March 15th, 2017

Oppressive California Gun Laws Spur Ammo Buying Sprees

California gun laws ammo ban online ammo sales purchase mail-order Wideners
Photo from Ault Ammo Depot.

Californians Buy Bulk Ammo Online While They Still Can

Californians are buying more ammunition, and in bigger, bulk quantities, according to data from online ammo retailer Wideners.com. In the two months since 2016’s General Election, Wideners.com’s online traffic from California is up a full fifty percent (50%). Nationwide traffic to the site has remained relatively static for the same period. And Widener’s sales are up dramatically for the most popular ammo types: 9mm Luger, .223 Rem (5.56×45), and .308 Win (7.62×51).

IMPENDING BAN on Mail-Order Ammo — Starting January 1, 2018, California gun owners will no longer be able to buy ammunition online. Only face-to-face ammo purchases will be allowed inside the state. Per Proposition 63, California will also require a background check for ammunition purchases, and ammo buyers must obtain a four-year purchaser’s license from the CA Department of Justice.

Online Ammunition ammo ban california ammo sales

“There’s been a massive influx of California hunters and sport shooters who are stocking up in the wake of California’s new laws”, reports Anne Taylor of Widener’s. “There’s not just increased interest, it’s clear the gun owners who are buying are buying in bulk. We’ve seen our average order weight go up in the past couple months. We expect this sort of rush will continue through the rest of the year.”

“We heard from a lot of customers in late December and early January who were confused about Prop 63,” Taylor said. “Many people seemed to think the background checks would start immediately.”

Percent Increase in Sales by Municipality:

Los Angeles Metro Area – 395%
San Francisco Metro Area – 417%
San Diego Metro Area – 161%
Sacramento Metro Area – 449%
Anaheim Metro Area – 264%
San Jose Metro Area – 233%

Note: Data based on IP Address of computer used to make purchase comparing the two-month period before and after 2016’s General Election. Municipalities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles already restrict online ammo purchases.

The biggest sales increase has been observed with .223 Rem/5.56×45 rifle ammunition, the most common cartridge type used in AR-platform rifles. In fact, .223/5.56 ammo sales in the eight weeks following the 2016 election were TWICE as great as in the preceding eight weeks.

Biggest jump in ammo sales has been for .223/5.56 ammo suitable for ARs.
AR-15 AR16 5.56 .223 Rem ammo ammunition Wideners

9mm ammo and .308 rifle ammo are also experiencing large gains from California buyers with increases of 60-80%. That’s notable becauses sales remain static in those calibers in the rest of the country. Overall, Widener’s sales data shows the average quantity purchased by Californians is up 20% in the two months following the 2016 election compared to the same time period before.

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December 27th, 2016

Sierra Bullets — How It All Started Nearly 70 Years Ago

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket
Here is the original Sierra manufacturing facility in Whittier, CA.

Sierra Bullets — How It Got Started

Report Based on Story by Carroll Pilant, Sierra Bullets Media Relations Manager
What became Sierra Bullets started in the late 1940s in a Quonset hut in California. In 1947, three aircraft machinists, Frank Snow, Jim Spivey, and Loren Harbor, rented machine space to produce rivets for the aircraft industry along with fishing rod guides and rifle front sight ramps. In the post-WWII years, sport shooting was becoming hugely popular, but quality ammunition was in short supply. For shooting enthusiasts, reloading was the solution to the ammo supply shortage. Snow, Spivey, and Harbor recognized this, creating Sierra Bullets to help fill the void. Before long, they were selling a 53-grain match bullet to the Hollywood Gun Shop. These bullets are still in production today as the Sierra #1400 53-grain MatchKing.

A few years later, an accomplished competitive shooter named Martin Hull joined Sierra. Hull helped develop new bullet types and served as manager of Sierra’s ballistics laboratory for nearly 20 years. With Hull’s help, Sierra’s output grew rapidly. The California company outgrew several locations before it moved to a large facility in Santa Fe Springs, CA, in 1963.

New Owners and New President in the Late Sixties
In 1968, the Leisure Group bought Sierra Bullets. Other Leisure Group companies included Lyman Reloading, High Standard Manufacturing Company, Yard Man, Thompson Sprinkler Systems, Flexible Flyer Sleds, and Dodge Trophies (Which made the Oscar and Rose Bowl Game trophies).

Soon after purchasing Sierra, the Leisure Group hired Robert Hayden as President and General Manager. Hayden was a mechanical engineer who had worked for Remington Arms. Hayden remained the president of Sierra for 42 years, retiring in 2012 when Pat Daly became president.

Sierra Moves to Missouri
In 1990, Sierra relocated to Sedalia, Missouri, where the company remains today. Sierra Bullets now employs over 100 people including five full-time ballistic technicians who answer daily reloading and firearms questions by both phone and e-mail.

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket

The Making of MatchKings — How Sierra Produces SMKs

All Sierra bullets begin life as a strip of gilding metal, an alloy consisting of 95% copper and 5% zinc. To meet Sierra’s strict quality requirements, the gilding metal requires three times more dimensional and quality control standards than is considered standard in the copper manufacturing industry.

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket

A blanking press stamps out a uniform disc and forms the cup that will be drawn into the MatchKing jacket. The cup is then polished and sent to a draw press to be drawn into a jacket that is longer than needed for the future MatchKing, thus allowing for the trim process. Press operators constantly check concentricity to make sure we have only quality jackets. The jackets then go to a trimmer where they are visually inspected again.

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket

After being polished a second time, the jacket travels to the bullet press. In the meantime, 80-pound lead billets are being extruded into lead wire for the cores where great care is taken so that the core wire is not stretched. The core wire is lightly oiled before continuing to the bullet press to be swaged.

The lead core wire and trimmed jacket meet at the bullet press where the first stage forms a boattail on the jacket. The lead core is then formed on top of the bullet press and fed down into the jacket. In one stroke of the press, the MatchKing is formed.

Sierra Bullets Carroll Pilant MatchKing Bullet SMK Bullet-making Jacket

Quality control technicians pull samples from each lot of MatchKings to make sure they meet Sierra’s stringent standards. Samples are then sent to Sierra’s 300-meter underground test range (shown below) to be shot for accuracy on mechanical mounts referred to as “unrestricted return to battery rests” that Sierra designed and built in-house.

Sierra Underground Tunnel test facility Sedalia, Missouri

After inspection, the bullets are placed in the familiar green box along with reloading labels. They are then shrink-wrapped and shipped all over the world.

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August 23rd, 2016

Web Seminar Covers New California Gun Laws

california gun law webinar seminar Michel & Associates

Earlier this summer, California Governor Jerry Brown signed six restrictive new gun laws. Less than 24 hours after they arrived on his desk, Brown signed six anti-gun bills railroaded through the Democratic-controlled California Legislature. This legislation imposes many new burdens on California gun-owners and criminalizes conduct that was heretofore legal. With little public debate, these bills were rushed through the legislative process. And now Californians are facing the disturbing consequences.

FREE Online Webinar on California Gun Laws
To help Californians understand their responsibilities under the new gun laws, the Michel & Associates law firm is hosting a free online seminar this week. As space is limited, advanced registration is required for the seminar. CLICK HERE to REGISTER.

The seminar will be held, Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at 12:00 pm (PT). This live webinar will explain how the new gun laws will affect gun owners, when they will go into effect, and what citizens need to do to comply with these laws. The seminar will be hosted by C.D. Michel and Joseph Silvoso, lawyers with Michel & Associates. Important topics will include:

SB 1235 (Ammunition Purchase Bill): This new law requires the California Department of Justice (DOJ) to record ammunition vendor and ammunition purchaser information. This ill-conceived legislation has caused much confusion. It is unclear how AB 1235 will affect mail-order purchases of loaded ammunition from vendors outside the state.

SB 1446 (Magazine Ban): SB 1446 which will require Californians to forfeit, destroy, or ship out of the state ALL firearms magazines that can hold more than ten rounds. Owners of legally-obtained magazines, previously “grandfathered”, will receive no compensation though they must give up their property. Those who fail to comply will be fined and charged with an infraction, a low-level crime. This magazine restriction goes into effect July 1, 2017.

Other California Gun Laws Signed by Gov. Brown:

AB 1135 (Levine) and SB 880 (Hall) Firearms: Assault Weapons – Expands the definition of assault weapons based on whether a semiautomatic firearm has a detachable magazine, banning thousands of popular firearms.

AB 1511 (Santiago) Firearms: Lending – Makes it illegal to loan a firearm to a person who is personally known to you (except for family members with restrictions).

AB 1695 (Bonta) Firearms: False Reports – Creates a 10-year prohibition on owning firearms for someone convicted of falsely reporting a lost or stolen firearm.

california gun law webinar seminar Michel & Associates
Graphic courtesy The Daily Shooter YouTube channel.

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July 2nd, 2016

Sweeping Anti-Gun Legislation Enacted in California

California Gun Confiscation Magazine Ban Jerry Brown AR15 Ammunition Confiscation

California Governor Jerry Brown just departed for a luxurious European vacation. But before he left the state, he savaged the Second Amendment rights of millions of California gun owners. Less than 24 hours after they arrived on his desk, Brown signed six anti-gun bills railroaded through the Democratic-controlled California Legislature. Among the bills signed by Brown was SB 1446 which will require Californians to forfeit, destroy, or ship out of the state ALL firearms magazines that can hold more than ten rounds. Owners of legally-obtained magazines, previously “grandfathered”, will receive no compensation though they must give up their property. Those who fail to comply will be fined and charged with an infraction, a low-level crime. This magazine restriction goes into effect July 1, 2017.

Gov. Brown also signed SB 1235 which will require background checks for the purchase of any and all ammunition. Ammo buyers’ names and personal information will be logged and tracked in a database.

Notice from NSSF RE California Legislation

The NSSF issued this statement: “The National Shooting Sports Foundation is extremely disappointed that Gov. Brown today chose to sign into law these highly restrictive and unneeded gun control measures, all of which will affect law-abiding Californians while doing nothing to stop the criminal misuse of firearms. By acting within 24 hours after being sent these bills, and not allowing the public to voice their opinions in order to depart for his European vacation, the governor compounded the miscarriage of legislative process and procedure while demonstrating disdain for Californians who now face laws that clearly infringe on their Constitutional rights.”

Gov. Brown SIGNED the following bills into law:

AB 1135 (Levine) and SB 880 (Hall) Firearms: Assault Weapons – Expands the definition of assault weapons based on whether a semiautomatic firearm has a detachable magazine, banning thousands of popular firearms.

SB 1235 (de Leon) Ammunition – Requires authorization to purchase ammunition and track what and how much ammunition each person buys, creating a database of ammunition purchasers.

SB 1446 (Hancock) Firearms: Magazine Capacity – Makes it illegal to possess magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds no matter how long a person has owned them.

AB 1511 (Santiago) Firearms: Lending – Makes it illegal to loan a firearm to a person who is personally known to you (except for family members with restrictions).

AB 1695 (Bonta) Firearms: False Reports – Creates a 10-year prohibition on owning firearms for someone convicted of falsely reporting a lost or stolen firearm.

Gov. Brown VETOED the following bills:

SB 894 (Jackson) Firearms: Lost or Stolen: reports – Would have made it a crime not to report lost and stolen firearms to law enforcement within the arbitrary time limit.

AB 1673 (Gipson) Firearms: Unfinished frame or receiver – Would have expanded the definition of a firearm to include partially finished frames and receivers (no definition of what this means) and require their registration.

AB 1674 (Santiago) Firearms: Transfers – Would have made it illegal to buy or receive more than one firearm in any 30-day period.

If you wish to Contact Gov. Brown’s office to voice your concern about his signing of six anti-gun measures, here is the contact information:

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160
E-mail: https://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 13 Comments »
May 25th, 2016

Dennis Practices for the “Rattle Battle”

Rattle Battel NTIT
U.S. Army Reserve Team during the NTIT match. See more in USAR “Rattle Battle” Video.

By Dennis Santiago
It’s called the “Rattle Battle” or more formally, the National Trophy Infantry Team Match (NTIT) at the U.S. National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio. It requires practice. It takes teamwork. To optimize one’s Rattle Battle practice in California you need a pre-ban AR-15 properly CA DOJ registered [that’s California law] service rifle — something that civilians in California are now banned from acquiring (along with high-capacity magazines). Glad I have my 1989 Roberti-Roos era registered rifle because I do want to represent my state as well as I can at the Nationals. It’s legal to insert a 30-round magazine into this CA-registered rifle.

This is a practice drill shooting 29 rounds in 50 seconds. Hyperventilate, shoot multiple rounds per breath, put them all into the silhouette target. This was slow. I need to build speed to create time to make one or two sight corrections on command in the middle of the string. Practice makes perfect. As they say: “Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome.”

The CMP’s National Trophy Infantry Team Match (NTIT) has been a staple at the National Matches since 1922. Also known as the “Rattle Battle,” the event is one of the most unique in the competitive rifling world — scoring is based on how many hits six-person teams can score on a bank of targets during a series of 50-second firing periods at four yardages.

Teams begin the NTIT match with 384 rounds of ammunition, which they fire upon eight silhouette targets from 600, 500, 300, and 200 yards during successive 50-second periods. After each rapid-fire string, team members move forward (to the next-closest distance) carrying all equipment from firing line to firing line. The match emphasizes extremely fast, accurate fire and good communication among teammates. The Rattle Battle is always an exciting competition for spectators to watch.

Dennis Santiago Service Rifle Rattle Battle

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April 1st, 2016

California Bans Use of Firearms Words as “Hate Speech”

California Hate Speech firearms weapons

A new statute passed in California will bar state employees (as well as teachers, police personnel, and health care workers) from using a variety of firearms terms in official communications. California Assembly Bill 2243, authored by Assemblyman Tony Fulenzo (D. Los Angeles), defines over 30 gun-related words as “hate speech”. Under existing California law, any words/phrases defined as “hate speech” are proscribed (forbidden) in official publications, school textbooks, and all public-sector communications (including email). By effect of AB 2243 then, dozens of gun-related nouns, verbs, and adjectives will be banned, and “shall no longer be uttered or used in the State of California by any public agent or employee”.

Assemblyman Fulenzo said his intent in sponsoring AB 2243 was to alter public attitudes toward firearms, and in particular, to convince school children that firearms are bad. “We want to prevent young kids from perceiving firearms as ‘cool’ or ‘exciting’. The best way to do that is to bury the subject altogether. We need to dismantle the ‘gun culture’. That begins with banning the words themselves.”

California Hate Speech firearms weaponsFulenzo said AB 2243 was inspired by existing bans on racist “hate speech”: “We don’t want children to read about guns or talk about guns. The first step, therefore, is to remove firearms-related words from textbooks, classroom presentations, and state documents. This is not something new. California has done the same thing with hateful words directed at minority groups. In California, by law, we have banned the use of the ‘N’ word (and other racist terms) in official state publications and school textbooks. Now we are just following that practice and banning the ‘G’ word (i.e. ‘gun’) and similar firearms-related hate speech”.

Ban on Gun Words in Arizona Next?
Meanwhile, in neighboring Arizona, anti-gun groups have called for the passage of similar legislation banning the use of firearms-related terminology.

California Hate Speech firearms weapons

Permitted Word Equivalencies for Banned Firearm Terms
When enacted into law, AB 2243 will ban more than 30 firearm-related words, including “gun”, “pistol”, “rifle”, “bullet” and other commonly-used words. Where it is necessary to reference a firearm, as in a police report, AB 2243 provides for substitute words or phrases. AB 2243 recognizes that, in some instances, it will be necessary to mention firearms-related facts in official documents. By using these officially-designated substitute words, firearms-related facts can be logged without resort to banned “hate speech”.

Gun = “Gunk”

Pistol = “Piddle”

Rifle = “Ripple”

Shoot = “Suit”

Bullet = “Mullet”

Cartridge = “Partridge”

How to Use CA-Approved Substitute Words:

Under AB 2243, if an official report requires description of a hate speech item, then the approved replacement words shall be used instead of the prohibited terms. For example, if a state-funded hospital treats a pistol wound, this shall be listed as a “piddle wound” in the medical report. Likewise the recovery of cartridges at a crime scene by police shall be recorded as a “partridge recovery” in the incident report.

New Law Does Not Restrict Speech by Non-Governmental Entities
This new law only applies to “public sector” entities (schools, police/sheriff agencies, hospitals/health clinics, state and municipal agencies). Private businesses, including newspapers and web sites, will still be allowed to use firearms-related words without the threat of prosecution. Likewise, private citizens will still be allowed to say “gun”, “pistol”, or “rifle” etc. in their own private communications. However internet posting of hate speech involving forbidden firearm words will be monitored by a new California State Agency. This new Agency, the California Office of Firearms Hate Speech (COFHS) will be funded by a new 5% sales tax on firearms ammunition and components.

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March 1st, 2016

Bob Gill Wins CA Fullbore Championship with .223 Palma Rifle

Bob Gill California Fullbore elesio R1 .223 Rem championship

Report by Johnny Fisher
Here’s something you don’t see very often — a fullbore shooter with a .223 Remington topped a field of talented .308 Win shooters. Not only that, he scored more points than any F-Class competitor (however, F-Classers shot a smaller target). Bob Gill’s performance proves that, even in an era of high-BC .308 bullets, the little .223 Rem cartridge can still hold its own in the hands of a great shooter.

At last weekend’s California State Fullbore Championships, Bob Gill bested over 30 competitors for the championship with a .223 Palma rifle, only dropping 7 points over the weekend for a 993-56X. The event was sponsored by the California Rifle & Pistol Association and hosted by the Coalinga Rifle Club.

Bob Gill California Fullbore elesio R1 .223 Rem championship

Bob Gill Talks about the ‘Mental Game’
Conventional wisdom when shooting any match is to just stay focused on each and every shot and let the scores work themselves out after all firing is complete. “Two To The Mound” shooting changes all of that, as each competitor is not only aware of their own standings throughout the course of the match – but also of their closest competitor during these pair-fire strings. With this championship never further out than a 2-point lead throughout the weekend, stress was high and every once of mental focus needed to be tapped.

Bob recalls, “The entire match was neck and neck. After a few mental mistakes and a few wind mistakes, with three shots remaining the thought is three shots and a 1X lead. I need to shoot three 10s. Everything else goes away. Shoot three 10s and he can’t catch me.”

Three 10s later, Bob won the CA State Fullbore Championship by one point and one X. Well done!

Gun Specifications
Bob was shooting a 1970s-era .223 Remington B-40X action inside a Competition Machine R1 chassis. The barrel is a 30.5″ Heavy Palma taper, 1:7″-twist Brux with a Wylde chamber and .220 freebore done up by Randy Gregory at Accuracy Unlimited. The Tubb 7T7 two-stage trigger was set at 1 + 1 pounds.

.223 Remington Accuracy Load — Berger 90gr VLDS, Varget and BR4s
Gill loaded 90gr Berger VLDs in front of 25.0 grains of Hodgdon Varget powder, jumping 15 to 20 thousandths for a 2.708 COL with a BR4 primer inside Lapua brass. Bob uses a Redding Full-Length S-Die to push the shoulders back .004 to match that of new Lapua brass and a bushing chosen to achieve .004 neck tension. He sorts his brass by weight into 0.5 grain lots and each piece is trimmed on a Giraud trimmer after sizing because he says “it grows like crazy”.

Bob Gill California Fullbore elesio R1 .223 Rem championship

Fullbore Course of Fire — Pair Firing on Day 2 at Coalinga
The Fullbore Course-Of-Fire for this match was squadded on the first day by classification for 15-shots string-fire at each yard-line: 300 / 600 / 900 / 1000 yards. These scores were then used to determine “two to the mound” squadding for the second day, when each competitor pair-fired with his closest competitor, and also kept score in between his own shots. In this “pair fire” arrangement, only 45 seconds are allowed between shots after a shooter accepts his shot score. This forces competitors to shoot through condition changes as opposed to waiting for a more favorable pattern.

CLICK HERE for CA Championship Individual Results | CLICK HERE for Team Results

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February 27th, 2016

Help Support the California Grizzlies Rifle Team

California Grizzlies junior Team

You may not know it, but a team of youngsters from California is the winningest junior team in the history of the National Matches at Camp Perry. Despite California’s tough gun laws, the young shooters on the California Grizzlies Rifle Team have managed to rack up impressive victories in competition, achieving excellence season after season.

Help Support the California Grizzlies Junior Rifle Team
Right now the California Grizzlies are seeking donations to support their effort to attend the 2016 National Matches at Camp Perry. You can make a secure PayPal donation through the Grizzlies’ website, www.TeamGrizzlies.org.

California Grizzlies junior Team

The California Grizzlies squad has always excelled — it remains the only junior team to ever win the Infantry Trophy (NTIT) at the NRA National Championships. In 2009, Team Grizzlies O’Connell shot a 1284 to win the NTIT, becoming the first junior team to ever win the event and the first civilian team to win in 79 years. In 2013, the Grizzlies again shot superbly, winning not only the High Junior Title, but the Civilian Title as well. In fact, in 2013, the young Grizzlies squad beat ALL the adult teams except the powerhouse U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Team.


Here is the 2009 Grizzlies Squad that won the NTIT outright, beating ALL other teams.

Watch the Grizzlies in Action, Training for the Nationals
This video was filmed in 2010 during a week-long training clinic held at the Coalinga range in central California. During the clinic, Grizzlies members honed their position shooting skills. We wish these boys and girls good luck in their quest for another team victory at Camp Perry.

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November 14th, 2015

Traveler’s Warning — Los Angeles Magazine Ban Starts Nov. 18th

Los Angeles magazine ban law ordinance California

Don’t drive through the City of Los Angeles (or fly into LAX) if you have a magazine that holds more than ten (10) rounds. The Los Angeles City Council enacted a new law that makes mere possession of a full-capacity magazine illegal EVEN if it was obtained legally. Possession of a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds will now be a misdemeanor throughout the City of Los Angeles. This applies to any person within city limits, including those traveling via Highways or Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). View this Map to see Los Angeles City boundaries, which encompass all major North/South freeways and train routes.

The CTD Shooter’s Log warns travelers: “The law doesn’t just apply to Los Angeles city residents. Non-resident gun owners must avoid traveling through any part of the City of Los Angeles while possessing any banned magazine. Notably, the City intersects every major Southern California freeway. In some cases, the City of Los Angeles completely surrounds other smaller cities, like Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica. So anyone traveling out of Santa Monica or Beverly Hills, and anyone traveling through the city of Los Angeles with a banned magazine can be prosecuted.”

Summary: Under the ordinance, possession of any “large-capacity” magazine within Los Angeles after November 19, 2015 will be a misdemeanor offense. Los Angeles residents must get rid of their banned magazines by November 18, 2015. You can surrender magazines to the LAPD, sell them to a licensed firearm dealer, transport them out of the City limits, or you can “permanently alter” the magazine so it no longer hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Los Angeles magazine ban law ordinance California

Trap for Unsuspecting Travelers
We fear this new law will be a trap for the unsuspecting, including match competitors traveling through the L.A. metropolis on the way to other venues. We suggest that you do not even think about bring large-capacity magazines into the general Los Angeles area (even if you presume you can skirt the city limits). If you can’t avoid transiting Los Angeles, bring only magazines that hold no more than ten rounds — and test them to make sure you can’t shove in an 11th. You can be sure that the friendly LAPD will “assume the worst” when stopping citizens for violation of the magazine law.

SHOT Show Warning: If you are headed to SHOT Show in Las Vegas and have high-cap mags for display or for use on Media Day, it’s best to steer clear of Los Angeles. Be mindful of this when planning your Air Travel.

Elsewhere in California — Older High-Cap Magazines Are Grand-Fathered
Under current California state law it is illegal to buy, sell, manufacture, or import magazines that hold more than ten rounds. However, statewide (except in San Francisco, Sunnyvale ,and Los Angeles) it is still completely legal to possess such magazines if they were acquired legally BEFORE the high-cap magazine ban went into effect. In other words, possession of “pre-ban” high-cap magazines is “grandfathered” in California — you just can’t buy or sell them anymore within California.

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September 24th, 2015

San Francisco’s Last Gun Store Closes — Thanks to the Politicians

Chris Cheng Highbridge Arms San Francisco SF Second Amendment
Photo from High Bridge Arms Facebook page.

This is a cautionary tale of what can happen when municipal governments are allowed to enact radical, restrictive gun laws…

San Francisco, California has over 850,000 residents*. But thanks to SF’s gun-phobic elected officials, you soon won’t be able to find a single store that sells guns and ammo within city limits. High Bridge Arms, San Francisco’s last remaining gun shop, announced it will be closing its doors in October. The reason is the threat of a new SF law requiring gun retailers to video-tape sales transactions and turn over private customer data to the city. This proposed city ordinance goes way beyond existing state and Federal background check requirements.

“Big Brother” is alive and well in the “city by the Bay”. According to Guns.com, San Francisco Supervisor Ken Farrell introduced a municipal ordinance requiring gun vendors to video-tape gun/ammo sales transactions and deliver buyer/firearms data to police every week. Gun shop owners would be required to “hand over personal information to include names, addresses and birth dates to city officials in conjunction with gun and ammo sales.”

Given the threat of this draconian new city law, High Bridge Arms, San Francisco’s last remaining gun store, announced it would cease operations next month. Posting on Facebook, High Bridge’s owner declared: “We are closing our shop. For many reasons I cannot get into at this moment, it appears our final days will be through to the end of October of 2015.” It is not known whether High Bridge Arms will re-locate to a different location outside San Francisco city limits.

Chris Cheng Highbridge Arms San Francisco SF Second Amendment

San Francisco-based Top Shot Champion Chris Cheng says the closure of High Bridge Arms will only encourage the anti-gun politicians who run the city: “With High Bridge moving out, it will be interesting to see what will happen to legislation the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is considering which would require video-taping gun and ammunition sales, and sharing ammo sales data with SFPD. My guess is that even with High Bridge closing by the time they vote on this, they will pass it in the hopes to keep any future gun shops from trying to open in the future.”

High Bridge Arms has a long history in San Francisco. Serving sport shooters as well as city law enforcement personnel, High Bridge has operated in the same Mission Street location since the mid-1950s when Olympic shooter and gunsmith Bob Chow opened the shop. In 1988, Andy Takahashi bought the business from Mr. Chow.

*The U.S. Census Bureau estimates San Francisco’s population at 852,469 as of July 1, 2014. San Francisco photo by Creative Commons License, attribution Bernard Gagnon.
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September 6th, 2015

Bleak Vision of Future Gun Control Becomes Reality in California

gun control los Angeles video pre-approval

A few years ago, some folks released a video that showed how gun control laws might operate in a fictional California of the future. The video shows how State Agency pre-authorization would have to be obtained before a handgun could be employed for self-defense in the home. Sound far-fetched? Well, it turns out that this satirical video was not that far from the truth. That disturbing vision of the future is coming to pass… at least in some parts of California.

The City of Los Angeles recently passed an municipal ordinance that would require handguns to be locked up (or otherwise disabled) when kept in the home. Modeled after a similar law in San Francisco, the Los Angeles ordinance makes it a misdemeanor to keep an unsecured handgun in a home. There are some exceptions to the locking rule (such as when the owner has the firearm in “close proxmity”), but this Los Angeles ordinance still imposes onerous burdens on citizens who might need a firearm to defend themselves in their own homes.

Under the new Los Angeles city ordinance, there is no “pre-authorization” requirement — at least not yet. But that could be the next step, as this video shows…

Think about it… how can you respond to an intruder if you have to call and ask for permission to access your own firearm. How that scenario might unfold is depicted in this video, a chilling preview of gun ownership in California. The video is a dramatization, but it shows what could happen in the Golden State in the not-too-distant future.

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September 5th, 2015

Precision Rifle Series 2015 Championship this Weekend

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

The Precision Rifle Series (PRS) is holding its season-ending Championship Match this weekend at a “top-secret” ranch location near Tehachapi, California. The nation’s top 75 PRS marksmen (plus 30 regionally-qualified shooters) have been invited to compete in a challenging series of stages, with targets from 100 yards to well over 1000 yards. This is supreme test of marksman and rifle. The PRS involves shooting from multiple positions, carrying all your hardware over considerable distances. This ain’t no belly benchrest match that’s for sure.

This video showcases the 2014 PRS Championship in Frost, Texas. This year’s PRS Finale will be held in California. (Video is well worth watching — with LOTS of action):

The PRS has attracted a host of sponsors, so the prize table will be huge for this event:
Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

For those interested in learning more about the PRS game, Rich Emmons, one of the founders of the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), has written an insightful article about getting started in the tactical game. Here are highlights from Emmon’s PRS — Intro to Competition article.

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! 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.

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.

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

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 Precision Rifle Blog has analyzed three years worth of match results from the best tactical shooters in the nation. CLICK HERE to read an article that reveals what the “top guns” use.

Tactical Competition Precision Rifle Series

Permalink Competition, Tactical No Comments »
July 31st, 2015

City of Los Angeles Bans Possession of High-Cap Magazines

Los Angeles Magazine Ban high-capacity NRA

Don’t drive through the City of Los Angeles (or fly into LAX) if you have a magazine that holds more than ten (10) rounds. In its infinite wisdom, the Los Angeles City Council approved a new law that makes mere possession of a full-capacity magazine illegal EVEN if it was obtained legally, in compliance with all state and federal laws. This, by definition, is an “ex post facto” law — a statute that makes a crime out of what was considered legal before, requiring citizens to take affirmative action or else be subject to criminal penalties. Possession of a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds will now be a misdemeanor in the City of Los Angeles, as soon as Mayor Eric Garcetti signs the measure into law, which he has promised to do.

Once codified into law, the magazine ban gives residents only two months to comply. Residents will have 60 days to surrender their magazines to the police or remove their magazines from the city. The author of the law, City Councilman Paul Krekorian, declared that the new law will be enforced aggressively by the Los Angeles Police Department.

WARNING — Do Not Transport High-Capacity Magazines Through Los Angeles
We caution all readers that they should not bring any firearm magazines that hold more than ten rounds into the Los Angeles city limits. Even if you are just “driving through” on the way to another location, you could be arrested for possession. Likewise, do not ship magazines into Los Angeles, and do not fly into Los Angeles city airports (such as LAX) with high-capacity magazines in your possession on in your luggage. Even if we were just transferring in Los Angeles from one flight to another, we would not carry high-capacity magazines into that airport zone.

Los Angeles Magazine Ban high-capacity NRA

Under current California state law it is illegal to buy, sell, manufacture, or import magazines that hold more than ten rounds. However, statewide (except in San Francisco, and Sunnyvale and soon Los Angeles) it is still completely legal to possess such magazines if they were acquired legally BEFORE the high-cap magazine ban went into effect. In other words, possession of “pre-ban” high-cap magazines is “grandfathered” in California — you just can’t buy or sell them anymore within California.

Is the Los Angeles Magazine Ban Constitutional?
The new Los Angeles law can be attacked on various legal grounds. First it can be challenged as an “Ex Post Facto” law. Second, the law should be invalid under the pre-emption doctrine, since regulation of firearm magazines is already controlled by state statute. The pre-emption doctrine recognizes that a state cannot allow municipalities to enact myriad conflicting laws on the same subject matter. Unfortunately, an NRA legal challenge to municipal magazine bans in San Francisco and Sunnyvale failed on Second Amendment grounds. It would have made more sense to have attacked those city-specific regulations on the basis of state pre-emption. Unfortunately, the NRA’s litigation failure will make it more difficult to overturn the Los Angeles magazine ordinance.

LAX Photo By JadeLux (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

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April 14th, 2015

California Regulations Ban Hunting with Lead-Component Ammo

On April 9, 2015, the California Fish and Game Commission (CFGC) adopted regulations to ban the use of traditional lead-component ammunition for all hunting in the state by July 1, 2019. The Daily Caller reports: “In a unanimous vote, the Commission opted to phase out lead bullets, which hunters’ groups are calling a de-facto ban on hunting in the state.” The new regulations will be implemented in multiple phases, starting with the 2015 hunting season. These tough new regulations were issued pursuant to legislation passed in 2013 by the California legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

California bans traditional lead ammunition ammo ban Commission Regulations

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is worried that California-style ammo bans will be adopted in other states. To some observers, California’s ban on lead-based ammunition was designed more to reduce gun sales and halt hunting than it was ever intended to help the environment. The NSSF has shown that the elimination of traditional lead ammo will do little, if anything to improve the environment in any meaningful way. What such bans WILL do is raise the cost of ammo and make it more difficult to hunt. The NSSF explains: “Anti-hunting groups use the supposed harm caused by traditional ammunition as a wedge issue to further their ultimate political agenda of banning hunting across the country.” The NSSF has provided the real facts via an infographic and the YouTube video embedded below.

Permalink - Videos, Hunting/Varminting 7 Comments »
March 23rd, 2015

Norma Debuts New Lead-Free “Ecostrike” Bullet

Silver Bullet Ecostrike Bullion NormaThe Lone Ranger used silver bullets… now you can too. Well, they’re not really silver, but they look like silver and they are lead-free. Norma’s new ECOSTRIKE™ bullet features a copper core with a proprietary silver-color plating to reduce fouling. Why is Norma offering a lead-free bullet? Well, in some locations, such as California, the use of traditional, lead-core bullets has been highly restricted. The Ecostrike give hunters the opportunity to shot hard-hitting, deep-penetrating projectiles, even where lead-cored bullets are banned. Norma explains: “The Ecostrike is designed to give… penetration deep enough to reach the vital organs even on large animals. The controlled expansion and a very high retained weight guarantee a consistent behavior and deep penetration.”

Being totally lead-free, Ecostrike bullets are California-compliant, and they can be used in other regions where lead ammo is restricted. Currently, Norma plans to offer Ecostrike bullets in four popular calibers: 7mm (.284), .308 (7.62 mm), 8mm, and 9.3 mm. Spanning the range from 7mm up to 9.3 mm, Ecostrike bullets will be available for the most popular big game cartridge types. Norma also plans to produce loaded ammunition featuring the new Ecostrike bullet.

Silver Bullet Ecostrike hunting projectile lead-free ecology Norma

Silver Bullet Ecostrike Bullion Norma
“Silver Bullet” Bullion cartridges are produced by the NW Territorial Mint. The Norma Ecostrike bullets contain no silver, just copper and a proprietary plating. But they do look like silver bullets.

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo 2 Comments »
March 1st, 2015

California Microstamping Requirement Upheld in Court

Californians may be relegated to shooting revolvers soon. On February 27, 2015, a Federal Judge in California over-ruled objections to a California state law requiring that all new semi-auto handguns have microstamping capability. In granting summary judgment to the State, Eastern District Judge Kimberly Mueller halted legal efforts to over-turn microstamping requirements for semi-auto pistols. Unless this District Court ruling is overturned on appeal, this Federal Court decision would effectively ban the sale or possession of most (if not all) new semi-auto handguns in the state.

Editor’s Comment: There is some hope however — the Calguns Foundations said counsel has already appealed the recent ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The ruling was issued in Peña v. Lindley, a Federal case that pitted California resident Ivan Peña and three other individual plaintiffs against Stephen Lindley, the chief of the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Firearms.

At issue was California’s microstamping law, which was signed into law in 2007 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, but which only took effect in 2013. In the two years since the micro-stamping requirement went into effect, no manufacturer has made a new firearm that complies with the requirement. Both Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co., are not shipping their latest (post-2013 design) firearms into the California market because of the microstamping law. Opponents of the law argued that the microstamping requirment was, effectively, a de facto ban on all semi-auto pistols, since not one manufacturer has offered guns that comply with the law.

“This is about the state trying to eliminate the handgun market,” said Alan Gura, the lead attorney in Peña v. Lindley told Fox News last week. “The evidence submitted by the manufacturers shows this is science fiction and there is not a practical way to implement the law.”

The Peña v. Lindley case was argued at the trial court on December 17, 2013. Peña, gun manufacturers, and attorneys for the Second Amendment Foundation and Calguns Foundation argued that microstamping relies on impractical and unworkable technology. The plaintiffs argued that, if guns without the technology can’t be sold in California, and gun manufacturers can’t implement the technology, then the law functions as a de facto handgun ban that violates the Second Amendment.

The Calguns Foundation stated that the group is “disappointed that the district court sidestepped a clear violation of Second Amendment civil rights in its decision today. However, we are absolutely committed to litigating this case as far as necessary to reverse this incorrect ruling and restore the right to keep and bear modern handguns in the Golden State.”

Story based on report in Cheaper that Dirt Shooters’ Log.

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August 26th, 2014

California Gun Waiting Period Laws Ruled Unconstitutional

second amendmentBig Victory for California Gun Owners!
California’s 10-day waiting period for gun purchases was ruled unconstitutional by a Federal judge on August 25, 2014 in a significant victory for Second Amendment civil rights. The laws were challenged by California gun owners Jeffrey Silvester and Brandon Combs, as well as two gun rights groups, The Calguns Foundation, and Second Amendment Foundation. The decision was issued in the case of Silvester v. Harris.

Ruling is Limited in Scope
The Court’s decision does not toss out California’s 10-day waiting period completely. However, the Court did rule that the 10-day rule is invalid for those who already lawfully possess firearms and have satisfied background checks. The full decision can be read at http://bit.ly/silvester-v-harris-decision

Federal Court Decides 10-day Waiting Period Laws Violate 2nd Amendment Rights
The ruling was made by the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of California. In his decision, Federal District Judge Anthony W. Ishii, a Clinton appointee, found that “the 10-day waiting periods of Penal Code [sections 26815(a) and 27540(a)] violate the Second Amendment” as to certain classes of citizens, and “burdens the Second Amendment rights of the Plaintiffs.”

Specifically the Court held that the 10-day waiting period was invalid for citizens who already held a CCW license and had passed background checks. The Court did NOT hold the the 10-day period was invalid for new purchasers who had not already been vetted. Specifically, Judge Ishii held that: “Penal Code §26815(a) and § 27540(a)’s 10-day waiting periods impermissibly violate the Second Amendment as applied to those persons who already lawfully possess a firearm as confirmed by the AFS, to those who possess a valid CCW license, and to those who possess both a valid COE and a firearm as confirmed by the AFS system, if the background check on these individuals is completed and approved prior to the expiration of 10 days.”

“This is a great win for Second Amendment civil rights and common sense,” said Jeff Silvester, the named individual plaintiff. “I couldn’t be happier with how this case turned out.”

Under the court order, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) must change its systems to accommodate the unobstructed release of guns to gun buyers who pass a background check and possess a California license to carry a handgun, or who hold a “Certificate of Eligibility” issued by the DOJ and already possess at least one firearm known to the state.

“California gun owners are not second-class citizens and the Second Amendment doesn’t protect second class rights,” noted plaintiff Brandon Combs, also CGF’s executive director. “This decision is an important step towards restoring fundamental individual liberties in the Golden State.”

“This ruling clearly addressed the issue we put before the court,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “We are naturally delighted with the outcome.”

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July 17th, 2014

Gary Eliseo Moves Competition Machine Inc. to Arizona

Gary Eliseo Competition Machine tubegun Chassis Arizona California

Yet another important gun-related company has left California for a more business-friendly location. Gary Eliseo’s Competition Machine Inc., producer of rifle chassis systems, has moved operations to Northern Arizona. A large, new Arizona facility has been secured, and Gary’s team is busy putting the production machinery in place and organizing supplies and inventory.

Gary Eliseo Competition Machine tubegun Chassis Arizona California

Gary Eliseo Competition Machine tubegun Chassis Arizona CaliforniaRifle Chassis Builder Moves to Arizona
Gary Eliseo announced: “It’s official, after 24 years of dealing with the difficult business environment in California, we’re relocating to Northern Arizona. To our friends and customers we ask for your patience during this monumental task. Our new shop will be larger and more efficient which will allow us to better serve your needs. We have some exciting new products planned in the future that we were simply not able to pursue in California.”

Gary is happy about his new digs in Arizona. His new Arizona facility is much bigger: “The new shop is over twice the size of the old one (3600 square feet vs. 1500 square feet). The added space which will let me open a new rifle division. We’ll update the Competition Machine website soon with the new contact information.” — Gary Eliseo

Gary Eliseo Competition Machine tubegun Chassis Arizona California

Here’s a photo of the new facility on “move-in” day. Gary says: “This is just an empty shell, but it’s soon to be a very busy place. There is so much more opportunity for us here than in California. Also, this Northern Arizona area is crazy beautiful, I think I’m gonna like it!”

Gary Eliseo Competition Machine tubegun Chassis Arizona California

Highway Photo by Wing-Chi Poon, Wiki Creative Commons License.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 10 Comments »
June 17th, 2014

California Considers Law Requiring Permits for Ammo Purchases

After politicians force citizens to register their firearms, what comes next? Laws requiring permits to purchase ammo (with mandatory registration and finger-printing). We kid you not. Right now in California (no surprise), legislators are considering legislation (Senate Bill 53) that would require purchasers of ammunition to register with the state Department of Justice (DOJ) prior to purchasing any ammunition, and to obtain an ammo-purchasing permit.

You would think such a law would be rejected as an extreme “prior restraint” and hence, a violation of Californians’ Constitutional rights. But heck no, quite a few politicians (you guess the party) believe that it is perfectly fine to require pre-purchase registration of ammo buyers. Last week, anti-gun Senate Bill 53 passed in the California Assembly Public Safety Committee by a 5 to 2 vote. SB 53 will now go to the Assembly floor where it could be considered at anytime.


Photo from FingerPrinting Scottsdale.

SB 53 would require ammo buyers to register with the state Department of Justice (DOJ) prior to purchasing any ammunition. The registration process would require the submission of fingerprints, background check results, and fees to the DOJ. On top of that, SB 53 would require gun owners to obtain a costly ammunition purchaser permit every two years. In addition, at time of sale, ammo purchasers would have to provide a thumbprint for all ammunition purchases.

It Gets Worse — California Legislation Would Also Ban Mail-Order Ammo Sales
This onerous legislation, SB53, does more than mandate registration of ammo purchasers. It would also ban online and mail-order sales of all ammunition, including hunting ammunition.

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April 5th, 2014

Profiles of Palma: Classic Images from CA LR Championship

One of our readers, Joshua Targownik, is a very talented photographer. Last year he captured an evocative series of photos at the 2013 California State Palma Championships, hosted at the Coalinga range. Joshua reports: “I shot all these images on good old-fashioned medium format black and white film”. We like Joshua’s images — they have a classic “old school” look which seems to suit the Palma (Full-bore) discipline. The black and white photography seems appropriate to the world of iron sights, leather shooting coats, and “hard-holding” marksmen.

Images by Joshua Targownik. To see more of Joshua’s photos, visit TargoPhoto.com.

Click Image to see full screen version

CLICK HERE to View Full PHOTO GALLERY (17 images).

Permalink Competition 4 Comments »