May 26th, 2018

Pistol Instructor Offers Critic A Slice of Humble Pie

Smith Wesson pistol accuracy Grutter M&P 45 .45 ACP Winchester ammo
Shown is the Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm model. The M&P 45 is the same except for chambering.

You’ll hear some shooters complain loudly about the (perceived) lack of accuracy of their handguns. Well, sometimes the problem IS the gun, but other times the problem is “driver error”. At the range, we often hear guys blame their gun for poor accuracy, when in fact the real problem is lack of operator skill. This saga, posted recently on Facebook, is a case in point.

Here’s the story. A gentleman attending an armorer’s course at Smith & Wesson was loudly dissing a S&W M&P 45, claiming it could not shoot. Very loudly he tells the instructor, “the M&P 45 one of our officers is carrying is sh*t”. He then trash-talks the gun, saying that both he and his officer couldn’t get the gun to shoot decent groups, either with FMJ or duty ammo.

Well it seems that Gregory Grutter, S&W’s Chief Firearms Instructor, happened to overhear these vociferous complaints, so Grutter asked to test-fire the M&P 45 pistol. Grutter put a couple of his business cards up at 15 yards, then shot one with Winchester Ranger SXT and the other with Winchester White Box ammo. Grutter’s best group was about half an inch, measured with OnTarget. Check it out:

Smith Wesson pistol accuracy Grutter M&P 45 .45 ACP Winchester ammo

We’re told that, after hearing the litany of complaints, Grutter walked over to the loud-mouthed grumbler and asked: “Hey Sir, can I shoot it?

“Have at it, I don’t want that POS back!” said Mr. Negative.

Kharma time baby… In Grutter’s hands the M&P performed superbly. Here are Grutter’s two 5-shot groups, each shot at 15 yards with the .45 ACP Smith & Wesson pistol. Pretty darn impressive:

Smith Wesson pistol accuracy Grutter M&P 45 .45 ACP Winchester ammo

After seeing this, the complainer asked: “Why did you shoot your cards — Ain’t got no targets?”

Grutter smiled and replied: “Nah… in case you or your officer want to learn how to shoot [this way] you will have the numbers to call.” Badda Bing!

Permalink Handguns, Shooting Skills 3 Comments »
July 8th, 2017

Rebate Mania — Save Money with Eight Great Rebates

pistol rifle remington marlin smith wesson rebate hornady walther taurus nra membership

Many gun-makers and gear manufacturers have excess inventory. To move product they are offering a variety of incentives — discount coupons, free accessories/upgrades, and cash-back rebates. Here are some of the best gun industry rebates we’ve found. Some of these offers can save you hundreds of dollars on a new firearm. Other deals can deliver free bullets, free magazines, free batteries, or even a free NRA membership.

Remington Live Ready Rebates
Save $60-$160 on select Remington Rifles and Shotguns. Save $50-$100 on select Remington pistols. Mail-in Rebate.
Expires: July 30, 2017

Hornady Get Loaded 2017
Get 500 free bullets with the purchase of select Hornady Lock-N-Load reloading products, with Mail-in Coupon.
Expires: December 31, 2017

Bushmaster Rifle Rebate Days
Purchase any select qualifying Bushmaster rifle and receive $150 cash back (except QRC). Receive $75 cash back on QRC models.
Expires: July 30, 2017

Marlin Firearms Rifle Rebates
Cash back on qualifying Marlin rifles: $50 on select Marlin 336W, $75 on Marlin 336 and 1894 Models, and $100 on Marlin 1895.
Expires: July 30, 2017

Smith & Wesson Summer Rebates
Purchase any NEW qualifying M&P Full Size, Compact, or M&P Shield Pistol and receive 2 magazines, 2 boxes of ammo, and a Caldwell Mag Charger via Mail-In Rebate.
Expires: September 30, 2017

Crimson Trace Battery Promo
This unique program allows (1) set of batteries per calendar year, per product and is valid for most Crimson Trace products and battery types. Free Batteries for Life.
Expires: Not Listed

Walther $100 Cash Back
Get $100 cash back when you purchase any qualifying Walther model PPS or PPQ handgun. Mail-In Rebate.
Expires: September 15, 2017

Taurus — Free NRA Membership
Receive a Free NRA Membership with purchase of new Taurus Firearm.
Expires: December 30, 2017

Sale/Rebate Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions
Permalink Handguns, Hot Deals No Comments »
January 19th, 2017

SHOT Show Pistol Parade — Bling Is the Thing

SHOT show pistol Desert Eagle 2017
Bring the Bling, Baby! This Desert Eagle Mark XIX features a highly polished Gold-Tone Titanium Tiger Stripe finish. Conspicuous Consumption, SHOT Show Style.

There were literally thousands of handguns on display at SHOT Show, most of which you could hold, cycle, and test the trigger pull. Among the hordes of handguns, we found some very eye-catching examples, such as the Gold-tone Titanium plated “Tiger Stripe” Desert Eagle above. Just what a Rap Star or Tin-Pot Dictator needs. Below are some other interesting handguns we saw at SHOT Show 2017

Ed Brown Signature Edition Engraved 1911
This Ed Brown Signature Edition Model 1911 boasts elaborate engraving over the entire slide and frame. The blueing is rich and deep (the photo does not do it justice). This is not an “entry-level” handgun, that’s for sure — the wholesale “dealer price” is a whopping $6,156.00. Expect to pay well over $7000.00 at retail. Beauty ain’t cheap.

Ed Brown 1911 Engraved Signature Edition

Smith & Wesson Performance Center 9mm Revolver with Hogue Mods
This handsome S&W Performance Center 9mm revolver features a beautiful Cocobolo and Walnut grip along with a special speed lever for the cylinder release. That speed lever assists rapid reloading of the pistol with moon clips. This kind of revolver is used in action shooting matches, such as the Bianchi Cup.

9mm Revolver S&W Hogue

Best of the Old West — A Slew of Schofields
At the Taylor & Company booth, there were hundreds of single action revolvers on display. Here is a brace of top-break Schofields. This design features a hinge at the front of the frame which allows rapid unloading. Based on the original S&W Model 3, the “Schofield” model was named after Major George W. Schofield, who modified the original Model 3 to better serve the needs of Cavalrymen. Smith & Wesson incorporated the Major’s mods into an 1875 design that now bears Major Schofield’s name. S&W Model 3 Schofield revolvers saw service in the Indian Wars, and they were popular with legendary lawmen and outlaws in the American West (including Jesse James).

S&W Model 3 Schofield Revolver Wild West

9mm 1911 — Havoc Dan Wesson Elite with Angled Reflex Sight
We like 1911s, and we like the 9mm Luger cartridge for its affordability and low recoil. Put the two together and you have a very accurate, shootable package, with a superb trigger. This bad-ass 9mm 1911 is a Dan Wesson Elite Series Havoc. It caught our eye because it boasts a C-MORE SlideRide red dot Reflex Sight mounted at an angle on the left side of the slide. Clever design — that gives you the advantage of the Red Dot Sight, with a lower profile. The Havoc, which sells for $4,299.00, is also offered in .38 Super.

Dan Wesson Havoc Elite 9mm Luger 1911 pistol

dan wesson 9mm elite havoc pistol

Taurus Spectrum — A Pastel Pistol Fashion Statement
Apparently small carry guns have become fashion items. Tauras displayed its new .380 ACP Spectrum pistol in a rainbow of frame/grip color combinations. Along with white frame and blue grip, there were gray/tan, gray/green, gray/red, and gray/blue versions. Taurus really does deliver a spectrum of colors…

taurus spectrum colored pistol .380 acp carry gun

Double Trouble — Two Super-Sized Revolvers
At the Smith & Wesson booth, one visitor showed off two mega-sized S&W Performance Center hunting revolvers. These jumbo S&W500™ wheelguns, chambered for the mighty 500 S&W Magnum cartridge, feature massive 10.5″ barrels plus muzzle brakes. Overall length is 18″. Size counts right?

S&W 500 hunting revolver pistol shot show

smith wesson 500 revolver shot show

Permalink Handguns, New Product No Comments »
July 27th, 2016

Smith & Wesson Acquires Crimson Trace for $95 Million

Crimson Trace CTC Smith & Wesson Holding Company S&W acquisition Oregon Wilsonville

Here’s big news in the gun industry. In a $95 million cash deal, Smith & Wesson Holding Company (Nasdaq: SWHC) will acquire Crimson Trace Corporation (CTC), the industry leader in firearms laser sights and tactical lighting. Once the acquisition is finalized, CTC will operate as Smith & Wesson’s new Electro-Optics Division, headed by Lane Tobiassen, CTC’s current President and CEO. Jeffrey Buchanan, Executive VP and CFO of Smith & Wesson, stated, “We intend to complete the purchase of Crimson Trace with cash on hand and we expect the transaction to close in three to six weeks.”

Lane Tobiassen Crimson Trace CTC Smith & Wesson Holding Company S&W acquisition Oregon WilsonvilleThis deal makes sense for both parties. In the past 12 months, CTC earned $44 million, with a quarter of that coming from Smith & Wesson. CTC President/CEO Lane Tobiassen will serve as President of S&W’s new Electro-Optics Division. The Crimson Trace management team and workforce, as well as its base of operations, will remain in Wilsonville, Oregon after the acquisition. Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (SWHC) will purchase all of the outstanding stock of Crimson Trace for $95.0 million in cash.

Two Decades of Innovation and Growth for CTC
Founded 22 years ago, Crimson Trace is now the firearms industry leader in laser sighting system and tactical lighting. CTC currently offers more than 225 products, including: Lasergrips®, Laserguard®, Rail Master® platforms, Defender Series®, Lightguard®, and the new LiNQ™ wireless activation system. With its ever-expanding product line, CTC has generated a 10-year compound annual revenue growth rate in excess of 10%.

Crimson Trace CTC Smith & Wesson Holding Company S&W acquisition Oregon Wilsonville
CTC offers cutting-edge technology, including LiNQ™, the world’s first wirelessly-controlled laser + white light system. LiNQ™ combines a green laser sight and 300-Lumen LED white light for AR-Type Modern Sporting Rifles. The laser and light are controlled wirelessly via handgrip buttons.

Top Crimson Trace and S&W Executives Speak Out:
CTC President/CEO Lane Tobiassen said: “It is a great honor to lead Crimson Trace into this exciting new chapter in our history by joining the Smith & Wesson team. Since 1994, we have designed and brought to market more than 225 products[.] As the new Electro-Optics Division of Smith & Wesson, we believe that our capabilities, combined with inorganic opportunities to acquire related technologies, will expand the reach of our existing market footprint. This makes us a great fit for Smith & Wesson, a legendary company with an iconic brand[.]”

James Debney, Smith & Wesson President and CEO said, “Crimson Trace provides us with an exceptional opportunity to acquire a thriving company that is completely aligned with our strategy to become a leader in the market for shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiasts. As the undisputed leader in the market for laser sighting products, Crimson Trace serves as an ideal platform for our new Electro-Optics Division.”

Permalink News, Optics No Comments »
September 28th, 2014

Smith & Wesson Performance Center Ported M&P Pistols

M&P smith wesson ported pistol 9mm .40sw

Smith & Wesson is introducing a new series of ported M&P pistols. Chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W, the Performance Center M&P Ported pistols offer a factory-ported barrel and slide. Both 4.25″ and 5″ barrel configurations are offered in each caliber. A special Performance Center sear provides a crisp 4.5-pound trigger pull with faster reset. The 9mm pistol has a 17+1 round capacity while the .40 S&W variant features a 15+1 round capacity. Both handguns (9mm and 40 S&W) have an MSRP of $812 with two magazines.

The ported design should help competitors, says pistol ace Jerry Miculek: “The two biggest advantages of running a ported gun in competition involve reduced muzzle rise and less perceived recoil. This [will] help with shorter split times and more rounds on target — two things every competitor wants.”

M&P smith wesson ported pistol 9mm .40sw

The new ported M&P pistols feature a slide-top platform for easy mounting of red-dot optics. These guns also have high-profile iron sights that can be used in conjunction with the optics. The M&P Performance Center Ported models also feature a textured interchangeable back strap. Three palmswell grips are supplied with each pistol, allowing shooters to custom-tailor grip size to their preference.

M&P smith wesson ported pistol 9mm .40swVideo Shows Ported Pistol Features and 3D CAD Views:

Permalink Handguns, New Product 1 Comment »
May 8th, 2014

Julie Says ‘Take a Moment’ for Gun Safety This Mother’s Day

julie golob child safetyTeam Smith & Wesson shooter Julie Golob has a message for this Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 11th). Julie writes: “While some are using Mother’s Day week to push a gun control agenda, I’d like to encourage moms to ‘Take a Moment’. Talk to your kids about firearms safety. Help them learn what to do around firearms and have an open, honest discussion about guns and gun safety.

I truly believe that, no matter if you are pro-gun or anti-gun, everyone should know and understand the basic rules of firearm safety. It is equally important for parents to have the discussion about guns and what to do if your child finds one. Both the NSSF’s Project ChildSafe and the NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program are excellent. They offer resources for parents, educators, and child care providers to help ensure kids stay safe.

Julie encourages all who read this to share the message. So far, on Facebook, the “Take a Moment” image has been shared 639 times, and seen by 66,112 people. That’s the power of the internet. Julie says: “Thank you all so much for helping me spread the importance of firearms safety.”

julie golob child safety

Permalink News 1 Comment »
April 25th, 2014

Miculek Makes 16 Shots in 4.01 Seconds with 9mm Revolver

How fast can a human shoot a revolver? The legendary Jerry Miculek answers that question in this video. Using his new, 9mm model 929 revolver, Jerry shoots 16 shots in 4.01 seconds, with a reload*. His splits between shots were running 0.16-0.17 seconds. That works out to a peak rate of fire of 353 rounds per minute, faster than some early-era machine guns. Even counting his reloads, his sustained rate of fire would be 239 rounds per minute, faster than a 19th-century Gatling gun. Note: If you are attending the NRA Annual Meetings in Indianapolis this weekend, you can meet Jerry Miculek at the Hornady booth (#6361) on Friday or Saturday at 4:00 PM.

16 shots w reload Split Times Peak Rate of Fire Sustained Rate of Fire
4.01 seconds 0.16-0.17 seconds 353 rds per min 239 rds per min

Smith & Wesson 929 Eight-shot Revolver, Jerry Miculek Edition

Jerry really likes his JM Signature Edition model 629 revolver. Produced by the S&W Custom Shop, this 9mm handgun features a ported, broach-cut barrel plus a titanium cylinder. Jerry says the low-mass titanium cylinder reciprocates very fast, making for a responsive rapid-fire revolver.

Jerry Miculek 929 Smith Wesson S&W revolver titanium

*This was time on target. Total time including initial reaction time was 4.88 seconds.

Permalink - Videos, Shooting Skills 5 Comments »
November 16th, 2011

Championship .38 Spl Revolver — 11 Years Old and Still Winning

Editor’s Note: Sometimes proven old designs are just as good as the latest technology. In the capable hands of Robert Vadasz, the scratched and well-used 11-year-old Smith & Wesson revolver shown below has won three PPC National Championships and the 2011 National Police Shooting Championship (multiple guns used). Here’s a profile of a great shooter and his trusty old wheelgun.

Vasdasz 38spl Revolver

Story by Lars Dalseide, for The NRA Blog
When I first approached U.S. Border Patrol Agent Robert Vadasz about profiling the guns he used to win the 2011 National Police Shooting Championship — his third in four years — he had just completed the final stage of the Revolver 1500 Match. A match that he won with a score of 1490-117X. A match in which he used his Bob Jones PPC revolver.

“It’s a .38 Special Smith & Wesson,” said Vadasz. “My Bob Jones PPC revolver. The very first competition gun that I ever had built … probably back in 2000″. Fitted with Hogue Monogrip, the .38 hasn’t been tinkered with since the day it arrived. “Exact same gun,” said Vadasz. “It’s never been worked on. It’s never been changed. I won all three of my PPC National Championships with this gun. It’s real special to me.”

In a 2001 NRA Law Enforcement Division Newsletter, gunsmith Bob Jones talked about his work on PPC pistols: “I started working on pistols in the Navy, and it kind of stuck — it was something I really enjoyed doing,” said Bob, thinking back to his days as a Naval armorer who tinkered with .45s.

Vasdasz 38spl Revolver

Bob’s typical modifications to a Smith & Wesson revolver include fitting a Shilen barrel, bobbing the hammer (cutting off the cocking spur), adding an Aristocrat Sight Rib, tuning and smoothing the trigger, and installing a trigger stop. The Shilen barrel increases accuracy, adds some additional weight for stability, and its increased size (and surface area) helps with heat dissipation.

Vasdasz 38spl Revolver

Permalink Competition, Gunsmithing 2 Comments »
November 14th, 2011

S&W Expands Thompson Center Venture Rifle Recall

Last week we reported that Smith & Wesson was recalling certain Thompson/Center (T/C) Venture rifles because of potential defects in the sear mechanism. Well it looks like the problem is worse than first thought. As a result, Smith & Wesson has expanded its recall to include ALL T/C Venture Rifles manufactured prior to October 28, 2011. The sear issue could possibly cause a Venture rifle to fire without the trigger being pulled. READ Recall Notice.

Expanded Recall of Thompson/Center (T/C) Venture Rifles
This broadens the recall announced by Smith & Wesson on November 8, 2011. This recall applies to ALL Venture rifles manufactured prior to October 28, 2011. To determine if your rifle is affected, please reference the serial number list located at www.smith-wesson.com/venturerecall or by calling Smith & Wesson directly at 1-800-713-0356. If your serial number does not fall within the list of affected serial numbers, your rifle is not part of this recall.

REMEDY/ACTION TO BE TAKEN: STOP USING YOUR RIFLE. Any unintended discharge of a firearm has the potential to cause injury or death, and we ask that you stop using your rifle until we have an opportunity to inspect the sear to make certain that there is no condition which will allow the rifle to fire without the trigger being pulled. To facilitate the inspection and, if necessary, repair of your rifle, please contact Smith & Wesson’s customer service department to receive instructions and a prepaid return label for the return of your rifle to Smith & Wesson. When you return your rifle to Smith & Wesson, be sure to attach the completed information card received from Smith & Wesson, so that your rifle can be returned to you as quickly and efficiently as possible.

CONSUMER CONTACT: Please contact Smith & Wesson directly at 1-800-713-0356, or at venturerecall@smith-wesson.com to arrange for the inspection and repair of your rifle.

Permalink News 3 Comments »
November 5th, 2011

Smith & Wesson Rolls Out .300 Whisper AR-Platform Rifle

Smith & Wesson is going to produce an AR15-type rifle chambered for the .300 Whisper cartridge. This will be an addition to S&W’s Military & Police (M&P) Rifle series. As the first production rifle in the AR platform to be chambered in .300 Whisper (and .300 AAC Blackout), the new rifle offers both sub-sonic and supersonic capabilities. Originally developed and pioneered by J.D. Jones of SSK Industries, the 300 Whisper is based on the .221 Rem Fireball case necked up to .308. Notably, S&W says its M&P15 .300 Whisper is compatible with both the .300 Whisper and the .300 AAC Blackout (BLK) cartridges. The latter is a SAAMI-standardized, trademark-free variant of the .300 Whisper.

Smith Wesson M&P15 .300 Whisper .300 AAC blackout

Smith Wesson M&P15 .300 Whisper .300 AAC blackout

Manufactured on the M&P15 (AR-clone) platform, S&W’s new semi-automatic .300 Whisper rifle features an 1 in 7.5” twist, 16″ chrome-moly barrel. Both the forged 7075 aluminum upper and lower receivers have been coated with a Realtree APG camo finish. Standard features include forward assist and a six-position, collapsible CAR stock. MSRP for the complete rifle is $1,119. A separate .300 Whisper AR flat-top upper will also be offered, with an $819.00 MSRP.

“As the popularity of the modern sporting rifle continues to grow, more hunters are seeing the advantages of taking these firearms into the field,” said Mario Pasantes, S&W Senior Vice President of Marketing. “The M&P15 300 Whisper gives consumers the ability to use either lightweight or heavy cartridges during hunting or recreational applications without changing rifles or barrels.”

Is Hunting the Real Market for S&W’s .300 Whisper M&P15?

Editor’s Comment: If this gun is intended for hunting, we’re not sure Smith & Wesson got this one right. While the .300 Whisper is an interesting cartridge, it was originally designed to run sub-sonic, or be used with a suppressor. At sub-sonic velocities, the cartridge doesn’t pack much punch — not much more than a heavy pistol round. So you’re carrying around an 8-lb rifle (with optics) that only hits like a pistol. On the other hand, it can be loaded up to supersonic velocities, yielding ballistics similar to the .30-30.

But if you run it supersonic, why mess with this oddball cartridge at all? There are many other proven, game-killing chamberings for which a huge variety of inexpensive hunting ammo is widely available. (In fairness, .300 Whisper factory ammunition does exist. Hornady now offers both 1200 fps sub-sonic and 2375 fps supersonic .300 Whisper Ammo.)

Now the use of a .300 Whisper with a suppressor is intriguing. But, realistically, how many American hunters are going to get fingerprinted and pay the $200 tax for a suppressor, not to mention the hefty cost of the suppressor itself? As for the rifle configuration, a 16″ barrel is quite short for a hunting gun, and a wobbly first-gen collapsible stock that rattles is the last thing we’d want to take hunting.

Our guess is that most purchasers of this rifle will simply use it for plinking or tactical games, where the low recoil and long barrel life associated with the .300 Whisper will be welcome. One source suggests that the .300 Whisper has become popular with metallic silhouette shooters due to its low recoil and high accuracy. However we doubt you’ll be seeing many M&P15s on the silhouette course, given the funky, collapsible buttstock and short sight radius. (Under NRA Rules, AR15-type rifles are eligible for metallic silhouette competition under rule 3.1.2, but they must use “standard type stock[s]”.)

Story Tip by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product 13 Comments »
October 24th, 2011

Babes With Bullets Announces 2012 Women’s Shooting Camps

Babes with BulletsBabes with Bullets™ is a three-day “immersion” camp program, led by a professional all-female staff, teaching novice women how to shoot handguns and some camps also offer rifle training. The head instructor is Kay Miculek, who has won multiple “action pistol” and multi-gun World and National championships. The camps also accommodate women who want to move up in competitions such as U.S. Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) or IDPA.

“This is an unusual training opportunity” stated Miculek “with all-female handgun champions picked for their abilities to work with novice women in a way that is empowering without being over-powering.” According to Miculek, many of the campers will shoot a gun for the first time and after completing the 3-day program they will have shot hundreds of rounds from various calibers of handguns. Miculek added, “Each woman will leave from this camp with a new life skill. Our emphasis is to show the ladies that shooting is a safe, enjoyable, and rewarding sport for women of all ages.”

According to Camp Director Deb Ferns, there are over 2,100 camper alumnae, ages 18 to 78, the majority having very little experience with a gun prior to camp. Ferns explained: “Think of this camp as part firearms training, part adventure camp and part pajama party”. Deb Ferns provides an introduction to the program in the video below.

Watch Babes With Bullets on the Outdoor Channel
Babes with Bullets has been a popular feature on the Outdoor Channel. Videos of Camp training sessions can be previewed at www.outdoorchannel.com/babeswithbullets. Camp registration forms and additional information are found at www.BabeswithBullets.com. If you have questions, contact Deb Ferns at (520) 331-3400 or e-mail Deb [at] BabeswithBullets.com

Smith & Wesson Supplies Guns for Camp Participants
The cost of camp is $675, which includes housing, food, range fees, instructor costs and use of complimentary firearms, provided by Smith & Wesson. Campers also qualify for discounts on Smith & Wesson handguns and rifles.

Babes with Bullets

2012 Babes with Bullets Camp Locations

March 16th to 18th, 2012
Rocky Creek Ranch near Sarasota, Florida. Handgun camp for both novice and intermediate women.

April 13th to 15th, 2012
Bang-Inc.com, home range of Kay Miculek, located outside Shreveport, Louisiana. “Combo Camp” for novice and intermediates, offering two days of handgun work and one day of AR-15 rifle training. Three full range days.

May 18th to 20th, 2012
Willow Lake Sportman’s Club near Kalamazoo, Michigan. Three-day camp for novice and intermediate women. Campers stay at deluxe Willow Lake SC Lodge.

June 29th to July 1st, 2012
Routt County Rifle (and Pistol) Club near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Novice and intermediate camp with lodging located near the range.

September 7th to 10th, 2012
Rockcastle Shooting Center in Rockcastle, Kentucky. New “Combo Camp” offering beginner and intermediate handgun and rifle training.

October 12th to 14th, 2012
Tucson Rifle Club in Tucson, Arizona. Novice and intermediate camp at home range of camp director Deb Ferns.

November 2nd to 4th, 2012
Babes with Bullets is planning a Texas “Combo Camp” of handgun and rifle training first weekend of November. Site TBA.

Permalink News, Shooting Skills No Comments »
May 27th, 2010

Jessie Abbate Joins Team Smith & Wesson

Among female action shooters, Jessie Abbate, 2009 USPSA Ladies Back-to-Back National Champion, may be the most marketable talent in America right now. Jessie has been featured on several TV shows, including Shooting USA, Cowboys, Shooting Gallery, and American Hunter. After Abbate left Team Glock in a contract dispute, the shooting world has been wondering which sponsor would secure Jessie’s services for its team. Well, now we have an answer — Jessie Abbate will shoot for Team Smith & Wesson. Jim Shepherd’s Shooting Wire reports that “Abbate has signed with Team Smith & Wesson”, as confirmed by Abbate’s agent Russell Stott.

Jessie Abbate S&W

This now gives Team S&W a powerful threesome of female shooters as Abbate joins Womens’ Team Captain Julie Goloski Golob and Kay Clark Miculek. While 9-time USPSA Champion Golob is primarily a pistol shooter, both Kay Miculek and Jessie Abbate are top-flight multi-gun shooters as well. Abbate developed her rifle and shotgun skills in Cowboy Action shooting, and Kay is a 13-Time USPSA Multi-Gun Open Champion. Having Kay AND Jessie under contract is a big coup for Smith & Wesson, as multi-gun matches afford Smith & Wesson a chance to showcase its handguns AND its rifle products.

Jessie Abbate S&W

The Rise of Multi-Gun Competition
Multi-Gun and 3-Gun matches become more popular every season. One top 3-gun shooter who originally came up through the pistol ranks told us: “Multi-Gun is the future — it’s what TV viewers want and what sponsors want”. The major multi-gun matches are drawing 30% more competitors each year. And now 3-Gun Nation has brought multi-gun shooting to prime-time television with a compelling nationwide series with a huge cash payout in the end. That’s smart, NASCAR-style marketing. We predict that, within a few years, multi-gun events will eclipse the handgun-only events in popularity, prize money, and sponsorship interest. With Abbate added to the S&W team, along with long-time multi-gun ace Kay Miculek, S&W is positioned to dominate womens’ multi-gun competition for years to come.

Photos courtesy JessieAbbate.com

Permalink Competition, News No Comments »
April 26th, 2010

Jessie Abbate Drops Glock — Potential Sponsors Line Up

Jessie AbbateAfter Olympian Kim Rhode, Ace handgunner Jessie Abbate is probably the most popular and marketable female shooter in America. A member of Team Glock for many seasons, Abbate split with the Austrian pistol-maker after Glock refused to allow her to wear a secondary sponsor’s logo on her competition jersey. Now all the major action shooting sponsors will be vying for Jessie’s services. Smith & Wesson will likely pursue Abbate, but Jessie might end up with Sig Sauer whose team is lead by multi-time National Champion Max Michel. If Sig can sign Abbate, Sig Sauer would arguably have both the #1 male shooter and #1 female shooter on the same squad.

Jessie AbbateOn DownRange.TV, Paul Erhardt notes: “Now that the women’s division shooting powerhouse has said Auf Wiedersehen to the Haus of Glock, the question is who will [sign her]?

Smith & Wesson — This is the obvious #1 choice. If I were [S&W’s team managers], I’d be hell bent for election to sign Jessie. The 158 year-old juggernaut has already assembled a very strong shooting team, the largest of any firearms company. They are still smarting from having lost out on Max Michel who went to Sig due to bad timing with S&W’s budget year.

Sig Sauer — This company finally got into the competition world with Max Michel who promptly won the USPSA Open Nationals and the Steel Challenge. He’s a lock for both titles in the future. Jessie would bring titles in Production, Limited-10, Steel Challenge, Single Stack and Open if they build a Sig Open gun for her on an STI body.”

Permalink News No Comments »
December 24th, 2009

Photos of Gen 4 Glocks Reveal Notable Changes

Ed’s Public Safety, a gunshop in Georgia, has published photos of the New “Gen 4″ Glock handguns. The much-ballyhooed design changes for the Gen 4 Glocks are interesting, but hardly revolutionary. As expected, the new Glocks will have interchangeable backstraps. That’s probably a good thing.

Gen 4 glock Gen 4 glock

CLICK HERE for more Gen 4 Glock photos

Other noteworthy changes in the Gen 4 Glocks are a dual recoil spring, and an interchangeable magazine release that can be moved from right to left. The dual spring is a more modern design that may reduce perceived recoil somewhat. The mag release change is smart and makes the gun more user-friendly for southpaws. Glock is making new magazines for the Gen 4 Glocks that work with the interchangeable mag release. Older magazines can still be used with the new Gen 4 Glocks, but only when the mag release button is positioned on the left.

Design Change — Too Little, Too Late?
Unfortunately, with either of the two provided backstraps, Glock’s Gen 4 grip is still fat and blocky compared to many other pistols. Also the Gen 4 Glocks retain the prominent “backstrap bulge” or flare in the bottom 1/3 of the grip’s back edge. For many shooters this “Glock bulge” causes the gun to point poorly, and for this Editor, that bulge also causes the gun to twist more on recoil (since it pushes against one side of the base of the shooting hand). The first thing done by companies that modify Glock grips is to reduce the flare or bulge in the bottom of the grip. That makes the grip much more user-friendly for smaller hands. In this Editor’s opinion the bottom rear section of the Glock grip was an ergonomic mistake when it came out in 1982 and the Gen 4 redesign really does nothing to correct the flaw. The interchangeable backstraps are just a poor “band-aid fix” when a more fundamental redesign was needed.

Gen 4 Glock

Gen 4 Glock

Gen 4 Glock

Overall, we think that most of the Gen 4 design changes are positive, or at worst “neutral”, but this may be a case of “too little, too late”. We doubt if the redesigned Glock is sufficiently improved to grab much market share back from the Smith & Wesson M&P series and other handguns whose sales have cut into Glock’s lucrative police contracts and civilian sales. The Gen 4 Glocks offer a modest ergonomic improvement over previous models, but they still not as well-designed ergonomically as Smith’s M&P. We doubt that police agencies which have switched to M&Ps will find reason to go back to Glocks anytime soon — unless, of course, Glock radically drops its prices, which is unlikely.

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October 25th, 2009

Redesigned "Gen-4" Glocks Slated for 2010 Release

Beretta pistolGlock has announced that it will introduce a new “Fourth Generation” Glock handgun with an interchangeable grip back-straps and improved ergonomics. The new “GEN-4″ Glock will probably be unveiled at the January 2010 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, though Glock hasn’t commited to a SHOT Show release. According to the Guns, Holsters & Gear Blog, “[GEN-4] Glocks are rumored to have a textured finish that is not nearly as aggressive as the RTF2 introduced at the 2009 SHOT Show. The new finish is said to be rougher than the prior generations, but easier on the hands and clothes than the RTF2.”

Glock has been hugely successful selling polymer-framed handguns to the law enforcement, military, and civilian markets. While Glocks enjoy an enviable reputation for durability and reliability, for many handgunners, Glock ergonomics are second rate. This editor has personally trained novice shooters with both a Glock 17 and Sig p226 9mm. More often than not, when the novices switch from the Glock to the Sig, their 10-yard groups shrink from basketball size to softball size — primarily because of the superior Sig grip size and shape. That’s not to say that Glocks are not accurate — they can be very accurate — it’s just that the Glock grip is far from ideal for many shooters.

Beretta pistolFor decades Glock has stubbornly refused to redesign or improve the grip on Glock handguns (other than adding finger grooves of questionable utility). Meanwhile, Beretta, Smith & Wesson, and Walther have offered polymer-framed handguns with more comfortable, ergonomic grips fitted with interchangeable grip back-straps. These “swappable” back-straps come in different sizes to provide a better, more custom fit for the shooter. Women with small hands, in particular, benefit from a thinner back-strap.

The success of Smith & Wesson in securing large police contracts for its adjustable-gripped, S&W M&P pistol has finally prompted Glock to come up with a major grip redesign. Glock has been losing market share as police departments nationwide have traded in their Glocks in favor of the more ergonomic Smith M&Ps.

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September 10th, 2009

Links to Gun Give-Away Contests on the Web

S&W 15-22Want to win a free gun? Are you feelin’ lucky? Every month various magazines, manufacturers, and webzines offer gun drawings or give-aways. Usually you just provide your name, contact info, and email address for a chance to win. Sometimes you have to fill out a survey or answer a quiz.

Gun Giveaways Indexed on the Web
You could spend hours fishing around the web for all the gun-related contests, or just log on to WeaponsCache.com. Matt, webmaster of WeaponsCache.com has scoured the web for gun and knife give-away contests. He has provided, all in one place, handy links and contest descriptions. Current give-aways listed on Matt’s site include:

Remington Model 870™ Express 20 gauge Shotgun

S&W M&P 15-22 (Rimfire AR15 Clone)

SIG SAUER p229 .40sw Pistol Drawing

Arsenal 7.62×39 Saiga Rifle Contest

OMB Glock 21 Pistol Give-Away (LEOs only)

Puma M92 Lever Gun Give-Away (Connors 50th Anniv. edition)

Grand View 12 Guns for 12 Months Sweepstakes

Shiloh Sharps 45-70 Rifle Drawing (for Active-Duty Military, Ends 9/11)

Shiloh Sharps Drawing

Take Note: The Shiloh Sharps Drawing is a once-a-year event for service personnel, and entries close Sept. 11, 2009.

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