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.

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, News 4 Comments »
December 30th, 2011

Howa Offers Upgraded 2-Stage Trigger Plus DBM Conversion Kits

Howa RiflesNew from Howa, is the Howa Actuator Controlled Trigger (HACT). This two-stage-style trigger system lightens the trigger pull weight, and reduces the amount of trigger creep. HACT trigger units will fit all Howa M-1500 rifles that were previously equipped with a three-position safety. The HACT trigger assembly is a completely redesigned trigger and sear unit with a lighter, two-stage-style trigger pull. HACT pull-weight range is 2.5 to 3.8 pounds; the factory default setting is 3 pounds.

Writing for the Western Outdoor News, WONews.com, Steve Comus has field-tested the new HACT Trigger. Steve writes: “I always liked two-stage triggers, because of the way I could take-up the slack and then actually know when the rifle was going to go off. The take-up on the [HACT] trigger was fast and easy. The crisp, positive release when pressure was put on during the second stage [reminded me] of some of the target rifles I shot through the years.”

Howa Rifles HACT Trigger

HACT Retrofit Kit Coming in Mid-2012
The HACT trigger will eventually be available as a retrofit for existing Howa 1500 and Weatherby Vanguard Rifles. According to Legacy Sports Int’l Marketing VP Andy McCormick, the retrofit kits “should cost under $100.00 MSRP and should fit all Howa and Weatherby Vanguard short-action rifle with the current three-position safety… and that includes most of these rifles sold in the last 5 or 6 years”. Trigger Kits will be packaged with instructions. McCormick expects much interest in the HACT retrofit kit: “It’s a great two-stage trigger. I would say the HACT trigger kit will be available as a single accessory item by mid-summer 2012. Stay tuned to LegacySports.com for updates.”

Howa Detachable Magazine Kit, Just $98.00 Complete
The recently-introduced Detachable Box Magazine (DBM) Conversion Kit for Howa and Weatherby Vanguard rifles has proven extremely popular. This $98.00 kit includes new plastic floorplate and trigger housing plus either a 5-round or 10-round polymer magazine (as the customer prefers). The DBM Kit saves 1/4 lb. of weight as compared to hinged bottom metal. Made for target shooters and varmint hunters, these POLYMER BODY magazines allow you to turn your 4-round box magazine into a high-capacity DBM system. Conversion kits are currently available for .204, .223, 22-250, .243, 7mm-08, and .308 Win short action Howa rifles. These kits will also fit most late-model, short action Weatherby Vanguard Rifles.

Howa Rifles HACT Trigger

Permalink Gunsmithing, New Product 3 Comments »
July 28th, 2009

New Super-Strong Bottom Metal from Tactical Rifles

Tactical Rifles (TR), a Florida-based precision rifle builder and parts-maker, has introduced new, ultra-durable bottom metal for Rem 700 and Rem-clone receivers. Why do we need better/stronger bottom metal? Just take a look at photo below. It shows a factory Rem floorplate that failed at the trigger guard.

Tactical Rifles bottom metal

The TR floorplate/detachable magazine assembly is lighter, yet stronger than factory bottom metal and competitive after-market products: “At it’s thinnest part the TR floorplate assembly is 150% thicker than our nearest competitors’ unit.” That makes the unit much stronger and more durable. In addition the TR floorplate is designed to work with TR’s milspec, dual-stack, center-feed magazines. This center-feed mag design provides more reliable feeding and function.

The photo below left shows a TR floorplate assembly under the wheel of a heavy pick-up truck. As you can see in the right photos, the “overbuilt” TR bottom-metal passes this test with flying colors.

Tactical Rifles bottom metal Tactical Rifles bottom metal

TR floorplate assemblies are now available for purchase as a replacement part for any Remington 700-style rifle. Minimal gunsmithing is required but the end result is, according to tactical rifles, “dramatically increased reliability … without the binding that occurs in some of the other detachable box magazine (DBM) systems available today.” For more info, visit TacticalRifles.net, or call 877-811-GUNS (4867).

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