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American Shooting Journal // April 2017


American Shooting Journal // April 2017 5




SHOOTING JOURNAL Volume 6 // Issue 7 // April 2017 PUBLISHER


Dick Openshaw


John Rusnak



Craig Hodgkins


Brad Fitzpatrick CONTRIBUTORS

Steven Paul Barlow, Larry Case, Scott Haugen, Phil Massaro, Mike Nesbitt, Rob Reed, Oleg Volk SALES MANAGER

Katie Higgins


Mamie Griffin, Garn Kennedy, Mike Smith, Paul Yarnold PRODUCTION MANAGER

Sonjia Kells DESIGNERS

Michelle Hatcher, Sam Rockwell PRODUCTION ASSISTANT

Kelly Baker


Audra Higgins


Katie Sauro


Lois Sanborn


Jon Hines



Heidi Belew


Gary Bickford, Barry Johnston, Tony Sorrentino ADVERTISING INQUIRIES


the last stand

Our Sentinels plate with interchangeable magazine posts is the last stand you’ll ever need. For display, cleaning, taking to the range or building a lower AR. Starting at $39.95 • 413-575-4656 • Wilbraham, MA 10

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

American shotgun champion Kim Rhode has medaled in more Olympics than any other summer games participant in modern history. The six-time medalist has found a place on the podium every four years for the past two decades – from Atlanta in 1996 to Rio in 2016 – and she already has her sights set on the 2020 games in Tokyo. (TRUCK VAULT)

MEDIA INDEX PUBLISHING GROUP WASHINGTON OFFICE P.O. Box 24365 • Seattle, WA 98124-0365 14240 Interurban Ave. S. Ste. 190 • Tukwila, WA 98168 OREGON OFFICE 8116 SW Durham Rd • Tigard, OR 97224 (206) 382-9220 • (800) 332-1736 • Fax (206) 382-9437 •


VOLUME 6 • ISSUE 7 • April 2017


33 2020 VISION Olympic champion Kim Rhode may be über-approachable, but don’t let her genial personality fool you. This swift shotgun sweeper remains as coolly competitive as the day she first cracked clay, and she already has her sights set on success at the 2020 Tokyo games. Editor Craig Hodgkins recently sat down with the multimedaled Mrs., and heard a few stories he hadn’t seen during any Olympic coverage. 47

HENRY RIFLES Why is Henry Repeating Arms on the rise? Writer Oleg Volk offers his informed views on why this is the case for the popular manufacturer. Hint: His conclusions include quality products, a responsive corporate culture and hands-on ownership.


ROAD HUNTER: WHAM, BAM, TURKEY SLAM! Tag along with columnist Scott Haugen as he crisscrosses our continent to achieve a North American turkey slam, a challenging feat that includes bagging the Osceola, eastern, Rio Grande and Merriam’s subspecies.



CZ’S KADET CONVERSION KIT If you asked writer Rob Reed to recommend a top-quality, dedicated .22 LR pistol for everyday use – and we did – his answer may puzzle some at first. But stick around while he makes a strong case for one of the best products of its kind on the market.

103 BEHIND THE BADGE: TO SERVE AND PROTECT Steven Paul Barlow spent 27 years with the New York State Police, and while he covets some of the cool equipment seen on duty belts today, his empathetic take on the challenges modern officers face in their daily responsibilities comes from a heart full of experience.

156 COMPETITION: GAMO’S SQUIRREL MASTER CLASSIC What happens when teams comprised of outdoor TV personalities, gun writers and youthful 4H shooters face off at a friendly squirrel hunting competition in the Alabama woods? We sent writer Larry Case with a camera and a notepad to find out.


SHOOTER’S SHELF: BOOGEYMAN Larry Correia is a licensed machinegun dealer, competitive shooter, firearms instructor and all-around gun nut. He’s also a New York Times best-selling author with his “Monster Hunter” series of novels. Rob Reed sits down for an interview with fantasy author and firearms fanatic.

AMERICAN SHOOTING JOURNAL is published monthly by Media Index Publishing Group, 14240 Interurban Ave South Suite 190, Tukwila, WA 98168. Display Advertising. Call Media Index Publishing Group for a current rate card. Discounts for frequency advertising. All submitted materials become the property of Media Index Publishing Group and will not be returned. Copyright © 2017 Media Index Publishing Group. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be copied by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording by any information storage or retrieval system, without the express written permission of the publisher. Printed in U.S.A.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017 13

CONTENTS NRA annual meetings & exhibits Featured ProductS 59 83 99 127 155 167 201 203 215 217 225

Rifles Optics Handguns Gear for Guns Knives Gear Industry Adventure Ammunition Reloading Black Powder


Three years ago, Sheila Larrson was a nonshooter and a “girly” girl. But with encouragement from her husband and more than a little help from a new mentor, she became a passionate hunter, and discovered that there is more than one way to “pay it forward.”

DEPARTMENTS 17 19 21 23

Editor’s Note Competition Calendar Gun Show Calendar NRA Show Prize Patrol: Daily raffle at ASJ booth! 25 Industry News: Chris Kyle Frog Foundation limited edition rifles; Remington 700 trigger replacements 207 Bullet Bulletin: A striking softpoint – Barnes Bullets LRX 227 Black Powder: Texas Bore Pigs and an October Country rifle cover


American Shooting Journal // April 2017


EDITOR’S NOTE elcome to our expanded April issue, chockfull of insightful and engaging articles and a passel of products, many of which will be featured at the National Rifle Association’s 2017 Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Atlanta from April 27-30 at the Georgia World Congress Center. If you are a member of the NRA (and we suspect many of you are) and plan to be in A-Town for the firearms-focused festivities, please stop by the American Shooting Journal booth (#402) for a visit. We’d love to meet you, but if that is not motivation enough, here’s an additional inducement. Every new or renewing subscriber who visits the booth will receive a free gift and will automatically be entered in our daily raffle featuring great


prizes donated by many of our top advertisers. See page 23 of this issue for more information. This year’s annual meetings figure to be a most interesting get-together. Last year’s edition attracted crowds of more than 80,000 enthusiastic firearms owners, and this year promises to be no different, with the World Congress Center’s 450,000 square feet filled to the doorways with your favorite outdoor industry manufacturers and service providers. Special events include the annual National NRA Foundation banquet, a Women’s Leadership Forum luncheon, the NRA/ILA (Institute for Legislative Action) dinner and auction, and a Saturday night concert headlined by Hank Williams, Jr. We hope to see you there! -Craig Hodgkins

Kim Rhode (left) always carries her collection of Olympic medals with her for moments such as this. Here, the editor’s 13-year-old son, Eric, gets to feel the weight of Rhode’s two decades of Olympic glory. 17

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American Shooting Journal // April 2017

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A shotgun competitor draws a bead on a flying target. (CREATIVE COMMONS)

April 8-9 The Sooner Classic IV Pryor, Okla.

April 22-23 Table Rock Challenge X Morganton, N.C.

April 29-30 Lone Star Classic XXIII Carrollton, Texas

April 8-9 Gem State Classic IV Boise, Idaho

April 22-23 Western Wisconsin Glock Classic III Holmen, Wis.

April 29-30 Silver State Glock Showdown IX Reno, Nev.

April 7-9 2017 Area 6 Multigun Championship Frostproof, Fla.

April 12-16 2017 Multi-gun Nationals Boulder City, Nev.

April 19-22 2017 FN Area 6 Championship Covington, Ga.

April 28-29 2017 Iverson Arms Mississippi Single Stack and Revolver Championship Biloxi, Miss.

April 8 Razorback Shootout – Tier 3 Perryville, Ark.

April 9 Central California IDPA Regional – Tier 2 Bakersfield, Calif.

April 29 The Silver Dollar Championship – Tier 4 Wichita Falls, Texas

April 12-15 Jeffers National Championship Tunica, Miss.

April 28-30 Universal Media Shootout – Classic Centre Hall, Pa.

April 30 Western South Central Regional Graham, Texas

April 23 Quicksilver Shootout XVI Turlock, Calif.

April 29 Texas State Championship Graham, Texas 19 20

American Shooting Journal // April 2017




Skinner Sights handcrafts peep sights in their small shop in St. Ignatius, Mont. All are machined from solid steel, stainless steel or brass bar stock, and each part is hand-fitted. (SKINNER SIGHTS )

Crossroads Of The West Gun Shows

April 8-9 April 8-9 April 22-23 April 29-30

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HONORING A LEGEND Each sale of the Chris Kyle Legend Collection of rifles will help provide experiences that strengthen military and first responder marriages and families. STORY BY CRAIG HODGKINS • PHOTOS BY COBALT KINETICS hen Adam Tarr of Allegiant After that decision was made, there Rifleworks, a retail gun was only one potential partner on and customization shop his short list of who would be asked just north of Dallas to manufacture the collection, and in McKinney, Texas, first began to that was the team at Cobalt Kinetics, formulate the concept for the Chris the St. George, Utah-based firearms Kyle Legend Collection of rifles with manufacturer with one of the top the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, reputations in the industry. he envisioned it as being much “That’s really why we went with more innovative than many of the Cobalt,” said Tarr. “Not only do they commemorative industry firearm have the Ferrari of AR-15s, but they are a collections he had seen. very innovative company, and they like “There are a lot of rifle collections to be the first in whatever they’re doing. out there,” he told me recently, “and it They were a perfect fit as far as quality, seems the guns are always the same. precision and everything else that they They do a rifle and a pistol and they do as a company, and we figured there look exactly the same. We wanted to wouldn’t be anybody better to go with.” make everything totally different and Kyle, of course, was the highly break the mold of the other collections decorated Navy SEAL who served The new-for-2017 Dodge Power Wagon is well equipped for in Iraq as a sniper, we’ve seen offered outRam there in the past.” several tours off-road work, and can get you just about anywhere you need to go.


Chris Kyle signs book at the Marine Corps’ Camp Pendleton with his wife, Taya, a year before his murder. (WIKIPEDIA)

made a 2,000-plus-yard shot to kill an insurgent and was nicknamed the “Devil of Ramadi.” After returning home, he wrote about his experiences in American Sniper, which was made into a movie by Clint Eastwood after Kyle was murdered by a mentally ill man he’d taken to a Texas gun range. “The Legend Tribute Collection of guns is such a wonderful tribute to Chris and will make an amazing keepsake for any outdoors enthusiast,” said Taya Kyle, Chris’s wife. “The design that these guys have developed will make it a real focal point anywhere – whether that is on the wall of your ranch, your hunting lodge or sports bar. They are amazing as a set or individually. The best part for me is that with each sale, Allegiant Rifleworks and Cobalt Kinetics will be aiding the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation to spread its mission through the military and first responder communities.” “The Foundation in a short time 25

NEWS EW WS each rifle special: ea Signature Series: Si As it should, the signature rifle in the A ccollection boasts a distinguished list of ffeatures. They include: 18-inch stainless fluted button rifled barrel, ATC Gold trigger, Cobalt Kinetics adjustable stock, premium nickel boron bolt group, Vortex flash hider, custom cerakote, polished details and stainless hardware. The rifle proudly bears Chris Kyle’s signature laser etched from the grip through to the lower receiver. MSRP: $5,997

Signature Series


has impacted on thousands of service marriages right across America through its programs – like Date Night Out – where service couples are encouraged to take a night off together and spend time with each other to allow someone else to serve; and our Revitalization Retreats - where special couples that have given just about all for our country are given the chance to take a full weekend and enjoy one another’s company,” she said. “The impact these programs have had so far has been so inspiring, and it is through limited edition collectibles like The Legend Tribute Collection that allows us to provide even more opportunities,” Taya said. THE COLLECTION WAS FIRST OFFERED to the public in sequentially numbered fourrifle sets when it made its pre-sale debut in mid-January at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas. The limited production run of each rifle promises that they will be prized additions to the collection of any firearms enthusiast. And although 26

American Shooting Journal // April 2017


300 Blacked Out

sets of four rifles remain for sale, rifles were recently released for individual sale as well. The four rifles are named the Signature Series, Glory, Chief, and 300 Blacked Out, and only 250 of each rifle will be made, including those in sets. “There are a lot of firsts in this set,” Tarr said, “even for Cobalt Kinetics. It’s their first non-NFA .300 Blackout offering. It’s the first time they offered the stock that’s on the Signature Series gun, which is their billet adjustable stock. [The Chief] is the first-ever 6.8 for Cobalt Kinetics.” With proceeds benefiting the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, this collection will allow the group to strengthen military and first responder marriages and families while it honors the legacy of Chris Kyle and God, country and families who serve. “The Chris Kyle Frog Foundation is a really good organization,” said Skyler Stewart of Cobalt Kinetics, “and we’re just happy to be a part of it.” Here’s a quick look at what makes

Glory: Properly named, this Cobalt Kinetics BAMF-style rifle features all of the precision machined quality components and design features expected from the brand, as well as a one-of-a-kind battleworn dark earth and armor black American flag cerakote finish. MSRP: $3,997 Chief: Those who served with Kyle referred to him as Chief. Cobalt Kinetics commemorates him with the “Chief” in 6.8 SPC. It features a 14.5-inch fluted stainless match barrel that is permanently mated to Cobalt’s BAMF muzzle device. A Premium single-stage trigger, and a subdued tiger stripe finish sets this rifle apart. MSRP: $4,497 300 Blacked Out: The name says it all. Based off of the Cobalt Kinetics BAMF Edge, an all-flat-black rifle with a 14.5-inch nitrocarburized 1:8-twist .300 Blackout barrel with a pinned and welded linear compensator give this all-billet rifle an aggressive look. MSRP: $4,497 MSRP for the Chris Kyle Legend Collection four-rifle set is $17,500. For more info about all the rifles, see, and for more about the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, visit  27


TERRIFIC TRIGGERS With the Remington 700 rifle trigger recall still in effect, we suggest three top replacements for the popular platform.

Timney Remington 700 Calvin Elite

Jewell HVR


he Remington 700 rifle series remains one of the most popular in history, as well as one of the top platforms for those shooters wanting to add aftermarket parts to improve accuracy and safety. With Remington having issued a voluntary recall in April 2014 for Model 700 and Model Seven rifles with X-Mark Pro triggers manufactured from May 1, 2006 to April 9, 2014, here are three top replacements to check out.


Timney Remington 700 This replacement trigger comes with a safety that blocks the trigger, rather than the sear, which is a new design. No screws, drilling, or tapping are required. This Remington 700 trigger will bring a whole new realm of accuracy to your Remington rifle. Each trigger is geometrically identical with tolerances less than .0005 inch and is adjustable from 1½ to 4 pounds of pull weight. It is available in right or left hand, standard black finish or nickel-plated, and standard curved, curved thin (only .25 inch) or straight. MSRP is $145.96. Calvin Elite Also designed and manufactured by Timney, this aftermarket gem is 28

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

designed to be robust and yet delicate enough to be set with a pull weight as low as 8 ounces. The Calvin Elite series of Timney Triggers feature wear components made from A2 tool steel, heat-treated to Rockwell 58 and Teflonnickel coatings. Sears are wire EDM cut and triggers are CNC machined using state-of-the-art robotics. The lightweight 6061-T6 aluminum housings are CNC machined and anodized Timney Elite Gold. The Timney Calvin Elite Series Triggers feature carbo-nitride coating. The thermochemical process simultaneously diffuses nitrogen and carbon into the surface of ferrous metals. This coating is substantially harder than hardened tool steel and increases the long-term wear, provides exceptional corrosion resistance, far surpassing the military saltwater corrosion standards and increases lubricity to your trigger. The Calvin Elite Series of triggers are named for Calvin Motley, Timney’s design genius. MSRP is $227.08 Jewell HVR This self-contained replacement trigger module provides outstanding reliability, function, and performance for benchrest, varminting, and other types of

precision shooting. All internal components are CNC machined from stainless steel, then heattreated to Rockwell 58 for extended service life. Adjustment screws are fitted with a nylon insert to maintain your trigger settings without using thread-locking compounds. Single-stage design is three-way externally adjustable, eliminating the need to remove the barreled action from the stock to set pull weight, letoff, or overtravel. Other models available include the Remington Hunter Varmint Rifle (RHVR) and the Remington Bench Rest (BR), designed for these more specific applications. MSRP for the HVR is $249. Where to buy replacements All three (and many more) Remington trigger replacements are available at Brownell’s, Midway USA and other trusted online stores and retailers. For more information, visit, or  Editor’s note: To learn if your Remington rifle is subject to Remington’s voluntary trigger recall, call (800) 243-9700 or visit xmprecall

Founded by warriors. inspired by their legacy. gladiate as a way of life. Made in America...SOF Veteran owned and operated 29

Following a vehicle break-in, these days, Kim Rhode keeps everything in her Truck Vault, including her collection of Olympic medals. (TRUCK VAULT)

2020 VISION Despite a past packed with Olympic success, shotgun sensation Kim Rhode is focused on the future, one she hopes will include the 2020 summer games in Tokyo. STORY BY CRAIG HODGKINS PHOTOS BY THE RHODE FAMILY

f there is such a thing as “like at first sight,” then Kim Rhode had me at “Hi.” From the first moments of our wide-ranging conversation (I can’t in good conscience call it an interview) at the Redlands Shooting Park, one of three Southern California ranges she uses for her daily training sessions, I felt like a member of the family.


Perhaps that feeling was enhanced because her mom, Sharon, had set up the meeting, and her dad, Richard, made our group a threesome, but the primary reason was her friendly demeanor and disarming personality. Early on, we discovered that we were born in the same Southern California hospital, and that we both collect rare first-edition children’s books. But just when I was starting to think we had a whole lot in common, I remembered that she is the one with six Olympic shooting medals.

RHODE WON HER FIRST WORLD skeet championship when she was 13, but her shooting passion – and skill – manifested itself long before that. Like many people, she got into shooting and hunting because of her family’s involvement. One year, the Rhode clan traveled to Yuma, Ariz., in early September to bag some birds. “I was seven or eight years old,” Kim said, “and the gun was taller than me. I was standing off from my parents, but not too far … they still had control. A game warden came up, and he asked, ‘Who shot your birds for you?’ And I was like ‘I did.’ But he insisted, ‘No, no, honey. No one’s going to get in trouble. You can tell me. Who shot your birds for you?’ “No, really,’ I insisted. ‘I really shot these birds.’ And while I was in the midst of arguing with this Game and Fish guy, my dad yells ‘Over you!’ 33

I turned around, took two shots and dropped two birds. The game warden said, ‘Have a nice day,’ and walked off.” Competitions were the next logical step for the precocious pre-teen. When Rhode was 13, she entered a match where the winner would earn the opportunity to visit the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs, Colo. “I competed in trap,” she said, “which was something I’d never done before, and I won. I was ecstatic, but after I got home I got a phone call that I wouldn’t be going because I was too young. They sent the runner-up instead.” Later, the same venue held the world shoot in skeet. “I went and won the Open Women’s in skeet. The Olympic coach happened to be there, and he said ‘We’ll make an exception for you, if your mother will come with you and stay in the dorms.’” It was her first visit to an Olympic facility, but not her last. Three years later, she joined the Olympic team. “I was 16 when I first went to the Olympics, and I was really nervous. You go through a physical, and one of the big things they do is a gender test. The guys on my team were razzing me like crazy, and I was just terrified (beforehand). I’m thinking the worst things possible, like, ‘What is a gender test?’ And I get in there, and the doctor says, ‘Open your mouth and let me scrape the inside of your cheek.’ All they did was take my DNA to check it. But I didn’t know that.” With her gender officially confirmed, Rhode went on to win the first of her six Olympic medals, a gold in double trap. “I remember after I won, I didn’t know what to do with the medal. And I don’t think I realized what it was I had done until I got home. When I started giving speeches and people were crying, I saw what an impact (the win) had been to other people and other families. It’s part of the reason why I always take the time to talk to people and to sign 34

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

A 13-year-old Kim Rhode (center) earned her first NSSA World Championship in Open Women’s Skeet shooting in 1993.

every autograph. I realize what a difference it can make for a child or for a family.” HER OWN FAMILY TREE BOASTS of two U.S. Presidents (John and John Quincy Adams), Morse code inventor Samuel F. B. Morse, and the lesser-known but fascinating George Ludwig Rhode, her great-greatgrandfather on her father’s side, who served under General H.H. Sibley as one of 25 handpicked men chosen to attempt to rescue General George Armstrong Custer prior to the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Although his troops were unsuccessful, Rhode fought his way through skirmish after skirmish following the main battle, and survived to keep his branch of the family tree intact. Her grandfather and other relatives were born in Montana.

A few years before the Great Depression, one member of the family developed rheumatoid arthritis, so the family sold their cattle ranch, bought new cars, loaded them up “like something out of the Beverly Hillbillies” and headed off south. On their way through Wyoming, as the story goes, they got stopped at Yellowstone, where rangers at the main gate refused to let them pass if they didn’t plug their guns. These men from Montana were all working cowboys, and no one was going to take their guns, so instead of consenting to the rangers’ demands, they pitched their tents, camped out near the park gates and began to live off of the land. About six months later, they had shot so many elk, deer and buffalo that the game wardens finally offered

A jubilant 16-year-old Kim Rhode dances atop her first Olympic podium after earning the 1996 gold medal in double trap shooting.

to escort them through the park with all their guns fully loaded. When they reached the other side, they kept going until they got to California. The Rhode clan’s determined self-reliance and the refusal to give up their guns is something that Kim remains passionate about even today. “When you go back in history and look at where we came from,” she said, “kids were raised with respect and responsibility and discipline and focus, and shooting has taught me a lot about that. In today’s society, everybody is so reliant on other things or other

people. Kids are losing the old-time values of pride in your work and your work ethic. When I talk to kids, I talk about never giving up. A sport isn’t always about winning. It’s what you do when you don’t win, how you pick yourself up and keep going.” “I’ve been a member of (Safari Club International) since I was 10 years old, the year I went on my first safari. SCI does a lot for animal conservation as well as hunting, but it’s really about the heritage and being able to pass it on to our kids. It’s the same thing with the (National Rifle Association). It’s a

KIM RHODE’S OLYMPIC MEDALS 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 36

Atlanta Sydney Athens Beijing London Rio

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

Gold - Double Trap Bronze - Double Trap Gold - Double Trap Silver - Skeet Gold - Skeet Bronze - Skeet

great organization, fighting for the Second Amendment and ensuring that those rights and that heritage will be there for our kids and our kid’s kids.” Despite some obvious cultural shifts, Rhode remains upbeat about the future, one that she hopes will include her participation in additional Olympic games. “I’m definitely going to go for the next couple Olympics, especially 2020. And if Los Angeles gets the bid in 2024, it would be amazing to have my family and friends there cheering me on, being able to see that you can achieve great things no matter where you come from.” But even if she never participates in another Olympics, Rhode’s place in the record books is secure. As the only summer participant to ever medal in six different games, she stands alone on that podium, a fact she acknowledges with a shrug. “I never really thought of it as me being the best, and I never really grasped the fact that I was ‘number one in the world’ or anything

A more composed competitor took the silver medal in skeet at the 2008 summer games in Beijing.

like that. For me, it was just a competition; it was just for fun. I did the best I could, and it was going to be what it was going to be.” And although her Olympic memories often blend together, that doesn’t lessen her joy. “I’ve loved it,” she said. “I love competing head to head, I love being in that moment, I love the travel, the places, the people. (Between events) we’d go see the Coliseum or historical places in the world like the pyramids. We had camel races across the dessert.” “I always say, ‘Nobody remembers what your score was.’ For me it was the camel races and the relationships and the fun times that made it what it is.” BUT IN ORDER TO KEEP THE FUN times coming, an Olympic athlete needs to become self-sustaining, something that Rhode learned early on. “When I was young and wasn’t allowed to visit the Olympic Training Center, I had to find those resources locally, and that’s when it 38

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

started with the sponsorships.” Today, she enjoys sponsorships from Winchester ammunition Beretta, SCI and others. Another sponsor has joined Team Rhode more recently, and it was due to a well-publicized theft. In September of 2008, Rhode’s long-time competition shotgun was stolen from her truck. “I was returning from doing a public service announcement,” she recalled, “and I decided to stop and get something to eat with my mom and do some shopping. I was in a store, and my mom came running back, ‘It’s gone, it’s gone!’ I remember that feeling in the pit of my stomach, and when the security people came out, to them it was no big deal. They were saying ‘Let’s sweep up the glass.’ And I said, ‘What are you doing? That’s evidence!’” “It was from that situation that I sought out Truck Vault, because it was exactly what I needed. I always say it’s the trunk that I don’t have in

my truck. But more important is the peace of mind it brings, and what Truck Vault meant to me at that point was just immense. I don’t ever want to feel that way again.” When she’s not breaking targets, Rhode works hard at giving back to the sport she loves. That takes several forms, including speaking to a wide variety of groups and venues, from the Republican National Convention to the local Rotary Club. It is something she feels called to do, and for a very specific reason. “After I’d won a medal at the 2008 Olympics, I figured the questions were going to be, ‘What is it like standing on the podium representing your country?’ But instead it was, ‘Can you comment on these tragedies that have occurred?’ It was then that I realized I need to do more, to voice more of the positives of shooting, because all you really hear are the negatives. You don’t hear about the high schools that have shooting teams, or the programs like Scholastic Clay Target Program

Rhode’s dedication to the shooting sports has earned her much more than a collection of medals; she has also earned the respect of all who cherish the right to keep and bear arms. (TRUCK VAULT)

(SCTP) that have kids working as a team to earn bonds for their education and their future. There are so many wonderful things about the shooting and outdoor sports that you just don’t hear on a day-to-day basis. The reality is we try to reach out to everybody. Our sport is truly just a sport, no different than any of the others. It just so happens that we shoot clay targets with a shotgun.” If anybody can help keep the conversation currently swirling around Second Amendment rights moving forward in a civil tone, it’s Rhode. After all, this is a woman who built a 1965 AC Shelby Cobra, by hand, turning every bolt one by one ... when she was in high school. She’s both patient and persistent, and everything she does communicates a charmingly tenacious philosophy of “Go big or go home.” It’s a trait she inherited from her father. “My dad never did anything small,” she said. “When he got into something, he really got into 40

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

something. And I got that from him.” And when the two get together on a project, things tend to take on a life of their own. One recent endeavor may serve as the best example of the Rhode raison d’etre. “In my city,” she said, “they have a competition for the best decorated house for Christmas or Halloween. I thought, I’ve got all the lights, but it would be amazing if we could make the ghosts or Santa Claus fly around our yard. So I took sewing machine motors and fishing line and made things fly around. I showed my dad and he said, ‘That’s too small.’ So the next thing I know, we’ve got 5- or 6-inch pipes that go up 15 feet that have a motorcycle wheel attached and engineered with motion sensors with a pulley system. We had to level the yard and pour concrete and set these suckers. I could probably fly on it myself and scare little kids that come up to the door. And I had to get the ‘light-o-rama’ to top it off so the lights would (blink) to the music.

When we went into the junkyard to ask them for the motorcycle wheels they asked, ‘What are you going to do with these again?’” Her wide circle of friends and family has grown to include her husband Mike Harryman and their son Carter, whom she was pregnant with during the 2012 London games. And while her life may be complex, her approach is simple. “I like to have fun,” she said, “and shooting is still fun for me. You have to keep it that way. But training is not fun. The fun part is the travel, the places, the people, the competition … those are the fun things. But it all comes down to what you want to do in life, and for me, I wanted to see the world, and be able to enjoy the outdoors. I love hiking. I like camping. I love hunting. I love fishing. I love spending the time with my parents and my family. Those were things that were important to me, and shooting allowed me to do all those.” 

9-* 1*&)*7 .3 57*2.:2 &7X <<<(4'&190.3*9.(8(42

(Clockwise from top left) The 39th annual SHOT Show drew another record crowd to the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas. (NSSF) When attendees weren’t waiting in line to spin American Shooting Journal’s prize wheel, they were being entertained by the likes of the hilarious and thoughtful Mike Rowe. (NSSF) Team Taurus captain Jessie Duff graciously signs the cover of our January issue for one of her many fans. (CRAIG HODGKINS) The line to spin the ASJ prize wheel grew exponentially each time a rifle was added to the prize mix. (CRAIG HODGKINS) On the last day of SHOT Show, spin wheel winner Maria won an Olympic Arms AR-15. (GARN KENNEDY) USPSA Grand Master and January ASJ cover shooter Jessie Duff (left) visited our booth to meet attendees and sign copies of our expanded SHOT Show issue. Beside her is ASJ executive editor Craig Hodgkins. (CRAIG HODGKINS)

SUPER SHOT housands of booth visitors became new friends of the American Shooting Journal at the 39th annual SHOT Show. And, although we’re pretty sure our little corner of the show would have drawn a crowd no matter what, it may have helped a little that our prize wheel rarely stopped spinning throughout the four-day event. In addition to a variety of take-


The prize wheel at the American Shooting Journal booth rarely stopped spinning at the recent SHOT Show in Las Vegas home rewards graciously donated by dozens of our advertisers, one lucky spinner won a rifle on each day of the show. Specifically, these were a Layke Tactical Custom AR 6.5 Creedmoor in liquid green, a Jersey Elite Mfg. AR-15 5.56/.223 in red, white and blue, an MKS Supply/HiPoint 9mm carbine, and an Olympic Arms AR-15. Other great prizes included a Mathews Helio Model Compound

Bow, Elftmann Tactical triggers, an Armaspec Collapsible AR stock, an American Built Arms Company Urban Sniper stock, Black Nitrate Rubber City bolt carrier groups, KKM Precision barrels, Dead On Arms AR parts, a Peet Shoe Dryer, a Klacker hatchet and knives, Coast flashlights, a Shooting Crony, and Metalloid gun care products. We hope to see you at a future show!  43


Ritter & Stark - SX-1 Modular Tactical Rifle Caliber: .308 Win., .300 Win. Mag., .338 Lapua Mag. Barrel length: Variable Overall length: Variable Weight: Variable Magazine capacity: 5, 10, 20 Stock: Fully adjustable – can be mounted folding to either left or right side DEZ Tactical - USAR10-20G2 Caliber: .308/7.62x51mm Barrel length: 20 inches Overall length: 42 inches Weight: 11 pounds, 8.8 ounces Magazine capacity: 20 Stock: LuthAR MBA-1 MSRP: $2,839 American Built Arms Caliber: Barrel length: Overall length: Weight: Magazine capacity: Stock: MSRP:

- HOWA Precision Hunting Rifle .308, 6.5mm Creedmoor 22 inches 39 inches, shipped 7.4 pounds 10 rounds MOD*X Gen III 6061 T6 aluminum chassis $1,199.99

CDNN Sports - Walther/Hk MP5 A5 Tactical Rifle Caliber: .22 LR Barrel length: 16.1 inches Overall length: 26.8 to 33.8 inches Weight: 5.9 pounds Magazine capacity: 25+1 Stock: Retractable MSRP: $299.99 DRD Tactical - APTUS Caliber: 5.56 NATO, .300 Blackout Barrel length: 16 inches Overall length: 38 inches Weight: 7 pounds Magazine capacity: 30 Stock: Magpul folding/adjustable MSRP: $1,695 Vision Defense - V-15 Caliber: Barrel length: Overall length: Weight: Magazine capacity: Stock: MSRP:

Havoc Rifle .223 Wylde, .300 AAC 16 inches 36 inches 7 pounds, 2 ounces 30 Hogue OverMolded Collapsible Stock tock $849.95 DRDTact VisionDefensell

R&S Precision - 1022 Caliber: .22 LR or Barrel length: 16½ inches without compensator Overall length: 37½ inches Weight: 8.5 pounds Magazine capacity: 10 Stock: Barracuda – brown MSRP: $1,100 and up Phoenix Custom Rifles - 50 BMG Caliber: .50 Barrel length: 29 inches Overall length: 56 inches Weight: 26 pounds Magazine capacity: 1 Stock: McMillan Big Mac MSRP: $7,500 1022RaceRifle.c c Phoe i

Cobalt Kinetics - Edge Team Replica Caliber: .223/5.56mm Barrel length: 16 inches Overall length: 36.75 inches Weight: 7.5 pounds Magazine capacity: 30 Stock: Cobalt Kinetics MSRP: $3,800.00 World Of Troy - Airborne Stock Caliber: 5.56mm NATO Barrel length: 14.5 inches Overall length: 30.5 to 34.5 inches Trigger: Geissele G2S ow profile) Sights: Front/rear folding Battle Sights (low Rail length: 12.5 inches MSRP: $1,599.00 Centurion Arms - CM4 Caliber: Multi or 5.56mm Barrel length: 10.5 to 16.1 inches Overall length: Variable Weight: Variable Magazine capacity: 10, 20, 30 and 40 Stock: Composite MSRP: $1,500 Layke Tactical - LT10 Caliber: Barrel length: Overall length: Weight: Magazine capacity: Stock: MSRP:

.308/7.62x51mm 18 inches 36 to 39 inches 8.4 pounds 5 to 25+1 Composite $1,599 to $2,000

Hardened Arms - LumaShark Calibers: .223/5.56, .300 Blackout, 7.62x39, x39, 6.8 SPC II, 6.5 Grendel, .458 Big Bore, .308 308 Barrel length: 16 to 24 inches Overall length: 28 to 38 inches Weight: Varies Magazine capacity: 10 to 30 Stock: Varies MSRP: Visit website Lantac - Raven Caliber: Barrel length: Overall length: Weight: Magazine capacity: Stock: MSRP:

.223 Wylde/5.56mm 16 inches with pinned and welded Dragon Brake 32 inches 7 pounds 30 MagPul CTR, with Enhanced Butt-Pad, .70 $2,995

Shilen - DGV/DGR Complete Rifle Caliber: .17 to .458 Barrel length: Customer choice (16- to 30-inch finish length) Overall length: TBD Weight: 8.5 pounds Magazine capacity: 3 to 5 Stock: Manners MCS- T4A MSRP: $3,700.00-plus

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RTH Firearms - Elite Hunter Calibers: 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5x47 Lapua, .308 Win. Barrel length: 22 inches (proprietary) Overall length: 40 to 43 inches Hand guard: Carbon fiber octagon Muzzle velocity: 2,700 to 3,100 feet per second Recoil: Light to medium Range: 800 to 1,400 yards MSRP: Visit website


Delphi Tactical - DP-10 Agincourt Caliber: .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor Barrel length: 18 inches Overall length: Variable Weight: Variable Magazine capacity: 20 Stock: B5 SOPMOD, LuthAR MBA-1 A-1 MSRP: $1,809.99 Diamondback Arms - DB9RB Caliber: 9mm Luger Barrel length: 16 inches Twist rate: 1:10 Rail: 15-inch KeyMod Elite MSRP: $919 R&J Firearms - RJAR-15 5.56 Premium Caliber: .223/5.56mm Barrel length: 16 inches Overall length: Adjustable Weight: 6.89 pounds Magazine capacity: 30+1 Stock: Polymer MSRP: $1,399 Best Of The West - Muzzleloader Caliber: . 45 Barrel length: 26 inches Overall length: 46 inches Weight: 12 pounds Magazine capacity: 4 primer carriers Stock: HS Precision se gun) MSRP: $5,495 (package), $3,400 (base Turnbull Restoration Caliber: Barrel length: Overall length: Weight: Magazine capacity: Stock: MSRP:


Co., Inc. - Marlin Turnbull 336C .30-30 Win. 20 inches 38.5 inches 7 pounds 6-shot tubular magazine American black walnut pistol stol grip stock with ďŹ&#x201A;uted comb $1,200

American Shooting Journal // April 2017 D

THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE Quality products, an expanding user base, a responsive corporate culture and hands-on ownership have Henry Repeating Arms on the rise. STORY AND PHOTOS BY OLEG VOLK

lthough the brand dates to the middle of the 19th Century, the Henry Repeating Arms company that we know of today was founded in 1996 by a father-and-son team. Originally located in Brooklyn, it started production of .22 rimfire lever-action carbines in 1997. Ten years later, the headquarters moved to Bayonne, N.J. Around that time, Henry added a large production facility in Wisconsin, having bought out a major parts supplier. The two factories together add up to over 400 employees on nearly 250,000 square feet of floor space. In 20 years, Henry Repeating Arms produced more than 2.3 million rifles. Today, they are the seventh largest domestic gun maker in the US. That kind of success doesn’t happen by accident.


This Alabama attorney and Henry fan proudly carries her engraved American Beauty .22 lever action on horseback. (Above) Popular YouTube video blogger 22plinkster fires a Henry in .45-70.

THE ORIGINAL HENRY RIFLE was an important technical milestone, but the brand itself lasted only six years, from 1860 to 1866. The manufacturer, New Haven Arms Company, became Winchester Repeating Arms and 47

The original blued .22 lever action boasts a nice wood and metal finish despite an affordable price.

its 1866 “Yellow Boy Boy” became a runaway commerci commercial success. It improved on the or original design by sealing the tube magazine from the environment, aand made it more suitable to m military use with gate loading throug through the side of the receiver. The Henry bran brand name went unused until it was wa resurrected in style by Louis and a Anthony Imperato. This wasn’t wa the first rodeo for Lou Louis, who had resurrected the Iver Iv Johnson brand back in 1973 and, for a time, p produced commercial M1 carbines commercia of good qu quality. With the Henry bra brand, production began with modestly priced .22 rifles of good mechanical quality mecha but a cheap-looking c finish, then quickly t progressed to a much progress better fi fit and finish, and more recently m Henry’s lightweight AR-7 Survival Rifle in .22 fits inside its own waterproof stock when disassembled.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

to a vast variety of rimfire and centerfire models. The mainstay of the Henry brand remains the original H001, with well more than a million manufactured. Originally introduced at about half the price of its Browning and Marlin competitors, this classic proved as accurate and as reliable. Produced in blued and brasslite finish, it set the

visual pattern for most Henry models. More recently, a silvery weatherproof finish was added as an additional option for hunting rifles. Almost all Henry lever-action models follow the same design, using a rimfire-style magazine with a removable follower. While slower to load than the King’s patent gate introduced on Winchester 1866, this

The recently redesigned Small Game Carbine (top) and Small Game Rifle each feature aperture sights for more precise aim.





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22plinkster, who goes by Dave Nash but withholds his real name, holds a Henry .22WMR pump.

style of loading doesn’t ding up bullets or catch fingertips in the springloaded gate cover. The tube magazine is covered by a wooden forend, except on the commemorative “Classic” 1860-style model with the original external magazine follower latch. The 1860 model improves on the original in the metallurgy and caliber options – .45 Colt or .44-40 Winchester instead of the weak and less safe .44 rimfire – without losing any of the historic feel. Considering that only 14,000 original Henry rifles were ever produced, having an extra 11,000 made for history buffs in the past couple of years definitely makes them more accessible to modern shooters. Henry also produces improved variants of the semiauto AR-7 Survival Rifle, a kids’ Mini Bolt and a pump in .22LR and .22WMR. Most recently, box magazine lever actions, break-open and suppressor ready models have been introduced – Henry clearly has no intention of resting on its laurels. IN MY EXPERIENCE WITH HENRY OWNERS, I’ve found that few possess just one. In fact, it’s extremely common even for modest collections to have multiple lever actions, often spanning all calibers from .22 to .45-70. It’s also common for a Henry owner to buy additional Henry rifles as gifts for family members. Of all current rifle brands, Henry appears to command perhaps the highest customer loyalty. So, besides the good quality manufacturing and great accuracy, what draws and retains people to and with this maker to the exclusion of competing brands? The common manual of arms across most of the line-up is a true but minor point. The simplicity of their half-cock safety compared to the lawyer-mandated crossbolt “safety” of other brands (something that may be better termed a “disabling button”) is another small point in Henry’s favor. Another brand’s manual of arms was a rude surprise to me: pulling the trigger with the safety on produced what seemed like a misfire, with no indication that the safety was engaged, 50

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

just the condition for dangerous game hunting! No such issues with Henry .45-70 or smaller rifles. Many new shooters who have tried lever actions alongside other types come back to the Henry rifles citing the subjective “fun of operation”, just hands-on enough to be interesting but sufficiently efficient for realworld uses such as hunting and

marksmanship training. Perhaps the more prominent reasons for the brand’s consistent popularity rest in the character of the company’s owner and employees. The slogan “Made in America or not made at all” speaks convincingly to people who prefer to see precision manufacturing jobs stay stateside. The lifetime warranty on rifles is another

Two Henry Big Boys on a safari, one in .45 Colt, the other in .45-70 Govt.

obvious argument for Henry. Since the defect rate is low, Henry has been able to honor warranties in a timely manner, and this sometimes includes completely replacing arms that have been damaged beyond repair by floods or fire. Of all the current makers of firearms, the Henry company may have the most personally accessible owner. Deeply involved in the dayto-day operations of the company, Anthony Imperato remains reachable at trade shows and by phone or email. To Anthony, the reputation of the enterprise is a personal matter, and he tries to communicate to Henry customers as directly as possible. The personal involvement by him and other key members of the company have fostered an extensive and widely flung community of Henry rifle owners worldwide. As of this 52

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

writing, the Henry Repeating Arms Facebook page has nearly 450,000 likes, an impressive level of popularity for a niche manufacturer selling a conservatively styled product. As a student of commercial and political advertising, I must also note that when our previous president was snarking about people “clinging to their guns and their religion,” Henry print ads had a photo of a Bible in them. And while Henry doesn’t position itself as a “Christian” company, the manifested respect for its core constituency at the time when they were seemingly being beleaguered from the bully pulpit of the White House was a class act, and the attitude was noted and appreciated. Numerous tribute models celebrating public service and trade organizations – from the Boy Scouts to EMS – also added to the

A Henry Big Boy in the classic .30-30 chambering.

Even a 6-year-old can understand gun safety if taught correctly, and this Henry Mini Bolt is just the right size for her to practice what she has learned.

A Henry Yellow Boy in .22 adds a classic look to this Western scenery.

appreciation of the gun maker. In the past two years, the number of models in the Henry line-up has nearly doubled. The expansion of its user base with less traditional owners has also accelerated, in part due to restrictions choking off more mainstream modern designs, and also to the quality and “non-scary” look of the rifles themselves. With a


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

quality product, a growing user base, a responsive corporate culture and a hands-on owner, Henry Repeating Arms seems to be the poised to carry the old brand name far into the future with grander outlook than ever before.  Contact: Henry Repeating Arms



9mm Luger Caliber, 16” melonite Diamondback barrel, 1:10 twist, 15” keymod elite rail

.223/5.56 caliber, 10” 4140 Chrome-moly, melonite, free float Diamondback barrel

DB10 .308 Winchester Caliber, 18” stainless steel fluted Diamondback barrel, 1:10 twist, 15” keymod elite rail

DB15EB .223/5.56 caliber, 16” 4140 chrome-moly melonite, free float Diamondback barrel, 15” keymod elite rail 56 American Shooting Journal // April 2017



.380 caliber, 6+1 capacity, 5.5 lbs trigger pull, stainless steel Diamondback barrel

9mm caliber, 6+1 capacity, 5.5 lbs trigger pull, stainless steel Diamondback barrel




DB15 223 Wylde Upper Assembly: 18” complete upper assembly with 16” elite rail, mid length barrel with 1:7

DB15 300 Blackout Upper Assembly: 16” 300 Blackout complete upper assembly with 15” keymod rail, pistol

DB15 Elite .223/5.56 Upper Assembly: 16” Elite complete upper assembly with 15” keymod rail, carbine

twist; $289.99

length with 1:8 twist; $229.99

length with 1:8 twist; $229.99

DB9 Mag: 5 pack bundle;

DB380 Mag: 5 pack bundle;

DB15 30 Round Aluminum Mag: 5 pack bundle;




DB15 Complete Pistol Lower: Must provide a valid FFL, pistol length buffer tube and A2 grip, no magazine;

DB15 Complete Rifle Lower: Must provide a valid FFL, Roger’s Buttstock and A2 grip, no magazine;

DB15 Diamondback Barrel: 223/5.56, rifle-length, 16” heavy, black nitride with 1:7 twist;






American Shooting Journal // April 2017




NEMO ARMS – Booth #1756 The NEMO Arms XO 6.5 Creedmoor delivers bolt-action accuracy in a lightweight large-frame AR-pattern rifle. The 20-inch Proof Research carbon-fiber barrel dissipates heat at an accelerated rate for faster follow-up shots. Ambidextrous controls and pocket design are aesthetically pleasing, as well as functional.


Hi-Point Firearms carbines are available in four popular pistol calibers: .380ACP, 9mm, .45ACP, and .40 S&W. They are 100 percent American made, and all products come with a lifetime warranty. Known for affordability, Hi-Point Firearms’ pistols can be purchased for $199.00 and carbines for $315.00.


The new Best of the West Muzzleloader was developed with extreme accuracy and extending ethical distance in mind. BOTW has developed a new ignition system (patent pending) that allows the hunter to carry four additional primer carriers in the magazine. Additional features include 4-16x42 Huskemaw Blue Diamond scope and side-discharge muzzle brake.


Cobalt’s Edge rifle comes dressed to the nines. The chassis is coated in conservative gold Cerakote with Tiffany blue accents. The premium features include patented Dual Drop system, adjustable single-stage trigger, and a nickel-boron BCG. All controls are all fully ambidextrous and easily operated by any shooter. 59





The RT-15 C4 Enhanced battle rifle is a mission-adaptable lightweight carbine featuring a black salt nitrate bolt carrier group and barrel for long life and consistent performance. The C4 features a gas-impingement operating system, a 16inch, 1-in-7-twist barrel, a 12-inch keymod free-float rail system and a six-position S1 buttstock. As with all RTD rifles, the C4 is 100 percent made in the U.S.A and comes with a lifetime warrantee. The C4 is available in 5.56mm and .300 Blackout.


RTH Firearms has five goals in producing their beautiful rilfes: precision, speed in follow-up shots, knockdown power, minimal felt recoil and attractive design. Earlier this year, RTH Firearms released their first semiautomatic rifle chambered in 6.5x47mm Lapua, 6.5mm Creedmoor and .308 Win. The rifle achieves amazing precision, hitting sub-minuteof-angle at 100 yards, with the ability to reach out to 1,400 yards with little felt recoil. The Anvil rifles feel like you’re shooting a .22 rimfire, yet the 6.5×47 Lapua round allows you to make mile-long shots. The Anvil series of rifles by RTH Firearms provides the ability at any moment to produce speed, power, and precision. And if you going to own a rifle that performs like a Ferrari, it should look like one too.


The CQB16 MARS has a 16-inch chrome-lined 1:7-twist 5.56 barrel with an ambidextrous charging handle, direct gas rotary belt, detachable, post adjustable front sights, and various rear sights. This weapon has the flexibility of optional calibers, is easy to field strip, and is affordable and functional. Why? Because failure is not an option.



Black Ice Armory is based out of Pleasant Grove, Utah. They offer a wide variety of AR-15 rifles with different features, including different length hand guards, barrel configurations, and flash hiders. If you’re looking for an affordable AR-15 with a custom look, these rifles are a great place to start.

The Grey Ghost Precision carbine in 6.5 Creedmoor is built from a T651 billet upper and a T651 billet ambidextrous lower. It features a 22-inch Proof Research stainless steel barrel with a 1:8-inch twist, a KeyMod or M-Lok hand guard, a Superlative Arms adjustable gas block, and a Magpul Gen 3 PRS stock.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017 – Booth #2401




MOSSBERG – Booth #2342 Mossberg has elevated its line of traditionally inspired hunting rifles with the new Patriot Revere, available in .243 Win., .308 Win., .270 Win., .30-06 Sprg. and .300 Win. Mag., and the highly desirable 6.5mm Creedmoor. The handsomely appointed Patriot Revere features semifancy European walnut stocks, rosewood and maple accents, 24-inch barrel lengths, and complementing blued metal finishes. This fine rifle is made in America, and has an MSRP of $823.


The RJAR-15 5.56 premium package features an R&J 7075T6 billet receiver set, a 16-inch 1:7-twist QPQ M4 barrel, an R&J keg or crown muzzle brake, a nickel-boron BCG, a stainless trigger set, Roger’s Super Stock and a 13-inch free-float handguard. Starting MSRP for the 5.56 is $1399.00. Other available calibers include 7.62x39, .300 Blackout and .502 T-Sabre. MSRP for rifles starts at $799.00.

STRATEGIC ARMORY CORP – Booth #1849 All new for 2017, Armalite introduces the redesigned AR-10 SASS MkII precision semiautomatic rifle. Using precision manufacturing techniques, the upper receiver has been strengthened for durability and accuracy. Combined with a 20-inch, 1:7-twist match-grade barrel, and Timney two-stage trigger, the SASS MkII is designed for precision shooting


The Aptus weapon system is a folding-stock, multicaliber rifle that can go from PDW to DMR in lesss than a minute. DRD’s patented quick-change barrel system and internal recoil system in a direct gasoperated rifle with AR-15 parts compatibility makes itt a perfect modern sporting or tactical rifle.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

applications. Equipped with the locking muzzle brake from AWC Silencers and a proprietary suppressed/unsuppressed selectable gas block, the SASS MkII is AWC THOR PSR suppressor ready. The new M-Lok handguard allows for nearly endless customization of the rifle utilizing widely available accessories. The SASS MkII will be available in .308 Win. and .260 Rem. calibers.

The first 6.5x47 Lapua in semi-auto

When Precision Matters MOST

760..216.2558 Calibers: 308 Win., 6.5 Lapua & Creedmoor





The A-B Arms Howa Precision Rifle is a lightweight, t ight affordable and extremely accurate rifle system featuring the Howa 1500 Short-Action rifle, fle features available in .308 and 6.5 Creedmoor. The Howa Precision Rifle wa 1500 black-barreled action with a H.A.C.T. trigger and a 22-inch the Howa

Standard barrel with a 1:10 twist. The barreled-action is housed in the A-B Arms MOD*X Gen III modular rifle system chassis. The chassis is aluminum, hard coat anodized to MilSpec Type III with an 11.5-inch free-floating modular forearm featuring three sides with KeyMod attachment points. It is distributed exclusively through United Sporting Companies.


Delphi Tactical is quickly becoming known for building lightweight, dependable, and surgically accurate rifles packed with upgrades that won’t break the bank. The addition of the DP-15 Silverbow is a perfect example. It features billet receivers, 5R 1:8 nitride heat-treated barrels, Sharps Rifle Co. DLC-coated XPB BCGs, CMC triggers, Battle Arms selectors, and JP Rifles silent captured spring systems, just to name a few. MSRPs are $1,484.99 and up.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017


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SIG SAUER – Booth #3741 Available with a Titanium PVD finish, the SIG Sauer M400 Elite in 5.56 NATO was designed to exceed military specifications and look good while doing it. The carbine features an adjustable stock, ambidextrous controls and QD sling mounts. An enhanced single-stage trigger and M-Lok freefloat handguard surround the 16-inch barrel to deliver pinpoint accuracy. Best of all, the M400 Elite ships with a Romeo5 red dot and SIG Sauer foregrip already installed. Just head to the range, load the included 30-round magazine and get to shooting. MSRP is $1,336 to $1,495.

HIGH STANDARD - Booth #2501 High Standard was founded in 1932 and has been a firearms manufacturer for 75-plus years. Now headquartered and operating from Houston, Texas, since 1993, the company continues to manufacture firearms and parts for .22s, AKs, ARs and more. The brands within High Standard also include Interarms and AMT. Th 7 62 39 with ihM i ffeatures Hi h The AKM 7.62x39 Magpull accessories High Standard’s U.S.-manufactured parts that include fully heat-treated 1mm stamped metal receiver, barrel with hard chrome bore, trigger, hammer, and

disconnector. The polymer furniture is a great addition to the firearm to the lighten the weight, add ergonomic and comfort features, and the ability to add a light and other accessories to the handguard. It comes with phosphate finish or a KG Guncote performanceenhancement coating for black, FDE, OD olive.

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American Shooting Journal // April 2017

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You’ll log some serious mileage if you want to draw a bead on the Osceola, Eastern, Rio Grande and Merriam’s this spring, but oh what fun! STORY AND PHOTOS BY SCOTT HAUGEN

hree days into a five-day hunt, I was worried. I’d learned much about the new land I hunted and the cagey nature of the turkeys I pursued. But I honestly didn’t think filling an Osceola tag would be so difficult. I’d called in multiple hens and jakes, but the big toms wouldn’t come close. On the fourth morning a tom gobbled like mad on the roost, then he clammed up the moment he hit the ground. Later, a nice tom was strutting his way to my decoy, then a bear popped out and botched that opportunity. That evening I saw a lone tom with some hens feeding through tall grass. Every raspy sound one of the old hens made, I mimicked. Moments later, she emerged from the tall grass, headed my way. Behind her was one of the most beautiful turkeys I’d ever seen. The deep, dark blues, brilliant reds and dusty white colors of the big tom were captivating. I tossed out some soft purrs on my


There are six subspecies of turkeys that can be hunted in the U.S. and Mexico. With a total population of over 6 million birds in the U.S., the options are many for hunters. 73

ROAD HUNTER diaphragm call. The hen kept coming, along with two others, and behind them, the tom. The shot was simple, but still I was shaking, as this moment was one I’d dreamed of for more than 30 years. Soon I was admiring the gorgeous tom. His beard went over 10 inches, and his spurs were long, curved and sharp. His feather’s glowed with colors I’d never before seen on Rio, eastern or Merriam’s turkeys. Not only had I just taken a gorgeous Osceola, I’d completed my first turkey slam.

Ground blinds are one of the best hides for turkey hunters, no matter where in the country you’re hunting. Here, in Florida, the author looks over a decoy, hoping to pull a wily bird within range.

ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND OSCEOLA turkeys live in Florida – the only state where they are found – and are typically the first bird to be hunted by those in pursuit of the slam. Florida not only offers plenty of turkey hunting opportunities on public land, but they

THE HOLY GRAIL: THE OCELLATED OF MEXICO Surrounded by tall trees, thick brush and a symphony of song birds, I couldn’t believe I was actually hunting one of the world’s most prized birds, the ocellated turkey of Campeche, Mexico. As dawn broke, Mito, my local guide and I heard the scratching of leaves in the distance. “Pavo!” Mito whispered, as he knew no English. My Spanish was less than ideal, but I did know pavo translated to turkey. Soon a band of more than a dozen hens materialized along the jungle fringe. As quickly as they appeared, they vanished. I sat in silence, wondering why no male was with them; in Mexico they’re called males, not toms. Minutes later, Mito grabbed my knee and pointed. It was the most brilliantly colored turkey I’d ever seen. As the mature male walked by at 30 yards, I shot, and was soon admiring a bird I never thought I’d be fortunate enough to hunt. With the first of two tags filled, I hoped my second hunt would last longer. For the next hunt we moved into farmland where birds were abundant. Within two hours we saw more than 150 turkeys, but the big males were out of range. That evening, Mito and I watched 74

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

The author with his prized ocellated turkey of Campeche, Mexico.

nearly 100 more birds, including a big male. For the next few days we targeted that bird. Finally, on day three, the big male emerged from dense brush to feed in the milo field. He was 200 yards away, on the opposite side of the field where our ground blind was set. We watched the bird feed intently for over two hours. Then another big male stepped from the brush, 30 yards from our blind. The instant our target male saw

the challenger, he puffed up and headed our direction. It didn’t take long to close the gap, and when he strode to within 25 yards, the shot was easy. Admiring the bird’s beautiful feathers, golden nodules and nearly 2-inch spurs – they have no beards – we couldn’t have been happier. He weighed a whopping 11 pounds, the biggest taken in camp that season. That night we enjoyed fresh ocellated turkey for dinner, possibly the best eating turkey I’d ever tasted. 75

ROAD HUNTER have the earliest season in the country. Youth weekend begins the last of February, south of State Road 70, with the general season typically beginning the first weekend of March in this area, a week later for both north of the route. The Eastern subspecies of turkeys also live in the Sunshine State. According to the National Wild Turkey Federation, one of the country’s largest wildlife management areas exists in Florida, where about half of the nearly 6 million acres is open to walk-in turkey hunting. With my season off to a good start, I was heading back to the West Coast, where the turkey season was soon to be kicking off. Of course, before leaving Florida, the family and I spent the final day in Disney World. MORE THAN FIVE MILLION eastern turkeys roam the U.S., making them the most wide-ranging of our five turkey subspecies. As the name implies, easterns inhabit the eastern part of the country, historically ranging as far west as Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. Easterns were also successfully transplanted in Washington, Oregon and California, as well as in a few other isolated pockets west of the Rocky Mountains. However, their inability to thrive in wet habitats of the Northwest, and their ease of crossbreeding with other turkey strains, have left very few places where pure-strain eastern birds can be hunted in any of the 11 Western states. Easterns are the biggest of all the turkey subspecies, with weights commonly reported over 30 pounds. In the West, food and living conditions are not as friendly, so eastern birds are often surpassed in weight and height by the more adaptable Rio. Reddish-brown or chocolatebrown tail tips and coverts help identify the eastern turkey from the Rio and Merriam’s. Eastern birds are the toughest to bring to a call, be it in their historical or introduced ranges. 76

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

The spring gobbler grand slam trail includes a stop in Florida, where the author bagged this Osceola, his first.


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ROAD HUNTER Merriam’s turkeys range throughout the Rocky Mountain states, offering ample opportunities for hunters. Scott Haugen took this big tom in Idaho, a state he’s hunted many times.

NATIVE TO THE ARID and semiarid habitats of the Great Plains, the Rio Grande wild turkey received its name from the Rio Grande River, which offered just the right conditions for it to thrive. Today, the Rio Grande turkey has expanded its range from the Great Plains, and has been successfully introduced into several Western states. What allows this subspecies of turkey to thrive is that it can live in areas receiving between 16 to 32 inches of annual rainfall. More than one million Rios roam 78

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

North America, with Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Oregon and California carrying the densest populations. They can be hunted in several other Western states, too. I’ve seen them at over 5,000 feet in elevation, all the way down to sea level. A mature male Rio stands about 4 feet tall and can weight more than 25 pounds. THE MERRIAM’S TURKEY originally ranged in the Southwest, where it was isolated from other turkey subspecies. Over the years the

Merriam’s has expanded its historic range from Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona, both naturally and through human efforts of trapping and transplanting. Today, nearly 350,000 Merriam’s roam the West. Though few Merriam’s are found in Utah, most of the birds living in Oregon and parts of Idaho have crossed with Rios and other turkeys, making for a hybrid. Merriam’s turkeys are very adaptable birds, capable of living up to 10,000 feet in elevation, in

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areas with 2 feet of annual rainfall and in severe cold temperatures with excessive amounts of snowfall. Snow at higher elevations will push them to lower regions in winter, where they congregate along habitat zones occupied by deciduous and coniferous forests. Due to their black-tipped breast feathers, Merriam’s toms appear to be black when viewed straight on. Once they turn to the side, however, the white-tipped coverts and tail feathers give them a striking appearance. The Merriam’s turkey closely resembles another turkey subspecies of the American Southwest, the Gould’s. The Gould’s turkey is found in extreme southern Arizona and New Mexico, and thrives in Mexico, where the best hunting is. Over the years I’ve hunted Merriam’s in some of the biggest ponderosa pines imaginable, and amid the brushy banks along some of the West’s more popular rivers. In one area I regularly hunt them in southeastern Montana, droppings are 2 feet thick beneath roost trees. Ranchers tell me birds have been roosting in the same trees, year-round, for over 30 years. The Merriam’s can be among the most gullible subspecies to the call. Then again, they can get the best of the most accomplished turkeys hunters, ignoring even the most alluring of sounds for no apparent reason. Turkey hunting continues to be one of our country’s fastest growing segments in the hunting world. Once you experience the sights, sounds and excitement of being in the spring turkey woods, you’ll understand why.  Editor’s note: For copies of Scott Haugen’s best selling book, Western Turkey Hunting, send a check for $20.00 (free S&H) to Haugen Enterprises, P.O. Box 275, Walterville, OR 97489. It, and many of his books can be order online at scotthaugen. com. Watch for Scott’s TV show, The Hunt, now on Netflix!





recision shooters and hunters recognize quality when they see it and appreciate it even more when they take advantage of it, which is why binoculars, riflescopes and spotters from Austria’s Swarovski Optik have become the benchmark for discerning marksmen and -women around the globe. Swarovski Optik North America Ltd. has unveiled a remarkable binocular spotting scope , the BTX. Those fortunate enough to be attending the 2017 NRA convention in Atlanta April 27-30 can get a hands-on look. The BTX is justifiably called a “unique binocular system” in Swarovski literature. It offers 30X or 35X magnification, depending upon the specific objective module, and there are three choices in 65mm, 85mm or 95mm. They transmit all of the available light at dawn and dusk, when those most-elusive trophies are most likely to be on the move. Swarovski Optik has confirmed the BTX is compatible with all three objective modules 65,85,95mm of the ATX/STX spotting scope system. There is also now the introduction of the ME 1.7 magnifier. This simple optional accessory will boost the magnification of the 65 or 85mm module to 50X or the 95mm objective module up to 60X with the BTX. What’s more, the ME 1.7 can increase the maximum power of an ATX/STX 65/85 spotting scope to 100X or a ATX/ STX 95mm spotting scope to 120X. There’s something else and it is important. The BTX features an adjustable ergonomic forehead rest. It is fully retractable, too. A forehead rest may sound unnecessary until one spends hours glassing the landscape. Add optional accessories that include a balance rail and the PTH professional tripod, and it amounts to a winning package that delivers edge-to-edge sharpness and clarity. Along with Swarovski Optik’s world famous Swarotop, Swarodur and Swaroclean lens coatings, the BTX contains


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

Swarovision technology that provides perfect edge to edge clarity, distortion free view with a very generous 21mm of eye relief of viewing comfort for eyeglass and non-eyeglass wearers alike. Now, there’s something else on the horizon from Swarovski. The new dS rifle scope will make its official debut here at the annual SHOT Show in January 2018. This will be an extraordinary riflescope. It combines conventional optics with digital targeting. The dS is capable of measuring the precise distance to target and display ballistic data with the press of a button. It requires networking with a smart phone via a Bluetooth interface. If that sounds like 21st Century science fiction, remember this really is the 21st Century and we’re talking about technology that does exist. Trust Swarovski to make the most of it. While the dS is on the horizon, the BTX has already arrived. This may be spring, but in a few blinks of the eye it will be fall. The leaves will turn, the sunrise and sunset will shift and the game fields will beckon. Swarovski has been there, and will no doubt be there again where the biggest bucks and bulls, full-curl rams and trophy-class pronghorns are waiting.

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The BTX binocular spotting scope from Swarovski Optik North America is justifiably called a “unique binocular system.” It offers 30X or 35X magnification, and there are three choices in 65mm, 85mm or 95mm. The BTX is compatible with all objective modules in the ATX/STX family, and it may be promptly boosted to 50X or 60X by using the company’s optional ME


LUCID Optics is proud to introduce the MLX Riflescope. The MLX offers a crystal-clear 4.5-18x magnification range on a 30mm, one-

1.7X magnification extender accessory. The BTX also features an adjustable and fully retractable ergonomic forehead rest, and optional accessories include a balance rail and the PTH professional tripod. Swarovski includes its famous Swarotop, Swarodur and Swaroclean optical coatings in the package as well. In addition, Swarovski Optik’s new dS rifle scope will make its North American debut at January 2018’s SHOT Show. It combines conventional optics with digital targeting, and is capable of measuring the precise distance to target and display ballistic data with the press of a button. It requires networking with a smart phone via a Bluetooth interface.

piece 6063 aluminum tube with 6 inches of mounting length. The optical system is set on the front focal plane, keeping the MLX Mil-based reticle precisely consistent through the range of magnification. MSRP is $649. 83





The newest ATACR riflescope from Nightforce – the ATACR 7-35 x 56 F1 – combines all ATACR benefits (extreme resolving power, ED glass, DigIllum digital reticle illumination, patented ZeroStop elevation technology) with high magnification for maximum precision at extreme ranges. It meets or exceeds the capability of any known cartridge and high-BC projectile, while offering exceptional brilliance, sharpness and color contrast.


The 1000 riflescope delivers extreme targeting speed, repeatable precision and superior accuracy for your AR/MSR platform. With true 1x magnification and 4x zoom designed for both-eyes-open engagement, as well as aiming precision for extended ranges, this compact optic’s rugged construction and metal-capped turrets assure extreme durability and sighting confidence under tough conditions.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017 87



WALTHER PPX M1 PISTOL The Walther PPX M1 Pistol is chambered in .40 S&W, with a compact 4-inch barrel and full-sized polymer frame. Thiss model features a rare Cerakote-finished slide, a smooth trigger, ambidextrous magazine release, three integral safeties and the famous Walther ergonomic grip. Two 14-round magazines are included.

9MM AR PISTOL This AR pistol features Matrix Arms’ nonreciprocating side-charging upper and patent-pending smallframe Glock-dedicated lower with completely reliable Last Round Bolt Catch design.



The finest 1911 Auto you will ever own, the Match Master pistol will shoot 1.5-inch-or-smaller groups at 50 yards. A certified hand-held target fired at 25 yards is supplied with each order.

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THE DP-15 JEDBURGH Named after a famous clandestine operation during World War II, this AR pistol features incredible reliability and surgical efficiency in a discreet low-profile package. 88

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

The Ruger Turnbull Mark IV is a limited run, with polished and color case-hardened tube and barrel. It’s for seasoned collectors and new enthusiasts alike.



80% POLYMER PISTOL FRAME The world’s first 80-percent polymer pistol frame, the PF940 by Polymer80 is compatible with Glock Gen3 parts and is a highly customizable platform that requires no FFL to purchase. The 0 kit includes the 80-percent pistol frame, jig and all of the PF940 its and end-mill bits required r q drill bits for completion.

SPRINGFIELD PISTOL AFTERMARKET PARTS Powder River Precision is devoted to providing the highest quality aftermarket parts and service for the Springfield XD, XDM and XDS lines of pistols. Trigger kits, extended grip safeties, extended mag releases and more are available.


DB9 Diamondback Firearms’ DB9 is a micro-compact 9mm pistol made entirely in the USA. The slide and barrel are stronger than any comparable firearm, resulting in durability with less felt recoil, and the absence of removable pins or tools makes field stripping easier than ever.


CUSTOM-BUILT PISTOL Layke Tactical’s .308-caliber custom pistol weighs 5.6 pounds, has a 10-inch barrel and is made with custom titanium parts.


THE AMERICAN IN 9MM Guncrafter announces the popular American Light Rail pistol is now available in 9mm. Choose from either Melonite or Stainless models, both with exceptional Guncrafter quality.


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gun revie review


Conversion kit a well-designed, well-made unit that gives CZ-75 owner two guns in one.



hile there are many dedicated .22 LR pistols on the market, one of the best for everyday use is not a pistol in the pure sense, but instead is a conversion kit for the popular CZ-75 from the Czech Republic. And although this is not a new product, it remains one of the best of its kind on the market. The CZ-75 Kadet (and the more recent Kadet II) .22 LR conversion kit is a CZ factory-made unit that allows a shooter to quickly and easily convert a CZ-75 series pistol from centerfire to rimfire ammunition (and back again). This gives the shooter a lighter recoiling gun, which shoots less expensive ammo, while retaining the same trigger, controls, and overall feel of the pistol. The Kadet unit consists of a replacement slide assembly with a fixed .22 LR barrel. The rear sight is adjustable for both elevation and windage. The entire unit is made of steel and is coated with a durable black polycoat. A Kadet kit-equipped pistol closely replicates the weight and feel of a standard pistol. The kit includes two 10-round .22 LR magazines. The Kadet magazines are made with a .22 LR inner liner sleeved in a full-size centerfire

metal magazine body. The integral baseplate and followers are both plastic. The magazines cannot be disassembled and, unlike some other designs, there is no way to compress the magazine springs for easier loading. To install the Kadet kit on a pistol, take the complete pistol and pull back the centerfire slide until the witness marks on the slide and frame line up, push out the slide stop, and slide the centerfire top end off from the front. (This should be familiar to any CZ-75 owner.) Then, slide the .22 LR unit on the frame, line up the witness marks, and reinstall the slide stop. It’s that simple. BECAUSE A TIGHT FRAME-TO-SLIDE fit is important for accuracy, certain points on the rails of the Kadet slide are very slightly oversized. This may require the user to fit the kit to the pistol the first time it is installed. All this takes is a needle file, a little focused time, and some patience. Simply note the high points on the rails of the kit slide and alternate between a few file strokes on the Kadet slide and test fittings until the Kadet slide goes completely onto the frame. The Kadet kit was recently

(Above) A CZ-75 with a .22 LR Kadet kit installed looks and, more importantly, handles like a regular centerfire CZ pistol, while allowing the use of less expensive .22 LR ammunition. (CZ USA) The CZ Kadet .22 LR conversion kit is an all-steel slide with a fixed barrel that mounts on most CZ-75 variants. (CZ USA)

redesigned slightly to work with the newer Omega trigger system, and these newer kits (the Kadet II) may not require as much, if any, fitting. The Kadet kit works on the full-size CZ-75 and SP-01 and the compact CZ75 models, including the P-01, P-06, PCR, and RAMI. The Kadet kit will not work on the CZ-97, CZ-75 TS, or P-07 Duty models. When used with the compact models, the magazine will protrude below the mag well. In my experience the CZ-75 Kadet kit has proven to be reliable, accurate, and fun. I’ve owned mine for over a dozen years and have fired untold thousands of rounds through it in that time. I’ve found the Kadet-equipped pistol to be more reliable than most other .22 LR pistols I’ve tried. The only times I have a problem is when the pistol gets excessively dirty, usually after several range sessions without cleaning, especially if using the cheaper .22 LR ammo that is 91

gun review known to leave more residue behind. The problem typically manifests when the slide starts to feel gritty or “sluggish,” and sometimes includes failures to feed or failures to extract. These problems typically clear up with the application of additional lube at the range, followed by a thorough cleaning before the next trip. Of course, like any .22 LR pistol, the Kadet-equipped CZ-75 will likely show a preference for certain ammo for both reliability and accuracy. As this often differs from gun to gun the best way to find what shoots best is to try different brands and take notes. THE FIXED BARREL HELPS PROMOTE accuracy. While it’s not up to the standards of a NRA Bullseye competitor’s pistol, in my experience it shoots as well, if not better, than any “plinker grade” or entry level .22 LR target pistol. The adjustable sights allow the shooter to sight in for any


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

The smaller diameter of the .22 LR muzzle is the only thing that gives away that a Kadet kit is installed on this CZ-75. (MARIE VERHEYEN)

particular load or distance and are easy to see. While the exact trigger feel and weight depends on the specific host frame, I’ve found the gun is capable of very precise shooting, especially when fired single-action.

In addition to using it for general shooting, I’ve found a Kadet-equipped CZ-75 to be an excellent training pistol for new shooters. The similarity of the controls to other centerfire pistols is a bonus, as is the general accuracy and 93

gun review reliability of the unit. There are, however, a few issues with this design worth noting. The first is that the requirement that the Kadet slide be hand-fitted to the host pistol may be off-putting to some shooters. This is mitigated by how easy it is to do and the fact that the new units require less, if any, fitting. But frankly, if this is an issue for you, perhaps you shouldn’t invest in a conversion kit in the first place. In order to make the action work with less powerful .22 LR ammunition, the Kadet slide had to be redesigned from the centerfire original. Instead of a one-piece slide, which moves on the frame, the Kadet slide is made of two pieces. The larger piece, which includes the top and bottom of the slide, stays in place with only the smaller cutout portion of the slide actually reciprocating. This makes manipulating the slide to load the pistol a bit more difficult as the

This view of the author’s well-used CZ-75B with a Kadet kit installed shows both the small area of the slide that reciprocates and the fixed barrel.

moving part is smaller than the complete slide and some shooters find it hard to grab. The other potential issue is with

the Kadet magazines. While well made, they cannot be disassembled for cleaning or maintenance. Fortunately this has never become an issue for me,

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American Shooting Journal // April 2017

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gun review CZ-75 KADET II .22 LR CONVERSION KIT MSRP: Ammunition: Capacity: Weight: Overall length: Barrel length: Finish: Sights:

$431 .22 LR 10 1.050 pounds 8.110 inches 4.720 inches Black polycoat Adjustable for windage and elevation

but is something to be aware of. The CZ-75 Kadet .22 LR conversion kit is a well-designed, well-made unit that gives the CZ-75 owner “two guns in one.” A Kadet kit-equipped CZ-75 is easily the equal of any .22 LR pistol in its price class and is practically a musthave for any CZ-75 fan.  Contact: CZ USA


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

Another view of the author’s CZ-75B with the magazine in place.

“Trail Gun”

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GARY REEDER CUSTOM GUNS is proud to announce a new dual cylinder series, based on the Ruger Single Six. The series is the TRAIL GUN. We use the customer’s Single Six, convert it to centerfire, build 2 cylinders for it, one in 32-20 and the other in either 327 Federal or 32 H&R. We add a new barrel in the length the customer requests with our Deep Dish Crown and Maxi Throat, add our interchangeable blade front sight system, add our Gunfighter Grip with the grips the customer requests, do a full action job, slicked up inside and out and do our deluxe Black Chromex finish on it, and you have one of the finest trail guns available today. The TRAIL GUN. $1795 on your Ruger Single Six. 4 month delivery

GARY REEDER CUSTOM GUNS is proud to announce the release of the second book on handgun hunting, HUNTING HANDGUNS AND THEIR CARTRIDGES. This book covers every aspect of handgun hunting in 25 chapters and with almost a thousand pictures. John Taffin, America’s # 1 gun writer, says of Gary Reeder... “There is a long list of men, Handgun Hunting Heroes I have been privileged to know and who have inspired me with their writing, their handguns, or both. Such men as Skeeter Skelton, Bob Milek,, Lee Jurras, Steve Herrett, John Lachuk, Larry Kelly, J.D. Jones, Hal Swiggett, Mark Hampton, John Linebaugh, Hamilton Bowen, and of course, Gary Reeder. All of these men are giants when it comes to handguns and no one has had more effect today than Gary Reeder. Personally I know Gary to be a man of great talent, simple honesty, a big heart, and a humble spirit. I am proud to call him a friend. This book is the closest thing to The Complete Book of Handgun Hunting available thus far. In the book you will find the history of hunting handguns, his work with developing both handguns and cartridges, hunting adventures and much more. Pay close attention to what he says for like the others on my list of Handgun Hunting Heroes, he has been there, done that, and speaks from experience.” The new book HUNTING HANDGUNS AND THEIR CARTRIDGES is available from Reeder Custom Guns for $40 delivered, and having your book signed is available for the asking. To order your book, call 928-527-4100.





The Matrix Arms 9mm Glock AR Pistol is exceptionally well suited for any application requiring a lightweight, compact, highly concealable firearm that will dominate in any close-quarters confrontations. This pistol features the Matrix Arms nonreciprocating side-charging upper (patent pending), which allows the shooter to engage the charging handle while remaining on target. The patent-pending 9mm AR lower is the only Glock-dedicated lower that features a completely reliable last-round bolt-catch design.


Guncrafter Industries has announced the most significant upgrade to the 1911 since 1911, the Heavy Operating Shooting System, or as they call it, the HOSS. “Being a user, gunsmith, and engineer, my universe has revolved around the 1911 for 35 years,” says Guncrafter founder Alex Zimmermann. “I identified the parts under the most stress, and most likely to fail: the extractor, slide stop, plunger tube, ejector, barrel link, barrel bushing and the barrel. We’ve made these parts much stronger, more reliable and simply better, yet they look and operate like standard parts without affecting the weight or function of the pistol – they just don’t break or malfunction.”


This striker-fired S&W M&P Compact Pistol is chambered in .40 S&W with a 3.5-inch barrel. Night Sights top the matte black 68 HRc slide to provide the fastest acquisition in any light condition. One 10-round flush-bottom magazine and one 10-round finger rest bottom magazine are included. Only 6.7 inches long and just 21.7 ounces, this pistol makes for the perfect carry companion. Plus, the MSRP of $369.99 is a great price for a great pistol.


The 1911 425FP is the long-awaited commander-sized addition to the Oriskany Arms 1911 family. The 1911 425FP sports a 4.25-inch barrel and is available in .45ACP, 9mm, and .38 Super. The 425FP offers the same precision, quality and ability to customize as their full-size models. The Oriskany Arms 1911 425FP is proudly 100 percent made in the USA. 99





Something new from Reeder Custom Guns is the Bad Medicine. This beauty is chambered in the caliber of your choice and built how you like it. Built on your Ruger Blackhawk or Super Blackhawk, it’s a full custom gun from the ground up, built how you like it.


CZ-USA Booth #2042 With a crisp, clean 4.5-pound trigger pull and an incredibly short reset, the P-10 C stands as one of the best if not the best factory striker trigger on the market. Coupled with the ergonomics CZ is known for as well as their cold hammer forged barrel, it’s what every duty gun should be – accurate, reliable and easy to shoot. – Booth #1213

The Ruger Mark IV .22LR is an improved version on of the Ruger Mark III, which is known for its accuracy and reliability. Turnbull Restoration has added its signature touches with a color case-hardened tube and barrel, and is offering this striking firearm in a limited run.


America’s newest patent on the classic 1911 comes from American Tactical. The first-ever hybrid metal/polymer 1911 frame is here and is available in different barrel lengths and calibers. Both .45 ACP and 9mm are currently available in full size (5 inches) and commander length (4.25 inches). The parts are 70-series interchangeable, but the sights are Glock aftermarket pattern. The slide also comes factory cut for RMR style optics.

DEADFOOT ARMS – Booth #601

Go ultracompact with the Dead Foot Arms MCS AR-Pistol Kit. At 2.5 inches, the buffer tube on this pistol kit is the shortest for the AR-15/AR-9 platform in the industry, and it is compatible with 5.56, .223, 7.62x39 and 9mm. It’s 100 percent made in the USA by a veteran-owned and -operated company. To learn more about this kit and other fine products, visit their website.


This Vision Defense AR-15 pistol is the ultimate concealed weapon system on the market today. Thier AR-15 pistol includes a folding stock adapter that allows the buffer tube assembly to fold to the side of the weapon. The V-15 concealed weapon system also includes the AR-15 Takedown kit that allows for the front half on the barrel assembly to be removed from the upper assembly in a matter of seconds.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017



From a broader array of duty equipment to additional training in relational and negotiating skills, there are high expectations for those who carry a gun and a badge these days.

Modern police officers may be better equipped than those who served before, but they also face increasingly difficult challenges as they go about their daily responsibilities. STORY AND PHOTOS BY STEVEN PAUL BARLOW

am honored to assume the duties as the “Behind the Badge” columnist for the American Shooting Journal beginning with this issue. I look forward to bringing you stories of police officers, their latest tactics and technology, their battles against bad men and bureaucracy, their struggles amid political correctness and public perception. The old adage “what goes around, comes around” is actually true for me. In many ways, I’ve come full circle. I studied magazine journalism in college, went on to work for a series of


newspapers and an ad agency before finally joining the ranks of the New York State Police. Law enforcement was like the family business. My father and older brother were police officers, and now my youngest son wears a uniform. The NYSP is a full-service agency, not just a highway patrol, and I received a well-rounded education about the intrinsic good and bad in people. I was a firearms instructor for five years in addition to my other duties, and retired after more than 27 years on the job with the rank of sergeant/station commander. I’m telling you all of this so that you will know my perspective. I am

unabashedly pro-police. We are all to some extent swayed by our experiences and I was given the privilege to see first-hand the dedication of many gifted officers who lived – and sometimes died – for the job. THAT JOB HAS CHANGED DRASTICALLY over the years, and you can trace much of the evolution through how much the guns and gear used by law enforcement officers have changed. Early in my career, our sidearms were revolvers, and we carried 12 extra rounds in loops on our belts. Flashlights were a foot and a half long, and portable radios – if you had them – were as large and heavy as bricks and 103

BEHIND IND THE BADGE BADGE worked ked about as well. Our batons were long wooden sticks meant to hang from rings on our duty belts. But you couldn’t wear one while sitting in a troop car. When you had d to ou jump out of the car, you grabbed your flashlight and nd the baton usually stayed behind. y We had shotguns in the armory that we could sign out on patrol if we wanted, but there was no place to secure them in the cars, so they usually stayed in the armory. We had no patrol rifles; they got rid of the Winchester .30-30 lever-actions way back in the 1960s – which, in case you are wondering, was decades before my time. Take a look at a typical police officer’s duty belt today. You’ll see that the equipment has been greatly upgraded, a response to the dangerous nature of the job. A modern officer’s belt will have a high-capacity semiautomatic pistol – usually with a

An emotionally charged person who is determined not to be handcuffed can lead officers into a situation where physical force is necessary.

lightweight polymer frame. When the NYSP switched from Smith & Wesson revolvers to Glock pistols, we affectionally referred to the strange new guns as “Drastic Plastic” or “Combatt Tupperware.” he officer’s belt are at least Also on the zines; a couple sets of two spare magazines; handcuffs; a canisterr of pepper spray; a compact, super-bright LED flashlight; ble radio; a collapsible baton; a portable a pouch containing latex gloves for protection against diseased bodily fluids; and maybe a Taser. Now, many departments are trying to include trauma kits for the on-

While there’s no let-up in violence against police, agencies are always looking to equip officers with less-than-lethal tools.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

scene treatment of gunshot wounds. If the officer is slight of build, good luck finding a place for it on the belt. The ballistic vest the officer wears under the uniform shirt is lighter, but still very hot on a summer’s day. The patrol vehicles are much different too. Most now have computer comput screens for receiving details of calls for service, as well as data on nses, registrations and wa licenses, warrants.



BEHIND THE BADGEE The armrest is actually a computer printer. Many cars are equipped with radar units for speed enforcement and license plate readers that alert officers to stolen vehicles and wanted subjects among other information. The cars are tracked by GPS, so if an officer is down and can’t respond, back-up will know where to start looking. A lockable rack is squeezed into the vehicle somehow so that the officer can have quick access to a shotgun or patrol rifle – which is more often than not an AR-15. You’d think that six months of basic training in a police academy would be enough to prepare police officers for their jobs. That training includes criminal and traffic law, criminal aw, procedure law, constitutional law, riminal agency rules and regulations, criminal cy investigation, firearms, emergency erials, vehicle operation, hazardous materials, certifications in radar and breath test operation, defensive tactics, and first responder/CPR training. There are lessons in report writing, the submission of court paperwork, court testimony, domestic incident investigation, and if there’s any time left over, physical training. But these days you also have to figure in active shooter training, sensitivity training (also known as “Charm School”) to teach you how to conduct service with a smile, and Narcan training so you can revive heroin addicts who overdose. I’ve missed a few topics, but you get the idea. WE FREQUENTLY HEAR THAT THE rift between the police and the communities they serve shows that the police need more training. More training is a good thing, but work needs to be done on the other side of the equation too. In my experience, people are not as distrustful of police as much as they are disrespectful of authority. As a society, we’ve raised a whole generation to believe they don’t have to do what they’re told, not by their 106

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

(Top) Most officers now have access to defibrillators, which have proven to be lifesavers in some instances. (Middle) The increasing instances of heroin overdoses has prompted many agencies to equip their officers with Narcan kits. (Bottom) The old and the new – flashlights, still an essential in policing, are now smaller, brighter and more dependable. 107

BEHIND THE BADGE parents, not by their teachers and certainly not by police officers. Police officers do sometimes make mistakes – the uniform doesn’t turn you into an unerring robot. But in the vast majority of highly publicized confrontations with police over the last few years, the situations escalated because the subjects approached by police had either committed crimes, were resisting arrest or simply refused to comply with lawful commands from the officers. Here’s an example: You’re a police officer and you see a car swerving all over the road, maybe side-swiping a guiderail or taking out a mailbox. Your lights and siren eventually get the attention of the driver and he pulls over. When you approach the vehicle, you notice the driver smells of booze and there’s a half-empty liquor bottle on the seat next to him. You ask him to step out of the vehicle. “I know my rights,” he replies. “I


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

There’s not much room left on the duty belt of a typical police officer. 109

BEHIND THE BADGE Sometimes officers have to improvise when certain equipment isn’t issued. Here a K9 officer built a storage unit in the back of his patrol vehicle to keep his search and rescue gear organized.

don’t have to do squat.” He accuses you of harassing him because he has tattoos, wears his baseball hat backwards and has been arrested several times before. Then he rolls up his window. This type of story usually ends with broken window glass and an inebriated driver face down on the pavement being handcuffed. I never met a police officer who wanted to get into a fight and risk a career-ending injury, or worse. But an officer is trained to use the force necessary to bring a suspect into custody. An emotionally charged subject who is determined to argue and physically resist being handcuffed can be a handful, and any resulting scuffle seldom ranks as choreography. In these situations, an injury is bound to happen. If it happens to the officer, well, that comes with the job. The officer knew that when he or she signed up. If the suspect is injured, there’s an internal investigation in which the 110

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

officer’s supervisors will second-guess his every action and try to find a reason to suspend him. The suspect will get a lawyer, who will look to file a lawsuit. A video from the passenger’s smart phone makes the national news and the officer receives an unfriendly verdict from Internet “experts.” Everyone laments the lack of training. LACK OF RESPECT FOR AN officer’s authority can be fueled by biased reports in the media. Once I came across some clippings of newspaper stories from the 1930s that reported on some of our troopers’ cases. I don’t remember the exact headlines, but typically, they read like this: “Would-be thief gets what he deserves as trooper drag him off to jail.” In those days, the police were the good guys and the criminals were the bad guys in the eyes of the media and often, the public at large. Not so today. I remember a national television

Despite technological advances, sometimes you just need a nose for the job.

BEHIND THE BADGE news report last year that began with a statement like this: “Cop shoots black father of five.” While that was certainly not an outright lie, it skewed the truth to make the father appear as a sympathetic victim and suggested the possibility of a racial motive. This alternate opening line on the same incident would have been just as accurate: “Cop shoots convicted felon on parole who was resisting arrest for possessing an illegal handgun.” I never had to face what officers have to face today. A wide variety of citizens and others, including social misfits, disgruntled employees, jilted lovers and misguided activists all seem to be painting targets on the backs of our police officers, often as a way to draw attention to themselves, their situation or their “cause.” Officers must be ever vigilant. In the coming months, I’ll bring you stories of men and women who have chosen to serve our cities and communities. 


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

Step into the office. Between the addition of electronics and the downsizing of vehicles, a police officer’s patrol car – his office on wheels – has become increasingly cramped.

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NEVER SAY NEVER Partway along her life’s journey, an indoor girl took a detour into the great outdoors, and that choice continues to make all the difference. STORY BY CRAIG HODGKINS • PHOTOS BY SKINNER SIGHTS

hen Andy and Sheila Larrson married about three years ago, Andy was the proud owner of Skinner Sights, a small gun-sight-crafting business in rural St. Ignatius, Mont. Sheila was not even a shooter. The manager of a jewelry store 40 miles away in the bustling city of Missoula, she was a self-professed “indoor girl.” “I wear dresses and high heels and get my nails done,” she said. “I’m one of those kinds of girls, so it just wasn’t my personality.” But Cupid must have had a Skinner Sight mounted to his bow. The two


(Top) Sheila Larrson with her kudu, which she took in Africa with her custom Dennis Olsen-modified Ruger 77 Mannlicher in .30-06. This photo later appeared in the 2016 Barnes Bullets catalog. (Bottom) Sheila considers Coni Brooks (left), here at a Safari Club International Show with the leopard Brooks shot in Mozambique, to be a hunting mentor. “If Coni can do it, I can do it,” Sheila says. 115

met, fell in love, and determined to forge a life together. Sheila chose Andy and St. Ignatius over jewelry and Missoula, and right after the wedding, the two flew to Las Vegas. But unlike most couples headed to the popular honeymoon destination, they were there for the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade, or SHOT, Show. “We flew to Vegas and walked into the show, and for her it was a little bit overwhelming,” Andy said. “We spent three days wandering the floor, meeting with my contacts. She was trying to decide whether she was onboard or not. She wanted to be, but this was all so foreign to her.” But Andy had an ace up his sleeve in the form of someone he’d served beside on a shooter’s advisory board a decade before. “I took her to the Barnes Bullet booth and introduced her to Coni Brooks,” he said. “And the two of them had a 30-minute conversation where they really connected. And when we walked away from there, Sheila said, ‘If Coni can do it, I can do it.’ She was very impressed with this little lady that was all ‘blinged’ up and had just been to Mozambique and shot a leopard. That was Sheila’s real inspiration moment.” FOLLOWING THAT FIRST S.H.O.T. SHOW, the two flew to Maui for an actual honeymoon, but once again, Andy found a way to incorporate the outdoor life into the proceedings. “I set up a feral goat hunt with Maui Hunting Safaris. If you are going to take a girl from the jewelry store

CONTACT: For more information about Safari Club International’s Amy Bell Blue Bag “Pay It Forward” program, visit To learn more about the FTW Ranch, visit For more information about Skinner Sights, visit 116

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

Sheila cherishing the moment with her gemsbok, professional hunter Jaco van der Merwe (beside Sheila) and trackers Harry (left) and Ephriam.

and get her into hunting (for the first time), I figured Maui was the best place to do that.” [Editor’s note: Well played, sir.] And although Sheila was all for it, it wasn’t without some trepidation. “I told the guide, ‘I have no idea how this is going to go,’” she recalled. “I could just end up in a puddle. But when you get out there with a guide whispering in your ear, you get in the zone. You’re focused, and everything else just kind of goes away.” Sheila got her goat. The two hunted closer to home for the remainder of the year, and Sheila soon bagged a mule deer. They attended the 2015 SHOT Show the following January, and then the annual NRA meetings, which led to Sheila’s next step in her development, one that took the Larrsons to the Texas hill country. “Remington had asked Coni to head up some women’s shooting initiatives,” said Andy, “and wanted to make a video down at the FTW Ranch. So Coni contacted Sheila.” The Larrsons had met ranch owner Tim Fallon at the NRA show, and were impressed by what they’d heard. The course was FTW’s popular but

intense SAAM (Sportsman’s AllTerrain, All-Weather Marksmanship) training for precision shooting and safari scenarios. “It was a lot in just a short amount of time,” said Sheila, “but it gave me a ton of confidence.” During evenings and meals at the ranch, conversations naturally turned to hunting. “The lodge is full of trophies,” said Andy, “and everybody is talking about the last time they were in Africa. There were all these stories being told, and Sheila was really inspired. THE THREE DAYS IN SOUTH TEXAS also cemented the kinship between Sheila and Coni, and Sheila had truly caught hunting fever, a fact that manifested itself in a humorous way when the couple returned to Montana. “By this time,” said Sheila, “I’m fully on board. He came home from work one day and found me binge-watching Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures.” Soon, Sheila was putting everything she learned into practice. With Andy’s son Danny as a frequent and deft guide, Sheila quickly

At the prompting of Ellen Bell, Sheila took the opportunity to participate in SCI’s Amy Bell Blue Bag program, loading up duffels with gifts for African villagers in the area she and her husband were hunting.

developed a broader set of hunting skills, such as adjusting for windage. “I shot a deer at 330 yards in 30 mile-an-hour winds,” she said. “We’d been practicing the day before, and I was hitting steel at 700 yards in high winds aiming way off target, so I was feeing pretty confident. It’s always different when you’re on an animal and not steel, but I got the deer.” “One shot,” added Andy proudly. “Double-lunged it. A beautiful buck.” One picture from that day was used in the 2016 Meopta scope catalog. “We sent them to [PR consultant] Shannon Jackson,” said Andy, “She asked for permission and we said ‘Oh, sure,’ but didn’t know they were in there. We’re walked by the Meopta booth at SHOT in 2016, and this girl says, ‘Hey, you’re the lady in our catalog.’ And that was kinda fun.” While at the FTW Ranch, everyone told Sheila that she needed to attend the Safari Club International (SCI) Show, which is held annually not long after SHOT. Again, fate intervened. “When we got to the SCI Show,” said Andy, “I was thinking, ‘Let’s find a good plains game hunt where Sheila can go and really get her feet wet in a concentrated environment.’” Fallon, who was also at the SCI Show, advised the couple that Namibia would be a great choice. 120

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

“At that point,” Sheila said, “I didn’t know Namibia from the Congo, except for what Tim had told me.” “I was looking for something that was low fence,” Andy added, “not a canned hunt, with free-range animals so you didn’t feel like you’d gone out into somebody’s pasture and shot a cow. We found Jaco van der Merwe and Namibia Safari Corporation to be really personable.” That evening, Fallon got a group of friends together for dinner. Coni Brooks and the Larrsons joined in. “We had booked our Africa hunt that day,” said Sheila, “and at dinner that night, I was excited to tell people about it. I didn’t even know who I was sitting beside, but the woman said ‘You’ve got to take a Blue Bag. Do you know about this?’ And I said ‘Not really.’” The woman was Ellen Bell, and she began to tell her about the “Pay It Forward” program that she and her husband, Larry, sponsor for SCI in their daughter Amy’s name. Amy Bell was a gifted horsewoman and hunter with a passion to serve disadvantaged people of all nations. When she passed away suddenly in May 2014, her parents decided SCI’s existing “Blue Bag” program would be a perfect way to perpetuate Amy’s philanthropic spirit. “I felt immediately connected to

Amy the minute I heard about it,” said Sheila. “I came back to the room and I looked it up online and read everything I could about it. Amy had been to Africa many times. She was a young, beautiful soul and they lost her too soon, so they sponsored the Blue Bag [program] in her name.” “You fill them full of whatever you want and give them to the kids,” explained Sheila. “Toys, candy, medical supplies, comfort items, pillows, blankets, soccer balls – anything that will help make their life better.” “If you (fill them) in-country,” adds Andy, “you’re also putting money into their economy. The idea is to help people, to show people that hunters care. If hunters are helping (them) be sustainable, it reduces poaching because hunters become more valuable than poachers. It’s better for the wildlife and the villages as well. If you leave a good taste, those kids will remember forever.” THE NAMIBIAN HUNTS WERE A SUCCESS by any measure. The couple took a variety of African game, including gemsbok, zebra, kudu and wildebeest. But despite their shared accomplishment, it paled in comparison to distributing the contents of the SCI Amy Bell Blue Bags to the village children.

Andy and Sheila make new friends in a village.

“It was a huge game-changer for me,” said Sheila. “It was the best part of Africa. Hunting was awesome, but the Blue Bags were better. I dragged those things through airports. They were 50 pounds each, and I was hauling them all over with the biggest smile on my face. I loved it.” That’s not to say that Sheila has lost her passion for hunting. She and Andy have already booked a coastal black bear hunt for 2019 in Alaska, south of Juneau along the Inland Passage. The two will hunt out of skiffs along the edges of the coast during low tide. Wildlife conservation has also become a cause for Sheila, whose unique life perspective helps her understand both sides of the conversation. “You listen to people talk about conservation,” she said, “and it doesn’t 122

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

make much sense when you’re a nonhunter, because how is killing an animal helping to save animals? That used to be my mindset, so I really worked on educating myself on how that all works, and it’s pretty simple. It’s all part of the learning curve when you haven’t lived that way for years.” “Part of it was wanting to be where my husband was, and wanting to be involved, and Coni sure helped. She was a huge catalyst. (When) I met Coni, we related on all kinds of levels, not just hunting. When you find somebody that inspires you and can teach you – and has been through all those different things – that really helps. These days, Sheila is focused on her own version of paying it forward. “I just started this three years ago. And what Coni did for me, I hope that

I can inspire somebody else to realize that they can do it too. That’s what it’s all about – helping people find their strength and give somebody else a little bit of inspiration.” In three years, Sheila has gone from being a nonshooter to someone who plans international hunts. Sometimes she reflects on the days before her transition from “indoor girl” to African huntress. “Back then, I would have thought ‘never in a million years,’” she said, “but now I never let the word ‘never’ come out of my mouth, because the next thing you know I’ll be doing it.” “You are your own worst enemy if you put yourself in a box and decide ‘this is who I am,’ because you can be anybody. I can still be a ‘girly’ girl, I can still get my nails done, and I can still shoot a .300 Win. Mag. like a boss.” 

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GALLERY SRT ARMS Model: Ruger 77/44 Length: 1 inch longer than factory rifle Mount: Integrally mounted Weight: 1 pound more than factory rifle Decibel: 120 decibels absolute with 240-grain subsonic ammo Materials: 4130 outer tube, 7075 aluminum baffles and caps Notes: Optional fast-twist Douglas barrel available MSRP: $995 on customer-supplied rifle; add $365 for optional barrel upgrade More info:


GEMTECH Model: Lunar-45 Caliber: .45 ACP Length: Long model: 8.5 inches; short model: 6.9 inches Diameter: 1.375 inches Mount: Interchangeable threaded mounts and pistons Weight: Long model: 11.3 ounces; short model: 10.1 ounces Sound reduction: 30 to 34 decibels Materials: 6ALrV titanium/military-grade aluminum Finish: Black Cerakote/nickel-boron baffles MSRP: $799 More info:

Model: Turbo Caliber: .223 Length: 6.5 inches Diameter: 1.56 inches Mount: Quick detach (mount included) Weight: 13.5 ounces Decibel: 134 decibels Materials: 17-4 PH stainless steel; Inconel 718 blast baffle Finish: High Heat Cerakote MSRP: $489.00 More info:



Model: Black Widow Monocore Caliber: .300 Blackout supersonic and subsonic only, full-auto rated Length: 7 inches Diameter: 1.6 inches Mount: Direct thread (5/8x24) Weight: 24 ounces Sound reduction: 37 decibels (subsonics) Materials: 4150 steel alloy Finish: Melonite MSRP: $799 More info:

Model: STFU Caliber: .30, .308 Length: 7.875 inches Mount: 5/8x24 Weight: 22.8 ounces Sound reduction: 28 decibels Materials: Aircraft-quality 300-series stainless tubing and 17-4 PH H900 stainless internals, Cerakote finish Notes: Designed for elite military, law enforcement, and serious civilian shooters MSRP: $760 More info: 125

gun gearNRA ATLANTA L17A


The Altamont Company has just released attractive wood grips for the new Ruger Mark IV. They feature target-style fingergroove panels with tastefully designed patterns that allow for secure hand registration during shooting. These join Altamont’s extensive offering of handgun grips and accessories. All products are made in America and are available through the company’s website.

LUTH-AR, LLC – Booth #519 The Chubby Grip was designed with shooter ergonomics in mind. The full palm swell fills the hand, providing a consistent and rapid grip, properly positioned to promote accurate and repeatable shots on target. The thumb rest and palm shelf work together to lock the hand in place after the shot, while the raised trigger surface forces the finger into the proper curved position for better trigger control and comfort.

KICK-EEZ To help stop the kick of today’s high-powered rifles, choose Kick-Eez All-Purpose GrindTo-Fit pads. Made of solid Sorbothane, the ultimate material for cushioning shock and reducing recoil, Kick-Eez All-Purpose recoil pads have consistently reduced more recoil and absorbed more shock than all of their competitors’ recoil pads.


The Turbo suppressor is built on a tubeless design, and is made from heat-treated 17-4 stainless steel paired with a 718 Inconel blast baffle. It is full-auto rated and designed for rigorous use, and it is full-featured and budget friendly. The overall length measures 6.5 inches with a 1.5625-inch diameter and weighs in at a surprising 13.5 ounces. It registers 134 decibels on a 14.5-inch AR shooting 55-grain ammo, and is built with the same care, quality, and attention to detail that has defined the YHM brand for generations.


White Oak’s improved AR-15 action rod fixture does not put a load on extension lugs or index pin, so no more sheared index pins. Torque is applied to the entire receiver rather than one specific point. It allows for installation of handguard and gas tube while mounted, and rotates 90 degrees in the fixture. It won’t mar your receiver, works with billet, slickside and traditional forged receivers. 127

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The dedicated LT9 9mm Lower uses Glock-style mags, utilizing standard a Mil-Spec fire control group, pistol grip and buttstock. A proprietary last-round hold-open is built into the lower receiver, allowing the use of a Mil-Spec upper receiver and bolt catch. Coming soon are stripped lowers, receiver sets with short eject port upper and complete firearms: rifle, SBR and pistol.


Choose the Deviant Tactical for its unparalleled accuracy, the Deviant Hunter for its unique marriage of match-rifle precision and hunting rifle ergonomics, or the Deviant Ultralight for the ultimate lightweight precision rifle. All Deviant actions include integral scope mounts and recoil lugs, and are customizable with many options to choose from. Contact Defiant to design your custom action.


Introducing the new HiViz Luminous LitePipes, a proprietary and patent-pending technology that lets you turn any HiViz Lightwave sight into a nighttime performance tool. Luminous LitePipes offer the same daylight brightness of traditional LitePipes and feature a new luminous paint core that offers unsurpassed brightness when fully charged, even in complete darkness.

GEMTECH – Booth #1214 The Gemtech Integra upper series is the most advanced integrally suppressed upper receiver available. The Integra utilizes Gemtech’s proven G-Core technology that is removable, cleanable, and replaceable while still bringing the best sound reduction of any similar sized package. The innovation, accuracy, and quality is what makes Gemtech “The professional’s choice for decades.”


And Anderson Manufacturing’s stripped, semiauto lower receiver delivers custom-shop quality lowe without the price. It’s the perfect platform for withou building the ultimate, mission-specific AR-15 rifle or carbin carbine. Made from high-strength 7075 T6 aluminum lumi forging for reliable performance and ooutstanding outstan utstanding durability, the Mil-Spec hard-anodized finish adds extra strength to the receiver walls and delivers superior abras abrasion-resistance for rugged field use. It’s precision-mach precision-machined to ensure drop-in installation of Mil-Spec, aftermarke aftermarket components.


Guntech’s AR-15 muzzle with QD blast shield are both manufactured from steel and feature a nitrate finish. The blast shield threads down over the muzzle compensator with ½x28 threads, and reduces felt concussion in close quarters. It is available in 5.56/.223 caliber, and is great for use on AR pistols. The length is 2.5 inches, with an outside diameter of 1.5 inches, and the total weight of the pair is 9.7 ounces. It is U.S. made in Scottsdale, Ariz.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

HOGUE – Booth #1141 The Hogue 15-degree vertical polymer grip for AR-15 rifles is ergonomically designed for or the demands of close-quarter situations. The pistol grip is built from a durable lightweight ght polymer for maximum weight efficiency. It is available in black, OD green and flat dark earth, and the MSRP is $19.55.

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Ultralight rimďŹ re barrels For the Ruger 1022 and 1022 takedown barrels as well as the AR15 dedicated uppers. Match chambers and 7075 aluminum. Bull barrels, mid weight and factory taper barrels now with straight or diamond ďŹ&#x201A;uting. To buy direct call Clint at 360 640 1497 Also available at Brownells or other various dealers.

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The Dead On Arms pinless dust cover eliminates the need to remove the barrel or barrel components to change the dust cover. With captive plungers on either end of the dust cover, removal from all forged or billet uppers can be executed with no tools. Replacement in the field is made equally convenient.


FREEDOM ARMORY – Booth #3616

Freedom Armory Machine Works’ Grenadier suppressors feature top-rated sound reduction in a lightweight, fully serviceable titanium suppressor that completely disassembles for cleaning without special tools. Choose the Grenadier 45, the Grenadier 9 or the Grenadier 9 CQB. View details about this family of revolutionary suppressors on the above website.

The Citadel LMC (linear muzzle compensator) is a muzzle device which enlists the latest in tactical technology to move muzzle blast and sound down range. The LMC does not reduce or suppress sound the way a silencer does; instead, it concentrates the burning gasses and sound in a blast chamber and shroud, and directs them down range. Directing the sound and flame out and away makes shooting much more comfortable for the operator and any others on the firing line. Without the side opening of a flash hider or muzzle break, the result is a larger flame signature. This ups the “fun” factor, or as one LEO customer put it when Hardened Arms mentioned its lack of flash suppression, “This dog is going to scare the s#%& out of anyone even remotely looking back at it!” Or as the Hardened Arms team likes to say, “This dog can bark!” It’s available in a 1/2x28 or 5/8x24, with an MSRP of $99.99.

RUBBER CITY rubbercityarmory

RCA offers this quality complete titanium carrier with a proprietary aerospace nitride coating. This carrier fills the space of an M16 profile while reducing weight substantially at 7.8 ounces. An aerospace surface treatment provides the ultimate in durability and wear resistance. Bolt material is manufactured from 9310 steel. The RCA billet gas key is torqued and staked. It comes with a tool steel extractor and cam pin, and is covered by a lifetime warranty.


UltiMAK produces a variety of low, forward optic mounts for American shooters. Supported platforms include the M1 Garand, M14/M1A, Mini-14/30, and several AK-47 variants, including Saiga shotguns. The UltiMAK System includes very low, forward mounting, light weight, maximum stability by direct barrel attachment, and fast, easy targeting.


Established in 2003 and based in West Springfield, Mass., Troy designs, manufactures and markets reliable, innovative, advanced small arms components, accessories and weapon systems for professional, duty and civilian use. Troy is veteran-owned and honored to have the trust and support of special ops, law enforcement and military personnel worldwide. All Troy products are battle ready, will function without question when lives are on the line, and are proudly made in the USA and designed to perform flawlessly under intense conditions.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017 131

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The Slide Spider, by Arachnigrip, is a patented one-piece adhesive grip wrap for semiauto pistol d slides. The grip is designed to enhance safety and e control in the operation of the handgun. The Slide trol Spider enables the shooter to gain increased control through a safe and secure hold. The product offers additional tactical advantages under challenging operating conditions, including extreme moisture and temperature. In addition, the product aids shooters with weak or weakened hand strength and those with medical conditions such as arthritis. Arachnigrip offers a variety of designs to fit most semiautomatic handguns, and also offers custom imprinting on the product.


Ballistic Advantage Hanson series barrels provide a lightweight feel without lightweight limitations. Every barrel in the BA Hanson series was designed specifically to its length and caliber to yield the best results, with every aspect taken into consideration. It is truly

ideal for how the AR was meant to perform. With the BA Hanson profile, the company has found a more efficient way to harness a bullet’s energy, while limiting felt recoil considerably. The balanced feel and overall performance of a Hanson barrel will create a more organic relationship between you and your rifle. It will simply be an extension of you.


The Desert Hunter Ruger 10/22 semigloss laminated wood stock features a rollover-style cheek piece, vertical thumbhole grip and a contoured forend, giving it a great feel in hand. Drop-in style gunstock, LOP is approximately 13.75 inches. It weighs 2 pounds, 12 ounces, and nine color variations are available.

KynSHOT Precision Recoil Dampers Made in the USA • AR-15 platform • AR-10 platform • AR-15 9mm carbine

KynSHOT Recoil Dampers Reduce Kick and Muzzle Flip and Improve: • Accuracy • Felt Recoil • Clustering • Service Life • Dependability • Shoulder Flinching Stainless steal construction // 1 million cycle guarantee

“KynSHOT is the only hydraulic recoil buffer I recommend.” - Kyle Lamb, Special Ops, SGM (R)

Tactical shotgun

1-716-616-3630 Ext. 508 132

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

gun gear




This complete 9mm bolt carrier group assembly from Spinta Precision has a nitride finish, and is superior to chrome-lined and parkerized bolt carrier groups. It can use Glock or Colt magazines, and is ramped to use a standard hammer.


Rio Grande Custom Grips manufactures premium gun grips with full-color, full-coverage images for handguns with removable grips. The company currently sells grips for the legendary 1911 full-size pistol and clones, full-size Bobtail 1911 pistols, the Taurus PT1911, Compact/Officer 1911 pistols, the Sig Sauer P938, Beretta 92, 96, and M9 pistols, and the Ruger Vaquero, New Vaquero, Blackhawk, Super Blackhawk, Single-Six, and 22/45 Mark III.

POLYMER 80, INC. – Booth #5157

Polymer80 Inc. proudly introduces the world’s first 80 percent compact polymer pistol frame. It features high-strength reinforced polymer construction, aggressive and adaptable laser grip texture, a stainless-steel locking block rail system and drop-in rear rail module. It is also serializationready, and a finishing jig and tooling are included. Visit their booth at the NRA Show for more details.


Available Calibers: 5.56, 7.62x39, .300 Blackout and .502 T-Sabre 503-550-9777 • 503-550-1496 McMinnville, Oregon Dealer/L.E. Inquiries Welcome


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

TAC T I C A L w w w. a xc t a c t i c a l .c o m

Complete AR-1 5 upper with BCG $350 F I R E A R M PA RT S , AC C E S S O R I E S A N D M O R E

(480) 924-5200 | 1906 N Higley Rd Mesa, AZ 85205

gun gear




Elite Iron suppressor wraps raps help e and eliminate optical mirage protects you and your or heat. gear against suppressor The wraps are comprised ed of Nomex material and cording, rding, CarbonX and Cordura materials. New colors available this his year are Kryptek Mandrake and Highlander, white and black multicam, along with black, ack, coyote, multicam and OD.

BIGHORN B GHORN ARMS – Booth #558 T may be the most advanced This anced 700 action on the market. It feature features a floating, interchangeable bolt head, ead, fully enclosed mechanical eejector, and a toolless bolt disassembly. Controlled trolled feed limits the cchance for double feeds. The action is machined after er heat trea treating. It can be ordered as AICS and AW magazine compatible, or AICS AI oonly for a stiffer action.


With the recent surge in the suppressor market, Little Crow Gunworks has noticed a need for muzzle thread protectors for shooters using a suppressor on multiple firearms. These stainless-steel thread protectors come in ½x28 or 5/8x24 thread sizes, assorted diameters, and in black Cerakote or silver.





American Shooting Journal // April 2017

This is the new G10 Razor Receiver from Select Fire, re-engineered to the highest quality standards. Some improvements include a split rail for open sites, a cleaner ejection port opening and a lower rear profile to blend from stock to receiver with less step up. The G10 Razor is the benchmark for the competition to follow!




Visit us at the NRA Show, Booth 558




V Find Us On Facebook!


(402) 782-2884


(koozie, sticker, patch, brochure)

Create an account and order $10 dollars or more of product using coupon code HSASJ1 to receive the offer.

AR PARTS • Upper Receivers • Lower Receivers • Barrels • Small Parts • More

7.62 x 39

AK PARTS • 7.62x39 Receivers • Barrels • More


300 ACC Blackout

22 HS PARTS • Slides • Barrels • Triggers • Grips • More


5.56 Caliber





Houston, TX

gun gear




The Apex Handguard for AR-style weapons features a nonslip GatorGrip texture for comfort, control, and less weight. The handguard also sports a Controlled Tactical Rail Locating System (CTRL) for assorted top and accessory rail placement. Patented offset clamping allows greater clearance for the gas tube, and attaches to the barrel nut, free-floating the barrel, which maximizes accuracy.



The Gentry quiet brake is like no other brake on the market. All of the gas portholes are angled downrange so the hot gas and noise is directed away from the shooter. Gentry offers 5/8x24 threads and any caliber.

The Sanders Armory AR-15 /M16 side-charge upper receiver is manufactured from 7075 T6-grade billet aluminum with military-grade type III hard coat anodizing and a black Teflon top coat. It will fit any AR-15 Mil-Spec lower receiver. The BCG is an MPI-tested AR-15/M16 nitride bolt carrier, and is available as .223/5.56 or 7.62x39.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

gun gear





This lightweight AR-15 matched set is machined to have matching lines between upper and lower, and gives a clean, aggressive look while maintaining tight tolerances. This matched set has weight reduction cuts that give a look to stand out among the rest. Made with 7075 T6 and Mil-Spec compatible, all extra features are standard on JL Billet Products.

Mag Spark nipples use regular 209 shotshell primers and are a direct replacement for the No. 11 nipples in your caplock rifles. They safely eliminate misfires, slowfires and deadly hangfires. They prevent blowback and powder burns, and work with all propellants in any weather. They install onds, and a wrench is included. in seconds,


The AXC Tactical basic AR-15 build is made of high-quality parts designed with the daily shooter in mind. With AXC Tactical, you’ll get the best values in the AR world, without compromising functionality or durability.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017 141

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The DZT-KM10-Gen2 (AR-308) and DZT-KM15-Gen2 (AR-15) rails are a lightweight, rugged, free-floating KeyMod rail system manufactured by DEZ Tactical Arms. The rail system features an easy-to-install proprietary barrel nut, and is available in 12-inch, 15-inch and 19-inch lengths for both the AR-308 and AR-15. MSRPs are $199.95 to $279 for the DZT-KM15-Gen2, and $219.95 to $299.95 for the DZT-KM10-Gen2.

Finally, a product that allows shooting with both eyes open. The Occluder sight is the only “three point” open sight that allows you to look at the threat or target with both eyes open and see only one set of sights on your weapon. It occludes your nonshooting eye, which is like closing an eye without having to close it. Best of all, it feels natural and is easy to get used too.


Short Action Customs is proud to introduce the only .223 Rem/.300 Blackout conversion kits for the Desert Tech SRS rifle system. In minutes, the shooter can convert their chassis to a .223 Remington- or .300 Blackout-caliber rifle. Conversion kits are in stock and are shipping today.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017 143

gun gear



VZ GRIPS – Booth #3124 VZ Weapon Solutions is offering their VZ Key-Mod/ M-Lok grips, hand stops and VZ AR grips in an amazing costting savings bundle. The company known for revolutionizing the pistol grip aftermarket has been diligently designing “function forward” products for the long gun market. VZ has been doing this through their VZ Weapon Solutions brand and shooters have been osen taking notice. The colors and patterns have been chosen for their performance factors and the option of mirroring ring eady the current set-up that most VZ customers might already have on their pistols. Bundle MSRP is $99.25


These premium-quality aluminum-alloy barrels are fully machined to precise, match-grade tolerances from exceptionally hard 7075 aluminum, which is much stronger than mild steel alloys. This provides all the benefits of a thick barrel and improves the heat distribution for better accuracy. These barrels range from 13 to 18 ounces – less than half of traditional steel barrels weighing up to 60 ounces. Using a dedicated breech collar does away with the .223 adapter and the free bore the bullet


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

travels before it contacts the rifling. The buttonrifled Chromalloy steel liner features precise 1-in16- or 1-in-9-inch rifling for excellent accuracy. The 1-in-9-inch rifling works well for 60-grain subsonic .22 LR ammo. A variety of finishes are available, including stainless steel, matte black, OD green and custom colors. Ceramic finishes are baked on and resist corrosion, scratches, and surface wear. Beyer Barrels allow for greater versatility for long hikes, a full day at the range, and increased endurance for youth shooting and ease of use.

CMC TRIGGERS – Booth #4854 CMC Triggers announces a revolutionary new trigger design for the Glock pistol. Utilizing their patented “Signature Flat” trigger design, the company downsized the overall geometry to create an excellent fit in the Glock pistol. All of the superior traits from the AR platform are replicated here in the new design, including a glass-smooth break, minimal lock time, and a positive reset. It is easy to install, and is made from 8620 alloy steel and S7 tool steel with machined tolerances of +/-.001 inch.

gun gear




SRT Arms Integrally Suppressed Ruger Mk IV is built on a customer-supplied Ruger MkIV. This integrally suppressed pistol uses the same quiet technology as earlier MkII/MkIII pistols. It registers 116 decibels with high-velocity ammo, 110 to 112 dB with subsonic ammo, weighs less than a factory 5.5-inch barrel Target MkIV, and adds just 2.8 inches to the factory length.


The Velocity Triggers AR Drop-in trigger assembly comes in a black anodized aluminum housing available in 3-, 4- or 4½-pound pull weights. All three weights are available with either curved or straight triggers. The trigger is coated with Diamond Like carbon coating, while the hammer and disconnect are treated with Robar’s NP3. MSRP is $149.95.


Meet Pickett’s Mill Armory’s newest addition to their line of AR-15 upper receivers. This item features a 16-inch 5.56 NATO barrel with a 1-in-8 twist and is made from 4150 CMV steel. The barrel fits tight

into the cleanly cut, forged upper receiver. These uppers are fitted with a steel gas block and tube that ensures reliable function with every pull of the trigger. A 15-inch, thin free-float keymod rail finishes off the upper with a nice sleek look.


• Specializes in high-quality resetting triggers for the AR-10 and AR-15 • Tac-Con triggers and accessories are all ATF compliant and built with only the highest quality materials

AR-15/AR-10 Tac-Con™ 3MR with Right Handed Selector $289.99




AR-15 Tac-Con™ 241 with Ambidextrous Selector

AR-15/AR-10 Tac-Con™ 3MR with Ambidextrous Selector $329.99

• Leader in trigger technology innovation • Committed to delivering high quality, reliable firearm accessories on the wings of customer satisfaction • Made in the USA

623.282.1881 // 146

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

Stability and Accuracy


Enhanced Pistol Cheek Rest Kit with CAA saddle shown

AR/AK Pistol Cheekrest Kits Our Pistol Cheek Rest Kits are a Hybrid design combining our Standard or Enhanced Buffer Tube Covers and the Command Arms SST1 or the Mission First Tactical Evolv Stock Saddle. The two are joined together using a specially designed adapter and mounting hardware. The result is a rock solid, ergonomic, cheek weld that provides stability for accurate, repeatable, shooting and a proper sight line for your favorite optics or sights. Our kits come pre-assembled in house with new, easy to follow, instructions on the inside flap of the new header card. Instructional videos are also available on our website.

BD-180 Blast Deflector Kits An inexpensive and easy to install upgrade for short barreled rifle and AR Pistol applications. It redirects high pressure concussion, flame, and hot muzzle gasses forward away from the shooter and bystanders. The BD-180 is unique because it can be installed between your existing A1, A2, and 3 pronged flash hider and the barrel, eliminating the need to buy an entirely new muzzle device. It can be used in place of or in conjunction with a crush washer for a secure connection and proper timing. At 1.35 inches in diameter and weighing in at a mere 2 ounces, it will fit inside most low profile or lightweight foreends without adding significant weight.

Picatinny Buffer Tube Adapter Our new Picatinny Buffer Tube Adapter is a great addition to your Sig MPX, Sig MCX, Sig P556XI, Rock River PDS, or any other pistol that utilizes a rear vertical picatinny rail. It gives a shooter the ability to add a cheek rest for greater stability or a stock for SBR conversions (federal tax stamp required).

The mounting method follows true STANAG (NATO Standardization Agreement) protocol using the two back angles and the top of the rail as the contact points. The result is perfect alignment with the centerline of the firearm. A feature that is not attainable with typical side clamping adapters. Another bonus is that there are no visible fasteners or holes on the top and sides of the adapter giving it a clean sleek look. 147

gun gear





The new MVB ARC-Xti stock is the latest addition to the ARC Stock family. Made from Grade 5 titanium and aircraft-grade aluminum, this is the lightest version of the ARC Stock yet, a full 7 ounces lighter than the standard ARC-X Stock. This stock collapses to 47/8 inches, extends to 87/8 inches, uses your standard BCG, and is adaptable to any caliber.

KynSHOT hydraulic recoil buffers for AR15, AR-10 and AR-9mm platforms perform flawlessly. KynSHOT tactical shotgun buffers take out 80 percent of the felt recoil, and keep the muzzle down and on target. You can shoot your shotgun all day long without pain and flinching.


Greybull has included the best parts of a tactical design without the sharp corners and bulk that aren’t welcome on a hunting rifle. It features a dropin design with an aluminum bedding block, and weighs 2.5 pounds and comes in four color choices. It fits Remington 700 long or short actions.



Manners Composite Stocks were the most popular competition stocks for the third year in a row. In 2014, almost 30 percent of all the shooters who finished in the top 50 ran a Manners Stock, including seven of the top 10. In 2015 and 2016, pro shooters trusted a Manners Stock more than twice as much as any other brand, with about one-third of shooters using a Manners Stock in 2016.

No gunsmith is needed for these action kits. These hand-fitted precision adjusted kits include a choice of hammer (Pro, Commander or Speed Demon), sear, mainspring, sear spring and disconnect. They’re guaranteed to give a smoother trigger pull and break clean with no creep.



AR15 Compact Stock







Patent P

QD Sling ent Point Attachm


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

• Collapsed 4 7/8 vs. Deployed 8 7/8 • Weight: 1.4 lbs. • Operates with any Milspec BCG • Body: 7075 Aircraft Grade Aluminum

• Type III Hardcoat Anodized • Rails: 17/4 Stainless Steel Nitrided • Includes Propiertary Buffer & Spring Assembly • 9mm Buffer Available




5.56 BCG

.308 BCG




These and other LBE products distributed by:

Check your local dealer for price and availability. 149



AR-15 upper receiver See us on page 55

Talon rail See us on page 114



Upp receiver Upper us on page 195 See u

AR-15 upper receiver See us on page 154


NIGHTFORCE OPTICS ATACR 4-16x50 riflescope See us on page 86

DRD TACTICAL .308 build kit See us on page 144


CMR modular locking accessory system (M-Lok) handguard See us on page 209


6.5 Grendel upper receiver See us on page 56

5.56mm side-charging upper See us on page 97

SANDERS ARMORY AR-15/M16 side-charge upper receiver See us on page 3

APEX A AP PEX HANDGUARDS Handguard See us on page 138


KynSHOT hydraulic recoil buffer See us on page 132


.750-inch adjustable piston system See us on page 139

SHILEN RIFLES LFAR barrels See us on page 67



22 Nosler match-grade barrels See us on page 107

SPINTA PRECISION 4.5-inch 9mm barrel See us on page 105


16-inch, 6-inch 55.56 56 B BA Hanson midlength Performance Series barrel See us on page 102


16-inch, 7.62x39 match-grade fluted AR-15 barrel See us on page 77

American Shooting Journal // April 2017


Low-mass competition bolt-carrier group See us on page 142




LT-10 lower receiver See us on page 145

.308 WarrHogg 80 percent nt polymer lower receiver See us on page 131

DP-15 billet receiver set See us on page 29


3-pound curved trigger See us on page 197



Flat trigger See us on page 79

3MR trigger See us on page 146


AR-15 lower receiver See us on page 141


3PSS curved trigger See us on page 53


ModiďŹ ed cycle system See us on page 39


Lower receiver parts kit See us on page 135


5.56mm M7 short suppressor kit See us on page 121

Gloved Finger Pinless Trigger Guard 1 See us on page 113

Dragoon Ai Air 5.56 suppressor See us on p page g 124



Keg muzzle brake See us on page 134

A AR-15 muzzle ccompensator with QD blast shield b See us on page 126 S


Griffin Armament Alpha silencer See us on page 123


OP-COM .223/5.56mm muzzle brake See us on page 124

MVB INDUSTRIES ARC-Xti stock See us on page 148


AR-pistol cheek rest See us on page 147

HUBER ER C CON CONCEPTS ON Square brake See us on page 70


Titanium cans See us on page 123



MBA-3 buttstock See us on page 133

Urban Sniper stock See us on page 111 151 153



$289.99 16” 5.56 UPPER RECEIVER 15” MLOK RAIL

$289.99 16” 5.56 UPPER RECEIVER 15” KEYMOD RAIL

WWW.PMARMORY.COM If you’re looking for AR replacement parts or other tactical gear, Pickett’s Mill Armory is your one-stop online gun shop. Whether you just need a new bolt carrier to install independently or an entire in-house, custom-built upper receiver, we offer all types of AR parts for sale from the best brands out there today.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017





KERSHAW KNIVES – Booth #3647

The success of Kershaw’s made-in-the-USA Link series has yielded a Dividend. It’s a slimmer, sleeker EDC that’s proudly made in the USA, yet at a very affordable price. The Dividend (1812GRY) features a 3-inch drop-point blade, SpeedSafe assisted opening, anodized aluminum handles, decorative backspacer, and a left/ right reversible pocketclip. MSRP is just $69.99.

EXQUISITEKNIVES.COM offers the best of custom cutlery to a discriminating host of clientele. This Damascus Fighter was crafted by Belgian artisan Sam Lurquin. He not only forges his own Damascus steel, but makes what is arguably the finest fighting knives known to man. The sheath pictured here is by Paul Long.


The Roadie 8-in-1 keychain sharpener is the only portable multitool you’ll need. Featuring a carbide knife sharpener set to the same angle as Lansky’s bestselling Blademedic, the Roadie also includes two screwdrivers (one flat head, one Phillip’s head), a variable hex wrench, a bottle opener, a box cutter, a pry tool, and a string cutter. It also features a carabiner for attaching it to a keychain, and lightweight metal construction. 155 americanshootingjou



Gamo’s annual Squirrel Master Classic continues to remain on target with kids and adults alike. STORY AND PHOTOS BY LARRY CASE

any of us started out shooting a BB or pellet gun at a target and graduated to small game like rabbits and squirrels. Some of us did the other way around. But it seems that in these times of shrinking hunter numbers fewer and fewer of our young people are going down that path. Four years ago Jackie Bushman of Buckmasters fame decided to do something about that and created the Squirrel Master Classic. The event is held every year at the Southern Sportsman Hunting Lodge west of Montgomery in Alabama’s legendarily rich-soiled “Black Belt” region. The Squirrel Master Classic could be classified as a friendly competition, as it pairs up teams consisting of an outdoor TV personality, a young person involved in 4H Shooting Sports, outdoor writers, and a squirrel dog handler. The teams compete in a morning and evening squirrel hunt with a shooting competition at midday. This year, the range was supervised by world champion shooter Doug Koening, whose most recent major win (as of this writing) came at the 2016 NRA Bianchi Cup. Scoring is simple. The team with the most squirrels and most points


The first squirrel of the day brings smiles to everyone at this year’s Squirrel Master Classic, including Luke Christian (left), Mo the squirrel dog, and Butch Morton. 157

World champion shooter Doug Koenig explains the target setup to 4H shooters during the midday shooting competition. The Southern Sportsman Hunting Lodge, located in West Tyler, Ala., has hosted Gamo’s Squirrel Master Classic since its inception.

THE DETAILS: WHAT: Squirrel Master Classic, a squirrel hunting and shooting competition featuring young shooters involved in 4H Shooting Sports. Hosted by Buckmasters Jackie Bushman and sponsored by Gamo Precision Airguns. For more information, visit WHEN: February 21, 2017. WHO: This year’s outdoor TV personalities included: Jackie Bushman (Buckmasters), Michael Waddell, Travis “T-Bone” Turner (Bone Collector), Ralph and Vickie Cianciarulo (Archer’s Choice), Richard Eutsler (Airgun Web TV). Also on hand, 4H shooters and outdoor media. WHERE: The Classic is held at the historic Southern Sportsman Hunting Lodge near Montgomery, Ala. The lodge has a rich 35-year history of hosting hunters in the famed Black Belt region of Alabama. It offers great Southern cooking and wonderful hospitality in the midst of some of the best deer and turkey hunting in the state, not to mention lots of squirrels. For more information about the lodge, visit


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

Kenneth Lancaster with a squirrel and his Gamo gun.

Bone Collector cameraman Hunter Rollins captures footage of outdoor TV’s Kenneth Lancaster.

Vicki Cianciarulo of Archer’s Choice and Travis “T-Bone”Turner of Bone Collector sight in their air rifles before the competition.

Six 4H shooters qualified to join the competition: (left to right) Joseph McFarland, Jeremy McFarland, Luke Christian, Dawson Kissik, Jackson Umlauf and Moriah Christian. 159


The Swarm Maxxim (also available in .177 caliber) features a 10 shot rotary magazine which 10-shot which, when loaded loaded, snaps into the mechanism on top of the rifle’s barrel. The shooter then breaks the action of the rifle to cock it, as with conventional air guns, and you are ready to shoot. The shooter cocks the rifle after each shot, but only has to reload after 10 rounds. This makes shooting quicker and more enjoyable, and for hunting or pest control follow-up shots are much faster, as we saw on the Squirrel Master Classic hunt. If I would have had one of these rifles when I was a kid preying on English sparrows, starlings and other pest birds I would have probably taken several thousand more than I did. Although I had a little trouble loading the 10-shot magazine at first (I am admittedly a bit clumsy in the area of fine motor skills), once I learned how to load it, it was no problem the rest of the day. In truth I didn’t see any other hunters in my group having much of a problem. And, if you carry preloaded magazines in your pocket, reloading is really fast. The Swarm Maxxim comes with Gamo’s CAT, or Custom Action

Mo and his fellow dogs take a midday break from retrieving squirrels.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

Trigger, which I found to be pretty good. This is an adjustable twostage trigger trigger, pretty heady stuff for an air rifle. rifle It weighs almost 6 pounds and has a muzzle velocity of 1,300 feet per second. Gamo designed this rifle with their Recoil Reducing Rail, which is intended to greatly increase the life of a scope. This is a big concern as air rifles can be really hard on optics. For targets, plinking, hunting, and pest control, the Gamo Swarm Maxxim is worth checking out. With an MSRP of $199.99, you and your kids can have a lot of fun with this air gun. Just make sure you let them shoot it once in a while too.

Moriah Christian took high shooter honors during the target portion of the competition.

Christian poses with one of her targets following the target shooting.


Host Jackie Bushman (left), Kenneth Lancaster and ‘T-Bone’ Turner at the noon squirrel weigh-in.

earned in the shooting competition wins the competition. In order to qualify to take part in the event, the six 4H shooters in this year’s classic had to compete with other 4H’ers for the privilege. The lone girl in that half dozen, Moriah Christian, outshot all of her colleagues during the shooting competition. ALL HUNTING AND COMPETITIVE shooting is done using Gamo air rifles, the event’s sponsor. Each hunter this year were supplied with Gamo’s new Swarm .22-caliber pellet rifle (see sidebar), which features a 10-shot detachable magazine, eliminating the need to reload after each shot. While the competition is intense for the coveted squirrel trophy awarded to the winners, the real emphasis here is on the young hunters. The TV personalities attending this year – Jackie Bushman, Michael Waddell, Travis “T-Bone” Turner, Kenneth Lancaster, Ralph and Vickie Cianciarulo, and Richard Eutsler – 162

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

Despite an influx of new shooters to the squad, T-Bone’s Team Bone Collector took the competition honors for the third consecutive year.

along with Gamo president Keith Higginbotham and others at the event all recognize the need to encourage and nurture young people in hunting and the shooting sports. In the end, Turner’s team (which I was fortunate enough to be a member of) took the trophy, and while we were very pleased I saw no smiles bigger than those of the young 4H shooters. They had a day in the

beautiful Alabama woodlands The coveted Gamo Squirrel Master following some competition trophy. feisty squirrel dogs, shooting air rifles, and spending time with some of their media heroes. It was a day they will not forget anytime soon – nor will I, for that matter – and that, my friends, is whole idea of the Squirrel Master Classic.  163



zZz Custom Works LLC is a custom Kydex thermoforming manufacturer. The Oceanside, Calif., company produces the highest quality Kydex holsters, magazine pouches, knife sheaths, and firearm accessories. zZz Custom Works combines expert industry knowledge with practical designs for the most efficient quality tactical equipment available. zZz Custom Works is also a service-disabled veteran-owned small business.



Custom Metal Products (CMP Steel Targets), the choice of champions, is pleased to announce the release of the new “Doug Koenig Signature Series” AR500 steel targets. Doug Koenig is the 17-time Bianchi Cup Champion and 2016 NRA World Shooting Champion. Now you can train with the same targets the champions use.

EarthStraw Deep Blue is a fully assembled, emergency backup hand-well-pump system for $199. The innovative flexible coil design allows it to snake into almost any well, providing an infinite supply of free, naturally filtered water. Deep Blue is engineered and made in the USA.


The new Kryptek ultrahigh performance tactical rifle case is long enough to accommodate most rifles and shotguns. It also includes three large exterior pockets and two padded pistol pouches. This heavyyduty case features Kryptek Raid camo withh ogy. advanced multilevel concealment technology. Overall, the bag is 21 inches long by 11 inches hes high by 14 inches wide. 167






The smokering (or Nachaq in the language of Alaska’s Yu’pik speakers, and meaning hat or covering) can be worn up like a hood or around the neck as cowl. Patterns vary depending on the village they come from, and are based on traditional artifacts or art exclusive to that village.

HidingHilda is where protection meets style. HidingHilda CCW purses and totes are made in Fort Wayne, Ind., and are lightweight, water resistant, machine washable, and have a separate Velcro holstered compartment in the back to safely carry a weapon, with the capability to lock the zippers. They can also be used right- or left-handed, and are available in a variety of colors. – Booth #4479


Kakadu has built comfortable, timeless clothing for over 40 years, and Gunn Worn Concealed Carry by Kakadu is no exception. They are proud to introduce their unlined vests for men and women so you can carry comfortably, even in the heat. Practical, not tactical, with built-in holsters proving it’s what’s on the inside that counts.


Handi-Racker is a safety device to help people better manipulate the slide on 95 percent of pistols. Now injection molded, the MSRP has been reduced to $19.99. The muzzle is never in line with Handi-Racker and there are no small pieces to break or lose. Use your weight, not your muscles with the real Handi-Racker. The company recently invested in new manufacturing to keep up with production and reduce cost, and more than 350 retailers are currently selling Handi-Racker around the country. Dealer inquires are always welcome.

SPORTEAR – Booth #3222

FROGLUBE – Booth #4959 FrogLube CLP absorbs into the metal and will run as hot or cold as you can get the gun. Just clean the metal parts with one of FrogLube’s non-toxic cleaners, apply the CLP, and it goes strong. FrogLube doesn’t disintegrate or disappear. The more you use it, the more it works.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

The Ghost Stryke enhances your hearing, protects your ears, and allows you to maintain a good cheek weld; a universally-fitting plug that makes electronic ear muffs a thing of the past. SportEar uses hearing earing aid and noise suppression technology to amplify what you want to hear and suppress what you don’t.





The Echo-Sigma Nucleus Emergency Kit Core system is the perfect starting point to building the emergency kit of your dreams. The Nucleus provides you with the essentials – a great backpack, food, water, first aid, fire starting and other smaller items – to form a rock-solid foundation of emergency preparedness.


The Sentinel plate is a highly functional stand with interchangeable magazine posts for all types of handguns, and for displaying, cleaning and servicing them. One side is smooth for display, and the other has a cut parts pocket. It’s a field-tested, armorer-approved must-have for all shooters, because sometimes you just need a third hand hand. MSRP is $39.95 and up.


T Maverick shoulder rig is a The hhorizontal shoulder rig and the ccomplete package for shoulder holster sset-up. It includes a Maverick shoulder hharness, a Maverick shoulder holster, yyour choice of Maverick shoulder mag hholster or Maverick harness connector. This rig comes with all the swivels aand hardware needed, as well as a 2ml tu tube of Vibra-loc thread locker.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017





PrOlix is a nonpetroleum-based solvent/lubricant that has been keeping guns running for a long time. PrOlix goes on wet, cleans, bonds, and turns to a dry lube coating. PrOlix cleans and lubricates firearms, preserves wood, inhibits rust and corrosion and eliminates oil and grease. PrOlix provides waterproof protection and is environmentally friendly. PrOlix has been used safely on Glocks since they came on the market, and is also safe to use on all polymers, p y wood, old/new nickel or other finishes.


The EZ target system from X-Steel Targets is extremely easy to set-up and great fun for all pistols and rifles rated up to .308 Win. The entire EZ target system is made from AR500 steel that is cut using CNC lasers to reduce the heat-affected zone (HAZ) along the edges of the steel. The EZ Target system is made by expert welders using the most advanced technology available and is designed to outlast the competition.


This unique way to economically and discretely hide firearms from peering eyes is now just a closet away. Skinner Sights, well known for their extensive line of firearm sights and accessories, offers a unique solution for firearm storage. The Skinner HTF Garment Bag is made in the U.S., and is a secure hiding place for firearms and accessories. After all, who steals clothes? Opening the Skinner garment bag reveals fast access for one long gun up to 42 inches long and two handguns. Inside are pockets for various accessory items such as knives, flashlights, valuable papers, extra ammunition or smaller handguns. The bag also has two attached handgun holsters that can be removed for temporary use, with a magazine pouch on each holster. Special interior pockets are designed to hold at least six pistol magazines and three 20- to 30-round rifle magazines. Constructed of 1000-denier heavy-duty Cordura nylon, an industrial strength zipper, and heavy-duty thread and nylon webbing, this bag is built to last. The hanger is rated at 200 pounds. The garment bag folds in half and has wrap-around handles for easy emergency evacuation.

SUPER BRUSH LLC – Booth #4014


The SnagMag is an innovative way to carry backup ammo. It’s lightweight, durable, comfortable and designed for a fast draw. Concealed in plain sight, it looks like a folded pocket knife. More than 80 models are available for right- and left-handed shooters. The SnagMag is perfect for EDC, and LEO and military discounts are available. Free shipping is available in the U.S.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

Gun-tips are strong, durable, washable and reusable firearm cleaning tools. Gun-tips do not leave lint and fibers behind like cotton swabs. They are flexible enough to round corners, but strong enough to resist breaking. Used in conjunction with Swabits Bore-tips, Gun-tips allow you to clean and lubricate your entire firearm.





Dominator Track Systems simply bolt on to your existing four-wheel drive, allowing you to travel where tires can’t go. Reliable, durable, and nearly maintenance free, Dominators provide the best value in the industry. Dominators are used all over the world for accessing remote cabins and for finding the hottest hunting and fishing locations. Pictured at left is a Jeep Cherokee set up for ice fishing.


We are not talking Star Wars here; we are talking long-range scoped handguns and a “coolness” factor second to none. The Space Cowboy scoped holster is a strong-side vertical-carry holster designed for the long-range handgun hunter. The holster can be worn on any waist belt up to 2.25 inches wide, and features a tie-off leg strap for added stability. The Space Cowboy holster can accommodate handguns with or without scopes, and can also be added to Triple K’s popular Wyoming drop loop belt.

Name Brands


Bobbie Weiner’s Camo Face Paint Sticks are made in the USA with quality ingredients for all skin types. All paints are hypoallergenic, odorless and sweat resistant, and come in nine different hunting and military colors. Woodland includes mud brown, olive and black. ACU includes loam, tan and slate. Scorpion includes brown, tan and olive. The DOD recognizes Bobbie Weiner as their number one supplier of face paint, and the hunting industry uses the same paint supplied to the military. You can find Bobbie’s face paint in PXs all over the world and purchase them directly on the above website.

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American Shooting Journal // April 2017




G-CODE G- tact The Scorpion Softshell is the next evolutionary advance nex of tthe variable compression pou pouch concept, a hybrid that combines unconventional com mat materials, construction methods and features in a met way that elevates function wa and performance to new levels. Scorpion Softshells Sco are completely modular and interchange with the entire family of G-Code ent car carry accessories.



Tannerite Sports is taking the next step in going green. Tanneriteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newest target holder is made from organic material and leaves no debris after a successful shot. Easy to use and environmentally friendly, Tubby Targets are a fun way to hold your Tannerite-brand reactive targets off of the ground.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

This kit was designed to clean the gas tube without complete disassembly of the AR riďŹ&#x201A;e. After removing the bolt and the upper receiver, the gas tube port will be exposed. This patented technology allows the gas tube to be cleaned easily and to save time without removing it. It contains two gas tube brushes and one clear guide tube. It is recommended to use Iosso Triple Action Oil with the brush to ensure complete fouling removal. The kit is proudly made in the USA.



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Tightening Fingers Jerking or Slapping Trigger

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LIBERTY SAFE – Booth #2603 Safealert is the newest innovation in smart devices to help monitor your safe and works on any safe brand. This compact, batterypowered monitoring device is easily installed inside your safe using your Wi-Fi system. When your safe’s conditions change (vibration, rise in temperature, humidity level, door opening, etc.), Safealert detects and sends alerts (via texts or emails) directly to you. Best of all, there are no monitoring fees for life, and it is on sale now for $169 (regular price is $199).



SEAL 1 has come out with a Muzzleloader CLP Plus that cleans, lubes and protects your muzzleloader. Muzzleloader CLP Plus is a biobased and nontoxic product that is a bore cleaner, patch/bullet lube and protectant. This all-in-one product increases the number of rounds between cleaning, reduces standard deviation and increases muzzle velocity more than traditional products.

The Kenai chest holster was designed for anyone wanting to carry a firearm when hiking, hunting, fishing or camping. It puts the firearm in a position that leaves it unencumbered from backpack straps, waist belts or heavy clothing. Available for more than 250 models of firearms, if you want to carry in the woods, this is the solution.

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Quality targets at affordable prices. We can cut any custom target for you! Free shipping from website on orders over $75. All steel targets are high caliber rifle and pistol rated! 178


American Shooting Journal // April 2017


(541) 538-0161


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KRAMER HANDGUN LEATHER Originally designed for the Glock 19, the Inside The Waistband No. 3 Gun Holster features a large paddle-type extension that provides better support for larger autos, and places the grip of the weapon in closer to the body. The gun is carried at an extreme FBI forward tilt and provides maximum concealment, with the butt of the gun hugging the body securely for a low profile. A full firing grip allows for a smooth quick draw.


The National Target Company is now partnering with “Rite in the Rain” to produce NRA-approved all-weather targets. Use these targets when the match must go on. See their advertisement elsewhere in this edition.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

The mouth is reinforced with a specially treated throat band of horsehide, and will not collapse when the gun is drawn. It uses the same screw adjustable belt loops that are on the IWB No. 1½ and 2. Snap-on belt loops are available by custom order. The cowhide version comes standard with 1½-inch interchangeable snap-on belt loops, other sizes also available. Also available in black cowhide for these weapons: Beretta, Browning, BRNO, Colt, Glock, H&K, KAHR, Para-Ordinance, Ruger, Sig Sauer, S&W, Springfield, Star, Taurus, Walther. MSRP is $145.20


For the past decade, The Professionals Choice has made its presence known in the shooting industry by being the biggest patch manufacturer in the U.S. In 2015, The Professionals Choice was proud to introduce a full line of cleaning supplies at SHOT Show. Now in 2017 they are proud to introduce a pistol and rifle-cleaning mat, a silicone wiping cloth and an extreme weapons grease. The item they are the most excited about is the cleaning mat, which is made of 100 percent recycled fibers, absorbs all oils and fluids, perfect for indoor and outdoor use.





ODFW’s is a free application displaying details on access to private and public lands open to hunting. Each hunting area includes info on the area and the option to download a map to a smartphone or tablet before you leave on your trip, making the info available even in the most secret of spots.

RIGEL Rigel’s patented system cleans a bore deeper, faster and safer than done with jags, loops, snakes or mops. Their system is the Triangle Patch and Jag Brush. The notched triangle patch doesn’t get stuck, and it stretches farther down a jag. The brush bristles push a patch deeper into grooves.

MAN PACK – Booth #5363 The Man-Pack Spitfire is a stylish sling-style teardrop CCW bag made with 400D Ripstop material for superior durability and water resistance. The Spitfire includes an adjustable chest strap, quick release clasp, cell phone pocket, auxiliary strap for three points of contact and proprietary ambidextrous design for left- and right-handed shooters.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017




COAST The Polysteel 600R flashlight is equipped with Coast’s Dual Power system that at allows it to run on either lithium-ion or alkaline batteries. The lithium-ion packk features an external USB charging port. The flashlight is waterproof, drop proof, and crush proof, and possesses a Pure Beam focusing optics system.


The Shoulder Holster from D.M. Bullard Leather is made universal to accommodatee different guns. The strap is adjustable with an option of lacing or buckle. The holster’s cant may be adjusted for three different carry positions. It has a standard smooth leather lining and comes with a strap and a one-way snap to keep the gun secure in thee holster. The company designed the holster so you can wear it on the shoulder harness or remove it and attach the included belt loop to wear OWB on your belt. Available colors/ materials include black, chocolate and cognac, bull hide and Hermann oak leather. STARTING AT $69.99



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American Shooting Journal // April 2017


The CTS X Base Pro Kit has everything you need for a good time at the range, time and time again. Combining either an 8-inch or 10-inch round AR500 steel target with CTS innovative target hanger and stand hardware in one convenient package. It’s great for both pistol and rifle use.





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You love hunting, ďŹ shing and camping. In the backwoods without electricity, hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the only solution in starting out feeling your best in dry, comfortable boots, and gloves too. The propane PEET footwear dryer dries boots and gloves in three to six hours. One standard 16-ounce propane bottle provides 40 hours of legendary PEET dry. USA-made makes things even better. MSRP is $99.99.

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Bright g Sights g Bright Sights high visibility gun sight coatings increases the contrast between the front and rear sights, and the contrast between the sights and the target $OVR$YDLODEOH6PRNH\¡V'HHU/XUHV 7UDSSLQJ%DLWV)XOWRQ)ODVKOLJKWV 6XUH6KRW6SUD\HUV:RRGPDQ¡V3DO5DGRF\7DNHGRZQ*XLGHV


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American Shooting Journal // April 2017

STICKY HOLSTERS INC. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Booth #4559

These holsters are an inside-the-waistband or pocket holster that uses friction in the pocket or compression in the waistband to secure the holster. Because of this high-friction material, there is no need for loops or clips. All Sticky Holster products are proudly made in the USA.


Tannerite® brand binary targets are the FIRST, BEST, SAFEST, and only made with the highest quality materials. Binary rifle targets have become popular in the recent years. Remember to use the targets in a safe and fun manner. Please be sure to continue using these targest as a shot indicator only and away from populated areas. The future of these targets is in your hands, so please use them properly.







EZ2C Targets are especially designed for high visibility, which will improve accuracy and practicing proper shooting habits. These shooting targets offer clear sight when shooting and make it easy to see improvement over time. EZ2C Targets are perfect for shooting ranges and improving long-distance tan shots.


The CZ 75 Dark Diamond allows you to see a diamond in day or night, and make a shot. Precise and quick, especially in darkened situations, the CZ Dark Diamond is the only sight system where an illuminated front sight alone is enough to help you make an accurate shot in the dark, without being able to see the rear sight.


The No Print Wonder holster from Clinger Holsters uses a unique pair of belt tabs to achieve a high level of concealment. A stiff “cling tab” and flexible “flex tab” work together to pull the pistol grip in close to the body, so even big guns are easily hidden.


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From 3-Gun shooting to monster hunting: an interview with fantasy author and firearms fanatic Larry Correia. INTERVIEW BY ROB REED

arry Correia is steeped in the gun culture. He’s a licensed machine-gun dealer, competitive shooter, firearms instructor and all-around gun nut. He’s also a New York Times best-selling author with his “Monster Hunter” series of novels that pit horror-movie monsters against guys with guns. Lots of guns.


Larry Correia is a New York Times best-selling author with his “Monster Hunter” series of novels. 191


Rob Reed, already a fan of the author’s work, talked with Correia about firearms, writing, and the state of the gun culture.

American Shooting Journal: You burst onto the scene with Monster Hunter International. What’s your “elevator pitch” for that world when describing it to someone? Larry Correia: Think X-Files meets The Expendables. Basically, in a world where monsters are real, MHI is a company that specializes in taking care of monster problems, usually with lots of violence.   Two of my passions in life are guns and monster movies. I’m especially a sucker for the lower budget ones. If the cast was paid in beer and pizza and the monster is a guy wearing a trash bag for a costume, I’ve probably seen it. Except most monster movies would be over really quickly if the characters were my kind of people. “There’s the monster! Good thing I’ve got this shotgun.” BOOM. Roll credits. So I wanted to write a 192

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

monster story for people with a clue. The Monster Hunter series has been really successful. I’m at five books now, with several more planned, and we’re also working on a spin-off series set in the same world and written by John Ringo. ASJ: Tell us a little about your other works, including the Grimnoir Chronicle series, the Dead Six series and The Saga of the Forgotten Warrior series. LC: The Grimnoir Chronicles trilogy (Hard Magic, Spellbound, Warbound) is set in the 1930s. It is a hard-boiled, alternate history, where magic appeared in the 1850s, giving some people superhero-like powers. On the gun side of things this gave me an excuse to play with classics like Thompsons, Lewis Guns, and BARs. Also, John Moses Browning is a character, and he is literally a gun wizard. Dead Six and Swords of Exodus were cowritten with Mike Kupari and we [recently finished] the last

book in the trilogy (Alliance of Shadows). They are thrillers. Dead Six is about a team of mercenaries versus a gang of thieves in a Middle Eastern country melting down during a military coup. Mike just retired from being an [explosive ordnance disposal] tech, and was actually serving in Afghanistan when the first book came out. Son of the Black Sword is the first book in The Saga of the Forgotten Warrior. There aren’t many guns in the first one, but that’s because I’m going old school in this series, and I’m going to use early black powder technology to throw a slave revolt. ASJ: You were active on firearms forums before you started writing. How did that help inspire MHI? LC: It was a huge help. I was a member on The Firing Line. A good friend named Lawdog started a thread called “Lines I’d Like to Hear in a Horror Movie Someday.” One of the quotes really helped the MHI project gel for me:  “You know what the difference

Supporting shooters around the world



between me and you really is? You look out there and see a horde of evil, brain-eating zombies. I look out there and see a target-rich environment.” – Dillis D. Freeman, Jr. Years later I used that quote in the first Monster Hunter International book.   ASJ: How important was the fan base you made on the forums? LC: I couldn’t have done it without them. I originally self-published Monster Hunter International. I wrote it for, and marketed it directly, to the posters on different gun forums. It was a national bestseller and I ended up with a publishing contract. The original rough draft of Dead Six started as an online fiction thread by Mike Kupari on The High Road forum called, “Welcome Back, Mr. Nightcrawler.” ASJ: I bought one of the self-published copies of MHI after reading about it on the forums. How did the leap from 194

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

self-publishing to getting picked up by Baen Books happen? LC: One poster on THR used to work at a big independent bookstore (Uncle Hugo’s, Minneapolis Minn.) and he loved it and passed it onto his old boss, who also loved it. He contacted the publisher at Baen and told them they needed to publish MHI because he could sell the heck out of it. Then MHI was a hit, sold mostly to gun forumites, which got Baen’s attention. They read it, loved it, offered me a contract, and the rest is history.  ASJ: How important are firearms in your fiction? Obviously you work to get the details right, but how do you use a character’s choice of firearms to reveal something about that character? LC: The choice of a gun says a lot about a person. Are they practical? Flashy? Do they put style over substance? Or is it utilitarian and pragmatic? You can tell a lot about a character by their hardware choices. Most readers won’t get it,

but if I introduce an old guy, and he’s carrying a 30-year-old, blued S&W .357 with the checkering worn off the grips, it tells a story. ASJ: Our readers may not know, but you created the “HK: You Suck and We Hate You” concept from an article you wrote. What was the genesis of that meme and has anyone at HK ever said anything to you about it? LC: I wrote that back in 2007 after getting annoyed by a combination of HK’s customer service and rabid fan base. I didn’t expect it to become a meme. Nobody from HK ever said anything to me about it, but on the bright side, I’ve heard their service and willingness to listen to customers is supposed to be a whole lot better.   ASJ: Tell us a little about your background with firearms before you started writing.  What were your interests?  LC: I grew up hunting, mostly pest control on the farm, and loved





888-747-4332 Made in USA 195

SHOOTERS SHELF shooting. I was always fascinated by military guns, evil black rifles, and anything that would show up on the cover of Soldier of Fortune. But we were too poor to own anything too nifty. We were a big shotgun family, and the only handgun my dad owned was a Ruger Blackhawk. My first rifle was a Winchester .3030 and the first handgun I bought myself was a Ruger P91. I didn’t try competition until I was in college. I started out with IDPA, but my favorite type of competition was 3-Gun. ASJ: What did you like about 3-Gun competition specifically? LC: I loved going from run and gun with a pistol, to long-range rifle, to knocking over steel with a shotgun, all in one stage. It tended to be more physical. Many stages had an element of problem solving, like should I do it this way, or do it that


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

way? Three-Gun is never boring.   ASJ: What was your 3-Gun setup?   LC: When I started it was still the early days of 3-Gun in Utah, so I showed up with a Springfield 1911, an iron-sighted 7.62x39 Vepr K, and a Remington 870. We had guys out there running SKS and Mini14s, and nobody realized you could load more than one shell into your shotgun at a time. It was sort of learn as you go. Some of the people I started with, like Craig Outzen, have gone on to be fantastic competitors at the national level, but back then most of us were just USPSA or IDPA guys trying to figure out how to run rifles and shotguns fast. By the end I was using STI 2011s, various AR builds, and a customized Saiga 12.

a couple of years. Writing is awesome, but it is a very timeconsuming job. I also had to give up my CCW instructor certs. Most of my shooting now is low key for fun, and teaching my kids, though I’ll probably be getting back into competition because my teenagers really want to try it.   ASJ: What is your favorite gun?  LC: That’s like asking which one is my favorite kid ... I’ve got different favorites for different reasons. Like my 870 Wingmaster I’ve had since I was 12 years old. It wins just for sentimental reasons. My favorite handgun is my STI Tactical 4.15 9mm. Fantastic accuracy, recoils like a .22, holds half a box of ammo, and shoots so well it makes me look like I’ve got a clue. 

ASJ: Do you still compete? LC: I haven’t shot a match in

ASJ: What is the coolest gun you’ve ever shot?


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LC: Tough one. Working in the NFA side of the gun business I got to try a lot of cool, odd guns. I really like playing with full auto. Overall it is pretty hard to beat an M2 Browning Machine Gun for sheer cool factor. ASJ: As an outsider looking into your Mormon culture, it seems to me that you have a more positive view of firearms ownership than other cultures. Is that truly the case? LC: I can’t speak for my church, and I’m sure out of 13 million people we’ve got plenty who don’t like guns, but overall, Mormons tend to be very pro-gun. First, we believe the Constitution to be divinely inspired. Second, look at our history. We’re talking about a group of people who were driven from their homes, while the state either failed to protect them, or actively joined in the attacks. Then they walked to the middle of nowhere to be left alone, built a society out of nothing, and had nobody to rely on but themselves. That self-reliant Western spirit goes hand in hand with gun ownership. ASJ: There’s a lot of discussion about “Gun Culture 2.0” with more women and minorities getting into shooting. Did your experiences as a gun shop owner and instructor reflect that? LC: Yes. Anti-gunners try to portray gun owners as being all straight, white, males, but that’s nonsense. It is just a lame attempt to divide us. The Second Amendment is for everyone. My CCW classes were filled with people from all walks of life, united in their desire to protect themselves and their families.  Editor’s note: For more information about Larry Correia and his growing library of action-packed titles, visit his site


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

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An all-time favorite at breakfast time, fresh maple sausage is a highly seasoned type of pork sausage. For wild game and domestic meats, Michlitch’s new Maple Sausage Seasoning is a delicious change to the normal sausage. Savory maple breakfast sausage patties are a cinch to make at home. They have a hint of maple sweetness with just the right balance of crushed red pepper and spices to get your attention. Michlitch makes it simple with their easy-to-follow instructions on every package. Try this great sausage seasoning blend and you’ll never want to buy breakfast sausage from a store again.


Raahauge’s Hunting Club is a full-service, family-owned and -operated day-hunt club, and has been at the same Southern California location since 2002. They have a 17-station sporting clay course, and also feature pheasant and chukar hunting. Raahauge’s offers a wide variety of great deals, and is open every day. They welcome you to come join the fun the next time you are in the area. 201






Rocky Mountain Elk Ranch is a private hunting ranch in the mountains of southeast Idaho, near Jackson Hole, Wyo. The lodge features spectacular views, and the ranch offers hunts for elk, buffalo and Texas dall sheep. Hunts are three days, 100 percent guaranteed, and nonhunting guests stay free. No license or tags are required.

Ayakulik Adventures offers six-day guided salmon fly-fishing, bear viewing and nature hiking excursions along the remote Ayakulik River, Kodiak Island, Alaska. Their comfortable lodging and professional guide service provide the best river fishing and bear viewing in Alaska, with over 25 years of experience.



The Safari Club International Foundation’s American Wilderness Leadership School (AWLS) in Jackson, Wyo., offers hands-on lessons for educators focused around the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, as well as engaging take-home lessons on conservation education that have been integrated into K-12 math, science, language arts, social studies and physical education.

Adventure Hunts is known worldwide for their unique hunting and fishing adventures, and specialize in African destinations, offering “Safari Specials” unique cost-saving trophy hunting packages for the first-timer to the collector. Looking for big Cape buffalo or leopard or other big five species? “Safari” is Swahili for “journey, expedition” and now “your next adventure.” - Both #3974 203





Timberline’s objective is to produce a camp that will be around for generations. Manufactured to have not only great eye appeal but, more importantly, to withstand the rigors of everyday use, the Timberline Range Camp will bring you and your family years of enjoyment, and the satisfaction of knowing you own the best.


Don’t miss Homer Ocean Charters, offering premier fishing since 1979. Full-day, multiday, single-species and multispecies combinations are available. It’s halibut, salmon, rockfish fishing at its best, with a variety of boat options. Sitka blacktail deer and black bear hunting charters are also available.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017 205



On any continent, the Barnes LRX offers hunters eye-opening accuracy potential and deep penetration at long distance. STORY AND PHOTOS BY PHIL MASSARO

The first Mozambican reedbuck taken by the author with the .30-caliber Barnes LRX.

ow far?” The two simple words said much more than they implied. First, both Poen van Zyl and I clearly understood we each knew which of the reedbuck rams were to be killed, and second, it was down to a matter of the mathematics involved in taking him cleanly. Based on my professional hunter’s momentary silence, I responded with a brief question of my own. “One-fifty?” “Just hold on the point of the shoulder, and squeeze the trigger.” Poen van Zyl may have thought in Afrikaans, but knew how to guide a visiting sportsman in English. The Schmidt & Bender’s crosshairs quickly settled on the ram’s shoulder, and I broke the trigger of the Heym SR30 like you’d snap an icicle in two. Even through the recoil, I could see the lean reedbuck fold and collapse to its death; the .300 Winchester Magnum had once again done its job, as it had on so many other African species. Though the rifle and optic were new to me, the cartridge and bullet were not; I have come to love the .300 Winchester Magnum, and the Barnes LRX is among the best projectiles the company has ever produced. Barnes Bullets – the success story of Randy and Coni Brooks – has

H 207

bullet bulletin n its roots in the brainchild of Fred Barnes, who saw the need for quality softpoints in a number of different calibers. Fred had a limited success, but his name surely carried on, defining a trend in modern bullet construction that is equal parts revolutionary and genius. I am on the young end of the gunwriter age spectrum, but at 45 years old I am also wise enough to know whom to contact for the story. Randy Brooks and I have had more than one conversation, albeit via telephone, regarding the roots of his company and the development of the Barnes X bullet. As the famous story goes – and as it was related to me directly – the good Mr. Brooks was glassing for Alaskan bears when the impetus for a genre of projectiles popped into his head. “If the lead core is an issue with bullet separation, why not take the lead out?” And thus the


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

The Barnes LRX bullet is available in 6.5mm, .270, 7mm, .30 and .338 calibers. (BARNES)

Barnes X monometal softpoint was born. And while that bullet gave me equal parts exhilaration and fits

of mania, I loved the design. Being an all-copper bullet, the Barnes X was designed to expand into four

bullet bulletin petals, giving a devastating balance of expansion and penetration. The original design had some issues with accuracy and copper fouling, but that was all rectified with the release of the Barnes TSX – or Triple Shock X – bullet, which has three large grooves on the bearing surface to reduce fouling and improve accuracy. The TSX, and its tipped counterpart, the TTSX, both serve most hunting scenarios perfectly, the LRX – or Long Range X bullet – has a sleeker profile and higher ballistic coefficient, to retain as much energy as possible downrange, and keep the trajectories flat. The LRX retains the royal blue polymer tip of the TTSX, but the ogive is engineered for the best downrange performance, and will indeed show the benefits over the flat base spitzers out past 250 or 275 yards. The LRX, like all Barnes bullets, are praised and noted for their

(Above) The 175-grain Barnes LRX worked very well in the .300 Winchester Magnum and .30 Nosler. (Left) The Barnes LRX, original and after expansion.

Building 1/2MOA Tactical and Benchrest 50BMG rifles 210

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

COWBOY .25 .32 .38 .38 .38 .38-40 .44-40 .45LC .45LC .458

85 GR. 78 GR. 120 GR. 125 GR. 130 GR. 180 GR. 180 GR. 160 GR. 200 GR. 350 GR.

RNFP/500 RNFP/500 TC/500 RNFP/500 RNFP/500 RNFP/500 RNFP/500 RNFP/500 RNFP/500 RNFP/100

$28.00 $25.00 $32.00 $33.00 $34.00 $42.00 $42.00 $44.00 $44.50 $26.00

STANDARD .32KEITH .380 9MM 9MM .38 .38 .40 .45ACP .45ACP .45LC .38

125 GR. 95 GR. 115 GR. 125 GR. 148 GR. 158 GR. 180 GR. 200 GR. 230 GR. 255 GR. 148 GR.

SWC/500 RN/500 RN/500 RN/500 DEWC/500 SWC/600 RNFP/500 SWC/500 RN/500 SWC/500 WC/500

$46.00 $30.00 $31.50 $33.00 $34.50 $44.00 $41.00 $44.50 $47.00 $55.00 $40.00

GAS-CHECK .38 .357 .41 .44 .44 .44 .45LC .45LC .458 .500

158 GR. 180 GR. 230 GR. 240 GR. 240 GR. 305 GR. 260 GR. 325 GR. 430 GR. 440 GR.

SWC-HP/100 LBT-WFN/100 SWC/100 SWC-HP/100 SWC/100 LBT-WFN/100 SWC-HP/100 LBT-LWN/100 LBT-LWN/40 LBT-WFN/100

$25.00 $28.00 $32.00 $38.00 $38.00 $45.00 $41.00 $41.00 $24.00 $61.00



This is a good cross reference of the bullets we offer. We have about 144 set of molds with new molds coming. Sixteen employees working 10 hr. a day shifts 4 days a week with 12 casters, 7 auto lubers, and 12 VWDUOXEHUVJDVFKHFNLQJHYHU\GD\:HKDYHEXOOHWVPDGHZLWK¿YHGLIferent alloys that we order in 40,000 - 60,000 lbs at a time a mixed per our set alloys. Prices subject to change without notice.

Phone Orders Taken Monday-Thursday 8am-5pm MST

Trust Hammer Bullets for superior accuracy and better big game terminal performance. Satisfaction Guaranteed or your money back.

406-261-0010 | 211

bullet bulletin The Heym SR30 HPPR and a reedbuck taken with the Barnes LRX. (Inset, below) With a steep boat tail, polymer tip and sleek ogive, the Barnes LRX makes a great long-range hunting bullet.

weight retention, as the monometal construction prevents any jacket separation – because there is no jacket – but it’s the accuracy potential of the LRX that truly opened my eyes. I’ve loaded this bullet in several different cartridges – with the best results coming from the .30-caliber magnums – and all of the accuracy has been more than acceptable. But it seems that the 175-grain .30-caliber LRX has garnered a special place in my heart. While testing the new .30 Nosler, I utilized a number of bullets – bullets that have, in the past, produced fantastic results – but the best performer by far was the 175-grain LRX. Delivering ½ minute-of-angle accuracy and velocities on par with 212

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

the .300 Weatherby, I know this combination could easily handle everything in North America, and 90 percent of the African species. In the Heym SR30 HPPR – the straight pull, High Performance Precision Rifle – it easily prints ½ to ¾ MOA five-shot groups using handloaded Barnes 175-grain LRX bullets. For the record, that reedbuck didn’t stand a chance; the shot went exactly where I intended it to, and the buck fell as if the very hand of God struck him. Two more of his kin did the same, at ranges from 125 to 250 yards, and I couldn’t recover any of the bullets; the LRX gave excellent penetration. The Barnes LRX and that Heym SR30 kept the Mozambican village of Peau well fed.

BARNES LRX SPECIFICATIONS: Diameter: Weight: Length: S.D: B.C: Box count: Twist:

.308 175 grains 1.472 inches 0.264 0.508 50 1:11 inches

If you appreciate the performance of the Barnes bullets – more than 90 percent weight retention and deep, deep penetration – combined with the best accuracy of the lot, try some LRXs and I’ll bet you’ll be happy. They’re available in 6.5mm, .270, 7mm, .30 and .338 calibers.  213

and Ammunition Pistol Bullets and

Zero Bullet Company, Inc.



P.O. Box 1188 Cullman, AL 35056 Tel: 256-739-1606 Fax: 256-739-4683

Toll Free: 800-545-9376

American Shooting Journal // April 2017





Each of ICC’s rounds is designed and manufactured with the shooter in mind, creating a benchmark in ammunition quality, reliability, and performance. The ammunition is created with the highest of standards and boasts the use of only the best components. Training and duty rounds share important qualities that have similar results when fired. Those common characteristics give the shooter confidence in the ammunition they depend on and enable a seamless transition from the range to duty.

NOSLER, INC. – Booth #1631 Nosler announces the release of the 22 Nosler, a new cartridge designed to transform any standard AR-15 into the fastest, most powerful .22 caliber available for the platform, with the least amount of modification. The new addition to Nosler’s cartridge family delivers 30 percent more energy, and is nearly 300 feet per second faster than a .223 Remington/5.56 NATO.


In 2016, Black Hills introduced nonexpanding pistol bullets with cutting edges and deep flutes that outperform hollow points. Developed with Lehigh Defense, this season they’ve added the HoneyBadger 9mm 125 grain and .45 ACP 135 grain for the ultimate in self-defense, plus HoneyBadger .44 Magnum 160 grain for hunting four-legged predators.


Originally made for the Mexican military and law enforcement, this hard-hitting 9mm Luger 124-grain FMJ round is now available to civilian shooters. It’s engineered so the crimp on the casing reduces potential for set-back of the projectile. This round is perfect for home defense and tactical scenarios, right down to target shooting. Pack more punch with Aguila Ammunition.

TULAMMO, USA – Booth #2223 You can trust TulAmmo to deliver superior ballistics, consistent velocities, and impressive retained energies downrange. With an unmatched valueto-performance ratio, all TulAmmo rifle cartridges are steel cased, zinc jacketed, noncorrosive and Berdan primed, with a phosphate polymer coating and a lead-core bullet. 215 americanshooting





Shell Shock Technologies develops and manufactures innovative case technologies for the ammunition industry. Shell Shock’s NAS cases are 50 percent

lighter than brass, give more consistent round-toround performance and can be picked up with a magnet. Nine mm Luger cases are immediately available, and 5.56mm cases will be available soon. More calibers will be coming later in 2017.


21st Century Shooting is proud to offer their calibrated bullet seater die. The body of the die is built like a micrometer with half-thousandth, or .0005, increments. The seater stem is machined per customers’ bullet ojive. Notice in the photo above how the bullet is contained in the seater stem? There is about ¼ inch of ojive contact, making it possible to hold overall length to half thousands. Each seater die is machined to order, so customers must send three bullets and three pieces of sized brass along with their order.


Zero Bullet has manufactured jacketed handgun bullets for 52 years. Team Zero member Kevin Angstadt won the Bianchi Cup in 2014 using their p No. 136 9mm 125-grain JHP Competition bullet. Kim Beckwith has won multiple High Senior awards at the Bianchi Cup using nition. Zero’s .38 Super ammunition. Team Zero won the National ional Pistol Championship andd the Pistol 4-Man Team Championship four timess at Camp Perry using the e No. 187 .45 185-grain JHP HP bullet, as well as the .45 on. 185-grain JHP ammunition.


Redding Reloading Equipment has expanded their offerings of premium die sets with the addition of the 6mm Creedmoor, a very popular new cartridge since the 2017 SHOT Show in Las

Vegas. The Premium Die Set is a new offering which includes a carbide expander button and a micrometer adjusting seat stem and is packaged in a distinctive black-and-gold box. 217




NECO NECO concentricity gauge and cartridge alignment tool combo kit is the ultimate cartridge accurizing system. You can measure case curvature, case wall thickness and variations, neck thickness and variations, case head squareness and total runout. Then you can correct runout without changing neck tension or deforming bullets. Eliminate as many variables as possible with the kit.


Rim Rock Bullets’ new gas-checked .309 125-grain RNFP bullet was designed with the .30-caliber carbine in mind. This accurate bullet is good in any .30-caliber cartridge kept under 2,600 feet per second. It’s also available in larger sizes, .310 to .312, and sold per hundred in a plastic ammo box.


Hammer Bullets are custom turned on a CNC lathe, using only the highest-quality solid copper appropriate for the desired result. Each bullet is weighed and measured with a micrometer as it is produced. The result is an incredibly consistent product with unparalleled quality control. Hammer Bullets are available for both target shooting and hunting applications. They can quickly produce virtually any custom caliber and grain your rifle can support. The hollowpoint design, intended for big-game hunting applications, initiates expansion upon impact, shedding petals immediately, with the remainder of the bullet staying intact with a blunt front for optimal wound channel. The bearing surface of the bullet incorporates the patented PDR design (parabolic drag reduction). A continuous up and down curve, from the shoulder to the boat tail, reduces friction in the bore, which equates to decreased pressure and the ability to achieve higher velocities. The PDR design on the bearing surface has proven to be very consistent and forgiving for the hand loader. Seating depth adjustment for accuracy has been unnecessary, making for much less time spent creating an effective load. Load development is as easy as shooting for velocity and then confirming point of impact.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017


High Tensile Nickel-Alloy Cylinder

• Less wear on ejector pin • Can be color coded for ID/branding

• 2 x pressure rating (over 70k PSI) • Higher tensile strength and elasticity • Corrosion resistant • Reloadable using S3 Reload dies









STARLINE BRASS – Booth #3060 The .338 Federal, the newest brass release by Starline, achieves the same muzzle energy as some magnum calibers, but with less recoil. It fits in standard-length short-action rifles and AR-10s without sacrificing magazine capacity. It hits harder than the .308 Win., and shoots flatter than the .358 Win., making it an excellent choice for a close to midrange hunting caliber. Starline’s new .338 Federal rifle brass is American made with the same rigorous quality-control standards as the superior quality handgun brass Starline has become known for. Starline will also add several new rifle calibers to their expanding product line in April. These include .223 Rem, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor and .300 Blackout. Starline stands behind their quality brass cartridge cases with a 100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee. To stay up-to-date with Starline’s new caliber releases and to order from over 80 calibers factory direct online, visit the company’s website, above.

GUNTAP Make your fired brass cartridges look better than new using Guntap’s Stainless Steel Tumbling Media. Used in a rotary tumbler, the magnetic 302/304 stainless-steel pins will make your brass bright and shiny inside and out, including the flash holes and primer pockets, but will not get jammed in your cartridges.


After two years of R&D with Alexander Arms, Rainier Ballistics recently released the industry’s first dedicated subsonic .300 Blackout bullet, called “The Wedge.” It comes in FMJ and HP, and is lighter at only 180 grains. This is a bullet that is good for hunting small game and target shooting.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017




SIERRA BULLETS – Booth #2442 Sierra Bullets is proud to introduce a new addition to the legendary MatchKing line. Shooters around the world will appreciate the accuracy and extreme long-range performance of their new 7mm 197-grain HPBT. A sleek .27-caliber elongated ogive and a final meplatreducing operation (pointing) provide an increased ballistic coefficient for optimal wind

resistance and velocity retention. To ensure precise bullet to bore alignment, a unique bearing surface to ogive junction uses the same 1.5-degree angle commonly found in many match rifle chamber throats. This bullet requires a twist rate of 1 in 7.5 or faster to stabilize. The new bullets will be available in boxes of 500 with an MSRP of $264.21, and in boxes of 100 bullets with an MSRP of $54.20.


The Ultimate Cartridge Check System affords reloaders optimum accuracy regarding precision case preparation with 14 functions: case length, overall cartridge length, case neck total indicated runout (TIR), bullet TIR in loaded ammunition, primer seating depth, case wall thickness, case head separation, case rim TIR, extraction groove TIR, and bullet ogive. Optional accessories are needed to measure bullet meplat uniformity, loaded cartridge bullet ogive, case shoulder bump, and rimmed case headspace. This system eliminates purchasing several devices. The system comes with a money-back guarantee, and the MSRP is $89.95.


Magnum handguns have always been plagued by excessive muzzle flash, but there is a solution, thanks to Western Powders. New for 2017, Accurate No. 11FS uses advanced flash suppressants to limit muzzle signature by up to 90 percent. It features a burn rate optimized for the .300 Blackout.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017


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Pushing Daisies Patches are the newest innovation in muzzleloading. The concept of the patch is to force the material to fold above the ball rather than along the side, which causes uneven pressure against the rifling and lans. The new design results in a better fitting ball, easy loading and more consistent accuracy. These patches are available dry or lubed with Bumblin Bear Grease.


Specialists in blackpowder, Schuetzen is highly regarded among reenactors, buckskinners and competitors, and the company also supplies Swiss Black Powder for everything from fine 4Fg and 0B priming powder to powders for cannons and mortars. Schuetzen blackpowder is manufactured by WANO Schwarzpulver GmbH in granulations ranging from 1Fg to 3Fg, and Reenactor powders for blanks. Swiss blackpowder is found in many a horn and flask, and it is produced in small batches with charcoal from buckthorn alder.

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The author gives a hearty ‘thumbs up’ to a leather rifle cover and a one-pass bore-wiping accessory. STORY AND PHOTOS BY MIKE NESBITT

The author’s Model 1874 Sharps with the 32-inch barrel rests on the new rifle leather cover from October Country.

n a recent conversation with October Country owner John Maciosek we discussed rifle covers. (Editor’s note: the northern Idaho-based muzzleloading supply company was featured, ironically enough, in our October 2016 issue.) The company makes and sells some very nice canvas-lined blanket rifle covers and leather rifle models. I asked how long they’d been making the leather versions, and John told me they had made the cover that was used in Quigley Down Under, a film which may be best known outside of black powder shooting circles because it starred Tom Selleck. That outstanding bit of information was inducement enough. I quickly decided that I needed one for my .44-90 from C. Sharps Arms, which has a 32-inch barrel. John told me their Buffalo Runner’s rifle cover would do the trick, and the dark chocolate brown-colored one he offered was just fine with me as well. After those technicalities were taken care of it was only a short wait until


the brand-new leather rifle cover arrived in the mail. IN WHAT SEEMED LIKE A MATTER of days, my .44-90 was wearing its new cover and, let me add, quite comfortably too. It is just a bit wider than it needed to be, but that is so rifles with larger front sights than mine can fit into these rifle covers just as easily. The length of the gun cover is just fine with only a little extra, and the end of the cover is folded back over the stock and tied in place. No buckles or rivets are used. My rifle fit so well we could say it looked like this rifle cover was made for it. Of course, my purchase necessitated another viewing of Quigley Down Under, with special attention being given to the scenes where the rifle cover was shown. The cover made for the movie does have some little differences, which were mainly ornamental. There are some symbols marked or branded onto the leather and the fringe is attached with a lacing instead of being sewn in. But the similarities shared by this new

leather rifle cover and the one in the movie far outweigh the differences. Like the “big screen” cover, these are made with one piece of leather, plus the leather for the fringe. I like this new cover, and since this one will do a lot of traveling with my .44-90, I’m going to wear the “new” right off of it sooner than later. It will also be used rolled up as extra padding under the rifle’s barrel when that gun is being fired from a benchrest. If you’re interested in an October Country Buffalo Runner’s rifle cover of your own, you can find it on their website ( They describe it as made out of oil-tanned chocolate brown leather with the suede (fuzzy) side out and made with matching narrow fringe. Their rifle covers are made in two sizes; the shorter size fits rifles with 26- to 28-inch barrels, or rifles with a total length of 46 inches or less. The longer size is for rifles with 30- to 34-inch barrels, or rifles with a total length of up to 52 inches. Custom sizing is available. Prices for the chocolate brown gun covers are $125 227

BLACK POWDER for the shorter one and $135 for the longer gun cover. NEXT, I WANT TO TELL YOU about Texas Bore Pigs, a “one-pass” bore-wiping accessory to clean out black powder fouling between shots. But before I get ahead of myself, some background is in order. I first learned about these during a conversation with Rick Morrill at The 310 Shop. From him, I discovered that the Texas Bore Pigs are bore-size specific, but are made for a wide variety of calibers, including .35, .38, .40, .45, and .50. However, although they are not made for .44s, Rick insisted “a set of pigs for a .45 should work very well through your .44, just a wee bit tighter.” Soon after that conversation, I received a set of 15 pigs made for the .45s, and almost just as soon they were being squeezed through my .44-90. These products use a bristle brush (bronze or nylon) at the front,


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

Here is a close-up of a Texas Bore Pig, a good one-pass cleaning accessory.

followed by a bristly absorbent section, which is then followed by a leather disc. I’m sure Rick used more descriptive names for those parts of his pigs, so let’s just say that my terms are descriptive and not actual nomenclature. Each of those parts is mounted to the twisted wire of the

bristle brush, so the pigs are actually one-piece items. Each set of 15 “pigs” comes with a clear and logical set of instructions, which I’ll highlight here. First, you place the new pigs in plain water to soak briefly and drain the water off just before going to the firing line. 229


This five-shot group was fired while using Bore Pigs between shots. It’s tough to argue with results such as these.


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

After firing that first shot with your rifle, shake any excess water off of the pig and insert it with bristles forward into the chamber of the rifle. Push the pig through the bore with a rod and be sure the pig exits the muzzle. Remove the rod, and you are ready to chamber and fire another round. Between targets or shooting relays, soak the dirty pigs in clean water again, drain the water off, and simply start over. After your shooting session, clean the pigs with soapy water, rinse, and set out to dry. I followed those instructions almost to the letter. One tiny difference is that sometimes I soak the pigs in a bore-wiping solution made of Windex and vinegar mixed with water (about four parts water to one part Windex). For a rod, I’m currently using a 48-inch wooden dowel, because I found that my standard cleaning rod was not long enough. Also, take my advice and be sure your rifle’s tang sight is folded all the way down, or your hand pushing on the back of the rod will likely encounter the top of the sight, perhaps in an uncomfortable way. Since I began using the bore pigs during my sessions, my shooting has certainly improved, making these items very easy to recommend. For my testing, I shot my .44-90 Sharps from a bench rest with targets posted at 100 yards. When I began using the pigs in practice, I noticed my groups tightening from the very start. As of this writing, I’ve used the pigs only one time in competition. It was in an Old West Centerfires match with targets placed at 100 and 200 yards, shot over cross-sticks, and I can proudly brag about placing second. I’ll definitely be using these pigs again, probably as standard doin’s with my .44-90. Getting a set of your own Texas Bore Pigs isn’t hard at all. Simply contact Rick Morrill at The 310 Shop ( Each set of fifteen pigs is priced at $65, plus $3 for postage.  231



+ Outdoor news and hot topics covering fishing, hunting, conservation, shooting sports & more! + Guide and outfitter tips + Celebrity and personality interviews + Outdoor destinations you have got to visit! + New product reviews + Find out about poachers, politicians and more who are walking the “Trail of Shame” OREGON Astoria Baker City Bend

KVAS 103.9 KBKR 1450 KBND 1110 KBND 100.1 Burns KBNH 1230 Eugene KPNW 1120 Enterprise KWVR 1340 KWVR 92.1 Klamath Falls KAGO 1150 La Grande KLBM 1490 Portland/Hillsboro KUIK 1360 IDAHO St. Maries

KOFE 1240

TENNESSEE Johnson City/Erwin WEMB 1420



John Kruse is a Northwest native and veteran outdoors radio broadcaster, book author, and writer. He is not only a passionate angler, hunter, hiker and conservationist, but has also completed 30 years of service and leadership in the U.S. Army and in law enforcement, which gives him a great deal of knowledge about firearms as well as military and police operations. These skills make him the perfect host for America Outdoors Radio, the show focusing on fishing, hunting and the shooting sports!

WASHINGTON Aberdeen KXRO 1320 KXRO 101.7 Ellensburg KXLE AM 1240 Everett/Seattle KRKO 1380 KRKO 95.3 Fox Sports 1380 KRKO is the “flagship” Seattle-area station and the exclusive live streaming site for the show.

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MONTANA Anaconda/Butte

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Go to or for show dates and times. Podcasts available at





Do you have a shotgun with a stock that needs work? Gun Vault on Fox Hill can help. They offer the following services to the highest “London” standards: replacement stocks and fore ends, repair and refinishing of damaged or broken stocks, stock setting to alter cast or drop, checkering, leather-covered butt pads, and many more.

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Iosso’s Bore Cleaning System has been trusted by benchrest competitors and other exacting shooters for decades. PHOTOS BY IOSSO

osso has been manufacturing quality cleaning products for over 34 years. We caught up with Marianne Iosso to learn more.


American Shooting Journal: What do shooters like best about Iosso? Marianne Iosso: Our Bore Cleaner works exceptionally well to remove the carbon burn, which is the most difficult type of fouling to remove in any type of gun. They also like the fact that they don’t need to use several types of solvents to clean the lead, copper and powder fouling. It’s great for people with allergies or intolerance to chemicals in that they can actually clean their guns in the house. This is because our products have no odor. ASJ: Tell us about the cleaning process. MI: The Iosso Bore Cleaning System consists of the Bore Cleaner, Triple Action Oil, and the Premium Eliminator Brushes. The cleaner itself is a concentrated paste formula. It reduces cleaning time and results in a cleaner bore than from using ordinary solvents. It removes copper, lead, powder fouling, plastic wad residue, surface rust, and the carbon burn, which occurs at the neck portion of the chamber. This paste formula cannot spill or run into wood stocks, grips or mechanisms, therefore eliminating the potential for chemical damage. This biobased formula is 234

American Shooting Journal // April 2017

made from plant extracts. There are no petroleum distillates. While keeping our environment healthy, it is also safer for the user, in that it is odorless. Our Triple Action Oil is a penetrating oil, which loosens powder, carbon and plastic wad. It is an excellent lubricant for parts and inhibits corrosion. It is also biobased. The premium brushes are made with a nylon composite fiber, which is cobalt blue so it can’t be mistaken for any other type of brush. The brush fiber is very stiff and thick, so it holds its shape well and lasts eight to 10 times longer than traditional brushes. They are also sized properly, eliminating the need to wrap patches around them. Of course, it is important to use the bore cleaner sparingly. First, apply the Triple Action solution on a patch and run through the bore. Next, apply the bore cleaner sparingly to an Eliminator brush. Run through the bore eight to 10 times, and then follow with clean dry patches until one remains clean. Lastly, moisten a patch with the Triple Action solution and run through the bore for a final finish. ASJ: Some claim bore paste can damage a gun’s bore. Is that possible? MI: No, it is not possible to damage even the finest of barrels with the Iosso Bore Cleaner. It works chemically but safely. It does have a mild abrasive that will not scratch or wear down lands and grooves

of even the finest barrels. It cannot be compared to other types of paste cleaners because the chemical process and the abrasives used are much different. It is also nonembedding. ASJ: What else should we know? MI: Our bore cleaner was developed specifically to clean gun bores. All of our initial testing involved benchrest shooters, since they are perfectionists regarding their guns and bullets. The bore cleaner was tested and is still used by some of the largest names in the benchrest community. Tony Boyer, a legendary benchrest hall-of-fame shooter, has won more national and world-class titles than any other shooter in history. He says this about our products: “I especially appreciate the way the Iosso Bore Cleaner removes the carbon burn. The first thing I do is take an Iosso brush, put some Iosso Bore Cleaner on it and short-stroke it in and out for the first 8 inches of my barrel. I do this to get any carbon fouling out of the barrel. I also use that brush and the Iosso on the front of the chamber. The carbon will gather right there and, if allowed to build up, will eventually put pressure on the front of the neck where it grips the bullet. Iosso is the only product I rely on for a tough cleaning job.”  For more information about Iosso Products, visit 235


American Shooting Journal // April 2017

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