Firearms Journal May - June 2011
Fully Committed On All Fronts:
Canadaâ€™s National Firearms Association www.nfa.ca
May - June
Greetings from Head Office A MAJORITY Conservative Government! What a great year 2011 is turning out to be!
most pressing issues now facing our community and where we are to go from here in light of recent events.
On behalf of the gang here at HQ, many thanks to all the dedicated members who worked so hard to make this dream a reality.
In the meantime, please keep the phone calls, letters and E-mails, coming as we love to hear from you. Your feedback is important to us, and helps us serve you better.
Your generous donations of time and money have helped provide us with the resources needed in the days ahead to successfully lobby our new government. It has been a long time coming, but we are now on the cusp of finally seeing substantive reform of our gun laws. The first, since the Liberals much reviled C-68 Firearms Act was imposed on our firearms community in 1995. We still have much work to. Please be sure to read Sheldon and Blairâ€™s columns for their review of the
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Please note, that as a result of the federal election, our AGM scheduled for this spring has been rescheduled. Mark your calendar for this yearâ€™s AGM to be held on August 13, 2011. More details to follow. Keep checking www.nfa.ca or call toll free: 1-877-818-0393 for updates. Have fun and be safe. Bev, Megan, Ted & Diane
Inside This Issue
From the Editor’s Desk ...................................................4 Sean G. Penney
From The NFA Bookshelf – The Muzzle-Loading Cap Lock Rifle...................................5 Wm. R. Rantz
President’s Message – Political Control & Follow-Through............................... 6 -7 Sheldon Clare
On The Cover
Vice President’s Column – The Case for a Conservative Firearms Act...................... 8- 9 Blair Hagen
Canadians are privileged to enjoy a multitude of fantastic hunting and shooting opportunities if we choose to take advantage of them. Introducing kids properly to the shooting sports is critical to the future of our recreational firearms community. A spring turkey hunt is an ideal avenue for young shooters to gain experience and to learn from their more seasoned mentors. Pictured on our cover is hunting guide Luke Schreders (left) with his very successful client, Collin Burrell. Collin recently harvested his very first wild turkey. An impressive feat for any young hunter, as the turkey is considered by many to be one of the wariest and most difficult of game birds to hunt. Collin demonstrated great poise and maturity under pressure and was rewarded with the lovely bird displayed above. He was able to join the ranks of successful Canadian hunters thanks to the support and encouragement of his step-dad. You can read more about Collin’s adventure in our featured cover article, “Loaded for Turkey,” written by one very proud parent and new Canadian Firearms Journal contributor, Jeff Helsdon.
The Rebellion of ‘85..................................................... 12-13 Gary K. Kangas & Branko Diklitch
Politics & Guns Grassroots Activism....................... 14-16 Tyler Vance
Team NFA Update.................................................... 17-19 Grayson Penney
Legal Corner............................................................... 26-27 Grayson Penney
The Gunsmith’s Bench – Building the Home Gunsmith’s Library....................... 36-38 Sean G. Penney
The International Front – What Multiple Person Shootings Teach Us.................. 39-41 Gary Mauser
Old West Armoury – Wild Bill Part II................... ..42-43 Jesse L. “Wolf” Hardin
Cover: Jeff Helsdon photo.
Preserving Our Firearms Heritage –
Members Soapbox – . ............................................. 44-46 Jon McCormick
Canada’s National Firearms Association exists to promote, support and protect all safe firearms activities, including the right of self defence; firearms education for all Canadians; freedom and justice for Canada’s firearms community, and to advocate for legislative change to ensure the right of all Canadians to own and use firearms is protected.
Loaded for Turkey...................................................... 20-22 Jeff Helsdon
Reloading Fundamentals............................................. 23-25 Charles Schafer
Improving an Icon - The AIA Story.......................... 28-32 Darrell Hartwick
The contents of the Canadian Firearms Journal are copyrighted and may be reproduced only when written permission is The Bullard Repeating Arms Company................... 33-35 G. Scott Jamieson obtained from the publisher. www.nfa.ca
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From The Editor’s Desk Welcome to another edition of the Canadian Firearms Journal. It has been a crazy couple of months. The Conservatives pulled off a stunning upset and we now have a relatively strong and stable Harper Government in Ottawa. Well done all! In this issue, we welcome three new contributors. The first is Jeff Helsdon, a talented outdoor writer most likely already familiar to many of you. His article, “Loaded for Turkey” is sure to become a reader favourite, especially the turkey hunters out there. Our second addition is Darrell Hartwick, who brings us the story of Australian International Arms and their reinvention of the classic Lee-Enfield rifle. After reading his article, I found myself itching to pick up a new Model M10-A1 myself! Read the story and you’ll see what I mean! Our third new recruit is G. Scott Jamieson. If some of you are thinking the name is familiar, it should be, as our own Bill Rantz reviewed one of his books in our last issue. The response was so great that we invited Mr. Jamieson to contribute a full article on his favourite firearm, the Bullard Rifle, and the company that created it. We hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did. Of course, our regulars are back. Bill Rantz returns with his review of The MuzzleLoading Cap-Lock Rifle by Ned Roberts. Gary Kangas and Branko Diklitch offer up another serving of our Firearms Heritage with their take on the Riel Rebellion and the actions of the NWMP during the fracas. Perennial favourite Tyler Vance is also back, with Politics & Guns; this time looking at the power of grassroots activism in our recent federal election
and the defeat of much disliked, and now former anti-gun crusader and Liberal MP, Mark Holland. Always a fan favourite, Jesse Hardin returns to share with us his own unique voice and take on the American West, the larger-than-life personalities that filled it, and the tools of their trade, in Part II of “Wild Bill.” Our good friend Charles Schafer also returns with a unique viewpoint for new and potential handloaders to consider, as he only recently became a handloader himself. Charles was lucky enough to attend a dedicated reloading workshop, sponsored by the Atlantic Marksmen Association, and was kind enough to share his experience and enthusiasm for his new hobby. My co-editor, Grayson, contributes his regular TEAM NFA Update and takes another look at the perennially confusing subject of maximum magazine capacity in Legal Corner. Due to space limitations, the Last Word will return next issue. We’re pleased, as well, to offer up another update from The International Front, with Gary Mauser’s take on the issue of “berserker” style mass-shootings in Europe and South America. These types of tragedies are not limited to America or Canada and the problem of preventing and/ or minimizing them remain remarkably universal; definitely one contribution to consider carefully.
of Chiefs of Police now trying to convince the Harper Government to preserve the current registry, albeit it in “paperless” form, this is a debate that needs to be hashed-out once and for all. Finally, I weigh in with my recommendations for shooters looking to start their own gunsmithing library in The Gunsmith’s Bench. I cover some of the classic volumes on the subject, along with some of the more useful of the modern offerings. Drop me a line if there is a volume you think I should’ve included. For those who may be wondering, my regular feature, Made Right Here has been bumped for this issue due to space limitations. Look for its return in our July-August issue where I review some of the innovative offerings being brought to market by NEIT Arms. Bob Shell and I will also be back next issue with our final instalment dealing with the small arms of World War I. We hope that you enjoy this issue and please keep the letters and E-mails coming. Note: Our computer specialist informs me that my anti-virus program may have been a little “too effective” in filtering reader’s E-mails, so I would ask that when you send your messages to me at Sean@nfa.ca that you also CC me at email@example.com to ensure that I actually get your E-mail. Many Thanks!
In this issue we also have past contributor Jon McCormick climbing back up on The NFA Soapbox to re-examine the issue of community safety and the firearms registry. With the Canadian Association
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NFA Book Shelf
THE MUZZLE-LOADING CAP LOCK RIFLE Author: Ned H. Roberts
Originally privately published in 1940 Currently Reprinted by Stackpole Books ISBN: 978-0-8117-0517-2 Hardcover: 9 x 11, no dust cover 308 pages Black and white photographs
Ned H. Roberts was born in 1866. On his ninth birthday his Uncle Alvaro presented him with a small percussion lock muzzle-loading rifle. Over the next few years Alvaro taught his nephew how to properly load, shoot and care for this rifle. Roberts’ love of firearms and the shooting sports was firmly established and remained a significant part of his life until he passed away in 1946 at the age of 78. While most well known for the .257 Roberts cartridge which he developed, Ned Roberts was highly respected by shooters of the day for his knowledge of muzzleloading percussion cap rifles. He was encouraged by these same riflemen to write a book which would both share and preserve his knowledge for future generations.
Actual targets from events are reproduced which confirm the ability of both the rifles and early marksmen to shoot 10 shot groups with remarkable accuracy. Perhaps Roberts included these targets as a challenge to enthusiasts who would shoot percussion rifles years later. The Muzzle-Loading Cap Lock Rifle will appeal to anyone with a love of old firearms. The avid shooter of any percussion rifle will find this book a most valuable source of information which should help tighten those groups at long distances. Historians and gun collectors will gain insight into the original rifles and their makers whose names and firearms may have been long forgotten if it were not for Ned Roberts.
The Muzzle-Loading Cap Lock Rifle was written and today, over 70 years after being first published, it remains the authority on this specific subject. Roberts’ book contains over 200 illustrations which are black and white reprints of old photographs. These pictures are of sufficient clarity for the reader to appreciate, but they are not highly detailed. The MuzzleLoading Cap Lock Rifle is definitely not a coffee table book, but rather is an incredible source of information for muzzleloading aficionados and collectors. The book is divided into 14 chapters covering all possible topics related to this type of firearm. These include the tools and methods used to build the original rifles, sights and accessories, shooting this type of firearm, target and hunting rifles plus much more. A great deal of information is presented regarding the old time rifle smiths who created early specimens. www.nfa.ca
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The Muzzle-Loading Cap Lock Rifle lists at $45 Canadian but was easily located online for just under $30. Buying a second book of any type qualified the order for free shipping at Amazon.
Author’s Note: New hardcover books are intended to last a lifetime if properly cared for by their readers. When first opening a new book take a few minutes to carefully loosen the book’s pages. This is accomplished by setting the book on the spine and slightly opening the covers without forcing them back. Do this to the pages as well starting at each cover and working towards the middle of the book. Repeat until there is little resistance when you flip through the pages.
In our previous review of Bullard Firearms, an editing program unfortunately changed a cartridge available in Bullard rifles from .22-3 which was a small .22 caliber round with 3 grains of powder to .223 which is a modern cartridge developed in 1950s. 5
Political control & follow-through by Sheldon Clare
Follow-through - every marksman will confirm that it is the key to putting a tight group on paper. Holding firm and keeping your eye on the target is a solid path to success. It is the same thing in politics. Since the remarkable federal election in which Stephen Harper’s Conservatives were given a majority, and the two parties supported by the various elements of the gun grabbers were crushed, the NFA has not been complacent. We have taken the initiative to follow-through for you. We have been in contact with other firearm organizations with a view to ensuring that when we collectively approach our friendly new government, we are all on the same page with a clear vision for firearms law in Canada. Our goals remain unchanged – we want to see the repeal of the firearms laws and regulations brought in by the Mulroney Progressive Conservatives (C-17) and Chretien Liberals (C-68), and with that repeal, a return to a sane regime in which Canada’s firearms owning public is once again trusted by government. That mutual relationship of trust and respect was badly damaged by Kim Campbell’s firearms laws, and completely crushed by the successive Liberal regimes that followed. In short, we want our rights back. What are these rights which we seek? Putting the nuances aside for the time being, first, there can be no more safe queens. If it is a firearm, then the owner should be able to make use of it, and as well, to freely buy and sell it to others. This step would at least mean the elimination of anything 6
called prohibited status as this status was specifically created to eliminate ownership of some types of firearm – prohibited status effectively steals the value of these firearms from their owners and heirs. Secondly, we seek elimination of sections 91 and 92 of the Criminal Code of Canada, which makes it an offense to own firearms without a license. Why should a firearms owner have to take a course and purchase a license to own his or her own property? This is not the same as a safety training course to develop skills in safe handling, and dare I say marksmanship, something which the Canadian Firearms Safety Training does not do. In other words, let’s get the shooting public interested in shooting. That current training requirement is more a barrier to firearms ownership than a conduit to it, and if it is to still exist, it must be changed to promote safe and responsible entry to the shooting sports, much as the provincial hunter training courses do now. We should not rule out looking at the old way of doing things - the former Firearms Acquisition Certificate program was a criminal records check to ensure that people with proven poor track records were prevented from making legal purchases of firearms – most people would support such a check. The FAC was not a license to own one’s own property like the current POL/PAL. If a person commits a serious illegal act, then he or she should be subjected to the penalties of law. Let’s get rid of the presumption of guilt inherent in the current firearms regime and go back to trusting the people. May - June
After all, such a system worked well in Canada for over a century. Firearms ownership is very clearly a property right. Legislation which has denied Canadian firearms owners the right of enjoyment of their own property must be changed. The classification system that prevents firearms owners from selling some of their own property (prohibited class firearms) to other respectable parties is a violation of basic civil rights to property. One should clearly be able to import, export, buy and sell these items freely – if there is no criminal intent or act, what is the problem? What else? Well, we certainly want rid of the ridiculous and unnecessary registration system. Ideally we would be rid of all registration as none of it works, but at the very least, nothing not required to be registered in 1989 should be registered any more. Magazine capacity limitations must be taken off the prohibited list. The magazine size is not the problem - the criminal act of engaging in violence is what needs a penalty associated with it. There is certainly more that we must have corrected, and right now is the best opportunity to get those corrections made. It is up to each of us to take the steps to contact our MPs and let them know what we want. It is critical that we not be divided on these matters as after all, it is the divisions among firearms owners over twenty years ago that were used against us to create bad guns and good guns. At all points in our follow-through, remember that it has never been about guns – it has always been about control. www.nfa.ca
Message du Président
Contrôle politique et suivi de la cible Faire le suivi de sa cible contribue à son atteinte parfaite. Tout tireur d’élite peut vous le confirmer. Tenir fermement son arme et garder le contrôle visuel de la cible assurent le succès. Ces principes s’appliquent autant en politique. L’Association Canadienne des Propriétaires d’Armes à Feu (NFA) ne s’est pas assise sur ses lauriers depuis la remarquable victoire d’un gouvernement majoritaire par les Conservateurs de Stephen Harper et par conséquent l’écrasement des 2 autres partis appuyés par plusieurs éléments anti-armes. Nous avons pris l’initiative de faire le suivi de la cible pour vous en contactant d’autres organisations qui militent pour nos intérêts pour s’assurer que nous ayons tous le même discours quand nous irons rencontrer notre nouveau gouvernement qui est enfin un ami. Nous lui proposerons des changements qui sont nécessaires par rapport aux lois des armes à feu Canadiennes. Nos objectifs demeurent les mêmes : Nous voulons toujours faire abroger les lois mises de l’avant par les Progressistes Conservateurs de Brian Mulroney (C-17) et les Libéraux de Jean Chrétien (C-68) pour retrouver un régime sain d’esprit qui fera a nouveau confiance aux propriétaires d’armes à feu Canadien. Cette confiance et ce respect réciproque ont été sérieusement endommagés par les lois sur les armes à feu initiées par Kim Campbell et complètement détruits par les régimes Libéraux successifs. En résumé, nous voulons reprendre nos droits perdus. Alors quels sont ces droits? Premièrement : Il ne doit plus avoir de catégories d’armes à feu. Le propriétaire d’une www.nfa.ca
arme à feu doit pouvoir s’en servir et doit aussi être libre d’en acheter et d’en vendre. Le statut d’arme prohibée doit être éliminé puisqu’il a été créé pour interdire et éliminer la possession de certain types d’armes. Le statut d’arme prohibée a l’effet de baisser la valeur de ces armes pour leurs propriétaires et leurs héritiers. Deuxièmement : Nous voulons faire disparaître les Articles 91 et 92 du Code Criminel qui rendent illégal la possession d’une arme à feu sans être titulaire d’un permis. Pourquoi, est-ce que le propriétaire d’une arme à feu devraitil suivre un cours et acheter un permis pour posséder sa propre propriété? Il n’est pas question ici d’un cours sur le maniement sécuritaire d’armes à feu ni d’un cours pour devenir tireur d’élite. Ce n’est pas d’ailleurs, ce que le Cours Canadien de Sécurité dans le Maniement des Armes à Feu accompli. Ce que je dis, c’est que nous devons promouvoir l’intérêt pour le tir auprès du publique susceptible de vouloir tirer. Le Cours Canadien actuel sert plutôt d’obstacle à la possession d’arme à feu qu’à une porte d’entrée vers les sports de tir. Si le cours actuel demeure, il doit être modifié pour former les nouveaux tireurs dans le maniement sécuritaire et responsable des armes à feu de la même manière que le cours d’initiation à la chasse le fait au niveau provincial. Nous ne devons pas non plus rejeter la possibilité de faire un retour dans le passé : L’ancien programme d’Autorisation d’Acquisition d’Armes à Feu qui émettait le certificat AAAF, initiait une vérification du dossier criminel d’un acheteur potentiel d’arme à feu pour s’assurer que cet acheteur ne May - June
puisse pas se procurer d’arme légalement s’il avait un passé criminel. Ce genre de vérification reçoit l’accord de tout le monde! Le AAAF n’était pas un permis pour posséder ses propres armes comme le sont les Permis de Possession Acquisition (PPA) et les Permis de Possession Seulement (PPS). Si quelqu’un commet un acte illégal sérieux, il doit subir les peines que la loi lui impose. Débarassons nous de la présomption de culpabilité inhérente au régime actuel des lois sur les armes à feu et faisons confiance à nouveau aux citoyens. Après tout, ce climat de confiance réciproque entre le gouvernement et les citoyens a bien fonctionné pendant plus d’un siècle! La possession d’armes à feu est clairement un droit de propriété. Les lois qui ont empêché les Canadiens de jouir de leur propriété doivent être changées. Le système de classification d’armes à feu qui empêche leurs propriétaires de les vendre à d’autres personnes respectables est une violation de droits civils fondamentaux. (C’est le cas des armes classées comme prohibées) Il doit être permis d’importer, d’exporter, d’acheter et de vendre ces items librement – s’il n’y a aucune intention ni acte criminel, où est le problème? Quoi d’autre? Nous voulons certainement nous débarasser du système d’enregistrement ridicule et non nécessaire. Idéalement nous devrions éliminer tout enregistrement puisque cela ne Président on Page 47
Vice President’s Column The Case for a Conservative Firearms Act Blair Hagen, National VP Communications
On May 2nd, the Conservative Party of Prime Minister Stephen Harper won a great victory. A majority government. A historic win which signals a massive tectonic shift in Canadian politics. With seat gains in Quebec and an increase in their popular vote, The NDP Party of Jack Layton is now the official opposition. The Bloc Quebecois, losing support, votes and seats to the NDP in Quebec, are now a rump, and no longer enjoy official party status. What has happened to the Liberal Party of Canada can only be described as earth-shattering. The Liberals under Michael Ignatieff were pummeled from both ends by the CPC and the NDP, and had their seat count in parliament reduced to just 34. They are now the third party in parliament, leaderless and ultimately directionless. Canada’s “natural governing party,” the party of Trudeau, Chretien, and Martin is no more, and many Canadians are left asking if they will even survive the drubbing of the 2011 election. Many opposition MPs who failed to keep their promise to constituents to help end the “long gun registry” by supporting private members bills C-301/391 in the last parliament have been punished and defeated in this election. The Liberal Party’s chief proponent of gun control, and grand inquisitor, who personally worked to engineer the defeat of firearms law reform, has himself, been defeated. Liberal MP Mark Holland, formerly the Member of Parliament for Ajax-Pickering (Ontario) was removed from office with the assistance of a grassroots uprising of the firearms community nationally, who contributed time, effort and funding to his Conservative challenger The Liberal Party that introduced and imposed the 1995 C-68 Firearms Act has been punished by both the firearms community and Canadians in general. Our hard work in advancing a Reform movement with other, like minded Canadians, a United Alternative, a Canadian Alliance and finally a Conservative Party of Canada has finally paid off. What does this mean for the firearms community? Well certainly it means that firearms law reform will take place in some manner. A constant theme in Conservative policy platforms, since 2006, was the promise to “end the long gun registry.” They know this is too important an issue to not address it, especially now having secured a solid majority in parliament. Only with such a majority, party wonks argued, could any substantive firearms law reform take place.
For the firearms community, ending the long gun registry is symbolic of the need for fundamental firearms law reform, which can only take place with the repeal and replacement of the Liberal C-68 Firearms Act of 1995. Not only did C-68 impose universal registration of all firearms including, for the first time, non restricted long guns, it also imposed many damaging gun control initiatives and regulations that targeted the end of the Canadian right and cultural tradition of firearms ownership. First and foremost of these is the C-68 mandatory firearms license for mere ownership or possession of a firearm. Sections 91 and 92 of the Criminal Code of Canada must also be removed. These offend Canadian rights and traditions of firearms ownership and property rights. The mandatory C-68 firearms license is unworkable and has been used since 1998, to manufacture disabilities towards firearms ownership, and to permit the seizure and confiscation of private property by the federal firearms bureaucracy. The Conservatives understand this, based on their introduction and extension of amnesties for firearms licensing, as well as registration starting with their first electoral victory in 2006. Yet, the question that remains to be answered is whether or not they are prepared to act decisively to end this offense to fundamental Canadian rights and freedoms? Canada’s National Firearms Association has recommended for years that the failed and unacceptable C-68 licensing system be replaced by a system of firearms certification that meets all of the government’s promises to Canadians for maintaining public safety; yet still respecting the rights and property of the firearms community. Will the Conservatives now replace the failed and inherently un-Canadian Liberal firearms licensing system? Time will tell. Secondly, the government must demonstrate its commitment to the private property rights of all Canadians by amending the firearms classification system. A system that has effecitively devalued and rendered useless the firearms of thousands of law-abiding owners. Owners who were forced to comply with firearms laws that sought to strip them of their rights and property without compensation. Until basic property rights are enshrined in the Charter, our future gun rights will remain just one anti-gun government away from disaster. In a related vein, the issue of the 12(6) prohibited handgun mess must also be addressed, as these handguns had already been registered when the Liberal C-68 Firearms Act was foisted upon Canadians in 1995. Official records clearly show that
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these firearms presented no more danger than any other type of firearm to public safety. What this arbitrary reclassification did do, however, was essentially ban half of the registered handguns in Canada at the time. This was little more that a sop to the civil disarmament lobby, which aided the Liberals in the drafting and preparation of the C-68 legislation.
This goes for the other prohibited class firearms as well. These firearms remain the legally purchased private property of lawabiding Canadians, not criminals. However, both said property and owners have been systematically abused by successive antigun governments and their equally anti-gun bureaucracies. This abuse has been ongoing since the civil-disarmament agenda was first imposed upon gun owners over 30 years ago, and has only worsened in the wake of the C-17 (1992) and C-68 (1995) Firearm Acts. These abuses of our property and gun rights must end.
While the government has a duty and commitment to the public safety of all Canadians, it also has an obligation to respect the civil and property rights of its citizens as well. The two are not mutually exclusive. Canada’s National Firearms Association remains committed to achieving this goal and will continue to advise government on how this can best be achieved. The task facing us now is to ensure that the Conservatives listen, act and fulfill the bargain they struck with Canadian gun owners in exchange for their support.
Thirdly, the firearms bureaucracy must be reformed. The present mandate of the Canadian Firearms Program remains the complete disarmament of Canadians, and the dissolution of the Canadian right and cultural tradition of firearms ownership. This was the mandate imbued within this bureaucracy by the Liberals via their C-68 Firearms Act in 1995, and has continued to be reinforced and reaffirmed by senior managers to this day. Transfer of control from civilian to RCMP hands did little to change things as the RCMP, as an institution, has displayed a similarly anti-gun ethos. The ongoing pogrom against legally registered “military-style” semi-automatic firearms such as the Norinco Type-97 and SSD BD-38 being waged by the RCMP against law-abiding gun owners is clear evidence of this bias. This mandate, and the regulatory environment that has stemmed from it, along with the C-68 Firearms Act, must be replaced with one that respects the rights and property of Canadians, while still fulfilling its duty in ensuring public safety. The Canadian Firearms Program can no longer be a showpiece for the civil and international disarmament lobbies. It must become a government department that serves and assists Canadians in the enjoyment of their rights of firearms ownership and use. Fourthly, what of the “long gun registry” itself? It is politically easy and attractive to promise to end this most public and vexing aspect of the Firearms Act; simply based on the massive overspending and bureaucratic largess that it has required since its creation. However, what do the Conservatives really mean when they say they want to end the long gun registry? If it means that they intend to simply end the requirement to hold a paper registration for a non restricted long gun, they will have not fulfilled their promise to Canadians to end registration and reform firearms laws. If it means that private transfers of non-restricted firearms, which were controlled at point of purchase prior to the imposition of C-68 in 1995, will continue to be approved, controlled and/or facilitated by the Canadian Firearms Program, - that will not mean the end of the “long gun registry”.
If it means that Canadians will still have to report, in some fashion or another, the contents of their gun safes and lockers to the government that too will not mean the end of the “long gun registry.” These are the hard issues of firearms law reform. The Conservative Party and government enjoyed a winning issue in regards to the Liberal gun registry, especially after the Auditor General’s report of 2002. The failure of the C-68 Firearms Act was unmasked and exposed for what it was: an ideological experiment in civil disarmament at the expense of the Canadian taxpayer. However, before that the Reform and Canadian Alliance parties campaigned for years on the offense to Canadian civil and property rights that it represented. Our stalwart member of parliament for Yorkton- Melville (Saskatchewan) Gary Breitkreuz, and his assistant Dennis Young, documented every outrage, every misstep and every failure of the Canadian Firearms Program then imposed under the Liberal Chretien government of the 1990s, much to the benefit of both the firearms community and the political parties that would form the Conservative Party of Canada. Canada’s National Firearms Association has offered to assist in developing a practical firearms control system to every federal government since 1995. Before that, sportsman’s principles were offered to guide government in avoiding legislating against law abiding members of the firearms community. These were ignored by majority Liberal governments hell-bent on imposing a civil-disarmament agenda. The Liberals are gone, but their Firearms Act lives on. The Firearms Act of Chretien, his justice minister Allan Rock and international civil-disarmament lobbyist, Wendy Cukier, is still the law of Canada, - five years after the election of a minority Conservative government, and today, after the election of a majority Conservative government. A stunning victory that is due, in no small measure, to the years of hard work, support and donations of time and money by concerned gun owners from across the nation. We have been steadfast in our support for the CPC; can we ask no less of them? The Conservatives are expected to begin implementing measures designed to fulfill their promises on firearms law reform soon. Canada’s National Firearms Association stands ready to assist them in developing a practical firearms control system, and to assist in avoiding the same regulatory and legislative mistakes that governments have so enthusiastically pursued in the past. The new majority Conservative government most certainly still has a difficult task ahead in actually effecting fundamental firearms law reform. Not only does it face replacing and repealing over thirty years of ideological-driven anti-gun control legislation, it must do so despite relying upon a still largely Liberal-appointed civil bureaucracy; especially at the senior ranks, one that remains hostile to both the CPC and their gun-law reform agenda. No matter how it is accomplished, reform must come and the Conservatives must stay the course in order to ensure that both their intent and desires are reflected in the draft legislation. Canadians have given them a convincing mandate, one that permits them to make some hard decisions. The firearms community of Canada have worked and supported the Conservatives for exactly this purpose. Ending the registration of long guns is fine, but the Liberal C-68 Firearms Act itself must be replaced by a comprehensive Conservative Firearms Act that ensures, for all time, our rights as responsible and law-abiding gun owners. There can be no other solution.
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Letters to the Editor Dear NFA:
I just wanted to write and say thanks for printing your recent articles by Norman Gray and Charles Schafer on “Lady Shooters.” I got my wife to read them and finally convinced her to give shooting a try. She had grown up in a gun-free home and was almost terrified by the thought of actually firing a handgun.
Thanks for your kind words. We’ve been making an effort to include a good mix of articles in our little magazine so that there will be “something for everyone” to be found in our pages. We appreciate constructive criticism, but it is always nice to hear that we are doing some things right as well! ☺
I had her read the articles and simply asked that she make an informed decision on the issue. The next Sunday I took her to the local gun club for an afternoon of plinking fun with several of my .22LR pistols. She loved it! It wasn’t long before she had graduated to centerfire and last week she attended her first CAS shoot. Now she is booked to do both the restricted and non-restricted federal firearms safety courses next weekend and already has a deposit down on a pair of Ruger Vaqueros for her competition guns! My wallet is going to take a major hit, especially after I pay for the custom gun leather rig for her new revolvers, not to mention finding her a suitable shotgun and lever-action to complete her personal CAS arsenal. Apparently my wellused long guns aren’t “pretty enough” for her tastes! It’ll be worth it though, as I now have a new shooting buddy to share my fun with. Larry S. Dear Larry, You are very welcome! I’ve passed along your thanks to the authors you mentioned and I’m sure they will be very pleased to hear of your new shooting partner. We hope that many more NFA members will be able to follow your example and convince their non-shooting family members to try our sport. With so many other distractions in our modern world, it is very hard to find an activity that can appeal equally to all members of your family, regardless of age or gender. Recreational target shooting is one that does; the problem is getting new shooters on the firing line. We’re glad to see you’ve done your part.
Dear NFA: I just wanted to drop you a line and to congratulate you on your WW1 Battle Rifles articles. I really enjoyed them. Neal T.
I’m a member with dual Canadian-American citizenship. I’m currently living/working in Texas for an oil company and have been for the past three years. I still maintain a home in Canada, but it looks like I will be transferred to our operation in Alaska in the fall. I look forward to the move and the hunting opportunities that come with it, but I’m waffling on what to do with my small gun collection I’ve amassed since moving to the USA. I was planning on driving from Texas to Alaska, towing the household goods, etc., in a U-haul trailer behind my truck. My guns, although legally acquired in the USA, are on the prohibited list in Canada, with the exception of my hunting rifle and .22LR carbine. Is there any way I can get an exemption to transport said firearms across the border? I currently hold a valid PAL with restricted endorsement (not grandfathered for prohibs unfortunately), or should I sell them here in Texas? Wayne S. Dear Wayne, We get many questions from American shooters/members similar to yours. Unfortunately, no such exemption exists, especially for your prohibited class firearms here in Canada. Also, ignoring Canadian import restrictions and registration requirements, the US has a number of export restrictions in place that would possibly preclude even the temporary export of your firearms (ITAR restrictions). I’d recommend that you check with the US State Dept. and BATF for more information on such restrictions. However, you can avoid all of the above bureaucratic headaches and red tape by simply shipping your guns to yourself in care of a suitable Alaskan FFL dealer. As such, there is no need to sell or otherwise dispose of your guns. Simply find an approved shipping company, pack them well and enjoy them in your new home! I hope this helps.
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Dear NFA: I recently dropped by my local Canadian Tire (Lower Mainland, BC) to purchase ammo. In addition to my PAL, I was also asked for my drivers license. The clerk told me that they had to record my name and address, as the local police had informed them that this was the law. I refused, as I knew that there were no such regulations on the books. Speaking with the store’s manager, he argued that this was the law (federal) and that his hands were tied and nothing I said could convince him otherwise. What should I do? John K. Dear John, There has been no changes to our federal Firearms Act and there is no requirement for retailers to record names or addresses of customers purchasing ammo. In Ontario, there is a provincial law in effect that requires the recording of some private information. However, no such regulation is in effect in British Columbia. I suspect that your store manager is confused or he received some erroneous information from his local police public information officer. I would suggest you write a polite letter to Canadian Tire’s corporate head, CC’d to your local store manager and request a reversal of this policy, as it raises some important privacy issues, and potentially leaves the store open to litigation. That should get some quick action. Unfortunately, it is this type of confusion that just goes to show you how badly written our current Firearms Act is, and how poorly understood it remains. You can view the Firearms Act on-line http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/F-11.6/ or check it out at your local library.
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Preserving Our Firearms Heritage The Rebellion of ‘85 By Gary K. Kangas and Branko Diklitch
Firearms of many kinds were employed from the 1500’s and still are to the present day in Canada. During the Riel Rebellion the variety of ordnance used covered a broad spectrum, from flintlock trade guns to the latest repeating rifles and double action revolvers. The Canadian Federal Forces were equipped with Snider Rifles and Carbines, a company of Infantry School members carried Martini’s. The handguns were a mix of Adams, Enfields, Smith & Wessons, plus Colt’s 1878 double actions.
It is a tangible link to our past and reinforces the importance of perserving antique firearms for future generations. In Western Canada there have been many incidents in which guns have played a major role. Many are now forgotten, and what remains are only hints, like the petroglyph found at Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park in Alberta. It tells the story of the 1866 “Retreat up the Hill” battle between the Blackfoot and an alliance of Gros Ventre, Cree and Assiniboine. An action otherwise almost lost to historians. The Second Riel Rebellion of 1885 is one of the few Western Canadian confrontations that is fairly well documented. We have written accounts of participants, government documents and surviving artifacts. This rebellion was a struggle between members of various Métis and First Nations communities, against the federal government, and the changes that were being imposed on their way of life.
The Métis and First Nations used anything from flintlocks to repeaters. Their handguns varied in whatever they could purchase or capture. Louis Riel himself carried a Manhattan percussion revolver and Gabriel Dumont carried either an Adams or Enfield, along with a 1866 Winchester carbine. My co-author, Branko Diklitch has uncovered a jewel from the era. It is an 1876 Winchester carbine of NWMP issue that resides in a private collection.
One such surviving artifact of the Second Riel Rebellion is a Winchester 1876 carbine, serial no. 44475. This carbine has the Spanish meter rear sight, full wood forend, and is chambered in .45-75 Government, just as all North West Mounted Police contract Winchesters were during that period. Lewis Yearout’s book Winchester’s North West Mounted Police Carbines confirms this carbine to be a NWMP purchase gun. When this unique piece of Canadian firearms history came to the private collection of the current owner, it arrived with its history written out on the stock. I am very thankful to the current owner for the chance to view this gun and permission to write this article. The carbine is attributed to Constable Thomas Craig (Reg. No. 643) of the North West Mounted Police. Craig’s enlistment papers tell us he joined the force on April
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13th 1882. He was 23 years old, 5’10”, 165lbs, had black hair, good intelligence and a phlegmatic personality. He lived through some of the most turbulent events of Western Canada’s history and served until 1890. Craig was stationed in British Columbia and served with the justifiably famous Samuel Benfield Steele shortly before the rebellion. The rebellion aside, Craig is also remembered for his part in suppressing a railroad worker’s strike at Beaver, B.C. Craig and four other Mounties dragged one of the strike organizers from a pub, past a hostile crowd, to the local lock-up, as Sam Steele faced down the crowd. When the Riel Rebellion broke out, Craig joined “Steele‘s Scouts.” This was a mounted unit recruited in Calgary, and made up of cowboys, ex-British military and Mounties. They were part of the Alberta Field Force organized by General Thomas Bland Strange to suppress the rebellion. Craig and the field force rode north to chase Big Bear’s Cree band across Saskatchewan’s wilderness, in hope of rescuing the White and Métis captives, and capturing the perpetrators of the “Frog Lake Massacre.” After some minor skirmishes, the first major encounter with Big Bear’s band was at Frenchman’s Butte. The Field Force was on flat ground, facing the Cree who were dug in on a ride across the Little Red Deer River. The Scouts were ordered to move around the ridge and find a way to get closer. Wandering Spirit, the Cree war leader, saw the move and redeployed some warriors to counter it. Unfortunately, this was an inconclusive engagement, with minimal casualties, and both parties retreated from the field.
After Loon Lake, General Middleton took over direct command of the Alberta Field Force and decided not to pursue the scattered band any longer. From this point on “Steele’s Scouts” conducted only routine patrols until the end of the hostilities. After 1890, Craig retired to Pincher Creek, Alberta, got married, raised a family, and became a part of frontier society. Yet a part of his story survives with the carbine. Winchester records indicated the carbine was shipped out from the factory at New Haven, Connecticut on April 8th 1885. “Steele’s Scouts” left Calgary on April 20th 1885. Could a crate of guns go from New Haven to Calgary in under 12 days? Since the transcontinental railroad was not yet completed, probably not. Despite being a genuine Riel Rebellion gun, our carbine was probably not used at Frenchman’s Butte or Loon Lake. It was most likely reissued to Craig after he handed in his Militia Department issued Winchester and returned to the NWMP following the uprising. To further explore this important era in our firearms heritage, the use and deployment of these historic war relics will be expanded on in a future issue. The Craig story is but one of many of the Riel Rebellion that still wait to be told. It does show, however, that we weren’t always the “Peaceable Kingdom;” a fact that revisionist historians have worked hard to make Canadians forget. Canada has a rich history that is worth preserving and an equally important firearms heritage that we must continue to remind all Canadians that we share equally.
After reaching Fort Pitt, “Steele’s Scouts” were detached from the column and rode hard, pushing their horses to exhaustion and death, in an effort to catch the band again. They caught up with the retreating band at Loon Lake. The scouts attacked the band’s encampment and the warriors fought to protect the women and children. Steele split his men into two groups and surrounded the warriors. In the confusion both sides suffered casualties. The band was forced to retreat and broke up into family sized groups to hide. As a result, the last of the captives held by the band were released as well.
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Politics & Guns by Tyler Vance
Grassroots Activism & The Power of The Average Canadian Gun Owner “Turf Mark Holland” was an on-line movement that started on CanadianGunNutz.com, the largest on-line community of Canadian gun owners on the Internet. Its members were upset with the failure of Bill C-391 and the architect of that defeat, Ajax-Pickering Liberal MP, Mark Holland. Holland had been positioning himself up as the latter-day Allan Rock; the crusading anti-gun MP who was going to keep Canadians safe from the ravages of law-abiding hunters like your Uncle Bob or Grandpa Jim. Watching him “perform” for the cameras during the committee review process for C-391, it was hard not to dislike the guy. His arrogance and disdain for pro-firearms presenters was apparent to all watching the proceedings. Simply from the nature of the questions he asked, and the way in which he asked them; the tiny micro-expressions on his face, the subtle nuances in the pitch and timbre his voice as he spoke, and his body language clearly showed this guy had zero respect for anyone who did not share his particular attitudes and anti-gun ideology. Holland took full advantage of the fact that his Liberals, along with the equally anti-gun BQ and NDP MPs sitting on the committee, possessed a clear numerical advantage over the Conservatives. Ultimately, that numbers advantage allowed Holland to engineer an end-run around the legislative process, by having the public safety committee recommend that the House not proceed with Bill C-391 further. Thanks to his machinations, and the flip-flop of a number of opposition MPs, Bill C-391 was to never see a third reading. Across the country, the hopes of gun owners were dashed as a consequence, and many feared that real change would never come. Holland and his cronies celebrated what they saw as a great political “victory.” Yet, perhaps Mr. Holland and allies would’ve been better served had they paid more careful attention in history class, since their short-term political advantage won them nothing but a momentary, pyrrhic victory. The results of the recent federal election provide positive proof of just how pyrrhic that victory actually was. Ultimately, Mr. Holland’s arrogance and typical Liberal short-sightedness prevented him from recognizing that his victory was anything but one. Like the Japanese in
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WW II, and their sneak-attack on Pearl Harbor, Mr. Holland’s attack on responsible gun owners sparked an intense response throughout our gun community, and very quickly the idea that we needed to “Turf Mark Holland in the next election,” caught gun owner’s attention.
reciprocal dislike of Mark Holland, and all he represented. Unwilling to suffer further disrespect and meekly accept the sneaky way in which Bill C-391 was defeated, gun owners opened their wallets in a big way, at last report donating close to $20,000 to the Alexander campaign!
Holland had set himself up as the great 21st Century anti-gun crusader, but in doing so, he also made himself the political nemesis of the entire Canadian gun community. Individual gun owners, mostly average Joes; hunters, target shooters, and collectors; from teenagers to octogenarians alike, they came together in a grassroots movement to ensure electoral defeat for the man who killed Bill C-391; the private member’s bill aiming to dismantle the much hated long gun registry.
Those gun owners living close enough to volunteer, physically presented themselves in droves at the Alexander HQ for campaign duty putting up election signs, distributing campaign literature and driving elderly supporters to polling stations. It wasn’t long before the Holland campaign took notice and thus began the seemingly endless public complaints that somehow the
Mr. Holland’s opponent was Chris Alexander, rising Conservative star, and former ambassador to Afghanistan. Ironically, the Liberals had tried to recruit him to run under their banner. He declined their overture and was ultimately chosen to represent the Conservatives in Mr. Holland’s riding of Ajax-Pickering; a riding that was considered a “safe” Liberal seat. However, Liberal pundits didn’t take into account the power that Canada’s recreational firearms community can wield if they so choose. First in dribs and drabs, and then in a flood, donations in the amount of $3.91, $39.10, or $391.00 began flowing into the Alexander war chest. Holland was blamed for killing C-391 and from across the country, from Newfoundland to British Columbia, Canadian gun owners made donations in “memory” of C-391. The Alexander campaign quickly realized that they were the beneficiaries of a genuine feeling of anger and discontent that was sweeping across the recreational firearms community. Handgun shooters, “Black Gun” guys, trap shooters and hunters alike got involved, - regardless of their particular interests in the shooting sports; they found themselves unified by their www.nfa.ca
“Moral reason must learn how to make coercion its ally without running the risk of a Pyrrhic victory in which the ally exploits and negates the triumph.” - Reinhold Niebuhr “radical gun lobby,” was surreptitiously backing the anti-Holland movement. Speaking with Sheldon Clare, president of Canada’s National Firearms Association, I can confirm that no direct financial support was ever offered or given on the part of the NFA. The NFA did, however, give Mr. Holland a justifiably failing grade in their Federal Election Candidate Grades and Guide for Voters 2011. They also provided the Alexander campaign with peerreviewed documents and facts aimed at countering the Coalition for Gun Control’s talking points. The same points that Mr. Holland and his fellow Liberal candidates had been parroting in the media in defence of their antigun agenda. Like so many other Liberals during the election campaign, a campaign that they forced upon Canadians, Mr. Holland seemed incapable of accepting blame for his own actions. Maybe he missed physics class, along with history, since Newton’s Third Law of Motion would’ve taught him that, “For every May - June
action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” It was Mr. Holland who decided to make political hay at the expense of the gun rights of honest, hard-working Canadian gun owners; yet, now that they had chosen to respond in kind, completely on their own initiative, and specifically targeting their number one political opponent; somehow this was un-Canadian and part of some nefarious plot by the “radical gun lobby” . Thankfully, democracy won and on election night, Mark Holland was “turfed” from office in spectacular fashion and the “safe” Liberal seat was won handily by Conservative Chris Alexander. Gun owners had put aside their political apathy for once, and made their collective voice heard. The success of the “Turf Mark Holland” campaign provides a stark example of what we, as responsible firearms owners, can accomplish if we get off our duffs and work together. Yet, I’m already hearing fellow gun owners exclaim that their work is done, now that we have a majority Conservative government in power. Many “one-gun” hunters are content, sure in the knowledge that the long gun registry is done, and are looking to reclaim their place on the couch. “We can relax now, the Conservatives can take it from here.” Have we learned nothing? Now is not the time to return to that dream state so many of us were operating in. Have we been so conditioned by the past two decades of anti-gun Liberal rhetoric that we’re willing to accept so little in return for our years of hard work as a simple promise to kill the long gun registry? Remember, the Conservatives promised the complete repeal of C-68 and made it part of the platform over five years ago. We patiently accepted their subtle changes in tactics and the decision to focus on the more politically palatable “hunters and farmers” aspect of the debate; to better sell their party to non-gun 15
owning urbanites. However, the CPC is no longer in a minority position, and it is time to call in our political markers. We must ask for, and accept nothing less, than the fundamental reform of the entire Firearms Act and associated Liberal gun control program. In a month or two, we can expect the Harper Government to proceed with their “Law & Order” initiative. Almost certainly, there is going to be a sweeping omnibus crime bill introduced as a result. It is up to us to ensure that our hard work of the past decade is not rewarded with crumbs, in the form of a dismantled long gun registry. We must demand equally sweeping firearms law reform, and that means replacement of the Liberal-penned Firearms Act and the end of the pointless provisions of Kim Campbell’s Bill C-17. At a minimum, we need to see a return to firearms certification system rather than licensing. Requiring Canadian shooters to obtain a firearms license turns what is a long-established RIGHT into a PRIVILEGE. That is unacceptable. Keep the firearms safety and training provisions, but bring back some form of FAC system. Firearms permits should be a life-time certification, available for free or at a nominal cost. The entire needless red-tape involved in the application and issuing of “Authorizations to Transport” should be immediately ended. A life-time “ATT” should be built into any valid firearms permit. Such an ATT would cover all legal use of your firearm, including taking it to the local gun club for an afternoon of target practice, to your gunsmith for repair, the local gun show in hopes of selling it or your post office to ship it, etc... Tens of thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars are wasted every year in the processing and issuing of such authorizations. To what end? Also, the whole pointless reclassification of firearms into Restricted and Prohibited classes needs to be addressed immediately. Either an individual is safe to own and use firearms or they are not. Accepting this 16
premise, there is absolutely no reason to deny one law-abiding individual the right to acquire, possess or use a particular model of firearm, while arbitrarily permitting another to do so simply because of a simple twist of fate related to their date of birth. This is inherently unfair, undemocratic and runs counter to long-established Canadian ideals. Equally important is the question of forcing gun owners to live under the spectre of “reverse onus” when it comes to Canadian gun law. Under current law, we are assumed guilty and it is up to us to prove our innocence. This injustice requires immediate rectification. Other “irritants” and pointless regulations, such as the issue of magazine limitations, and the necessity “Another such victory over the Romans and we are undone.” - King Pyrrhus of Epirus to limit standard capacity firearms magazines to the arbitrarily chosen capacity of 5 and 10 rounds via Bill C-17 needs addressing. There is no public good served by this regulation. At the same time, many competitive shooting sports require full capacity magazines in order for Canadian shooters to be competitive. Forced to use pinned magazines, our shooters are forced to adapt to less efficient training regimes that put them at a disadvantage on the international stage and really does nothing to improve or enhance public safety. After all, law-abiding gun owners pose no danger to public safety and will comply with even the most pointless gun law, because it is the law; while criminals, by their nature, will not. As such, there is no point forcing the lawabiding to destroy the commercial value of their legally purchased property by drilling holes in their magazines and riveting the bodies to limit round capacity. Even more importantly, we must stop criminalizing otherwise May - June
law-abiding individuals, who had no intention to break the law, yet are still prosecuted and convicted of these victimless crimes such as in the recent case of R. v. Cancade. This isn’t rocket science, it is basic common sense. However, as the French political philosopher Voltaire said, “Common sense is not so common.” With a solid Conservative majority government returned to Ottawa, in no small part thanks to Canadian gun owners, we have an opportunity to reinject a healthy measure of common sense back into Canadian gun law. We need not think small or willingly settle for the first offer presented. Bill C-301 was a minimum compromise that we were willing to accept at the time, only because we were in a minority position, and that was the best that we could hope such a parliament would accept. Bill C-391 was even less palatable, but it was seen as all that could be salvaged from C-301 after an ill-advised PR initiative in the GTA went awry at the hands of another gun org. Ultimately, even this sorry excuse for firearms law reform was rejected by the anti-gun establishment. Now that the pendulum has finally swung back in our favour, why would we be willing to quietly accept anything less than what was promised to us, or willingly step away from the political spotlight once more? Canadian gun owners made a difference in this election. Our donations of money and time played a direct role in the defeat of the Liberal Party’s staunchest anti-gun crusader, Mark Holland. We took down this generation’s Allan Rock, but our work is not done until we see C-68 and C-17 repealed once and for all; and property rights fully enshrined in our constitution. It is the only way we can be sure that our rights as responsible gun owners will be protected for all time. We united all on our own to “Turf Mark Holland,” now we need to maintain that focus and take the concept national! www.nfa.ca
Team NFA Update
By Grayson Penney
Rob relaxing between stages.
I’m happy to report that TEAM NFA member, Rob Engh, is off to another great start this season; one that is fast shaping up to be one of his best. Rob shot several matches in April, including two in Terrance, BC, placing 1st in each. He also made time to offer a mini ‘Skills & Drills” class for area shooters that was extremely well received. Building on these early successes, Rob shot several additional IPSC matches in Port Coquitlam, placing 1st, followed by a 2nd place finish in early May. To keep things fresh, Rob also shot a Speed Steel match at Mission Rod and Gun, taking 1st place in Stock Pistol/Centerfire and 6th place overall. The latter finish is perhaps the most impressive, as overall standing also www.nfa.ca
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included competitors shooting optic sighted rimfire rifles and pistols. Rob’s work ethic and dedication is really starting to pay off this year. In several recent club matches, shot under the auspices of IPSC BC, not only did Rob win every stage he shot, but his ‘Hit Factor’ for the matches was very near to that of the top “Open” and ahead of many “Standard” class shooters. This accomplishment would be impressive in and of itself; however, Rob did so while competing in “Production” class! This shows that technology still does not trump pure skill and athleticism, and that “Production” shooters can be competitive, even against tricked out “Open” race-guns. 17
As part of his continuing commitment to personal skills development, and a deeply held desire to get more shooters actively engaged in his sport, Rob organized yet another unique training opportunity for shooters in his area. This time, focusing on more advanced shooters, Rob was instrumental in convincing one of the best firearms instructors on the planet to offer advanced training to Canadian shooters. As we go to print, Rob is in the process of hosting world-renowned firearms trainer, Ken Hackathorn, for a two day Advanced Tactical Pistol and two Day Advanced Tactical Rifle course, at Abbotsford Fish and Game Club. This will be the first time Mr. Hackathorn has taught in Canada; something for which Rob and TEAM NFA are justifiably proud.
For now, preparations are still underway for the World Shoot in Greece this fall, followed by several additional international competitions, including another match in the Czech Republic and one in Germany. In addition to working, training and competing, Rob continues to run his “Skills & Drills” nights at his home club in Abbotsford every week; seeing an average of 15 students a night! As a result, Rob and the gang are now running two or three lines of shooters each night, in order to process everyone through the drills safely. Well done Rob and good luck for the rest of the competition season.
Cycling is a key component of Megan’s off-season training regime.
When we last checked in with Megan, she was looking forward to several of the biggest competitions of her abbreviated post-pregnancy season. Turning in yet another stellar performance, Megan posted a Top 10 finish at the IBU Cup in March! Her first international race for Team Canada (post-pregnancy), Megan shot 18/20 in the 15km Individual race and placed 9th making her the top Canadian competitor. This was Megan’s personal best finish for the IBU Cup circuit, as well as being Canada’s top IBU Cup result this season! To finish off her season, Megan joined 11,361 skiers (2456 of which were women) for one of the world’s largest ski loppets – the 42km Engadin Ski Marathon. According to Megan, she was feeling pretty tired by the second half of the race, after just turning in a Top 10 finish at the IBU Cup less than a week before, however, she dug deep and turned in another great performance. Overall, she placed 17th in the women’s field and 7th in her own category. Not a bad way to end her mini-comeback season. Megan is now well into her spring/summer training schedule, following the official end of her abbreviated competition season. Thanks to NFA support, Megan has already made her first training camp of the season, concentrating on cycling and roadwork. She has had an opportunity to train quite a bit during the past several months, thanks in part to her short competition season this year. As a result, Megan was able to begin her critical base training (the long slow hours) sooner than most winter athletes do; a bonus four weeks of training that can only give her an extra edge come the start of the new race season.
Rob in the middle of a speed reload.
In addition to the above training, Megan plans on using her NFA sponsorship funds to cover ammunition testing costs May - June
and to pay for the bulk of her race ammunition. Anything left will help cover any necessary rifle repairs, spare parts and equipment upgrades for the 2011/2012 race season. May also marks a return to dedicated rifle training, something that Megan says she is really looking forward to after her short break. The attraction, she says, comes from the focus and excitement she feels stepping back on a firing line after being away from the intensity that precision shooting demands. Megan has posted a relatively high shooting percentage for the past two seasons, and precision shooting remains a priority; however, she hopes to focus more and more on speed this year. According to Megan, while she is often able to shoot well and fast at a high intensity, this season her goal is to do it often enough that she will have the confidence to bring her fastest shooting into race circumstances 100% of the time. I have no doubt she will succeed.
Matt Neumann Matt has had a roller-coaster of a season, posting some great performances and others not quite up to the level he was aiming. However, he has remained extremely professional and determined, and the past race season has been one of great personal growth for the young racer. Mid-March saw him competing at the Canadian National Biathlon Championships held at Charlo, NB. Matt couldn’t have had a better start to Nationals. Going into the competition, one of his personal goals this past season was to medal at
Nationals as a firstyear senior. His silver medal win meant that his goal was accomplished! Racing in a very competitive field that included almost the entire Senior National Team, Matt placed 2nd behind Scott Perras. Perras finished just 17.1 seconds ahead of Matt after 20km of racing and four shooting relays. March and early Biking and and road work have been a April essentially staple in Matt’s summer training regime. turned into one long marathon competition for Matt; seeing him compete in the Canada Games, Cross Country Ski Nationals, the North American Biathlon Championships (where he won three medals) and the Whistler Olympic Park Loppet. Racing at such a premier level is not easy, and Matt is the first to admit that the competition took a toll on his body. However, after a brief respite in Prince George to recharge his physical and mental batteries, relaxing with family and friends, Matt was back, and hard at work. During a brief stay in Squamish, BC, Matt reconnected with old cyclist pals and spent some memorable training time riding, hammering, and sprinting. Bike and road work has been a staple in Matt’s training regime over the last three years and he was excited to get back on a road bike this spring. His brief interlude in Squamish aside, Matt’s training for the spring/summer will be based out of Canmore, AB. He is currently training with the Rocky Mountain Racers, but is still representing his home club, Caledonia Nordic Ski Club. As a full-time, amateur athlete, funding is always a problem, and as much as Matt would love to train at home, budgetary constraints require certain “flexibility.” Consequently, he has opted to once again train in Canmore this summer. It is a shame that athletes like Matt, Megan and Rob have to scrounge for every dollar of funding when their European counterparts are treated like rock stars, with the corporate endorsements to match.
Beau Thompson, Matt Neumann, and Aaron Neumann on the podium at North American Championships!
For now, Matt remains focused on making the National Team and hopefully securing a slot for the Sochi Olympics, while also looking forward to representing Prince George, leading up to the 2015 Canada Winter Games. May - June
Loaded for Turkey By Jeff Helsdon
Deciding the turkey wasn’t coming any closer, I told stepson Collin to shoot. He fired, taking his first bird on a trip with Wingfeather Outfitters of Walkerton, ON.
What occurred next is what you don’t want to happen. Despite being ready for the bird, the gun jumped out of Collin’s hand. It came to rest on the ground, no harm done. It was then I realized maybe the 12 gauge and magnum turkey loads were too much for him at age 13. He had shot a 12 gauge before – and didn’t say anything about the recoil – but maybe a different approach was needed. In the time since, we purchased a Mossberg 20 gauge youth gun – identical to the 12 gauge, but smaller. Many hunters are taking advantage of the new 20-guage no-tox loads to achieve good patterns and still kill turkeys out to 40 yards.
Conventional thinking when it comes to turkey chokes has always been tighter is better. Likewise, bigger is better has been the main marketing push when it comes to turkey-specific shells. However, recent innovations and some experimentation have shown otherwise.
Standing in a gun store and looking at the wide variety of turkey chokes available is enough to make your head spin, and wallet most certainly shrink. Add in the options in turkey loads that now cost anywhere from $10 to more than $50 per box and the idea of trying
each choke and type of shell fades away quicker than the credit card bill can arrive.
Is tighter better?
The first step in outfitting a turkey gun is purchasing a choke. As if the decision of which choke to pick wasn’t difficult in the days when all turkey loads contained lead shot, it’s become more even more complex with the advent of nontoxic turkey loads. If you plan on shooting non-toxic loads, ensure the choke tube used is designed for the type of shells you plan on shooting. This is essential to avoid possible problems with your gun down the road. More on the lead versus non-toxic debate will follow.
A choke tube that works well in one gun will not necessarily work well in another. Beyond all the marketing and fancy names, the one measurement that matters with a choke Once the point of impact is found, adjust your sights or scope to shoot there. If tube is the bore diameter, which is you have fixed sights, examine the options measure in thousandths of an inch. for adjustable sights or a scope. Or, if What affects the constriction of the shot adjusting the aim point is not an option, primarily is the actual difference between remember where your aim point is when the barrel diameter, in front of the tube, hunting and hold there. For example, if and the bore diameter. Typically, the your aim point is 12 inches to the left, difference between the two numbers aim 12 inches to the left when shooting with a turkey choke is somewhere in the at a bird. If you don’t think you will neighbourhood of 0.060 inches. More remember to hold off in the heat of the restriction could blow out the pattern. hunt, experiment to find a shell that
patterns well when holding dead on.
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Prior to purchasing a choke, I would suggest that you research what the
you have to be comfortable having done your practicing at the range before the season,” he said.
various manufacturers offer on the Internet first and familiarize yourself with what is currently available on the market. The better informed you are, the more likely you will purchase the right product for your needs. Buying from a reputable retailer can also help in this regard.
Dan Banting, general manager of Kent Cartridge Canada, said some turkey chokes might indeed be too tight with the heavy loads in a turkey shell. With a tight choke and a big payload, the shot could become distorted and no longer round. “When it leaves the muzzle of the gun and it’s no longer round, it won’t pattern as well,” he said.
One obvious difference between turkey chokes and standard tubes is porting. Those holes in the end of the tube aren’t just for looks. Steve Milton, the gunsmith, engineer and president of King City-based Precision Arms, explained the porting helps to relieve the built-up pressure from expanding gases prior to the wad and shot leaving the barrel. If some of that pressure wasn’t vented, it could blow out the centre of the pattern.
Milton’s other piece of advice for purchasing a turkey choke tube is reputation goes a long way when it comes to quality. Talk to your turkey hunting buddies; the ones you know have patterned their guns, and find what works best for them. Still, keep in mind that each firearm is unique, and what works with one gun might not necessarily perform best with another.
A shell game
The choice of choosing a choke becomes relatively simple when compared to the options in picking the right shell. Good, tight patterns used to be the main thrust of how turkey shells were manufacturer advertising. Now, much of the marketing hype surrounding turkey www.nfa.ca www.nfa.ca
shells centers on more killing power at longer ranges with the introduction of new, more effective, non-toxic loads. When making the decision of which shell to use the emphasis should be on a clean kill within 40 yards. However, some hunters push the limits and look at longer-range options.
Jason Gilbertson, manager of marketing and communications for Winchester ammunition, said the company’s lead loads are appropriate within 40 yards, but the new tungsten-based Xtended Range Hi-Density loads let you push the range. “With Xtended Range and the right choke tube combination, I think you could push those limits, but
The first step is to ensure your gun is sighted in for its point of impact – or the spot where it throws its densest pattern – for the manner in which you hold your gun. Precision Arms owner Steve Milton, who manufactures his own chokes, has done extensive testing. He said the best way to find the aim point is to put a threeinch circle on a three-foot square piece of cardboard. Four shots are then fired at the circle on the same piece of cardboard to provide an average. The densest part of the pattern is your point of impact.
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Although it’s harder than lead, the shot in the new Xtended Range shells is softer than most gun barrels and choke tubes. Gilbertson said one of its main attributes is the shot doesn’t deform. “What our engineers found is with a perfectly round object it will fly more consistently. The roundness of the shot provides a much more consistent pattern at any range.”
Former Remington Public Relations manager Eddie Stephenson used to shoot 3.5-inch lead turkey loads in No. 4 shot. With more energy per pellet, he has moved to the new Wingmaster HD No. 6 in three-inch and has already shot dozens of turkeys with it. “I can tell the difference at the 40 to 45-yard range,” he said of HD over lead. “You can really push the limits with Wingmaster HD if you need to.”
Federal’s main claim to fame in its turkey loads is its FLITECONTROL wad, which is offered in both lead and Heavyweight. “Every other wad on the market opens from the front and throws the shot out,” explained Tim Brandt, Federal Ammunition communications specialist. “The FLITECONTROL wad opens from the back. It has air brakes on the back and it pulls itself off the shot. What that does in our turkey loads is it gives a tighter, more consistent pattern.”
My experience, with my gun, is FLITECONTROL wads work. While some hunters swear by them, others swear at them. Again, practice at the range before the season is essential. Federal recommends using a choke with a .665 constriction for these wads.
Kent produces a tungsten turkey load, which Banting said is softer than most competitors’ tungsten loads and responds better to tighter chokes. Still, Banting pointed out non-toxic loads might respond differently to tight
He didn’t claim the company’s tungsten loads provide extended range. “The biggest appeal of hunting turkeys to me is they respond to calls,” Banting said. “For us to develop loads and chokes that can kill turkeys out on the horizon flies against what turkey hunting is all about to me.”
Sighting in When patterning a shell and choke combination, a turkey hunter’s goal is to have three to eight pellets in the kill zone.
has found not only that a particular shot size works better with some chokes and guns, but also a difference can be seen between shell manufacturers. His advice is to find a load that works, practice with it and stick with it. He uses the same theory with hunting turkeys.
John Dobell, an instructor with the turkey course and a veteran turkey hunter, had similar advice. He shoots three-inch No. 6s, but said people need to try different shells and find the one that patterns best in their gun. “It’s more of an art than a science. It’s really just trying a bunch of different things.”
The other major non-toxic load is HeviShot, which produces a variety of turkey loads.
Dave Reid, a former turkey course instructor and Quaker Boy pro staff member, had similar concerns the new loads might result in more wounded turkeys. “The propensity with these heavy loads and special shot is it encourages people to shoot at longer distances.”
Milton said it’s a fallacy non-toxic loads can provide more killing power at longer distances. “The killing energy is superior with lead because the Hevishot (or similar products) punches holes right through and it doesn’t expand,” he explained. “There is never, ever a shot invented that is better than good quality lead and never will be.”
As a gunsmith, Milton said he’s seen several guns in for repair with damaged barrels or choke tubes from shooting the new non-toxic loads. Since the non-toxic shot won’t compress, he said it can’t be forced through a tight turkey choke without causing damage. The one exception he named is Kent’s tungsten matrix, which is softer and can be compressed. Milton said one way of telling if a shot is soft enough to go through a tight choke is to take an individual pellet and hit it with a hammer on an anvil. If it can be compressed, he said it could be shot the same as lead. That doesn’t mean Milton is promoting buying cheap turkey loads. He advises to buy good lead shells. He has found copper plated shot helps for tighter patterns, and nickel-plated shot is even better. Milton’s experience is buffered shells also improve the pattern.
Once the point of impact is found, switch to a turkey target. A target can be printed from the Hunt Ontario web site at www.huntontario.com. Holding the gun in a manner similar to how you would shoot while hunting, aim at the middle of the neck (or the spot where you typically shoot on a live turkey). Different shell and choke combinations can be tried. Some fine tuning might be needed once the best load is found.
The numbers game: No. 4, 5 or 6?
Turkey hunters only have three choices for shot size (at least in Ontario), No. 4, 5 or 6. Different opinions on which is best abound. The same size payload with No. 6 versus No. 4 will contain more shot. Many hunters believe more shot equals a better pattern and more hits in a turkey’s vital area. Conversely, the larger No. 4 pellets retain more energy downrange and have more killing power at longer distances. No. 5s present a compromise between the two.
Another consideration is that one gun and choke combination might pattern No. 4s better than No. 6s, regardless of the pellets count. Ron Porch is a consistent winner at turkey shoots – where tight patterns mean the difference in winning. The Langton, Ontario resident practices most weekends with a variety of loads, chokes and guns to become familiar with the combination that will win. He
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Although he advised to buy good ammunition, Dobell said he would not take a shot beyond 40 yards. “These birds aren’t hard to hit, but they’re hard to kill. You’ve got to kill them right on the spot.”
Reid also likes No.6s, but said the only reason that’s his choice is because they pattern well in his gun.
Milton presented the scientific argument for No. 6s, saying there are larger spaces between the bigger diameter No. 4 shot; hence it can’t be compacted as well. With less compaction ability, the No. 4 shot isn’t affected as much by a choke tube. He likes Remington Duplex loads, which have both No. 4 and No. 6 in the same shell, saying the 6s give the pattern up close and the 4s have the energy downrange.
Is biggest best?
As long as your gun has the capability to take both, the last decision when buying a turkey load is whether to go with a three-inch, or 3.5-inch shell. The argument for a 3.5-inch is bigger shell equals more shot. Advocates of the three-inch shell would debate the recoil with the 3.5-inch shell just isn’t worth it. Porch’s advice is to find the gun you are comfortable with and become proficient at shooting it through practice. “I’m a big guy and I’m turned
Turkey Continued on Page 47
By Charles Schafer
Unlike the common cold, reloading fever seems to mostly infect seasoned shooting sports enthusiasts. The driving force that send reloaders to their basement or garage workshops for hours of depriming, brass cleaning, powder weighing and bullet seating appears to be a blend of the search for reduced cost and for tighter groupings in the bull’s eye. Although reloaded ammo is typically less expensive than the store-bought variety, the instructor at the Atlantic Marksmen Association (AMA) reloading workshop that I recently attended started the six hour crash course by pointing out that, in general, reloaders must purchase equipment and they tend to do more shooting once they get into the reloading ritual. Consequently, at the end of the day, cost savings for many reloaders never happens and is often secondary to improving scores or to preparing custom built loads for various shooting sports applications such as long distance rifle shooting or big game hunting. In this overview, I have focused on reloading center-fire rifle calibers using commercially manufactured copperclad-bullets as opposed to cast bullets made from lead or some alloy of lead. Techniques used for pistol ammo reloading are almost the same as those used for rifle cartridges but shotgun rounds or cartridges that use black powder involve a few extra issues that are deserving of a separate article.
As you may have guessed, safety considerations are a very important part of successful reloading, with many common sense do’s and don’ts that come into play before, during and after the completion of the process itself. Paramount among these is the handling of primers. Because of their explosive power, they should be treated with respect at all times. Never try to remove a live primer from a shell casing. Instead, place the shell casing in your rifle, point it in a safe direction and shoot, where legal to do so. Also, when seating a primer into the primer pocket of the shell casing, never use excessive force. Before attempting to seat the primer, make sure that the casing’s primer pocket is in the proper condition (see below). Remember, a box of 1000 large rifle primers has about the same explosive force as one hand grenade.
What follows below is not intended to replace the all day hands-on beginners reloading workshop that I audited, but it should give you a feel for the basic methodologies and a sense of how much basement workshop space will be required for your cartridge production line. www.nfa.ca
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The reloading process can be broken down into four phases. The first of these deals with the condition of the shell casing itself. The second covers the steps needed to prepare the casing to receive its load of powder and its bullet. The third deals with loading the powder and seating the bullet. Last of all there is a suite of hints to help 23
keep everything organized and safe. Most reloaders (especially handgun shooters) I know take advantage of the availability of free, once-fired brass that can be found at most ranges. Turning them back into useable cartridges involves about 20 steps. There is an important extra step that comes into play especially with once-fired rifle brass that deals with headspace. Headspace, in simple terms, is related to the chamber size of the firearm that was used to discharge the cartridge. When the cartridge is fired, the brass casing takes the form of the chamber of the gun in which it was used. As such, the once-fired cartridge may require more resizing than would be needed for a new commercially manufactured cartridge fired from the gun for which it is being reloaded. Preparing casings for reloading typically starts with cleaning the brass via a brass tumbler that contains a detergent or a cleaning media, followed by the de-priming. This step tends to remove much of the powder residue from the primer pocket, although some pockets may need a bit of extra scrubbing with a retired toothbrush. Once the shells are washed and dried/cleaned they can be examined for cracks and checked to see if the primer pocket has been crimped. If it has, a de-crimping tool or press can be used to straighten out the pocket wall by removing the inward turned lip that was created by the crimping process. Once the shell has been washed, dried, examined for cracks and de-crimped (if necessary), the rim of its open end should be examined to make sure that it is uniform throughout its circumference. If it shows some slight variation, a hand-operated deburring tool can be used to make it uniform. The casing can then be resized using a variety of reloading presses and dies that are offered for sale by several manufacturers. A light lubricant is usually applied to the outer surface of the casing neck before it is resized to reduce friction between the outer surface of the casing and the inner surface of the resizing die. For those shooting sports devotees just getting into reloading, a starterâ€™s kit that contains all the basic tools is probably the best value (e.g., the Hornaday Lock-n-Load Classic kit which typically sells for under $300). However, these kits may not include the resizing and bullet seating dies, or the primers, powder and bullets needed for reloading a specific caliber. Those essentials will probably add another $100 to $150 to the total bill.
checked using a digital caliper that can be purchased for about $25. If the shell has been slightly stretched from being resized, it can be trimmed to its proper length using a rotary trimmer. A trimmer may or not be included in a beginnerâ€™s reloading kit so be sure to compare their contents before you purchase one. The trimming process will leave the top rim of the casing neck flat. Hand-held chamfering tools are available to round off the inside edge of the casing neck opening to help guide the bullet and to allow it to be seated more easily. After trimming and chamfering steps are completed, the casing can be placed on the reloading press so that a primer can be inserted into its primer pocket. The Boxer-type of primer is the one most often used in reloading. Its striker (or anvil) is built into the primer case. The Berdan-type primer was used in older military and European calibers such as the popular 8mm Mauser and is typically encountered when attempting to reload older military casings. In the Berdan design, the anvil is built into the primer pocket of the shell casing. It looks like a small knob with small access holes on either side to allow the flame from an ignited primer to reach the powder in the body of the shell casing. Berdan primers must be pried out of their shell casing pocket using a tool specifically designed for that purpose. Boxer and Berdan primers and shell casings should never be mixed up - period. When all the casings have been primed, i.e., had their primers installed, it will be time to add the powder and seat the bullet. The traditional way of adding the correct powder charge to the shell casing was to measure it out using a simple balance-type of scale. Modern technology has brought us a suite of relatively inexpensive electronically enhanced powder scales and dispensers. The simplest designs of these types of scales are often included in reloading starter kits. They allow the operator to key in the correct weight of powder and then to add powder in incremental amounts until the specified weight is reached. Some of the more sophisticated and expensive scales can do this operation automatically. They might be worth purchasing if you are a regular participant in competitions and therefore reloading large numbers of cartridges. The correct powder charge or amount of powder required will vary depending on what caliber, bullet and powder you intend to use. Most major powder, equipment and bullet manufactures publish reloading manuals that include a variety of safe
Once the shell casing has been resized, its length should be 24
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loads for most common centerfire calibers available today. Anytime you change any of the components in your load, you need to consult a quality reloading manual and start no more than 10% over the minimum starting load published in the manual. Even simple changes in bullet type, length or weight can radically effect chamber pressures and result in an unsafe load. For beginners, I usually recommend starting near the minimum published charge and working up in increments. Never start with a maximum published load! It could be unsafe in your firearm! Once the casing has been charged with powder and primer, the last major step in the reloading process is the seating of the bullet. The bullet is pressed into the neck of the shell casing using a die designed specifically for that purpose and for the particular round being reloaded. Proper alignment of the bullet in relation to the primary axis of the casing opening and seating depth are both critical. The bullet seating depth must be adjusted for various bullet shapes such as spitzer and hollow point designs. If you are reloading a bullet design that is similar to the one found in the commercial ammo that you have been using, you can measure the total length of the commercial round with a caliper and then use that information to calibrate the seating die. There is a screw at the top of the seating die that can be turned down or up to adjust for the correct seating depth for your particular type of cartridge. Should you eventually find yourself spending too much time working with basic, single-stage reloading equipment, it is relatively easy (but costly) to graduate to a progressive press that incorporates all the bells and whistles needed for depriming, shell casing resizing, priming, adding powder,
seating the bullet and, if necessary, crimping the lip of the casing neck to hold the bullet much tighter than the friction fit delivered by the bullet seating operation. Part of the reloading experience includes familiarization with a number of common sense rules that speak to safety and good organizational protocols. The packing containers holding your reloads should be properly labeled as to bullet type and weight, powder type and weight, primer type and
manufacturer, and the date of manufacture of the containerâ€™s payload of reloaded ammo. For storing reloaded ammo, the AMA instructor recommended the use of a wooden box with brass hardware (= no sparks) and with partitions that allows for separate storage of ammo and reloading components. If possible, the box should be of a size that can be stored in a locked cabinet. By the way, if you should ever make a mistake, or if you find it necessary to take a cartridge apart to change the type of powder or bullet, there are a number of hand-held or mechanically operated bullet pullers available for sale on the commercial market - the perfect Christmas present for the novice reloader. If there is no one out there for you at Christmas time, consider getting into the reloading culture with a shooting buddy who is willing to share the cost of the necessary production equipment. Then sit back and watch those target scores improve.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in the above article is provided for informational purposes only and are used by readers strictly at their own risk. Neither the author, the Canadian Firearms Journal nor Canadaâ€™s National Firearms Association assumes any legal liability or responsibility for any property damage, injury, nor death that may occur as a consequence of using the information contained within the above article. We recommend consulting a reputable reloading manual.
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that the question of maximum magazine capacity remains a confusing and poorly understood issue almost two decades after the passage of Bill C-17. Recently I was contacted by a number of members who had gotten conflicting information and instruction from their local law enforcement with respect to legal magazine capacities for a number of firearms, including the AR-15, Hi-Point Carbine and Beretta CX4 Storm. That such erroneous information is still being disseminated as fact, even by individuals tasked with enforcing the law, is clear evidence of just how fatally flawed our current firearms laws are. In a recent special bulletin for businesses (No. 72) the RCMP attempted to once more clarify the confusion surrounding the maximum permitted magazine capacity of legal cartridge magazines in Canada. For those who don’t know, the maximum capacity of a cartridge magazine is set out in Part 4 of the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted.
l a Leg er n r Co an by Se
The regulations prescribe “prohibited devices,” and a magazine that has a capacity which exceeds the maximum permitted capacity is a prohibited device. Businesses can be in possession of prohibited devices if appropriately licensed. However, individuals may not possess prohibited devices.
s e n i z aga
M ties e i c g a d p i Cartr mitted Ca er
These regulations have been in force since 1993 and were introduced via Kim Campbell’s Bill C-17. In their Special Bulletin for Businesses No. 72, the RCMP discuss what they term “recent introductions of new cartridge magazines” that have resulted in “novel situations” concerning the application of the regulations related to magazine capacity. They argue that, “…The application of the existing Regulations to a few new products has given the appearance of a change in the law. This has been particularly evident in the case of cartridge magazines designed or manufactured for more than one type of firearm.” The bulletin categorically states that, “There has been no change to the Regulations.” Confusion and problems have arisen as a result of poor understanding of the regulations, as written and unsubstantiated assumptions by police, gun shop owners and gun owners themselves. This has been particularly evident in the case of cartridge magazines designed or manufactured for more than one type of firearm or which can be used in firearms other than those the cartridge magazine was specifically manufactured to fit. i.e., Beretta CX4 Storm Carbine-Beretta Model 92 Pistol, LAR-15 Pistol-AR-15 Rifle, etc… Maximum Permitted Magazine Capacity – Cartridge Magazines As per Special Bulletin No. 72: The maximum permitted capacity of a magazine is determined by the physical characteristics of the firearm it is designed or manufactured for and the type of ammunition for which it is designed. The maximum permitted capacity of the magazine does not depend on the classification of the firearm, nor does the magazine capacity influence the classification of the firearm.
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Current Issues 1. Magazines designed or manufactured for both rimfire calibre rifles and handguns Magazines designed to contain rimfire cartridges and designed or manufactured for use in a rifle do not have a regulated capacity. However, magazines designed to contain rimfire cartridges and designed or manufactured for use in a semiautomatic handgun are limited to 10 cartridges. Magazines designed or manufactured for use in both rifles and semiautomatic handguns are subject to the handgun limit of 10 cartridges. Example: Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 rifle and 15-22P pistol chambered for 22LR caliber: • the 10 round OEM magazine is unregulated • the 25 round OEM magazine is a prohibited device 2. Magazines designed or manufactured for both centrefire calibre rifles and handguns Magazines designed to contain centrefire cartridges and designed or manufactured for use in a semiautomatic rifle are limited to five cartridges. However, magazines designed to contain centrefire cartridges and designed or manufactured for use in a semiautomatic handgun are limited to 10 cartridges. Magazines designed or manufactured for use in both semiautomatic rifles and semiautomatic handguns are subject to the limit of five cartridges. Example: Hi-Point rifle and handgun chambered for 9mm Luger caliber: • magazine capacities over five rounds are prohibited. 3. Magazines designed or manufactured for both centrefire calibre semiautomatic rifles and other (non-semiautomatic) rifles Magazines designed to contain centrefire cartridges and designed or manufactured for use in a semiautomatic rifle are limited to five cartridges. However, magazines designed to contain centrefire cartridges and designed or manufactured for use in a rifle other than a semiautomatic or automatic rifle, do not have a regulated capacity. Magazines that are designed or manufactured for use in both semiautomatic rifles and other (non-semiautomatic) rifles are subject to the semiautomatic rifle limit of five cartridges. Example: Remington model 7615 pump action rifle chambered for 223 Remington caliber:
4. Magazines designed for one firearm but used in a different firearm The maximum permitted capacity of a magazine is determined by the kind of firearm it is designed or manufactured for use in and not the kind of firearm it might actually be used in. As a consequence, the maximum permitted capacity remains the same regardless of which firearm it might be used in. Example: • The Marlin Model 45 (Camp Carbine) rifle chambered for 45 Auto caliber uses magazines designed and manufactured for the Colt 1911 handgun, therefore the seven round and eight round capacities are permitted. • A similar example is the ten round capacity magazine for the Rock River Arms LAR-15 pistol, regardless of the kind of firearm it is actually used in. As a consequence, the LAR-15 magazine is completely legal to use in the AR15 rifle/carbine, AR-180B, Rob Arms XCR, and even in semi-auto firearms having been converted to use AR-15 magazines such as the HK SL8, and Swiss Arms Classic Green/Black Special using an NEA Lower. • Another example: The Beretta CX4 Storm Carbine. It can legally use ten round Beretta Model 92 Pistol magazines, while factory carbine magazines are limited to just five rounds. 5. Magazines for semiautomatic handguns which contain more than ten (10) rounds of a different calibre Magazines designed to contain centrefire cartridges and designed or manufactured for use in a semiautomatic handgun, are limited to 10 cartridges. The capacity is measured by the kind of cartridge the magazine was designed to contain. In some cases the magazine will be capable of containing more than 10 rounds of a different caliber; however that is not relevant in the determination of the maximum permitted capacity. Example: • Heckler and Koch P7 pistol chambered for 9mm Luger caliber: The magazine designed for the 40 S&W calibre variant of the pistol will hold 13 cartridges of 9mm Luger calibre and function in the 9mm Luger calibre P7 pistol. This is permissible as the maximum permitted capacity of the 40 S&W calibre magazine must be measured by the number of 40 S&W calibre cartridges it is capable of holding, which is 10 such cartridges in the case of the HK P7 pistol magazine.
• the OEM 10 round magazine is prohibited (However, ten round LAR-15 Pistol Magazine permitted)
The above is intended to provide general information only. For legal references, please refer to the Firearms Act, the Criminal Code and Regulations. Provincial, territorial and municipal laws, regulations and policies may also apply.
• the OEM 5 round magazine is unregulated
You may find Special Bulletin No. 72 here: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/bulletins/busent/20110323-72-eng.htm
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Improving An Icon The AIA Story
by Darrell Hartwick
it is called that or simply the SMLE, everyone knows what it looks like.
Firearms design, by its very nature, is a slow, incremental process due to the time it takes to prove the value of a change, and because firearms users are deliberate in their choices – which is another way of saying “conservative.” There are a handful of rifle designs that by the innovations that they embody and their distribution have made them icons, not just within the shooting community, but indeed throughout the general population.
Examples of this level of recognition would include the ’98 Mauser and its derivatives, the Model 94 Winchester lever-action and the venerable SMLE Lee-Enfield. Other countries might add a few more names to the list, or rank the order differently, but it would be rare that you could travel to any portion of the Earth and find someone who would not recognize these three classic designs.
the U.S.A. and India.
The L-E evolved over time and the starting point was earlier designs by James Lee, a Canadian who relocated to the United States. The Lee-Enfield incorporated a number of advanced design features that set it apart from the Mauser and other military rifles.
The cock-on-closing meant that it was faster to re-charge the chamber and the 10 shot magazine gave the infantryman a 2 to 1 advantage over his Mauser -armed adversary. These features allowed someone who was practiced in the use of this firearm to deliver a very high rate of fire and this was best typified in the “mad minute,” where greater than 20 aimed shots were fired in one minute.
Of all the Lee-Enfields, it is the SMLE Mk III and specifically the Mk III* that come to mind when the words “Lee-Enfield” are said. The Mk III Of course there would be those who was introduced in 1907 would argue that the AR-15 platform or and was superseded by the AK family needs to be included, and the Mk III* in 1915, certainly they would be the preeminent which incorporated examples of auto-loading designs. manufacturing shortcuts However, for manually operated rifles to increase the supply for the Lee-Enfield has travelled to virtually war-time needs. The rifle every corner of the world. It has been was redesignated the No. estimated that over 16 million Lee- 1 Mk III* during the interEnfields have been built by arsenals in war period and whether the UK, Canada, Australia, 28
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Although India and Australia retained the SMLE, Britain and Canada went ahead and developed a new rifle, the No. 4 Mk I, which offered manufacturing advantages. As occurred during WW 1, the need to simplify production of the No. 4 resulted in the No.4 Mk 1*. The new model was introduced into service in 1942 for manufacture in the U.S. and Canada. The final development of the .303 L-E was the No.4 Mk 2, which differed primarily in the fact that the trigger was attached to the receiver rather than the trigger guard, which was the case for all the previous versions stretching from 1888 to the 1940’s.
Just as the rifle incorporated a number of state of the art features, the .303 British (or 7.7X56mmR) round made the transition from a blackpowder to a smokeless powder cartridge with no difficulty. Coupled with the change in propellant, the .303 British also moved from the heavy, round-nosed design to the more efficient, lighter weight spitzer. These improvements allowed it to remain as the standard service round for the Commonwealth until the 1950s.
Compared to the 7.62 NATO the British round does not have anything to apologize for except perhaps its rim.
Compared to the standard Savage version of the Brewer collar (front), the AIA collar (rear) provides 50% more bearing surface.
Being able to claim that this enviable track record has been improved upon is a pretty bold claim but it is clear that is exactly what has happened.
AIA – Australian International Arms – is a Brisbane based manufacturer of modernized Lee-Enfields.
This boutique manufacturer of updated Lee-Enfields has carved out a unique position in the extremely competitive sporting arms environment. Being located in Australia does not help when it comes to competing against global giants such as FN Herstal (Browning & Winchester), Cerberus Capital Management (Remington, Marlin, H&R 1871, Bushmaster, DPMS Panther, Dakota Arms & Advanced Armaments Corporation), Smith & Wesson, Sturm, Ruger & Co. or Beretta. However, against the odds, AIA has managed to take an icon and bring it into the next century.
During a recent trip to Australia I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with the owner of this innovative company and try a number of their commercial variants, as well as prototypes at the Brisbane range. However, before we discuss the shooting we should look at the two models that represent their major offerings.
At first glance it is hard to notice – given the handguard – but one of the biggest advances is the use of a barrel collar to fasten the barrel.
The use of a Brewer collar (used on Savage rifles) offers economy since it makes headspacing the barrel faster but it also provides two further benefits. First it allows much tighter headspace tolerances and secondly it offers a greater bearing surface to lock the barrel to the receiver. Both of these contribute to enhanced accuracy. As well as this improved barrel locking system, the bore and chamber are hard chrome plated and it makes cleaning the rifle a breeze and further improves barrel longevity.
There is no guide for stripper clips built into the receiver bridge, rather it is drilled and tapped for a rail mount which is provided with the rifle. While the iron sights are excellent, to fully appreciate the rifle you need to use a scope and with the Picatinny rail mount a wide variety of optical sights, including the traditional scope can be attached.
No.4 Mk 4 & M10-B1
No.4 Mk 4 in full military configuration with a teakwood stock and in 7.62X51 calibre.
As the photograph shows, this rifle follows the lines of the No.4 Mk 2 but with a number of changes that make this a superior rifle.
Of course the bayonet lug is missing, but that is not a loss – what is not evident at first glance is that the receiver has been strengthened to handle the higher pressures of the 7.62X51 round and this serves to eliminate the potential for asymmetrical stress to cause cracking.
A second change has to do with the magazine used. It is clearly not a re-worked L-E magazine but rather is based upon the M-14 design and reflects the round that it is designed to feed. Unlike the design used for L-E (or AK) rifles, the lips on the M-14 type magazine are part of the feed mechanism and do more than simply hold the ammunition in the magazine. This makes them more prone to feed problems if the magazine is not matched to the rifle. However, when they are properly matched, feeding is perfectly reliable and smooth. It is possible to cycle the full 10 rounds through the rifle as fast as for a SMLE. www.nfa.ca
The enlarged magazine release makes removing the magazine simple and completely fumble-free.
The final major difference from the classic No.4 is the wood stock. At first glance the stock would appear to be rather unusual walnut – with a strange but pleasing figure and colour. However, closer examination will confirm that is not walnut but rather it is teak.
Teak is about 20 – 25% heavier than walnut and that extra weight helps to dampen recoil. Teak is a tropical member of the birch family and unlike the birch that we are familiar with, it is a medium brown colour and only marginally heavier than birch. Balanced against this is the fact that teak is about 10 – 15% harder than black walnut. So while it is an easy wood to work and takes a beautiful finish, the hardness provides the strength needed to handle wear and tear.
As for its big brother, the A1 is based upon the same action but is chambered for the smaller 7.62 X 39mm Russian round. Given that supplies of inexpensive 7.62mm NATO surplus ammo has all but dried up, having a gun chambered for a cartridge where one can still get great deals on former Soviet bloc ammo is not a bad idea.
While it shares all the same characteristics as the B1, the A1 does have a few differences. The largest one is that its magazine is derived from the AK and as such, while it
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The hard chrome plating virtually eliminates fouling.
In order to get a better idea of the accuracy potential of the rifle, Sierra MatchKing bullets in a variety of weights were tried. There has been information floating around Canada that these rifles are not that accurate and this was a simple way to assess the merit of these statements. The classic target bullet weight for the NATO round is 174gr BT and it was hoped that this would prove to be the case for this rifle.
The M10-A1 comes both in the Sporter configuration (shown here) with a raised cheekpiece, as well as with a buttstock that has the same profile as for a SMLE.
is capable of holding 10 rounds, although it is blocked to comply with Canadian law – in case someone decides to use it in their AK rifle. While this does keep the cost of making the magazine to a minimum (no such restrictions apply in Australia or the USA), it would have been nice to have the full 10 rounds on tap.
The results are listed in the next table and group sizes were an average of 5, 3-shot groups for each bullet weight. The velocities were measured on an Oehler Model 35P chronograph at 10 feet.
The other difference is the presence of flash hider / muzzle break. Obviously for a cartridge this small it is really not necessary but it does add a certain panache to the rifle, even though there is no technical need for it.
Shooting the No.4 Mk 4
In talking to Aussie shooters, there is no doubt that these rifles are highly regarded both for durability and accuracy. Since I first saw the AIA products on display at a gunshop in Brisbane, people who have been exposed to them have only had positive comments. The rifle, as received, has the same profile as the L-E stock and as such is not ideally suited for a scope, given that the stock weld is marginal. However, taking some care with it, it yielded reasonable results. The original No.4 Mk 1T dealt with this by having a cheek-piece attached to the stock.
Shooters who plan on using a scope and want additional support have the option of installing a cheekpiece or the buttstock can be replaced with a sporter profile that has a raised comb. If iron sights are the ticket, then nothing needs to be done. I opted for installing a removal cheekpiece so that it looked as much like No.4 Mk 1T as possible. The B1 version, the sporting configuration, is set up with a raised comb as its default stock – although iron sights are also present.
After cleaning the rifle, the first 50 rounds run through it was vintage IVI 7.62mm NATO ammunition which gave groups in the 2.5 – 3.5 inch range at 100 yards. This was followed by a thorough cleaning – it was amazing just how fast the bore cleaned up. 30
The 155 gr. bullet offered the benefit of the least recoil but it gave up some accuracy compared to the heavier weights. The velocities for the 155 MatchKing was less than what should be achievable but it delivered the best accuracy with this powder. However the 168 and 175gr bullets were close to what would be expected with this powder as well as providing excellent results. Normally accuracy will improve over the course of the first 4 – 500 rounds, as the barrel is gradually polished. In talking to the owner of AIA, he stated that a benefit of the chrome plating is that there is no need to break-in a barrel; as I continue to work on load development, and the count goes up, it will be interesting to see if this is the case or not.
Shooting the M10-A1
Shooting a shortened M10-B1, with a 22” barrel. The shorter barrel made the gun a joy to handle.
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This rifle has recently been imported into Canada and is now available here. I was fortunate to have shot and handled several versions in Australia, at the historic Military Rifle Club Belmont range in Brisbane, as well as watching other shoot them. www.nfa.ca
What was most impressive was that testing was conducted not with commercial or selected ammo but simple military surplus 7.62X39mm and shoot they did!
At 100 meters, when the guns were properly set up they stayed under 2.5 inches, which is excellent for this caliber and the ammunition used.
There are a couple of questions that must pass through anyone’s mind when reading about these rifles – one of which is why would I want to pay a premium for a rifle that is just an updated version the L-E? There is no doubt that both of the AIA rifles are not at an economy price-point so they will never compete with old SMLEs on price. There is no way a newly built rifle can be a low cost alternative to +60 year old Lee-Enfields. However, what AIA does offer are new, current caliber rifles that are set up for optics and they shoot well. Anyone who says they are not accurate, has not shot one.
A number of models at the Belmont range awaiting test firing and final accuracy adjustments.
Another thing that is overlooked is that a No.4 Mk 1T in good condition will sell for well over $1000 and if it is complete with a scope, most people would not shoot it for fear of lowering its collector value. The No.4 Mk 4 from AIA will shoot as well as the best of the Longbranch sniper rifles and there is no reason to hesitate to shoot it.
It is viable choice for someone who wants to shoot a classic rifle but does not have a Mk 1T – finding the AIA No. 4 Mk 4 is a lot simpler than a Longbranch rifle! A typical retail price is under $800, with more than the usual accessories – try to find a Longbranch sniper for that price.
While military surplus 7.62X51mm is not a bargain these days, there is more of it floating around than .303 ball. Not only can you still get 7.62X51mm ammo but it is a lot more recent that military surplus 303.
The 7.62mmx39mm Russian (M10-A1) rifle is a similar story since it is modeled on the Jungle carbine, but unlike the L-E version, they are not prone to drifting zero and the recoil is a notch down.
In contrast to volume manufacturers, AIA test fires each gun to ensure that it meets accuracy standards. In this photograph, the testing officer is firing a M10-A1.
gains on the .30-30 WCF past 100 yards. It is a good close range deer or varmit rifle. On the fun side, with all the low cost 7.62X39mm ammunition around, feeding it is not a problem.
A Jungle carbine is no longer the bargain they were 20 or 30 years ago and good examples should be set aside. I know that I am going to be getting one of these little gems and with a holographic sight set on it, it will be deadly out to 150 yards. At under $800 per copy the price is right.
There are some limitations – the wood is not exhibition grade walnut – there again when have you seen this on Lee-Enfields? Teak is not a “normal” wood but compared to birch it is a better choice and and its looks are on par with walnut, and does not sacrifice durability. Personally I like the colour of the wood and by using a “local” wood, AIA was able to keep costs down.
With a low power scope or other optic, this neat little rifle is a joy to shoot but with ballistics that are close to the venerable .30-30 WCF and the pointed bullet means that it www.nfa.ca
One point about the No.4 Mk 4 that does need mention again is the necessity of matching magazines to a particular rifle to ensure flawless feeding. While this may be intrinsic to the magazine design, it does mean that mags should not
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be swapped without being function checked first. However, given that each rifle comes with 2 magazines, most shooters are not likely to buy more under most normal circumstances.
AIA has done an excellent job of producing quality rifles that honours the spirit of the Lee-Enfield while updating the design to suit the needs of shooters in this century. The optics rail is robust, the mag release is a major
improvement, the trigger pull (2-stage) is excellent. The fit and finish of the wood and metal is a cut above what is seen on most rifles – in short a lot of effort has gone into making these rifles a lot better than most of the LeeEnfields floating around.
So what these rifles offer is above average accuracy and a fair price.
Most of all they are simply fun to shoot
and will bring back memories of a simpler time. When I first saw them in Australia, and talked to people who used them, what raced through my mind was how I could get them here in Canada.So whether you want to shoot a 7.62X51mm in a rifle designed to handle it from the ground up or you prefer the more sedate 7.62X39mm, AIA has a model to suit you and best of all they are available here in Canada.
AGM Rescheduled for August 13, 2011 To all members: Please note, that as a result of the federal election, our AGM scheduled for this spring has been rescheduled. Mark your calendar for this year’s AGM to be held on August 13, 2011. More details to follow. Keep checking www.nfa.ca or call toll free: 1-877-818-0393 for updates. Sheldon Clare, President
Each One Of Us Is...
An ambassador, a teacher, and a member. One of the most important functions of the National Firearms Association is making firearms ownership and use relevant to growing numbers of Canadians. To prosper, we must have a steady flow of new shootersa and enthusiasts entering our proud firearms heritage. Your membership and your donations to the National Firearms Association are helping us develop the programs Canada needs to make sure our firearms heritage continues to grow.
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The Bullard Repeating Arms Company
By G. Scott Jamieson
The author has had a fascination with firearms for as long as he can remember, especially the lever action rifles of the 1870-90 era. The story for me began in 1974 when I purchased a Bullard large-frame repeater in .40-90 caliber. It looked ‘right’ and as the old saying goes, “if it looks right, it probably is right” was never more true. Of course, the first thing any collector does after acquiring a piece is to research everything they care about it, (ideally the research should come first, the purchase second). Much to this writer’s surprise there was little of substance concerning the Bullard Company’s existence or its firearms beyond Phil Sharpe’s monumental work, The Rifle in America. No one seemed to know the exact time frame for the company’s existence or how many guns they produced. In some respects this ignorance still persists even after Bullard Arms (1988) and Bullard Firearms (2002) were published. I wrote these books over those years because I felt the Bullard rifle deserved a better fate than to be confused with the Ballard rifle or consigned to an historical footnote.
James Herbert Bullard (1842-1914) was the designer of the rifle that would bear his name. Just prior to him starting his own company he had been a master mechanic for the firm of Smith & Wesson from about 1876-1881 and was instrumental in obtaining several revolver patents either in collaboration with D.B. Wesson or assignment to Wesson. One patent, No. 198, 228 was for the rebounding safety hammer. By 1882 Bullard was busy perfecting plans and organizing capital to build a plant to produce his repeater, patented on August 16, 1881. H.H. Bigelow of Worcester, MA put up the capital for the venture.
hole thereby strengthening the receiver in that critical area. The first rifles were built in rented premises until the factory that still exists today was built. Until October 11, 1883 the firm was known as the Bullard Repeating Arms Association and about 100 large-frame repeaters are so marked (which command a premium), after that, Association was dropped and Company was substituted. Very early production guns handled the .45-70 US Government round with the Bullard propriety rounds of .40-70-232, .40-75-258 and the .50-
The first rifle, a large-frame repeater was assembled and test fired in Springfield, MA on January 23, 1883. A batch of 500 receivers (the 8 screw variety-viewed from left side of receiver) was ordered from Billings & Spencer. After that, the large-frame receivers went to a 7 screw design to strengthen the receiver in the lever pivot area. The 8 screw receiver used a slotted pivot pin and lock screw whereas the 7 screw utilized a male/ female pin that used one less
(top right) Detachable-interchangeable Barrel model Single-shot 2 barrel set chambered for .22-5 and .32-40 sn 3842. Courtesy Glenn Marsh (top left) Large-frame repeater, sn 1368 Cal .40 26 inch round barrel, Courtesy Robert Pearl (right) photograph believed to be of Edwin Bullard, youngest son of J.H. Bullard circa 1885-6, Coutesy the late Eric Bullard Larsen
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115-300 following in late 1883 or early 1884. Two other Bullard rounds, the .40-90-300 and .45-85-290 were tested in January of 1884 by none other than W. Milton Farrow, the crack shot who became the Bullard company’s demonstrator/promoter for almost all of 1884 travelling the USA before going on to design his own single-shot rifle. In April of 1884 Bullard sent a drawing to UMC for a .38-45-190 cartridge and by November of that year the .32-40150 was also introduced to coincide with the small-frame repeater’s introduction. Catalogs of that time claimed they made a small-frame in .44-40 WCF as well, but none have been encountered that this writer feels for certain, are factory made. By early 1885 the company was also trying to secure military sales but nothing ever came of this except for some very interesting prototypes and oneoffs. The repeaters were too complicated, the type of magazine (tubular) was objected to, and lever actions were hard to work from a prone position, all factors that mitigated against their acceptance by the military. The solid-frame single-shot rifle was advertised by December of 1885. The rifle was a gem, smooth as the repeater, with all parts machined to close tolerances, with the same expertise Bullard had brought to Smith & Wesson. Like the repeaters, they were offered in two frame sizes, and also, like the repeaters, the single-shot was introduced in .45 caliber first (January 1886) though the prototype (S/N 3501) was a cut-down small-frame repeater in .38-45 caliber. In early November Bullard introduced an ‘improved’ model repeater that 34
featured a larger breech block and altered linkage to accommodate the larger breech block within the same receiver confines as before. The larger breech block accomplished nothing, unless a slightly oversized cartridge was encountered, in which case the lever trunions actually bore against the appropriate breech block face and applied a greater leverage to seat the cartridge properly. These rifles of both frame sizes are marked Model 1886. This designation has caused many sources to use 1886 as the introductory year for the Bullard Company which of course, is completely erroneous but understandable if one only encountered
Large-frame repeater, sn 1262 Caliber .45 Courtesy Glenn Marsh
a Bullard marked as a ‘Model 1886’. By late 1886, or early 1887, the first mention of the small-frame detachable interchangeable barrel single-shot rifles was made. These were available in rimfire or center fire, but were not interchangeable on the same receiver until sometime later when someone at the factory figured out how to make the firing pin strike both a rimfire or centre fire cartridge on the same frame. Therefore, one could order as many barrels as they wanted to in a rimfire round and then more barrels in center fire rounds on the SAME frame, up to, but not including the .40 calibres. Later in 1886 a large-frame model appeared that could handle any cartridge, May - June
including Bullard’s .50-115 round. One can readily see the advantages of several barrels for one frame and the Bullard system of dovetailing the barrel and forearm into the receiver on rails, and then locking both together with one or two screws, made for a very fine hunting or target rifle which could be easily transported. This variation of the single-shot rapidly displaced the solid-frame single-shot in popularity because of this versatility. By May 1887 the Bullard firm offered another variation of the detachableinterchangeable barrel model by introducing quickly detachable triggers that could be changed from double set to single trigger with a simple screwdriver. These guns command a premium on the market today. Many notable target shooters of the day owned Bullard’s because of the fine shooting accuracy they were capable of on the range. Elton F. Richardson, A.C. White, T.B. Wilson and George F. Ellsworth were amongst the finest shooters of the day, and all owned at least one Bullard single-shot rifle. In 1884 Farrow put over 4000 rounds through his Bullard repeater demonstrating it around the USA! In Feb-March of 1888 the Company introduced the ‘Hindley’ rifle with a detachable side mounted gravity fed magazine in the hopes of gaining military orders but aside from being a wonderful footnote in the company’s history nothing much ever came of this. They also offered a tubular magazine military musket with magazine cut-off, a tubular magazine military carbine and single-shot military muskets and carbines all of which command high prices because of their extreme rarity. www.nfa.ca
Some of the tubular magazine muskets may have been converted back to civilian rifles and sold to clear them from the ‘books’ when the military rejected them. Considering they were only in business from January 1883 to January 1891 (the last couple of years were very lean ones) they managed to design and make some of the finest rifles that America ever produced. The Bullard is renowned for the smoothness of its operation. The lever can actually be cycled and the hammer cocked by one’s baby finger. Try that with a Winchester or Marlin of that era. The Bullard sold well in Europe and in Canada where the Canadian Headquarters was run by Wm. M. Cooper as sole agent at 69 Bay Street in Toronto. He distributed catalogs and ran many advertisements in The Globe promoting the Bullard sporting rifle. The company also supplied reloading tools of its own design as well as the Brown Variform reloading tool. Their proprietary cartridges were the .32-40-150; .38-45-190; .40-70-232 (this round may have had 3 different bullet weights depending on the manufacturer) .40-75-258; .40-90300; .45-85-290 and the .50-115-300 express or 346 grain solid bullet. The .50-115 was the first commercially available semi-rimless round ever produced anywhere and was the most expensive commercially available round selling at $90.00 per thousand in 1887. In addition to these rounds the Bullard firm would virtually chamber a rifle for any round a customer desired even going to the extreme of making the large-frame repeater receiver shorter in the mortise (carrier) area to accommodate the Winchester .50-95 and .45-75 rounds which required a separate forging rather than putting a stop in the carrier to overcome the shorter cartridge. Collecting Bullard cartridges and boxes is a hobby unto itself given the many variations advertised and encountered. www.nfa.ca
It’s often been stated that one reason the company failed was because they pushed their own line of cartridges, but they actually offered just about any round then available, even going to the lengths explained above to give the customer what they wanted. Spending capital on a separate forging probably cost them money. Yet, it’s difficult to pinpoint the reasons the company failed simply because they did so many things right in their brief tenure. They led the market in some ways by
Large-frame repeater, sn 267 Cal .45 Detail of Company markings Courtesy Emil Baronak
Winchester Box of Bullard .32-40-150 cartridges
introducing large powerful loadings for their repeaters; they had many dealers from A.G. Spalding to the Browning Brothers selling their rifles, printed at least 5 catalogs, numerous flyers and many advertisements in the applicable magazines of the day, attended State exhibitions and fairs and had personages such as Teddy Roosevelt and Buffalo Bill Cody demonstrate or use their rifles, all in 8 years! Possibly, the seeds of their failure may have been sown from the beginning with the construction of a large factory to build their guns, without first having the requisite sales in place to support the expenditure. The rifle May - June
mechanism itself was very smooth and effortless in its manipulation but it was complicated and therefore expensive to manufacture. The extractor often broke and there were problems with the links, the link problem was solved but the extractor problem may not have been. The rifles were expensive and as such would only appeal to the more affluent, which would have possibily limited sales. This writer also believes that stocks of rifles were never built ahead in any quantity and a purchaser often had to wait to buy the Bullard of his choice. Had Bullard himself worked on lightening and simplifying the rifle things might have gone differently for the company, but while he retained a lot of interest and his shares in the company after he left in mid 1885, he no longer remained on the premises to guide the Bullard fortunes on a day to day basis. Bullard rifles were serial numbered in blocks of numbers with serial number 1 through 1500 containing large-frame repeaters. Serial number 1501 through 2000 was assigned to the small-frame repeaters. Serial number range 25012700 was allocated to the large-frame repeaters again. Serial number range 3501-4100 comprised all the singleshot rifles for a total production of all types of 2800 guns. Broken down we have 1700 large-frame repeaters, 500 small-frame repeaters and 600 singleshot rifles of both types. The author has logged 597 of these rifles since 1974. The serial number blocks that are left blank will have to remain a mystery, as no firearms with serial numbers in those ranges have been corroborated, either personally or via photographic means. As the reader can see, owning a Bullard is a distinct and rare privilege therefore if the opportunity comes your way, grab one-you won’t be disappointed.
The Gunsmith’s Bench
Building the Home Gunsmith’s Library By Sean G. Penney
The first ever “repair” I effected as a hobby gunsmith was making a new front sight for an old Cooey Model 60 that I had been given by a family friend. It was a true beater and somewhere along the line the original front sight had been lost, and a replacement fabricated out of a copper penny. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t accurate much beyond 25 feet, but the little turn-bolt repeater showed real promise. Wrapping the little .22LR in some scrap leather I chucked it in a wood vise and fired for group. As I had suspected, the rifle was a shooter, if I had some way to aim. A new front sight was needed. However, I was basically in the same boat as the original owner of the rifle, as there were no gun shops, no gunsmiths and, as a 14 year-old teen growing up in rural Newfoundland, I had no idea where to find one. I did, however, have a couple of old gunsmithing books that had been gifts from friends and relatives. Necessity being the mother of invention, and using 36
my small gunsmith’s library for inspiration and guidance, I proceeded to laboriously create my own replacement sight using nothing more than the old machinist’s vise in my grandfather’s workshop, a piece of salvaged steel, a couple of files and a hacksaw. The end result wouldn’t cause Lyman or Marbles to worry, but it was functional and the old Cooey found new life as a favourite plinking rifle and game-getter. I was lucky, as the volumes that made up my little library were some of the best. If looking to begin a new gunsmith’s library from scratch, I would start with the same volumes that fate had sent my way. Most of what I consider the classics were all originally published in hardcover, on heavy stock paper, and were meant to last for a life time of use; often sprawled across the rough work tables and oil-stained gun smith’s benches of amateur and professional gun mechanics alike.
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edition produced by the National Rifle Association in 1996.
The first was Clyde Baker’s Modern Gunsmithing first published in 1928. I was lucky enough to have been given a 1933 edition. The book included some 34 chapters and almost 600 pages of text and figures covering essentially every gunsmithing related topic then in existence. It was through Baker’s book that I first became aware of another personal hero of mine, the late, great Col. Townsend Whelen, who contributed several chapters to Modern Gunsmithing, including several related to barrel making, chambering and cartridge design. While some of the language and sentence structure may seem a little stilted to a reader today, the book remains quite readable, and is written in a more conversational style that even the most novice of fledgling gun mechanic can easily appreciate.
The final book necessary to complete what I consider the classic trinity of your gunsmithing reference library, is actually in two volumes and published by Funk & Wagnall’s (of encyclopaedia fame). The Modern Gunsmith, by James V. Howe, was first published in 1934, with revisions published in 1937 and 1941. Over the years, the two-volume book has been re-released a number of times, and like the others, early editions command high prices on the used/rare book market. Apparently the copyright on the original work has now expired, and digital copies of the work are also available for purchase on-line via sits such as eBay and Gunbroker.com for under $10.00. If you are on a budget and not lucky enough to find an affordable original copy, that may be another option to consider.
Baker’s book, especially early editions are commanding significant prices on the rare book market, so your best bet is to hunt estate sales, garage sales and on-line auctions. I’ve seen prices range from the next thing to free to hundreds of dollars. A more cost-effective option is to acquire the updated revision published by Stackpole Books and authored by J.E. Traister, the former editor of American Gunsmith.
Whereas the previous books were written in a more conversational style, The Modern Gunsmith is written more akin to a text book, with much technical data, diagrams and illustrations included. Volume One is comprised of some 426 pages and, in addition to covering the same basic chapters on tool selection and shop set-up, provides an exhaustive discourse on more technical issues as fabricating your own tools, selection of materials, metals and supplies, the use of tools, reading and making technical drawings, and multiple chapters on the selection of woods for stock making, design of gun stocks, laying out the stock, inletting, modelling and shaping stocks, finishing stocks, bedding the action, checkering, carving and inlaying stocks and repairs.
The second volume in my erstwhile gunsmith’s reference library was Roy Dunlap’s Gunsmithing that was first published in 1950 by Thomas G. Samworth. Gunsmithing has been in almost constant publication since then and is currently available from Stackpole Books. There is a fair bit of overlap with the earlier Baker book, including basic tools, shop set-up, etc... Dunlap also conveys his ideas and instruction in much the same conversational style as did Clyde Baker. His writing is very easy to understand, but what sets Dunlap apart from most of his contemporary authors is that he not only tells what or how to set up your shop or effect a repair, but the why as well. His catch-all chapter simply entitled “Helpful Gunsmith Knowledge” is one that I return to time and again, and covers everything from how to tear down various makes and models of shotguns and rifles to disassembly of a Lee-Enfield bolt and various methods of removing lead or corrosive primer residue from gun barrels. As with Baker, there is exhaustive coverage of subjects ranging from file work and soldering/brazing, to barrel work and chambering. Other subjects include chapters on welding, heat treatment of metals, making and fitting sights and accessories, making, fitting and heat treatment of parts, rifle action work, pistol and revolver work, shotguns, .22 rimfire work, browning, blueing and blacking of metal, mounting telescopic sights, stock making, design and fitting, as well as a host of others. My original volume essentially fell apart on me, but I was lucky enough to receive a beautifully printed, leather-bound presentation www.nfa.ca
Also included were chapters on: Modernizing military small arms, fitting and sighting equipment, replacement of small parts, hand-forging and heat treatment of metals and small parts, revolver and pistol repairs, adjusting trigger pull, engraving, stripping actions, basic gun repair and maintenance, soldering, brazing and welding and an entire chapter devoted to miscellaneous formulas for creating your own gunmaker’s shellac, gun oils and lubricants, etc... Volume Two concentrates more on metal work and barrel making/fitting and related subjects. Starting with required power tools and general tool-making equipment, Howe covers die and tool making, principles of iron and steel alloys, heat treating of steel, barrel design and fitting, barrel tools and their fabrication, barrel drilling and reaming, barrel turning and chambering, the art of bluing and browning, lapping barrels and polishing, construction of special parts and springs, manufacture of gun sights, and a very interesting discourse on bullet swaging, case re-sizing, and bullet moulds and mould fabrication. In total, Volume Two covers some 424 pages of text, photos and illustrations. I was lucky enough to have been gifted with a 1941 edition that included an extra “supplement” of some 62 pages that covered additional chapters on metallurgy, gun powder and military small arms, etc... My “trinity” is by no means the end-all and be-all of a
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gunsmith’s library, but they are a good foundation upon which to build. Other classics from the era include R. H. Angier’s Firearm Blueing and Browning. Originals are hard to find, but the book is available from Stackpole Books and can easily be found on Amazon or on Internet auction sites like eBay. Also of interest is Professional Gunsmithing by Walter Howe. I have no idea if there is any familial connection between the two Howe authors, however, I didn’t include Professional Gunsmithing in the must-have category, as it concentrates more on the business end of the gunsmithing vocation and covers subjects such as setting up the business, customer relationships, how to handle customers guns, etc... First published in 1946, Howe’s book does offer some gems of wisdom, including his cardinal rules for running a gunsmith shop, that are just as valid today and they were 65 years ago. Howe’s rules: • Be exemplary in the handling of guns at all times; • Don’t make promises you can’t keep; • Keep abreast of all the latest models and calibers and stay informed on the latest technical developments in the arms and ammunition field; • Know and live up to all the laws regarding traffic in firearms, ammunition and components thereof; • Don’t compromise with safety in repair work; • Don’t take on jobs that are beyond your abilities or facilities; • Know your customer.
I am sure that there are many of you reading this right now that wishes their own gunsmith followed the same rules a little more closely today! Like so many of amateur gun mechanics, it is readily apparent Howe liked to tinker. He includes chapters on the design and fabrication of a variety of unique tools such as his own firing-pin protrusion gauges, a revolver recoil-plate tool, a custom stock bolt screwdriver for two-piece stock removal, and a plunger-tube rivet-set. Of particular interest to me was his discussion on special taps for thread chasing and the process of removing dents from shotgun barrels and magazines. While the other volumes will cover most of what the latter Howe work deals with, Professional Gunsmithing is still of value and will make a welcome addition to any gunsmith’s library.
Post-WW II Era Gunsmith’s Kinks, Volumes I, II, III and IV, published by Brownell’s are a fantastic resource for any hobbyist gunsmith. They offer the amateur and professional gunsmith alike the accumulated wisdom, tricks and tips of literally 38
decades of old-school gunsmith experience at your finger tips. They include tips and explanations of techniques that will prove instant time-savers and help the novice gunsmith appreciably increase his/her skills and knowledge without having first to attempt to reinvent the wheel. Other topics covered include discussions of various fixtures, jigs and tools that you might not even realize you “need” but after you use them for the first time, you will never part with thereafter. In essence, Gunsmith’s Kinks are basically a compilation of the best of Brownell’s quarterly newsletters published over the span of years. What really makes it useful is that the company didn’t just dump the information willy-nilly, but took the time to do it right. Everything is carefully crossreferenced in the index and it is very simple for the reader to find pertinent information related to his or her subject published in any of the three volumes. Home Gun Care & Repair by P.O. Ackley is another favourite of mine. Published in 1969 by Stackpole Books, it is a tiny volume in comparison to the others, and consequently doesn’t go into the same amount of detail as the other volumes. Instead, Home Gun Care & Repair provides more of an overview of basic firearms actions, common issues or problems and simple solutions and repairs. Ackley does a good job of explaining more esoteric concepts such as headspacing, cartridge rims and design. He also sets out in layman’s terms, how to complete simple tasks such as removing barrel obstructions, installing a recoil pad, installing sling swivels, and no-brainer subjects such as “Making Good Guns Last a Lifetime.” Of particular interest, I’m sure, was the chapter dealing with the conversion of military guns to sporting rifles, back in the era of plentiful and inexpensive military surplus arms; and much to the chagrin of collectors today. If you’re solely interested in working on your handguns, the one volume I’d highly recommend is Pistolsmithing by George C. Nonte, Jr. First published by Stackpole Books in 1974, the book went through multiple pressings throughout the 1970s. It covers the obligatory chapters on tools, setting up your work space and related subjects just as almost every other book on gunsmithing does. What sets it apart is that it concentrates on no other firearms but pistols and revolvers. Nonte includes one chapter that covers nothing but the functioning of the various modern handgun types, i.e., single Gunsmiths Bench...Continued on Page 41
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What multiple person shootings in Brazil and Holland teach us about arming civilians By Gary Mauser
Recent shootings by suicidal berserkers in both Brazil and Holland have provoked the usual calls for more restrictive gun laws. Such a response is extremely naive as well as hackneyed. A wiser approach is to take a step back and consider the strategic problem of how to defend against suicidal attacks. Where do they occur? What can be done to prevent or stop them? What responsibility could armed citizens assume? Any answer raises an even more fundamental question: does the state trust armed citizens? Anti-gun activists appear to live in a bubble divorced from the real world. No convincing evidence has been found linking civilian gun bans or restrictions to a decrease in violent crime or murder rates (Hahn, 2003; Lott, 2003, 2010; Mauser, 2007; Wellford, 2004). Countries with more restrictive gun laws have been shown to have higher murder and suicide rates than other countries (Kates and Mauser, 2007). As I’ve explained in a previous issue of the Canadian Firearms Journal (March-April 2011), psychological screening cannot identify who will run amok or commit suicide in the future. No psychological or medical test, and no bureaucratic or police screening process, can accurately foresee the mental state of someone in one, five or ten years. Annual medical checkups cannot predict physical health even one year later. The best predictor for future violent behavior is a person’s criminal record; and as a predictor, that is far from perfect. Consider the strategic problem of defending against suicidal attacks, whether multiple person public shootings or terrorist bombings. Both involve murderers who deliberately pick targets where they can butcher large numbers of people before they die. Since the strategic initiative lies with the attacker, he can choose to strike anywhere people gather. It is strategically impossible to successfully safeguard all possible targets from attack. There is an old security truism that states: “If you try to protect everything all the time you will protect nothing.” Modern societies are simply full of vulnerable crowds of civilians. This is an inescapable truth for authorities in attempting to defend against terrorist or multiple shooting at-tacks. In the strategic lexicon, western democracies are target-rich environments. www.nfa.ca
No matter how many soft public places the authorities harden, there must be others that remain defenceless. That’s why gun-free zones, such as schools, attract terrorists and suicidal berserkers. Moreover, it is virtually impossible to stop any given attack from being successful when the per-petrator is willing to die. Authorities know this even if they will not admit it. As has been repeat-edly demonstrated in Israel and elsewhere in the Middle East, suicidal attackers can manage to kill and maim people even when going up against hardened targets like military bases. Neverthe-less, suicidal killers tend to prefer defenceless targets since they can kill more people for the same cost. Since suicide attacks are virtually impossible to predict or prevent, the focus shifts from preven-tion to how best interrupt a killing spree once it starts. What happens during a typical spree? What can be done? Should responsibility for stopping a suicidal killer be left to the authorities or should civilians get involved? Are there any countries that provide a successful model? Consider the strategic situation during a suicidal attack. Multiple-person shootings or terrorist attacks typically end with the death of the attacker. In the recent attack in Brazil, the berserker committed suicide when wounded by police. Similarly, in Holland, the police merely had to ar-rive to prompt the attacker to kill himself. In previous multiple-person shootings in Canada, the rampages only ended when the killer committed suicide. In Mumbai and England, police response was relatively slow, which gave the attackers additional time to kill even more victims. Subsequent calls for further tightening of gun laws are merely red herrings, serving to divert attention from a grossly inadequate defensive response. Rapid armed response is crucial in saving lives. For example, after the Tucson shootings, some analysts suggested placing greater stress on plainclothes protective intelligence teams instead of a scrum of uniformed police officers surrounding officials attending public meetings. They argued for the effectiveness of interspersing people who are invisible to the untrained eye within crowds, positioned at key vantage points,
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to look for and stop threatening individuals. Since the Columbine shootings, police doctrine in the US has stressed swift response by trained paramilitary force in case of gun or bomb threats. While police departments have tended to overreact, witness the armed takedowns of preteens armed with nothing more than BB guns, or peaceful gun owners with a grumpy neighbor, rapid armed intervention still remains “best practice” due to the strategic concerns outlined. Overreaction and inappropriate response remain serious problems due to the difficulty of obtaining accurate information about the threat as it is happening. All countries are struggling with formidable problems in collecting and evaluating information. In a possible violent situation, how centralized should decision making be in assessing the accuracy of reports and determining the response? Should authorities encourage individual initiative on the part of armed civilians? On the one hand, since police cannot be everywhere, resourceful bystanders could play an important role. They would have better information and be able to act immediately. Historically, responsible civilians have been considered as a civilian militia, serving as military or police reserves to defend against terrorist attacks or berserkers. In both Israel and the United States armed civilians have successfully stopped suicidal attackers and saved unknown numbers of lives. Indeed, one of the problems involved in arguing for civilian interventions is that the degree of success is not quantifiable, because nobody can know how many would have died without it. On the other hand, encouraging untrained, or at least uncertified, people to get involved in such a situation may exacerbate problems. Hunters and gun owners could be seen as a citizen militia. In both Switzerland and Israel, due to near-universal conscription, citizens play an important role in public safety. Gun owners are less numerous in Canada, where 19% to 30% of households report having firearms (2.4 - 3.8 million households). In the US, in comparison, some 40% to 50% of households own firearms (46 - 57 million households). Location
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Apr/2011 multiple person shooting
Amsterdam, Holland Tucson, USA
Apr/2011 multiple person shooting Jan/2011 multiple person shooting Jan/2011 bombing
Jun/2010 multiple person shooting
Baden Wuertternberg, Germany Mar/2009 multiple person shooting Mumbai, India
Nov/2007 multiple person shooting
Kauhajoki, Finland Virginia, USA
Montreal, Canada London, England
Sep/2008 multiple person shooting Apr/2007 multiple person shooting Sep/2006 multiple person shooting Jul/2005 bombing
Dec/1989 multiple person shooting
Armed civilians in both Canada and the US have shown themselves to be loyal and responsible citizens. Gun owners have been demonstrated to be less likely than other civilians to commit violent crimes. In both countries, military recruits have disproportionately come from rural households, and rural areas have near universal gun ownership. What small Canadian town or village does not have a cenotaph to honour the sacrifice of its residents in past wars? In the US, armed citizens have proved themselves effective in fighting crime. In 2010, forty states have strong laws permitting qualified people to carry concealed handguns in public. Twenty nine of these states brought in these laws after Florida brought in a concealed carry law in 1987. Thirty seven - of these states have shall issue laws, and three (Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming) require no permit to carry a concealed handgun. The effectiveness of right-to-carry laws has been hotly debated in academia and in state legislatures as well as in the media. Legislators were impressed with the dramatic drop in violent crime that followed. Importantly, no state that has introduced a right-to-carry law has ever rescinded it. The third and most recent edition of John Lott’s classic More Guns, Less Crime (available through the NFA office) documents the success of encouraging qualified citizens to carry concealed handguns. Interestingly, the requirements to qualify for a concealed-carry permit in the US are nearly identical to those required to obtain a Canadian firearms licence. Despite news reports to the contrary, all studies published in refered academic journals found that concealedcarry laws were followed by decreases in criminal violent crime. Lott’s research provides strong empirical evidence that arming law-abiding civilians leads to significant drops in criminal violence. In another controversial book, The Bias Against Guns, Lott shows how armed citizens are effective against suicidal attacks. He analyses multiple-person public shootings between 1977 and 1997 and found that the number of victims from multiple-person shootings drops after the introduction of right-to-carry laws.
How attack ended
killer committed suicide when confronted by police
killer committed suicide when shot and wounded by police tackled by members of the public while reloading committed suicide in explosions
killer committed suicide when confronted by police killer committed suicide when confronted by police attackers killed by security forces
killer committed suicide when confronted by police killer committed suicide when confronted by police killer committed suicide when confronted by police
killer committed suicide when shot and wounded by police killers committed suicide in the explosions
killer committed suicide when confronted by police
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The research remains controversial but it is consistent with reality. Society is safer when government trusts citizens and does not impede the right to own a gun. This raises the question why some countries, like England and Canada, would officially discourage armed citizens, while others, such as Switzerland, Israel, and the US encourage them? References: Hahn, Robert A., et al. (2003). First Reports Evaluating the Effectiveness of Strategies for Pre-venting Violence: Firearms Laws. Findings from the Task Force on Community Preventive Services, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia. Israel Defense Forces: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_Defense_ Forces Kates, Don B., and Gary Mauser (2007). Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International Evidence.
Gunsmiths Bench... Cont. from 38 action revolvers, double-action revolvers, single and double action auto-loaders, etc. That in itself makes Pistolsmithing a must-read for novice handgun shooters. Also out of print, I picked up my copy used from a local public library’s discard book sale.
Softcovers, Technical & Reference Manuals Once you have acquired your classics and familiarized yourself with their contents, you can look at expanding your library. A good place to start is with quality reference manuals. Widely available today, in both printed and in digital/reproduction formats, original government or arsenal technical manuals, usually devoted to a specific firearm model or type, can prove invaluable. Owners of military surplus firearms such as the M-1 Garand, M-14 or Lee-Enfield can attest to how useful such manuals can prove. On the commercial side, increasingly, factory manuals that were formerly only available to official warranty repair centers and armourer’s schools, are now becoming commonly available. They include detailed information on the repair, maintenance and care of each manufacturer’s current line of firearms, as well as complete detailed schematics, exploded views, assembly/ disassembly procedures, along with www.nfa.ca
Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 30, 2 (Spring): 649–94. Lott, John R. Jr. (2010). More Guns, Less Crime. Third Ed. University of Chicago Press. Lott, John R. Jr. (2003). The Bias against Guns. Regnery Publishing. Mauser, Gary (2007). Hubris in the North: The Canadian Firearms Registry. Public Policy Sources, The Fraser Institute, Vancouver BC. Stratfor (October 5, 2010). Terrorism, Vigilance and the Limits of the War on Terror. http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20101004_ terrorism_vigilance_and_limits_war_terror Swiss Armed Forces.http://www.vtg.admin.ch/internet/vtg/en/home. html Wellford, Charles F., John V. Pepper, and Carol V. Petrie, eds. (2004) Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review. National Academies Press.
common cycling and malfunctions and repairs.
The Gun Digest Books of Firearms Assembly/Disassembly also come in handy, especially when dealing with the more common firearms types and models and the factory manual isn’t available. Author J.B. Wood seems to be at the helm of most of these titles, and almost all are still in print or easily available from on-line book dealers such as Amazon.com, Gunbroker. com and eBay. They provide a useful reference work for the novice gun mechanic and professional smith. The various shop manuals produced by Jerry Kuhnhausen can also prove quite valuable, especially to the gun owner interested in working on his or her specific firearm type. They are usually pretty up-to-date and cover almost everything you need to know about your firearm. I currently have Kuhnhausen manuals on the Colt 1911A1, Mauser, Remington 870/1100/11-87 shotguns and S&W revolvers. You get a lot of value for the money and each manual will run around $30.00. Similar to the Gun Digest books are the line of softcover gunsmithing “how-to” books published by Krause Publications and penned by a variety of authors. Probably the best of these are the volumes written by Patrick Sweeney, who has a talent for explaining various May - June
subjects in simple, easy to understand terms that almost any novice can pick up instantly. They are available in a variety of titles, ranging from general topics such as Gunsmithing: Pistols & Revolvers, to specific firearms types, such as Gunsmithing: The AR15. They’re generally well-written and contain many photographs and illustrations that show you what the author is talking about. However, where these types of reference books usually fall down is failing to provide readers with the step-by-step knowledge or process to actually diagnose/complete required repairs or alterations on their own. As such, they are not a replacement for a solid knowledge base, nor will they serve as suitable replacement for the classics I’ve already discussed.
Conclusion The preceding list is not intended to be transcendent. There are literally hundreds of volumes written on gunsmithing and gun repair. Some are better than others and, depending on your skill-set and interests some will better fulfill your personal needs than others. This is an individual need and one that you’ll have to figure out on your own. However, you won’t go wrong starting with any of the classics I’ve discussed here.
Western Lawmen: Wild Bill - Part Two by Jesse Wolf Hardin
(continued from March/April 2011 issue)
Bill’s service in the Union had included not only scouting, but also assignment as a detective for the Union’s Provost Marshal, convincing him he might be suited to making his living as a civilian, by putting on a badge. Here seemed a way for a self described “man of action” to be in the thick of the excitement, while remaining on the “right” side of the law. His broad shoulders, unflappable demeanour, unquestionable courage and great skill with firearms did, indeed, wellqualify him for the dangerous job - which mostly entailing riding herd on rowdy party goers and visiting miscreants and sociopaths. With his combined wild courage and reputation for honesty he’s truly one of the most laudable, as well as formidable, examples of Western lawman that we have, even though he only had a star pinned on for a relatively short amount of time in total. Bill only served as a Deputy U.S. Marshal in Kansas between 1865 and 1871; one year as the elected acting sheriff of Ellis County, Kansas; and he filled in for eight months as the Chief of Police of Abilene Texas in 1870, after Marshal “Bear River” Smith was killed there. And as honest, imposing and effective as he could be, he still wasn’t very good at either getting elected or hanging on to appointments. He lost his Ellis County position in the first general election, and was fired in Abilene for having jailed or bludgeoned so many Texas drovers that the city was losing their business. It was, in fact, immediately after the sting of losing his first ever stab at winning a job in law enforcement – the position of City Marshal of Springfield – that he gave the interview which would introduce his exaggerated persona to the world. Bill always was a yarn spinner, as folks were called who told outrageous stories as a practiced form of campfire or fireplace entertainment, but this time he may also have been trying to make himself feel better after his political defeat. Or it could have been solely the prevarications of the interviewer and author, Col. George Nichols, correspondent for the 42
exceedingly popular Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, as he sculpted the truth in the interest of the most dramatic possible effect on his urbane readers. Bill’s A portrait of the ill-fated Hickok in the family recalled 1870’s, from his sister Lydia’s personal that he was none belongings. to pleased about the more patently ridiculous stories that Nichols included in his series, but America and even Europe ate it up. Over the remaining 10 years of his life, Hickok both exploited the ensuing reputation – such as when attempting to awe wouldbe lawbreakers into behaving – and also suffered for it, by forever after literally needing to guard his back against those who were envious and resentful of that reputation. The earliest and most controversial shooting situation that Bill ever got into occurred on July 12, 1861, when he backed up the proprietors of the isolated Rock Creek relay station. Bill took the part of Mr. Horace Wellman and family, against an irate David McCanless, who had arrived to repossess the station. In Col. Nichols’ version for Harpers in 1867, no mention is made of the dispute over legal ownership which triggered it all. And the way he describes it, Bill jumped to the aid of an innocent family against a large band of murdering cutthroats, managing with but a single revolver and bowie knife to shoot or slash to death all ten! In reality, only the hearty 6’ tall McCanless and his 12 year old boy had approached the station’s door, with Dave having left his two employees to stay in the barn with the horses. He was shot in the chest in the middle of loudly arguing his point with the grown Wellman daughter Jane. The bullet was fired by either Hickok or Old Man Wellman, who had
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been concealed behind a curtain. Either way, it was likely Bill’s least laudable scrape, as they then shot McCanless’ two hired hands who came running to investigate. Legend has it, Hickok stood by watching as the maddened Jane finished one off with a hoe, and then tried in vain to catch and club the fast retreating youth. More wholly defendable, was Hickok’s next celebrated fight, in “Paddy Welch’s” saloon in Hay’s City. The press of the time, including the Kansas City Daily Commonwealth, reported that he had repelled an attack by five members of the 7th Cavalry, and the book by Buell, Heroes of The Plains, put the number at 15. But as much as the facts can be known, it would seem the actual encounter involved only two. The first of these, a powerfully built soldier by the name of Lonergan, was both a onetime Medal of Honor winner and a recent army deserter, and had taken offense at something Bill had said. For the first, but not last time, Hickok was taken from behind, with Lonergan prudently pinning his arms to the side and falling with him to the floor. His fellow deserter, Kelly, then stepped over with his cocked Remington revolver, placed it against Bill’s temple and pulled the trigger. The hammer fell with a loud click, instead of a bang, the revolver having misfired to Hickok’s great relief. Bill had managed to snake his own gun out of its holster by that point, and was just able to cock his wrist enough to get off a shot into Kelly’s gun hand, and then another into his side. With Kelly out of the action, Bill struggled to get the barrel pointed behind him at Lonergan, finally blasting away his knee cap and thereby breaking free. He then leapt through the nearest window without bothering to open it, taking the curtain with him, as he made his strategic withdrawal. My fellow firearms historian, Joseph Rosa, has pointed out how fortunate Hickok was that Kelly had used a government issued Remington New Army .44 with a reputation for occasional malfunctions, instead of the possibly more reliable Colt. It is known that Hickok owned not only his Colt Navies, but also a Sharps breech loading carbine that was, for awhile buried with him, and an interesting pair of derringers that he apparently never had the occasion to fire in anger. The Williamsons looked a lot like the earlier trademark muzzle loading derringers, with the bonus that they were clever breech loaders that could either fire either a .41 caliber metallic cartridge, or with the aid of a special brass insert, fire loose powder and ball. It was, however, his silver plated, ivory stocked Colt Navies that he put to work in what turned out to be his final gunfight.
A studio portrait of Bill taken in NY in 1874, presumably while on tour with Cody and troupe. Photo: Bob McCubben Collection
the greatest unintended ramifications was triggered (pardon the pun) by his enforcement of unpopular new gun control ordinances. Combined with the fact that he was a northerner in a position of authority in a ‘Southern’ town, his roughshod arrests of partying cowboys – simply for packing iron – had in only eight months of service resulted in numerous death threats... including one by Texan Phil Coe, who let it be known he’d put an end to Hickok by “first frost.” It was around 8 o’clock at night that Hickok was heard warning a growing crowd of disgruntled Texans not to be caught carrying firearms within the city limits. He’d only been gone an hour when he heard a pistol shot ring out from the same spot. Running with his Colts in hand, he found Coe at the head of those gathered, his revolver still smoking. “I was just shooting at a stray dog,” he supposedly explained, before bringing his guns up to waist level and firing. Hickok immediately returned the shots thrusting both arms straight out and putting twin .36 caliber balls into Coe’s gut. Just as quickly, he blasted a second armed man running towards him in the dark, only this time it wasn’t another riotous Texas drover, but Mike Williams, his deputy and friend. He must have known he did the natural thing, that if he didn’t react without hesitation he might have been overtaken by an adversary and died. That said, it would be the last man ever shot by James Butler Hickok, and for two days the usually stoic gunman cried.
Hopefully he made it to whatever “shore” he had in mind, when five years later he wrote his dear Agnes those prophetic last lines. Either way, we can be sure that he died ready for the “plunge.” He always was. Hickok may have been one of the least corrupted of Old West lawdogs; sometimes enforcing the kinds of regulations that both I, and those feisty Texans found deplorable, but at the same time refusing the The encounter took place on October 5th, 1871, in Abilene, usual bribes, facing danger head on, going to the aid of the Texas, where Bill had been appointed acting Chief of Police. weak and the victimized, and standing resolutely at their While that other noted lawman, Wyatt Earp, was known to side. And Wild Bill may come the closest of all the old time operate brothels between shootouts, Hickok got in trouble gunfighters, when it comes to genuinely living up to an for enforcing regulations against prostitution and shutting the impossibly large, and in his case un-survivable reputation... red light district down. But just like Earp, the shootout with a complex man, truly worthy of a legend. www.nfa.ca May - June 43
Member’s Soapbox: Community Safety & the Firearms Registry Debate: Redux By Jon McCormick
The Liberals tried using the long gun registry as a wedge issue a few weeks ago; with little success, other than to turn off even more responsible firearms owners from ever contemplating voting for their party. The defeat of Bill C-391 most certainly remained fresh in the minds of many gun owners, and they voted accordingly.
Aside from the hardcore shooters and collectors, the failure of C-391 resonated with many “one-gun” hunters as well. Many of the latter had assumed that C-391 was a done deal; that they could toss their registration certificates and take to the field without having to bother with such pointless red-tape. They weren’t happy to learn otherwise; thanks wholly to the efforts of Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Layton. Both leaders, of course, trotted out the same old, baseless arguments in support of registration while on the campaign trail.
Unfortunately, we never did see a truly frank and earnest debate on the issue during the election campaign. What concerns me is that far too many of our fellow “one-gun” hunters were buying what the Liberals were selling at the time and voted Liberal or NDP! If the politicians aren’t willing to do so, I think it is up to gun owners themselves to fully hash out this issue
of registration. I think it would behove all of us to take a few minutes and think about the issue and ask ourselves, truthfully, where do I stand on the firearms registry debate?
Do you really believe that registration is a useful law enforcement tool given its efficacy and cost? Do the police actually use the registry 11,000 times a day, or is this merely the result of automatic computer checks aimed at artificially inflating the numbers? Does putting a piece of paper next to a firearm prevent its misuse? Does it prevent crimes? Or, is the Coalition for Gun Control’s claims nothing more than a stratagem of the gun-control lobby to sell the registry’s legitimacy to those who don’t own firearms, and hence justify its cost? The registry and its politics aside, it is community safety which is the real issue. Citizens need to know that firearms owners pose no threat to the safety of the rest of society. Residents need assurance that as a firearms owner, you are complying, not only with the law, but common sense, and that you have your firearms secure from thieves and home visitors. According to the Liberals, stolen firearms are one of the leading sources of guns used by Canadian criminals. May - June
The newspapers and television certainly make sure to trumpet the potential massacres in the offing when a legal firearms owner has his collection targeted and stolen. All too often, the gun owner, rather than being portrayed as victim, is more often represented negatively, with the unsaid implication that the theft was somehow his fault.
Obviously, criminals need firearms for personal protection, intimidation and for carrying out their illegal activities. However, most criminals cannot, or choose not to acquire a firearms license that would allow them to legally purchase firearms. As a result, they purchase their guns on the street from other outlaws; individuals whose business is stealing/smuggling firearms and selling to unlicensed criminals.
CISC (Criminal Intelligence Service Canada) claims that, “The major source of illicit firearms in Canada is [both] smuggled and domestic theft.” In this case, I will grudgingly admit that there may be a kernel of truth to what gun control advocates have argued; that legal guns may become illegal guns. However, the numbers involved are miniscule compared to the millions of legal firearms currently in the hands of law-abiding gun owners.
The fault does not lie with gun owners, www.nfa.ca
however, since if you look at current RCMP statistics, there have been over 300 confirmed penetrations of the Liberal’s firearms registry! Similarly, there have been several police officers and police employees charged and/or convicted of unauthorized access of the registry database. These individuals were shown to have ties to organized crime.
If you think about it, the current firearms registry basically offers one-stop shopping for the criminal organization in search of firearms to steal. There have been numerous cases of large collections being targeted across Canada, especially in Ontario. There was one case where the criminal gang spent a full weekend cutting their way into an industrial-type gun vault located in the home of one collector. The thieves knew enough to strike after the owner had left for the weekend. Obviously they did not stumble across that location by mere happenstance.
Such a theft required organization, operational intelligence and skills that the average burglar simply does not possess. In the light of such security failures, and subsequent thefts, should we be asking ourselves is the registry making us safer, or merely providing criminals with easy access to an additional source of firearms? Rather than blaming the thieves, all too often, political police chiefs in Canada continue to point the finger at the gun owner instead. Interestingly, CISC also contends that the Internet is now a growing source of illegal firearms and firearms parts for criminal acquisition. Recently, a joint Canadian and American lawenforcement operation in Chicago, Illinois and Windsor, Ontario, netted over 200 firearms smuggled by a Chicago firearms dealer into Canada. Smuggling firearms into Canada is not difficult given our porous and remote border. In the old days, Canadian hunters often met up with their American friends, deep in the www.nfa.ca
mountains to visit, share a meal and buy cheap ammunition and other supplies which their American counterparts had brought with them. Relatively harmless at the time, but now the same process can and has been adopted by criminals looking to smuggle illegal handguns, and other firearms preferred by Canadian drug dealers and gang members.
Although the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has reduced the number of trunk dealers; those who sell from the trunk of their vehicle at gun shows and similar functions, sufficient numbers remain to perpetuate the lack of control. Consequently, the flow of illegal, smuggled guns across our border continues uninterrupted.
As such, if gun owners do their ‘due diligence,’ and take all reasonable measures to control their firearms, many even opting to purchase purposebuilt gun safes and security systems that far exceed legal requirements, where is the justice in blaming the gun owner? Assaults on our personal property aside, does it seem as if it is easier for Canadian law enforcement to target law-abiding gun owners today, rather than actual criminals? Or is it the political supporters of the Canadian Firearms Program who are to blame for casting these aspersions on gun owners; or both? Generally speaking, law-enforcement in the past, was often too busy with major criminal investigations to bother doing home gun checks on individual gun owners, or to confirm that their guns were properly registered. That’s changing today, as we see a growth in NWEST teams across the country and an increasing willingness by police forces such as the OPP and Toronto Police Service to execute no-knock warrants for expired firearms licenses, or as part of “Operation Safe City” programs.
Such raids make for splashy headlines and positive PR opportunities for May - June
police forces, many of which who are under increasing pressure to produce demonstrable results that they are curtailing the criminal use of guns. However, all too often such photo ops come at the expense of “paper criminals;” gun owners who forgot to renew their license, or widows left to deal with disposing of their dead husbands guns, and similar victimless “crimes” of omission.
Yet what of the Canadian Firearms Center - now rebranded as the Canadian Firearms Program? What is their role in this debate? Their culpability? Is it their mandate to simply record and register firearms numbers, or is it to help systematically eliminate firearms through a bureaucratic web of paper work and licenses aimed primarily at discouraging firearms ownership?
Toronto’s Chief of Police, Bill Blair, weighing in on the latter question, recently shared his reasoning for confiscating over 400 firearms from fellow Torontonians. Most of the owners affected were guilty of allowing their firearms licenses to lapse for one reason or another. In Blair’s opinion, “You cannot call yourself a legal handgun owner if you are not complying with the law” (referring to the licensee). What Blair fails to acknowledge is that the current Firearms Act places reverse onus on gun owners to ensure they remain in compliance; while granting the state blanket immunity. As such, Blair effectively lumps together the otherwise law-abiding gun owner, who forgot to mail in his licence renewal and who becomes a law-breaker via an act of “omission,” with career criminals, such as drug dealers and murderers, who transition into criminality via deliberate acts of “commission!” Furthermore, Canada’s political chief’s association, the CACP argues that the registry is accessed thousands of times daily and that the system saves lives. Liberal and NDP anti-gun politicians have willingly accepted this “truth,” and have used it in support of continued 45
firearms registration and confiscation. Former federal Liberal MP Keith Martin is representative of this position, arguing during the debate over C-391 that he would not deny police any law-enforcement tool to police which they felt they needed for their protection.
TPS, Chief Bill Blair said he would opt to keep the registry rather than put more police officers on the street if given the choice! So, who to believe? The cops actually dodging the bullets say the registry is ineffective and a waste of money and resources. Their political masters say otherwise.
Every street cop on the force longer than a day will always assume that firearms are present in any and all encounters with the public. To do otherwise is to put their own lives at risk and, as a recent survey of several thousand front-line officers across the country clearly proves such cops have a diametrically opposing viewpoint to their political masters and chiefs. Yet, when grilled by Conservative MPs during parliamentary committee hearings on C-391, head of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, and head of the
If the political solution has proven so difficult for us, is it time to try a different strategy? Perhaps rather than looking toward gun-control advocates in the House of Commons, we should start paying more attention to what the political chiefs and the CACP are telling our politicians and the public? And let Canadians make an informed decision based on real facts and absent any spin?
It would seem that the political chiefs, firearms bureaucrats and federal opposition parties are content to continue to perpetuate the myth of firearms registration as effective crime control, and thus are all culpable in the victimization of Canadian gun owners. That is plain wrong, especially when front-line police officers; “those in the trenches,” are of the opinion that registration is a waste.
Each One Of Us Is... An ambassador, a teacher, and a member. One of the most important functions of Canada’s National Firearms Association is making firearms ownership and use relevant to growing numbers of Canadians. To prosper, we must have a steady flow of new shooters and enthusiasts entering our proud firearms heritage. Your membership and your donations to Canada’s National Firearms Association are helping us develop the programs Canada needs to make sure our firearms heritage continues to grow.
Therefore, if not for reasons of officer safety, how then can gun control advocates in parliament continue to argue in favour of keeping the long gun registry? High-profile Liberals have publicly admitted that the registry is flawed and outrageously expensive. A number of NDP MPs voted to scrap it, and a majority of Canadians remain in favour of scrapping it. Yet we are still burdened by it?
Jon McCormick can be reached at www.bcinternet.net/jm
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Turkey Continued from Page 22
off by 3.5-inch shells,” he said. “Even it it’s just 2.75-inch, you need to shoot a gun you are comfortable with so you don’t develop a flinch from being pounded when practicing.”
Milton agreed. “Why do you want to beat yourself up,” he said. “You’re only going to need a small percent of shot to hit a turkey in the head and neck. Four or five No. 6 and he’s dead.”
To the patterning board
With the new 20 gauge, I headed to the patterning board to see for myself how it compared.
Starting at 40 yards, I found the Mossberg produced only two hits with Federal FLITECONTROL No. 6s and a pretty sparse piece of paper. Switching to Winchester No. 5 Xtended Range, the pattern density was better and the number of hits jumped to seven. That compared to the best result I had with my Winchester turkey gun with 6 Federal FLITECONTROL was 16 hits. Testing on a previous day showed I could increase that even more with
Turkey...TIPS • Although a hunter might not feel the recoil from a turkey load while shooting a live bird, it’s a different story when sighting in your gun. Heavy turkey loads can wallop even the toughest hunters. The last thing a hunter wants is to develop a flinch from the recoil of sighting in your gun. A strap-on recoil pad or vest – such as the Browning Reactar – can reduce felt recoil • Clean your gun between loads for more consistent patterns. • Practice on calm days, wind can make a difference in your pattern. • Shoot at a variety of distances as many turkeys are shot at less than 40 yards. • Practice prior to each season.
Winchester Xtended Range in No. 5. I Président From Page 7 haven’t tried Xtended Range No. 6 but fonctionne pas, mais au minimum, il would like to get my hands on some. faut revenir à ne plus enregistrer ce qui But, move the target in to 30 yards and ne l’était pas avant 1989. Les chargeurs there is little doubt the little 20 is deadly. à grande capacité ne doivent plus être At that distance the pattern sheets from interdits. Ce n’est pas la capacité du both shells would no doubt decimate chargeur qui est le problème – c’est l’acte criminel violent qui doit être puni a turkey. There were 13 hits with the proportionnellement à sa gravité. Federal and 29 with the Xtended Range Winchester. I didn’t experiment with Il y a tellement plus de correctifs à apporter, nous avons aujourd’hui the 12 gauge at 30 yards. l’oportunité exceptionnelle de les mettre My conclusion was 40 yards would be en place. Nous devons contacter nos pushing it with the 20 gauge and the députés et leur communiquer nos deshells I had. Bring the bird in a few mandes. Nous devons faire front commore yards and it’s deadly. I found non- mun en matière d’armes à feu. Ce sont toxic loads were better if you wanted to nos divisions internes en tant que compush the distance to 40 yards. I couldn’t munauté qui ont ét utilisées contre nous, get my hands on any No. 6 non-toxic il y a vingt ans, pour créé de ‘bonnes loads in 20 gauge, but the extra few armes’ et de ‘mauvaises armes’. Dans pellets may be enough to make the 20 ce suivi de notre cible, nous devons tougauge a strong contender at 40 yards. jours nous souvenir qu’il n’a jamais été The story is still being written whether question des armes mais plutôt de conor not the lighter gun was the right trôle. turkey prescription for Collin, as turkey Nous avons besoin de VOUS! Il est très season just opened as I completed this important que vous écriviez une lettre article. Hopefully, however, we will traditionnelle (pas un courriel) à Stehave learned the answer to this question phen Harper et à son nouveau Ministre de la Sécurité Publique (inconnu pour be season’s close. le moment). Félicitez les pour leur succès électoral et faites leurs de bons souhaits pour l’avenir. Le sens principal de votre lettre doit indiquer que vous êtes d’accord avec les points énoncés dans Choke tubes mon message et que vous voulez que www.briley.com la Loi sur les Armes à Feu soit abrogée. www.carlsonchokes.com Que seul, l’abolition du registre des www.comp-n-choke.com armes longues n’est pas assez pour réwww.hunterspec.com parer le mal qui a été fait au pays par des www.hastingsbarrels.com régimes successifs de mauvaises lois. www.hivizsights.com Laissez leurs savoir que l’Association www.kicks-ind.com Canadienne des Propriétaires d’Armes à www.patternmaster.com Feu prend la parole pour vous. Écrivez www.precisionarms.ca le plus tôt possible et le plus souvent www.primos.com possible, ceci est très important. Alwww.gameacc.net/Pure%20Gold%20 ors, je vous en prie, mettez vous à vos Chokes.htm claviers ou à vos plumes et postez ces www.rhinochokes.com www.trulockchokes.com lettres gratuitement puisqu’elles sont www.wadwizard.com adressées au Gouvernement. Inscrivez Most gun manufacturers also offer le nom et le titre du destinataire au desturkey tubes sus de l’adresse suivante : Chambre des Communes, Édifices du Parlement, OtShells tawa, Ontario K1A 0A6 www.federalcartridge.com
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Published on Oct 11, 2012
Canadians are privileged to enjoy a multitude of fantastic hunting and shooting opportunities if we choose to take advantage of them. Introd...