fire SHOT ONE. Then, return the gun to the exact position it was when you pulled the trigger, with the cross-hair centered on the target as before.

2. Locate, in the scope, where your first bullet landed on the target. Now, while you grip the rifle firmly so it doesn’t move, have a friend adjust the turrets on your scope. While you look through the scope, have your friend turn the windage and elevation turrets until the cross-hairs, as viewed through the scope, bisect the first bullet hole on the target. Use the turrets to move the center of the reticle to the actual position of shot number one. IMPORTANT: Dial the crosshairs to the hole — don’t move the rifle.

Watch NSSF Zeroing Video showing method of moving reticle to Shot 1 Point of Impact.

3. After you’ve adjusted the turrets, now re-aim the rifle so the cross-hairs are, once again, positioned on the target center. Keep the rifle firmly supported by your rest or sandbag. Take the SECOND SHOT. You should find that the bullet now strikes in the center of the target.

3-Shot Zero

4. Take a THIRD SHOT with the cross-hairs aligned in the center of the target to confirm your zero. Make minor modifications to the windage and elevation as necessary.

5. Finally, shoot the rifle from a field rest (shooting sticks, bipod, or rucksack) as you would use when actually hunting. Confirm, with SHOT FOUR, that your zero is unchanged. You may need to make slight adjustments. Some rifles, particularly those with flexy fore-arms, exhibit a different POI (point of impact) when fired from a bipod or ruck vs. a sandbag rest.

This Video Shows the Process Described Above:

Fouling Shots and Cold Bore Condition
If you recently cleaned your rifle, you may want to fire two or three fouling shots before you start this procedure. But keep in mind that you want to duplicate the typical cold bore conditions that you’ll experience during the hunt. If you set your zero after three fouling shots, then make sure the bore is in a similar condition when you actually go out hunting.

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September 15th, 2020

Great Book: Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting II

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-order

If you buy one book about Long Range Shooting, this should be it. Based on sophisticated testing and research, this 356-page hardcover from Applied Ballistics offers important insights you won’t find anywhere else. Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting – Volume II, the latest treatise from Bryan Litz, is chock full of information, much of it derived through sophisticated field testing. As Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets (and a trained rocket scientist), author Bryan Litz is uniquely qualified. Bryan is also an ace sling shooter and a past F-TR National Champion. Moreover, Bryan’s company, Applied Ballistics, has been a leader in the Extreme Long Range (ELR) discipline.

AUDIO FILE: Bryan Litz Talks about Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting, Volume 2. (Sound file loads when you click button).

Volume II of Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting ($39.95) contains all-new content derived from research by Applied Ballistics. Author Bryan Litz along with contributing authors Nick Vitalbo and Cal Zant use the scientific method and careful testing to answer important questions faced by long range shooters. In particular, this volume explores the subject of bullet dispersion including group convergence. Advanced hand-loading subjects are covered such as: bullet pointing and trimming, powder measurement, flash hole deburring, neck tension, and fill ratio. Each topic is explored with extensive live fire testing, and the resulting information helps to guide hand loaders in a deliberate path to success. The current bullet library of measured G1 and G7 ballistic coefficients is included as an appendix. This library currently has data on 533 bullets in common use by long range shooters.

Bryan tells us that one purpose of this book is to dispel myths and correct commonly-held misconceptions: “Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting aims to end the misinformation which is so prevalent in long range shooting. By applying the scientific method and taking a Myth Buster approach, the state of the art is advanced….”

Bullet Dispersion and Group Convergence
Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-order

Part 1 of this Volume is focused on the details of rifle bullet dispersion. Chapter 1 builds a discussion of dispersion and precision that every shooter will benefit from in terms of understanding how it impacts their particular shooting application. How many shots should you shoot in a group? What kind of 5-shot 100 yard groups correlate to average or winning precision levels in 1000 yard F-Class shooting?

Chapter 2 presents a very detailed investigation of the mysterious concept of group convergence, which is the common idea that some guns can shoot smaller (MOA) groups at longer ranges. This concept is thoroughly tested with extensive live fire, and the results answer a very important question that has baffled shooters for many generations.

Bryan Litz Applied Ballistics Modern Advancements Volume 2 II testing pre-orderPart 2 of this Volume is focused on various aspects of advanced hand-loading. Modern Advancements (Vol. II) employs live fire testing to answer the important questions that precision hand loaders are asking. What are the best ways to achieve MVs with low ES and SD? Do flash hole deburring, neck tension, primer selection, and fill ratio and powder scales sensitivity make a difference and how much? All of these questions are explored in detail with a clear explanation of test results.

One of the important chapters of Part 2 examines bullet pointing and trimming. Applied Ballistics tested 39 different bullet types from .224 through .338 caliber. Ten samples of each bullet were tested for BC in each of the following configurations: original out of the box, pointed, trimmed, pointed and trimmed. The effect on the average BC as well as the uniformity in BC was measured and tabulated, revealing what works best.

Part 3 covers a variety of general research topics. Contributing author Nick Vitalbo, a laser technology expert, tested 22 different laser rangefinders. Nick’s material on rangefinder performance is a landmark piece of work. Nick shows how shooters can determine the performance of a rangefinder under various lighting conditions, target sizes, and reflectivities.

Chapter 9 is a thorough analysis of rimfire ammunition. Ballistic Performance of Rifle Bullets, 2nd Edition presented live fire data on 95 different types of .22 rimfire ammunition, each tested in five different barrels having various lengths and twist rates. Where that book just presented the data, Chapter 9 of this book offers detailed analysis of all the test results and shows what properties of rimfire ammunition are favorable, and how the BCs, muzzle velocities and consistency of the ammo are affected by the different barrels.

Chapter 10 is a discussion of aerodynamic drag as it relates to ballistic trajectory modeling. You will learn from the ground up: what an aerodynamic drag model is, how it’s measure and used to predict trajectories. Analysis is presented which shows how the best trajectory models compare to actual measured drop in the real world.

Finally, contributing author Cal Zant of the Precision Rifle Blog presents a study of modern carbon fiber-wrapped barrels in Chapter 11. The science and technology of these modern rifle barrels is discussed, and then everything from point of impact shift to group sizes are compared for several samples of each type of barrel including standard steel barrels.

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September 15th, 2020

Getting Started in PRS/NRL Competition — Guns, Gear, & Ammo

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Many of our readers are thinking of trying out PRS-type competition. Tactical matches are becoming more popular every season. Along with F-Class, tactical/practical disciplines are the fastest-growing forms of competitive rifle shooting. Rich Emmons, one of the founders of the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), has written an insightful article about getting started in the tactical game. This will help PRS novices pick the right equipment and understand the game. Here are highlights from Emmon’s “PRS — Intro to Competition” article, originally published on the PRS website. You may also want to read the current PRS FAQ Page.

Precision Rifle Series — Intro to Competition

by Rich Emmons, PRS President
Tactical Shooting with a precision rifle is not like other disciplines, there is no set course of fire or format. That is what makes it so fun!

GAP Grind PRS series
Photo from Ramia Whitecotton’s GAP GRIND 2016 photo album.

First, you have to ask yourself what do you want to accomplish. When I was introduced to long range shooting, immediately a light turned on for me, once I saw how easy it was to hit 300–600 yard targets. What I quickly learned from my first competition and the many that followed was there is so much to learn and shooting in competition put everything you thought you knew to the test. So back to the question: “What do YOU want to accomplish?”. The reality is you may not know yet, you just think it is cool to have a bad ass rifle and scope that can make almost any shot. Now if you’ve got that rifle and scope, it’s time to take it to the next level.

Watch PRS 2016 Championship

Getting Started — What to Expect
If you’re reading this, you have probably already have been bitten by the long range shooting bug. It can seem quite intimidating to just jump in with a new bunch of shooters you don’t know and shooting lingo you don’t quite understand yet. But here is the key — show up and shoot! I guarantee you if you show up to a match as a new shooter, other experienced shooters will guide you along and give you help on anything you need.

AUDIO: Click Button to hear Rich Emmons Talk about the Precision Rifle Series.

Now, a couple things you should just expect. You’re not as good as you think you are. Don’t expect to come into your first match and beat all the veterans. That just doesn’t happen unless you have had some really good coaching or other shooting competition experience to get you ready for this type of competition. If possible, find a local rifle club that has monthly long range matches, or any type of match will help prepare you for a larger PRS event. Getting involved with a rifle club and starting out shooting monthly matches is definitely the way to jump into competition shooting.

PRS equipment gear AREA 419 gear changer bag

The Gear You Need
The first question that many ask is: “What kind of rifle/caliber/scope do I need?” The easiest answer to this is, the best you can afford. It’s no secret the gear is expensive. It took me several years of buying sub-par gear and eventually trading up to figure this out. Now, a guy can get a real sense of pride of doing it on the cheap, or with a factory rifle. I’ve seen many old Savage 10FPs take down custom rigs that cost 10 times as much. And if that’s all you can afford, then eventually you will learn the limitations of yourself or your gear. As for choice of cartridge/caliber, the respected Precision Rifle Blog has analyzed five years worth of match results from the best tactical shooters in the nation. CLICK HERE to read a PRB article that reveals what cartridge types the “top guns” use.

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Craig Arnzen of Area 419 has created a useful article reviewing the gear PRS shooters need, including support bags, hearing protection, and other key accessories such as muzzle brakes. This helpful article also covers factory ammunition options.

Area 419 Game Changer bag PRS tactical matches

Making Good Ammo
Producing quality reloads is something you have to master. It’s not hard at all, you just have to pay attention to detail, and eventually you are going to do something stupid like mis-priming your brass, or skip a row of brass when dumping your powder. Everybody has their own horror story of some reloading failure that cost them a stage or even a match. So load to perfection, work with your rifle to find what load it likes the best, then start your practice.

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Practice Makes Perfect
You want to become ONE with your rifle, learning everything you can about its functionality. Getting comfortable with the operation of your rifle is key. Learn the feel of your trigger, dry-firing until you wear the paint off your bolt handle. Learn how the rifle works best — pay attention to little things like the sound and feel of the bolt feeding a round from the mag (or when it doesn’t). Learn how to remove a jammed round quickly, learn how to reload a magazine quickly. Learn to scan across a field and find targets in a quick manner, seeing the targets with your eye and coming into the scope on target. These are some of the basic practices that separate the new shooters from the seasoned ones.

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

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September 14th, 2020

Over-Shooting the Berm Is All Too Easy — Five Degrees of Doom

Gun Angle long range

In our Shooters’ Forum, there was an discussion about a range that was threatened with closure because rifle over-shoots were hitting a farm building over two miles from the firing line. One reader was skeptical of this, asking “how’s that possible — were these guys aiming at the stars?” Actually, you may be surprised. It doesn’t take much up-angle on a rifle to have a bullet land miles down-range. That’s why it’s so important that hunters and target shooters always orient their barrels in a safe direction (and angle). Shooters may not realize how much a small tilt of the barrel (above horizontal) can alter a bullet’s trajectory.

How many degrees of muzzle elevation do you think it would take to hit a barn at 3000 yards? Ten Degrees? Twenty Degrees? Actually the answer is much less — for a typical hunting cartridge, five to seven degrees of up-angle on the rifle is enough to create a trajectory that will have your bullet impacting at 3000 yards — that’s 1.7 miles away!

Gun Angle long range

Five degrees isn’t much at all. Look at the diagram above. The angle actually displayed for the up-tilted rifle is a true 5.07 degrees (above horizontal). Using JBM Ballistics, we calculated 5.07° as the angle that would produce a 3000-yard impact with a 185gr .30-caliber bullet launched at 2850 fps MV. That would be a moderate “book load” for a .300 Win Mag deer rifle.

Here’s how we derived the angle value. Using Litz-derived BCs for a 185gr Berger Hunting VLD launched at 2850 fps, the drop at 3000 yards is 304.1 MOA (Minutes of Angle), assuming a 100-yard zero. This was calculated using a G7 BC with the JBM Ballistics Program. There are 60 MOA for each 1 degree of Angle. Thus, 304.1 MOA equals 5.068 degrees. So, that means that if you tilt up your muzzle just slightly over five degrees, your 185gr bullet (2850 fps MV) will impact 3000 yards down-range.

Figuring Trajectories with Different Bullets and MVs
If the bullet travels slower, or if you shoot a bullet with a lower BC, the angle elevation required for a 3000-yard impact goes up, but the principle is the same. Let’s say you have a 168gr HPBT MatchKing launched at 2750 fps MV from a .308 Winchester. (That’s a typical tactical load.) With a 100-yard zero, the total drop is 440.1 MOA, or 7.335 degrees. That’s more up-tilt than our example above, but seven degrees is still not that much, when you consider how a rifle might be handled during a negligent discharge.

Think about a hunter getting into position for a shot. If careless, he could easily touch off the trigger with a muzzle up-angle of 10 degrees or more. Even when shooting from the bench, there is the possibility of discharging a rifle before the gun is leveled, sending the shot over the berm and, potentially, thousands of yards down-range.

Hopefully this article has shown folks that a very small amount of barrel elevation can make a huge difference in your bullet’s trajectory, and where it eventually lands. Nobody wants to put holes in a distant neighbor’s house, or worse yet, have the shot cause injury. Let’s go back to our original example of a 185gr bullet with a MV of 2850 fps. According to JBM, this projectile will still be traveling 687 fps at 3000 yards, with 193.7 ft/lbs of retained energy at that distance. That’s more than enough energy to be deadly.

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September 14th, 2020

Don’t Get Busted — Learn the Gun Laws in All 50 U.S. States

Gun Laws by State PewPewtactical.com Pew Pew Byran Ciyou attorney book

Gun Laws by State PewPewtactical.com Pew Pew Byran Ciyou attorney bookWill you be traveling to other states this winter? Are you concerned about the laws that might apply when you are transporting firearms across state lines? Or are you puzzled about the requirements for obtaining a carry permit in your own state? If you have any of these questions, you should definitely get expert guidance on State statutes and regulations controlling firearms. To do that, you can purchase Attorney Bryan Ciyou’s Gun Laws by State reference book. This is worth the money, and the $20 cost also includes access to an online legal database and other services.

Free State Law Summaries Online
If you don’t want to spend the twenty bucks, there is a FREE alternative. There’s a very helpful set of State Law Summaries on the web, presented by PewPewTactical.com. Despite the silly name, the PewPewTactical website has an abundance of information that is particularly beneficial for pistol shooters and CCW holders.

One of the best features of PewPewTactical.com is the Gun Laws by State online reference guide. We looked through four of these State Law Summaries and were impressed by the depth of the coverage. But we caution — if you have specific legal questions, particularly with recently-enacted statutes, you should consult a licensed attorney for your state (or the state to which you will travel). In addition, many of the State Law Summaries have not been updated for a year or two. But they are still a good place to start. Below are links to state law articles from PewPewTactical.com. To access any State summary, simply click the State name below:

Gun Laws by State — FREE Summaries

CLICK state name to access each article.

Alabama Gun Laws

Alaska Gun Laws

Arizona Gun Laws

Arkansas Gun Laws

California Gun Laws

Colorado Gun Laws

Connecticut Gun Laws

Delaware Gun Laws

Florida Gun Laws

Georgia Gun Laws

Hawaii Gun Laws

Idaho Gun Laws

Illinois Gun Laws

Indiana Gun Laws

Iowa Gun Laws

Kansas Gun Laws

Kentucky Gun Laws

Louisiana Gun Laws

Maine Gun Laws

Maryland Gun Laws

Massachusetts Gun Laws

Michigan Gun Laws

Minnesota Gun Laws

Mississippi Gun Laws

Missouri Gun Laws

Montana Gun Laws

Nebraska Gun Laws

Nevada Gun Laws

New Hampshire Gun Laws

New Jersey Gun Laws

New Mexico Gun Laws

New York Gun Laws

North Carolina Gun Laws

North Dakota Gun Laws

Ohio Gun Laws

Oklahoma Gun Laws

Oregon Gun Laws

Pennsylvania Gun Laws

Rhode Island Gun Laws

South Carolina Gun Laws

South Dakota Gun Laws

Tennessee Gun Laws

Texas Gun Laws

Utah Gun Laws

Vermont Gun Laws

Virginia Gun Laws

Washington Gun Laws

West Virginia Gun Laws

Wisconsin Gun Laws

Wyoming Gun Laws

Washington, D.C. Gun Laws

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September 13th, 2020

The Successful Hunt — Tips & Tactics with Kristy Titus

Kristy Titus hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

As part of NRA Women TV, hunting guide Kristy Titus hosts a series of videos that explain important strategies and shooting skills for hunters. Titus, co-host of the Team Elk TV show, is a certified instructor who has hunted around the globe. She grew up in the outdoors, running pack mules in Oregon with her father. In these videos, Kristy discusses demonstrates field positions that can be employed during a hunt. She also explains preparation for a hunt, including fitness training.

Click each link below to watch other Kristy Titus Hunting Videos.

Kristy Titus hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

Kristy Titus preparing for hunt positional shooting hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

Kristy Titus follow up shots hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

Kristy Titus hunter hunting video bipod shooting ethical shots position

Kristy Titus hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

“When it comes to bolt-action rifle fit, there is no ‘one size fits all’,” says Titus. “When picking out your rifle [consider options] after the purchase to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.”

Kristy Titus hunter hunting video bipod shooting position

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September 12th, 2020

Traveling by Air with Firearms — What You Need to Know

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA
Airport photo by Politikaner under Creative Commons License.

With hundreds of readers traveling to Raton, New Mexico next month for the 2020 F-Class Nationals (October 25 – November 1, 2020), and with many others planning hunting trips out of state, we thought we’d repeat an article providing important information about air travel with firearms. If you will be flying with firearms this fall, you should read this article. You need to familiarize yourself with current Federal Regulations on gun transport before you get anywhere near an airport. Thankfully, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a web page that states the important requirements for airline passengers traveling with firearms* and/or ammunition.

You’ll want to visit the TSA Firearms and Ammunition webpage, and read it carefully. In addition, before your trip, check the regulations of the airline(s) with which you will fly. Some airlines have special requirements, such as weight restrictions.

Here are the TSA’s key guidelines for travel with firearms:

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA

More Airline Travel Tips from Tom McHale
Tom McHale has written an excellent article for the Beretta Blog, Ten Things You Need to Know about Flying with Guns. We suggest you visit the Beretta Blog to read this informative story. Here are two of Tom McHale’s Travel Tips:

Weigh your gun case and ammunition
Most airlines will allow up to 11 pounds of ammunition. And, like any luggage, you will be charged more for any baggage weighing more than 50 pounds. This sounds like a lot, but when traveling to the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun competition last year, my case with shotgun, rifle, pistol and ammunition tipped the scale past the 50 pound mark.

Pack ammo in the same locking case
This is another area that’s misunderstood and full of internet myth. Your ammo just needs to be stored in some type of safe container and not loose. Technically, you can keep ammunition in magazines, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It meets the letter of the law storage requirement, but too many airline and TSA agents will give you grief. Use a plastic ammo box or original cardboard packaging and you’ll be fine carrying that in the same lockable case as your gun.

Tom McHale flying with firearms guns TSA

*SEE United States Code, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 44. A “firearm” is defined as: any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, or is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; and any destructive device. As defined by 49 CFR 1540.5 a loaded firearm has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm.

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September 12th, 2020

Resources for Hunting Season and Safety Tips

hunting safety 2019 checklist hunter license
Hunting Season has already started in some states, and is right around the corner in other locations. For readers who plan to hunt game this fall, we recommend you brush up on hunter safety and learn the laws in your jurisdiction. Here are some helpful resources for hunters: Safety Tips, Hunter Education, License Requirements, and Where-to-Hunt interactive map. Top photo courtesy Horn Fork Guides, Ltd., in Colorado.

Visit WhereToHunt.org

There’s a great online resource for hunters that will help you find game locations in your state and ensure you have all the proper permits and game tags. WheretoHunt.org features an interactive map of the country. For all 50 states, the NSSF has compiled information about hunting license and permits, where to hunt, hunter education classes, laws and regulations and more. For each state you’ll also find a link for required applications and license forms.

Where to hunt hunting license state information NSSF

Click Map to Get State-by-State Hunting INFO
Where to Hunt hunting license game location

Hunter Safety Tips
NRAFamily.org has a good article listing six salient safety tips for hunters. Anyone preparing for a fall hunt should read this article before heading into the field. Here are three key bits of advice:

1. Be Positive of Your Target before Shooting
This might sound overly simplistic, but the fact remains that, every year during whitetail season, farmers everywhere are forced to spray-paint their cattle or risk having them “harvested” by hunters who don’t bother confirming the species of the large ungulate in their sights. Why does this happen? The most likely explanation is “buck fever,” meaning that the hunter wants so badly to see a nice big buck that sometimes his eyes deceive him into thinking that there’s one there. When in doubt, don’t shoot.

2. Scopes Are Not Binoculars
Never use a riflescope as a substitute for binoculars. The temptation to do so is real, but when one does this, one is by definition pointing the muzzle of the gun at unknown targets.

3. Know When to Unload
When finished hunting, unload your firearm before returning to camp. You should also unload your gun before attempting to climb a steep bank or travel across slippery ground.

Hunting Affiliation Groups
There are many good organizations dedicated to promoting hunting and preserving our hunting habitats. These groups all offer valuable information for hunters:

Ducks Unlimited
Mule Deer Foundation
National Wild Turkey Federation
Pheasants Forever
Quail Forever
Rabbits Unlimited
Safari Club International
Squirrels Umlimited
Varmint Hunters Association
Whitetails Unlimited
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September 11th, 2020

Hunting 101 — Stabilize Your Shooting Positions

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand
For hunters in a tree stand, SFC McPhail recommends a position with your weakside leg pulled up and firmly braced on the front rail of the treestand. You can then rest your support arm on your leg. This provides a rock-solid position when shooting from a stand.

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestandTeam USA Olympian and ISSF World Cup Winner SFC Michael McPhail is one of the world’s best smallbore rifle shooters. He is also an avid hunter, who enjoys harvesting game with centerfire rifles. In a USAMU video, McPhail shows how competition shooting positions can be adapted for hunters. McPhail shows how well-established positions can provide a more stable platform for hunters in the field. That can help ensure a successful hunt. McPhail demonstrates three positions: kneeling, supported prone, and sitting in a tree-stand.

Watch SFC McPhail Demonstrate Positions for Hunters (Good Video):

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

McPhail first demonstrates the kneeling position. Michael notes: “I like kneeling. It’s a little bit of an under-utilized position, but it’s almost as stable as prone. It allows you get up off the ground a little bit higher to [compensate for] vegetation. For kneeling start by taking your non-dominant foot and put that towards the target, while at the same time dropping down to a knee on the dominant leg. At the same time … wrap the sling around wrist and fore-arm, lean slightly into the target and take the shot.”

USAMU Michael McPhail position hunting prone kneeling treestand

McPhail shows a nice “field expedient” use of your backpack. He shows how the basic prone position can be adapted, using the pack as a front rifle support. McPhail recommends pulling your dominant (strongside) leg forward, bent at the knee. According to Michael, this takes pressure off the abdomen, helps minimizes heart beat effects, and helps with breathing.

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September 9th, 2020

Democratic Bills Require Federal License to Possess Guns and Ammo, along with Bureaucratic “Determination of Suitability”

Biden Gun Control Democrats Legisation
Shown is text from H.R.5717 and S.3254 mandating Federal firearms licensing.

Make no mistake about it — leaders of the Democratic party want to dismantle the Second Amendment and impose devastating new restrictions on gun owners. Companion Bills currently in Congress will require a Federal License to own ANY Firearms. The first line of the identical bills, H.R.5717 and S.3254, mandates a federal license for any American to legally “purchase, acquire, or possess a firearm or ammunition”. Yes you can’t even own ammo without a Federal license. Morever, to obtain such a license, citizens can be subject to psychological/character exams so that bureaucrats can “make a determination of suitability”. Such requirements effectively destroy the Second Amendment. Imagine if you had to obtain a license to vote, or pass a psychological “determination of suitability” before you could attend your church.

These companion bills, which have been endorsed by Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris, represent the greatest legislative threat to the gun rights in the history of the country. Biden himself has called for the banning of AR15s and other modern sporting rifles, while Harris has advocated the use of Executive Action to confiscate semi-auto rifles (as was done recently in Canada).

Biden Gun Control

The Jews for the Protection of Firearms Ownership (JPFO.org) have analyzed these companion bills in Congress. The JPFO states that this legislation’s “character [and] suitability” requirements for licensing would effectively eliminate the Second Amendment: “The Bill of Rights’ ban on infringement would be ignored… Unelected bureaucrats will literally choose who can bear arms [and] all existing arms in private hands will be subject to confiscation.”

The Democratic-sponsored gun control legislation, H.R.5717 and S.3254 will require current and future gun owners to pass psychology and character tests to continue owning the firearms they already legally possess. When asked, legal experts have been unable to describe how this could be applied fairly and predictably. America has an estimated 100 million gun owners. That number has grown dramatically in 2020 because of citizens’ fears over large scale rioting and intimidation by BLM and Antifa, and the demands by Democrats to “defund the police”.

The first line of the identical bills, HR5717 and S3254, requires a federal license for any American to legally “purchase, acquire, or possess a firearm or ammunition”. This is de facto infringement.

To obtain this license you would need to prove to unelected officials that you are of “sound mind and character”, you do not “potentially create a risk to public safety”, and you meet “any other requirements the State determines relevant”. Authorities, “make a determination of suitability”, for your possession and ownership of firearms, including any you currently own.

How bad are the Democratic-sponsored gun bills? Read this summary of Senate Bill 3254, sponsored by Elizabeth Warren. The provisions of companion House Bill H.R.5717 are identical.

Senate Bill 3254 Official Summary of Provisions
Gun Violence Prevention and Community Safety Act of 2020
This bill makes various changes to the federal framework governing the sale, transfer, and possession of firearms and ammunition. Among other things, the bill does the following:

— Requires individuals to obtain a license to purchase, acquire, or possess a firearm or ammunition;
— Raises the minimum age — from 18 years to 21 years — to purchase firearms and ammunition;
— Establishes new background check requirements for firearm transfers between private parties;
— Requires law enforcement agencies to be notified following a firearms-related background check that results in a denial;
— Creates a statutory process for a family or household member to petition a court for an extreme risk protection order to remove firearms from an individual who poses a risk of committing violence;
— Restricts the import, sale, manufacture, transfer, or possession of semi-automatic assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices;
— Restricts the manufacture, sale, transfer, purchase, or receipt of ghost guns (i.e., guns without serial numbers);
— Makes trafficking in firearms a stand-alone criminal offense;
— Requires federally licensed gun dealers to submit and annually certify compliance with a security plan to detect and deter firearm theft;
— Removes limitations on the civil liability of gun manufacturers;
— Allows the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue safety standards for firearms and firearm components;

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