November 24th, 2015

Hang Your Handguns to Conserve Safe Space

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wire

If you’re looking for a space-saving handgun storage system, consider the Easy Use Gun Hangers from USA GunClub. These vinyl-coated, wire hangers organize handguns below the shelves in your gunsafe, freeing up storage space above the shelves. To use the handgun hangers, simply slide each hanger on the shelf and then slip your pistol’s barrel over the lower rod. Handgun Hangers are intended for guns with an overall length of 10 inches or shorter. They will fit shelves that are at least 11 inches deep and 5/8-1 inch in thickness. Handgun Hangers will hold handguns .22 caliber and up, though the fit is a bit snug on .22s. A four-pack of Handgun Hangers costs $9.95. This product is now Amazon’s #1 Best Seller among handgun storage accessories.

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wire

WARNING — Always Make Sure Handgun is UNLOADED when using Handgun Hangers!!

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wireUSA GunClub also offers an Over-Under Hanger that holds two handguns — one above the shelf, and one below. A two-pack of Over-Under Hangers (capable of holding four handguns) costs $9.99. This may be a good solution for you. This editor personally prefers the standard model, so I can use the upper surface of the shelf to hold odd-shaped items such as cameras, binoculars, and miscellaneous valuables.

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November 4th, 2015

Brownells Videos Show How to Maintain Your 1911-Type Pistol

1911 Browning Pistol Brownells Wilson Combat

While focuses on rifles, we know that a large percentage of our readers own handguns, with 1911-style pistols being particular favorites. For you 1911 owners, here are four short videos from Brownells showing how to fieldstrip, clean, lubricate, and re-assemble a 1911-style pistol.

Firearm Maintenance: 1911 Disassembly (Part 1/4)

1911 Cleaning (Part 2/4)

1911 Lubrication (Part 3/4)

Firearm Maintenance: 1911 Re-Assembly (Part 4/4)

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October 17th, 2015

FBI Plans to Spend $85 Million on New 9mm Pistols

FBI handgun badge Glock 22 badge Bureau InvestigationFBI Photo shows a Glock Model 22, .40 S&W caliber. This will be replaced by new, striker-fired 9mm Luger pistols in both compact and full-size formats.

The Federal Government loves to spend your tax dollars, and the FBI wants its share of the action. The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the next generation of 9mm FBI pistols. At stake is $85,000,000 in Federal dollars for handguns, parts, and accessories. CLICK HERE to Download FBI RFP.

The FBI is actually seeking two 9x19mm pistols, one “Compact” and the other “Full-Size”. The pistols must be striker-fired, and capable of a “20,000 round endurance firing cycle”. Trigger pull weight shall be “no less than 4.5 pounds nor exceed 6 pounds”, with NO mag disconnect/safety. There will also be no manual external safety, no grip safety, and no de-cocking lever. Here are the RFP basic descriptions of the pistols:

Class I Compact Pistol: One (1) Class I Pistol with a barrel length of no less than 3.75” and no greater than 4.25”, minimum magazine capacity of 14 rounds, night sights, six (6) magazines, FBI approved gun lock. Firing pin/Striker fired only.

Class II Full Size Pistol: One (1) Class II Pistol with a barrel length of no less than 4.26” and no greater than 5.20”, minimum magazine capacity of 16 rounds, night sights, six (6) magazines, FBI approved gun lock. Firing pin/Striker fired only.

Why Change from .40 SW back to 9x19mm?
Last time we checked the FBI had more than enough firepower. The FBI’s stated need for $85 million dollars worth of 9mm pistols* certainly raises questions, while re-igniting the “great caliber debate”. In May 1997, the FBI officially adopted the Glock .40 S&W pistol for general agent use. Now it is going back to the 9mm Luger (aka 9x19mm), which it had used in Sig P226/228 pistols from 1988 to 1997.

Why make the change? Some people think advancements in propellants and 9mm bullets allow the smaller cartridge to rival the .40 SW for penetration and stopping power. Possibly the FBI learned that many of its agents couldn’t shoot the snappy, harder-recoiling .40 SW very well. So this change to a more user-friendly round may be all about compensating for lawmen who can’t shoot straight.

A report originating at the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, VA may explain why the FBI wants to dump the .40 SW in favor of the 9mm. Here are highlights from the Report’s Executive Summary:

  • LEOs miss between 70 – 80 percent of the shots fired during a shooting incident.
  • 9mm Luger now offers select projectiles which are, under identical testing conditions, outperforming most of the premium line .40 S&W and .45 Auto projectiles tested by the FBI.
  • 9mm Luger offers higher magazine capacities, less recoil, lower cost (both in ammunition and wear on the weapons) and higher functional reliability rates (in FBI weapons).
  • The majority of FBI shooters are both FASTER in shot strings fired and more ACCURATE with shooting a 9mm Luger vs shooting a .40 S&W (in similar sized weapons).
  • There is little to no noticeable difference in the wound tracks between premium line law Auto enforcement projectiles from 9mm Luger through the .45 Auto.

Source: FBI Training Division, FBI Academy (Quantico, VA) Report quoted in

* In addition to the Compact and Full-Size duty pistols, the FBI plans to acquire training pistols and spare parts: “Class I Inert Training Pistol (a.k.a. Red Handle); Class I Man Marker Training Pistol (a.k.a. SIMUNITION); Class I & Class II Pistol Replacement Parts”. The $85,000,000 contract price would include these additional items.

Permalink Handguns, News 11 Comments »
September 29th, 2015

NRA Competition Database Lists 7000 National Records

NRA Competition RecordsDid you know the NRA Competition Database lists nearly 7,000 national shooting records?

Why are there 7000 records? Start with the fact that there are a host of different NRA disciplines: Air Pistol, Action Pistol, High Power Rifle, Smallbore Rifle, Fullbore, just to name a few. Within each discipline there may be records for metallic sight, any sight, rapid fire, slow fire, prone, standing, and other variations. And then there may be separate records for indoor, outdoor, distance, and number of shots fired. Then add team records on top of the individual records. Finally, there are separate records for all the NRA classifications: Open, Civilian, Service, Woman, Junior, Senior, Police, and so on….

The task of validating and registering so many different records is daunting. And the work never stops. Consider this — the NRA sanctions 11,000 tournaments each year. This means that new record claims are being submitted throughout the year.

Report based on story by Kyle Jillson in

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September 22nd, 2015

Don’t Be Stupid at Airports . . .

TSA Security Airport Carry-On Seizure
This photo shows some of the handguns actually found by the TSA in carry-ons last year.

Here’s an important reminder to our readers who have concealed-weapon carry permits — don’t overlook your carry gun when traveling through airports. Many travelers with carry permits are forgetting weapons stashed in carry-on luggage. The TSA is encountering more firearms than ever, and those weapons are normally confiscated with their owners subject to penalties.

In 2014, according to, 2,212 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country (that’s a 22% increase over 2013). Of those, 1,835 (83 percent) were loaded. Firearms were intercepted at a total of 224 airports.

CLICK to VIEW Actual Weapons Seized by the TSA at U.S. Airports.

Another problem is that Carry Permit holders may enter an airport with their guns still on their person. Here are actual examples:

A 94-year-old man attempted to enter the checkpoint at LaGuardia Airport with a loaded .38 caliber revolver clipped to his belt.

A loaded .380 caliber firearm was discovered strapped to the ankle of a passenger who walked through a metal detector at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

A loaded .380 caliber firearm was discovered in the rear pocket of a San Antonio International Airport passenger during advanced imaging technology screening.

TSA Security Airport Carry-On Seizure

If you are traveling by air, make sure you remove all firearms from your person (or carry-on luggage), unload the firearm(s), place any weapon in a locked, hard-sided container, and declare them as checked baggage. Anything else can land you in jail.

Here are the TSA guidelines for transporting firearms as checked baggage:

  • Comply with regulations on carrying firearms where you are traveling from and to, as laws vary by local, state and international governments.
  • Declare all firearms, ammunition and parts to the airline during the check-in process. Ask about limitations or fees that may apply.
  • Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked baggage only. Firearm parts, including firearms frames and receivers, must also be placed in checked baggage and are prohibited in carry-on baggage.
  • Replica firearms may be transported in checked baggage only.
  • Rifle scopes are permitted in carry-on and checked bags.
  • All firearms, ammunition and firearm parts, including firearm frames, receivers, clips and magazines are prohibited in carry-on baggage.
Permalink Handguns, News 4 Comments »
September 7th, 2015

Army Issues Solicitation for XM17 Pistol to Replace Beretta M9

M9 U.S. Army Solicitation XM17 HMS Modular Handgun System

It’s official… the U.S. Army is replacing the M9 Pistol made by Beretta. On August 28, 2015, the Army released the official solicitation for the XM17 MHS Pistol, a modular design that will replace the M9, the Army’s version of Beretta’s model 92. This is a big contract — the Army intends to acquire at least 300,000 pistols, all from one manufacturer.

According to “One of the major goals of the MHS [Modular Handgun System] effort is to adopt a pistol chambered for a more potent round than the current 9mm[.] The U.S. military replaced the .45 caliber 1911 pistol with the M9 in 1985 and began using the 9mm NATO round at that time.” It is unclear what chambering the U.S. Army wants instead of the 9x19mm. Some pundits suggest the Army wants a larger-diameter bullet, while others think the Army is looking for a higher velocity projectile that can penetrate body armor. While the Army has not specified a particular cartridge, the XM17 spec requires that the pistol’s projectile penetrate at least 14″ of ballistics gel at 50 meters. The Army also hopes that the new pistol will be more durable and easier to maintain than the M9.

This XM17 solicitation document, a whopping 351 pages long, contains detailed specs for the pistol, accessories, along with performance standards. says the specification includes accuracy standards as well as modular design requirements: “The Army said the handgun should be able to hit a 4-inch target at a 50-meter range at least 90 percent of the time throughout the gun’s lifespan. To compete in the Modular Handgun System, and the XM17 designation, the pistol needs modifiable grips, varied magazine options, ambidextrous controls, and rails for accessories.”

Permalink Handguns, News 1 Comment »
June 28th, 2015

Excellent Video Covers Handgun Fundamentals

Pistol Fundamentals USAMU

If you shoot a pistol, you should watch this video. It covers the key fundamentals of handgun shooting: stance, arm position, grip, sight alignment, and trigger control. This excellent video features USAMU shooter SGT Shane Coley.

Arm/Elbow Position: You should not lock your elbows says SGT Coley: “Because my elbows are slightly bent, it allows the recoil to transfer into my shoulders, down my core, into my legs and to the ground, allowing me to maintain a flat-shooting gun … on multiple targets.”


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May 24th, 2015

Doug Koenig Wins 16th Career Bianchi Cup Title

Bianchi Cup Doug Koenig Carl Bernosky 2015 Columbia Missouri

Story based on report by Kyle Jillson for

Doug Koenig secured his 16th NRA Action Pistol title this week at the 2015 NRA Bianchi Cup in Columbia, Missouri. Koenig’s final score was a perfect 1920 with 180 tie-breaking Xs. Koenig needed all those Xs to win — runner-up Jeremy Newell (1920-166X) also racked up a perfect 1920 score, but with 14 fewer Xs. Carl Bernosky, a ten-time NRA High Power Rifle Champion, placed third overall with 1918-180X. Australian shooter Anita Mackiewicz set a new record for a female shooter with a 1916-166X.

Koenig’s success at the Bianchi Cup is unparalleled. Doug’s 16 titles account for nearly half of the 37 total Bianchi championships held. Bruce Piatt has the next best career Bianchi Cup record, with five Bianchi titles, less than one-third of Koenig’s total.


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April 21st, 2015

CaseCruzer Quick Draw Fitted Handgun Cases

A California company, CaseCruzer, makes the nicest multi-pistol hard cases we’ve ever seen. With capacities from 3 pistols to 6 pistols, these lockable range cases hold handguns securely in angled “quick-draw” slots. In addition to the molded pistol carriers, there are slots for magazines together with a separate compartment for muffs, ammo, and other accessories. Starting at $240.00 MSRP for the Quick Draw 3-Pack, these boxes are expensive, but they offer great protection with great usability. Water-tight and dust-proof, CaseCruzer cases are airline approved (ATA 300).

3-Gun Case
CaseCruzer gun pistol case revolver magnum 6-pack 5-pack 4-pack 3-pack

4-Gun Case
CaseCruzer gun pistol case revolver magnum 6-pack 5-pack 4-pack 3-pack


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April 9th, 2015

New Remington RM380 Metal-Framed Carry Gun

Remington RM380 .380 ACP test Gunsite

Remington has introduced the brand new RM380, an ultra-small DAO .380 ACP carry pistol. This alloy-framed gun weighs just 12.2 ounces (unloaded), and is very compact, measuring 5.25 inches long. Capacity with flush-base magazine is 6+1, and Remington plans to offer a 7-round magazine with a pinky extension. Because it is hammer-fired, the RM380 has second-strike capability. There is no manual safety.

The RM380 is different that many small .380 ACP pistols in using a locking breech rather than a straight blow-back action. Remington claims this reduces perceived recoil. At a media preview hosted at the Arizona Gunsite Academy, pre-production models were tested. Those examples proved reliable, running extended strings (100+ rounds) without failure. However, testers commented on the long, very heavy, 7.9-pound trigger pull.

Remington RM380 .380 ACP test Gunsite

Remington RM 380 Specifications

Caliber: .380 ACP
Capacity: 6+1 rounds
Weight Unloaded: 12.2 Ounces
Sights: Fixed, F/R

Length: 5.25 inches
Width: 0.94 inches
Height: 3.86 inches
Trigger Pull Weight: 7.9 lbs.

Remington RM380 .380 ACP test Gunsite

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March 24th, 2015

Shocking Video — Fatality Barely Averted

RSO Range Safety violation

This video will give you chills (starting at about the 0:25 mark). We need to remember to follow all the firearms safety rules, and apply them all the time. At the range, all it takes is one brief moment of inattention to create a life-threatening situation. Never assume the downrange area is safe. Use your own eyes and ears.

This video shows a competitor shooting a stage at an action pistol match. He starts when instructed by the Range Safety Officer (RSO). But unbeknownst to both RS0 and competitor, a volunteer is downrange working on targets. Watch carefully. At 0:27 the shooter sweeps left to right, engaging a paper silhouette target to his right. Then, at 0:30, as he begins a mag change, his head turns downrange. A few yards away is a white-shirted range worker! The shooter yells “Hey what’s going on?!”

What’s going on indeed… The RSO should have ensured that nobody was downrange before the shooter even stepped up to the firing line. If other competitors standing to the side had been alert, they might have seen the worker changing targets and called for a halt. And the target-worker himself — even if he was wearing earmuffs, he should have noticed that live fire had commenced just yards away…

We also have to wonder about the stage design. This set-up made it very difficult to see downrange. The white panels (see 0:10-0:20) definitely hid the target worker from view. In hindsight, given the way the stage was laid out, this was truly an “accident waiting to happen”. It’s fortunate that no one got injured in this incident. But this chilling video provides a lesson to all shooters — “Safety First”.

How could this “near-fatality” have been averted? Post your comments below.

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March 21st, 2015

Yes, Honey, I Need Another Pistol… (A .22 LR 1911)

Got a 1911-style centerfire pistol? Would you like to cross-train with an ergonomically-identical rimfire version that lets you shoot less-expensive .22 LR ammo and not worry about recovering your brass? Well check out Kimber’s Rimfire 1911s. We think John Moses Browning would smile at this adaptation of his classic 1911 design. Kimber rimfire target .22 LR pistol Kimber rimfire target .22 LR pistolGuaranteed Accuracy
Kimber’s line-up of rimfire pistols includes matte black and silver-tone Rimfire Target models ($871 MSRP), plus a deluxe, two-tone Rimfire Super model ($1220 MSRP) with Rosewood grips, front strap checkering, and KimPro II finish. Shown above, the Rimfire Super model is guaranteed to put five shots in 1.5″ or less at 25 yards. Both standard and deluxe models feature aluminum frame and slide, steel barrel, and adjustable match-type sights.

What’s That Pistol?
While viewing Panteo’s Training with a 22 DVD, we noticed a sweet-looking, silver-tone m1911-style rimfire pistol in the hands of host Michael Bane. At first, we thought this might be a new stainless version of Sig Sauer’s popular 1911-22. But, in actuality, Bane was shooting a Kimber Rimfire Target pistol. Michael’s aluminum-framed Kimber performed great in rapid-fire drills. See one in action below.

Watch Slow-Motion Video of Kimber Rimfire Target (Black Version) Kimber rimfire target .22 LR pistol

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March 8th, 2015

Beretta Introduces New APX Striker-Fired Pistol

Hoping to impress consumers (and possibly secure a major military contract or two), Beretta has introduced the APX, a new striker-fired 9mm handgun. The APX borrows elements from the Glock, HK VP9, and S&W M&P pistols. The grip looks very ergonomic, with an extended rear overhang on the top (like the M&P) and contoured grooves on the front (like the VP9). The most distinctive feature of the new Beretta would be the prominent machined ridges on the slide designed to aid in racking the pistol.

Beretta APX Pistol striker glock vp9

The APX is built with a chassis system. This means that the internal sub-frame is the serialized part. The new APX features a reversible, ambidextrous magazine release. The magazines themselves have a prominent plate on the bottom for easier insertion/extraction. To better fit various hand sizes, three different backstrap inserts can be fitted to the grip.

Beretta APX Pistol striker glock vp9

Beretta hopes many of the world’s armies will adopt this new pistol, which was released at IDEX (International Defense Exhibition & Conference) in late February. According to Gear Scout:

“The pistol is designed specifically for the military market, and Beretta says it’s destined to become the company’s entry into the Army’s Modular Handgun System. But, the Army has yet to release the final requirements for that program to industry. The US Army contract might be the gold rush of pistol contracts, but it’s not the only tender happening at the moment. No doubt, getting the APX out at IDEX was a way to show worldwide (and cash-flush Middle East) defense ministers the major features of the pistol while the company finishes up development on the US military/LE and eventual commercial configurations that will hit the US market soon.”

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February 28th, 2015

Brian “Gunny” Zins Explains Bullseye Pistol Fundamentals

Brian Gunny ZinsBrian “Gunny” Zins, 12-Time NRA National Pistol Champion, has authored an excellent guide to bullseye pistol shooting. Brian’s Clinic on the Fundamentals recently appeared in The Official Journal of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. The CMP scanned the story so you can read it online. CLICK HERE to read full article.

Top Tips from Brian Zins:

Trigger Movement: If trigger control is ever interrupted in slow fire the shot needs to be abored and the shot started over.

Relationship between Sight Alignment and Trigger Control: Often when the fundamentals are explained these two are explained as two different acts. Well, truth be told it’s really kind of hard to accomplish one without the other. They have a symbiotic relationship. In order to truly settle the movement in the dot or sights you need a smooth, steady trigger squeeze.

Trigger Finger Placement: Where should the trigger make contact on the finger? The trigger should be centered in the first crease of the trigger finger. Remember this is an article on Bullseye shooting. If this were an article on free pistol or air pistol it would be different.

Proper Grip: A proper grip is a grip that will NATURALLY align the gun’s sights to the eye of the shooter without having to tilt your head or move your or move your wrists around to do that. Also a proper grip, and most importantly, is a grip that allows the gun to return to the same position [with sights aligned] after each and every shot. The best and easiest way to get the proper grip, at least a good starting postion… is with a holster. Put your 1911 in a holster on the side of your body[.] Allow your shooting hand to come down naturally to the gun.

In recent years, Brian “Gunny” Zins has been shooting 1911s crafted by Cabot Guns.

Brian “Gunny” Zins currently holds 25 National Records.

Brian “Gunny” Zins

NRA Nat’l Pistol Champion: 1996, 1998, 2001, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013

NRA .22 LR Nat’l Champion: 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010

NRA Centerfire Nat’l Champion: 1992, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006

NRA .45 Nat’l Champion: 1996, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009

NRA Regular Service Nat’l Champion: 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008

NRA Civilian Nat’l Champion: 2008, 2009, 2010

NRA Nat’l Trophy Individual: 1998, 2003

Permalink Handguns, Shooting Skills 5 Comments »
February 8th, 2015

Great ISSF Video Shows Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun Sports

Got a minute — one minute and six seconds to be precise? Then you should watch this excellent “trailer” video from the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) TV channel. You’ll see virtually all the major Olympic/International shooting disciplines. Even if you’re not a skeet/trap shooter you’ll enjoy the clips of shotgun champions at the top of their game. And the footage of position rifle shooters reveals the intense concentration requied in that discipline. We really enjoyed this short clip. The MTV-style editing and soundtrack holds your attention, and the cameramen did a great job of capturing the exact moments when shooters took the winning shot. Enjoy.

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January 22nd, 2015

Korth Roller-Locking Semi-Auto .45 ACP Pistol

Korth Germany .45 ACP pistol Video 3D animation

At the 2015 Media Day at the Range, I got to try our some sweet firearms. One was a handgun I’ve lusted after for a couple years, every since watching the killer video German arms-maker Korth created for its Pistole PRS. This video has some great exploded parts views and 3D animations, showing how the roller locking system works when a .45 ACP round is fired.

3D-Cutaway Shots from PRS Pistol Video
Korth Germany .45 ACP pistol Video 3D animation

Korth Germany .45 ACP pistol Video 3D animation

Korth Germany .45 ACP pistol Video 3D animation

Korth .45 acp pistol SHOT Show Media Day Boulder City

Video from 2014 Media Day

This Video was put together by another journalist last year, but we shot the same gun this year.

Learn More about the Korth PRS Pistol:
Korth Web Site
The Firearm Blog Korth PRS Range Report Korth PRS Report

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December 26th, 2014

NSSF Presents Handgun 101 with Chris Cheng

Chris Cheng NSSF Handgun SafetyDo you have a friend or family member who is just getting started in handgunning? The NSSF has created five Handgun 101 videos that cover the basics of handgun shooting, starting with key principles of firearms safety. Hosted by Top Shot Season 4 Champion Chris Cheng, these videos explain the important fundamentals of pistol shooting. If you will be taking a youngster (or novice adult) to the range for the first time, it would be a good idea to have him or her watch one or both of these videos. CLICK HERE to view all Handgun 101 videos.

Handgun 101: Rules for Safe Firearm Handling

Handgun 101: Single Action vs. Double Action Explained

See MORE Handgun 101 videos.

Permalink Handguns, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
December 20th, 2014

Quick History of Silhouette Shooting

The NRA Blog ran an feature on Silhouette shooting by NRA Silhouette Program Coordinator Jonathan Leighton. Here are selections from Leighton’s story:

NRA Silhouette Shooting
The loud crack from the bullet exiting the muzzle followed by an even louder ‘clang’ as you watch your target fly off the railing is really a true addiction for most Silhouette shooters. There is nothing better than shooting a game where you actually get to see your target react to the bullet. In my opinion, this is truly what makes this game so much fun.

Metallic Silhouette — A Mexican Import
Silhouette shooting came to this country from Mexico in the 1960s. It is speculated that sport had its origins in shooting contests between Pancho Villa’s men around 1914. After the Mexican Revolution the sport spread quickly throughout Mexico. ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ uses steel silhouettes shaped like game animals. Chickens up front followed by rows of pigs, turkeys, and furthest away, rams. Being that ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ was originally a Mexican sport, it is common to hear the targets referred to by their Spanish names Gallina (chicken), Javelina (pig), Guajalote (turkey) and Borrego (ram). Depending on the discipline one is shooting, these animals are set at different distances from the firing line, but always in the same order.

Before Steel There Was… Barbeque
In the very beginnings of the sport, live farm animals were used as targets, and afterwards, the shooters would have a barbeque with all the livestock and/or game that was shot during the match. The first Silhouette match that used steel targets instead of livestock was conducted in 1948 in Mexico City, Mexico by Don Gonzalo Aguilar. [Some matches hosted by wealthy Mexicans included high-ranking politicians and military leaders]. As the sport spread and gained popularity during the 1950s, shooters from the Southwestern USA started crossing the Mexican border to compete. Silhouette shooting came into the US in 1968 at the Tucson Rifle Club in Arizona. The rules have stayed pretty much the same since the sport has been shot in the US. NRA officially recognized Silhouette as a shooting discipline in 1972, and conducted its first NRA Silhouette Nationals in November of 1972.

Now There Are Multiple Disciplines
The actual sport of Silhouette is broken into several different disciplines. High Power Rifle, Smallbore Rifle, Cowboy Lever Action Rifle, Black Powder Cartridge Rifle, Air Rifle, Air Pistol, and Hunter’s Pistol are the basic disciplines. Cowboy Lever Action is broken into three sub-categories to include Smallbore Cowboy Rifle, Pistol Cartridge Cowboy Lever Action, and regular Cowboy Lever Action. Black Powder Cartridge Rifle also has a ‘Scope’ class, and Hunter’s Pistol is broken into four sub-categories. Some clubs also offer Military Rifle Silhouette comps.

Where to Shoot Silhouette
NRA-Sanctioned matches are found at gun clubs nation-wide. There are also many State, Regional, and National matches across the country as well. You can find match listings on the Shooting Sports USA website or contact the NRA Silhouette Department at (703) 267-1465. For more info, visit, the #1 website dedicated to Silhouette shooting sports.

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December 11th, 2014

New Pistol Storage Solutions Use Gun Safe Space Efficiently

There are many different systems for storing handguns in a gun safe: coated wire racks (with U-shaped baskets), wood racks, plastic racks, rotary racks, door-mount brackets, door-mount holsters, and vertical shelving units. The rotary racks take up a lot of vertical space (and have a fairly large footprint), while the wire racks use up considerable horizontal space for their capacity.

If you’re looking for the most space-efficient, in-safe handgun storage system, consider the clever Handgun Hangers from Gun Storage Solutions. These vinyl-coated, wire hangers organize handguns below the shelf, freeing up storage space above the shelf. You simply slide each hanger on the shelf and then slip your pistol’s barrel over the lower rod. Handgun Hangers are intended for guns with an overall length of 10 inches or shorter. They will fit shelves that are at least 11 inches deep and 5/8-1 inch in thickness. Handgun Hangers will hold handguns .22 caliber and up, though the fit is a bit snug on .22s. A four-pack of Handgun Hangers costs $15.14.

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wire

WARNING — Always Make Sure Handgun is UNLOADED when using Handgun Hangers!!

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wire

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wireGun Storage Solutions also offers an Over-Under Hanger that holds two handguns — one above the shelf, and one below. A two-pack of Over-Under Hangers (capable of holding four handguns) costs $16.96. This may be a good solution for you. This editor personally prefers the standard model, so I can use the upper surface of the shelve to hold odd-shaped items such as cameras, binoculars, and miscellaneous valuables.

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wire

Magnetic Gun Caddy for Safe Doors or Walls

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wireMany gun owners like to mount handguns on the inside door panel of their gun safes. If this doesn’t interfere with your long gun storage, this can be a smart solution. Most of the door-mount units require special holsters or a series of peg-board style hangers. That may not work if the exposed inside of your door is bare metal. Here’s a smart solution from Benchmaster. The new two-pistol Magnetic WeaponRAC has four magnetic strips that allow the $24.99 two-gun caddy to mount directly to a metal door surface or the inner side-walls of your safe. If your safe door and walls are carpet-lined, there is also a two-pistol WeaponRAC Caddy with Velcro Mounts. A single-pistol caddy is also offered in both magnetic and Velcro versions.

Editor’s Comment: If you only have 3 or 4 handguns, you may want to avoid racks altogether. Our preferred solution for 3-4 handguns is to place each gun in a synthetic fabric BoreStores sack and then line them up on the end of the top shelf in the safe. The silicone-treated BoreStores sacks wick away moisture and provide vital cushioning for the gun. This works fine for a small collection. If you have lots of wheelguns and pistols, however, look into the Handgun Hangers — they really are a space-saving solution.

Permalink New Product, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
October 24th, 2014

Haul 4 Pistols Securely in Specialized Handgunner Backpack

Here’s a handy product for pistol shooters and 3-Gun competitors. The NRA Handgunner Backpack provides a convenient transport solution for your pistols, magazines, and assorted range gear. This product offers all the carrying capacity of a large range bag, in a design that, when worn on your back, leaves your hands free to haul long-gun cases, target frames, spotting scopes, or other bulky hardware. Measuring 17″ wide, 22″ high and 9″ deep, the pack has plenty of room for your gear.

NRA Handgunner Backpack

NRA Handgunner BackpackQuad-Pistol Gear Hauler
The cleverly-designed Handgunner Backpack carries up to four pistols. Undo the zipper, slide out the compartment, place your pistols in one of the four foam gun cradles. Store your magazines in a zip-up side pocket with six (6) individual mag sleeves. There are also specially designed compartments for ammo boxes, muffs, protective eyewear, target stapler, and more. You’ll find handy embroidered patches showing the right spot for each gear item.

Lars Dalseide, editor of the NRAblog, tells us this pack is comfortable and sturdy. The shoulder straps and the rear back panel feature moisture-wicking padding and the pack comes with a waterproof cover. And the pack won’t collapse when you set it on a bench — it stands up on its own.

NRA Handgunner Backpack

We’re impressed with the design and features of this pack. A lot of smart thinking went into its design. As you might expect though, because the Handgunner Backpack has so many features, it’s not cheap. This specialized backpack sells for $119.95 at the the NRA Online Store. We don’t think that’s too much, considering what this pack can do. This could be a sweet Xmas gift for the pistolero or 3-Gun shooter in the family. If you are running a shooting match, the Handgunner Backpack would make a great prize — way more useful than a walnut plaque.

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