September 2nd, 2013

NSSF Leads Fight Against Statewide Lead Bullet Ban in California

bullet ban lead california ab 711A lead-free “utopia” where bullets are banned and hunting is, for all practical purposes, eliminated — that’s apparently what some legislators want California to become. California Assembly Bill AB 711 would completely ban the use of traditional lead ammunition for hunting anywhere in the state. What’s more, many legislators acknowledge that this ban could, in the near future, be applied to all shooting sports in the Golden State. If you can’t buy bullets, you can’t shoot — and that seems to be the real agenda.

NSSF has purchased billboards in the Sacramento area to urge opposition to AB 711 and has been airing radio commercials that reveal the role of the anti-hunting groups behind this ill-conceived legislation. This week, the opposition to AB 711 was joined by a major state labor organization. NSSF urges all California hunters, target shooters and gun owners to contact their state legislators to oppose AB 711.

To understand more about the issue, read a well-reasoned editorial published in the Outdoor Wire. Even non-Californians should be concerned, because other states might follow California’s lead in the future. And AB 711 is not the only serious anti-gun measure on the table. In addition to AB 711, several other highly restrictive measures are in the works. Proposed legislation would place ALL semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines on California’s list of banned “assault weapons”. Another bill would block Californians from purchasing long guns unless purchasers pass a state-mandated written test.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News No Comments »
August 19th, 2013

Long Range Champion SSG Ty Cooper — How He Got Started

Story by Lars Dalseide for NRABlog
It was a close one for SSG Tyrel Cooper. He’s been close before at NRA’s National Long Range High Power Rifle Championships in Camp Perry, but not as close as this. Not so close that his overall point total of 1243, while impressive, was not good enough to win. It was only good enough for a tie. Thank god for the X count. With an X count of of 71, Cooper inched by fellow U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) teammate Brandon Keith Green by seven whole points. Talk about the skin of your teeth. “It’s been a long time coming,” said Cooper — Fourteen years to be exact.

Falling in love with High Powered Rifles
Cooper wasn’t raised on rifles. No, he was just your typical California kid on the streets of Sacramento. It wasn’t until a 14 year-old Ty accompanied his father to the Police and Fire Games that he discovered a passion for firearms.

“I tagged along with Dad to a high power rifle match. We ran into Jim O’Connell at the practice range. He asked if I wanted to shoot one of his ARs. After a little prodding, I did and instantly fell in love. I ended up pulling targets for the rest of the match. That’s when I decided it was better to be pulling triggers than pulling targets.”

Working odd jobs and hoarding the cash, Cooper eventually saved enough for an AR of his own. Now all he needed was a place to shoot. California, contrary to popular opinion, would provide.

“There are a lot of real good shooters who come out of California,” said Cooper. “They have one of the best high power teams in the country right now. Norman Mayo, Tom Whittaker, and Bob Gustin (3rd in this year’s Long Range High Power Championships) all came out of California. We use to shoot at the same club in Sacramento. “I grew up watching him (Gustin) shoot, wishing one day I’d be like him.”

A path to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s Long Range Rifle Team
The rest of Cooper’s teenage years were spent competing. With his father and sister in tow, they went from competition to competition throughout the state. It was a family affair.

“We only had one gun,” he said with a snicker. “I would shoot, she would shoot, then dad would shoot. After a while, he backed off and just supported us. “My sister was pretty good. I was actually her coach on the Junior Team in 2007 at the World Championships up in Canada. But that’s the last time we shot together. She went and got married, had two kids. Life got in the way.”

Cooper was working on a life of his own. Out of high school, he was searching for a place to put those rifle talents to use. That place would be with the U.S. Army. Joining at the age of 19, he spent the next few years honing skills. Reading wind, playing with ballistics, shooting whenever possible. Four years later, as a member of the USA Young Eagles Rifle Team (America’s under 21 and under 25 long range rifle team), he met with AMU Coach Emil Praslick.

“We head a real good talk. I got the letter and was off to basic training.”

It’s been a whirlwind ever since. Learning from the best in the business, Cooper utilizes his refined skills to be the best in competition and valuable resource in training. As any member of the AMU will tell you, one of their primary goals is to serve as a force multiplier. They do this by sending members of the Unit to army bases throughout the world. There they teach the troops the finer points of marksmanship.

But the travel doesn’t end there. There’s also a great deal required for the competitions. Ty explained: “For Long Range I’ve been to Canada, England, Australia, South Africa. In the states I’ve shot in California, Louisiana, Tennesee, Virginia, Georgia and Ohio. Long Range has taken me around the world, High Power has only taken me up and down the east coast.” Now, no matter where he goes, he will always be known as NRA’s 2013 National Long Range High Power Rifle Champion.

“When he was a kid growing up, he had a lot of help from a lot a good shooters,” said Robert Gustin, one of Cooper’s early mentors at the Sacramento shooting club. “One thing you can count on is that he’s always been good and will get nothing but better.” Photo above shows SSG Brandon Green, SSG Tyrel Cooper, and Bob Gustin on stage at the NRA Long Range High Power Rifle Championships in Camp Perry.

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
May 20th, 2013

California Pistol Micro-Stamping Requirement Goes into Effect

California Microstamping lawFrom now on, California will require all new-model semi-automatic handguns to be manufactured with microstamping technology (aka “ballistic imprinting”). This requirement went into effect on May 17th, when the California Attorney General’s office declared that technical and patent barriers to the implementation of microstamping had been removed.

To make a firearm compliant, firearms manufacturers must now 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 data is imprinted on the cartridge casing when the pistol is fired. If the microstamp on the end of the firing pin wears out, then the gun is considered “unsafe” under California law, and the owner may not sell or transfer the gun.

Read California Dept. of Justice Certification of Microstamping Technology Notice

California’s microstamping law was enacted way back in 2007. However, by its terms, the law did not go into effect until the technology was mature and patent rights were resolved. With the State government claiming that microstamping is now practical, new gun models must have microstamping capability in order to be approved for civilian sale in California. This will, eventually serve as a de facto ban on new-model semi auto handguns in California. Brandon Combs, Executive Director of the Calguns Foundation, explains: “Manufacturers are not going to create a special run of firearms with all of these very burdensome manufacturing technologies just so they can comply and produce firearms for one market.” At present, as far as we can determine, no major gun-maker currently offers a microstamping-capable, semi-auto handgun for sale in the United States — not a single one.

Current “California-Approved” Semi-Auto Pistols Can Still Be Sold — For a Time
The “activation” of California’s microstamping requirement does NOT mean that semi-auto handguns currently on the California “approved” list can no longer be sold. The current inventory of “approved” handguns are “grandfathered”, so they may be sold so long as the manufacturers continue to pay annual handgun roster registration fees to the State of California. However, any new-model semi-auto pistol — even one with a minor design change from a previous version — will be blocked from sale in California unless it has the microstamping feature. If a manufacturer stops producing a particular handgun, replacing it with a newer, upgraded version, that newer model cannot be sold in California unless it is microstamp-capable. (We should add that the microstamp requirement does not apply to handguns sold to law enforcement agencies.)

What we can expect is that, in time, as handgun manufacturers replace old models with new models (or make modifications to existing models), fewer and fewer new semi-auto pistols will be offered for sale in California. If, for example, Glock updates its Glock 17, the new model could not be sold in California unless Glock outfits it with microstamping capability.

NRA Plans Legal Challenge
NRA Attorney C.D. Michel says that microstamping is a flawed and impractical technology: “This is not going to help solve crimes. [Microstamping] is easily defeated… and can be used to lead police down false alleys.” Michel notes that criminals can easily defeat the microstamp by filing the tips of firing pins. Overall, Michel believes, microstamping will not reduce crime, but it will cut off the supply of handguns available to Californians. He stated the the NRA plans a legal challenge to the implementation of microstamping in California.

While there is virtually no “real world” evidence that microstamping has ever solved actual crimes, there are many important criticisms of the “ballistic imprinting” technology:

  • Stamped casing can only be traced to the last registered owner, not to the person who used the gun when the casings were stamped. In the case of a stolen gun, as is the case for most firearms used in crime, the stamped case would not lead to the criminal.
  • Criminals could collect discarded brass from a firing range and salt crime scenes with microstamped cases, thereby providing false evidence against innocent people and increasing the workload for investigators.
  • Microstamping is easily defeated. Inexpensive files will remove microstamping. Firing pins are normally replaceable and can be changed with simple tools or without tools. Firing a large number of rounds will wear down the microstamp.
  • Microstamping is an immature technology, and has not been subjected to sufficient independent testing. Transfer of microstamped marks to the cases is less reliable than proponents claim.
Permalink Gunsmithing, News 29 Comments »
April 22nd, 2013

California Legislature Considers Tough New Gun-Control Laws

california gun control lawsA number of extreme gun control measures are currently being pushed through the California Legislature. In California’s State Senate, the Committee on Public Safety considered some of the most restrictive pieces of gun legislation yet proposed in California.

On April 17, the Public Safety Committee approved Senate Bill 293 that bans the sale of conventional handguns and implements owner-authorized “smart-gun” technology. This would block the sale of ANY handgun that was not “coded” to the gun owner (so that nobody else could shoot it). Of course, no such “smart” handguns are currently offered for sale by any major manufacturer.

As you’d expect, California is also moving forward on legislation to further restrict self-loading rifles. On April 16, the Senate Public Safety Committee, on a 5-2 party-line vote, approved Senate Bill 374. This bill expands the definition of “assault weapons” to ban the future sale of almost all semi-auto rifles that accept a detachable magazine. SB 374 now moves to the Senate Committee on Appropriation.

The California Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee recently considered Assembly Bill 760 which would impose a new 5% sales tax on all ammunition components (complete cartridge, bullet, or case). That’s a nickel per bullet or cartridge. We’re pleased to report that AB760 has been held in committee pending further study of its financial effects. The bill is “suspended” for the time being, but it could be reconsidered in the near future. According to the L.A. Times, “The state Board of Equalization noted in a review that the proposed tax would be in addition to an existing sales tax on bullets, and it said the new tax could become a burden to businesses.”

In addition to taxing ammunition directly, California legislators have introduced bills that would make it much more difficult to purchase ammunition. SB 53 mandates a background check for ammo purchases. In addition, SB 53 would require gun owners to obtain a permit to purchase ammo. The permit, good for one-year only, would have to be renewed annually with a recurring $50/year cost. “It’s a way to red-tape the right to bear arms to death,” said Chuck Michel, attorney for the California Rifle and Pistol Association. “It’s all part of a campaign of shame, the fight to make it as difficult as possible for law-abiding citizens to make the choice to have a firearm for self-defense.”

State-wide ban on Lead-containing Ammunition
In addition, the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife (WPW) approved AB 711, a bill that if passed and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown would extend the now limited condor range ban on traditional lead ammunition to the entire state. By its terms, AB 711 will “require the use of nonlead ammunition for the taking of all wildlife, including game mammals, game birds, nongame birds, and nongame mammals, with any firearm.” This bill passed the WPW Committee and was re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

Permalink News 4 Comments »
December 17th, 2012

New Book on California Gun Laws Released

The California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA) has released an important new book: California Gun Laws: A Guide to State and Federal Firearm Regulations. Written by CRPA/NRA attorney C.D. Michel, this new resource has just arrived from the printers and should start shipping this week. Price is $27.13.

California Gun Laws Attorney MichelGun owners who live or do business in California should strongly consider purchasing this 320-page book. California gun laws are complex and confusing. There are over 800 California state statutes regulating the manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, and use of firearms. There are thousands of overlapping federal laws regulating firearms that apply in California. And there are hundreds of administrative regulations, local ordinances, and California Department Justice Firearms Bureau written and unwritten policies that also apply.

On top of the already byzantine regulatory scheme, on January 1, 2012 California firearm laws were completely reorganized and re-numbered. Because of the complexity of the laws, and the recent statute number changes, inadvertent gun law violations by well-intentioned citizens are increasingly common. In the politicized legal environment of California “gun-control” laws, the consequences of even an inadvertent violation can be severe.

With all the overlapping regulations, it’s no wonder that confusion runs rampant among California gun owners, as well as among police, prosecutors, and judges. To protect yourself, you need to know the law. This book will help. California Gun Laws tells you how to legally buy, own, transport and possess firearms, and explains how you get your firearms or firearm rights back if they are taken away. The book warns about common legal “traps” that may ensnare California firearm owners.

CLICK to Order: California Gun Laws: A Guide to State and Federal Firearm Regulations.

California Gun Laws Attorney MichelAuthor Profile: C.D. (Chuck) Michel is an attorney with 20 years of experience representing the National Rifle Association (NRA) and California Rifle & Pistol Association (CRPA), as well as firearm manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and gun owners, Michel has been litigating civil and criminal firearm cases since 1991, many of which were high profile and attracted state and national media attention.

Permalink New Product, News 2 Comments »
November 10th, 2012

K.C. Eusebio Wins Steel Challenge in Florida

KC Eusebio Steel ChallengeTeam GLOCK member K.C. Eusebio won the High Overall Award at the World Speed Shooting Championship (aka Steel Challenge) held November 1-4 in Frostproof, Florida. This was the first time in the competition’s history that a Glock (albeit a modified version) boasted the lowest elapsed time over the 8-stage course of fire.

Using his hot-rodded Glock 17, 24-year-old Eusebio shot approximately 200 rounds in less than 79 seconds. That’s total time for multiple stages of steel targets set at 10 to 35 yards. The GLOCK, modified by Zev Technologies of California, had a C-More Red-dot sight, 3-port compensator and a textured silicon carbide grip coating. “Regardless of the modifications, it’s still a GLOCK,” commented Eusebio. “Flawless. This was my fourth championship win, the first time that’s been done by anyone.”

When it comes to raw speed on the Challenge course, Eusebio is the man. K.C. currently holds several world records in the Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA), including the fastest time on the “Smoke And Hope” stage: 1.69 seconds to draw and hit five individual steel targets. That’s not a misprint — 1.69 seconds for five shots hitting five different plates. Here’s a video of K.C. Shooting “Smoke and Hope” in California a few years back when he was a member of the USAMU shooting team.

Eusebio told us: “We definitely set the bar high at this match. I shot record-breaking scores of 2.55 seconds on the “Pendulum” stage and 2.27 seconds on “5 To Go”, and came out on top in 4 of the 8 stages. I also averaged 1.80 seconds on the “Smoke and Hope” stage. Heads were turning, some said it couldn’t be done, but I had confidence in my ability and my Glock”.

K.C. Eusebio glock Shin TanakaPhoto courtesy Shin Tanaka

The Steel Challenge was created in the early 1980s in Southern California, as a new and exciting addition to combat or practical shooting matches. The originators, Mike Dalton and Mike Fitchman, wanted an exciting alternative to paper targets and came up with the all-steel format. The match awards the fastest time, but accuracy is also critical. The Steel Challenge is now a hugely popular event with West Coast Championship in Piru, CA and East Coast Championship in Florida. There are also regional Steel Challenge Matches held around the country.

Permalink Competition No Comments »
October 31st, 2012

Watch World’s Best Wheelgunners on Shooting USA Tonight

Jerry Miculek IRCTonight’s Episode of Shooting USA TV features the 2012 International Revolver Championship (IRC) from the Hogue Action Shooting Range in Morrow Bay, California. You can see another winning performance by Jerry Miculek, considered by many the greatest living revolver shooter.

The IRC, held in June, was the highlight of the 2012 revolver shooting season. More than 240 of the world’s top revolver shooters negotiated their way through 12 stages of fire putting more than 70,000 rounds down range.

Impossible Shots Tonight
Also tonight, Shooting USA’s “Impossible Shots” TV Show features more wheelgun action. Cisko puts a new twist on an old favorite, the El Presidente, but doing it with two six-guns. The challenge is to turn, fire twelve rounds, six double taps, with a gun exchange, in less than six seconds. Plus Jerry Miculek shows what he can do with two guns at the same time.

Shooting USA airs at 3:30 pm, 8:30 pm, 12:00 Midnight Eastern Time on the Outdoor Channel.
Impossible Shots airs at 3:00 PM, 10:30 PM, 2:00 AM Eastern time on the Outdoor Channel

Permalink - Videos, Competition No Comments »
August 13th, 2012

California SB249 Would Outlaw Mag-Equipped Semi-Auto Rifles

After California banned the sale and ownership of many semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines, AR lower receivers were developed with devices such as the “Bullet Button” that required the use of a “tool” to remove magazines. These tool-activated ARs were deemed legal in California by state authorities. Now, when you go to a High Power match in California, you’ll see shooters using ARs fitted with bullet buttons. This has allowed California-based shooters, such as the National Champion California Grizzlies Junior Team, to continue to compete in matches, without having to switch to bolt-action rifles. That may all change soon….

Senate Bill 249 California Yee

SB249 Would Outlaw Many Current Semi-Auto Rifles and Mandate Confiscation
California Senate Bill 249, introduced by CA State Senator Leland Yee (D. San Francisco), renders bullet button-equipped ARs (and similar semi-autos) illegal. Yee’s SB249 changes the definition of what constitutes a detachable magazine for a semi-automatic firearm, potentially making an estimated one million semi-automatic rifles legally sold in that state “illegal to possess” as of July 1, 2013. Ironically, SB249 was originally an innocuous agriculture bill that passed in the California Senate back in May. But, by way of a sneaky amendment, Senator Yee turned the bill into a wide-reaching gun ban.

If passed, SB249 could force owners of currently-legal semi-automatic rifles to surrender their rifles or face confiscation. Though semi-auto rifle owners would be required to turn in their guns (or face imprisonment), SB249 has no provisions to allow reimbursement for the loss of valuable property. Worse yet, the bill doesn’t require a public notice program to advise owners of the change in state law.

This bill appears to be a knee-jerk reaction to media reports of recent shootings involving ARs. But in fact, the overall crime rate has declined in California while bullet-button ARs have been legal to buy and shoot. So SB249 serves no useful purpose. The NRA-ILA recommends that all Californians contact their state legislators and urge them to oppose SB249.

Permalink News 6 Comments »
April 27th, 2012

Matt Chezem Equals Nat’l Jr. Record in Winning NJOSC 50m Gold

At the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships this past week, a young Californian tied a smallbore prone record. Matthew (Matt) Chezem won the Men’s 50m Prone Junior Title with 1290.4 points. Matt shot 590 on Day 1 and came back with 598 on Day 2. Matt’s 598 points tied a National Junior Record. That outstanding score placed him first going into the finals, with a one point lead over Spencer Upham from Washington. Chezem shot 102.4 points to Upham’s 102.5 points in the final, but Chezem’s lead was enough to secure the gold. Chezem, a student at Moorpark College in California, also coaches other junior shooters at the Los Angeles Rifle & Revolver Club.

Silver Medalist Upham, one of two 16-year-olds in the final, finished with 1289.5 total points. The bronze medal was a battle between Michael Matthews (3-Position winner) and Taylor Ciotola. Both entered the final at 1186 match points, but Matthews edged out Ciotola by just three-tenths of a point. Mathews 3rd place in 50m prone, along with his 50m 3-Position win, secured Matthews a place on the USA National Junior Team.

Los Angeles Rifle and Revolver Club

Permalink Competition No Comments »
February 11th, 2012

California Range Day Draws Hundreds of New Shooters

SLOSA Expo 2012Imagine if your shooting club organized a public range day and 1500 people attended (including hundreds of first-time shooters). Now imagine that taking place in “gun-phobic” California. Well, believe it or not, this really happened when the San Luis Obispo Sportsmen’s Association (SLOSA) hosted its first annual SLOSA Expo. The January event drew more than 1,500 attendees who shot nearly 40,000 rounds while trying out a variety of shooting disciplines under the guidance of 150 volunteers. As a model event, the SLOSA Expo demonstrates how successful a well-organized Range Day Promotion can be.

Expo Introduces Hundreds of New Shooters to the Sport
The purpose of the Expo is to raise gun-safety awareness and expose non-shooting members of the public to what the shooting sports have to offer. The Expo fulfilled its charter by drawing in 63% new shooters to the SLOSA range. In fact, one-quarter of Expo participants fired their first shots ever.

SLOSA Expo 2012At the SLOSA Expo, personal instruction, ammunition and loaner guns were provided at no cost to attendees — thanks to a grant from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Men, women and children of all ages came from as far as 100 miles away to participate in the free fun event. Visitors could try a variety of disciplines including: archery, sporting clays, action pistol, black powder, cowboy action, and much more.

“This one-day event did more to promote the 2nd Amendment and the range itself than 20 years of the range simply being open.” Said Kevin Wooley of Calguns.org. “Kudos to the volunteers.”

“We were elated at the interest and response from the community.” said Art Leach, President of SLOSA. “We expected no more than 500 people to come out for the Expo and were overjoyed to reach over 1,500 guests before 2 o’clock”. One reason for the event’s high attendance is the SLOSA Range’s unique location, just a few hundred yards from scenic California Highway 1.

SLOSA Expo 2012

“This is the first event of this magnitude I’ve heard of ever happening” said Maddy Cooley, Resources Director at SLOSA and author of the Expo grant. “The Expo will forever change the way firearms are viewed by [California] Central Coast residents.”

Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink News, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
December 14th, 2011

Colt Opens New Factory in Florida and Sells ARs in California

Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC (“Colt”) announced that it will open a new firearms production facility in Kissimmee, Florida. Colt’s announcement did not discuss plant closures elsewhere, but we expect that some of Colt’s production (and jobs) will be moved from New England to Florida. Colt’s press release states: “The new 16,000-square foot facility will allow Colt’s Manufacturing Company to expand into new markets and business lines in parallel with the company’s existing 100,000-square-foot facility in Connecticut. Specific information on facility renovations and employee requirements will be determined over the course of the next several months.”

Colt Florida

Colt Introduces New California-Compliant ARs
In related news, Colt has introduced a series of California-compliant AR15s. This is good for “black rifle” fans in the Golden State. Colt’s CA-legal ARs include: a 16″ barrel M4 Clone (LE6920CA) with adjustable stock; an Accurized rifle with 24″, 1:8″ twist heavy barrel (CR6724CA), and a “Patrol Rifle” that features Magpul furniture (6920CMP-B). All of Colt’s new California-compliant rifles are test-fired at the factory, and they all have mil-spec barrel, chamber, and bolt carrier group. In addition, Colt’s ARs receive special metal testing. Steve Comus, who reviewed Colt’s new ARs for Western Outdoor News, explains: “There is a magnetic particle inspection test done on all Colt rifles. After a rifle passes the MP (Magnetic Particle) test, MP is stamped on the bolt and barrel, as is C for Colt and MP on barrel. To pass, every single barrel and bolt goes through an over pressure test of 70,000 psi to make sure it can handle high pressure. Colt then takes rifle barrel and bolt and does a magnetic particle test on them. Barrels on mil spec barrels are chrome-lined. Accurized barrels are not chrome-lined.”

CLICK HERE for Full Field-Test of Colt California ARs (12/7/2011). Article from WONews.com.

Colt California compliant AR15

Permalink New Product, News 3 Comments »
September 19th, 2011

Defending Home and Family — California’s Not-Too-Distant Future

gun ban californiaCalifornia maintains some of the toughest firearms laws in the country. In most California counties, it is virtually impossible to get a permit for concealed carry. Handguns are subject to long waiting periods, and many perfectly reliable handguns are banned from sale in California.

Each year the situation gets worse, with new laws enacted that further restrict the rights of Californians to defend themselves and their homes. Recently, the California State Senate approved AB 144, a bill that would dismantle Californian’s long-standing right of “open carry”. If AB 144 is signed by Governor Jerry Brown, this will make open carry a crime — even when camping or hiking.

What will happen to California gun owners if current trends continue? Will citizens of the Golden State be able to protect themselves in their own homes? Well this video answers those questions. The video is a dramatization, but it shows what could happen if California’s anti-gun legislators continue to hold sway. Watch the video to see a chilling preview of gun ownership in California.

Permalink - Videos, News 2 Comments »
July 5th, 2011

Restrictive Gun Laws Blocked in New York and California

Proposed gun laws based on flawed technology were recently defeated in New York and California. In New York, A1157, a micro-stamping bill, was effectively halted in the New York State Senate. Meanwhile, across the country in California, the California Assembly Public Safety Committee voted down SB 978, a bill that would have required all air rifles to be brightly colored.

Micro-Stamping Blocked in New York Again
In New York, A1157, which earlier this year passed the General Assembly, failed to be voted on in the New York State Senate. This marks the fourth straight year that microstamping has been defeated in the Empire State. The proposed legislation would have required micro-stamping of handguns. This technology has not yet been perfected and it can easily be defeated by criminals. Requiring microstamping of all new handguns would force manufacturers to invest in very expensive machinery (or go out of business). Increased manufacturing costs would be passed on to the firearms consumer. To learn more about microstamping, read the NSSF Microstamping Fact Sheet.

Microstamping New York

Law Restricting Airguns Defeated in California
Last week, the California Assembly Public Safety Committee defeated SB 798, a bill that would have mandated that all airsoft and airguns (included Olympic-grade pneumatic air rifles) be brightly colored. In theory, this would help police officers distinguish airguns from actual firearms. In fact, because anyone can spray paint a firearm a bright color, this law would have jeopardized the safety of the public and especially police officers. AB 798 was defeated in large part because of opposition from law enforcement groups who understood the risk of criminals painting real firearms to disguise the weapons’ lethality. AB 798 is one more example of “feel good” legislation that would do more harm than good.

Permalink News No Comments »
April 28th, 2011

Varmint Fun Matches on Both Coasts This Weekend

Whether you’re on the East Coast or West Coast, you can have fun this weekend at an outstanding varmint match, shooting reactive targets for fun, glory (and maybe a little cash). Easterners — head down to Virginia for the Roanoake Egg Shoot. Westerners — navigate to the Pala Range near Oceanside in Southern California.

Roanoake Egg Shoot, Saturday April 30th
roanoake Egg ShootIn Virginia, the Roanoake Egg Shoot will be held Saturday, April 30, 2011 at the Roanoake Rifle and Revolver Club in Hardy, Virginia. This is a real test of shooter and equipment. You want challenge? Try hitting an egg at 500 yards. That requires a skilled triggerman (or woman) and a very accurate rifle. In addition to the 500-yard egg event, Roanoke also offers long-range plate shooting. There will be three classes this year: 1) Factory Guns; 2) Hunter/Tactical; and 3) Custom Benchrest. The custom gun class will shoot 2″-diameter steel plates at 425 yards while the Factory and Hunter class guns will shoot 3″ plates at 425 yards. All shooting is from a 20-bench covered firing line. The entry fee is just $20.00 per gun/class entry. Pay $60.00 and you can shoot all three classes. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top shooters. For more info, contact Mark Schronce (540) 980-1582 rmschr@comcast.net or Epps Foster, (540) 890-4973. The club is located at 1305 Gun Club Drive, Hardy, VA 24101. GET DIRECTIONS.

Pala, California Multi-Stage Varmint Silhouette Shoot
About 24 miles east of Oceanside, California (near the Camp Pendleton Marine base) is the Pala Reservation. On that Native American land you’ll find an impressive Casino Resort, plus an excellent shooting range. The first Sunday of every month, shooters come to Pala to enjoy a challenging Varmint Silhouette Match. At five different yardages, ten steel “critter” targets are set as follows: 200 Meters – Field Mice (“pikas”); 300 meters – Crows; 385 meters – Ground Squirrels; 500 meters – Jack Rabbits; 600 yards – Prairie Dogs.

Pala Silhouette Match

There’s a North County Shootist Association Varmint Silhouette match this Sunday, May 1st. You’ll need a very accurate rifle, and 80-100 rounds of ammo. You can shoot either rested prone (F-Class style), from bipod, or from a wooden bench with front pedestal and rear bag. Any rifle 6.5 caliber or under is allowed, with no weight restrictions. Muzzle brakes are permitted. There’s a one-hour sight-in period starting at 8 am, and the match starts at 9 am sharp. The folks at Pala run a tight ship, cycling multiple relays efficiently, so everybody gets to shoot 50 targets (10 each at five different yardages), and the show is usually completed by 1:00 pm. (Then if you want… head over to the Pala Casino for gambling fun, or a spa treatment.) CLICK HERE for Match Info.

Permalink - Videos, Competition, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
January 18th, 2011

California Mail-Order Ammo Restriction Ruled Unconstitutional

Report by C.D. Michel
In a dramatic ruling giving gun owners a win in an National Rifle Association / California Rifle and Pistol (CRPA) Foundation lawsuit, this morning Fresno Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Hamilton ruled that AB 962, the hotly contested statute that would have banned mail order ammunition sales and required all purchases of so-called “handgun ammunition” to be registered, was unconstitutionally vague on its face.

The trial Court enjoined enforcement of the statute, so mail order ammunition sales to California can continue unabated, and ammunition sales need not be registered under the law.

The lawsuit was prompted in part by the many objections and questions raised by confused police, ammunition purchasers, and sellers about what ammunition is covered by the new laws created by AB 962. In a highly unusual move that reflects growing law enforcement opposition to ineffective gun control laws, Tehama County Sheriff Clay Parker is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. Other plaintiffs include the CRPA Foundation, Herb Bauer Sporting Goods, ammunition shipper Able’s Ammo, collectible ammunition shipper RTG Sporting Collectibles, and individual Steven Stonecipher. Mendocino Sheriff Tom Allman also supported the lawsuit.

The ruling comes just days before the portion of the law that bans mail order sales of so-called “handgun ammunition” was set to take effect on February 1, 2011. The lawsuit, Parker v. California, is funded exclusively by the NRA and the CRPA Foundation. If it had gone into effect, AB 962 would have imposed burdensome and ill-conceived restrictions on the sales of ammunition. AB 962 required that “handgun ammunition” be stored out of the reach of customers, that ammunition vendors collect ammunition sales registration information and thumb-prints from purchasers, and conduct transactions face-to-face for all deliveries and transfers of “handgun ammunition.” The lawsuit successfully sought the declaration from the Court that the statute was unconstitutional, and successfully sought the injunctive relief prohibiting law enforcement from enforcing the new laws.

Trial Court Agrees that Ammo Ban is Unconstitutionally Vague
The lawsuit alleged, and the Court agreed, that AB 962 is unconstitutionally vague on its face because it fails to provide sufficient legal notice of what ammunition cartridges are “principally for use in a handgun,” and thus is considered “handgun ammunition” that is regulated under AB 962. It is practically impossible, both for those subject to the law and for those who must enforce it, to determine whether any of the thousands of different types of ammunition cartridges that can be used in handguns are actually “principally for use in” or used more often in, a handgun. The proportional usage of any given cartridge is impossible to determine, and in any event changes with market demands.

Decision Will Probably Be Appealed but Law Will Still Be Suspended
Constitutional vagueness challenges to state laws are extremely difficult to win, particularly in California firearms litigation, so this success is particularly noteworthy. Even so, an appeal by the State is likely, but the Court’s Order enjoining enforcement of the law is effective immediately, regardless [of the possibility of appeal]. Editor’s Note: An injunction against the application of AB 962s provision will remain in effect until such time as it is vacated by an appellate court. But for the time being, mail-order ammo sales to California can proceed without restriction, as if AB 962 were never signed into law. Until a higher court rules otherwise, the contested provisions of AB 962 are rendered a nullity.

This report provided by C.D. Michel Michel of Michel & Associates, counsel for the NRA in the litigation challenging the California mail-order ammo ban.

Permalink News No Comments »
January 14th, 2011

California Handgun Ammo Clock is Ticking…

AB 962 CaliforniaIn case you haven’t heard, February 1, 2011 is the last day you can legally purchase handgun ammunition in California, without providing a fingerprint and personal contact information. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the same law that mandates “print and ID” to purchase, also prohibits handgun ammunition sales that are not “face to face”. That effectively bans online and mail-order handgun ammo sales from any source. All these changes were enacted into law with the passage of AB 962 last year.

Given California’s tough new ammo law, most online ammo vendors, including Ammoman.com, Cabelas.com, Grafs.com, and MidsouthShootersSupply.com have announced order deadlines in January. To allow for packing and transit times, these vendors will stop taking handgun ammo orders from California customers 10-17 days before the new law goes into effect.

So when are the Vendor-imposed Deadlines for ammo purchases? Well today, February 14 is the last day Californians can purchase handgun ammunition from Grafs.com. MidsouthShootersSupply is cutting off orders on January 20th. You have another day if you order from Cabelas.com — it will continue to take handgun ammo orders from Californians through January 21, 2011.

Grafs.com Notice — Deadline 1/14/2011

AB 962 Ammo Ban Deadline

Midsouth Shooters Supply Notice — Deadline 1/20/2011

AB 962 Ammo Ban Deadline

Cabela’s Notice — Deadline 1/21/2011

AB 962 Ammo Ban Deadline

Smallbore Rifle Shooters Will Be Affected by New Law
Unfortunately, AB 962’s definition of “handgun ammunition” is vague, and California’s Department of Justice has failed to provide any meaningful clarification. This means that mail-order ammo vendors will have to halt shipments of ammo that could be used in both rifles and pistols. Take .223 Remington for example. Most people would consider that a rifle cartridge. However, Keltec and other manufacturers make pistols chambered for the .223 Rem. Most importantly, virtually all rimfire ammo will be embargoed because 17 Mach 2, 17 HMR, .22 LR, and .22 WMR are all used in pistols. So, you Californians needing .223 Rem, or rimfire ammo for your rifles better place your orders soon.

Permalink News 4 Comments »
December 27th, 2010

California Mail-Order Ammo Ban Goes on Trial in January

AB962 TrialA legal challenge proceeds against a new California law (AB962) slated to go into effect February 1, 2011. As of that date, California will require buyers of handgun ammunition to provide personal information and a fingerprint with every ammo purchase. In addition, the new law would effectively ban mail-order and internet ammo sales, since AB962 requires that all “handgun ammunition” sales be conducted through “face-to-face” transactions. Right now it looks like “handgun ammunition” will be interpreted broadly, and this could include .223 Rem, .30-30, 7.62×39 — basically anything that has ever been shot in a handgun (even the single-shot variety).

Not surprisingly, the California Department of Justice has not created any regulations to better define what constitutes “handgun ammunition” under AB 962. Currently, the Department of Justice is involved in litigation challenging the constitutionality of AB 962. The case, Parker et al. v. State of California, et al., is expected to go to trial January 18, 2011. The judge has indicated he intends to render a ruling before February 1. Meanwhile, the California Department of Justice has refused to provide any practical guidance that would better enable industry members to comply with the law’s vaguely worded definition of “handgun ammunition.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News No Comments »
December 23rd, 2010

California Mail-Order Ammo Ban Starts February 1, 2011

AB 962 California Ammo BanStarting February 1, 2011, a new law goes into effect in California that will block mail-order sales of any loaded ammo that can be used in a pistol. That, of course, includes .22LR, 30-30, .223 Remington, 6mmBR and other popular rifle rounds that have been adapted for pistols. In the fall of 2009, when AB962 was first passed by the California legislature, we reported on this restrictive new legislation. The new law IS being challenged in court, but it is still set to go into effect on February 1st, 2011.

CLICK HERE for Full Text of AB 962

In response to California’s imminent mail-order ammo ban, ammunition vendors are gearing up for a rush of ammo sales in the next five weeks. Here is Cabela’s Ammo Sale Notice:

Cabelas Ammo Sale

Related Articles
California Legislature Passes AB 962
Schwarzenegger Terminates Mail-Order Ammo Sales in California
Lawsuit Challenges California Ammo Ban

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News No Comments »
November 27th, 2010

Results from Arizona and California Long-Range Championships

Over the past couple of weeks, State Long-Range Championships were held in California and Arizona. Many of the best shooters in the Western States were in attendance. In both CA and AZ, State titles were awarded in both High Power and F-Class disciplines.

California Range Coalinga

California State Long-Range Championship, November 6-7, 2010
On November 6th and 7th, the California Long-Range Championship was hosted at the Coalinga Range. In the High Power division, Trevor Hengehold shot a brilliant match to finish first, and win the Championship, with a 795-36X score. Jim O’Connell was second with 783-37X which also earned him the High Senior Title. Dennis Flaherty had the next highest score (779-30X), and just two points behind Dennis was Gary Eliseo with 777-24X.

In the F-Class Division, Jerry Tierney, shooting his new 7mm RSAUM, won the championship with a 790-36X Score. Hot-shooting Brenda Hill took second with 780-31X, and Peter White was third with 773-19X. Though he had almost no time to practice with his RSAUM prior to the match (it was chambered the weekend before), Jerry was delighted with the gun’s performance: “This is the most accurate long-range rifle I’ve ever shot. And that’s saying a lot. I did get some load development help from Danny Biggs, who uses the same cartridge.” Jerry was shooting the new 7mm Berger 180gr “hybrid” bullets, with sorted Remington RSAUM brass, CCI BR2 primers, and Hodgdon H4831sc powder. The bullets were seated about 0.015″ off the lands and Jerry told us his load was running “real close to 3,000 fps”.

F-Class Jerry Tierney

Jim O’Connell Reports: “Congratulations to Trevor Hengehold and Jerry Tierney, the two new State Champions (High Power and F-Class). Trevor started out in front and never looked back. Jerry posted some good scores on Sunday to come from behind for his victory. This was the last of the Big Coalinga matches for 2010. We get started early in 2011 with the State Fullbore Match in February (26-27) and the State Palma Match in March (5-6). We are planning on awarding F-Class titles at all the State prone Championships (Fullbore, Palma, and Long Range) in 2011.”

Arizona Long-Range Championship, November 20-21, 2010
At the Ben Avery Shooting Facility outside Phoenix, many of the best shooters in the Western states congregated last weekend for the season-ending Arizona Long-Range Championship. Conditions were challenging but the top competitors managed to master the switchy winds and post high scores. In the High Power Division, the match winner and new AZ State Champion is Rick Curtis. Congrats to Rick! Curtis finished with an impressive 986-45X Grand Agg, after posting a 591-24X Iron Sights Agg, and a 395-21X “Any Sights” Agg. Eddie Newman, the High Senior for the match, posted the next highest Aggregate score, a 985-37X. Phil Hayes also shot a 985 but with 34Xs. Middleton Tompkins followed Hayes with a 979-36X. Peter Church was next with a 974-43X (second highest X-Count), and our Contributing Editor German Salazar finished with 973-34X.

F-Class Erik CortinaIn the F-Class Division, twenty-one shooters vied for honors. In F-Open, Texan Erik Cortina won the Championship with an impressive 972-17X. Charles Gooding was close behind with a 970-27X. Charles had high X-Count among all F-Class shooters. Freddy Haltom, shooting as a “Expert” had the third-highest score, an impressive 962-25X. Next in line was Tony Mangold with 944-19X.

F-Open Champ Cortina offered this report: “I was able to pull it off last weekend and win the Arizona State LR F-Open Championship at Ben Avery. The winds were strong and switching, making it very challenging! We ended up shooting 5×1000 instead of 6×1000 as scheduled. On Sunday, we only shot two strings as the third was canceled because of rain. I was shooting my .284 Shehane with 180gr Berger VLD bullets. My winning gun is a switch barrel 6.5×47 Lapua / .284 Shehane built by Mark Pharr of Tumbleweeds Custom Rifles. This Lawton 7500-actioned gun is the same rifle I used to set Club Records at the Bayou Rifle Club in Houston: 600-49X at 300 yards, and 595-34X at 1000 yards.”

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
November 22nd, 2010

New .224-Cal Varmint Bullets From Hornady

We recently had a chance to chat with Dave Emary, Hornady’s Chief Ballistics Scientist. Dave told us that varmint hunters should definitely check out two new .224-caliber bullets from Hornady, the 35gr NTX and the 53gr V-Max. Both bullets offer high-BCs for their weight class, along with excellent terminal performance.

New Lead-Free NTX “California-Legal” Bullet
First is the new 35gr NTX® BT plastic-tipped bullet. This is a lead-free California-compliant design. Designed with a boat-tail and extended ogive, the new 35gr NTX has better ballistics than most other bullets in its weight class. This bullet can be pushed to very high velocities by a standard .223 Remington cartridge. As you can see from the factory illustrations below, the new 35gr NTX bullet is far more streamlined that the previous 35gr flat-base V-MAX, and the NTX’s BC is much higher. So the NTX gives you a lead-free alternative, that has better ballistics to boot.

Hornady NTX bullet

New High-BC, 53gr V-Max May Be a “Game-Changer” for .223 Rem Shooters
The second recently-released bullet is a new, High-BC, 53gr V-Max with a field-tested 0.290 G1 Ballistic Coefficient. That’s a very high BC for a .224-caliber bullet in this weight class. To demonstrate that point, the Berger 55gr BTHP Varmint bullet has a .210 G1 BC, while the Sierra 53gr FB MatchKing has a .224 G1 BC (above 2800 fps). How did Hornady achieve the higher BC? Emary tells us that this new bullet was designed with an extended ogive (nose section) to provide significantly better ballistics than other bullets in its weight class. Emary added: “With this .290 BC bullet and the higher velocities we get with the SuperFormance powder blends, the .223 Remington runs pretty darn close to a .22-250 with standard loads — you can run the ballistics numbers yourself.”

Hornady V-Max 53

Taking Up Emary’s Challenge — Running the Balllistics
Given Dave’s challenge to “run the numbers” — we did just that. Hornady claims 3465 fps from its new SuperFormance .223 Rem factory ammo loaded with the 53gr V-Max. At 400 yards, this load will drop 20.8 inches from a 100-yard zero, and drift 15.6 inches in a 10 mph crosswind. (Figures calculated with JBM Ballistics, for 500′ altitude, 70° F.) To compare, Hodgdon’s Reloading Data Center says a .22-250 can deliver 3713 fps with a 55-grainer pushed by a max load of IMR 4064. So, for the .22-250, assuming a .220 BC for the 55gr bullet, the drop at 400 yards (from 100-yard zero) is 20.4 inches, while the 10 mph wind drift is 20.2 inches (again according to JBM). So, it looks like Emary is right, assuming his .223 Rem velocities are real. At 400 yards, the .223 Rem with the 53-grainer has nearly identical drop and much less wind drift than a .22-250 shooting a conventional 55-grainer. Here are the numbers:

Cartridge Muzzle Vel Bullet BC Drop at 400 yds Drift at 400 yds
.223 Rem 3465 fps 0.290 BC (53gr) 20.8 inches 15.6 inches
.22-250 3713 fps 0.220 BC (55gr) 20.4 inches 20.2 inches

We asked Emary how the new 53-grainers hold up when driven at high velocities. Emary replied: “The 53-grainer has the tough V-Max jacket. You should be able to push it up to 4000 fps with no problems”.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 6 Comments »