September 13th, 2014

Brownells Videos Show How to Maintain Your 1911-Type Pistol

While AccurateShooter.com 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.

1911 Browning Pistol Brownells Wilson Combat

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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September 8th, 2014

When Do Gunsmiths Need a Firearms Manufacturing License?

colorado school of trades gunsmithing ATF

When does a gunsmith become a “firearms manufacturer”? That’s an important legal question that professional gunsmiths need to consider. Normally, a gunsmith (with an FFL) can receive firearms, chamber/fit barrels, do bedding jobs, and install stocks without requiring a firearms manufacturer’s license. However, other gunsmithing tasks may spill over into “manufacturing activities”. Sometimes the distinctions are not so obvious. Consider these three examples provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF):

Surplus Rifle Sales Version 1: A gunsmith purchases surplus firearms, cleans the firearms, then offers them for sale to the public.

ATF Verdict: The company does NOT need to be licensed as a manufacturer.

But consider this…

Surplus Rifle Sales Verson 2: A gunsmith buys surplus military rifles or pistols and removes the stocks, adds new stocks or pistol grips, cleans the firearms, then sends the firearms to a separate contractor for bluing. These firearms are then sold to the public.

ATF Verdict: This would be considered manufacturing of firearms and the gunsmith should be licensed as a manufacturer.

And “Sporterizing” an old military rifle can be considered “manufacturing” as well:

Surplus Rifle Sales Version 3: A gunsmith buys surplus military rifles, bends the bolts to accept a scope, and then drills the receivers for a scope base. The gunsmith offers these firearms for sale.

ATF Verdict: This would be considered the manufacturing of firearms and the gunsmith should be licensed as a manufacturer.

These three examples provided by the ATF suggest that gunsmiths need to study the law, and be mindful that the more a firearm is altered and modified (with the objective of resale), the greater the possibility that a manufacturer’s license would be required.

ATF Guidelines for Gunsmiths
On its Manufacturers FAQ Page, the ATF has provided some guidelines to help gunsmiths and FFL-holders determine when a manufacturing license is required:

“Generally, a person engaged in gunsmithing requires only a dealer’s license (type 01). However, there are circumstances in which a gunsmith might require a manufacturing license. Generally, a person should obtain a license as a manufacturer of firearms if the person is:

1. Performing operations which create firearms or alter firearms (in the case of alterations, the work is not being performed at the request of customers, rather the person who is altering the firearms is purchasing them, making the changes, and then reselling them), 2. is performing the operations as a regular course of business or trade, and 3. is performing the operations for the purpose of sale or distribution of the firearms.”

ATF Examples Showing When Manufacturer License Is or Is Not Required
Below are examples of gunsmithing operations with guidance as to whether or not such operations would be considered manufacturing under the Gun Control Act (GCA). A key factor is whether the “operations performed on the firearms were… for the purpose of sale or distribution”. (NOTE: These examples do not address the question of whether the operations are considered manufacturing for purposes of determining excise tax.) View ATF Manufacturer FAQ Page for more details.

  • Example 1: Completing Rifle on Customer-Supplied Action.
    A company receives firearm frames from individual customers, attaches stocks and barrels, and returns the firearms to the customers for the customers’ personal use.
    ATF Verdict: Manufacturer License NOT Required.
    The operations performed on the firearms were not for the purpose of sale or distribution. The company should be licensed as a dealer or gunsmith, not as a manufacturer of firearms.
  • Example 2: Barrel-Making. A company produces barrels for firearms and sells the barrels to another company that assembles and sells complete firearms.
    ATF Verdict: Manufacturer License NOT Required.
    Because barrels are not firearms, the company that manufactures the barrels is not a manufacturer of firearms. [However], the company that assembles and sells the firearms should be licensed as a manufacturer of firearms.
  • Example 3: Single Gun Project. A company acquires one receiver, assembles one firearm, and sells the firearm.
    ATF Verdict: Manufacturer License NOT Required.
    The company is not manufacturing firearms as a regular course of trade or business and is not engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms. This company does not need to be licensed as a manufacturer.
  • Example 4: Production of actions or frames for direct sale. A company produces a quantity of firearm frames or receivers for sale to customers who will assemble firearms.
    ATF Verdict: Manufacturer License IS Required.
    The company is engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms and should be licensed as a manufacturer of firearms.
  • Example 5: Production of actions as parts suppliers. A company produces frames or receivers for another company that assembles and sells the firearms.
    ATF Verdict: Manufacturer License IS Required
    BOTH companies are engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms and each should be licensed as a manufacturer of firearms.
  • Example 6: Modification of Pistols. A gunsmith buys government model pistols and installs “drop-in” precision trigger parts or other “drop-in parts” for the purpose of resale.
    ATF Verdict: Manufacturer License IS Required.
    This would be considered the manufacturing of firearms, as the gunsmith is purchasing the firearms, modifying the firearms and selling them. The gunsmith should be licensed as a manufacturer.
Permalink Gunsmithing 4 Comments »
August 26th, 2014

New Valuation Resource for Carry Guns

As the majority of states now allow concealed carry (under “shall issue” or similar doctrines), there are more Americans armed with carry guns than ever before. And now there’s a new resource that lets CCW holders keep track of the value of their totable weapons.

Carry Gun values book publishing

A Guide Book of Carry Gun Values covers all types of carry handguns from derringers up to full-frame semi-autos and large relovers. This full-color book offers accurate pricing estimates along with handgun specifications, production history, and market information.

This resource features the Red Book Code™, a universal system of identifying and organizing firearms on the secondary market. Additionally, since wear is a huge factor in determining a firearm’s value, the book offers a firearm condition grading scale, rating guns at NIB (New in Box), Mint, Excellent, VG+ (Very Good Plus), Good, Fair, and Poor.

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August 8th, 2014

How to Hold a 1911 Correctly — Tips from Todd Jarrett

Todd Jarrett is one of the world’s best handgun shooters. A multi-time World Champion, Todd knows a thing or two about semi-auto pistols, particularly 1911s and 1911-based raceguns. Jarrett holds four World titles, nine National titles and has won more than 50 Area championships, as well as many other action shooting events. Jarrett is the only USPSA Triple Crown Winner and he holds four USPSA National titles: Open, Limited, Production, and Limited-10. Jarrett revealed in an interview that between 1988 and 2001 he shot about 1.7 million rounds during practice: “I had a gun in my hand for two hours every day for 10 years to develop my skill level”.

Todd Jarrett

In the video below, Todd explains how to get the proper grip on your handgun, and how to employ a proper stance. We’ve watched many videos on pistol shooting. This is one of the best instructional videos we’ve seen. Todd explains, in easy-to-understand terms, the key elements of grip and stance. One very important point he demonstrates is how to align the grip in your hand so that the gun points naturally — something very important when rapid aiming is required. If you watch this video, you’ll learn valuable lessons — whether you shoot competitively or just want to have better control and accuracy when using your handgun defensively.

Related Article: Thumbs-Forward Shooting Grip for 1911s
“Shooting semiautomatic pistols using the thumbs-forward method really becomes useful … where speed and accuracy are both needed. By positioning the thumbs-forward along the slide (or slightly off of the slide) you are in essence creating a second sighting device: wherever your shooting thumb is pointing is where the pistol is pointing. This makes it incredibly fast to draw the pistol, get your proper grip, and press forward to the target without needing to hunt around for the front sight.” — Cheaper Than Dirt Blog, 9/13/2010.

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July 13th, 2014

Moving and Shooting — Can You Do This Treadmill Drill?

In the real world of self-defense, you can’t stand still like a bullseye target shooter*. You may need to move to cover, go to the aid of a family member, or otherwise move while being able to shoot. We’ve seen a variety of “move and shoot” drills, but most involve walking a few steps, then stopping, then moving again.

Here’s a drill that raises the degree of difficulty to another level entirely. In this video, instructor Dave Harrington engages 24 targets (one with a double-tap), while striding briskly (and continuously) on a powered treadmill. That’s right, Harrington stays on the treadmill for nearly a minute, and goes 25 for 25 with two (2) mag changes. (Shots 7 and 8 are a silhouette double-tap, for a total of 25 shots.) Harrington makes it look easy. But do you think you pull this off with no misses?

Shooting from Treadmill — Firing Sequence Starts at 1:20

Our friend Dennis Santiago, who also is a firearms instructor, says Harrington’s treadmill drill is no mean feat: “OK, this I am impressed by. This is not easy.” Another viewer commented: “That, I assure you, is a whole lot harder than it looks to run it clean like [Harrington] did.” As Harrington notes, a treadmill “is extremely unforgiving … you either possess the skill or the treadmill will take you to school.”

*That’s no knock on our bullseye shooters. They are very skilled. However, self-defense is a different challenge altogether.

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July 13th, 2014

USAMU Soldier Wins National Pistol Championship

Report based on story by Lars Dalseide for NRA Blog
This afternoon, SSG Patrick Franks of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit walked off the Rodriguez range as the new NRA National Pistol Champion. This is his first-ever National Pistol Championship — and it didn’t come easy. With a final score of 2649-147X, Patrick’s victory was by a slim margin.

“He won by 16 Xs,” said Match Director Tom Hughes. “I can’t remember one ever being this close.”

Patrick Franks Pistol Championships Camp Perry

2014 has been a great year for Patrick Franks. “This year was my first 1st-place win at Interservice (the 55th Interservice Pistol Championships at Fort Benning),” said Franks. “A lot of our team matches at Interservice and at Canton were milestone performances and looking back at those I just kept going with it while I’m here.”

Patrick Franks Pistol Championships Camp Perry

“I thought I was shooting pretty well,” Franks continued. “Good for my average, good for being up here. Just tried concentrating on the team matches and ended up coming out better than I expected. Just enough.”

The USAMU Pistol Team enjoyed a clean sweep of the individual matches, won the .45 caliber team match, and secured the overall Team title. Congratulations to SSG Patrick Franks on winning his first National Pistol Championship, to SFC James Henderson for taking second, and to SGT Greg Markowski for taking third. (Markowski also won the Revolver Match). 13-time NRA Pistol Champion Brian Zins, a few weeks out of hip surgery, finished 10th.


Here are photos from the CMP Photo Gallery for the 2014 National Trophy Pistol Matches at Camp Perry.

Patrick Franks Pistol Championships Camp Perry

Patrick Franks Pistol Championships Camp Perry

Patrick Franks Pistol Championships Camp Perry

Patrick Franks Pistol Championships Camp Perry

Patrick Franks Pistol Championships Camp Perry

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July 12th, 2014

2014 NRA National Pistol Championships Are Underway

National NRA Matches Camp Perry Pistol

Story by Lars Dalseide for NRA Blog
Port Clinton, Ohio – If you’ve never attended a match held by the National Rifle Association then you don’t know what you’re missing. The sights and sounds are enough to overwhelm the tamest of firearm enthusiasts, driving one to ask … why the hell am I watching and not shooting in this thing?!

This year that question can be answered with a simple it’s too late. But next year? That is definitely a possibility. So pick up that pistol, head down to the range, and get that trigger finger in shape for 2015.

Until then, here’s a look at what you’re missing:

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June 30th, 2014

Brownells Videos Show How to Accessorize 1911-Type Pistols

While AccurateShooter.com 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 six short videos from Brownells showing how to customize a 1911-style pistol with after-market upgrades.

How to Accessorize Your 1911
This six-part series by Brownells provides step-by-step instruction on how to accessorize your 1911. The videos cover changing out the mainspring housing, magazine release, slide release, hammer, guide rod, and installing a group gripper.

Hammer

Hammer


 

Slide Stop

Slide Stop

Full Length Guide Rod

Full Length Guide Rod

Wilson Group Gripper

Wilson Group Gripper

Video Tip from Edlongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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May 13th, 2014

Excellent Video Covers Handgun Fundamentals

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.”

Grip (Hand Position): SGT Coley explains how to divide the support between both hands: “In terms of grip pressure, I’m applying about 60% to my support hand, and 40% to my strong hand. This is because I need to maintain dexterity with my strong hand to operate the trigger at high rates of speed.”

Trigger Control: The placement of your finger on the trigger blade itself is very important notes Coley: “Putting too much (or not enough) of your finger on the trigger can cause you to pull or push your shots. When you squeeze the trigger, make sure to squeeze it all the way to the rear, in one smooth motion. A quick dry-fire drill to help you with this is to take an empty piece of brass and place it on the front of your slide. Aim at the target, and with the proper trigger control, you should be able to break the shot without the piece of brass falling.”

Pistol Fundamentals USAMU

Pistol Pointers
On the web, you’ll find hundreds of pistol shooting videos — some good, some not helpful at all. In some of those “not helpful” videos the featured shooter has bad habits, or more often than not, he exhibits poor accuracy on target. You won’t find those kinds of shortcomings in this USAMU-sponsored video. SGT Coley doesn’t make foolish mistakes, nor does he exhibit bad habits when shooting. And his accuracy is outstanding. When you look for a pistol trainer — stick to someone like SGT Coley, who has solid fundamentals, the complete skill set, and superior accuracy. A trainer can’t teach a skill that he doesn’t understand himself.

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May 7th, 2014

Radical 6″-Wide Offset Pistol for 1000-yard Benchrest

Forum member Eric has built an innovative specialty pistol for long-range benchrest. The gun is chambered in 6.5-284 and built for IBS 1000-yard shooting. Eric originally built the gun with a 3″-wide fore-end, then decided to go with a 6″-wide offset design since the IBS no longer restricts Light Gun Forearms to three inches. Eric explained: “After building the 3″-wide stock I looked at the IBS 1000-yard benchrest rules and found out that there was not a width limit and rails were allowed for a Light Gun stock. I set out to design a 6″ version. I was thinking it should be offset also to help control torque and track straighter. I had a new 6.5mm, 1:8.5″ twist, 1.250″ HV-contour Krieger barrel. I chambered the barrel for 6.5-284 and bedded the stock.”

6.5-284 1000-yard pistol

6.5-284 1000-yard pistol

Eric feeds his pistol Sierra 142gr MatchKings with a load of 51.0 grains of H4831sc. Estimated muzzle velocity with this load is 2900 fps — respectable speed from the short barrel. The gun tracks remarkably well, with very little torque effect, as you can see in the video below.

After initial testing, Eric added a muzzle brake to the barrel. This tamed the recoil considerably. To learn more about Eric’s long-range 6.5-284 pistol, visit our Shooters Forum and READ this POST. To see more videos of the pistol in action (with muzzle brake), visit Eric’s PhotoBucket Album.

6.5-284 1000-yard pistol

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April 29th, 2014

STI International Featured on Shooting USA Television

This Wednesday, April 30th, Shooting USA will feature STI International, an employee-owned company based in Georgetown, Texas. STI builds great pistols. In fact, STI has claimed more modern-era national pistol titles than any other manufacturer. This week’s episode of Shooting USA will provide an inside look at STI, showing how STI’s match-winning handguns are crafted and assembled.

STI International

STI SteelMaster
STI International’s SteelMaster is a shorter, lighter race pistol optimized for faster target acquisition and faster follow-up shots. With a STI 2011 frame, 4.15″ classic slide, STI Recoilmaster, and Trubor compensated barrel system, the SteelMaster delivers the advantages of a full-size race pistol in a smaller, lighter, faster reacting, and less violent package. And unlike many other compensated pistols, the SteelMaster runs factory ammo without a hiccup.

STI International

The Steelmaster’s shorter Trubor barrel system and shorter slide combine to decrease slide cycle time allowing the shooter to achieve faster follow-up shots. The slide has lightening cuts front and rear to reduce weight, and “Sabertooth” serrations. With an overall weight of 38.9 oz, the SteelMaster is significantly lighter than full-size race pistols. MSRP for the STI Steelmaster is $3,048.00 with one magazine.

STI International Edge
Integrating patented 2011 technology with classic 1911 design, the STI International Edge is a high capacity pistol that carries John Browning’s design into the 21st Century. Since its introduction in late 1997, the STI Edge has become the standard for USPSA/IPSC Limited Division competition. Built on the STI Modular Steel 2011® frame with polymer grip, the Edge delivers the traditional features of a 1911 with the benefit of high capacity magazines. The Edge frame preserves the 17° grip angle (like the original 1911). The design allows for double stack magazines without over-sizing the grip.

STI Edge 1911 2011 Pistol

Along with its distinctive full-length dust-cover frame, the STI Edge features traditional front and rear cocking serrations. The Edge comes standard with a stainless, high-rise, knuckle-relief grip safety, stainless ambi-thumb safeties, and a stainless, fully-supported and ramped bull barrel. The Edge costs $2,180.00 with one 126mm magazine.

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April 6th, 2014

NSSF Takes Over Rimfire Challenge Program

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has taken over the Ruger Rimfire Challenge program. Now called the NSSF Rimfire Challenge, the program retains the format that has made it so popular. This remains a two-gun timed competition with rimfire rifles and pistols. Shooters engage steel targets at relatively close distances. The matches are for young and old alike, all skill levels, with mentoring by experienced shooters. The emphasis is on fun and safety.

NSSF Rimfire Challenge

The use of .22 caliber pistols, revolvers and rifles make the Rimfire Challenge more affordable than most centerfire matches. “The affordability of this program is something that participants really like and keeps them coming back,” said Zach Snow, NSSF’s Manager of Shooting Promotions. “Event fees are affordable as well.”

For participants, NSSF Rimfire Challenge offers categories for everyone — Open and Limited Divisions, plus Special Recognition competitions. To learn more about on program equipment, rules, courses of fire, scheduled matches and the first NSSF Rimfire World Championship, visit NSSF.org/Rimfire.

    NSSF Rimfire Challenge Basics

  • This is a two-gun event so you need a rifle and a handgun (which can be either a semi-auto pistol or revolver).
  • Bolt-action rifles and lever-action rifles are allowed, but self-loading (semi-auto) rifles are most popular because they can shoot quickly.
  • It is suggested that your firearms hold at least ten rounds each, as there is no reloading allowed during the actually stages.
  • It is a good idea to have five (5) magazines per gun (5 each for rifle and pistol). That way you don’t have to reload between stages. If you have a 10-shot revolver, you can reload manually, or use speed loaders.
  • At Rimfire Challenge Matches, each competitor get five (5) runs through each target stage.
  • Eye and ear protection is required on the range at all times. This is true for spectators as well as competitors.

NSSF Rimfire Challenge Courses of Fire | NSSF Rimfire Challenge Rulebook

Many different stage designs can be employed at Rimfire Challenge matches. Here are two examples from the NSSF Rimfire Challengs Suggested Courses of Fire:

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