July 5th, 2018

Federal Offers Syntech Polymer-Coated Bullets for Hand-Loaders

Syntech Federal polymer coated coating jacket component bullets handgun pistol

Here’s something that may benefit pistol shooters, especially those who shoot steel and often shoot at indoor ranges. Federal Syntech bullets are now available as reloading components in 9mm, .40 Cal (10mm), and .45 Caliber. These bullets feature a total synthetic jacket (TSJ) polymer coating. The potential for reduced wear and fouling is real — when tested against conventional FMJ ammunition, Federal claims Syntech produced an average of 12% less barrel friction and 14% less heat. By eliminating the conventional bullet jacket, the Syntech design greatly lessens bullet “splashback” when shooting steel. Note, however, Syntech bullets still have a conventional lead core. This means they may not be allowed in ranges with lead restrictions.

Syntech Bullets Tech Information | Syntech Bullets LOAD DATA for 9mm, .40 SW, .45 ACP

Syntech Federal polymer coated coating jacket component bullets handgun pistol

Syntech Bullet Features & Benefits
• Polymer-encapsulated Syntech bullet prevents metal-on-metal contact in the bore.
• Eliminates copper and lead fouling.
• Decreases heat and friction, extending barrel life.
• Significantly reduces the required frequency of cleaning.
• Absence of a copper jacket minimizes splash-back on steel targets.

Part No. / Description / MSRP
AE9SJCB1 / 9mm, .355″ 115-grain Syntech, 100-count / $16.95
AE40SJCB1 / .40 cal., .400″ 165-grain Syntech, 100-count / $18.95
AE45SJCB1 / .45 cal., .451″ 230gr Syntech, 100-count / $21.95

For years this Editor has loaded his .45 ACP and .44 Mag handguns with polymer/moly matrix-coated bullets from Precision Bullets in Texas. Those poly/moly-encased lead bullets shot VERY accurately and I found that my barrels fouled much less than with conventional lead bullets. Likewise, there was much less cylinder fouling on my revolvers. If the American Syntech bullets work as well as those Precision bullets, I think the Syntech line will be a winner. Syntech bullets should benefit any high-volume pistol shooter, particularly competitors who shoot steel.

Permalink Handguns, New Product, Reloading 2 Comments »
July 2nd, 2018

Gun Industry Production Trends — S&W Is Now Number One

Shooting Industry News production NICS statistics report 2016 2018
This gun production chart appears in the July 2018 issue of Shooting Industry magazine. Factoid: U.S. total firearms production has more than tripled since we launched this website in 2004.

Move over Ruger, Remington, Savage … Smith & Wesson is the new Big Kid on the Block. According to 2016 firearms industry production reports from Shooting Industry magazine, S&W has taken over as the number one firearms producer in the United States. That’s good news for S&W, but bad news for Ruger, which had been number one for the past eight years.

Read Full U.S. Firearms Industry Annual Report »

Smith & Wesson was the top overall U.S. firearms manufacturer in 2016 with 2,120,910 firearms produced, a stunning 44% increase over the previous year. Ruger was second in 2016 with 1,981,590 firearms, an 18.8% gain over 2015. The last time S&W was ranked number one was way back in 2007. While S&W is generally seen as a handgun maker, it also produces a wide variety of rifles both under the S&W banner and its subsidiary Thompson/Center Arms. Last year the historic Smith & Wesson enterprise was officially renamed American Outdoor Brands Corp. (NASDAQ: AOBC) in part to reflect the fact that it is more than just a handgun maker.

Shooting Industry News production NICS statistics report 2016 2018

Key Industry Production Numbers in 2016

There were some other interesting facts revealed in the Shooting Industry magazine report:

1. For only the second time ever, U.S. gun-makers produced over 10 million firearms (rifles, pistols, and shotguns) in 2016. The 10,664,318 total was nearly 20% more than in 2015.

2. For the first time ever, in 2016 American gun-makers produced over 4 million rifles. The 4,239,335 rifle output set a new high mark, that was 6.5% more than the previous record year, 2013 (3,979,570).

3. A record number of handguns were also produced in 2016. The 5,576,366 pistols produced in 2016 marked a 7.9% increase from 2013, the previous record-holding year (5,167,008).

4. Gun sales increased dramatically in 2016, influenced by fears over the election: “NICS background checks achieved record-setting levels in 2016 — with 15,700,471 background checks (NSSF-Adjusted), an increase of 10.2 percent over 2015 (14,244,240 [NSSF-Adjusted]).”

Shooting Industry News production NICS statistics report 2016 2018Top Overall U.S. Firearms Manufacturers in 2016
(Percentage change over 2015)
• Smith & Wesson: 2,120,910 (+44.0%)
• Ruger: 1,981,590 (+18.8%)
• Remington: 1,240,665 (+8.5%)
• SIG Sauer: 633,533 (+27.4%)
• O.F. Mossberg: 508,466 (+0.8%)

Top U.S. Rifle Makers:
(Percentage change over 2015)
• Remington: 769,942 (-0.5%)
• Ruger: 701,992 (+6%)
• Anderson Mfg.: 453,763 (+51.1%)
• Smith & Wesson: 396,710 (+89.7%)
• Savage Arms: 311,878 (-18.3%)

Top U.S. Handgun Makers:
(Percentage change over 2015)
• Smith & Wesson: 1,724,131 (+36.4%)
• Ruger: 1,279,415 (+27.4%)
• SIG Sauer: 581,807 (+26.6%)
• Glock: 368,140 (+70%)
• Kimber: 223,785 (+69.6%)

Current Outlook for American Firearms Industry
So far, 2018 has been a fairly tough year for the gun industry: “The U.S. firearms industry finds itself at a crossroads in 2018. Facing attacks from state governments, financial institutions, tech companies and students (all while experiencing sluggish demand) it’s currently in a challenging position.” However, there are many indicators that the gun industry is still strong. Kimber and Tauras have both opened new factories in the U.S. Southeast, and Remington has emerged from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy with creditors exchanging debt for equity: “It is morning in Remington country — We are excited about the future…” said Anthony Acitelli, Remington CEO.

For more insights, read the full version of the U.S. Firearms Industry 2018 Report. There are many more detailed charts and tables breaking down production, imports, and exports. This appears in the July 2018 issue of Shooting Industry Magazine.

Click Here to Read Entire July 2018 Issue (Digital Version).

Click Here to Read All Past Issues of Shooting Industry Magazine (Digital Versions)

Industry News Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Handguns, News No Comments »
June 23rd, 2018

Crowd-Pleasers: Best-Selling Pistols of 2018

Best selling gun genius firearms pistol Sig P320 gunbroker

Looking to acquire a handgun for personal protection of home and family? There are countless options on the market. Your buying decision may be simplified by seeing what other consumers have chosen, as revealed by nationwide sales trends. You can now check firearms sales figures using “Gun Genius”, a new data-crunching service of Gunbroker.com. On GunGenius.com you can select any type of firearm (handgun, rifle, shotgun)* and see the top sellers for that category.

Here are the five (5) top-selling NEW semi-auto handguns for May 2018:

Best selling gun genius firearms pistol Sig P320 gunbroker

And here are the five (5) top-selling USED semi-auto handguns for June 2017:

Best selling gun genius firearms pistol Sig P320 gunbroker

*Chose semi-auto pistols, revolvers, semi-auto rifles, bolt-action rifles, lever-action rifles, single-shot rifles, semi-auto shotguns, pump shotguns, and more. You can also filter for sales trends (upwards and downwards). Drill down to see detailed product specifications and current prices.

Permalink Handguns, News 1 Comment »
June 18th, 2018

New Bolt Action Model 48 Nosler Custom Handgun

Nosler M48 Model 48 Nosler Custom Handgun NCH silhouette pistol bolt-action hunting varminting

You have probably never seen a handgun like this before. This ain’t no compact pistol that’s for sure. The new Model 48 Nosler Custom Handgun (NCH), designed for handgun hunting/varminting and long-range silhouette duties, features a rifle-size bolt action, combined with a 15″ barrel. The billet aluminum stock takes AR-type pistol grips. The fore-end is long enough to work well on a front rest. We like the rakish lines of Nosler’s new Model 48 but the $2495.00 MSRP is not inexpensive.

Nosler M48 Model 48 Nosler Custom Handgun NCH silhouette pistol bolt-action hunting varminting

Nosler M48 Model 48 Nosler Custom Handgun NCH silhouette pistol bolt-action hunting varmintingStill, the compact size (21″ OAL) and relatively light weight (5.4 lbs.) make this an interesting option for hunters and varminters who venture far afield.

Early production versions have been well-reviewed: “Over the last 40 years, I have shot every conceivable configuration of single-shot handguns including high-end custom rigs. The new Nosler handgun will keep up with the very best of them. In my experience, I have found this handgun to be extremely accurate, well-designed, and user-friendly. The Nosler handgun will be most welcome with handgun hunters, target and steel shooters, or anyone looking to add an exciting dimension to their shooting experience.” — Mark Hampton

The new Nosler Model 48 handgun is offered in a variety of versatile chamberings: 22 Nosler, 24 Nosler, 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08 Rem, and .308 Winchester. CLICK HERE for a discussion of M48 NCH options in our Shooters’ Forum.

Nosler M48 Model 48 Nosler Custom Handgun NCH silhouette pistol bolt-action hunting varminting

Nosler M48 Model 48 Nosler Custom Handgun NCH silhouette pistol bolt-action hunting varminting

Nosler Custom Handgun Model 48 Features

1. Shilen Barrel — The M48 NCH features a free-floated Shilen 416R stainless heavy-contour barrel threaded at the muzzle, and supplied with a thread protector. Standard barrel length is 15″ with other lengths between 12″-18″ available on request. Barrel fluting is also available for an additional charge.

2. Aluminum Stock — The CNC-milled billet 6061-T6 aluminum stock will take any grip that fits an AR15. We suggest adding a grip with a broad flat base to provide more stability.

3. Size and Weight — The M48 NCH is 21″ long with 15″ barrel (no brake) and weighs 5.4 pounds — quite a bit lighter than typical hunting rifles.

4. Cerakote Finish — The M48 NCH barreled action and stock both feature Cerakote® finishes. The barreled action and stock are coated separately, allowing for a wide variety of color combinations.

5. Muzzle Brake Option — A Harrell’s Precision Tactical 4-Port Brake (shown below) is available as an extra-cost addition.

Nosler M48 Model 48 Nosler Custom Handgun NCH silhouette pistol bolt-action hunting varminting

Permalink Handguns, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 6 Comments »
June 18th, 2018

Bargain Finder 143: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Brownells — Smith & Wesson SD9VE 9mm, $249.99 with CODE

Smith Wesson SD9V 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownells

The two-tone Smith & Wesson SD9VE 9mm pistol features contrasting stainless-steel slide and barrel. Weighing just 22.7 oz, this DAO pistol ships with two 16-round magazines, offering plenty of fire-power. Overall length is 7.2″ with a 4″-long barrel. Both front and rear sights are drift-adjustable. This is a nice medium-sized pistol that shoots well. The Smith & Wesson SD9VE is on sale now at Brownells. Sale price is currently $259.99 with a $10 handling charge. SAVE MORE: During check-out at Brownells.com, you can use code “M8Y” to receive $20 Off and get FREE delivery. That lowers your net cost to just $249.99 shipped to your FFL.

2. Natchez — Weaver 6-24x42mm V-Series Scope, $359.99

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder deals Weaver Varmint scope 6-24x40mm

The Weaver 6-24x42mm Classic V-Series scope is a smart, affordable choice for a high-volume varmint rifle, such as a prairie dog rig used from a portable bench or “war wagon”. The 6-24X zoom range provides plenty of magnification for long shots on prairie dogs. The handy Ballistic-X reticle provides multiple hold points (zero at 100 and use the lower dots for longer ranges). The front objective parallax control isn’t trendy, but it IS precise and very reliable. For a rifle that might shoot 400 rounds in a day, the simplicity and reliability of front parallax is a plus.

3. Cabela’s — Steel Gong with Frame, $69.99 (Free Ship with Code)

RCBS Chargemaster lite powder scale dispenser sale Amazon

Everyone likes shooting gongs. There’s nothing like hearing that satisfying “clang” when you hit your target, and seeing the gong swing. Ring now, Cabela’s has a great deal on a complete 10″ Gong Target System with frame. The 10″-diameter, 0.55″-thick AR500 steel gong produces sound and movement with each hit. This kit comes complete with AR500 gong, hardened steel chain, S-hooks, and powder-coated steel frame. You can put the frame together without tools, so this Gong system is easy to set up and take down. This week this Gong System is on sale for just $69.99, a $30.00 savings. Plus shipping is free when you use CODE FREESHIP during checkout.

4. LabRadar Chronograph — $50 Off, Sale Ends June 24

LabRadar Radar Doppler chronograph summer sale $50 off chrono lab-radar Bruno shooters Creedmoor

If you’ve been wanting to get a LabRadar Chronograph, now’s a good time. You can now save $50 on this very advanced piece of technology — probably the most sophisticated chronograph system ever offered to the general public. That’s notable because you almost never see this discounted below the $559.95 MAP price. You can save $50.00 on this unit now through June 24, 2018. This is a factory-authorized, once-a-year Summer Sale. The sale extends through 6/24/2018. You can get the LabRadar from top vendors including Creedmoor Sports, Bruno Shooters Supply, and Midsouth Shooters Supply.

NOTE: LabRadar has just released new software that permits control from a mobile device via Bluetooth. CLICK HERE to download. The latest LabRadar firmware will enable the Bluetooth connectivity.

5. Amazon — Midland Walkie-Talkie Set, $61.34

Midland walkie talkie handheld radio par set pack charger FRS GMRS VHF

Walkie-Talkies are “must-have” items for long-range shooting. The 50-CH Midland GXT1000VP4 Two-Way Radio set is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller among FRS/GMRS Handheld Radios. Priced under $65.00, this Midland two-unit kit includes earbuds plus both 12V and 120V chargers. This Midland set features 50 Channels with impressive range, so they’re good for hunting. These units include Vibrate Alert and 9 Levels of VOX for Hands Free Operation. There’s also a handy, Rapid Weather Scan feature.

6. Whittaker Guns — Howa Mini Action .223 Rem, $349.99

Howa Mini Action .223 Rem varmint rifle

This is hard for a varmint hunter to resist. You can get a complete Howa .223 Rem rifle for $349.99 — about the price of a replacement barrel blank for a Remington. This little gem has a smooth, short-throw Mini Action with Howa’s excellent two-stage trigger. The .223 Rem is a fine choice for prairie dog work, with good barrel life and great factory ammo options. Yes we’d prefer a heavier barrel for extended shooting sessions, but this is still a great price on a fine little rifle.

7. Amazon — RCBS ChargeMaster Lite, $186.99

RCBS Chargemaster lite powder scale dispenser sale Amazon

Need a good, modern electronic scale/dispenser? The modern ChargeMaster Lite offers good performance for the price — now $186.99 at Amazon and $187.49 Brownells. But at Brownells, with Code NCS you can get $15 off and free shipping — lowering your net cost to $172.49! That’s a killer deal — other retailers are charging up to $260.00 for this machine. Once calibrated, we found the ChargeMaster Lite’s dispensing to be very accurate. RCBS claims +/-0.1 grain. This newer machine is a bit easier to program than the original ChargeMaster. Verified purchasers have been happy, but with one complaint: “You cannot turn off the beeping. The [original ChargeMaster] has a way to mute the beeping. This one does not.” Take note.

8. Amazon — NRR 31 Muffs and Eyewear Kit with Case, $29.99

NRR 33 ear muffs eyewear shooting case ear plugs

Here is a great combo package that offers complete eye and ear protection for shooters at the range. The Ear Muffs feature a 6-piece noise filtration system that effectively blocks low, mid, & high range frequencies, giving them an impressive NRR 31 noise reduction rating. The muffs ship with a nice zippered case that also holds the supplied safety eyewear. This kit also comes with ten (10) NRR 33 foam earplugs. You can order the kit with either clear eyewear or smoke-tinted lenses.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
June 18th, 2018

Gun Science: Engineers Plot Shots with Accelerometers

Texas Waterloo labs Youtube accelerometer gun .22 LR pistol test triangulation
A team of Texas engineers uses the principle of convolution to plot shot impacts. By triangulating data from multiple accelerometers, each shot’s exact point of impact can be plotted with great precision.

Waterloo Labs is a group of engineers from National Instruments and other self-declared “nerds” from Austin, Texas. These folks conducted an interesting demonstration using electronic accelerometers to plot bullet impacts from a suppressed Ruger MKIII .22LR pistol. The accelerometers respond to vibrations caused when the bullets hit a drywall target backer. By triangulating data from multiple accelerometers, each shot’s exact point of impact can be plotted with great precision. These point-of-impact coordinates are then fed into a computer and super-imposed into a Flash version of the Half-Life video game (which is projected on the drywall board). The end result is being able to “play” a video game with a real firearm.

triaxial accelerometerDo-It-Yourself Electronic Target System?
Now, we are NOT particularly interested in shooting Zombies in a video game. However, the technology has interesting potential applications for real shooters. Waterloo Labs has published the computer code, used to triangulate bullet impacts from multiple accelerometers. Potentially, a system like this could be built to provide display and scoring of long-range targets. Sophisticated electronic target systems already exist, but they use proprietary hardware and software, and they are very expensive. The Waterloo Labs experiment shows that shooters with some computer and electronic skills could build their own electronic scoring system, one that can be adapted to a variety of target sizes and materials.

In addition, we imagine this system could be utilized for military and law enforcement training. The walls of structures used for “live-fire” room-clearing exercises could be fitted with accelerometers so the bullet impacts could be plotted and studied. Then, later, the impact plots could be combined with a computer simulation so that trainees could “replay” their live-fire sessions, viewing the actual location of their hits (and misses).

Credit The Firearm Blog for finding this Waterloo Labs project.
Permalink - Videos, Handguns, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
June 5th, 2018

Wheelgun Fever — Why Our Favorite Handgun is Not a Glock…

Smith Wesson model 617 .22 LR Revolver handgun
S&W Model 617 now has a 10-round cylinder, but early models were six-shooters.

While Accurateshooter.com concentrates on high-accuracy rifles, we know that many of our readers enjoy handguns. We are often asked “What is your favorite handgun — Glock? HK? SIG Sauer?” The answer to that question may be surprising. This Editor’s favorite handgun, at least the one that gets shot most often, is a rimfire revolver — that’s right, a wheelgun.

This Editor’s first really accurate handgun was a .22 LR Smith & Wesson Model 617 that could easily stack ten shots in a dime at 10 yards. It remains my favorite and most-used handgun. What can we say about the Model 617? The single-action trigger pull is superb, and the accuracy surpasses most any semi-auto rimfire pistol, except for a few, very expensive target pistols. We like the 6″ version for the longer site radius, but the 4″-barrel 617 is also very accurate, and it balances better.

Smith & Wesson 617

We strongly recommend that new pistol shooters start off with a .22 LR rimfire handgun. The .22 LR cartridge is accurate but has very low recoil, less “bark” than a centerfire, and very little smoke and muzzle flash. New shooters won’t have to fight muzzle flip, and won’t develop a flinch from the sharp recoil and muzzle blast common to larger calibers. With the .22 LR, the trainee can focus on sight alignment, breathing, and trigger pull.

Smith & Wesson Model 617 Video Reviews
Here are three video reviews of the Smith & Wesson Model 617, both 4″-barrel and 6″-barrel versions. All three videos demonstrate the 617’s great accuracy. The reviewers concede that this handgun is pretty expensive, but all agree that the Model 617 will last a lifetime, and hold its value.

Hickok 45 Demos “Wonderful revolver”, a 4″ Model 617. See also Hickok 45 m617 Part 2:

Popular YouTube Host 22 Plinkster Tests Model 617 with 6″ Barrel:

22 Plinkster loves the Model 617, “one of his favorite revolvers in the whole entire world — a great choice”. He reports it “shoots straight [and] functions pretty much flawlessly” with nearly any .22 LR ammo. In this video, 22 Plinkster tests a wide variety of rimfire ammo types including CCI .22 LR Std Velocity, .22 Shorts, .22 LR Shotshells, .22 Stingers, .22 Super Colibri, and .22 LR tracers.

This Video Features the Smaller 4″-Barrel Model 617:

Other Rimfire Revolvers — from Ruger and S&W

If you’re considering a rimfire revolver but would like to see other options, read our Buyers Guide to Rimfire Revolvers. Along with the S&W Model 617, this covers the Ruger GP100 10-shot (5″ bbl), Ruger LCRx 8-shot (3″ bbl), Classic S&W Model 17 6-shot (blued 6″ bbl), and S&W Model 63 (3″ bbl).

TOP FIVE Reasons to Own a Rimfire Revolver:

1. Rimfire .22 LR Ammunition is once again plentiful and affordable. The revolver can shoot all kinds of rimfire ammo — even 22 Shorts.

2. A good, full-size .22 LR revolver will be MORE ACCURATE than the vast majority of semi-auto rimfire handguns. It will shoot all types of .22 rimfire ammo with no cycling issues. With no magazines to jam, a good wheelgun will also be more reliable than most self-loading rimfires.

3. A rimfire revolver can shoot tens of thousands of rounds, with just routine maintenance. The gun can last a lifetime and then be passed on to your kids.

4. On a S&W revolver, it is very easy to tune the pull weight. You can have a safe double-action pull with a very light, crisp single-action release.

5. It is easy to change grips and sights to suit your preference. You can also easily mount a scope on the top-strap.

Recommended .22 LR Revolver Training Targets

The .22 LR cartridge makes small bullet holes in paper. These can be hard to see if you’re shooting at large, black bulls-eyes, particularly at an indoor range. Also, when shooting rimfire, you’ll go through ammo quickly. For that reason we recommend targets with bright-colored, multiple aiming points.

Pistol plinking practice Rad fluorescent target fun

Pistol plinking practice Rad fluorescent target fun

The 19″x25″ Sight-Seer target (left) is great for pistol practice. It features eight red bulls on a 1″-square grid. Ultra bright fluorescent red inks, printed on heavy, 60-lb vellum paper, are highly visible, even indoors. You can use a classic Six O’Clock hold with this target, putting the bottom of each circle on top of your revolver’s front sight.

The smaller, 8.5″x11″ Sinclair Fluorescent Sight-In Target (right) also works well. It has four small diamonds surrounding a large center diamond overlaid on a 1-inch grid. Diamonds and grid are printed in fluorescent red/orange on white, heavy-grade paper so your shots print nice and clean.

Recommended .22 LR Ammo Box

smith wesson model 617 mtm ammo caddy carrier box plastic

When we go to the range with rimfire handguns or rifles we bring this handy $9.99 MTM ammo caddy. The compact carry case will hold boxed ammo, plus you can lay out your ammo in 10-round rows. This makes it easy to fill the 10-Rd cylinder on your Model 617. This ammo case is offered in both blue (as shown), or red.

Permalink - Videos, Handguns, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
May 26th, 2018

Pistol Instructor Offers Critic A Slice of Humble Pie

Smith Wesson pistol accuracy Grutter M&P 45 .45 ACP Winchester ammo
Shown is the Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm model. The M&P 45 is the same except for chambering.

You’ll hear some shooters complain loudly about the (perceived) lack of accuracy of their handguns. Well, sometimes the problem IS the gun, but other times the problem is “driver error”. At the range, we often hear guys blame their gun for poor accuracy, when in fact the real problem is lack of operator skill. This saga, posted recently on Facebook, is a case in point.

Here’s the story. A gentleman attending an armorer’s course at Smith & Wesson was loudly dissing a S&W M&P 45, claiming it could not shoot. Very loudly he tells the instructor, “the M&P 45 one of our officers is carrying is sh*t”. He then trash-talks the gun, saying that both he and his officer couldn’t get the gun to shoot decent groups, either with FMJ or duty ammo.

Well it seems that Gregory Grutter, S&W’s Chief Firearms Instructor, happened to overhear these vociferous complaints, so Grutter asked to test-fire the M&P 45 pistol. Grutter put a couple of his business cards up at 15 yards, then shot one with Winchester Ranger SXT and the other with Winchester White Box ammo. Grutter’s best group was about half an inch, measured with OnTarget. Check it out:

Smith Wesson pistol accuracy Grutter M&P 45 .45 ACP Winchester ammo

We’re told that, after hearing the litany of complaints, Grutter walked over to the loud-mouthed grumbler and asked: “Hey Sir, can I shoot it?

“Have at it, I don’t want that POS back!” said Mr. Negative.

Kharma time baby… In Grutter’s hands the M&P performed superbly. Here are Grutter’s two 5-shot groups, each shot at 15 yards with the .45 ACP Smith & Wesson pistol. Pretty darn impressive:

Smith Wesson pistol accuracy Grutter M&P 45 .45 ACP Winchester ammo

After seeing this, the complainer asked: “Why did you shoot your cards — Ain’t got no targets?”

Grutter smiled and replied: “Nah… in case you or your officer want to learn how to shoot [this way] you will have the numbers to call.” Badda Bing!

Permalink Handguns, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
May 24th, 2018

Get Fast Access to Handguns at Home or in Your Shop

compact desk closet handgun safe GunVault Amazon Sale

For self-defense in your home or shop, you want quick access to your handgun. This is possible with a security box that works rapidly with the touch of your fingers*. Such smaller safes can be opened in a couple of seconds, while still keeping handguns secure from kids or any unwanted visitors. Right now the two-level GunVault GV2000C-Deluxe is on sale for $117.90 at Amazon with Free Shipping. This is a good deal. This same dual-level safe sells for $155-$195 at most other vendors.

compact desk closet handgun safe GunVault Amazon Sale

The MultiVault Deluxe (SKU: GV2000C-DLX) employs the Patented No-Eyes® Keypad and/or back-up security lock to open the safe. This GV2000C Deluxe unit includes a motion detector and a convenient interior light. It will also automatically block entry after multiple incorrect attempts. This GunVault can be secured via a heavy security cable so a thief can’t simply grab the safe and run. Interior dimensions are: 6″ High x 9″ Wide x 12.75″ Deep. We should note that there are other more expensive safes that employ RFID technology. That works well if you carry a fob or RFID ring. But for shop installation, we like the simplicity of the button keypad. RFID-equipped safes are also much more expensive.

There is also a smaller GunVault safe, the GV1000C-STD, shown below. This single-level model also opens with a finger sequence on the keypad. This smaller safe is also on sale currently on Amazon for $88.36 with free shipping. If you prefer the biometric version (that can also open with a fingerprint scan), that costs $214.64.

compact desk closet handgun safe GunVault Amazon Sale

And for under-desk use in a workshop or business, GunVault offers the SV500 Handgun SpeedVault. This places a pistol in a vertical position under a counter or desk-top. Activate the four buttons in the correct sequence and the unit opens downward so you can quickly grab the pistol. This SpeedVault has multiple mounting options, and, like other GunVault safes, there is a back-up override key.

compact desk closet handgun safe GunVault Amazon Sale


* This is NOT a biometric safe that opens by scanning a fingerprint. This safe uses a sequence of physical key presses with your fingers. “Learn Buttons” make it easy to program millions of user-selectable access codes. A built-in computer blocks access after repeated invalid keypad entries. GunVault does offer a biometric GVB2000 safe for $229.97 at Amazon. Honestly, we prefer the mechanical version at half the price. Less to go wrong.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Handguns No Comments »
May 22nd, 2018

2018 Bianchi Cup Kicks Off Today in Missouri

2018 Bianchi Cup NRA Action pistol Championship columbia Missouri
The amazing Doug Koenig, shown above, has won 18 Bianchi Cup titles, more than any other human.

2018 Bianchi Cup NRA Action pistol Championship columbia MissouriMany of the world’s top pistoleros are in Missouri this week competing in the 2018 NRA Bianchi Cup, the USA’s most prestigious action pistol match. This year’s Bianchi Cup event, which follows the NRA National Action Pistol Championship, runs May 22-25, 2018 in Hallsville, Missouri at the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club. Today there will be registration and a Special Multi-Gun Match. The official First Shot Ceremony is on Wednesday, May 23rd, at 7:45 am. Then Cup competition begins promptly at 8:00 am on Wednesday.

Due to the high accuracy required in each stage of the Bianchi Cup, the tournament is widely considered one of the most difficult handgun championships on the planet. To finish on top, you have to be near-perfect.

2018 Bianchi Cup NRA Action pistol Championship columbia Missouri

As in 2017, this year’s match will feature a second “Championship” Round. There will be no multi-gun aggregate match. After completion of the match’s 192-shot, 1920-point aggregate, the top 36 competitors will fire an additional 192-shot Championship Round. Scores from the Championship Round will combined into an overall Aggregate to determine each category’s champions. CLICK HERE for 2018 Bianchi Cup Program Guide.

Watch Colt Speed Event at 2013 Bianchi Cup Championships:

Bianchi Cup

Ace Shooter Jessie Harrison (from Bianchi Photo Archive)
Bianchi Cup 2015 Missouri

About the Bianchi Cup
The Bianchi Cup is the NRA National Action Pistol Championship, a major tournament held every May in Columbia, Missouri. The premier action pistol championship, the Bianchi Cup boasts the largest purse of any tournament on the action pistol calendar. The Bianchi Cup is the only major shooting tournament that has retained its original Course of Fire since its inception. The Course of Fire consists of four separate matches:

  • The Practical Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at distances from 10 yards to 50 yards under varying time limits.
  • The Barricade Event: From within shooting boxes and behind barricades, a shooter fires at targets on either side of the barricade at different distances and under varying time limits.
  • The Falling Plate Event: From the appropriate shooting line, the shooter fires at 8 inch round steel plates arranged in banks of six at distances from 10 to 25 yards under varying time limits.
  • The Moving Target Event: From within shooting boxes at distances ranging from 10 to 25 yards, the shooter fires at a target moving from left to right with the target being exposed for only 6 seconds.

At the Bianchi Cup, there are six categories for individual competitors: Civilian, Police, Service, Junior, Woman, Senior, Grand Senior, New Competitor, International, and Revolver.

Bianchi Cup Revolver

Competitors need plenty of ammo at the Bianchi Cup. Look at that collection of magazines.
Bianchi Cup NRA Pistol championship 2018 ammo

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May 22nd, 2018

Koenig Explains How to Shoot Pistols Faster and Better

Doug Koenig Pistol shooting training video
Photo courtesy DougKoenig.com and Leupold.

Since the Bianchi Cup, the most prestigious pistols-only match in the country, starts today, we thought we’d post some videos that can help readers improve the speed and accuracy of their pistol shooting. You may never win a Bianchi title, but these tips can help in a club IDPA match, or the pistol stages of your next 3-Gun match. The star of these videos is Doug Koenig, 18-time Bianchi Cup champion. Koenig, who has won numerous National and World pistol titles, is considered by many to be the best action pistol shooter on the planet. His speed, consistency, and accuracy are without peer.

Acquire First Target

In this video, 18-Time Bianchi Cup Winner Doug Koenig explains how to acquire your first target quickly, and make sure your first shot is a hit. Doug notes that a perfect first shot will positively affect the many shots that follow in a competition:

Make Fast Follow-Up Shots

In this next NSSF Video Koenig demonstrates how to make Fast Follow-Up Shots and how to transition from target to target quickly. Grip, stance, consistency are all important Doug explains.

Keep Both Eyes Open

When shooting a pistol two-handed, “on the clock”, it’s almost always better to shoot with both eyes open. And during a “move and shoot” action pistol match, you surely want to have both eyes open. Keeping both eyes open improves depth perception and helps with target transitions.

“To me it’s very simple — I wouldn’t drive my car with one eye closed. I wouldn’t walk around the house with one eye closed. To me, it’s all about your vision, your depth perception.” — Doug Koenig

With both eyes open you’ll have better depth perception and peripheral vision, Koenig says. Moreover, you will also be able to transition from target to target more quickly. In a timed, multi-target stage, you’ll want to move your head/eyes to the next target right after you break a shot. You’ll find that you will then reflexively move the handgun on to the new target when you swing your vision on to it. Don’t linger on the target you just shot — move to the next.

Trigger Press and Trigger Control

In this fourth video, Koenig talks about key techniques that apply to all pistol marksmanship — not just speed shooting “on the clock”. With any handgun, Doug explains, you should focus on consistent trigger control. You want to avoid yanking the trigger or anticipating recoil.

Doug Koenig’s List of Championships:
10-time World Champion
18-time Bianchi Cup winner
2016 NRA World Shooting Champion
More than 70 National Championships
6-time World Action Pistol Championship Winner
3-time World Speed Shooting Champion/Steel Challenge

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May 21st, 2018

Hornady Zombies in the Heartland Pandemic Match, June 1-3

Pandemic 3-Gun Match Zombies in the Heartland Nebraska Hornady

Pandemic 3-Gun Match Zombies in the Heartland Nebraska HornadyPandemic: Zombies in the Heartland
Every year Hornady hosts the very popular Zombies in the Heartland event. This “Pandemic” 3-Gun fun match, one of the biggest three-gun shoots in the nation, is just 11 days away. This event will take place June 1-3, 2018 at the Heartland Public Shooting Park in Grand Island, Nebraska. The Pandemic traditionally has a rich prize table worth over $150,000. Prizes include pistols, rifles, shotguns, scopes, AR uppers, gun parts, and gear of all kinds.

The Pandemic is a veritable theme park for shootists, with many fun stages and innovative targets. Many unique, reactive zombie targets have been developed specifically for this match. The use of paper targets has been minimized — so it’s mostly “bang and clang”.

There will be ten multi-gun stages this year. Rifles, pistols and shotguns are used on most stages. There are also fun side-matches. We highly recommend you watch the video below to see highlights from last year’s Pandemic.

2017 Zombies in the Heartland Highlights Video. Guys, this well-made video is WORTH WATCHING! This video offers Shooter’s POV views of many stages including full auto:

Zombie Hornady Heartland Pandemic

Zombie Hornady Heartland Pandemic

Zombie Hornady Heartland Pandemic

This year there will be ten (10) stages, each with a different shooting challenge. Shotguns, rifles and handguns will be used on most stages, which feature handgun targets from 1-15 yards, shotgun targets from 10-20 yards, and rifle targets from 1-200 yards, so be prepared for a variety of target presentations and engagements. There will also be side matches with full-auto demo firearms, exploding targets, specialty targets. View the Zombie Guide Page for more info.

2018 Pandemic General Guide | 2018 Pandemic Rules and Registration

Zombie Hornady Heartland Pandemic

Zombie Hornady Heartland Pandemic

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May 17th, 2018

Proper Sight Picture with Various Types of Sighting Systems

NRA sight picture alignment video

As part of the NRA Mentor Program, the NRA offers a helpful video about using sights. This covers all types of sighting systems — blade sights, aperture sights, V-notch sights, red dot sights, shotgun bead sights, and telescopic sights with reticles. For new shooters, this video can be helpful — it explains sight basics in very clear and comprehensible terms. And even for experienced shooters, this can provide some helpful tips on sight alignment, particularly when shooting pistols.

Additional information about using sights is contained in the NRA’s free Guide for New Shooters. This helpful 14-page digital publication provides the key firearms safety rules, explains range etiquette, and even has a section on gun cleaning. CLICK HERE to download Guide for New Shooters.

NRA sight picture alignment video

Training With Lasers — Trigger Control
Training with laser sights helps diagnose and improve trigger control errors by showcasing the importance of “surprise break” and follow-through. Working with gun-mounted lasers, which put a red or green dot right on the target, can quickly diagnose errors such as recoil anticipation, jerking the trigger, and breaking the wrist. This video shows how handgunners can use pistol-mounted lasers to correct bad habits and shoot more consistently.

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May 12th, 2018

How to Buy a U.S. Military Surplus CMP 1911 Pistol

CMP 1911 Pistol lottery Service Grade Field Rack application procedure

You probably know by now that the CMP has been authorized to distribute U.S. Army surplus 1911 pistols. These were the actual .45 ACP handguns issued to American troops for most of the 20th Century. The first 8,000 pistols have been released from the U.S. Army to the CMP. The very best examples will be auctioned, while the rest will sold in three classes: Service Grade ($1050); Field Grade ($950); and Rack Grade ($850). Interest has been high in these historic 1911 service pistols, with demand expected to exceed supply. Now the CMP has set up the purchase procedure and pricing.

NOTE: The CMP 1911 Order Form Packet can be downloaded from TheCMP.org starting June 4, 2018. Only ONE CMP 1911 Order Form Packet per customer may be submitted.

IMPORTANT: To purchase one of these pistols, you must submit a “hard copy” application, and pass two NICS background tests. Potential purchasers must provide the CMP with a set of documents including: 1) proof of U.S. Citizenship; 2) proof of membership in a CMP-affiliated club; 3) proof of participation in a marksmanship activity; 4) a completed 1911 order form, including a notarized form 2A; 5) a signed copy of the 01, or 02, or 07 Federal Firearms License to which the 1911 will be transferred. All qualifying documents must be included in your order packet.

Designed by J.M. Browning, the M1911 is a single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, recoil-operated pistol chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. It served as the standard-issue sidearm for the United States Armed Forces from 1911 to 1986. It was widely used in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

CMP 1911 Pistol lottery Service Grade Field Rack application procedure

CMP 1911 Pistol Purchasing Procedure

While the National Defense Authorization Act granted transfer of a maximum of 10,000 1911s per year to the CMP, the Secretary of the Army allowed only 8,000 1911s to be transferred to the CMP for sale and distribution this fiscal year. Some of those are anticipated to be unusual and worthy of being auctioned. The remaining number will be sold based on a computerized Random Number Generator.

Order Packet Availability: CMP 1911 Order Form Packet will be posted on the CMP website on June 4, 2018. Only ONE CMP 1911 order form packet per customer may be submitted. Hand delivered, emailed, and faxed orders will not be accepted. CMP 1911 order form packet must be mailed to the following address: CMP 1911, 1800 Roberts Drive, Anniston, AL 36207.

One-Month Order Window: Orders must be postmarked NOT PRIOR TO 4 September 2018 and NOT AFTER 4 October 2018. Any orders received postmarked prior to September 4 will not be accepted. Hand delivered, emailed, and faxed orders will not be accepted.

CMP 1911 Pistol Pricing

CMP has priced the 1911 type pistols at fair market value in accordance with CMP’s enabling legislation. The shipping cost is included in the price.

Service Grade $1050. Pistol may exhibit minor pitting and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips are complete with no cracks. Pistol is in issuable condition.

Field Grade $950. Pistol may exhibit minor rust, pitting, and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips are complete with no cracks. Pistol is in issuable condition.

Rack Grade $850. Pistol will exhibit rust, pitting, and wear on exterior surfaces and friction surfaces. Grips may be incomplete and exhibit cracks. Pistol requires minor work to return to issuable condition.

Auction Grade. The condition of the auction pistol will be described when posted for auction. Note: If you have already purchased a 1911 from CMP you will NOT be allowed to purchase an auction 1911. If you purchase an auction 1911, your name will be pulled from the sequenced list. No repeat purchasers are allowed until all orders received have been filled.

(more…)

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May 11th, 2018

Six Tips for Novice Handgun Shooters

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glow
OK this is no novice. But even champion pistol shooter Jessie Harrison, Captain of Team Taurus, had to start with the basics. Jessie says that safety should always be your number one priority.

At AccurateShooter.com, our primary focus is precision target shooting with rifles. But it’s definitely fun to shoot pistols too, and we bet most of our regular readers own handguns. Here are six tips for shooting safely and accurately with handguns. These pointers will help you advance your skills and have more fun with your pistols and revolvers.

1. Make Sure Safety Is Number One

Whether you own one gun or one hundred, gun safety must always be your main priority. In this video, Smith & Wesson Team Captain Julie Golob covers the basics of gun safety.

2. Start with a .22 LR Handgun

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training

We strongly recommend that new pistol shooters start off with a .22 LR rimfire handgun. The .22 LR cartridge is accurate but has very low recoil, less “bark” than a centerfire, and very little smoke and muzzle flash. New shooters won’t have to fight muzzle flip, and won’t develop a flinch from the sharp recoil and muzzle blast common to larger calibers. With the .22 LR, the trainee can focus on sight alignment, breathing, and trigger pull. When he or she has mastered those skills, move on to a .38 Special or 9mm Luger (9x19mm).

What gun to use? We recommend the 10-shot Smith & Wesson Model 617. Shooting single action, slow-fire, this is ideal for training. Shown above is the 4″-barrel Model 617version which balances well. There is also a 6″-barrel version. It has a longer sight radius, but is a little nose-heavy. Both are great choices. They are extremely accurate and they boast a very clean, precise trigger.

browning buck mark buckmark stainless udx rimfire .22 LR pistol

If you prefer a semi-auto .22 LR pistol, we recommend the Browning Buck Mark series. Buck Marks are very accurate and very reliable. This rimfire pistol is available in a variety of models starting at under $350.00. Like the S&W Model 617, a good Buck Mark will serve you for a lifetime.

5. Use Quality Targets with Multiple Aim Points

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glow

Birchwood Casey Target Spots neon day-glowIt’s common for new pistoleros to start shooting at cans or clay birds at a public range. That can be fun, but it’s better to start with proper targets, placed at eye level, at 7-10 yards. We like to use targets with large, brightly colored circles. Focus on putting 5 shots in a circle. We recommend targets that have multiple bullseyes or aiming points — that way you don’t have to constantly change your target. There are also special paper targets that can help you diagnose common shooting problems, such as anticipating recoil. EZ2C makes very good targets with bright, red-orange aim points. You can also use the bright orange Birchwood Casey stick-on Target Dots (right). These come in a variety of diameters. We like the 2″ dot at 10 yards.

3. Shoot Outdoors If You Can

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training

We recommend that new pistol shooters begin their training at an outdoor range. There are many reasons. First, the light is better outdoors. Indoor ranges can be dark with lots of shadows, making it harder to see your target. Second, sound dissipates better outdoors. The sound of gunfire echoes and bounces off walls indoors. Third, an outdoor range is a more comfortable environment, particularly if you can get out on a weekday morning. Indoor ranges, at least in urban areas, tend to be crowded. Many also have poor ventilation. If you can make it to an outdoor range, you’ll be happy. Many outdoor ranges also have some steel pistol targets, which offer a fun alternative to paper. When shooting steel however, we recommend polymer encased or lead bullets to avoid ricochets.

5. Find a Good Mentor and Watch Some Videos First

Pistol Shooting Tips Target Mentor safety training
Photo courtesy AV Firearms Training.

Too many new pistol shooters try to move right to rapid fire drills. It’s better to start slow, practicing the basics, under the guidance of a good mentor. If you belong to a club, ask if there are certified instructors who will help out. This Editor learn pistol shooting from a seasoned bullseye shooter, who got me started with a .22 LR revolver and very close targets. Over the course of a few range sessions we progressed to farther targets and faster pace. But the fundamentals were never forgotten. When starting your pistol training, it’s wise to view some instructional videos. Top Shot Champion Chris Cheng hosts an excellent Handgun 101 Series produced by the NSSF. We’ve linked one of these Handgun 101 videos for Tip #6.

6. SLOW DOWN — This Is Not a Race

When you learned to ride a bicycle, you started slow — maybe even with training wheels. The same principle applies to pistol shooting. When you get started with handguns, we recommend you shoot slowly and deliberately. Start with the handgun unloaded — just work on your sight alignment and breathing. With snap caps in place, try some dry-firing drills. Then progress to live fire. But be deliberate and slow. With the target at 20 feet, see if you can get three successive shot-holes to touch. Believe it or not, many common pistols are capable of this kind of accuracy (but you won’t see many shooters at indoor ranges who pursue that kind of precision). Once you master your form and accuracy, then you can work on your speed.

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May 10th, 2018

That’s Entertainment — Download Shooting USA Podcasts

Shooting USA Podcast podbean SHOT Show NRA Jerry Miculek Scoutten Timney Julie Golob NRA Board of Directors

Can’t get enough gun content on your home computer? Now you can stream informative audio broadcasts to your mobile device. In addition to its popular weekly TV shows, Shooting USA now offers podcasts on gun topics. These podcasts feature interviews with ace shooters, notable gunsmiths, and leading firearms industry executives. There are now 123 Shooting USA Podcast episodes available for streaming. Or you can download a podcast to your mobile device for later listening. All Shooting USA Podcast content is free. Use these links to access all Shooting USA Podcasts (123 audio shows):


Get All Podcasts on Podbean | Get All Podcasts on iTunes

Now you can listen to timely and entertaining Shooting USA Podcasts, hosted by Jim and John Scoutten. They are available on both Podbean and iTunes.

Here are four (4) of our favorite Shooting USA Podcasts. These include interviews with legendary shooter Jerry Miculek, and ace pistolero Max Michel, perhaps the fastest handgunner on the planet. Click each graphic to launch the PodBean player page for that Podcast.

ShootingUSA Podcast Sig Sauer Max Michel 1911 pistol action shooting

Watch Max Michel Speed Drill (This Guy is Blazing Fast!)

Julie Golob NRA Board of Directors

Jerry Miculek Pistol Revolver podcast

ShootingUSA Podcast Timney triggers


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May 7th, 2018

BargainFinder 137: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Whittaker Guns — Howa Mini Action .223 Rem, $349.99

Howa Mini Action .223 Rem varmint rifle

This is hard for a varmint hunter to resist. You can get a complete Howa .223 Rem rifle for $349.99 — about the price of a replacement barrel blank for a Remington. This little gem has a smooth, short-throw Mini Action with Howa’s excellent two-stage trigger. The .223 Rem is a fine choice for prairie dog work, with good barrel life and great factory ammo options. Yes we’d prefer a heavier barrel for extended shooting sessions, but this is still a great price on a fine little rifle. NOTE: This month get 10% Off other items at Whittaker Guns (site-wide) with code MAYDAY.

2. Midsouth — Hornady Auto Charge Dispenser, $158.99

Hornady Auto Charge scale dispenser Chargemaster

Here’s a great deal from our friends at Midsouth. Hornady’s versatile Lock-N-Load Auto Charge™ Powder Scale and Dispenser is on sale for $158.99 at Midsouth. The Hornady Auto Charge is accurate to 0.1 grains of powder and can hold up to 1000 grains of powder in its hopper. This is a very good value compared to other electronic powder scale/dispensers on the market, such as the RCBS ChargeMaster Lite, currently $257.24 at Amazon (nearly $100 more).

3. Sportsman’s Guide — Ruger Precision Rimfire, $399.99

Ruger Precision Rimfire .22 LR

The brand new Ruger Precision Rimfire could become one of 2018’s most popular rifles, if the success of its “big brother”, the centerfire Ruger Precision Rifle, is any indicator. This .22 LR rig offers a turn-key rimfire solution for tactical shooters, PRS competitors, and anyone who likes modular rifles. The Ruger Precision Rimfire rifle offers adjustable cheekpiece and length of pull, AR-style grip, free-floating M-Lok fore-end, and a 18″ barrel (1:16″ twist) pre-threaded for brakes or suppressor. Sportsman’s Guide sells this rimfire rig for $399.99 (or $379.99 member price).

4. Black Rifle Deport — Aero Precision Upper Receiver, $69.95

AR-15 Aero precision assembled upper forward assist charging handle

Looking to build a black rifle? Check out this Aero Precision Assembled Upper Receiver. Right now this upper receiver assembly is discounted to $69.95 plus you get a free charging handle ($12.95 value). This is a good component for a project (you must add the barrel, bolt, bolt carrier, stock etc. of your choice). NOTE, this upper includes port door, charging handle, and forward assist but does NOT include bolt or bolt carrier assembly. And this is NOT, repeat NOT, a complete upper — no barrel, handguards, gas system or sights. Got that?

5. Amazon — Plano 52″ Double Rifle Case with Wheels, $109.08

Plano double scoped rifle case with wheels

This Plano Double Scoped Rifle Case is an Amazon Best Seller for good reason. It offers the functionality and durability of an SKB-type hard case for HALF the money. This is under $110.00, while the equivalent SKB is around $240.00, so you can buy two Planos for the price of one SKB. The 51.5″ interior will fit most scoped competition rifles up to about 29″ barrels (measure your own rifle to make sure). If you separate the barreled action from the stock you can transport even ultra-long ELR rifles. The handles are convenient and beefy and the wheels make this case easy to move. This is a very tough, roomy case for the money (plus there’s Free Shipping).

Exterior Dimensions: 54.625″ x 15.5″ x 6″
Interior Dimensions: 51.5″ x 12.63″ x 5.25″
Pluckable Interior Dimensions: 46″ x 10″
Features: Wheels, Secure Draw-Down Latches, O-Ring Seal, Pressure Relief Valve, Customizable Foam

6. Amazon — Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Muffs, $34.99

Howard Leight Pink Electronic Muffs sale Amazon NRR 22 earmuffs hearing protection

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Amazon has PINK Howard Leight electronic muffs on sale for just $34.99. These Impact Sport muffs are popular among shooters as they are reliable, reasonably comfortable, and easy to store. Built-in directional microphones amplify range commands and other ambient sounds to 82 dB, providing more natural listening and enhanced communication. These muffs carry a 22 NRR Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). The bottom of the muffs is thinner for clearance on a rifle stock, and the headband is adjustable. These Impact Sport Earmuffs include AUX input and 3.5 mm connection cord for MP3 players and smartphones.

7. Stocky’s — LR Stocks with Aluminum Bedding Block, $179.99

Stocky's Stocks Composite V-block stock

Here’s a good deal on a versatile Stocky’s Long Range Stock with aluminum V-block bedding system. For just $179.99, order this for Rem/Rem Clone long actions or short actions, with either narrow or wide (varmint/tactical) barrel channel. This would be a good choice for a varmint rifle. This is also offered with handsome hydrographic or web-pattern baked-on textured finishes for $199.99.

8. Sportsman’s Guide — 1400 Rimfire Rounds $71.49

Remington bucket of Ammunition ammo sportsmans guide sale bulk ammunition

Need rimfire plinking ammo? Here’s a super bargain. With Remington’s Bucket 0′ Bullets, you can get 1400 rounds of .22 LR ammo for $71.49 ($67.92 member price). That works out to just $0.051 per round. A nickle a round is plenty affordable. You can shoot 200 rounds for just ten bucks — about what a movie ticket costs these days.

9. FosPower 10200 mAh Waterproof Charger, $25.99

FosPower USB Battery pack waterproof shockproof LED

When you’re at the range or on a hunt, it’s smart to have a USB-output battery pack for smart phone, target-cam monitor, even a LabRadar. There are many battery packs available, but most are fairly fragile, with exposed ports. This “ruggedized” FosPower 10200 mAh charger is different. It is waterproof, dust-proof, and shock-proof. (IP67 certified: dust and water resistance for up to 3ft/1m for 30 minutes under water.) It can handle all that a PRS competitor or hunter can dish out. It even has a handy LED light. Right now it’s priced at $25.99 with FREE Shipping (on orders over $25.00).

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading 2 Comments »
April 19th, 2018

Three Under $300 — Trio of 9mm Carry Pistols All under $300.00

CCW 9mm 9x19mm Pistols Brownells Bargain Smith Wesson Walther Creed Ruger

We frequently receive inquiries about compact self-defense pistols. Many folks (some of whom already own a full-sized pistol) ask: “What’s a good compact 9mm pistol I can carry or keep in a vehicle during trips?” Of course, there is the Glock 19. And the new Sig Sauer P365 is quite good. But they are both around $500.00. You can spend about half that and still get a very good 9x19mm pistol with lifetime warranty and good ergonomics.

Here are three 9mm handgun options, all available now for well under $300.00. In fact, our third choice, the Ruger EC9, is currently just $209.99 at Brownells (with promo code). That’s just a few bucks over two hundred! It’s a buyers’ market right now…

1. Walther Creed 9mm Pistol, $269.99

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Canik RP9 Kahr S&W M&P Walther Creed CT9

The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls at a killer price — $269.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar. The Creed features a snag-free bobbed hammer. Testers have praised the new Creed, saying that, despite the bargain price, it “sacrifices little to nothing in… ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability.”

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Canik RP9 Kahr S&W M&P Walther Creed CT9

2. Smith & Wesson SD9VE 9mm, $249.99 with CODE M8Y

Smith Wesson SD9V 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownells

Smith Wesson SD9V 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownellsThe two-tone Smith & Wesson SD9VE 9mm pistol features contrasting stainless-steel slide and barrel. Weighing just 22.7 oz, this DAO pistol ships with two 16-round magazines, offering plenty of fire-power. Overall length is 7.2″ with a 4″-long barrel. Both front and rear sights are drift-adjustable. This is a nice medium-sized pistol that shoots well. The Smith & Wesson SD9VE is on sale now at Brownells. Sale price is currently $259.99 with a $10 handling charge.

SAVE MORE: During check-out at Brownells.com, you can use code “M8Y” to receive $20 Off and get FREE delivery. That lowers your net cost to just $249.99 shipped to your FFL. Under $250.00 for a nice S&W Nine is a great deal.

3. Ruger EC9 9mm — $209.99 at Brownells with CODE M8Y

Ruger 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownells

Ruger 9mm carry pistol handgun bargain brownellsThe striker-fired Ruger EC9 features a 3.12″ barrel and measures 6.0″ overall. This 1.07-lb EC9 is slim for easy concealment. Weighing just 1.07 lbs., this is definitely an “all-day carry” option. With Brownell’s current sale pricing and promo codes, you can get this little pistol for just $209.99 delivered (see right). You heard that right. Sale price is currently $219.99 with a $10 handling charge. However, during check-out you can use code “M8Y” to receive $20 Off and get FREE delivery. That lowers your net cost, so that your all-up price, delivered to your FFL, is just $209.99. NOTE: This item is currently back-ordered, but Brownells will honor your order at this price and deliver when back in stock. Here is a recent review from verified buyer: “It’s an LC9 with fixed sights that are milled into the slide. Same trigger. Same frame. Sweet shooter. Perfect for concealed carry. Can’t beat it for the price.”

Permalink Handguns, Hot Deals 2 Comments »
April 17th, 2018

Hey Rifle Guys — Why Not Try a Pistol Match for a Change?

IDPA Practical Pistol Concealed carry handgun competition

Most of our readers are rifle guys, but it’s fun to shoot a pistol match now and then. You don’t need a lot of equipment, and if you shoot IDPA (Int’l Defensive Pistol Assn.) matches, you can really win with a $400 pistol and $20.00 worth of bulk 9mm ammo. That’s a bargain compared to what you’ll spend on a competitive PRS or F-Class rig and custom hand-loads.

This Editor got his start in competitive shooting with local IDPA matches. I shot a Glock 34, and a SIG Sauer P226, and even did one match with a S&W Snubbie. I eventually settled on the SIG, as it fit my hand better than the Glock, was more accurate, and was every bit as reliable. The P226 also pointed better than the Glock for me — something that helps with target acquisition.

If you want to get into the IDPA game, Shooting Sports USA has a good article that explains the basic rules and classifications. IDPA is not your grandad’s bullseye pistol match. There is movement and action. Stages are timed, and competitors engage targets from cover if available. Singled-handed shooting is sometimes required, as is shooting while moving. You can compete with pretty much any handgun suitable for self-defense — but no $4000 Raceguns with fancy optics. The fact that you can be 100% competitive without spending a ton of money is what makes IDPA so popular.

Shooting Sports USA polled IDPA shooters at the 2016 IDPA Nationals to determine their favorite gun brands and models. The #1 choice was the 9mm Glock 34 for the SSP (Standard Service Pistol) and ESP (Enhanced Service Pistol) Classes. Next most popular was the Smith & Wesson M&P Pro.

IDPA Practical Pistol Concealed carry handgun competition
IDPA Gun Chart from Shooting Sports USA.

IDPA targetAlong with SSP and ESP, there are three other main IDPA classes: Custom Defensive Pistol (CDP) for .45 ACPs (mostly 1911 types), Concealed Carry Pistol (CCP), and Revolver (REV). All classes have a minimum power factor. Scores are based on time and shot placement on the IDPA target.

IDPA Scoring System
The official IDPA Target (right) has multiple scoring zones. If you don’t hit the target’s center mass zone or head zone (both appear green in illustration), you drop one or three points. Here’s the formula: Score (in seconds) = Time + Points Down + Penalties. In IDPA, “points down” (and penalties) are added to your time. If you hit the outer edge of the target, you get 3 points down. Nearer center can be 1 point down. Center hit or head shot is 0 points down. See IDPA Scoring for Dummies.

IDPA Practical Pistol Concealed carry handgun competition

Five Tips for New IDPA Shooters

1. Dry-Fire Practice at Home
You can improve your grip and sight acquisition dramatically with 30 minutes of dry-firing every week. Get some quality snap caps and go to it. One tip — don’t do this in your back-yard if the nosy neighbors can see. We had one friend who was dry-firing in his yard and got an unexpected visit from the local police (with guns drawn). That can turn out badly to say the least…

2. Practice One-Handed Shooting (Both Strong-Hand and Weak-Hand)
Most of the worst misses I saw during IDPA matches were during stages requiring one-handed shooting. A lot of pistol shooters have spent all their time shooting two-handed. That’s the best technique, but in an IDPA match, you may be required to shoot one-handed. If you’re a righty, shooting with the left hand only will feel really weird, and your accuracy will be poor unless you practice. We suggest starting your one-handed training with a rimfire pistol, then transition to your centerfire pistol.

3. For 9mm, Don’t Bother to Hand-load Your Ammo
This may seem like sacrilege, but if you’re only shooting one match a month, it’s probably not worth the time and money to reload 9x19mm. I did reload my 9mm ammo on a progressive for a couple years. After looking at money and time, I just started buying commercial 9mm reloads which worked fine. I was only saving a few cents per round by reloading, and that wasn’t worth the time invested.

4. Get a Good Holster That Fits Right
In IDPA matches you normally draw from holster during the match. I saw a lot of people struggle because they had Kydex holsters that would not release easily, or leather holsters that fit too tight or rocked during draw. Try a few different brands at the local store.

5. Be Smooth, Be Calm, and AIM Your Shots
Many folks come into IDPA thinking it’s all about speed. But there are score zones on the official IDPA target, so you need to focus and AIM. Don’t just “run and gun”. If you stay calm, align your sights in the center of the target for EVERY shot, you will end up with a higher score with fewer “points down”. Speed will come with time. It is better to make sure each one of your shots is a hit.

(more…)

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April 11th, 2018

Range Station — Smart New Product for Pistol Shooters

Pistol Case rolling matt ammo holder handgun range kit
The Range Station, an accessory case with roll-out shooting mat, provides useful storage plus important protection for your handguns at the range.

Here’s a smart new product we like for pistol sessions. The Range Station case combines an ammo compartment with a roll-out mat. Great idea. Some gun ranges only have concrete benches, or shooting stations with horizontal surfaces covered with dirt, powder residues, and other debris. You don’t want to put your $2000 blued Colt Python on that mess.

Manufacturer Real Avid says: “This intelligent solution has a place for everything. The 12×24” padded mat stays put on the counter-top and holds guns and gear. The case snaps to either the right or left side of the mat. Interior trays are sized for standard ammo boxes and magazines. And special compartments hold smaller range gear such as rulers, pens, target markers, and more. When finished, the mat can be rolled and stored neatly and compactly in the case for next time.”

Range Station Features:
12″x24″ Padded Gun Mat with Non-Slip Back | Mat Top Coating Repels Oils & Solvents
Interior Holds Ammunition Boxes | Tray for Magazines and Small Accessories
Mat Rolls Right Back into Case | Case Fits Most Range Bags

Pistol Case rolling matt ammo holder handgun range kitGear Organizer with Roll-out Gun Mat
The Avid Range station is a versatile case that holds your ammunition along with a built-in 12″ x 24″ mat. The Range Station’s protective mat quickly rolls out and has a coating to repel oils and solvents, providing a clean surface to lay your pistol or revolver at any range. The durable, molded case doubles as storage for common range gear and has room to store additional ammo for reloading magazines at the line. This smart Range Station fits the vast majority of range bags, and is affordable, with a $29.99 MSRP.

Dan Zimmerman of ConcealedNation.org tested the Range Station and liked it, confirming that “When opened, the case is perfect for holding extra magazines, tools and plenty of ammo. When closed, the thing fits neatly in most range bags.” Here is a photo from Dan’s test:

Pistol Case rolling matt ammo holder handgun range kit

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