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.
Permalink Handguns, News 12 Comments »
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.

Permalink News 8 Comments »
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.

Permalink News 16 Comments »
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.

Permalink News 8 Comments »
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.”

Permalink News 8 Comments »
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.

Permalink - Videos 15 Comments »
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 »
March 18th, 2014

Miculek Tests California Politician’s “.30-Caliber Magazine Clip”

In the video below, California State Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) advocates anti-gun legislation at a press conference. Sen. de León makes a series of blunders and mistakes. He confuses magazine capacity with the rifle’s bore size, referring to “.30 caliber” when in fact the gun is a .223/5.56mm. He then says it “has the ability with a 30-caliber clip [sic] to disperse with 30 bullets within half a second. Thirty magazine clip [sic] in half a second”. We think Sen. de León means that the gun fires 30 rounds in 0.5 seconds, but even that is preposterous — as legendary shooter Jerry Miculek recently demonstrated.

Jerry Miculek Magazine Clip California Senator AR15Miculek Tries to Shoot 30 Rounds in Half a Second with .30-Caliber Magazine Clip
Jerry Miculek watched Senator de León’s press conference — but Jerry was confused by the politician’s reference to a .30-caliber magazine clip. But being a fierce competitor, Jerry was intrigued by the idea of a gun that could shoot 30 rounds in half a second — such a weapon could improve his split times considerably Jerry figured. So, with a rubber band and a little duct tape, Jerry assembled a “.30-caliber magazine clip” and then tried it out in his AR15. Hoping to achieve de León’s promised 30 rounds in 0.5 seconds, Jerry gave it a go.

Pulling the trigger as fast as he could, Jerry managed to put 4 rounds on target in half a second. That’s a far cry from 30 rounds in half a second (3600 rounds per minute). Jerry observes: “Apparently the enhancement of the .30-caliber clip on the magazine didn’t make me a better shooter so I’m kind of disappointed.”

After this little exercise, Jerry cautions that we should be wary of politicians who may make factually incorrect claims about firearms. “Being a gun enthusiast, when I hear politicians talk about firearms, I listen with an open ear. So I really paid attention to this individual and what he was trying to say. He referred to a .30-caliber magazine clip — so I tried to assemble all that just the way I heard it.”

Permalink - Videos, News 3 Comments »
February 3rd, 2014

Firearms Industry Challenges California Micro-Stamping Law

On January 9, 2014, the NSSF and SAAMI filed suit seeking to invalidate and enjoin California’s micro-stamping statute, which was codified in 2007, but not implemented until late in 2013. In the commentary below, NSSF Senior VP and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane explains the reasons gun industry groups have filed suit to enjoin California’s micro-stamping requirement.

Manufacturers Now Acting — Second Amendment Rights Are in the Balance
by Larry Keane

It was inevitable given the unconstitutional and unworkable governmental overreach now under way in the State of California. Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co., two of the most recognized names in American firearms manufacturing, have confirmed that they are being forced to stop selling new or improved models of semiautomatic handguns in California because it is simply impossible to comply with the state’s microstamping law. That law became effective last year and applies to all new models of pistols introduced to the California market. Read the Smith & Wesson Statement. Sturm, Ruger & Co. also said it will stop new sales there.

Microstamping New York

On Jan. 9, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) filed a lawsuit on behalf of our respective members against the State of California in Fresno Superior Court challenging the state’s microstamping law. NSSF and SAAMI are seeking to invalidate and enjoin enforcement of provisions of state law enacted in 2007, but not made effective until May 2013, requiring that all semiautomatic pistols sold in the state not already on the California approved handgun roster contain unproven and unreliable microstamping technology.

Under this law, firearms manufacturers would have to micro laser-engrave a gun’s make, model and serial number on two distinct parts of each gun, including the firing pin so that, in theory, this information would be imprinted on the cartridge casing when the pistol is fired.

As I said when we announced this important legal challenge, there is simply no existing microstamping technology that will reliably, consistently and legibly imprint the required identifying information by a semiautomatic handgun on the ammunition it fires. The holder of the patent for this technology himself has written that there are problems with it and that further study is warranted before it is mandated. A National Academy of Science review, forensic firearms examiners and a University of California at Davis study reached the same conclusion and the technical experts in the firearms industry agree.

Manufacturers can not comply with a law the provisions of which are invalid, that cannot be enforced and that will not contribute to improving public safety. As a result, NSSF and SAAMI are seeking both declaratory and injunctive relief against this back-door attempt to prevent the sale of new semiautomatic handguns to law-abiding citizens in California.

In 2007, over our industry’s strenuous objections, California Assembly Bill 1471 was passed and signed into law requiring microstamping on internal parts of new semiautomatic pistols. We had called for a federal study of microstamping rather than a one-state mandate for this flawed, unreliable and easily defeated technology.

The legislation provided that this requirement would only became effective if the California Department of Justice certified that the microstamping technology is available to more than one manufacturer unencumbered by patent restrictions. The California legislature subsequently reorganized certain statutes concerning the regulation of firearms, including the microstamping law in 2010. On May 17, 2013, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris provided such certification despite the fact that peer-reviewed research proved microstamping does not work.

We predicted in 2007 that the passage of AB 1471 would lead to a de facto semiautomatic handgun ban. Now that the law has become effective, that ban has begun to roll forward.

See the NSSF Fast Facts on Microstamping for additional background.

The eyes of the nation are now turning to California. The national media has begun to take notice. This situation is not only about a consumer’s right to select the handguns with the latest features, or the aforementioned inability of manufacturers to comply with an unworkable law, the Constitutional, Second Amendment stakes are very high. You will want to stay tuned.

Permalink News 2 Comments »
January 22nd, 2014

Ignorant California Legislator Calls for New Gun-Control Laws

If you have wondered why so many gun control laws are illogical, impractical, and misguided, here’s one simple answer. The politicians who draft these laws may be misinformed, misguided, and well, just plain ignorant. Here’s proof. In the video below, California State Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) advocates anti-gun legislation at a press conference. Sen. de León makes a series of blunders and mistakes. He confuses magazine capacity with the rifle’s bore size, referring to “.30 caliber” when in fact the gun is a .223/5.56mm. He then says it “has the ability with a 30-caliber clip [sic] to disperse with 30 bullets within half a second. Thirty magazine clip [sic] in half a second”. We think he means that the gun fires 30 rounds in 0.5 seconds, but even that is preposterous. Have a good look at the kind of politician that is writing California’s laws these days. Would you trust this guy to park your car, much less protect your Constitutional rights?

To be honest, we don’t know why Sen. de León believes new legislation is needed to ban this “Ghost Gun”? This firearm* is already restricted under existing California law. It also appears to be a short-barreled rifle (SBR), meaning that it is already regulated as a Class III firearm in all fifty states. (In the United States, it is a federal felony to possess an SBR without fling a BATFE Form 4, and paying a $200 tax to the BATFE.) As one web journalist observes: “It’s hard to trust Democrats when they say completely… inept things like this.”

*The term “Ghost Gun” has been used to describe plastic guns that evade metal detectors, and/or arms built from 80% lowers or unregistered receivers. But it is already against the law in California to create or sell a functioning AR15-type rifle that carries no serial number.

Permalink - Videos, News 12 Comments »
January 3rd, 2014

Texas and California Lead Online Ammo Sales

Texas is a haven for hunters and shooting enthusiasts, so we’re not surprised that the Lone Star State leads the nation in online ammo sales. However, you might be surprised that California, with its liberal, anti-gun politicians, is a close second. Yes, California was the second-most active source of online ammo purchases in 2013, according to statistics from LuckyGunner.com, one of the nation’s leading online ammo vendors. In fact, California was number one in 2012. For 2013, Texas edged California for the top spot, followed by Florida, Michigan, and (surprise) New York.

online ammo sales

online ammo sales

More Online Ammo Buyers are Using Mobile Devices (Tablets and Smart Phones)
More and more people are connecting to the internet via mobile devices. And, apparently, they are using those devices to shop for ammo. Luckygunner.com saw a significant increase in orders from mobile devices in 2013. Fully 22.7% of Luckygunner’s visits were made via mobile devices in 2013, compared to 18.8% in the preceding year. AccurateShooter.com has seen a similar rise in the number of visitors connecting to our site via mobile devices (particularly smartphones).

online ammo sales

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 1 Comment »
December 31st, 2013

Californians Race to Buy Long Guns Before Registry Takes Effect

California Gun RegistrationCalifornians have one more day left before Long Gun Registration takes effect. Starting on January 1, 2014, every long gun sold in California must be registered in a permanent State government database. With the threat of registration looming, Californians are lining up in record numbers to purchase rifles and shotguns. At many gun stores, sales of long guns are up 30-50% compared to last year, as Californians try to “get their guns” before mandatory registration takes effect.

Under current law, a Californian (with no criminal history) may purchase a rifle or shotgun, subject to a 10-day waiting period. At least in theory, once the background check was approved, the gun store owner could destroy the sales record. However, that will change under the terms of AB 809, passed in 2011. AB 809 mandated that, starting in 2014, California shall maintain a permanent record of all new long guns purchased within the state.

Under the new law, each new long gun must be registered. A state firearms registry will track the make, model and serial number of the gun, as well as the person who owns it. In effect, long guns will be treated like handguns, with every gun sold being recorded for all eternity in a state database. According to CBS News: “Previously dealers would destroy personal information on long gun owners after a background check had been completed. Now they’ll register those purchases with the state.”

The new law also imposes new restrictions on the sale of previously-owned long arms (i.e. rifles and shotguns). Now, every time a long gun changes hands, the firearm must be added to the State firearm registry. Previously, nearly all long gun transactions needed to be carried out through an FFL, however, there was no additional registration requirement. After January 1, 2014, when a long gun is transfered via the FFL, it must then be registered. CBS News states: “Guns currently in existence, including heirloom weapons that have been handed down from one generation of family members to the next, will have to be registered for the first time when they next change hands.”

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November 11th, 2013

The .300 WSM — Next Big Thing in F-Open Competition?

Earlier this month, Forum Member Steven Blair won the California Long-Range Championship (F-Open Class) shooting a .300 WSM. Here Steve explains the advantages of the .300 WSM cartridge in long-range competition. Steve also discusses the learning process required to shoot the stout-recoiling .300 WSM successfully. Steve cautions: “It took me months to learn how to shoot my .300 WSM rifle well”.

The Argument for the .300 WSM as an F-Open Cartridge
by Steven Blair
There has been much interest lately regarding .300 WSM (Winchester Short Magnum) in F-Open competition. The cartridge is already well-established in 1000-yard benchrest and has been used successfully in F-Open, notably by Derek Rodgers to win the 2010 National Championship. Derek used, as do most .300 WSM BR shooters, a 210-grain bullet.

Steven Blair F-Class F-Open Raton New MexicoThe .300 WSM is a modern design, short and fat with a 35° shoulder. It is a slightly rebated and beltless magnum, capable of approaching .300 Winchester Magnum performance with notably less powder. It has an excellent accuracy reputation and I’ve found it very easy to tune.

Berger introduced the outstanding .30-caliber, 230-grain Hybrid bullet in 2011. This bullet ballistically eclipses all others, caliber .30 and under. Berger rates it as G7 .380 and G1 .743. Trimmed and pointed, the B.C., estimated from elevation adjustments at 300, 600, and 1000 yards, increases to G7 .410. It is also an exceptionally accurate bullet.

The combination of these two items, .300 WSM cases and Berger 230gr Hybrid bullets, and their application to long range F-Class, is what I will discuss in this article.

VOICE FILE: Click Button to hear Steven Blair Explain How to Master the .300 WSM.

.300 WSM Brass — Choices are largely limited to Norma, Winchester and Remington (Lapua, are you listening?). Since I have only used Winchester and Norma brass, I won’t discuss Remington brass, which may also be a viable choice. I found Norma brass to be exceptionally good and have seen no evidence of short life that I’ve heard elsewhere. Winchester brass can produce results equal to Norma, if first sorted, culled, and prepped. There is a significant price difference between the two brands. It is worth noting that Norma manufactures both .270 WSM and .300 WSM brass. Either can be used. Winchester makes .270 WSM, 7mm WSM, .300 WSM, and .325 WSM brass. Again, any can be used but 7mm WSM requires pushing the shoulder back. The other three have the same shoulder dimension.

Bullet Selection — My approach is to use the highest B.C. bullet available that is accurate. As mentioned above, the hands-down, .30-caliber winner is Berger’s 230gr Hybrid. My loads using 230gr Hybrids produce approximately 2865 fps from 34″ barrels. In order to equal the 1000-yard, 10 mph wind deflection, 215 Hybrids must be run at 3030 fps, a fairly stiff load. By contrast, 7mm 180gr Hybrids must start at 3100 fps, not reliably achievable in most conditions. Lapua now makes a 220gr Scenar-L that Erik Cortina has shot a fair bit and reports that it is very accurate. It has a similar profile to the Sierra 220gr MatchKing, another possible candidate, albeit with much lower B.C. than Berger’s mighty 230gr Hybrid.

Steven Blair F-Class F-Open Raton New Mexico

Barrel Life — After 1126 and 936 rounds shot at F-Class cadence in two barrels, my best guess is at least 2000 rounds accurate barrel life. The barrels look better than any of my .284 Shehane barrels at this point.


Steven Blair F-Class F-Open Raton New Mexico
Steven Blair F-Class F-Open Raton New Mexico

Steven Blair F-Class F-Open Raton New MexicoF-Open Rig with Tuner
Steve’s .300 WSM rifle features a BAT 3-lug action (with integral recoil lug and +20 MOA rail), in a Manners F-Class stock. The barrel is a 34″, 1.25″-straight contour Krieger or Brux fitted with an Erik Cortina 1.25″-diameter tuner (shown at right — note Index Marks). Other hardware includes a Bix ‘n Andy trigger, and Nightforce 12-42x56mm NXS scope (NP-R1 reticle). Some of these components were chosen to aid tracking (given the additional recoil). The rifle weighs 21 pounds, 13.5 ounces — just under the 22-pound F-Open limit.


Accuracy and Tuning Ease — The .300 WSM tunes more easily and is more tolerant than any of the four 6mmBR barrels I’ve shot. It is the most accurate large-caliber cartridge I know. A number of 1000-yard benchrest records were set with the cartridge and my experience reinforces that. During my .300 WSM load development, several 100-yard, five-shot groups were in the “ones”, no mean feat for a rifle pushing 230 grains at nearly 3000 fps. The load tolerance window, the powder charge spread where velocity, ES and accuracy are relatively constant, is 0.8 grains in my loading. That means the same load can be fired confidently in many conditions.

Exterior Ballistics — The extent to which the big bullet reduces wind deflection and vertical movement must be experienced to appreciate. I shoot against 7mm cartridges ranging from .284 Win to 7mm WSM, no slouches among them. When they are blown into the 9 Ring, I stay in the 10 Ring. When range vertical pushes them up or down to lose a point, I see it, too, but don’t drop points. However, there is nothing magic about it. The shooter still must point the gun at the right place. The mistakes just cost less and, since F-Class is an Aggregate game, the point spread will accumulate.

Recoil — This is the big downside of the .300 WSM + 230gr Hybrid combination. My rifle weighs 2½ ounces shy of 22 pounds and still pushes me around. My early testing was done with a load that produced 2950 fps. I still cannot shoot it well. The load is very accurate but I cannot manage the recoil consistently. At 2865 fps, it is manageable but always requires careful attention to body position, shoulder pressure, front rest setup, rear bag characteristics and other ergonomic factors. I have learned that shooting a rig with this much recoil places more emphasis on the factors our sling brothers and sisters have managed for many years. It took me months to learn how to shoot the rifle well. I fired over 1000 rounds before I began to feel comfortable. Persist, the results are worth it.

Summary — If you are willing to put the effort into learning how to shoot the cartridge and have a reasonable recoil tolerance, the investment will pay dividends. My scores have increased and become more consistent. My confidence in the rifle has also increased, no small matter in a game with many mental aspects. Be prepared for what could be a long learning curve. If all that sounds like too much, one of the 7mm cartridges is pretty close and certainly competitive in the right hands. My choice, given all the factors listed above, is .300 WSM.

Left to Right: RCBS Chargemaster, Hoover meplat trimmer, Omega trickler, Sartorius GD-503 scale.Steven Blair F-Class F-Open Raton New Mexico

Steven Blair has competed in F-Class competition since December of 2010 and F-Open since November of 2011. He placed fifth in the F-Class National Championship this year and is the two-time winner of both the California Long Range F-Class Championship and Twentynine Palms Long Range Regional. Steve shoots on Team Lapua.

Steven Blair F-Class F-Open Raton New Mexico

Steve says the .300 WSM may offer an advantage at long range: “The weekend of 2-3 November, I won my second straight California Long Range F-Class Championship. Last year, my .284 Shehane performed well against strong competition. This year, the .300 WSM provided a ballistic edge that certainly gained a few additional points. My final 991-50X was at least partly due to the excellent ballistics and accuracy the big cartridge provided.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Reloading 7 Comments »
October 12th, 2013

Semi-Auto Ban Vetoed in California, But Lead Ammo Ban Approved

governor jerry brown californiaWe have good news and bad news for California gun owners and hunters. The good news is that California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed SB 374. The bad news is that Gov. Brown also signed AB 711 which bans the use of lead-containing ammunition for hunting. Gov. Brown surprised many people with his veto of SB 374, a sweeping ban on virtually all semi-automatic centerfire rifles with any kind of detachable magazine. Had it become law, SB 374 would have banned the sale and transfer of hundreds of rifle types, including many classic hunting rifles with 3- or 4-round flush-mount detachable magazines. In addition, SB 374 would have banned historic military rifles such as the M1 Garand, and M1 Carbine, which are prized by collectors and widely used in vintage rifle events and CMP shooting matches.

In his Veto Message, Gov. Brown stated:

I am returning Senate Bill 374 without my signature.

The State of California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, including bans on military-style assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

While the author’s intent is to strengthen these restrictions, this bill goes much farther by banning any semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine. This ban covers low-capacity rifles that are commonly used for hunting, firearms training, and marksmanship practice, as well as some historical and collectible firearms. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of current gun owners would have to register their rifles as assault weapons and would be banned from selling or transferring them in the future.

I don’t believe that this bill’s blanket ban on semi-automatic rifles would reduce criminal activity or enhance public safety enough to warrant this infringement on gun owners’ rights.

Governor Brown Signs Eleven Bills Targeting Gun Owners
In addition to vetoing the expanded “assault weapons” ban, Brown vetoed six other bills relating to firearms: SB299, SB475, SB567, SB755, AB169, and AB180. Again, that sounds good. However, at the same time, Gov. Brown signed eleven other bills that will affect California gun owners:

    SB 171 – Patient threats must be reported by psychotherapists to police within one day.

    SB 363 – New penalties for storing loading guns where they may be improperly accessed.

    SB 683 – Requires long gun owners to obtain safety certificates.

    AB 48 – Bans magazine conversion kits increasing capacity.

    AB 170 – Disallows organizational permits for “assault weapons”, and .50 BMG.

    AB 231 – Criminalizes leaving a gun where child might use it without permission.

    AB 500 – Imposes further rules on gun storage; expands DOJ background check times.

    AB 558 – FFLs must provide Record of Sale to gun buyers.

    AB 539 – Permits disallowed persons to temporarily transfer guns to FFL.

    AB 711 – Bans lead ammunition for all hunting activities.

    AB 1131 – 5-year gun prohibition for people who have revealed threat to psychiatrist.

Bill Banning Use of Lead-Containing Ammunition for Hunting
AB 711, the lead ammunition ban, will create real problems for California hunters as it is “phased in” over the next few years. There are no lead-free bullets readily available for many cartridge/caliber types. Critics of AB 711 have called this “a ban on hunting disguised as an ammunition ban”.

Summary of Key Provisions of AB 711:
Existing California law requires that nonlead centerfire rifle and pistol ammunition be used when taking big game with a rifle or pistol, as defined by the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s hunting regulations, and when taking coyote, within specified deer hunting zones, but excluding specific counties and areas.

This bill would instead require, as soon as is practicable, but by no later than July 1, 2019, the use of nonlead ammunition for the taking of all wildlife, including game mammals, game birds, nongame birds, and nongame mammals, with any firearm. The bill would require the commission to certify, by regulation, nonlead ammunition for these purposes. The bill would require that these requirements be fully implemented statewide by no later than July 1, 2019.

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October 4th, 2013

65,000 Letters Ask California Governor to Veto Anti-Gun Bills

On October 3rd, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) Managing Director Brandon Combs, joined by California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (CAL-FFL) Legislative Advocate Craig DeLuz, delivered 65,000 letters from individuals urging California Governor Jerry Brown to veto the 14 gun control bills currently on his desk. The gun bills include SB 374, a sweeping ban on semi-automatic rifles, as well as laws that would ban firearm repair parts, handgun sales, lead ammunition for hunting, and exempt the City of Oakland from longstanding state laws that preempt dangerous localized gun registration schemes, among others. SB 374 outlaws virtually all self-loading centerfire rifles with detachable magazines, regardless of magazine capacity. Even common hunting rifles with 3-rd flush mags are banned.

“65,000 letters sends a very loud-and-clear message: Californians just don’t want these horrible new laws,” said CAL-FFL’s DeLuz of the tremendous response by California gun owners. FPC’s Brandon Combs said that that the fight is far from over and noted that people should keep calling and writing the Governor’s office every day. “We encourage all gun owners and Second Amendment supporters to send Governor Brown a letter through our fast, easy, and free gun rights activism tools at www.DemandRights.com.” “We will keep printing, faxing, and emailing letters to Governor Brown until the very end,” continued Combs. “Gun owners simply must keep up the pressure for these final few days.” Governor Brown has until October 14, 2013 to sign or veto the bills. Bills that are not vetoed will become state law. Governor Brown’s State Capitol office phone number is (916) 445-2841. You can email the Governor via this webpage: http://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php.

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September 11th, 2013

California Legislators Approve Ban on All Self-Loading Centerfire Rifles with Detachable Magazines — Bill Goes to Governor

Yesterday (August 10th), the California Assembly, on a 44-31 vote, approved SB 374, which bans the sale (or transfer) of ALL semi-automatic centerfire rifles that can accept a detachable magazine of any kind (no matter what the capacity). Californians who possess such rifles would be required to register them with the State, for a fee, prior to January 1, 2015. Since SB 374 has already passed the California State Senate, this bill, after conforming amendments in the Senate, is expected to go to Governor Jerry Brown for signature within a few weeks.

Rem Remington 750 deer rifle SB 374 california assault weapon ban

The scope of SB 374 is sweeping. It bans all self-loading centerfire rifles capable of using a detachable magazine, regardless of magazine capacity (or placement). The operative language of SB 374 with respect to magazines is an awkward double-negative. But the intent is clear — if a semi-auto centerfire rifle can accept a detachable magazine AT ALL, it is banned:

SECTION 1. Section 30515 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
30515. (a) Notwithstanding Section 30510, “assault weapon” also means any of the following:
(1) A semiautomatic centerfire rifle that does not have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept no more than 10 rounds.

The way we interpret this, a semi-automatic with ANY kind of detachable magazine (even a one-rounder) would be banned. This would outlaw a wide variety of commonly-used hunting rifles fitted with flush-mounted 3-, and 4-round ‘pop-out’ magazines. This would outlaw the classic Remington 750 deer rifle, for example. It would outlaw M1 Garands which have an 8-round en bloc clip. And if you already own an M1 Garand, you would have to register it with the state government. (Under other legislation in the works in Sacramento, all ‘bullet button’ ARs would also be banned.)

Other observers read SB 374 the way we do — that it bans any and all centerfire rifles that can take a detachable magazine (of any capacity). Ammoland states that SB 374 will “eliminate the future sale, purchase, manufacture, importation and possession of semi-automatic rifles that can accept detachable magazines. No more mini-14s, no more ARs, no more M1s, and say goodbye to your Remington 750 for deer hunting. [T]he goal is clear – if it is a rifle and has a detachable magazine, then forget about owning one.”

California Legislative Counsel’s Digest
SB 374, as amended, Steinberg. Firearms: assault weapons.

Existing law regulates the sale, carrying, and control of firearms, including assault weapons, and requires assault weapons to be registered with the Department of Justice. Violation of these provisions is a crime. Existing law defines a semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and other specified features and a semiautomatic weapon that has a fixed magazine with a capacity to accept 10 or more rounds as an assault weapon.

This bill would, instead, classify a semiautomatic centerfire rifle that does not have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept no more than 10 rounds as an assault weapon. The bill would require a person who, between Jan. 1, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2013, inclusive, lawfully possessed an assault weapon that does not have a fixed magazine, including those weapons with an ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with the use of a tool, and who, on or after Januarry 1, 2014, possesses that firearm, to register the firearm by July 1, 2015. By expanding the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

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