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February 24th, 2013

Coonan Semi-Auto Pistol Shoots .357 Magnum Cartridge

Coonan Inc. offers an interesting new handgun, a single-stack semi-auto that fires the .357 Magnum rimmed cartridge. Though the Coonan pistol is similar in appearance to a m1911, it has a linkless barrel, and a pivoting trigger. To feed the rimmed cartridges smoothly, Coonin employs a proprietary magazine with an “articulated follower”. This gun is available in both standard and compensated versions. With these Coonan pistols you can shoot a very powerful defensive round that has a much higher velocity and up to 80% more energy than a .45 ACP. You can also shoot .38 Specials (with a different spring).

Coonan .357 mag pistol

The .357 Magnum is a very effective self-defense round, offering much higher velocity and energy than the .45 ACP. Consider this, the Coonan can launch 180gr Corbon .357 Mag ammo at 1288 FPS. At that MV, the 180gr bullet delivers 663 ft-lbs of energy. By comparison, a .45 ACP round with a 230gr FMJ running 850 FPS delivers just 359 ft-lbs of energy (at the muzzle). That’s a huge difference — the .357 Magnum delivers nearly 80% more energy (calculated at the muzzle).

Coonan .357 mag pistol

The “Coonan Classic” .357 Magnum with 5″ uncompensated barrel starts at $1375.00. For $99.99 more you can get a 5.7″ threaded barrel. For $249.99 more you can get the compensated version. Many other options are offered, such as Black Duracote finish with laser-etched black aluminum grips ($299.99 extra). The gun in the video below features the Digital Camo Duracoat package with milled black aluminum grips ($549.99 extra).

American Rifleman Reviews Coonan .357 Magnum Pistol

READ Full Review of Coonan Classic .357 Magnum in American Rifleman

“The .357 Magnum cartridge was developed for a revolver where it could headspace off the rim. Traditionally, feeding of rimmed center-fire cartridges is problematic in box-magazine-fed firearms. That problem, however, has been addressed well with the Coonan. The cartridges are staggered, with the rim of each cartridge in front of the one below it in the magazine.”

“Although the Coonan’s gripframe is larger than that of a standard M1911 … even those with average-size hands had no trouble reaching the trigger.”

“We function-tested the pistol with several different .357 Mag loads, with bullet weights from 125 grains to 180 grains. It ran well with most, but did not function properly with reduced-power ‘personal defense’ ammunition. When the gun was fed full-power .357 Mag ammunition designed for handguns, it ran fine.”

Coonan .357 mag pistol

Coonan Pistol Shoots .38 Special Also
While the Coonan pistol is designed to run with .357 Magnum ammo, the manufacturer says the guns will also shoot .38 Special and .38 +P ammunition, provided a different spring is used. Coonan provides a 10-lb spring for use with .38 Spl ammo. This is used in place of the 22-lb standard spring. (Spring exchange procedure is shown in Video above.) Coonan cautions: “A 10-pound spring is supplied with the firearm for use with .38 Special ammunition. We recommend using .38 +P or .38 Special ammunition. The firearm may not cycle with .38 Special ammunition until broken in (approximately 200 rounds).”

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February 24th, 2013

Innovative Borka Torque Setting Driver Belongs in Your Toolkit

Borka Torque DriverPh.D Engineer Boris Teper has invented a remarkably compact yet effective torque-setting tool that is ideal for tensioning scope ring fasteners and action screws on rifles. The Torque Settings Driver from Borka Tools is brilliant in its simplicity. The lightweight tool is basically a lever, with a series of hex slots through which a spindle is fitted. The slot position sets the effective lever arm length. How does the tool prevent over-torquing? That’s the magic of Teper’s invention. On one end of the tool is a handle with a spring-loaded ball detent. Once desired torque is reached, the handle overrides the detent, snapping forward so you can’t crank too hard (figure 2 below).

Borka Torque Driver

Borka Torque Driver

The Borka Driver is very easy to use, and despite its simplicity, it is very precise. Lab testing of the Borka driver show that the tool yields the correct torque setting within 4-6% of the true nominal torque measured with a calibration device. That means, for example, if you set the driver for 40 inch-lbs. it will torque the fastener within ± 2.5 lbs of your target setting. That’s as good as some full-size torque wrenches — pretty impressive for a tool that weighs only 4 ounces complete with spindle. And every Borka driver is calibrated to ensure accuracy before it ships.

Borka DriverBorka offers many versions of its tool, with torque ranges from 10 inch-lbs. up to 72 inch-pounds. The basic Borka driver, priced at $55.00, offers six (6) preset torque values. For $15.00 more Borka sells a driver that offers twelve (12) preset torque values. This 12-setting tool, which is not any bigger or heavier than the 6-setting model, is cleverly designed — you simply flip it over to switch from the first six torque settings to the second six. This works because the handle has variable “break” resistance depending on direction of travel. Smart.

Borka’s most popular torque tool is the 12-setting $75.00 “Military Grade” MG driver, model ATD-15×72-12FS-MG. This offers a dozen torque settings from 15- to 72-inch-pounds. We recommend the “Military Grade” model because it has torque settings laser-etched on the surface of the driver arm (see video). That way you’ll always know your torque values. The “Military Grade” model also comes with 1/4″ hex to 1/4″ square (M) and 1/4″ square (F) to 3/8″ square (M) adapters. The Military Grade Model, intended for use in the field by both DOD and LE personel, has already proved popular with “civilian” tactical shooters. You can store the tool in the supplied fabric carry pouch, or stash it (with needed bits) in your range kit.

Video Shows How to Use Borka Driver When Mounting Scope
We suspect many readers are still a bit confused as to how the Borka driver actually works. We could explain in greater detail but a video is worth a thousand words. In the YouTube video below, Frank Galli (aka “LowLight”) from Snipers’ Hide explains how to use the Borka torque driver. Frank demonstrates the $75.00 “Military Grade” Model, but all the Borka lever arm drivers share the same basic operation. Frank shows how to set the spindle position to your desired torque setting and hold to hold the unit properly. Watch carefully and you’ll see how the cylindrical handle at the end of the tool snaps forward or “breaks” when the desired torque setting is reached. Frank notes that: “there is no backlash when torquing. This is an excellent feature as it breaks clean at the desired weight.”

YouTube Preview Image

Where can you get a Borka torque setting driver? All models can be purchased directly from Borka Enterprises by emailing You can also purchase through Manson Precision Reamers, (810) 953-0732. (Dave Manson worked with Boris Teper to get this product to market.) In addition, four models are available from Brownells: ATD-20X4006FS (Brownells item #080-000-734), ATD25X5006FS (Brownells item #080-000-735), ATD-36X7206FS (Brownells item #080-000-736), and ATD-15X7212FS (Brownells item #080-000-737).

DOWNLOAD: Intro to Torque Setting Driver | Borka Torque Driver Users’ Manual | Tool Calibration

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February 24th, 2013

New Thunder Ranch Version of Mossberg MVP Mag-Fed Rifle

Mossberg has added a new Thunder Ranch Special Edition to the MVP (Mossberg Varmint Predator) line of AR-mag-fed bolt-action rifles. The Thunder Ranch MVP features an 18.5″ fluted barrel, and Picatinny scope rail. The stock is finished in Olive Drab (OD) with the Thunder Ranch logo. The rifle is chambered in 5.56×45 NATO (.223 Rem) and the barrel twist is 1:9″ so you can shoot a wide variety of ammo.

Mossberg MVP thunder ranch rifle AR

Like Mossberg’s other MVP rifles, the Thunder Ranch rifle has a unique, patent-pending bolt design which lets it reliably feed from AR15 magazines. The Thunder Ranch rifle ships with a 10-round Mossberg magazine, but any milspec box-type AR-platform magazine should fit and function in the gun.

mossberg MVP varmint predator rifle

Other MVP versions should be popular with our readers. We like the MVP Varmint model (shown above) which offers a gray/brown laminated stock suitable for shooting from the bench. The MVP Varmint is offered either without sights (product 27700), or with in a combo package (product 27710) which includes 4-16x50mm scope, and factory-supplied bipod. Both MVP Varmint versions have medium-contour barrels, with 1:9″ twist rates. Without scope, the MVP varminter weighs roughly 7.75 pounds. With scope and bipod the MVP Varmint is 9.25 pounds. MVP rifles will ship from the factory with sling swivel studs and either 5- or 10-round magazine.

mossbergMVP Rifles Feature Adjustable Triggers
MVP rifles are fitted with Mossberg’s LBA “Lightning” Adjustable Trigger System, which adjusts from 2 to 7 lbs. pull weight. The LBA trigger, like the Savage Accutrigger, features a central blade that blocks sear movement unless fully depressed.

Nice Laminated Stock with Wide Fore-End
One of the best features of the MVP rifles is the stock, which comes with factory-fitted pillars. Mossberg fitted the MVP Varmint (shown above) with a nice, laminated stock that should work well either on sandbags or when shot from bipod. To ride the bags better, the fore-end is wider than typical hunting stocks, with a flat bottom. Stippling on the fore-end and pistol grip provide for positive hand placement. We think this stock is a pretty good design for the rifle’s intended uses. The lighter-weight MVP Predator design has a conventional fore-end, with a shorter 18.5″ barrel.

mossberg MVP varmint predator rifle
Mossberg MVP Series Varmint Rifle Specifications:

ITEM: 27700
CALIBER: 5.56mm NATO (.223 Rem)
BARREL: 24.0″, Med Bull Fluted Matte Blue
TWIST RATE: 1:9″ Twist
SIGHTS: None (no Scope)
STOCK: Benchrest-Style Grey Laminate
WEIGHT: 7.5 lbs.
MSRP: $702
ITEM: 27710
CALIBER: 5.56mm NATO (.223 Rem)
BARREL: 24.0″, Med Bull Fluted Matte Blue
TWIST RATE: 1:9″ Twist
SIGHTS: 4-15x50mm Scope, Weaver-type bases
STOCK: Benchrest-Style Grey Laminate with Bipod
WEIGHT: 10 lbs.
MSRP: $861
Story tip from Edlongrange. We welcome submissions from our readers.
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