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February 16th, 2024

The ‘Batman’ Bolt-Action Benchrest Pistol in 6-6.5×47 Lapua

Ernie Bishop Specialty Pistol Batman Dasher
Click Photo to View Larger Image

Here is Ernie Bishop’s pride and joy, a specialty pistol nicknamed “Batman” because the black carbon-fiber stock looks like the Batmobile. This is one sophisticated handgun. Complete with scope, the Batman pistol weighs under 7.5 pounds, thanks to the ultra-light stock. The carbon stock is 6 inches wide at the fore-end, yet weighs just one pound. Ernie tells us: “This gun shoots amazing and is easy to shoot especially with my SEB MAX Rest.” After these photos were taken, Ernie added a “field-usable rear-grip stock so [he could] shoot it prone from a bipod as well.”

The Batman pistol is chambered for the 6mm “Long Dasher”, a 6mm 40°-shouldered variant of the 6.5×47 Lapua. Ernie loads Berger 105gr Hybrid bullets pushed by Hodgdon H4350 powder.

Gun Specifications
6.5x47 Lapua Dasher 40 degree improvedThe gun, crafted by Eric Wallance of Nawaka Firearms, features an XP-100 action, Jewell trigger, and 15″-long, Brux 1:8″-twist barrel with aluminum muzzle brake. Interestingly, this gun does not have a traditional recoil lug. Instead, gunsmith Wallace milled out a lug from the bottom of the XP-100 action to save weight. On top of the action, the rig carries a Sightron Inc S-III 6-24X56mm scope in Kelbly rings on a custom +20 MOA rail.

Long Dasher Wildcat
Shown at right is a “Long Dasher” 40° wildcat created by Forum member Sunbuilder. This is very similar to Ernie Bishop’s chambering, though there may be small variations related to reamer design (such as freebore). Sunbuilder’s 6-6.5×47 Improved (aka “Long Dasher”) reamer was made by Dave Kiff of Pacific, Tool & Gauge. This wildcat cartridge adds about 2.0 grains capacity to the 6.5×47 necked down to 6mm. The case certainly is impressive with that 40° shoulder. We’re just waiting for the tactical guys to starting run this improved cartridge with its original 6.5mm bore.

Here are three FIVE-shot groups at 500 yards, shot by Ernie’s Batman pistol:

Ernie Bishop Specialty Pistol Batman Dasher

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February 3rd, 2024

Early Season Rebates from S&W, Beretta, SIG Sauer, and Walther

Factory Rebate Savage Thompson Center T/C rifle gunsafe winchester hornady ammo ammunition

It’s February already and 2024’s first notable gun rebates have arrived. Leading gun-makers are offering big REBATES on products. These promotions can save you $50-$75 on a S&W revolver purchase, $50-$100 off a Beretta pistol, and up to $200 store credit on a SIG optics ready pistol. In addition, you can get a FREE compact gun safe with a qualifying Walther pistol. Find other current rebates on the Gun.deals Rebate Page.

Smith & Wesson $50-$75 Revolver Rebate

smith wesson s&w revolver wheelgun $50 pistol rebate 2024

Wheelgun Wonderland Rebate — Get up to a $75 rebate when you purchase a qualifying new S&W revolver. Get $50 Rebate on a J-Frame revolver or get a $75 Rebate on K-Frame, L-Frame, N-Frame or Govenor revolvers. CLICK HERE for Rebate Explanation Video. Rebate EXPIRES 4/30/2024.

Beretta APX A1 Pistol Rebate $50 or $100

Beretta APX X1 pistol rebate 2024
Beretta APX X1 pistol rebate 2024

Beretta APX A1 Rebates — Get $50 back when you buy any APX A1 Carry pistol or get $100 back when you buy an APX A1 full size, compact, or compact tactical pistol. Rebates EXPIRE 3/31/2024.

Credit in SIG Sauer Webstore with Pistol Purchase

SIG Sauer optics ready pistol rebate 2024

SIG Sauer RX Webstore Credit Promo — Buy any qualifying SIG Sauer optics-mounted pistol and get up to $200 in SIG webstore credit. $50 credit with sales to $649.99. $100 credit with sales $650.00 – $1249.99. $200 Credit with sales $1250.00 and up. Rebate EXPIRES 3/31/2024.

Free Compact Gun Safe with Walther Pistol Purchase

Walther lock box gun safe pistol rebate 2024

Buy any Walther P22, CCP, WMP, or PD380 pistol and receive a Hornady Treklite Lock Box XXL. Buy any PDP, PDP Steel Frame, PPK, PPK/S, or Q-Series Steel Frame and receive a Hornady One-Gun Keypad Vault. This promotion does NOT include LE models, VIP & IOP Discounts. Rebate EXPIRES 4/30/2024.

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January 16th, 2024

Choosing Home Defense Gun? Understand Terminal Ballistics

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

If you are evaluating a firearm for self-defense use, you should consider three main factors: Reliability, Functionality (sights, trigger, ergonomics), and Effectiveness (ability to halt/neutralize threats). Regarding effectiveness, you need to consider what happens when the projectiles from your firearm reach the target. That involves penetration and terminal ballistics.

A 12ga shotgun is very effective inside 20 yards, with less risk of over-penetration* vs. a centerfire rifle.
Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

You’ve probably heard the term “Terminal Ballistics”. But do you really know what this refers to? Fundamentally, “Terminal Ballistics” describes the behavior of a projectile as it strikes, enters, and penetrates a target. Terminal Ballistics, then, can be said to describe projectile behavior in a target including the transfer of kinetic energy. Contrast this with “External Ballistics” which, generally speaking, describes and predicts how projectiles travel in flight. One way to look at this is that External Ballistics covers bullet behavior before impact, while terminal ballistics covers bullet behavior after impact.

The study of Terminal Ballistics is important for hunters, because it can predict how pellets, bullets, and slugs can perform on game. This NRA Firearm Science video illustrates Terminal Ballistics basics, defining key terms such as Impact Crater, Temporary Cavity, and Primary Cavity.

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity

External Ballistics, also called “exterior ballistics”, is the part of ballistics that deals with the behavior of a non-powered projectile in flight.

Terminal Ballistics, a sub-field of ballistics, is the study of the behavior and effects of a projectile when it hits its target.

Terminal External Ballistics Exterior, Temporary Cavity Permanent Cavity


*This Shooting Illustrated article discusses over-penetration risks with a variety of cartridge types. “A bullet passing through a threat and continuing with the potential to cause unintentional damage to a bystander or object is a situation commonly described as over-penetration.”

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December 10th, 2023

Optics Ready Handguns — See Better, Shoot Better

Shooting Industry magazine october 2022 optics ready pistol handgun gunsafe

As noted in Shooting Industry Magazine, “optics-ready” handguns have become increasingly popular. These pistols have slides configured to mount Red Dot optics. Some of these handguns are sold with Red Dot optics pre-installed, ready to go. For example, the Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P 9 Shield Plus (above) is sold with a Crimson Trace Red Dot optic mounted on the slide.

Shooting Industry magazine october 2022 optics ready pistol handgun gunsafe
The new FN Five-seveN MRD is an optics-ready pistol chambered in 5.7x28mm. (Image: FN America)

For IDPA and gun games, a Red Dot sight can definitely help with rapid target acquisition. And for a defense gun, the Red Dot assists aiming at night, even in the dark. And unlike a pistol-mounted laser, the Red Dot does not have a bright, visible beam that pinpoints the gun owner’s location.

The Shooting Industry article explains how optics-equipped pistols have become much more popular: “It wasn’t too long ago optics-ready handguns were little more than a novelty. But today, it’s difficult to talk about the handgun segment without delving into the increasing number of guns coming from the manufacturers with optics already installed, or ready to accept one.”

Shooting Industry magazine october 2022 optics read pistol handgun gunsafe

Massad Ayoob, a respected shooting instructor and gun writer, says optics-equipped pistols are now very popular: “Carry optics are burning up the handgun market today. Some of my fellow instructors tell me they have general defensive shooting classes where more than half the students show up with guns wearing carry optics, a compact version of Red Dot sights. Police departments are going to them [optics equipped pistols] in droves.” READ FULL Story.

If you are interested in a wide selection of optics-ready handguns, check out the Modern Carry: Best Optics-Ready Pistols article in the CheaperThanDirt Blog. This highlights ten production pistols from Canik, CZ, FN, Hechler & Koch, Keltec, SCCY, SIG Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, and Taurus. Below is the Taurus G3 T.O.R.O (Taurus Optic Ready Option), a full-frame pistol with 17+1 9mm capacity.

Shooting Industry magazine october 2022 optics read pistol handgun gunsafe

Learn More about Red Dot and Reflex Sights for Pistols

Want to learn more about pistol optics? There is an excellent article on the NRA’s American Rifleman website that explains how Mini Reflex/Red Dot Sights function. The huge advantage is that the shooter can simply put the Red Dot on target. He does not have to align front and rear sights. That allows MUCH faster target acquisition: “Red-dot-style sights are faster than irons and better in low light. But they’re also more accurate, particularly at ranges past 50 yards, thanks to fine dots and triangles, generally representing 2 to 13 MOA, that are more precise than the front posts of modern pistols.” SEE AmericanRifleman.org article.

American Rifleman Kahr gen2 premium T9 Shooting Industry magazine october 2022 optics ready pistol handgun gunsafe

The first Red Dot sights were created by Aimpoint: “In the 1970s the reflex sight as we know it was brought to market by the Swedish firm Aimpoint. It contained a battery-powered, light-emitting diode (LED) that allowed these compact, tube-enclosed reflex sights to function in darkness. Its glowing ‘red dot’ soon became this sight’s nickname. It took a little while longer for a few cutting-edge handgunners to discover the red-dot sight’s advantages.”

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December 8th, 2023

Find Best Holsters for Your Handguns with Holster Finder

Midwayusa holster finder database 125,000 holsters

Here’s a helpful, time-saving tool for handgun owners. MidwayUSA’s online Holster Finder lets you quickly find the right holsters for virtually all popular makes and models of pistols and revolvers. The wide variety of carry styles, materials, and features can make finding the right holster difficult or confusing. Drawing on a database of over 125,000 gun/holster combinations, the MidwayUSA Holster Finder turns that complex task into an easy three-step process.

Midwayusa holster finder database 125,000 holsters

The selection process is simple: 1. Choose Pistol or Revolver; 2. Select Make and Model of Handgun (and barrel type/length); 3. Click to view results. Just choose your gun type, select your make, model and barrel, then view the results. All major holster types are included: Ankle, Belly Band, Belt (outside waistband), Chest, Competition, Drop Leg, Inside Waistband (IWB), Paddle, Pocket, and Shoulder. Check out the MidwayUSA Holster Finder at MidwayUSA.com/holster-finder.

Midwayusa holster finder database 125,000 holsters
Midwayusa holster finder database 125,000 holsters

MidwayUSA’s Marketing VP Jeff Larkin says: “Our team built the Holster Finder so our customers could find all holsters we offer for their specific firearm without sorting through thousands of search results. Finding the perfect holster is now easier than ever — just a few clicks, and we’ll show you everything that fits!”

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October 31st, 2023

Precision Reloading for Pistols — Key Tips from the USAMU

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice Reloading

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice Reloading

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) fields pistol teams as well as rifle and shotgun competition squads. Consequently the USAMU’s Reloading Shop loads tens of thousands of pistol rounds every year. In this article, the USAMU’s handgun experts talk about reloading for handguns — with smart tips on how to achieve superior accuracy with 100% reliability. This article, which offers important insights on COAL, primers, crimps and more.

Precision Pistol Reloading — Recommended Methods

Optimize the Taper Crimp
One often-overlooked aspect of handloading highly-accurate pistol ammunition is the amount of crimp and its effect on accuracy. Different amounts of taper crimp are used with various handloads to obtain best accuracy. The amount is based on bullet weight, powder burn rate and charge, plus other factors. It is not unusual for our Shop to vary a load’s crimp in degrees of 0.001″ and re-test for finest accuracy.

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice ReloadingUse Consistent Brass
Brass is also important to pistol accuracy. While accurate ammunition can be loaded using brass of mixed parentage, that is not conducive to finest results, particularly at 50 yards. It is important for the serious competitor/handloader to use brass of the same headstamp and ideally one lot number, to maximize uniformity. Given the volumes of ammunition consumed by active pistol competitors, using inexpensive, mixed surplus brass for practice, particularly at the “short line” (25 yards), is understandable. However, for the “long line” (50 yards), purchasing and segregating a lot of high-quality brass to be used strictly for slow-fire is a wise idea.

Importance of Uniform COAL
Uniformity of the Case Overall Length (COAL) as it comes from the factory is also important to achieving utmost accuracy. More uniform case lengths (best measured after sizing) contribute to greater consistency of crimp, neck tension, ignition/burn of powder charge, and so on. Cartridge case-length consistency varies from lot to lot, as well as by maker. Some manufacturers are more consistent in this dimension than others. [Editor’s note: It is easy to trim pistol brass to uniform length. Doing this will make your taper crimps much more consistent.]

Primers and Powders — Comparison Test for Accuracy
Pay attention to primer brands, powder types and charges. Evaluating accuracy with a Ransom or other machine rest at 50 yards can quickly reveal the effect of changes made to handload recipes.

This animation showing 1911 Pistol operation has over 30 million YouTube views:

Bullet Selection — FMJ vs. JHP
Bullets are another vital issue. First, there is the question of FMJ vs. JHP. A friend of this writer spent decades making and accuracy-testing rifle and pistol bullets during QC for a major bullet manufacturer. In his experience, making highly-accurate FMJ bullets is much more difficult than making highly-accurate JHPs, in large part due to the way the jackets are formed. Small die changes could affect accuracy of FMJ lots dramatically.

The CMP now allows “safe, jacketed ammunition” in Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) Service Pistol matches, although wadcutter ammunition is prohibited. Thus, the option to use very accurate JHP designs simplifies the life of CMP Service Pistol shooters in pursuit of the prestigious Distinguished Pistol Shot badge.

Hopefully, these tips will be helpful to any pistol shooters interested in accurate handloads, not just “Bullseye” shooters. Small tweaks to one’s normal routine can pay big dividends in improved accuracy and make practice and competition more rewarding.

Stay safe, and good shooting!

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September 5th, 2023

Choosing a Handgun — Smart Tips for Pistol Purchasers

Winchester Blog Becky Yackley pistol purchase handgun training

Are you in the market for your first handgun, for target use or for self-defense? The Winchester Blog has a good article for handgun buyers. This story, “Things You Should Know When Purchasing Your First Pistol”, provides many smart tips that can help you choose the right handgun, and save money in the process. In addition, the article explains how to train with your new pistol and handle it safely. READ Full Article.

If possible, you should test a variety of different pistols, to determine which works best for you. Check the feel, the ergonomics, the sight picture, and the controls. And, if possible, test the pistols with live-fire at a range which rents samples.

How do you know if your choice is right for you?
Once you’ve narrowed down choices, try to get time shooting the pistol(s) you are considering. You can usually rent guns at commercial ranges. This is an excellent way to “try before you buy.” NSSF has a list of places to shoot[.] When looking for a range that rents firearms, an online search and then a phone call to confirm what options are available is a solid plan. If you have friends and family who own a model you are interested in, ask if they will go to the range with you so that you can try it.

Take pistols for a test drive
First, dry-fire and manipulate the pistol. Can you easily lock the slide open? Are the sights suited to your vision? Then, fire a magazine or two of ammo [in a supervised range facility]. — Winchester Blog

The Winchester Blog article lists techniques that can help you get the “feel” for a particular firearm:

1. Practice the 4 Rules of Firearm Safety and make sure the gun is empty.

2. [After confirming the gun is empty] manipulate the slide, safety, magazine release, and dry-fire.

3. Perform a dry or empty magazine change — make sure you can hit the release and also reload a new magazine easily.

4. Perform a draw, or if you’re at a range where that is not allowed, simply pick the pistol up off the table and bring it up to your eye level and align the sights. Do this a few times. Can you acquire the sights quickly?

5. How does the backstrap fit your hand? Can you get both hands on the gun with enough “purchase” that you can really grip it well?

READ Full Winchester Blog Pistol Purchase Article »

This Winchester Blog article is by Becky Yackley. Becky has competed in 3-Gun, Bianchi pistol, Service Rifle, NCAA air rifle, smallbore and air pistol events around the world since 1989.

Smith wesson model 617 .22 LR revolver 22LR

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July 20th, 2023

Handgun Skill Set — Sight Alignment, Trigger Control, and Grip

pistol fundamentals NRA marksmanship sight alignment
Photo courtesy St. Bernard Indoor Shooting Center.

Do you enjoy shooting pistols for sport, or perhaps you carry a handgun for self-defense? If you’re like most of us, you might benefit from a “refresher course” on the fundamentals of handgun shooting. The NRA has created a useful Infographic that covers important basics of handgun marksmanship — key things such as Sight Alignment, Trigger Control, and Handgun Hold.

Here are the first two (2) lessons. Click the link below to see all SIX (6) training topics: Sight Alignment, Sight Focus, Trigger Control, Breath Control, Hold Control, and Follow-Through.

CLICK HERE for ALL SIX PISTOL LESSONS

pistol fundamentals NRA marksmanship sight alignment

VIEW ALL Six Handgun Fundamentals

Video Shows Sight Alignment, Grip, Stance, Trigger Control and More
In this USAMU video, SGT Shane Coley talks about the basics of sight alignment and trigger control. But then SGT Coley talks about other important control factors such as grip, arm position, and body stance. For rapid-fire shooting, you need to have a good arm and body positioning to control recoil and get back on target quickly. This video is a valuable complement to the NRA Infographic because it demonstrates all the important pistol fundamentals during live fire, at the range.

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June 20th, 2023

Precision Reloading for Competition Pistols — Tips from USAMU

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice Reloading
SSG Greg Markowski of the USAMU at Camp Perry, Ohio.*

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice Reloading

The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) fields pistol teams as well as rifle and shotgun competition squads. Consequently the USAMU’s Reloading Shop loads tens of thousands of pistol rounds every year. In this article, the USAMU’s handgun experts talk about reloading for handguns — with smart tips on how to achieve superior accuracy with 100% reliability. This article, which offers important insights on COAL, primers, crimps and more.

This video shows .45 ACP centerfire pistol competitors at Camp Perry

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice Reloading

Precision Pistol Reloading — Recommended Methods

Optimize the Taper Crimp
One often-overlooked aspect of handloading highly-accurate pistol ammunition is the amount of crimp and its effect on accuracy. Different amounts of taper crimp are used with various handloads to obtain best accuracy. The amount is based on bullet weight, powder burn rate and charge, plus other factors. It is not unusual for our Shop to vary a load’s crimp in degrees of 0.001″ and re-test for finest accuracy.

USAMU Service Pistol Handgun Tip Advice ReloadingUse Consistent Brass
Brass is also important to pistol accuracy. While accurate ammunition can be loaded using brass of mixed parentage, that is not conducive to finest results, particularly at 50 yards. It is important for the serious competitor/handloader to use brass of the same headstamp and ideally one lot number, to maximize uniformity. Given the volumes of ammunition consumed by active pistol competitors, using inexpensive, mixed surplus brass for practice, particularly at the “short line” (25 yards), is understandable. However [at 50 yards], purchasing and segregating a lot of high-quality brass to be used strictly for slow-fire is a wise idea.

Importance of Uniform COAL
Uniformity of the Case Overall Length (COAL) as it comes from the factory is also important to achieving utmost accuracy. More uniform case lengths (best measured after sizing) contribute to greater consistency of crimp, neck tension, ignition/burn of powder charge, and so on. Cartridge case-length consistency varies from lot to lot, as well as by maker. Some manufacturers are more consistent in this dimension than others. [Editor’s note: It is easy to trim pistol brass to uniform length. Doing this will make your taper crimps much more consistent.]

Primers and Powders — Comparison Test for Accuracy
Pay attention to primer brands, powder types and charges. Evaluating accuracy with a Ransom or other machine rest at 50 yards can quickly reveal the effect of changes made to handload recipes.

Bullet Selection — FMJ vs. JHP
Bullets are another vital issue. First, there is the question of FMJ vs. JHP. A friend of this writer spent decades making and accuracy-testing rifle and pistol bullets during QC for a major bullet manufacturer. In his experience, making highly-accurate FMJ bullets is much more difficult than making highly-accurate JHPs, in large part due to the way the jackets are formed. Small die changes could affect accuracy of FMJ lots dramatically. The CMP now allows “safe, jacketed ammunition” in Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) Service Pistol matches, although wadcutter ammunition is prohibited. Thus, the option to use very accurate JHP designs simplifies the life of CMP Service Pistol shooters in pursuit of the prestigious Distinguished Pistol Shot badge.

Hopefully, these tips will be helpful to any pistol shooters interested in accurate handloads, not just “Bullseye” shooters. Small tweaks to one’s normal routine can pay big dividends in improved accuracy and make practice and competition more rewarding. Stay safe, and good shooting!

TOP IMAGE: SSG Greg Markowski, a shooter/instructor with the USAMU, fires his pistol during the 2018 Civilian Marksmanship Program’s National Pistol Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio. At that event, Markowski claimed the General Mellon Trophy, General Patton Trophy and the General Custer Trophy. U.S. Army photo by Maj. Michelle Lunato/released by Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.

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May 16th, 2023

New Smith & Wesson M&P 10MM M2.0 Pistol with 5.6″ Barrel

Smith & Wesson S&W performance center M&P 10mm M2.0 6.6

If you are looking for a modern, extremely powerful semi-auto pistol, you may want to consider the new S&W Performance Center M&P 10mm M2.0 pistol. This boasts a long 5.6″ barrel for extra velocity. The barrel is also ported for reduced muzzle flip and less perceived recoil. The gun would be a very powerful defensive pistol and S&W says it can serve well for hunting.

Smith & Wesson states: “The new Performance Center 10mm was conceived with both the hunter and target shooter in mind. The goal was to build upon the M2.0 10mm series, with the intention of having reduced felt recoil and quicker follow-up shots. Popular features previously seen on other 5.6-inch PC pistols are present in this design and, when paired with the flat-shooting 10mm Auto cartridge, provide the end user a total package for hunting, self-defense, or at the range.”

Smith & Wesson S&W performance center M&P 10mm M2.0 6.6

Building off the success of the M&P 10mm M2.0, Smith & Wesson incorporated new features designed to increase the new Performance Center 10mm pistol’s performance. Chambered in 10mm Auto, this new full-size polymer handgun boasts a ported 5.6-inch barrel to reduce muzzle rise, optic-height tritium night sights for a clear sight picture in low-light conditions, and a Performance Center-tuned flat M2.0 trigger with a crisp break and audible reset.

Smith & Wesson S&W performance center M&P 10mm M2.0 6.6

The new Performance Center 10mm slide is cut for optics and ships with Smith & Wesson’s C.O.R.E. plate system, two 15-round magazines, and four interchangeable palmswell grip inserts. This pistol is made in the U.S.A. and has an MSRP of $749.00.

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April 26th, 2023

Optics-Ready Handguns — Popular New Pistol Options

Shooting Industry magazine october 2022 optics read pistol handgun gunsafe

The October 2022 issue of Shooting Industry Magazine covers the increasing popularity of “optics-ready” handguns. These pistols have slides configured to mount Red Dot optics. Some of these new handguns are sold with the Red Dot optics pre-installed, ready to go. For example, the Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P 9 Shield Plus (above) is sold with a Crimson Trace Red Dot optic mounted on the slide.

Shooting Industry magazine october 2022 optics read pistol handgun gunsafe
The new FN Five-seveN MRD is an optics-ready pistol chambered in 5.7x28mm. (Image: FN America)

For IDPA and gun games, a Red Dot sight can definitely help with rapid target acquisition. And for a defense gun, the Red Dot assists aiming at night, even in the dark. And unlike a pistol-mounted laser, the Red Dot does not have a bright, visible beam that pinpoints the gun owner’s location.

The Shooting Industry article explains how optics-equipped pistols have become much more popular: “It wasn’t too long ago optics-ready handguns were little more than a novelty. But today, it’s difficult to talk about the handgun segment without delving into the increasing number of guns coming from the manufacturers with optics already installed, or ready to accept one.”

Shooting Industry magazine october 2022 optics read pistol handgun gunsafe

Massad Ayoob, a respected shooting instructor and gun writer, says optics-equipped pistols are now very popular: “Carry optics are burning up the handgun market today. Some of my fellow instructors tell me they have general defensive shooting classes where more than half the students show up with guns wearing carry optics, a compact version of Red Dot sights. Police departments are going to them [optics equipped pistols] in droves.” READ FULL Story.

If you are interested in a wide selection of optics-ready handguns, check out the Modern Carry: Best Optics-Ready Pistols article in the CheaperThanDirt Blog. This highlights ten production pistols from Canik, CZ, FN, Hechler & Koch, Keltec, SCCY, SIG Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, and Taurus. Below is the Taurus G3 T.O.R.O (Taurus Optic Ready Option), a full-frame pistol with 17+1 9mm capacity.

Shooting Industry magazine october 2022 optics read pistol handgun gunsafe

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April 20th, 2023

Pistol Skills — How to Diagnose Handgun Accuracy Issues

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

When shooting pistols do your shots normally land smack dab in the middle of the target? If not, you may have some technique problems that are causing your shots to move off center. Top Shot Champion Chris Cheng has produced a good video for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) that helps handgunners diagnose accuracy issues. By shooting 3-shot groups and looking at the pattern and location of the shots, you can see what you’re doing wrong (or right). Here are some examples. Note, this process works best for shooters whose shots fall typically in one target zone. If your shots are all over the target, your form is inconsistent and problems will be harder to diagnose.

1. Low Left — Jerking Trigger: Here we see three (3) shots at the 7 O’clock position. This shows that the shooter is jerking the trigger, meaning that the shooter is pulling the trigger too quickly and therefore forcing the barrel to drop when breaking the shot. This is a very common problem, particularly with novices who are reacting to the noise/recoil of the pistol.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

2. 9 O’Clock — Too Little Trigger Finger: If we see three (3) shots at the 9 O’clock position, what this can be indicative of too little trigger finger on the trigger. And therefore with every shot, the shots are getting pushed to the left. Try moving your trigger finger on to the pad of your index finger. Also try dry firing drills.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

3. High Left — Anticipating Recoil: In this next example, we see three shots around the 11 O’clock position. What could be happening here is that the shooter is anticipating the recoil, and is actually lifting the gun up when he shoots. We recommend slowing down, working on your breathing, and, again, do dry-firing drills.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

4. 3 O’Clock — Too Much Trigger Finger: Finally, if you see three (3) shots at the 3 O’clock position, this can indicate that there is too much trigger finger on the trigger. Therefore when the shot breaks the shooter is pulling each shot to the right.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

Note: Each of these descriptions is for a RIGHT-handed shooter. If you are a left-handed shooter you’ll want to reverse those descriptions with respect to shot position left/right of the centerline. For example, in example number 4, the lefty would have his shots fall at the 9 O’clock position

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