May 30th, 2018

Economic Impact of Firearms Industry, State by State

economic impact firearms gun industry state NSSF
For this chart, HowMuch.net analyzed data from the NSSF’s 2017 Firearms and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report to estimate gun industry output and jobs in each state.

The firearms industry is an important element of our nation’s economy. Manufacturing products for shooting, hunting, and LEO/military applications employs hundreds of thousands of workers and contributes billions of dollars to America’s GNP. The mainstream media demonizes firearms and attempts to ridicule gun-owners, but the fact remains that guns and ammo are an important part of American culture and a key element of our economy.

Guns America recently published an article showing the economic impact of the firearms industry on a state-by-state basis. This features a “money map” of the USA created by HowMuch.net based on data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The number one state is Texas, with $3.83 Billion of economic impact and 23,070 jobs. That may not surprise you, as many quality companies such as Shilen are based in the Lone Star state. However, you may be surprised by the number two state, California, given that jurisdiction’s liberal legislature, and anti-gun policies. But there are still plenty of guns, shooting accessories, and ammo produced in California, generating $3.64 Billion in firearms industry economic activity and over 20,000 jobs. Given that job number, perhaps California’s politicians should think twice before they enact more misguided anti-gun laws.

Weatherby Wyoming move California taxes
Weatherby is relocating from California to Wyoming, citing California’s high corporate taxes and hostile business regulations.

Here are Top Ten States, ranked in order:

1. Texas: $3.83B and 23,070 jobs
2. California: $3.64B and 20,610 jobs
3. Minnesota: $2.43B and 11,650 jobs
4. Florida: $2.39B and 14,850 jobs
5. Illinois: $2.18B and 10,681 jobs
6. North Carolina: $1.98B and 11,427 jobs
7. Pennsylvania: $1.94B and 12,436 jobs
8. Massachusetts: $1.86B and 7,116 jobs
9. New York: $1.84B and 8020 jobs
10. Ohio: $1.61B and 11,772 jobs

Ranking third overall is Michigan with $2.43 Billion in economic activity, followed by Florida close behind in fourth place with $2.39 Billion. The NSSF’s data reveals some surprising trends, notes Guns America: “While pro-gun states like Texas ($8.83B) boast a large firearms industry that employs thousands of people, states with stricter firearms regulations like California ($3.64B), Minnesota ($2.43B), Illinois ($2.18B), and Massachusetts ($1.86B) also incorporate relatively large gun industries.”

Looking at that list, it is noteworthy that, along with California, another anti-gun state, New York, has made the Top Ten. New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has attacked the firearms industry and the NRA, and the N.Y. State Department of Financial Services has pressured Banks and Insurance companies to stop doing business with gun industry firms. One wonders if Governor Cuomo and his minions have considered the full consequences of their anti-gun activism. Guns America observes: “it is notable that gun makers can survive at all in states like New York, California, and Massachusetts. Attacking firearm makers and sellers is one of the most common anti-gun tactics, but some companies still manage to scrape by despite increasing regulations and public hostility.”

Remington Arms factory New York

Though it has moved much of its production to Alabama, Remington retains production facilities in New York state. The Remington enterprise was founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, as E. Remington and Sons. Remington is America’s oldest gun maker and is still the largest U.S. producer of shotguns and rifles.

Permalink Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting, News 2 Comments »
April 1st, 2018

California Imposes New Target Tax on Golden State Shooters

Target Tax California Jerry Brown DOJ shot hole

In recent years, the California Legislature has passed a series of laws restricting the rights of California gun owners. The latest example of anti-gun legislation will hit gun owners in their pocketbooks….

If you want to practice your marksmanship in California from now on, get ready to open your wallet and pay the taxman. With the passage of AB 211, recently signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, California shooters who use paper targets at indoor ranges will have to pay a fee for every hole they put in paper — literally. This new law, codified in the California Penal Code, states that commercial gun ranges must collect a charge of $0.38 per shot, as established by holes made in approved paper targets. This fee, the “Target Tax”, can be raised in the future at the discretion of the California Dept. of Justice.

Here’s how it will work, starting June 1, 2018, when the new Target Tax law goes into effect at California indoor ranges. First, all shooters must purchase California DOJ-approved paper targets (you may no longer bring your own). When you purchase a certified target at an indoor range, your name and the number of targets you have purchased will be recorded in a state database. Then, after your shooting session, the targets must be scanned, with the number of shot holes recorded. A charge of $0.38 per scanned hole will be added as a line item for your range session, along with the DOJ target-processing fee of $5.00 per target.

Target Tax California Jerry Brown DOJ shot hole

With 30 holes, the new California target tax on this left target would be 30 x $0.38 or $11.40. Conversely, the tax on the target on the right would be just 38 cents, because there is only one hole, though five shots went through the same hole. Obviously, exceptional marksmanship skills can help reduce your target tax liabilities.

California Targets Must Be Culturally Tolerant and Non-Discriminatory
AB 211 also includes a series of provisions which specify the types of targets which may be purchased. First, as you might expect, all targets must be printed on recycled paper. Second, no target may contain any “hate speech” or “micro-aggressions”. Third, while targets may still show human silhouette-style outlines, any targets which depict a protected minority type or non-binary gender type are forbidden. Likewise, any target that shows discernable culture, religion, or national origin are forbidden. So, a target showing a bearded male wearing a turban would be forbidden. If you had such a target, the range owner would be required, under AB 211, to confiscate it. Shown below are two types of targets that would be illegal in California under AB 211. NOTE: It is unclear whether a zombie target would be allowed, if the Zombie is unknown gender, ethnicity, or culture.

Target Tax California Jerry Brown DOJ shot hole

Permalink News, Shooting Skills 41 Comments »
January 27th, 2018

Weatherby to Wyoming — California Loses Another Business

Weatherby leaves california Sheridan Wyoming Mark V rifle company factory WY

Weatherby Inc., a major name in the rifle business, is abandoning California, leaving the Golden State for friendlier climes in Wyoming. Based in Paso Robles, CA for many decades, Weatherby announced last week that it will relocate its production facilities and headquarters to Sheridan, Wyoming. The respected rifle manufacturer, founded in 1945, was welcomed by Wyoming state officials. In fact Wyoming Governor Matt Mead was present for Weatherby’s announcement, made at Shot Show 2018. By contrast, California’s state leaders, given their anti-gun bias, are no doubt happy to see Weatherby leave. The Democratic Party now controls both houses of California’s State Legislature, as well as the Governor’s office. Weatherby’s departure is just the latest exodus of a major firearms industry company from California. In the past year, Berger Bullets, now part of Capstone Precision Group, relocated from Southern California to Arizona.

Weatherby leaves california Sheridan Wyoming Mark V rifle company factory WY

“We wanted a place where we could retain a great workforce, and where our employees could live an outdoor lifestyle”, said Adam Weatherby, Chief Executive Officer. “We wanted to move to a state where we can grow into our brand. Wyoming means new opportunities. We are not interested in [just] maintaining — we are growing.”

Weatherby leaves california Sheridan Wyoming Mark V rifle company factory WY

Weatherby Leaves Hostile Political Environment
Is Weatherby’s Wyoming move all about dollars and cents? Not entirely. California has become increasingly hostile to firearms manufacturers. TheFireamRack.com’s Dan Zimmerman observes: “[Weatherby] wanted to do business in a state that isn’t at war with the very products they make. A state that respects the Second Amendment and won’t try to claw back every single cent it can wring out of businesses located there. So Weatherby made the entirely rational choice to take their company to a place that values what they do.”

The Wyoming Business Council heralded Weatherby’s relocation: “The move is expected to create 70 to 90 jobs and more than $5 million annually in payroll in the next five years.” Recognizing the benefits to Wyoming, Governor Matt Mead and the Business Council began recruiting Weatherby a year ago. Governor Mead declared: “Wyoming is a great place to do business and is excited to welcome Weatherby to Sheridan. For over 70 years, Weatherby has been an innovator in firearms design and manufacturing. The company will add to our manufacturing base and fit well with our diversification objectives.”

Weatherby leaves california Sheridan Wyoming Mark V rifle company factory WY

Weatherby will locate its new production facility in Sheridan, Wyoming. Sheridan is a beautiful location in Northern Wyoming, a verdant plain with mountains to the West. Sheridan has just under 18,000 residents. But there will be another 100 or so soon. Local County10 News reports: “Sources shared with County 10 that Weatherby, located in California since the mid 1940s, has been considering locating in a state with a more favorable pro-firearms industry culture and citing a frustration with California’s tax structure.”

Weatherby leaves california Sheridan Wyoming Mark V rifle company factory WY

Top Five Reasons Firearms Businesses Leave California

Weatherby leaves california Sheridan Wyoming Mark V rifle company factory WY1. High California Taxes. California’s Corporate Tax Rate is 8.84% — among the highest in the nation. Wyoming, by contrast, has ZERO state corporate taxes. California Sales Tax starts at 8% while Wyoming Sales Tax ranges from 4-6%. California was ranked 48th overall (third worst) in Tax Climate by the Tax Foundation. Wyoming was rated Number One Overall (best). This ranking considers corporate tax, personal income tax, sales tax, and property tax.

2. High Cost of Living in California (all factors). It is expensive to live in California. One Cost-of-Living index rated Paso Robles, CA 144.5 compared to 101.8 for Sheridan, Wyoming (higher is worse). Another Cost of Living Calculator states that, including housing, Paso Robles, CA is 41.9% more expensive than Sheridan, WY. Ironically, howevever, median income in the two cities is not that different: $28,358.00 for Paso Robles (CA) vs. $26,491.00 for Sheridan (WY). Money definitely goes farther in Wyoming. In terms of buying power, one study suggests a $35,535/year salary in Sheridan, WY equates to a $50,000/year salary in Paso Robles, CA.

3. Bad Roads and Infrastructure in California. Among all states, California has the fourth worst roads in the country with 50% of roads in “poor condition”. In fact, the Los Angeles Regional area road system has been deemed the worst in the nation according to a Federal Highway Administration Report. By contrast, Wyoming’s highway system was ranked number one, best in the USA, in the 21st Annual Reason.org Highway Report. And this was despite the fact that state gas taxes per gallon are much less in Wyoming than in California*. California’s roads and infrastructure are only going to get worse as the population grows.

4. Anti-Business California State Government. California is now a one-party state, with the Democratic Party controlling the State Senate, State Assembly, AND the Governor’s office. This has created an anti-business governmental culture, with a left-leaning bias. California also has many more business regulations, and more restrictive gun and ammo laws. The situation is unlikely to change because there is undeniable evidence of massive voter fraud in California which favors Democratic candidates. For example, in Los Angeles County “the total number of registered voters now stands at a number that is a whopping 144% of the total number of resident citizens of voting age”, according to Judicial Watch. 10 other California counties have significantly more registered voters than voting-age citizens. (SOURCE: Judicial Watch Report.)

5. Out-of-Control California Housing Costs. Coastal counties in California have some of the highest average home prices in the country. The median home price in Paso Robles, CA is $486,100. By contrast, the median home price in Sheridan, WY is $217,100 — well under HALF the California price! And rental housing is cheaper in Wyoming too. Median Rent in Paso Robles, CA is $2150.00 per month, while Median Rent in Sheridan, WY is $1250.00 per month.


* All five of the top-ranked states for highway system performance (Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, South Carolina and Kansas) have state gasoline taxes at or below the national average. Source:
Los Angeles Times.

Permalink Gunsmithing, News 7 Comments »
December 8th, 2017

Affordable Hard Cases for Valuable Rifles and Optics

gun fire plano hard case rifle scopeThis photo was taken from my driveway at 12:23 am on December 5th. The fire was one mile away. In the darkness I packed essentials and valuables, and prepared to leave my house to its fate.

This past week this Editor was near a major fire zone in California, a few hundred yards from the mandatory evacuation line. In preparation for the evacuation order, I packed my station wagon with important items, including some valuable rifles and scopes. When I finished loading, there was over $7000 worth of optics in the car — more than the blue-book value of the vehicle itself. That made me think carefully about gun cases and how one would want to transport high value, optics-equipped rifles both on the road and by air. Here are two gun cases that offer excellent protection at a very good price. Both these Plano cases are strong enough to survive rough airport baggage handlers, while cushioning your firearms in customizable, thick foam interiors. No they are NOT fire-proof, but they’ll help cradle your precious rifles and scopes while you get to a safe zone.

Plano 52″ Double Rifle Case with Wheels, $112.74

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 $115.00, 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 through airports and parking lots. This is a very tough, roomy case for the money (plus there’s Free Shipping for Amazon Prime members).

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

Plano 43″ All-Weather Tactical Gun Case (43″ Interior), $45.80

Plano rifle all weather tactical case bargain

This is one of the best available medium-sized, hard gun cases under $100.00. But with Amazon’s sale price now just $45.80 (with free Prime shipping), you can get TWO cases for under $100.00. MidwayUSA is also selling this case for $45.80, but shipping is extra. While designed for AR15s and tactical-style rifles, you can also fit longer-barreled rifles inside if you separate the barreled action from the stock (which, by the way, may be a good practice for airline travel.) This case is very tough and strong — offering protection like an SKB case for less than half the cost. The foam in the 43″-long interior is “pluckable” so it can be configured to fit your rifle. This case is a favorite with Amazon buyers, earning a full FIVE STARS with over 1600 buyer reviews. Here is a recent verified review: “Awesome case for the money $$. As good as other manufacturers wanting 4X the money. Highly recommend.” Strong enough for air travel, this case is pretty heavy for regular trips to the range. Consider the lighter-weight, top-opening Plano Air-Glide Case for basic transport of your rifle from home to the range.

Exterior Dimensions: 46″ x 16″ x 5.5″
Interior Dimensions: 43″ x 13″ x 5″
Features: Secure Draw-Down Latches, O-Ring Seal, Pressure Relief Valve, Customizable Foam

Other Emergency Evacuation Tips
When you must leave your home in an emergency, you need to be able to collect key records and valuables quickly. I wasted time locating important documents in three different rooms. So, I recommend you have a small, totable fire-resistant safe for your most vital items. This could normally be kept inside a larger Gun Safe, but always ready to “grab and go”. Here are some of the items you’ll want to keep in the smaller safe/security box:

Passports and IDs
Birth Certificates
Medical Plan ID Cards
House Insurance Documents
Vehicle Titles/Registrations
Important Prescriptions
Recent Tax Returns
Cash and Travelers’ Checks
Valuable Jewelry/Watches
Family Photos
Flash Drive with Photos

I strongly recommend that you walk through your house and take photos of all the valuable furniture, electronics, and heirlooms. This will be proof for your insurance. Even better, make a video with your smartphone as you walk through the house. Narrate descriptions of your valuable possessions/furniture in each room. For example I have one antique desk that is worth more than my car. You need evidence of ownership and quality. If possible, copy these photos/video to a flash-drive, which is kept in your “getaway” file safe.

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals 3 Comments »
September 16th, 2017

IBS Match Report: Visalia 3-Gun California Championship

IBS International Benchrest Shooters Visalia CA california match Boyd Allen
The Visalia Sportsman’s Association Dale Wimp Shooting Range — a great place to shoot.

Report by Boyd Allen | Photos and video by Pete Kitrinos
The IBS is in the West! The first International Benchrest Shooters (IBS) match at the Visalia, CA range was held over the recent Labor Day Weekend. Despite scorching 106° heat, many of the West’s top short-range benchrest shooters assembled for the first IBS-sanctioned match (after a 30-year history with the NBRSA) at the Visalia range. The mix of shooters included at least one Benchrest Hall of Fame member, as well as NBRSA record holders. Competitors were happy to return to Visalia, which had been closed for seven months while range improvements were made (some parts of the East berm were still under construction). With only two ranges in the entire state holding short range group matches, the temporary loss of Visalia had a significant impact. It was time to get back to business — the business of shooting tiny groups.

This video includes Aerial Drone footage of the range — worth watching!

Surrounded by fields, the Visalia Range is located in California’s Central Valley, a rich agricultural area.
IBS International Benchrest Shooters Visalia CA california match Boyd Allen

For about thirty years the California 3-Gun Benchrest Championship match has been held at the Visalia Sportsman’s Association Dale Wimp Range over Labor Day weekend. For all those years, the matches have been put on by local shooter and current club president Dennis Thornbury. During a good part of that time, he has also managed to keep his name in the NBRSA record book, and pick up four Benchrest Hall of Fame points, as well as having recently done a tour as NBRSA president. This year’s match is sanctioned by the IBS, a first at Visalia.

Don “The Pumpkin” Nielson used an action he fabricated, a “fat bolt” aluminum 3-lug with steel insert.
Visalia IBS Benchrest Rest

Dennis Thornbury has been putting on registered matches at the Visalia range for 30 years. He holds an NBRSA record, and has 4 Hall of Fame points.
IBS International Benchrest Shooters Visalia CA california match Boyd Allen

The format: On Saturday competitors shot 100 yards all day, Sporter in the morning, Light Varmint in the afternoon. The following day the morning competition was Heavy Varmint at 100 and at lunch the targets were moved to 200 yards with Heavy Varmint being shot that afternoon. On Monday, Labor Day, at 200 yards, Light Varmint was shot in the morning and Sporter in the afternoon. All three days consisted of five, 5-shot matches in the morning and five more in the afternoon.

Morning, Day 1 — Very few “daisy wheels”. This has been the trend for many years at this range.
IBS International Benchrest Shooters Visalia CA california match Boyd Allen

Getting down to business. Shown, from right to left: Henry Pinkney, Joe Stanovich, Steve Epstein, Keith Cottrell (face obscured), Jim Nicolas (standing).
IBS International Benchrest Shooters Visalia CA california match Boyd Allen

Sunday Top Shots: Jack Childers, Keith Cottrell, John Pierce, Lester Bruno, Dennis Thornbury, and Don Nielson. (Yes that’s a corn field in the background):
Visalia IBS Benchrest Rest

With the big temp changes between morning and afternoon, competitors were chasing powder loads all weekend. Small groups were hard to find, so only three “screamers” were recorded all weekend, and no teen Aggs. With the oppressive heat, attrition was also a factor: “We started with 30 shooters, and ended with just 21 competitors”.

Temperatures were in the triple digits for Saturday and Sunday, backing off to the high 90s on Monday. High humidity made it feel even hotter — heat stress was a definite issue. Even the rifles seemed to be at less than their best, causing very light wind conditions to produce Aggregates that were larger than the observed wind conditions would lead one to expect. Wind was generally light and switchy. Lighter mornings with wind increasing slightly through the days. Sunday saw more wind than the other two days after ten o’clock or so.

Loading benches with the usual clutter. Note the LabRadar chronograph on a bench at the firing line. Lawrence Weisdorn tracked his velocities during the match to know when a powder charge adjustment was needed.
IBS International Benchrest Shooters Visalia CA california match Boyd Allen

Top Shooters: The Top Five in the 3-Gun (HV, LV, and Sporter) Championship were: Keith Cottrell (.2534), John Pierce (.2695), Dennis Thornbury (.2714), Art Kawai (.2885), and Rich Shaw (.3016). Winners of the Class Grand Aggs were Dennis Thornbury (HV .2424), Lester Bruno (LV .2400), and Keith Cottrell (Sporter .2395). CLICK HERE for full Match Results.

Visalia IBS Benchrest Rest

Equipment List for Top Five Shooters
Visalia IBS Benchrest Rest

You can use a LabRadar during competition. This was Lawrence Weisdorn’s set-up at Visalia.
IBS International Benchrest Shooters Visalia CA california match Boyd Allen

Benchrest Technique — How to Shoot at Visalia
This range is built a bit like a large bathtub, dug into a flat field with the excavated earth thrown up in steep berms on three sides. This configuration and the usual lack of strong winds creates a lot of thermal-generated switchiness with flags changing direction often and very little agreement within any shooter’s set. This places a high premium on visual memory and the ability to judge equivalent conditions, because duplicates are almost never seen. Although the opportunity to run groups can happen, this is mostly a “pickers” range, which places a high premium on visual memory.

Visalia IBS Benchrest Rest

Facilities at Visalia Sportsman’s Association Range
There are 28 monolithic, steel-reinforced, concrete benches (poured in place, base and top all one pour). The reloading area is behind the benches with most of it on the same level as the benches. There are permanent (fixed position) tables that have laminate tops, except for where the range house sits, mid-range, with a “wailing wall” along its east and north sides. The direction of fire is north. The benches are under a slightly pitched metal roof that has recently been extended so that it has a good amount of overhang in front of the benches. Electricity is available in the reloading area and there are a few electrical outlets in the parking lot for RVs. There are both steps and a wheelchair ramp connecting parking lot to the reloading level and the shooting level.

Visalia IBS Benchrest Rest

Field of (Benchrest) Dreams — Precision Shooting Among the California Corn Fields.
Visalia IBS Benchrest Rest

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »
August 23rd, 2017

Seventy Years of Sierra Bullets — The Company History

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

On August 22, 2017 it was announced that Sierra Bullets has been sold to Clarus Corporation (NASDAQ: CLAR), a Utah-based holding company that also owns Black Diamond Equipment Ltd., makers of ski and mountain gear/apparel. Given the importance of this acquisition, we thought our readers might want to learn more about Sierra’s history, and how it makes its bullets…

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

Sierra bullet sale Clarus Corporation

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.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 2 Comments »
June 28th, 2017

Warning to Californians — Magazine Ban Takes Effect July 1st

California gun law magazine ban Prop 63

BREAKING NEWS (6:13 pm, 6/29/17) — Federal Court grants Preliminary Injunction. Attorneys for the California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA), supported by the NRA, obtained an injunction in the case of Duncan v. Becerra, a federal lawsuit[.] The injunction prevents California from enforcing new laws prohibiting possession of magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds, while the case is pending. The ban was set to take effect on July 1, 2017. In granting the injunction, Judge Benitez held that Plaintiffs are likely to succeed in this lawsuit because “public safety interest may not eviscerate the Second Amendment”. The Order Granting Preliminary Injunction preserves the “status quo” while the constitutionality of the law is decided by the Court.

Here is a very important notice for our readers in California. As of July 1, 2017 it will be illegal to own ANY firearm magazine that holds more than 10 cartridges or rounds. It does not matter if the “full-capacity” magazines were acquired legally. There is NO Grandfather provision. Mere possession will become illegal. Counting today, June 28th, you have just three (3) more days to destroy your 10+ round magazines, render them permanently inoperable, sell them to a licensed dealer, surrender them to a law enforcement agency, or ship them out of California.

The July 1st magazine ban is the result of a patchwork of new laws passed by the California Legislature as well as Proposition 63, a deceptively-promoted initiative approved by voters last November. There are lawsuits currently challenging the magazine ban. It is possible that a temporary injunction halting the effect of the magazine ban might be ordered by a court in the “eleventh hour”. But don’t count on it — in a related case, a federal judge in Sacramento recently denied an injunction. Bottom line: if you reside in California and own/possess ANY mags that hold more than ten rounds, you need to find a solution… and find it fast.

There are probably hundreds of thousands of Californians who currently own magazines that hold more than ten rounds. The effect of the new laws will turn these law-abiding citizens into criminals. The Sacramento Bee newspaper explains:

Sweeping new gun laws passed last year by California voters and legislators require those with magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition to get rid of them by July 1.

The question is: How many of California’s 6 million-plus gun owners are actually going to comply, even though violators face potential jail time if they’re caught?

Talk to gun owners, retailers and pro-gun sheriffs across California and you’ll get something akin to an eye roll when they’re asked if gun owners are going to voluntarily part with their property because Democratic politicians and voters who favor gun control outnumber them and changed the law.

In conservative, pro-gun Redding this week, Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko joked that gun owners were lining the block to hand their magazines in to the sheriff’s office (In reality, no one has turned one in). He said his deputies won’t be aggressively hunting for large-capacity magazines starting next month.

“We’re not going to be knocking on anybody’s door looking for them,” Bosenko said. “We’re essentially making law-abiding citizens into criminals with this new law.”

Incrementalism — How Freedom Is Lost
It has been illegal to purchase magazines with 10+ capacity for quite some time in California. However, it remained completely legal to possess and use such magazines which were lawfully obtained before the magazine-capacity limits were imposed in the year 2000: “California banned the sale of high-capacity detachable magazines in 2000, but it remained legal to possess them, except in cities such as San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles and Sunnyvale that enacted local bans. That changed this fall when voters and lawmakers passed overlapping gun laws that require Californians, with limited exceptions, to give up any magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds.” Source: Sacramento Bee.

Is the Mag Ban an Unconstitutional “Taking”?
Because the new magazine laws provide no compensation to mag owners for what is effectively the confiscation of their property, it can be argued that California’s magazine ban is an unconstitutional “taking” depriving citizens of their property without due process. This is one of the arguments that is being used in court by the NRA and other gun rights organizations challenging the controversial magazine ban which goes into effect July 1, 2017.

Permalink Handguns, News 6 Comments »
May 1st, 2017

Lawsuit Challenges California Magazine Laws in Federal Court

California CA magazine ban law lawsuit Prop 63 Second Amendment Foundation

The Second Amendment Foundation, joined by several other groups and individuals, has filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in California, challenging that state’s laws prohibiting the possession, use or acquisition of so-called “large capacity magazines,” calling the state’s bans on magazines “hopelessly vague and ambiguous.”

Joining SAF are the Calguns Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation and six individuals including one retired California peace officer. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

The lawsuit raises a constitutional challenge to California Penal Code § 32310, as recently amended by Senate Bill 1446 and Proposition 63, and Penal Code § 32390 (the “Large-Capacity Magazine Ban”). Collectively those laws require Californians to relinquish, forfeit, or destroy lawfully-obtained full capacity magazines. The penalties for non-compliance are severe. The lawsuit alleges that if these measures are enforced as applied, they would “individually and collectively prohibit law-abiding citizens from continuing to possess, use, or acquire lawfully-owned firearms, in common use for lawful purposes such as self-defense (inside and outside the home), competition, sport, and hunting.”

“What we see in the enactment of such laws,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “is continued erosion by the state of its citizens’ Constitutional rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment. When the U.S. Supreme Court incorporated the Second Amendment to the states via the 14th Amendment under the 2010 McDonald ruling, it automatically should have stopped this kind of prohibition.

“As we state in our lawsuit,” he continued, “this magazine ban fails to provide fair or even adequate notice to law-abiding gun owners of what they may do with their personal property without being subject to criminal sanctions. In effect, this ban amounts to a backdoor form of confiscation, in part, of bearable arms that are protected by the Constitution.”

“Enforcement of this ban,” Gottlieb concluded, “would immediately place thousands of law-abiding California gun owners in jeopardy of criminal liability and subjects their personal property to forfeiture, seizure and permanent confiscation, which is government taking, without due process or compensation. We cannot allow that to go unchallenged.”

The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

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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

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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

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