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DECEMBER I 2017
GUN WORLD DECEMBER I 2017
THE UNIVERSAL IMPROVED CARBINE American Defense Manufacturing’s UIC Mod2 is a next-gen AR, thanks to its patented receiver assembly and fire control system. By Becky Yackley
BUDGET BOLT-ACTION BUYER’S GUIDE ’Tis the season to start shopping for a new bolt gun. There are so many accurate, affordable options that there’s bound to be a gun out there just right for that someone special on your list (and maybe for you, as well). By Brad Fitzpatrick
HANDLOADING THE VERSATILE 10MM AUTO With the wide assortment of powders and .40-caliber bullets available, the 10mm brings magnum performance to the autoloader. By James E. House
TWO FOR THE MEAN STREETS Kahr’s new S series introduced two 9-mils—both are solid choices for personal-protection duties. By Chris Christian
PREDATOR ON THE PROWL Ruger’s popular American Rifle Predator is now chambered for a former wildcat that’s gaining popularity—the 6mm Creedmoor—and it’s a winner. By Mike Dickerson THE HAMMER, REINVENTED Springfield Armory got into the polymer handgun EDC market during the age of the striker-fired, leaving them without a hammer-fired polymer. The XD-E rectifies that. By Richard Schutz
66 78 www.gunworld.com
BOOK REVIEW: BOOK OF CZ FIREARMS, BY ROBB MANNING By Jameson Parker QUIZ: THE SUBMACHINE GUN By Richard Venola
DECEMBER I 2017
BY ROBB MANNING RMANNING@ENGAGEDMEDIAINC.COM
GUN WORLD DECEMBER 2017
Volume 58 • Number 12
EDITORIAL Robb Manning Editor Kelly Nomura Executive Managing Editor Amy Maclean Managing Editor
DESIGN Julian Aviña Art Director
CONTRIBUTORS Steven Barlow, Brian Berry, Michelle Cerino, Chris Christian, Mike Dickerson, Brad Fitzpatrick, James House, Steven Ledin, Brian Morris, Jameson Parker, Jeff Quinn, Richard Schutz, Richard Venola, Beckey Yackley
MAKING CHRISTMAS MEMORIES
nce again, we’re in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. Seems every year, people are in more of a hurry to rush to the store to buy the latest and greatest whatchamajigger.
Ironically, this time of year, I see more hostility and disregard for others than at any other time. It’s now, “Peace on Earth, and goodwill toward men ... unless there’s a good sale!” Take a breath and enjoy this time of year; spend it with the people in your life who matter the most. Better yet, spend that quality time doing things that will build memories, such as time spent in the field or woods or at the range. Especially if you have kids, make sure to include them in as much gun time as you can. Or, perhaps you are a kid (I started reading gun magazines when I was in 5th grade). If adults in your family are heading out hunting or shooting, ask if you can come along. It’s hard to beat a cold afternoon kicking up a pheasant or two with some good friends and a good dog or cornering some tree rats in a big oak tree while your kids take aim and knock them off. This can be followed up with some hot cocoa while sitting in front of a fire, with toasty house slippers on, reminiscing about the day’s action. Christmas brings out more nostalgia than just about anything else. Second on the list for me, and I’m guessing for a lot of you, is nostalgia for guns and hunting. This is the reason you can walk into just about any outdoorsman’s store and find paintings depicting scenes from “times past.” For example: a hunter dressed in a red plaid coat with a matching Stormy Kromer, an old, 1950s pickup truck in the background and a buck jumping over the fence. It’s important to build those memories with your kids so as they get older, they have those childhood memories to be nostalgic about. And, if you are that kid I referring to above, build those memories with your family members. They won’t be around forever. Cherish the time you have with loved ones—forget about the Christmas madhouse. Instead, grab a gun and head out to spend quality time with the important people in your life. www.gunworld.com
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DECEMBER I 2017
If paying too much for a quality 1911 makes you want to scream, grab a TCM from Rock Island Armory. We donâ€™t cut corners to make a less expensive gun. We simply believe in delivering value and performance
MAKE: Plasticase MODEL: Nanuk 925 4Up Pistol & Nanuk 990 Long Gun DIMENSIONS: Varies MSRP: $200 (925 4Up Pistol); $340 (990 Long Gun) URL: www.Nanuk.com With a name inspired by the polar bear (nanook/nanuk), these cases definitely live up to their inspiration. Designed for rugged, heavy-duty use by military, law enforcement and professionals, these cases are built to withstand any conditions you can throw at them. They use NK-7 resin, which is lightweight but very resistant to impact. They’re watertight and rated to IP67. This means that even the smallest particles can’t get in. The cases can be submerged under water down to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. They feature a patented “PowerClaw” latch that uses compression to close the case tight, with an integral slide lock to keep the latch closed. The handles are spring loaded to keep out of the way when not in use and have over-molded, soft-grip panels for carry comfort. The cases have reinforced metal holes and tie-down eyelets. The “Long” and “Wheeled” series have polyurethane wheels and stainless bearings that are rugged and roll smoothly. The 925 4Up Pistol case holds four handguns and 10 magazines and is available in six different colors. The 990 is available in three colors.
MAKE: Milwaukee Tool MODEL: Rover OUTPUT: TrueView HD, 445 lume (two hours); 100 lumens (11 hour POWER: RedLithium USB battery—USB rechargeable or ca be swapped out for another (sold separately) SIZE: 5.98x1.26x1.36 inches, 5.75 ounc s MSRP: $60 URL: www.MilwaukeeTool.com We’ve been testing this for more than four months now; this is an outstanding light. It features a super-bright, 445-lumen TrueView high-definition LED and has a spread that will light up a whole room. In the woods, it makes your vicinity look like broad daylight. On “low,” it’s brighter than most camp lanterns we compared it to. It also has great runtime: On “high,” it’ll go for over two hours straight, and on “low,” it will go all day (11 hours). It charges fast, too—50 percent in 30 minutes, 80 percent in an hour. It has an internal magnet for sticking it to stuff and a clip for clipping it to your shirt (caution: Do not approach people carrying it like this—it will hurt their eyes). It was developed for job sights, so it’s tough: resistant to dust, water, impact and chemicals. (Our only complaint: It would be nice if it had a rubbery, slipresistant surface for grip.) It comes with a heavy-duty, 2-foot USB cord. www.gunworld.com
MAKE: Summit MODEL: Heated Seat SIZE: 15x15x1.75 inches; 17 ounces MSRP: $80 URL: www.SummitStands.com Winter is coming … and with it comes a cold butt from sitting in a treestand, a metal chair at the rifle range or on metal bleachers at a football game. Not anymore. The Summit Heated Seat has three temperature settings (approximate): 100 degrees (13 hours), 113 degrees (eight hours) and 131 degrees (four hours). Press the button, and mere seconds later, you can feel the heat toasting your buns. This seat has a tough outer nylon shell and comes with a rechargeable USB power bank and cables. In an emergency, the power bank can be used to charge a dead cell phone. It has a heavy-duty rope carry handle with a hard-rubber overmold. DECEMBER I 2017
MAKE: Zippo MODEL: OUL (Outdoor Utility Lighter) SPECS: 7.8x1.5 inches; 6.6 ounces MSRP: $20 URL: www.Zippo.com For those of you tired of cheap, disposable crap, this rugged, metalconstructed, long-reach lighter will last a lifetime. It has a hand-filling rubber nonslip grip that’s attached by screws—yeah, screws; it’s built that well. Fueled by butane, it’s refillable and has a fuel level indicator window. It also has a windresistant, adjustable, dual flame that, on the highest setting, sounds like a blowtorch. Some might find the child-resistant safety button a little hardcore, but it’s not bad, once you get the hang of it. It has a circle ring to attach to a lanyard or carabiner. It’s built so well that it would make a striking weapon in a pinch.
MAKE: Bear Edge MODEL: 521 Tactical Pen MSRP: $27 URL: www.BearandSonCutlery.com Made of aircraft aluminum, this pen has a screw-off cap and uses standard Parker refills. It comes with a carbide tip for breaking glass, heads or anything else that needs breaking. It’s 5.75 inches long and weighs 1.3 ounces. The cap has a flat top, so it’s comfortable if you need to strike with it (although the pen could use more texture for sure purchase if you need to use it in that capacity). The machining is done well, with tight tolerances—as is obvious when you disassemble it. As a writing implement, it’s a bit top heavy when the cap is secured on the back end, but it balances well with it removed. This pen is a great buy at its MSRP.
MAKE: Clinger Holsters MODEL: Comfort Cling MSRP: $20 URL: www.ClingerHolsters.com This holster is very comfortable and very versatile. Use it for pocket carry and IWB carry in any position—hip or appendix. And because it covers the entire trigger guard, it can be used to stow your gun in a glove box or bag. It works with just about every single-stack on the market, and because it has an open bottom, even full-size guns with longer slides (such as the 1911) fit. The interior is lowfriction, ballistic nylon; the exterior is a soft, rubbery, nonstick fabric that’s freakishly sticky and isn’t going anywhere. A middle layer feels like gel and makes for super-comfortable carry. Zig-zag stitching around the holster mouth is designed so sights do not snag upon draw. For testing, we wore it with a loose belt to see how it stayed in place. It didn’t budge. www.gunworld.com
MAKE: Nightstick MODEL: Tactical Weapon Mounted Light 850XL SPECS: 850 lumens (1.75-hour runtime); 2x CR123 lithium batteries; 4.5 ounces MSRP: $151 URL: www.NightStick.com Nightstick is not exactly on the radar of most gun owners, but based on this offering, they should be. Made of 6061-T6 aluminum, this tough piece of kit is waterproof and submergible to 1 meter, drop proof up to 2 meters and chemical resistant. It kicks out a blinding 850 lumens all the way to 250 meters. It’s truly ambidextrous and features mirroring toggle switches on either side. “Down” is momentary on; “up” is constant-on. This light attaches via a straight-slot screw (a coin works great to secure it). Even if the screw were to work loose during shooting, it’s still secured to the rail, because the spring-loaded screw must be pressed in to release it from the rail. This light comes with four sets of cross-rail inserts, so it will work with any handgun rail on the market. Also available is a push-button back plate for use on long guns. DECEMBER I 2017
MODEL: Combo Pack INCLUDES: 2-ounce bottle of RAND CLP, 4-ounce bottle of Bore & Bolt, 1-ounce tube of HAWG MSRP: $27 URL: www.RandClp.com RAND CLP makes nontoxic, ecofriendly, bio-synthetic gun cleaning products, and its stuff works extremely well. The CLP has a very low coefficient of friction (i.e., it’s slicker ‘n a doggie landmine in wet grass) for reduced wear. It won’t dry out, and the high flashpoint (approximately 604 degrees Fahrenheit) means it won’t burn off with high rates of fire. Plus, it cleans well. For tougher fouling, Bore & Bolt penetrates deep and pushes the fouling up and out of the metal surface. Our standard field test: Take a firearm cleaned with the military standard gun cleaner (Breakfree CLP), and then pass a patch through with this new product. In separate tests, both RAND CLP and Bore & Bolt came out with additional fouling on the patch, thereby passing the test. Developed for machine guns and other heavy-use weapons, HAWG (Heavy Applications Weapons Grease) is formulated to go on thick and stay in place. We used it on both a selectfire SMG and a belt-fed, and it worked perfectly, with a visible coating present when done.
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY STEVEN K. LEDIN
This Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic) has night vision-compatible settings, allowing you to use equipment such as this PVS-14 monocular without intensifier tube damage.
OPTICS FOR YOUR AR RED-DOT VS. 1-6X RIFLESCOPE www.gunworld.com
hat’s the best choice for a sighting device on your AR?
It’s no dispute that the easiest and fastest sight to use is a 1x (no magnification) electronic reddot sight. But a low-magnification riflescope (usually 1-4x or 1-6x) is more accurate and offers more flexibility. Which of these attributes is most important to you?
RED-DOT SIGHT A red-dot sight has a whole lot going for it. For legions of shooters not super familiar with shooting a black gun, using a red-dot is easy. Red-dots require no specific eye relief, which is critical for new shooters, because most don’t understand what proper eye relief or a cheek weld is. Using a red-dot is like looking through a piece of glass with a mark on it: You look at the target, and when the mark is superimposed on your target, you shoot. It’s fast! The limitation of no magnification makes precise bullet placement difficult at distance, compounded by the fact that most red-dot sights have a dot or aiming point that subtends, or covers, a large portion of target. Although a few manufacturers offer red-dot
DECEMBER I 2017
FOR LEGIONS OF SHOOTERS NOT SUPER FAMILIAR WITH SHOOTING A BLACK GUN, USING A RED-DOT IS EASY.
sights with a subtention of 1 MOA, most dots are significantly larger, and some could even cover up to 12 inches of your target at 100 yards. That 12 MOA dot will then cover 6 inches at 50 yards or 3 inches at 25. Most guns shoot a whole lot better than that.
Red-dots can be used to co-witness with iron sights. That means that while looking through your lined-up, appropriate-height iron sights, the dot appears on the top of your front sight (“absolute” co-witness) or slightly above the sight (lower-1/3 co-witness). So, if your sight fails for any reason, you can still aim the gun with your existing iron sights. A red-dot sight, with the exception of Trijicon sights, will not work without power of some kind, so an extra way to aim the gun is smart.
A bombproof red-dot such as this Trijicon MRO could be the only sighting device you’ll ever need ... or want. (Equipment: Trijicon MRO with Sidelok mount on Yankee Hill Black Diamond Specter upper)
The electronic dot in a sight can sometimes appear blurry or pixilated, and this is mostly because of vision problems such as astigmatism. With astigmatism, the dot might appear as a comma or flower bloom (people are regularly introduced to their astigmatism by using a red-dot sight and wondering why the dot is not round). This rarely affects the overall use of a red-dot sight, because they are used mostly for close shooting of fewer than 100 yards.
1-6x magnification scopes such as this SIG Tango6 are becoming affordable, and thus, more common. Use them at high power to realize the basic accuracy potential of your gun. (Shown with a Warne RAMP mount)
DECEMBER I 2017
Red-dots also tend to occlude vision with their housing. EOTech offers a huge sight window that lessens this and is a large reason they are so popular. Tubed sights have a shadow around the sight window that bothers some, but you really overlook this. I call it “visual exclusion” when you disregard this shadow, similar to how you ignore the frames on your eyeglasses or the sticker on the corner of your windshield.
The Vortex Razor on this wicked little SIG-Braced AR pistol has a tiny footprint and allows for quick targeting and ease of use when shooting from less-than-ideal positions. (Equipment: Vortex Razor mini reddot on Noveske upper, Anderson lower)
LOW-MAGNIFICATION RIFLESCOPES A low-magnification riflescope with magnification starting at 1x offers a huge field of view, and it can be used very similar to a reddot. Yet, in an instant, it can be dialed up to a higher magnification for more-precise work. The ocular bell of a riflescope does not result in the same type of outer shadow that the tube of a red-dot imparts. You can quickly adjust the magnification for more-precise bullet placement at distance, and reticles do not cover the amount of target space that a dot does. You can be quite exact with your shot, and more of the accuracy potential of your gun can be realized when using such an optic. The magnification “range du jour” is 6x, and a 1-6x scope at high power can easily be used for targets at several hundred yards. The reticle will always be there, whether the power to illuminate the reticle is available or not. Because 1-4x scopes have been around a long time, they are more affordable than 1-6x versions and are similarly useful.
red-dot sights are night vision compatible, which means that the intensity level of the dot can be adjusted so low that you can’t even see it with your naked eye. This will then be viewed at the appropriate brightness level through a night vision device without burning a permanent image of the dot into your intensifier tube. A red-dot sight is generally a better choice and more fun for the inexperienced shooter to use, especially because the distances that most noncompetition ARs are used is fairly close. However, you will never realize the accuracy potential of your gun with a red-dot. Red-dot sights take up little space, allowing for magnifiers of various magnifications. And it’s OK to mix and match manufacturers. (Equipment: SIG Sauer Romeo5 red dot with Vortex VMX-3T magnifier on a flip mount)
Conversely, a riflescope will allow for more-accurate shots, if not as quickly, and can have ballistic reticles to match your trajectory at distance. Decide which works for you, and go with it.
One of the drawbacks to using a riflescope is that the cheekweld becomes all important. Such scopes have an eye relief requirement that demands a specific head placement. For experienced shooters familiar with riflescopes, this is generally not a conscious issue. But you cannot move your head around and still get a sight picture as much as you can with a red-dot sight. Most folks will be completely satisfied with a red-dot on their black gun, and the small footprint of a red-dot sight, as opposed to a riflescope, allows you to mount additional products, such as magnifiers, night vision and BUIS (backup iron sights). Many
SUGGESTED CONTACT INFORMATION AIMPOINT, INC. us.Aimpoint.com EOTECH www.EOTechInc.com KINETIC DEVELOPMENT GROUP www.KineticDG.com
RED-DOTS CAN BE USED TO CO-WITNESS WITH IRON SIGHTS.
SIG SAUER, INC. www.SIGSauer.com TRIJICON www.Trijicon.com VORTEX OPTICS www.VortexOptics.com WARNE SCOPE MOUNTS www.WarneScopeMounts.com YANKEE HILL MACHINE www.YHM.net
Steven K. Ledin is a former U.S. Navy nuclear gunner’s mate and current director of a prominent online optics retailer. He’s a CCW and NRA instructor and has been a sponsored competitive shooter and private investigator. He has hunted (and gotten lost) from Alaska to Africa.
DECEMBER I 2017
TEXT BY BRAD FITZPATRICK
FROM THE FORESTS OF MAINE TO THE WILD SIERRA, CHASING WILD BIRDS IS AN ADDICTIVE—AND CHALLENGING—EXPERIENCE.
hen I’m asked, as I often am, which hunt in North America has been the most challenging for me, I don’t give the response most people expect.
Perhaps those who ask the question anticipate my response to be that I found a high-mountain elk hunt to be the toughest or maybe some long trek through the dry thornbush of southern Africa, in search of a crafty, old kudu bull. And while both of those hunts—and many others like them—have been real challenges, the one hunt that left me broken, beaten and bootless occurred in the wild Owyhee Mountains of southern Idaho while chasing … wild chukar. And I do mean chasing. Uphill. Downhill. Through steep canyon country that was hot and dry, navigating over lava rock that quite literally ate the soles from my boots and left me wondering if I were insane or stupid (or both) for pouring so www.gunworld.com
PHOTOS BY BRAD FITZPATRICK AND BEN GETTINGER
much sweat and effort into finding a drab bird that was slightly smaller than your typical barnyard chicken. But that was the toughest hunt. And maybe I am stupid and insane, because I chase chukars every chance I get.
UPLAND BIRD HUNTS Upland birds are one of my passions; and, unlike with many biggame species, opportunities to hunt wild birds abound across the nation. Whereas you could wait years to draw a coveted elk tag or a lifetime to get a crack at a sheep, you can hunt wild birds on public land this fall—and next fall and every year that follows. All you need to do is homework and, in many cases, a lot of walking. Public hunting for upland birds can also be quite affordable. Sure, you can book guided hunts (which are often significantly less expensive than big-game hunts), but you can also purchase a hunting license, an affordable shotgun and a good pair of boots (or two) and be fully equipped to bag your limit of birds on a regular basis. I can’t offer you insight into all the public land bird-hunting opportunities that await you, but here are five of my favorites. None of them is easy (and one will require a Herculean effort), but each of these hunts offers outstanding experiences in some of North America’s most beautiful country. Eastern Ruffed Grouse: Ruffed grouse hunting is a timehonored tradition in many areas of the country, and there are plenty of areas that offer excellent grouse hunting, from New DECEMBER I 2017
Sage grouse are the ultimate prize for many upland hunters. Youâ€™ll likely walk many miles before getting a shot.
FEDERALâ€™S GAME-SHOK 28-GAUGE LOAD
Lightweight, efficient and offering low recoil for fast follow-up shots, 28-gauge shotguns are quite versatile for upland hunting. One of the best new 28-gauge loads for upland hunting is Federalâ€™s Game-Shok offering. Available with 5, 6 or 7.5 shot in 1-ounce loads, Game-Shok pushes a payload of hard, uniform shot at 1,220 fps for maximum lethality, even at extended ranges. These loads pattern well and burn cleanly, and I have found them to function well in various 28-gauge semiautos and pumps. Theyâ€™re also very effective on game birds up to, and including, pheasant. Because light sub-gauge guns weigh a pound or so less than most of their 12-gauge counterparts, they are ideal for long walks in upland country. Even though the Game-Shokâ€™s payl and quite impressive, recoil is man Federal loads are affordably priced f 28-gauge offerings with an MSRP of $19.95 (and street prices will likely be lower). These versatile loads are also great for quail and small game such as rabbits.
Browning Memories Safe.
Tom Loy (left) of Tallgrass Gordon Setters with a pair of Hungarian partridges. Huns are found throughout many areas of the western United States and offer a great wingshooting opportunity.
Photographer Benjamin Gettinger (right) with a ruffed grouse taken in northern Maine. Grouse are abundant in this area, but hunting them is difficult, and shooting through dense forest can be a real challenge.
England to the Appalachian Mountains to the Great Lakes. My favorite grouse hunt took place in the seemingly endless forests of northern Maine, where birds were plentiful—but other hunters were not. You can simply walk through the timber or along cut lines and jump-shoot these birds (however, a good dog offers a huge advantage). Finding grouse is largely a game of scouting out prime areas where food sources such as wild grapes attract and hold large numbers of birds. The key to grouse hunting is to learn to shoot quickly and accurately in dense, forested cover. Long-barreled guns can be a liability in thick cover, and many grouse hunters prefer light, handy scatterguns that won’t hang up in dense brush. Grouse rank among the most delicious of all wild birds. Pheasants in the Dakotas: Pheasant hunting is to the Dakotas what surfing is to southern California, and the sweeping vistas in this region offer plenty of chances to bag your limit of roosters. Unlike grouse hunting, which often demands hiking through heavy cover, pheasant hunting most often occurs in more-open country, often on CRP ground or in agricultural fields. Traditionally, hunters use blockers at the end of a field to make running birds rise, and this method works well—as long as everyone is very careful not to take a dangerous shot when birds rise between hunters. Of course, having a really good bird dog helps, and your four-legged companion will not only flush or point birds, it will also help you retrieve downed pheasants (which can be a real chore in tall grass). Chukar and Huns in the West: Chukar and Hungarian Partridge were introduced into the United States, where both species have flourished. They are particularly common in areas such as Idaho, Montana, Utah and other Rocky Mountain states, but finding them usually means a lot of walking. Chukars tend to move down with the snowline, offering hunters
a lower-elevation hunt later in the season (although Huns are capable of thriving in deep snow). You can scout for chukars by listening for their distinctive chuck-chuck call. And while you can hunt these birds without a four-legged friend, a good dog really ups the odds of success—and significantly lessens the amount of ground you need to cover for success.
The Dakotas are famous for their high numbers of pheasants. These birds can be walked up on driven hunts, but good dogs are a benefit—especially for finding wounded pheasants.
Mountain Grouse in the Rockies: Blue grouse are a common bird in the high, alpine timber of the Rockies and are often encountered as you drive on Forest Service roads throughout the year. You can scout along these roads and hunt in areas where you have seen a lot of birds or bird sign, and having a dog isn’t as important when hunting blues as it is when hunting chukars and huns. Simply walking along the wooded fringe of pine forests at high elevations can produce great results, but you need to pay close attention and move slowly. When these birds fly, they often dart and dodge between trees like their cousins do in the eastern United States, and fast, accurate shooting will help you succeed.
The author with a brace of blue grouse taken on a hunt in Idaho. Blue grouse are numerous and can often be seen as you drive along Forest Service roads.
Chukars live in some beautiful and rugged country. This bird was taken while the author hunted in Hell’s Canyon with Heaven’s Gate Outfitters. The timbered ridges also produced a ruffed grouse on this same hunt. (Photo: Ben Gettinger)
Sage Grouse in the Sagebrush Sea: Sage grouse numbers fluctuate from year to year, and while these birds might be prevalent in an area, finding them can be a real challenge. I walked about 15 miles through ankle-grabbing sage before I had my first shot at a bird, and that was in some excellent habitat with numerous birds in southern Wyoming. But for an upland hunter, sage grouse are among the rarest and most sought-after trophies, and there are few experiences in upland hunting more rewarding than seeing a grouse explode from the brush. If that ever happens, you’ll know you’ve accomplished one of wingshooting’s most difficult feats. It’s also worth noting that flocks of sage grouse often flush in intervals, so if the first bird you jump takes you by surprise and you don’t get a shot, be ready—more are likely to follow. This is one of the most challenging of all wild-bird hunts, and I was lucky to have encountered my first bird after just 15 miles. This might not be the best hunt for the novice uplander, and success often takes days, months or even years.
Brad Fitzpatrick is a full-time freelance writer based in Ohio. His works have appeared in several print and online publications, and he is the author of two books: The Shooter’s Bible Guide to Concealed Carry and Handgun Buyer’s Guide 2015. He has hunted on four continents and was a collegiate trap and skeet shooter before becoming a writer.
DECEMBER I 2017
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY BECKY YACKLEY
CHRISTMAS C GIFTS FOR FROM STOCKING-STUFFERS GUNLOVERS TOFORGEAR—SOMETHING ANY GUN FANATIC ON
Christmas is coming—time to buy a gift for those people in your life whose love of shiny, black guns is ranked somewhere near their love for you. Improve your ranking by getting them something from our list!
From stocking-stuffers to gear even the elves at the North Pole would be in awe of, this list offers gift ideas for your husband, wife, dad, mom, boyfriend or girlfriend (and maybe even for yourself). GW
YOUR GIFT LIST 5.11: DC FLT LINE
I am always on the move, so I really like the DC FLT Luggage from 5.11 Tactical. Besides being packed with cool details such as reinforced grab handles, locking zippers and hardcorner protection, these bags can even be embroidered. They meet U.S. carry-on guidelines when they aren’t expanded, and they are the quietest rolling luggage I’ve ever traveled with. I love the smooth feel of this bag when it rolls and that I’m not listening to the incessant churning of wheels as I pull it along.
JP ENTERPRISES: PISTOL CALIBER CARBINE (PCC) This over-the-top gift will make your wife, kids or husband happy. What gun lover wouldn’t want a 9mm Pistol Caliber Carbine from JP Enterprises? While some PCC brands are still sorting out functionality issues in their PCC platforms, JP seems to have nailed it with its new GMR-15. With parts and support from a U.S. manufacturer, this choice for a Christmas gift screams “America!”
In addition, this lightweight luggage features durable construction and a roomy interior. I sometimes don’t have the opportunity or time to unpack, and leaving all my stuff in the DC FLT Line is not a problem (and my socks didn’t smell while zipped into the mesh bag inside). A foam-padded interior keeps your laptop and paperwork secure. MSRP: $159.99 www.511Tactical.com
I know five shooters who ran two GMR-15s—malfunction free— through a 10-stage match. This little gem even takes Glock mags. Considering that 9mm prices are still significantly cheaper than rifle ammo, this carbine equates to more shooting for less money. It has a 3 MOA guarantee, but ours grouped better than that: under 2 MOA using Zero 124-grain HP conical bullets. MSRP: $859–$1,699 www.JPRifles.com www.gunworld.com
DECEMBER I 2017
VOODOO TACTICAL: 56-INCH TWO-COMPARTMENT GUN CASE For the guy with the long-barrel gun that can never fit in the bag, check out Voodoo Tactical’s long-gun bag with an adjustable internal hook-and-loop pistol/mag pouch system. Designed with 3-gun competitors in mind, this bag also has a place for your PRS rifle or your long-barrelled bolt gun (maybe even with the suppressor mounted). If you’re going hunting and want to pack two shotguns, plus the chokes and other gear in a single bag; or if you have a PRS gun that is too long for other bags—this is the ticket. It has plenty of pockets, hook-andloop fasteners and comfortable, backpack-style shoulder straps in case you’re lugging a couple of rifles to the hunting cabin. It was awarded the 2017 Industry Choice Award for Premium Accessory of the year. MSRP: $249 www.VoodooTactical.com
MGM TARGETS: STEEL CHALLENGE PLATE RACK Wanna get a lot of bang for your “buck -et”? MGM’s A Plate Rack in a Bucket would make a great gift. Some of us don’t have a place to shoot; and when we do find one, access to targets is often another hurdle. The answer is in this bucket. It comes with six plates, six hooks to hang them and two beam hangers to make the 2x4 crossbeam and legs. Just take three 8-foot 2x4s, cut two of those legs in half, and add the contents of this bucket. You have a plate rack to shoot at in under two minutes. It also doesn’t require reset—which means more shooting time. MSRP: $300 MGMTargets.com
Performance Accessories Mag-Fed SHotguns Shotgun & Rimfire Accessories Stocks & Forends Performance Rimfire Barrels Ammo Storage Solutions WWW.ADAPTIVETACTICAL.COM 208-442-8000
DECEMBER I 2017
... THIS LIST OFFERS GIFT IDEAS FOR YOUR HUSBAND, WIFE, DAD, MOM, BOYFRIEND OR GIRLFRIEND (AND MAYBE EVEN FOR YOURSELF).
MAGPUL: D60 Bigger isn’t always better, but more is better, right? This drum mag from Magpul has earned my affection, because it does its job. I’m pretty sure nobody will guess what this is once it’s wrapped up with a bow and placed under the Christmas tree (unless they’re a gun nut). And it will make any AR owner happy without breaking the bank. Check for sales, because I’ve found these for as low as $99!
TACTICAL SHIT: SNOWDEN COMPUTER BAG
MSRP: $130 www.Magpul.com
We see guns set up with ambidextrous controls. So, how about a computer bag that’s ambi capable? Maybe your workload requires you to work on your flight but one side of your seat won’t accommodate the mouse pad. This laptop bag has you covered. It features a mouse pad you can attach via a hook-and-loop closure to either side of the opened bag, and it has plenty of pockets to stash whatever you need—where you need it, when you need it. This will make all sorts of people happy—from computer geeks to guys in the field. And while I don’t think my laptop is in danger of being shot, I do think the option to insert a ballistic soft panel, made by Vism and also sold by Tactical Shit, is a way to turn your laptop bag into something more, if needed. I can’t help but think about stories of helicopter crews during the Vietnam era using phone books as ballistic protection. It makes me think about how technology has changed the world in my lifetime. We can use a laptop to beam photos to loved ones deployed with a MEU on the other side of the world; and the bag that holds that computer can offer ballistic protection. It also has padded shoulder straps if you have to lug your laptop on your back to keep your hands free.
SAMSON MANUFACTURI AR-15 ACCESSO Items every gun owner needs are mounts for optics and attachment points for slings. Quality accessories are always useful, whether you use your AR for hog hunting or if it’s a .22 conversion your kids enjoy shooting. A few things I really like come from Samson Manufacturing. The QD sling mounts the company makes are small on size but big on usefulness. For those times you want to sling a rifle, these are perfect. For optics you use on multiple rifles, Samson makes its DMR scope and red-dot mounts with quickrelease locking mechanisms. I also like buying presents made in the USA (no offense to Santa’s elves at the North Pole). MSRP: $27–$195 www.Samson-Mfg.com
MSRP: $100 www.TacticalShit.com
Author Becky Yackley competes in action shooting (3 Gun, USPSA, Bianchi and IPSC) with her husband and three sons. When she isn’t shooting matches or writing, she is busy with her camera. Becky is the founder of the 2A Heritage Junior shooting camps and works in social media for several firearms industry companies.
DECEMBER I 2017
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TEXT AND PHOTOS BY BRAD FITZPATRICK
BUDGET BOLT-ACTION RIFLEBUYER’S GUIDE ’TIS THE SEASON TO START SHOPPING FOR A NEW BOLT GUN, AND WITH SO MANY ACCURATE, AFFORDABLE OPTIONS, THERE’S A GUN OUT THERE THAT’S JUST RIGHT FOR THAT SOMEONE SPECIAL ON YOUR LIST (AND MAYBE FOR YOU, AS WELL).
nce upon a time, buying a cheap bolt-action rifle meant you got, well, a cheap rifle. The trigger was probably awful, the craftsmanship was questionable, and accuracy would be “minute of deer”—if you were lucky. Unless you could fork over the cash for a higher-end model from a major brand, you had to live with what you got … which often wasn’t very much. My, how times have changed! There’s a new crop of budget bolt guns that are not only accurate but also promise minute of angle accuracy. Terrible, heavy triggers are a thing of the past; they have been replaced by lighter, creep-free models
The Remington 783 is very affordable—but don’t let that scare you. It’s an effective hunting rifle that is accurate and dependable on game.
that are often user adjustable. Bargain guns don’t have to be beautiful, but they had better perform.
It certainly is a buyer’s market for bolt guns—but which rifle should you choose? Good question. For practical purposes, we’ve capped the MSRP on these “budget” guns at $600, which means street price will likely be lower. Here are seven of our favorite affordable hunting rifles for 2017. REMINGTON MODEL 783: Remington’s Model 783 offers a button-rifle barrel that is free floated, a one-piece receiver with minimized ejection port and an adjustable CrossFire bladed trigger. The synthetic stock is pillar bedded, and the detachable box magazine holds four rounds in standard calibers and three rounds in magnums. It’s available as a package gun and comes with a pre-mounted and bore-sighted 3-9x40 scope for just $399—a real bargain, even among budget guns. I used this rifle for a whitetail and hog cull hunt in Texas and was very impressed with the accuracy and feel of the gun, which produced MOA groups with Remington ammo. (www.Remington.com)
DECEMBER I 2017
This Texas cull buck was harvested using a Remington 783 in .30-06 with a Trijicon scope. Such a setup is ideal for almost any hunting, because the 783 is among the most accurate budget guns available today.
MOSSBERG PATRIOT: Mossberg is best known for its hard-working, affordable pump shotguns, but the brand’s Patriot bolt action is quickly gaining a following among big-game hunters. These guns come with a fluted, crowned barrel, a spiral-fluted bolt, scope bases, a detachable box magazine and Mossberg’s adjustable LBA bladed trigger. There are many different configurations, including synthetic, laminate and walnut stocks, as well as many caliber options, with prices starting at $397. You can also opt for a combo rifle with a pre-mounted Vortex scope package. I dragged a Patriot rifle through the desert mountains of west Texas on an aoudad hunt earlier this year. In true Mossberg fashion, the rifle shrugged off the elements and performed perfectly. (www.Mossberg.com)
The author took this excellent aoudad ram in Texas using a Mossberg Patriot rifle chambered in .30-06. The Patriot is an American-made rifle that is affordable, accurate and very durable.
Mossberg’s Patriot, shown here in walnut. The author used the Patriot shown here to hunt aoudad and for the hunter prep course at Arizona’s Gunsite Academy.
DECEMBER I 2017
gun world THOMPSON/CENTER COMPASS: The Compass comes with a long list of great features: a barrel that is threaded and capped, 5R rifling, a flushfit, detachable rotary magazine, adjustable position and a three-position safety—all for $399. The bolt knob and forearm design are unique but very functional, and the black synthetic stock is very durable. This rifle utilizes a three-lug bolt that allows for a short (60-degree) bolt lift, and the minimized ejection port adds rigidity and improves accuracy. This allows T/C to back this rifle with a sub-MOA guarantee. It’s available in 11 calibers that range from .204 Ruger to .300 Winchester Magnum. There’s very little in the world you can’t hunt with this sleek budget gun. (www. TCArms.com) (EDITOR’S NOTE: Thompson/Center has issued a safety recall for all Compass rifles manufactured before September 16, 2016. For questions, please contact Thompson/Center at  512-5935.)
The T/C Compass, like some other rifles discussed in this article, utilizes a three-lug bolt design. This reduces the height you have to lift the bolt to cycle the action, thereby speeding followup shots and helping you avoid slamming your knuckles on the scope.
Thompson/Center’s Compass rifle carries an MSRP of under $400, yet it is capable of producing sub-MOA results such as this with factory ammo. That certainly classifies it as one of the best budget hunting rifles you can buy. The T/C Compass is a great budget hunting rifle with a number of features, such as a rotary magazine, threaded muzzle and a three-position safety. Plus, it carries a sub-MOA accuracy guarantee.
Savage’s AXIS II package rifle costs under $500 and is ready to hunt, right out of the package (although you might need to fine-tune your zero). These rifles are extremely accurate, too.
This 1-inch group was fired from a Savage AXIS II using Fusion .243 Winchester ammo. The less-expensive AXIS is also available, but the AXIS II comes with the outstanding AccuTrigger, which is worth the extra money.
Savage’s AccuTrigger was a real game-changer. It made heavy, creepy triggers obsolete—even on budget guns.
variant you choos SAVAGE AXIS II: Savage has a long history of building accurate budget guns, and the AXIS II is a standout in this field. Every aspect of this rifle is designed for consistency and accuracy, from the hand-straightened bolts to the locknut design that allows for perfect headspacing. The result? An extremely accurate rifle at an affordable price. The AXIS II isn’t the cheapest rifle in Savage’s stable (that would be the closely related AXIS), but for a few dollars more, the AXIS II comes with the brand’s ground-breaking AccuTrigger, which is both safe and precise. In my opinion, it is worth the extra money. Other features include a synthetic stock, carbon-steel barrel, detachable box magazine and a tang-mounted safety. For $485, you can have a Savage AXIS II XP package rifle, which comes with a bore-mounted 3-9x40 scope—a great bargain. (www.SavageArms.com)
gun world BROWNING AB3: The AB3 looks, feels and shoots like an expensive rifle. However, with an MSRP of $599.99 for the composite model, it just squeaks in under the $600 limit. It comes with a smoothcycling, three-lug bolt with an oversized bolt body and an air-gauged, hand-chambered, free-floated barrel for optimum accuracy. The detachable box magazine is durable and functions flawlessly, and the Inflex recoil pad helps reduce recoil. The safety is positioned on the tang, and there’s a bolt release button that must be depressed to operate the bolt with the safety engaged. A Micro Stalker version with a 22-inch barrel and 13-inch length of pull is available, as well, and there’s a walnut stock model that breaks the $600 MSRP limit (although street prices will likely be under $600). Regardless of the variant you choose, this gun is a solid option. I’ve used it on multiple hunts and have always been very impressed. (www.Browning.com)
NSSF’s Jennifer Pearsall with an excellent Arkansas whitetail she killed using Browning’s AB3 rifle. The AB3 is a very nice gun that looks and feels more expensive than it is.
BARGAIN GUNS DON’T HAVE TO BE BEAUTIFUL, BUT THEY HAD BETTER PERFORM. www.gunworld.com
DECEMBER I 2017
The Browning AB3 offers a level of refinement rarely seen on budget guns. If you donâ€™t mind the two-position safety/ bolt-release button setup (in fact, some shooters even like it, as I do), the AB3 might be the perfect hunting rifle for you.
SOMETHING TO REVERE Mossberg knows how to build a tough gun, but it also knows how to build a beautiful rifle. Case in point: the Patriot Revere. The Revere utilizes the same push-feed, duallug action as other Patriot rifles and mates the barreled action with a beautiful piece of 2.0-grade European walnut. The stock is further enhanced by the addition of a rosewood forend and maple-accented grip caps. The rifle also features the addition of fine line checkering. At its heart, the Patriot is still a working rifle with the same key features you’d expect: LBA bladed trigger (adjustable: 2 to 7 pounds), scope bases and a detachable box magazine. This great-looking rifle is available in six calibers (.243 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Winchester, .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield and .300 Win Mag) and sells for $823—quite a bargain. (www. Mossberg.com)
WINCHESTER XPR: The team at Winchester has done an excellent job balancing production costs and premium features with the XPR. The chrome-moly barrel is button rifled and target crowned, and there’s a barrel nut that allows the barrel and receiver to match square and true with perfect headspacing, greatly improving accuracy potential. There’s a steel recoil lug that is integral to the stock and is keyed into the receiver, along with a nickel Teflon three-lug bolt for a short bolt lift and fluid cycling. There’s a traditional two-position safety with a bolt unlock button that rides behind the bolt handle. The MOA trigger from the Model 70 has found its way into this budget rifle. There are several caliber options that range up to .338 Win Mag. Prices start at $549.99 for the black synthetic full-size and youth models, and $599 for the Mossy Oak camo models. Regardless of which version you choose, the XPR is simply one of the very best budget guns available today. (www.WinchesterGuns.com) When Winchester set out to build a modern successor to the Model 70’s legacy, the company chose the XPR. Wise decision. This accurate, affordable rifle was the perfect choice to lead Winchester fans into the 21st century.
The Ruger American travels to Canada. The author took this Alberta black bear with a Ruger American in .30-06.
DECEMBER I 2017
IT CERTAINLY IS A BUYER’S MARKET FOR BOLT GUNS— BUT WHICH RIFLE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?
If you live in an area of the country where deer hunting is limited to straight-walled calibers, the Ruger American Rifle Ranch, in .450 Bushmaster, might be just what you’re looking for. It has plenty of power, and the included muzzle brake tames recoil.
Kent Thomas with an excellent black bear taken with the Ruger American Rifle. The American Rifle comes with the Marksman Pro trigger, which is light and creep free.
Ruger’s American Rifle has gained a loyal following, and new models have sprung up in recent years. Regardless of which American you choose, you’ll be getting an accurate, dependable rifle and won’t have to spend a lot to do so.
RUGER AMERICAN RIFLE: The American rifle has become a standard among budget guns; it is an affordable, accurate rifle family that has grown to include eight different models. All these guns come with a Marksman Adjustable Trigger, cold-hammer-forged barrel, Power Bedding, barrel nut, tang safety, detachable box magazine and much more. The result? A deadly accurate, American-made rifle at a very reasonable price point: just $489 for the base model. There are Compact models, as well as a green-stocked Predator version and a Ranch model, so you have a lot of options. (For a review of the Ruger American Predator, please see page 56 of this Gun World issue.) There’s even a Ranch model in .450 Bushmaster perfect for states that limit deer hunters to straight-wall cartridges. Regardless of the version you choose, these guns are dependable and accurate. I used one on an Alberta black bear hunt and have tested several versions on the range. I have yet to be disappointed by any of them. (www.Ruger.com) www.gunworld.com
DECEMBER I 2017
TEXT BY BECKY YACKLEY
on’t let the fancy paint job and sleek look of this American Defense Manufacturing (ADM) Universal Improved Carbine (UIC) Mod2 fool you; this thing is about performance, not looks. Not just a general-purpose, home-defense/duty AR, it also works for competitions and hunting.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE The ADM UIC Mod2 rifle is designed to be a top-of-the line tactical carbine, complete with ADM’s patented “ambidextrously operable firearms receiver assembly.” This means both right- and left-handed people can reach the controls … all the controls.
The AMD UIC Mod2 comes set up as a top-end AR, but add a scope, and this rifle can do anything from hitting prairie dogs to targets in a competition.
DECEMBER I 2017
PHOTOS BY BECKY YACKLEY AND ROBB MANNING
AMERICAN DEFENSE MANUFACTURING’S UIC MOD2 IS A NEXT-GEN AR—THANKS TO THE PATENTED RECEIVER ASSEMBLY AND FIRE CONTROL SYSTEM. www.gunworld.com
DECEMBER I 2017
gun world The Magpul SL stock adjusts easily for setting length of pull. The ADM handguard has a flat bottom and sides—good for creating a solid position if you need to shoot off a wall, barricade, etc. MLOK slots on the handguard make attaching accessories easy, too.
empty chamber, then, bolt condition of the shooter’s choice, bolt locked back and running a battery-assist device is going to be the fastest way to get shooting. Seating a mag on a closed bolt is difficult; trying to seat a mag in full-on adrenaline mode with a closed bolt can be both comedy and tragedy.
When it comes to charging the rifle, the Bravo Company Mfg. Gunfighter ambidextrous charging handle also gives rightor left-handed shooters an easy grab. In competitions, you sometimes run into odd staging conditions, such as a staging table on which your gun won’t rest the way you would like it to. You know you will either have to pick it up and turn it to charge the gun or reach out with your other hand. So, this piece makes sense, no matter which hand you were born using.
Another reason I like the right-side bolt catch is for teaching. When instructing a brand-new shooter who’s unfamiliar with the AR, it’s painful to watch them struggle to find the left-side bolt catch to lock the bolt to the rear. A bolt catch on the right side of ADM’s receiver just makes sense.
The mag release on either side is another plus that evens out the speed at which a left-handed person can operate this rifle. If you share gear with a lefty, this seems to be an optimal setup. If this were your battle rifle, knowing you could operate it more effectively with either hand would be comforting.
The integral upper/ lower tension-adjusting screw, located above the pistol grip inside the lower (bottom of photo), helps ensure your upper-to-lowerreceiver fit is solid. Note the ambidextrous fire controls: the selector, bolt catch and mag release. (Photo: Robb Manning)
The 45-degree safety is something that was different for me. If you like these, you’ll get one on this rifle. It was smooth to engage and disengage. It has a wider shelf for your thumb than a standard safety. And, if you like the idea of resting your thumb on the safety while you fire, this one stops in a comfortable position.
Having run a battery-assist device on my competition rifle for four years, I was curious about the bolt catch on this rifle. For most people, a battery-assist device isn’t a big deal, but I’ve run into situations for which it’s an asset. Usually, it’s in a speed contest in a match, but if you travel all the way to Russia to shoot, and the stage brief requires an
The trigger is a Geissele G2S trigger that lives up to the job of being part of an accurate rifle. It is a 4.5-pound, non-adjustable trigger with a very positive reset. This is an upgrade from a stock trigger; however, it is not a highly tunable match trigger. Even so, it definitely gets the job done and will facilitate moreaccurate shooting, compared to a GI trigger.
The author throws down with the UIC, spitting the wrath of the gods out of the muzzle.
The 15-inch handguard makes for a comfortable grip of the rifle with your support hand, allowing for a firm, forward
THE TRIGGER IS A GEISSELE G2S TRIGGER THAT LIVES UP TO THE JOB OF BEING PART OF AN ACCURATE RIFLE.
DECEMBER I 2017
The modernized Galil ACE is based upon the reliable mechanism of the original Galil assault riﬂe ﬁrst developed by IMI in the late 1960’s. Drawing inspiration from the legendary Russian AK-47 and the Finnish Valmet RK 62, the IWI Galil ACE has been continuously improved over the last 40+ years, resulting in today’s extremely reliable and highly accurate Galil ACE. Riﬂe and pistol models available in 7.62x39mm,
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gun world C-grip or whatever type of grip you want. The long handguard also facilitates shooting from and over barricades and lessens the likelihood your barrel is touching an obstacle. This also gives you space to mount a light, bipod stud or any other attachment you might want to add. There is also a flared magwell built into the lower, which helps reloads by funneling the magazine up and into the receiver for faster mag changes. It’s a detail borrowed from the competition market, but it is honestly useful for anyone who needs to change magazines quickly.
With a fully ambidextrous lower receiver, including charging handle, bolt catch, safety and mag release, this patented lower receiver makes an impression.
The rifle comes standard with a Radian Weapons 45 Degree Talon Ambi Safety. The trigger is a Geissele G2S Trigger. (Photo: Robb Manning)
FIND YOUR BALANCE
This rifle’s barrel is contoured in Criterion’s Hybrid contour, which means that it’s designed to have less weight than Criterion’s HBAR barrels. It’s the middle ground between a government-profile barrel and an HBAR contour.
Unloaded, and as it comes from ADM, this rifle weighs 6.2 pounds. (The test rifle, with optic and as configured, weighed 9.02 pounds.) But there is balance in this rifle—not just physically balanced in your hands, but is also balanced in the parts used to configure it. This rifle comes with a 16-inch Criterion barrel chambered in .223 Wylde, 1:8 twist, with the company’s hybrid contour. Criterion’s barrels are button rifled and use a unique chrome lining process that gives the benefits of chrome lining while maintaining match-grade accuracy. The competition side of the AR market often pushes light, lighter and lightest, but lighter is not always better. Recoil management is assisted by a barrel in a heavier contour.
While looks are not what should sell you on a rifle, this one turned heads in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, New Mexico and back. The Cerakote paint job on the mag and rifle made it stand out as a beauty, even while taking out prairie dogs in the Wyoming dust.
Another area in which the rifle finds balance is in the details that are apparent in the machining. There was a clear effort to lighten the weight of the handguard via holes drilled into the Picatinny rail section on the top of the handguard. Weight also comes into play with the compensator: a BattleComp 1.0 that weighs 1.7 ounces. With some AR comps weighing well more than 3 ounces, this comp helps lighten the rifle. As for function, there was mixed feedback from shooters who tried it. Some shooters really like tunable comps; others don’t consider the comp much at all. But the
IF THIS WERE YOUR BATTLE RIFLE, KNOWING YOU COULD OPERATE IT MORE EFFECTIVELY WITH EITHER HAND WOULD BE COMFORTING. www.gunworld.com
DECEMBER I 2017
gun world felt recoil seemed average to me. There was less blast from the sides, and being used to shooting near people with comps that displace a lot of gas and energy, I did feel less concussive force when standing next to others as they fired it. Finally, the effectiveness of the flash hider aspect of the BattleComp 1.0 was apparent. I could see it with my naked eye at dusk, but not very well.
An oversized trigger guard, flared magwell designed for speed, and tensioning screw to adjust upper-to-lower fit—this rifle has details beyond the ambidextrous controls that put it a step above basic black rifles.
ACCURACY MATTERS Beyond all the details examined, I also looked at accuracy. I tested seven types of ammo at 100 yards, and the Criterion Barrel in 1:8 twist definitely likes 69-grain projectiles. Nevertheless, it also shot some 77-grain rounds well. (I have to beg forgiveness, because accuracy testing was done in oppressive heat and mugginess that eventually developed into a severe thunderstorm. It was hard to develop a good sight picture: As conditions worsened, the groups opened up. This rifle can do better—of this, I am certain.) The best groups were shot from a rest with Federal Gold Medal Match 69-grain Sierras pushing 2,746 fps with a standard deviation (SD) of 19.2. Second-best accuracy was Fiocchi 77-grain at 2,499 fps with an SD of 24.2. Third best was PPU, .223 Remington Match, 69-grain HPBT going 2,635 fps, with an SD of 20.3. All three of these types of ammo are commonly available, and a 69-grain HPBT projectile would be my choice for a starting point in developing a load for this rifle. Other ammo fired for testing was Winchester Varmint X, .223 Remington 55 grain, moving at 2,881 fps, with an SD of 20.1. I shot this offhand, so I didn’t include it in the performance chart (page 38). It was very effective on prairie dogs and made for great practice on quick offhand shots. (If you’re a competitive shooter, helping out a rancher with prairie dogs is a great situation for long-range work on small targets, as well as on moving targets and quickly acquiring a sight picture.) The group was not as tight as the 69-grain projectiles, but it worked for the job. The groups are proof that the Criterion barrel lives up to the
The author’s son is a competitive shooter and one of the famed “Yackley 5.”
task of putting rounds downrange where intended. The scope my test rifle was fitted with was a Vortex Viper PST Gen2 1-6x24 with an ADM Delta-C 30mm scope mount. This combination worked well, in terms of height of the scope for a variety of bodies. For young junior shooters to tall guys, this scope mount height works well. The height-over-bore for this scope in this mount is approximately 2.7 inches—the general range for height at which many AR scope bases put the optic.
The solid feel of this rifle was one thing several shooters remarked on. You pick it up, adjust the stock to your length of pull, put the gun up— and your sight picture is there. It’s just ready to run.
The upper-to-lower-receiver fit is something that gets tossed out in discussions of rifle accuracy, and this particular rifle had such a tight fit that I wondered if I had pulled the rear pin all the way out when trying to unhinge the rear of the upper from the lower. In addition, the UIC Mod2 has an integral upper/lower tension-adjusting screw.
THE PARTS THAT MAKE UP THE WHOLE While this rifle fits the tactical carbine/home-defense/competition AR category, it’s functionality definitely earns it a place among ARs that fit more than one shooter and skillset, making it versatile. As a shooter who shares rifles with people of different builds/sizes, I see the adjustable stock as not just practical from a cost perspective, but also as a fast and easy-to-adjust component of the rifle. One small detail on this particular rifle is an add-on and does not come standard—there were Railscales on the rifle ... I could take or leave them. If you have to shoot through ports or a C-clamp to walls or barricades, anything on the handguard can be problematic. The smaller diameter of the MLOK handguard is a feature I like, and adding bulk/diameter to the outside of the handguard isn’t necessary. www.gunworld.com
DECEMBER I 2017
This is personal preference, but I prefer integral QD attachment points on my handguard for sling attachment, which this one does not have. I realize this conflicts with my preference for narrow-diameter handguards, but this is one thing for which I think extra bulk is worth it. ADM makes handguards that do have integral QD attachment points and offers other UIC models with this as an option.
The barrel is made by Criterion Barrel Inc. and is hand lapped. It has a nitride finish, a 1:8 twist, hybrid contour and is chambered in .223 Wylde, so it shoots both .223 Rem and 5.56 NATO. (Photo: Robb Manning)
There is a QD attachment point in the buttstock and one on the back of the lower, above the pistol grip, for a single-point sling. It’s fixed and offers a place for a single-point sling— with no rattling pieces that some single-point attachment plates have.
JUST FOR LOOKS ... AND FOR LOOKING The Cerakote paint job done by HD Arms of Waukesha, Wisconsin, received a lot of compliments as this rifle traveled around with me this summer. It’s a small perk, but for a rifle to stand out in the crowd of black rifles, this paint job definitely set it apart. The Magpul MBUS sights are a nice accessory, but I would love to see them offset, because most people run an optic on a rifle. If they were offset, they would be accessible in the moment—say, if you were shooting a competition stage and when you came up on your optic and fogged it or it picked up dirt or water. Sights that complement on the spot, that’s what I want. In competitions, we use offsets for close targets and leave our scope’s magnification turned up so we can save time on the clock for shooting, not adjusting the optic. In other environments, using offsets and an optic ets eir are ut). ng at ves
vice 1.0 ator.
DECEMBER I 2017
gun world HANDS-ON TOOLS What sets this rifle apart from other ARs on the market are the controls. The ambi safety, integrated bolt catch and magazine release, along with the ease with which you can get your hands on each feature, are great. Installing a bolt catch on both sides of the receiver is a good improvement in an AR designed for competition. Battery-assist devices are helpful for empty-gun starts and for small hands or new shooters to be able to lock the bolt back without a lot of juggling. The right-side bolt catch on this model is adjacent to the mag release, making for a short learning curve on where you need to move your finger to lock the bolt to the rear a familiar “reach.” This rifle’s usefulness crosses multiple categories of rifle applications, from home-defense to hunting to competitions. It’s versatile enough to fill more than one need, and it does them all well.
Federal Gold Medal Match, 69 grains
Winchester 55-grain FMJ
Hornady Steel Match 75-grain HPBT
Fiocchi 77-grain Exacta Rifle Match
PPU, .223 Rem. Match, 69 grains
NOTES: Groups were fired from a rest at 100 yards. Velocity was in feet per second (fps), calculated at the muzzle using a PACT Inc. chronograph. E.S.=Extreme Spread; S.D.=Standard Deviation; Small Group=size of smallest single group in inches for that ammunition; Average Group=the average group size in inches for three five-shot groups.
Taking the familiar black rifle and making it a little better and a little more useful for every possible consumer seem to be what ADM accomplished with this rifle. And making tools better is what innovation is all about.
SPECIFICATIONS RIFLE AS TESTED: Copper-distressed Cerakote finish (nonstandard for Mod2 configuration); ADM Delta-C 30mm scope mount; Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen2 1-6x24 scope CALIBER: .223 Wylde chamber (for use with both .223 Rem and 5.56 NATO) ACTION TYPE: semiauto RECEIVER: ADM fully ambidextrous 7075 billet aluminum upper and lower receiver BARREL: 16-inch; .223 Wylde; 1:8 twist; nitride finished; hand lapped; hybrid contour (Criterion Barrels Inc.) TRIGGER: Geissele G2S trigger SIGHTS: Magpul Pro BUIS set STOCK: Magpul SL stock WEIGHT: 6.2 pounds (unloaded) OVERALL LENGTH: 33 inches (stock collapsed); 36¼ inches (fully extended stock) ACCESSORIES: Ships with one each: Magpul 30rd PMag, Magpul MLOK QD sling mount, Magpod, Railscales HPT rail cover set, Slip-2000 Sample Pack, pushbutton QD swivel, Raven Concealment TopStop, cable gun lock MSRP: $1,850 (Mod2); $2,000 (Mod 2 Special Edition, one-color Cerakote); $2,600 (Mod2 Special Edition, distressed Cerakote)
This rifle’s Criterion barrel liked 69-grain projectiles the best.
CONTACT INFORMATION AMERICAN DEFENSE MANUFACTURING www.AmericanDefenseManufacturing.com HD ARMS (FOR CERAKOTE INFORMATION) firstname.lastname@example.org www.Facebook.com/HDArmsCerakote
Group Small Average
DECEMBER I 2017
LOADINGTHE VERSATILE 10MM AUTO gun world
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY JAMES E. HOUSE
DECEMBER I 2017
THE SEARCH FOR AN EFFECTIVE HANDGUN CARTRIDGE LED TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE 10MM AUTO.
MAGNUM PERFORMANCE IN AN AUTOLOADER
numerous cartridges, some of which seem to have filled an imaginary need. Some are given catchy names that often incorporate words such as “super” or “ultra.” In rifle calibers, the voluminous case of a new cartridge might utilize a powder charge that weighs as much as two-thirds the weight of the bullet. For use in handguns, a new cartridge might involve necking a larger case to a smaller caliber or lengthening an existing case. The .357 SIG is an example of the former, and the .357 Magnum is an example of the latter.
THE SEARCH FOR EFFECTIVENESS Except in target shooting, effectiveness of a handgun depends on bullet diameter and weight, because handguns do not produce velocity anywhere near that given by a centerfire rifle. As a result, calibers such as the .45 Auto and .45 Colt have long been regarded as stoppers. With its moderate bullet diameter, the .357 Magnum is effective, because it combines bullets of sufficient weight with very high velocity. For many years, calibers such as the 9mm Luger were regarded by some as being only marginally effective, but that has changed enormously as a result of ammunition developments. DECEMBER I 2017
The Kimber Camp Guard 10 is a new pistol in the ever-popular 1911 style. (Photo: Kimber)
The search for an effective handgun cartridge led to the development of the 10mm Auto. This .40-caliber case was originally a shortened rifle case designed to hold a .400-inch bullet. However, the stiff recoil, heavy guns and blast were more than some law enforcement participants could handle effectively. This led to development of a “light” 10mm load, which could be duplicated using a shorter cartridge.
The 10mm Auto utilizes large pistol primers.
Thus, the .40 S&W was born. It had the advantage in that it could be chambered in pistols that handled the 9mm Luger. It now seems Although no longer in production, the Smith & Wesson 1006 was one of the earliest pistols to be chambered for the 10mm Auto cartridge.
... GIVEN THE VERSATILITY OF THE 10MM AUTO WITH HANDLOADS, IT IS ONE OF MY TWO FAVORITE PISTOL CALIBERS. that a cartridge of the size of the .40 S&W loaded to approximately 35,000 psi is still perhaps too much of a good thing in such pistols, and they might develop problems as a result. Even a pistol having the power of the 40 S&W is too much for some officers. The result is that there is a swing in law enforcement back to the 9mm Luger—even for the FBI.
THE MODEL 610 The original handgun in 10mm Auto caliber was the shortlived Bren 10, but soon after, Colt introduced the Delta Elite, and Smith & Wesson offered the 1006. The S&W was eventually offered in a more-compact version known as the 1066. With a maximum pressure of 37,500 psi, a 10mm Auto generates a lot of blast, and recoil is severe, regardless of the size of the pistol. www.gunworld.com
DECEMBER I 2017
THIS IS MY P320 Blue Devil 81 â€” Squad Leader MODEL
Selected by the U.S. Army for both conventional and Special Operations Forces. The P320 platform is the basis for the M17 Modular Handgun System (MHS). #myp320 #armystrong
ALL THE LOADS ... FUNCTIONED FLAWLESSLY AND PROVIDED AS MUCH POWER AS I NEED. THEY ALSO DELIVERED ALL THE ACCURACY I CAN GET FROM A HANDGUN.
The explosive effect of a 135-grain Nosler hollow point hitting a gallon jug filled with water
The 10mm Auto case (right) is too long to function in pistols designed for the 9mm Luger, but the 40 S&W case (left) does.
The 10mm Auto (left) produces much higher energies than the .45 Auto (right).
Given its “magnum” power, a 10mm Auto has a place in the scheme of things handgun, but probably not for duty carry. Instead, the 10mm is an excellent round for the handgun hunter, because some factory loads produce more than 600 ft/lbs of energy—and that, with a rather large bullet. Recognizing this potential, Smith & Wesson offered the Model 610 revolver in 10mm Auto. In fact, my brother took a couple of deer with one, using one shot for each. In something of a rekindled interest, several manufacturers are now producing pistols in 10mm Auto. Some models are specifically intended for hunting applications, but not all states allow hunting with semiautomatic pistols. Where legal, a 10mm Auto is a good choice for hunting deer, hogs and animals of similar size, but it would also be a good varmint gun. For many shooters, including me, the favorite caliber for autoloading handguns is the .45 Auto, and there are literally hundreds of models available in that caliber. However, the 10mm Auto is a potent, versatile caliber, and it is offered in the 1911 style. The Smith & Wesson 1006 was a third-generation double-action model with dual safety/decocking levers. That gun and I have been together for many years.
LOADING Loading the 10mm Auto is a straightforward procedure, but care needs to be exercised. First, headspace is controlled by the case mouth making contact with the forward end of the www.gunworld.com
DECEMBER I 2017
and Universal; Winchester AutoComp and WSF; and Accurate Numbers 5 and 9. Cases are available from several sources. The loads assembled, and the results obtained, are described in the accompanying sidebar (page 47). With a pressure limit of approximately 37,500 psi, the 10mm Auto can produce energies in the 600 to 700 ft/lbs range, and with bullets of about 150 grains, velocities are high, which means a flat trajectory. I have chronographed the factory Hornady 180-grain XTP at 1,238 fps (613 ft/lbs) and the Winchester 175-grain Silvertip at 1,240 fps (598 ft/lbs). For me, the problem is that with full power loads, the muzzle blast is very severe, and recoil is substantial.
chamber, so cases need to be close to the trim length of 0.987 inch. Also, with powder charges that occupy much of the volume of the case, bullet seating depth is critical. As a result, I keep all cartridges close to the 1.260-inch maximum overall length. Seating bullets deeper causes pressure to increase dramatically. There is a vast number of bullets available in .40 caliber as a result of the immense popularity of the .40 S&W. Powders that are most often used for loading the 10mm include Alliant Unique, Power Pistol and Blue Dot; Hodgdon HS-6, CFE Pistol
Handloads can increase the versatility of the 10mm Auto.
Seating depth is crucial in the 10mm Auto, and overall cartridge length should be 1.260 inch or slightly less.
STOPS THE THREAT FROM ENTERING. prevent door kick-ins wood, concrete, tile and carpet â€˘ Great for single or double entry doors
Available in 3 Finishes
Those characteristics were responsible for the FBI deciding that the 10mm Auto was a bit too much for many law enforcement professionals, and that led to the development of the .40 S&W, which is short enough to be used in a smaller, lighter pistol. But, as a fellow shooter used to say, “You can always load a big one down, but you can’t always load a little one up.” I have taken that principle to heart when loading for the 10mm Auto. All the loads listed in the sidebar functioned flawlessly and provided as much power as I need. They also delivered all the accuracy I can get from a handgun. All in all, given the versatility of the 10mm Auto with handloads, it is one of my two favorite pistol calibers. GW
Colt Delta Elite Kimber Camp Guard 10 Kimber Custom TLE II Dan Wesson Elite Series Titan Dan Wesson Razorback RZ-10 Dan Wesson Bruin Dan Wesson Elite Series Fury SIG Sauer P220 Hunter Glock 20 Glock 29 Glock 40 EAA Witness Para Elite LS Hunter Wilson Combat CQB (and CQB Elite, CQB Tactical LE) Wilson Combat Classic Wilson Combat Tactical Supergrade Wilson Combat Hunter Ruger SR1911
EXCEPT IN TARGET SHOOTING, EFFECTIVENESS OF A HANDGUN DEPENDS ON BULLET DIAMETER AND WEIGHT, BECAUSE HANDGUNS DO NOT PRODUCE VELOCITY ANYWHERE NEAR THAT GIVEN BY A CENTERFIRE RIFLE.
Numerous powders can be used to load the 10mm Auto, but these are some that work well.
DECEMBER I 2017
OVERALL LENGTH (inches)
LOAD 1 Group
LOAD 2 Group Velocity (fps)
135-grain Nosler HP
135-grain Nosler HP
135-grain Nosler HP
135-grain Nosler HP
155-grain Hornady XTP
155-grain Hornady XTP
155-grain Speer Gold Dot 155-grain Berry HBRN 165-grain Speer Gold Dot 165-grain Rainier HP 180-grain Hornady XTP 180-grain Berry HP
NOTES: Velocities were measured at 10 feet from the muzzle using a Competition Electronics ProChrono chronograph. Velocities are shown as the average for five shots.
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TWO FOR THE MEAN STREETS gun world
TEXT BY CHRIS CHRISTIAN
lender, single-stack 9mm semiautos are redefining compact concealed-carry handguns. Theyâ€™re not much bigger than the pint-sized .22LR, .25 ACP and .32 ACP autos and are about the same size as many .380 pistols. Yet, they provide significantly more power. When compared to J-frame-sized revolvers, their power levels, size and weight are roughly equal, but the eight to nine rounds they carry are far more comforting than the five or six offered by the revolver. And if things get really ugly, the autos can be reloaded a lot faster. Kahr has been one of the leaders in this genre, and the 2017 introduction of its new S series line continues that tradition while offering some useful enhancements.
THE GUNS The first guns in the new S series are the S9 (MSRP: $477) and the ST9 (MSRP: $456). www.gunworld.com
DECEMBER I 2017
PHOTOS BY ROBB MANNING AND CHRIS CHRISTIAN
KAHRâ€™S NEW S SERIES 9-MILS ARE A SOLID CHOICE FOR PERSONAL-PROTECTION DUTIES.
DECEMBER I 2017
gun world The Kahr triggers are smoothly rounded, making rapid trigger manipulation easy and comfortable. (Photo: Robb Manning)
The S9 features a 3.6-inch, fully ramped barrel and ships with two seven-round magazines. It has the same basic dimensions as Kahr’s existing CW9. The ST9 is a slightly larger version, with a 4-inch barrel and a grip frame lengthened to take an eightround magazine, two of which are included.
Very few guns come from the factories with what a competitive shooter would describe as a “matchready” trigger. Tuning those triggers keeps a lot of gunsmiths in business. These Kahr handguns are no exception. From the box, their long DOA pulls were decidedly rough—I might even say a bit crunchy. But they hardly need a trip to the gunsmith. Shooters can easily smooth them up themselves, and with minimal effort. The “1,000-round trigger job” is a term used by some shooters to describe the natural smoothing of the trigger that results from normal use. I accelerated the process by field-stripping both guns and applying a generous amount of light gun oil to the trigger assembly. This lubricates part-on-part movement and helps carry shavings away. I did a couple of hundred dry-fire trigger pulls. Then, I field-stripped it again, cleaned it up with brake cleaner, let that dry, added a lighter coat of gun oil and headed to the range. After a box or two of ammo through each gun, the triggers had smoothed up considerably. It didn’t take anywhere near the proverbial “1,000 rounds.” The trigger on the S9 finished at a reasonably smooth 7 pounds, 8 ounces, while the ST9 came in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce on my digital trigger pull gauge. The weak- and strong-hand tests I did at 10 yards convinced me that the time spent smoothing those triggers was well spent.
EVEN USING A GRIP INTENDED TO INDUCE A LIMP WRIST MALFUNCTION, THE COMBINATION OF STIFF MAGAZINE SPRINGS AND SECURE GRIPPING SURFACE DIDN’T LET THAT HAPPEN.
Both pistols are striker fired and operate with Kahr’s triggercocking DOA “Safe-Cam” Action that produces a lengthy DAO trigger pull similar to a revolver. There is no manual safety; and, given both guns’ intended “close and quick” role, it is a very effective trigger design. The eight-round magazines from the ST9 fit the smaller Kahr perfectly. Not only do they add an extra round,
The guns fire from a locked breech (necessary to handle 9mm pressure levels) with a Browning-type recoil lug and a passive striker block with no magazine disconnect. The frame is black
“Internet commando” opining that if your new gun fits one of your existing holsters, something is seriously wrong and you need a new holster for the new gun. I disagree. There’s more commonality in compact handgun holsters than many realize.
polymer with a matte stainless steel slide. The sights are fixed in Kahr’s white three-dot pattern, with the rear being drift adjustable for windage corrections.
When running dry-fire draws from both holsters, I was immediately impressed with the pointing characteristics of the S series guns. For me, as for most shooters, there are guns whose “grip angle” doesn’t match my “hand angle.” Some guns come quickly from the holster to the target with the front sight pointing high, which I then have to lower into the rear sight notch. Others point low, which requires that I raise the front sight. My M&P Compact points dead on. The Kahrs did the same: Present the guns, and the sights are there.
the slide. (Photo: Robb Manning)
None of this is a departure from Kahr’s existing 9mm handguns. However, what sets the S series apart is the addition of a subtle Picatinny rail on the dust cover that allows shooters to add the increasingly popular light or laser. Additionally, forward cocking serrations on the slide make chamber-checking a bit easier.
PREPPING FOR THE RANGE FAMILIARIZATION The first step was a field strip to assure proper lubrication, followed by some dry fire to assist in smoothing the triggers and get used to the guns. When that was done, I looked at the holsters I had on hand. Because these guns are close-range personal-defense tools, I wanted to run them from some leather. I didn’t have to look very far. The Bianchi Model 7 Shadow OWB pancake holster and the Don Hume H715 IWB clip holster that handle my M&P 9mm Compact EDC fit both guns very well. I remember some
The sights on both Kahrs were bold and bright. They allowed the author to use his normal “street” glasses throughout the tests— just as in the real world. (Photo: Robb Manning)
Once that familiarization period was over, I assembled the test loads. These aren’t match guns, so I selected the loads I would carry on the “mean streets.” They consisted of Speer’s Lawman 124-grain Gold Dot JHP+P; SIG Sauer’s 124-grain Elite JHP; Winchester’s PDX1 124-grain +P; and Federal’s new Micro HST 150-grain load. And, because everyone needs lower-cost practice ammo, I also included Aguila’s 124-grain FMJ. It was then time to load the mags to prep for the range. I quickly discovered that loading the magazines—for either gun—is not simple ... or fun.
DECEMBER I 2017
gun world For this reason, my two EDC guns are equipped with big, bright aftermarket sights (from Advantage Tactical) that allow me to find them quickly. However, that wasn’t needed with the Kahr S series guns. I had no trouble acquiring the Kahr factory sights. I have been doing gun tests for various publications for a couple of decades, and the Kahr sights are, without a doubt, the best closerange personal-defense sights I have ever seen on a factory gun.
The magazine springs are extremely stiff. When I went to load them for the first time, I used the normal “magazine in the left hand, thumb the rounds in with the right thumb” procedure I use on all my other semiautos. I managed to get three or four rounds in each magazine.
I also developed an appreciation for the checkering pattern on the polymer grips. The side panels have subtle stippling, and the front and rear frames feature an aggressive raised, checkered pattern. They created a very secure and positive gripping surface. When running the brisk-recoiling Speer Gold Dot +P load at more than 1,200 fps with weak and strong hand, the gun did not shift in my hand. The grip was locked in—even during the 95-degree heat (and equal humidity) I was faced with during August in Florida.
The fully fieldstripped Kahr S9. The ST9 disassembles the same way. (Photo: Robb Manning)
The seven-round magazines on the S9 provided an adequate grip for my average-sized hands ... but it was a tight fit. I could easily see how someone with larger hands would wind up with a pinky finger under the magazine base plate. I tried the eight-round ST9 magazines in the S9, and they worked perfectly. The added length protruding from the bottom of the grip made a very comfortable pinky rest, even for my hands. Those magazines add little to the size of the S9, but they create a significantly improved grip for those with larger hands, along with an extra round on tap. They are available as accessories from Kahr. Were I to carry the S9, I would get some ST9 mags.
Then, my thumb said, “¡No más!” I couldn’t generate enough pressure to get in additional rounds. So, I put the magazine base plate on a hard bench to provide a more-solid base and started jamming rounds in. I then discovered that in addition to stiff springs, the magazines also have very sharp feed lips. I opened a ¼-inch gash on my thumb while trying to force the remaining rounds into the mags. Once I got the bleeding stopped, the thumb bandaged and the bloodied magazine cleaned up, I adopted a different loading strategy: I started with the magazine base plate set on a solid bench. I wore a light leather on my right hand to protect against the sharp feed lips. Once the final round went in, I gave it a light tap with the heel of my gloved hand to seat it firmly. That procedure worked well, and each magazine held the advertised number of rounds.
AT THE RANGE
My next tests involved more of a real-world situation. A solid, two-handed hold at 10 yards is nice, but many personal protection events occur closer and faster, and sometimes, two hands are not available. That is what the Kahr is designed for, and the gun has to be reliable when grabbed quickly with either hand and fired equally quickly. For this test, I put up a 12-inch-square Caldwell Big Burst target at 10 yards and taped a 6.5x4.5-inch piece of white paper in the center. All four magazines were fully loaded with Aguila 124-grain FMJ. I shoved eight rounds into the 4-inch ST9 and ran it quickly
The controls on the “S” series guns are simple: a left-side magazine release and a slide release. There is no manual thumb safety. (Photo: Robb Manning)
My initial live-firing tests with a freestyle hold at 10 yards showed me that the sights, although not right on the money, were close. And while the windage could easily be adjusted by drifting the rear sight, I chose not to, because these were test guns. As for the sights, the white, three-dot sights are big, bold and quick to find. And they are cut generously enough to allow a precision sight picture on the target. One of the critical things a shooter must do if they are forced to draw their handgun in a personal-defense situation is to quickly find the sights and get on target. That’s not always easy, especially for older shooters. Once you hit 40, presbyopia causes diminished ability of the eyes to focus on near objects. www.gunworld.com
The ST9 shot a bit high from a 15-yard bench with the potent Speer Gold Dot +P, but it’s still “minute of attacker.” (Photo: Chris Christian)
DECEMBER I 2017
gun world That is the level of reliability that’s not only critically important in a close-range personal-defense handgun; in this writer’s opinion, it is mandatory. S9 Group Avg. (inches)/ Velocity (fps)
ST9 Group Avg. (inches)/ Velocity (fps)
Speer Gold Dot 124-grain +P
Aguila 124-grain FMJ
SIG Sauer 124-grain Elite JHP
Winchester PDX1 124-grain +P
LOAD Velocity (fps)
Federal Micro HST 150-grain
FINAL THOUGHTS The Kahr S series guns aren’t going to wind up in the winner’s circle at an action pistol match, but the included accuracy chart (see sidebar on this page) will show they are more than adequate for their intended purpose. Most importantly, they functioned extremely reliably, with no malfunctions. They do require a bit of smoothing out and some care in loading the magazines. Do that, however, and they become an easy-to-tote and highly reliable personal-protection tool— and at a reasonable price.
NOTES: Groups were fired from a sandbagged bench rest at 15 yards; an average of three five-round groups were measured, center to center, in inches. Velocities were recorded on an Oehler 3-Screen chronograph, with the start screen set at 10 feet.
[Editor’s note: The first ST9 4-inch gun received by the author was defective and was returned. Kahr promptly provided a replacement that worked. While this initially raised concern, a “lemon” can happen. Kahr handled the situation very well. Once that was out of the way, both guns worked as they should; and, despite the author’s best attempt, he couldn’t get them to malfunction.]
with my strong hand. The second magazine was run with my weak hand. The same thing was done with the 3.6-inch S9. I wasn’t trying for tight, precise groups. I ran those rounds with both weak and strong hands from both guns as quickly as I could to get the sights back somewhere onto the target. Thirty rounds went downrange. Even though I had declined to adjust the sights, the group was adequately centered. I could have covered the 30 rounds with a 10-inch dinner plate. Remove three outer fliers, and a 9-inch plate would do. Seventeen of the 30 rounds wound up in the 6.5x4.5-inch center. That’s not exactly MOA (minute of angle), but it is another kind of MOA: “minute of attacker.” That was satisfying. But more impressive was that although I deliberately used a light grip with my weak hand for both guns, I could not induce a malfunction. Every round that went into the magazine came out as a fired case and landed 4 to 6 feet right and 45 degrees rear. Even using a grip intended to induce a limp wrist malfunction, the combination of stiff magazine springs and secure gripping surface didn’t let that happen. I was also unable to induce a trigger short stroke, no matter how fast I ran. The reset was quick and positive.
The Kahr rear sight sits in a tight dovetail and is adjustable for windage with a drift punch. The author left the windage as-is during these tests. (Photo: Robb Manning)
S9 ST9 CALIBER: 9mm Luger 9mm Luger CAPACITY: 7+1 8+1 BARREL LENGTH: 3.6 inches 4.0 inches OVERALL LENGTH: 5.9 inches 6.5 inches HEIGHT: 4.5 inches 5.08 inches EMPTY WEIGHT: 15.8 ounces 18.5 ounces SLIDE WIDTH:. .90 inch .90 inch MSRP: $477 $456 BOTH MODELS
Both Kahrs fit smoothly into a Don Hume belt clip holster intended for an M&P compact and make it easy to conceal the gun under any loosefitting shirt. (Photo: Chris Christian)
OPERATION: Trigger-cocking DOA, locked breech, Browning-type recoil lug, passive striker block, no magazine safety. RIFLING: Conventional; 1-10 RH twist SIGHTS: Three-dot; rear drift adjustable for windage; pinned front blade FRAME: Polymer (black) with textured grip ADDITIONAL FEATURES: Accessory rail on dust cover; front and rear cocking serrations on matte-finished stainless steel slide CONTROLS: Non-ambidextrous, left-side magazine release button and slide release lever MAGAZINES: Two; stainless steel CONTACT INFORMATION KAHR ARMS www.Kahr.com
DECEMBER I 2017
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY MIKE DICKERSON
Weighing just 6.6 pounds, the rifle is light enough to tote anywhere and has a price tag that won’t make you sorry about subjecting it to hard use.
RUGER’S POPULAR AMERICAN RIFLE PREDATOR IS NOW CHAMBERED FOR A FORMER WILDCAT THAT’S GAINING POPULARITY—THE 6MM CREEDMOOR—AND IT’S A WINNER. www.gunworld.com
DECEMBER I 2017
irst impressions count for a lot.
That’s as true today as it was during my long-ago halcyon bachelor days in southern California, when a certain minimum threshold of aesthetic acceptability applied equally to automobiles, rifles and members of the opposite sex. The fact that my tastes sometimes exceeded my budget was besides the point. A man simply had to have standards. My preference in rifles in those days ran toward richly figured, high-gloss walnut stocks with Monte Carlo combs. I also came to appreciate the virtues of a well-executed stock in the classic style ... as long as it had nice wood. It was a bitter pill to swallow when I discovered that some of those beautiful rifles could be as heartbreakingly inaccurate as any other. Today, the practical virtues of modern synthetic stocks are widely acknowledged, but old tendencies are hard to buck. Perhaps that’s why I was initially disappointed upon unboxing a new Ruger American Rifle Predator bolt-action rifle. I’d heard some good things about this gun, but my first examination left me yawning.
DECEMBER I 2017
gun world And my lukewarm opinion of the rifle completely changed. ubber recoil es a good job of ing recoil.
BETTING ON A WILDCAT Ruger’s decision to chamber the Predator in 6mm Creedmoor might surprise some, considering that the cartridge was, until relatively recently, a wildcat made by necking-down 6.5mm Creedmoor brass. The cartridge gained considerable popularity in Precision Rifles Series competition before Hornady took it mainstream with a 108-grain ELD Match factory load. Other big-name ammo makers have yet to follow, but a company called Copper Creek Cartridge Co. now offers several excellent loads in 6mm Creedmoor.
ting the rifle at the range changed the ’s initial lukewarm opinion of the rifle.
First, there was the matter of that green synthetic stock. Give me wood, laminated, black or camo-dipped stocks, please—anything but a flat-green “plastic” stock devoid of bottom metal. And then, there was the bolt, which, upon initial cycling, felt as stiff as a day-old corpse. Handling the rifle, I had to remind myself that the Ruger American Rifle was designed to be inexpensive, and that knowledge was probably influencing my judgment. Perhaps the bolt would loosen up with some break-in, and perhaps the rifle would shoot as well as its proponents claimed. However, I then saw the words, “6mm Creedmoor,” stamped on the barrel, which piqued my interest considerably. I took the Predator to the range and put it through its paces ... .
The adjustable trigger on the test gun broke cleanly, with no creep, at a pull weight of 3 pounds, 13 ounces as the rifle arrived from the factory.
RUGER TOOK THE LEAP AND CHAMBERED THE BARGAINPRICED RUGER AMERICAN RIFLE PREDATOR FOR THE [6MM CREEDMOOR] ROUND. THE RESULT IS AN AFFORDABLE, SPORTER-WEIGHT RIFLE THAT’S EQUALLY AT HOME HUNTING VARMINTS AND DEER-SIZED GAME OR PUNCHING LONG-DISTANCE TARGETS.
This is far from the first time that Ruger and Hornady have brought innovative rifle and cartridge pairings to market. The collaborative efforts of these companies, which were both founded in 1949, date back to the friendship between their founders and have involved such cartridges as the 17 HMR, .204 Ruger, .300 and .338 Ruger Compact Magnums, .375 Ruger and .416 Ruger. More recently, Ruger gave Hornady’s 6.5mm Creedmoor a boost by chambering the company’s Ruger Precision Rifle for the cartridge.
For testing, the author mounted a Bushnell Elite 3500 4-12x40mm scope.
CLEAN AND UTILITARIAN The Predator has what I would call a medium-contour, freefloated barrel measuring 22 inches in length. The business end of the cold-hammer-forged barrel is threaded 5/8-24, allowing you to install a suppressor (if you don’t mind adding to the rifle’s unloaded weight of just 6.6 pounds). The barrel has a fast, 1:7.7-inch rate of twist to better stabilize long, high-ballistic-coefficient bullets and is attached to the action using a Savage-like barrel nut, which allows for precise headspacing and enhanced accuracy.
The “little brother” 6mm Creedmoor has a lot going for it. It’s a true 1,000-yard cartridge, with velocities ranging from just under to a bit more than 3,000 fps. It’s inherently accurate— and kind to barrels and shoulders, alike. Unlike many similar cartridges, it will happily feed long, high-ballistic-coefficient bullets through the actions of AR-10 platform rifles. On that basis alone, it commands attention. More importantly, for its continued viability, the cartridge wins a lot of shooting matches. In addition to offering the 6mm Creedmoor in its popular Ruger Precision Rifle (which makes all the sense in the world), Ruger took the leap and chambered the bargain-priced Ruger American Rifle Predator for the round. The result is an affordable, sporterweight rifle that’s equally at home hunting varmints and deer-
The rifle employs Ruger’s solid, patent-pending Power Bedding system, which uses V-shaped integral steel bedding blocks. Two large Allen-head screws secure the action to the stock. The tang-mounted, two-position safety does not lock the bolt down, so you can cycle rounds through the action with the safety engaged.
I’m still not a huge fan of the synthetic stock, mainly because of its color, but it does have a classic profile, along with what
The Ruger’s bolt has three large lugs, a generously sized extractor and a plunger ejector.
DECEMBER I 2017
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be somewhat slippery when wet. It comes with a soft rubber buttpad that does a good job of soaking up the rifle’s alreadynegligible recoil in the 6mm Creedmoor chambering. The Ruger utilizes a push-feed action. The receiver has milled flat surfaces, giving it a clean, utilitarian appearance. On the left rear surface, you’ll find a flush-mounted bolt release. The rifle has a rather beefy bolt shroud, and the bolt, itself, has three large lugs, a generously sized extractor, as well as a plunger ejector. It has a short bolt throw of 70 degrees, providing lots of clearance for scopes. (As I noted, bolt cycling was sticky, to put it mildly, out of the box. Some lube and break-in nudged it into the acceptable category, and it has become continually smoother with use, erasing my initial concern about the bolt.) Up top, you’ll find a one-piece, aluminum Weaver-style scope rail. Scope rings are included.
Given the 6mm Creedmoor’s relatively new status as a factoryloaded round, there aren’t a lot of options yet in factory ammo offerings. At the time of testing, I was only able to obtain two loads. One was the Hornady 108-grain ELD Match load, and the other was a load from Copper Creek Cartridge Co. that used a 105-grain Berger Hybrid bullet. Out of the Ruger, they produced velocities of 2,902 fps and 2,892 fps, respectively. In the field, this translates into flat-shooting, mild-recoiling performance.
molded in serrations.
With Hornady’s 108-grain ELD Match load, the rifle produced a group average of 0.78 inch and a best group measuring 0.60 inch.
The rifle uses a flush-mount, four-round rotary magazine, which has received some mixed reviews. That’s partly due to its $40 price tag and partly due to reported feeding issues that, in some cases, were due to apparent weak spring tension. I had no such issues with the magazine included with the rifle sent to me for testing, and other users have reported that replacement magazines supplied by Ruger work fine. The magazine release lever is somewhat protected within a recess in the stock, minimizing chances of accidentally dumping the magazine. It locks into place solidly and does not rattle. The Predator has a tang-mounted safety that does not lock the bolt down, so you can cycle rounds through the action with the safety in the rear, engaged position.
AFFORDABLE ACCURACY For testing, I topped the rifle off with a Bushnell Elite 3500 4-12x40mm scope and headed to the range. The “safety blade” trigger is adjustable within a range of about 3 to 5 pounds, but I left it at the factory setting for testing. It broke consistently and cleanly at a pull weight of 3 pounds, 13 ounces, with no hint of creep. It’s actually quite a nice trigger for a rifle in this price category. I experienced no malfunctions with the rifle during testing. The magazine stayed put, rounds fed smoothly from the rotary magazine, and there were no issues with extraction and ejection. www.gunworld.com
DECEMBER I 2017
Let’s look at the Hornady load as an example: Zeroed 2 inches high at 100 yards, bullet impact will be little more than 5 inches low at 300 yards. Out to that distance, you need only hold dead-on to hit the vitals of deer-sized game.
to 12 miles per hour, the Hornady load produced five-shot groups averaging 0.78 inch and a best group of just 0.60 inch at 100 yards. The Copper Creek load also produced sub-MOA average groups, with a best group of 0.78 inch. That’s impressive performance for any sporter-weight rifle, let alone one in this price category, but I suspect the rifle can do even better. In fact, my friend and fellow outdoor scribe, John Barsness, shared a photo of a group he shot with the Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor with his own handloaded ammo. All five shots went into a single ragged hole.
punching long-distance targets.
If you do your part, the rifle will send bullets where they’re supposed to go. On a day the wind was blowing full value at up
The bolt’s 70-degree throw provides plenty of clearance for mounting scopes.
SPECIFICATIONS CALIBER: 6mm Creedmoor (tested); also .223 Rem, .22-250 Rem, .204 Ruger, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win. ACTION: Push-feed bolt action BARREL: 22-inch medium contour CAPACITY: Four-round rotary magazine RATE OF TWIST: 1:7.7 MUZZLE: Threaded 5/8-24 TRIGGER: Ruger Marksman Adjustable STOCK: Moss-green synthetic WEIGHT: 6.6 pounds (unloaded) SIGHTS: None; scope rail installed LENGTH: 42 inches MSRP: $529 CONTACT INFORMATION
Since I tested the rifle, Hornady has added a 103-grain Precision Hunter ELD-X load to the lineup, with an advertised muzzle velocity of 3,050 fps. It should be a dandy hunting round for predators and deer-sized game. Copper Creek Cartridge Company also loads additional 6mm Creedmoor rounds with a 115-grain DTAC bullet, a 108-grain Hornady ELD-M bullet and a 105-grain Hornady BTHP bullet. Only time will tell if the 6mm Creedmoor will achieve the commercial success of its 6.5 sibling, but I wouldn’t bet against it. If you’re unsure about taking the leap with this cartridge, the Predator is also chambered in .223 Rem., .22-250 Rem., .204 Ruger, 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 Win. The MSRP for the rifle is $529, but with a little searching, you can probably find it at a real-world price that’s south of $400. If you do, grab it, buy it, and run!
The rifle’s detachable rotary magazine fits flush with the bottom of the stock and does not rattle. The 6mm Creedmoor chambering has a four-round capacity.
RUGER FIREARMS http://www.Ruger-Firearms.com BUSHNELL OPTICS http://Bushnell.com COMPETITIVE EDGE DYNAMICS www.CEDHK.com
Avg. Muzzle Avg. 100-Yard Best 100-Yard Velocity (fps) Group (inches) Group (inches)
LOAD COPPER CREEK CARTRIDGE CO. http://CopperCreekAmmo.com HORNADY AMMUNITION www.Hornady.com
Copper Creek 105-grain Berger Hybrid
Hornady 108-grain ELD Match
NOTES: Velocities were measured with a Competitive Edge Dynamics M2 chronograph. All five-shot groups were fired in wind 6 to 12 mph at 100 yards.
NAGEL’S GUN SHOP http://NagelsGuns.net
DECEMBER I 2017
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TEXT BY JAMESON PARKER
BOOKOFCZ FIREARMS BYROBBMANNING
friend of mine, a retired range instructor for the California Highway Patrol, a man who has forgotten more about firearms than most of us will ever know, a man who not only taught, but has used, firearms in the real world to save his life and the lives of others, considers the CZ 75 to be the finest handgun made. Period. End of conversation.
Because I have a lot of respect for my friend’s opinion, when I saw that Gun World Editor Robb Manning had written a book about CZ, I was intrigued. If you are looking for an encyclopedia of everything ever made by CZ, you will be disappointed—and I would suggest you will always be disappointed, because many of CZ’s files have vanished into the confused haze of bureaucratic secrecy that is part and parcel of all the countries that were once behind the Iron Curtain. Nor did Robb Manning make an attempt to cover—the publisher didn’t want him to—certain types of firearms (shotguns, for instance) or certain subsidiaries of CZ (Dan Wesson). He also did not try to unravel the perplexities of some of the more obscure models that might or might not have been made by CZ. So, Gun Digest Book of CZ Firearms is not an encyclopedia. Nevertheless, it is an exceptionally engaging and knowledgeable overview of a storied company with a storied history in a storied land. Robb is a former active-duty Marine who—like my Highway Patrol friend—knows firearms from a practical, working perspective, and he brings that wealth and scope of knowledge to this book. He also brings a good sense of the history of the guns—which, for me, is as fascinating and important as the function. If you have any interest in CZ guns, this book is an absolute musthave. It’s also a very enjoyable and informative read.
GUN DIGEST BOOK OF CZ FIREARMS SKU: S8135 Author/editor: Robb Manning Publisher: Gun Digest Format: Paperback Number of pages: 288 ISBN 13: 9781440246227 MSRP: $20.09 (www.Amazon.com) www.gunworld.com
STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT, AND CIRCULATION 1. Publication Title: Gun World 2. Publication No.: 0017-5641 3. Filing Date: 1-Oct-17 4. Issue Frequency: Monthly 5. No. of Issues Published Annually: 12 6. Annual Subscription Price: $17.95 7. Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: ENGAGED MEDIA INC., 17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92614 8. Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher: Engaged Media Inc., 17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92614 9. Full Names and Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor: Publisher: Tom Conradi, Engaged Media Inc., 17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92614; Editor:Rob Manning, Engaged Media Inc., 17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92614; Managing Editor: Amy Maclean, Engaged Media Inc., 17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92614 10. Owner: Engaged Media Inc., 17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92614 11. Known Bondholders, Mortgagees, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent of More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgagees, or Other Securities: None 12.Tax Status (For completion by nonprofit organizations authorized to mail at nonprofit rates): Not Applicable 13. Publication Title: Gun World 14. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: Oct 2016-Sept 2017 15. EXTENT AND NATURE OF CIRCULATION: A. Total No. of Copies (Net Press Run): 57,169 / 56,407 B. Paid and/or Requested Circulation: 1. Paid/Requested Outside-County Mail Subscriptions Stated on Form 3541: 6,741 / 6,545 2. Paid In-County Subscriptions: 0 / 0 3. Sales through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors,Counter Sales, and Other Non-USPS Paid Distribution: 7,998 / 7,998 4. Other Classes Mailed Through the USPS: 0 / 0 C. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation: 14,739 / 14,543; D. Free Distribution By Mail: 1. Outside-County as Stated on Form 3541: 1,235 / 1,817 2. In-County as Stated on Form 3541: 0 / 0 3. Other Classes Mailed Through USPS: 0 / 0 4. Outside the Mail: 166 / 162 E. Total Free Distribution Outside the Mail: 1,401 / 1,979; F. Total Distribution: 16,140 / 16,522 G. Copies Not Distributed: 41,029/ 39,885 H. Total: 57,169 / 56,407 I. Percent Paid: 91.32% / 88.02% 16. Total Circulation includes electronic copies. Report circulation on PS form 3526-X worksheet: Print Only (No electronic copies) 17. Publication of Statement of Ownership: Dec 2017 18. Signature: Tom Conradi, Publisher
DECEMBER I 2017
THIS IS MY P320 — Operations Manager MODEL
The P320 is fueled by innovation and driven by performance. The Nitron is modular, rugged and customizable to ﬁt your needs and your life. #myp320
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY RICHARD SCHUTZ
THE HAMMER, J
ust as the framing hammer has been replaced by the pneumatic nail gun in the construction industry, the hammer-fired semiautomatic pistol is being replaced by the striker-fired pistol. That said, every good carpenter keeps a hammer handy ... “just in case.”
And so it is with the EDC pistol. Springfield Armory has introduced the external hammer-fired XD-E, which it refers to as “the hammer, reinvented.” Even the most basic of tools can be improved. A lot of people were taken by surprise, myself included, when Springfield Armory introduced the XD-E hammer-fired, polymerframed EDC pistol at the NRA exhibits this year. Model XD pistols have been of the striker-fired design since their introduction.
THE XD-E IS WORTH A CLOSE LOOK BY ANYONE LOOKING FOR AN EDC PISTOL. COMPARE IT TO ITS STRIKER-FIRED COUNTERPARTS, AND SEE IF YOU DON’T END UP WITH A REINVENTED HAMMER IN YOUR TOOLBOX.
However, even with the move to striker-fired pistols in the industry, Springfield Armory apparently believes there is a market for a hammer-fired, polymerframed EDC pistol. Only time will tell just how big that market is, but the XD-E will certainly appeal to those who want to carry their EDC “cocked and locked”—but with double-action capability.
DESIGN AND SPECIFICATIONS The XD-E is a single-stack, slimline, external hammer-fired, recoil-operated, polymer-framed pistol chambered in 9mm Luger. Today, there are many small, easily concealable pocket guns that are difficult to control when shooting, and large, easyto-control handguns that are difficult to conceal for anyone smaller than the Incredible Hulk. The XD-E fits nicely between those extremes. It is designed to be small enough to carry concealed easily, yet large enough to control when shooting. Obviously, the big difference between the XD-E and most other small EDC pistols is the exposed hammer. Even though many of us have forsaken hammer-fired handguns for striker-fired ones, there is still a place for the hammerfired pistol beyond 1911-style pistols. The “double-action first pull”/”single-action successive pulls” (DA/SA) allows for several carrying options. It can be carried with a round in www.gunworld.com
DECEMBER I 2017
SPRINGFIELD ARMORY BRINGS A HAMMER TO THE EDC FIGHT.
DECEMBER I 2017
ANYONE WHO HAS LIMITED HAND STRENGTH AND IS LOOKING FOR AN EDC PISTOL SHOULD TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT THE XD-E, WITH ITS LOW EFFORT SLIDE. THE L.E.S. MAKES THE SLIDE MUCH EASIER TO OPERATE THAN MOST STRIKER-FIRED PISTOLS. the chamber, hammer down and the safety engaged; a round in the chamber, hammer cocked and the safety on (“cocked and locked”); or a round in the chamber, hammer down and the safety disengaged (like a DA revolver). Most will probably choose to carry the XD-E “cocked and locked”—hopefully, with the appropriate thumb-break holster.
levers are located on the left side only. Obviously, the hammer is truly ambidextrous. If a round doesn’t go bang! on the first try, it has double-strike capability, so pull the trigger again. Tactically speaking, however, it is always best to manipulate the slide and load another round if you experience a misfire during a gunfight. The XD-E’s “Low-Effort Slide” (L.E.S.) is a plus for anyone with low hand strength. My wife has a difficult time manipulating the slide of many semiautomatic pistols, but she can operate the slide on the XD-E without a problem. This feature would also be a plus if your strong-side hand or arm were injured and you had to operate the slide with your weak-side hand. There is a loaded chamber indictor on the top of the slide behind the ejection port that gives both a tactile and visual indication of whether or not there is a round in the chamber. Safeties include an ambi thumb safety/decocker and a firing pin safety. The external safety can be engaged with the hammer in either the “cocked” or “down” positions. There is no trigger safety, either blade or articulated. Recoil is managed by captive dual-recoil springs. The rear of the grip has the firm anti-slip Zone 1 texture in the center strip and the more aggressive Zone 2 texture on both sides.
Both front and rear sights are mounted using dovetail grooves and are drift adjustable for windage. There is no elevation adjustment. The sights are low-profile combat style with a red fiber-optic insert in the front and dual dots in the rear. Replacement red and green fiber-optic inserts are also provided.
The XD-E features a bilateral magazine release and safety/decocker controls. The nine-round Mag X-Tension magazine extends the useable grip length and also adds an extra round.
MANY SMALLER CARRY PISTOLS ARE EASY TO CONCEAL BUT ARE TOUGH TO SHOOT WELL. THE XD-E MANAGES TO DO BOTH WELL.
Two magazines and three floor plates are provided with the pistol. The bodies are a flush-fit, eight-round capacity and a nine-round version with Mag X-Tension. The eight-round magazine can be used with a flush base (provided in the box) or the Grip X-Tension finger rest version that comes installed on the magazine. I carried the XD-E with the eight-round magazine using the flush fit (flat) base for better concealment and carried the nine-round magazine with Mag X-Tension as a spare. These magazines have stainless steel bodies, and they functioned flawlessly. They also released smoothly and quickly during magazine changes. Springfield Armory uses a version of its Grip Zone technology on the XD-E. Zone 1 is a firm, anti-slip texture and is applied to the center strip on the rear and front of the grip. Zone 2, the most aggressive texture, is located on the front and rear of the grip on either side of the Zone 1 areas. Even though this is the most aggressive texture, it is still not all that aggressive, as grip textures go. Zone www.gunworld.com
Above: The front of the grip has Zone 1 Grip Zone texture in the center strip and Zone 2 texture on either side.
Left: This view of the frame with the slide removed shows the inner workings of the fire control system, the ejector, the takedown stop and the frame rails.
DECEMBER I 2017
Many companies manufacture custom-fit holsters for the XD-E. I used two holsters from DeSantis and one from Crossbreed for concealed-carry evaluation. If concealment isn’t a priority, or if clothing allows, the OWB Mini Slide by DeSantis was the most comfortable of the three holsters for me. It provided the quickest access to the XD-E. When venturing out without specific “carry clothing,” I used an IWB holster. I used both a Crossbreed SuperTuck Deluxe in premium cowhide and a DeSantis Cozy Partner. Both worked well, but I developed a preference for the all-leather Cozy Partner.
3 is only mildly textured and covers the remainder of the frame. The Grip Zone texture works well, but I believe it is unnecessarily complicated. I think most people would be happy if the whole grip area were textured using only Zone 2 and the rest of the frame were done in Zone 3 texturing. It is very hard to tell the difference between the Zone 1 and Zone 2 textures.
EVERYDAY CARRY The XD-E is slightly larger than the Glock 43 I normally carry, but I found the XD-E very easy to conceal and comfortable to wear in an IWB holster behind my hip. The thin, 1-inch frame kept the gun close to my body, and the flat-base, eight-round magazine kept the butt of the pistol from printing. I carried the XD-E with the hammer down and on “safe.” If I had been wearing a thumb break holster, I would have carried it “cocked and locked.” I compared the time it took to draw and fire the first shot between “cocked and locked” carry and hammer down with the safety on. The difference was minimal. The time to first shot with the hammer down and the safety on took .44 second longer that when drawing and firing from the “cocked and locked” condition. This was after minimal practice. Many custom-fit holsters are available for the XD-E. Springfield Armory did a good job of getting information out to the holster manufacturers so that a good selection of holsters would be available when the pistol was released.
A wide variety of highquality, custom-fit holsters is available for the XD-E.
The XD-E was fired from a sandbag rest during accuracy and velocity evaluations. A LabRadar device was used to determine velocity.
THE XD-E PROVED TO BE A RELIABLE, ACCURATE AND EASILY CONCEALABLE PISTOL, BOTH WHILE SHOOTING AND DURING DAILY CARRY.
AT THE RANGE During multiple trips to the range, the XD-E ran flawlessly and was a pleasure to shoot. Somewhat to my surprise, I really enjoyed shooting it. As well as shooting for accuracy and to determine the velocity of the ammunition used, I did some drills and fired from various positions. Again, the XD-E performed without any hiccups using various brands and types of ammunition. Reliability is probably the most important aspect of an EDC pistol; and, based on more than 600 rounds fired during my evaluation, the XD-E has it.
DECEMBER I 2017
The drill for this target was to draw from concealment (hammer
JHP, at 1.80 inches, and Blazer Brass 124-grain FMJ, at 1.81 inches. The smallest group was .78 inch using Blazer Brass 124 FMJ ammunition. At 25 yards, the average group size was more spread out with the most accurate load—Black Hills 124 grain JHP—averaging 2.76 inches for three five-shot groups. The smallest group of the session was 1.71 inches, also with Black Hills 124-grain JHP ammunition.
To break in the XD-E, I first ran 100 rounds of FMJ ammunition through it, shooting at B-16 paper targets, steel torso and a steel “hostage” target at 15 to 25 yards. In single-action mode, it was easy to swing the steel from side to side and make consistent 7-ring hits on paper at 15 yards. Double-action shooting was another story. The long doubleaction first pull took some getting used to. It will take even longer to become proficient at it ... but that is what practice is all about. During the accuracy and velocity evaluation, I fired the XD-E from a sandbag rest at 15 and 25 yards. At 15 yards, the first three loads’ average group sizes were within .02 inch of each other. The next three loads grouped within .39 inch of each other. The most accurate loads were SIG Sauer’s 124-grain FMJ, averaging 1.79 inches, Black Hills 124-grain
Groups – 25 Yards Small Average (inches)
Groups – 15 Yards Small Average (inches)
Average Velocity (fps)
Black Hills 124-grain JHP
SIG Sauer 124-grain V-Crown JHP
SIG Sauer 124-grain FMJ
Blazer Brass 124-grain FMJ
Ruger ARX, 80 grains
Hornady Critical Defense 115-grain FTX
Winchester USA 115-grain FMJ
NOTES: E.S.=Extreme Spread; S.D.=Standard Deviation; Small=Smallest group in inches; Average=Average group size in inches for three five-shot groups. Velocity was calculated at the muzzle using a LabRadar device. Distance to target was 25 yards. Average velocity was for 10 consecutive shots in feet per second (fps).
The underside of the assembled slide shows the dual spring recoil rod and the firing pin block, which blocks the firing pin from moving forward unless the trigger is pulled.
SPECIFICATIONS ACTION: Hammer-fired; DA/SA, semiautomatic CALIBER: 9mm CAPACITY: 8+1 (standard); 9+1 (with magazine X-Tension) OVERALL LENGTH: 6.75 inches BARREL: 3.3 inches; hammer-forged steel; Melonite treated GRIP WIDTH: 1 inch HEIGHT: 5 inches with Grip X-Tension magazine; 6 inches with Mag X-Tension magazine WEIGHT: 25 ounces (empty magazine) SIGHTS: Fiber-optic front; low-profile combat rear TRIGGER PULL WEIGHT: 5.6 pounds SA; 10.7 pounds DA (average for 10 consecutive pulls using a Lyman digital gauge) FRAME: Black polymer; thumb safety/decocker SLIDE: Forged steel with Melonite finish MSRP: $519 CONTACT INFORMATION
PUT THIS ONE IN YOUR TOOLBOX The XD-E proved to be a reliable, accurate and easily concealable pistol, both while shooting and during daily carry. At the range, it proved to be reliable and accurate. During everyday carry, the XD-E was easy to conceal, and I was very comfortable carrying it. The only thing I would change is that I would use a thumb-break IWB holster so I could carry the XD-E “cocked and locked.” Anyone who has limited hand strength and is looking for an EDC pistol should take a close look at the XD-E, with its Low Effort Slide. The L.E.S. makes the slide much easier to operate than most striker-fired pistols. Many smaller carry pistols are easy to conceal but are tough to shoot well. The XD-E manages to do both well. Its thin frame and slide, coupled with its excellent ergonomics, make a great combination for an EDC pistol. The only catch is learning (or re-learning) the double-action trigger pull if you decide to carry it with the hammer down. That can easily be done through practice—which should be a central part of any decision to carry concealed. The XD-E is worth a close look by anyone looking for an EDC pistol. Compare it to its striker-fired counterparts, and see if you don’t end up with a reinvented hammer in your toolbox. GW
SPRINGFIELD ARMORY www.Springfield-Armory.com
DECEMBER I 2017
THIS IS MY P320 — Producer MODEL
The P320 is fueled by innovation and driven by performance. The RX Compact with its slide mounted Romeo 1 reﬂex optic, delivers dependability in a technologically advanced handgun. #myp320
BY RICHARD VENOLA
n the tumult of World War I was born the idea of a “trench sweeper”—a pistol-caliber automatic arm designed for close-range urban and trench fighting. The submachine gun at first only interested criminals, but from 1931 until it was dislodged by the “assault rifles” of the 1950s, it was a staple of military firepower.
See if you can correctly answer the following questions about the submachine gun. (The answers follow at the end of this quiz. Try not to cheat!) GW
1.) This heavy submachine gun was first—and always—associated with American gangsters of the inter-war years. A.) Thompson B.) Furrer C.) Lahti D.) Degterarev DP 2.) This iconic Soviet design was issued in vast numbers, especially to tank-riding regiments, encouraging troops to get in close. A.) MP-40 B.) CG-45 C.) PPSh-41 D.) Sten Gun 3.) Which of these was considered the first practical submachine gun? A.) m/31 Suomi B.) MP18 Bergmann C.) Nambu D.) Reising Gun 4.) The Israeli Uzi was a close copy of the— A.) Dror B.) Beretta M1938 C.) 8mm Nambu D.) Czech ZK 476 5.) The Erma-built MP 38/40 was frequently misnamed the— A.) Dragunov B.) Garand C.) Schmeisser D.) Stoner 6.) This budget SMG was derisively labeled the “Woolworth Gun,” because it was made for less than £5 (British pounds). A.) Sten Gun B.) Sterling C.) Beretta D.) MAT-49 7.) Some people question the HK MP-5 to be a true military submachine gun, because it— A.) Uses an intermediate power cartridge. B.) Fires from a closed bolt. C.) Doesn’t fire fully automatic. D.) Requires a college engineering degree to operate. www.gunworld.com
8. England chambered the Sten Gun in 9mm Luger because of— A.) U.S. isolationism before the attack on Pearl Harbor. B.) Huge stocks of 9mm captured by British forces in Italian Somaliland and Ethiopia. C.) British forces, which were just then adopting 9mm FN “High Power” P-35s. D.) The head of British Ordnance, who wanted to insult the French 7.65 Longue cartridge. 9.) During World War II, the largest submachine gun magazine was the 100-round drum available for the— A.) Suomi m/31 B.) Thompson C.) MP-40 D.) PPSh-41 10.) German-born George Hyde designed this successful, longserving SMG: A.) Suomi m/31 B.) PPS-43 C.) Uzi D.) M-3 “Grease Gun”
ANSWERS 1.) A: Thompson. The others were all full-power light machine guns. Furrer (Swiss), Lahti (Finnish) and Degterarev (Soviet). 2.) C: The generation-1 Soviet PPSh41 was a wood-and-steel gun. German MP-40s and British Stens were gen-2 guns of steel only, and Sweden’s Carl Gustav 1945 was a favorite of the Cold War. 3.) B: The Bergmann was designed by Hugo Schmeisser, who went on to immortality as the designer of the StG44—the first successful “assault rifle.” The m/31 Suomi went on to heroic success fighting Stalin’s hordes; the Nambu was Japan’s silly excuse for a submachine gun; and the Reising was a rear-area success and a front-line failure due to grotesque design flaws. Most ended up being discarded in the rivers of, and off shore of, Guadalcanal. 4.) D: Czech ZK 476. The failed Israeli Dror was a full-power copy of the 1941 Johnson; the 1938 Beretta was a gen-1 SMG; and the egregious Nambu 8mm ... is most charitably ignored. 5.) C: Schmeisser. After Hugo Schmeisser, who designed the Bergmann and later, the StG44, Dragunov, Garand and Stoner all designed rifles. 6.) A: Sten Gun. England’s Sten Gun was rushed into production early in World War II. The British Sterling, Italian Beretta and French MAT-49 were all carefully designed and manufactured weapons. 7.) B: Fires from a closed bolt. A military weapon has to be capable of cooling the chamber to prevent cook-offs. Military SMGs stop firing with an open bolt to allow air to circulate. The MP-5 is designed for greater accuracy in police work. As a result, it uses a closed bolt, maintaining a chambered round. 8.) B: Huge stocks were captured from the Italians. Brilliant lightning campaigns in East Africa netted millions of rounds of warehoused 9x19mm. 9.) B: Thompson. The optional Thompson 100-round drum was seldom used but was available on the commercial market. Finland’s Suomi and the Soviet PPSh-41 both had 71-round drums, but the German MP-40 used a 32-round stick. 10.) D: M-3 “Grease Gun.” Born George Heide, “Hyde” immigrated to the United States and designed the M-3, which served from mid-war until after Desert Storm as a truck and tank crew weapon. Finland’s m/31, the Soviet PPS-43 and Israeli Uzi all had long, successful careers. Suggest a topic for a future Gun Quiz: E-mail Richard Venola at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
DECEMBER I 2017
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TEXT AND PHOTOS BY STEVEN PAUL BARLOW
MORE THAN A GUN Many everyday items can be employed as weapons in an emergency and can be extremely effective, especially if you’ve received training in their use.
WHEN CARRYING A GUN ISN’T AN OPTION, LIMITED POCKET SPACE MEANS YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE YOUR OTHER SELF-DEFENSE TOOLS AND TACTICS CAREFULLY.
And what might be legal in your state might be illegal in certain cities within your state. And what is legal by itself might be illegal if you show intent to use it against another person. Tuff Writer tactical pens are built much stronger than typical writing instruments and can be employed as impact weapons. (Photo: Tuff Writer)
The place to start is your state’s penal law (if you can decipher it). This usually contains definitions of what constitutes an “illegal” weapon. Be careful about other sources, such as online forums, unless you happen to have a get-out-of-jail-free card.
love pockets. I don’t know how my kids survived growing up wearing soccer shorts that had none.
However, even with pants or shorts with cargo pockets, what I can carry is limited. That means I have to choose my EDC tools carefully to be prepared for the widest range of possibilities. When taking self-defense into consideration, most of us start with a gun. And if you carry it somewhere around the waistband, it’s not claiming any pocket space at all. The problem is that there are many locations in which carrying a gun isn’t possible.
WHAT’S LEGAL? What else can you carry that’s legal? This can be hard to determine, depending on where you live. In my home state, it’s easy: Almost everything—even a dirty look, it seems—is against the law. www.gunworld.com
DECEMBER I 2017
IN DESPERATION, MANY OF THESE WEAPONS CAN BE USED EFFECTIVELY WITH STRIKES TO THE FACE (ESPECIALLY THE EYES), THROAT, GROIN OR BONY AREAS CLOSE TO THE SKIN.
The Mini Koga SD2 from Cold Steel is an example of a lightweight tool that can be used in various compliance techniques, as well as an impact weapon. (Photo: Cold Steel)
OTHER WEAPONS So, beyond a gun, what else should we carry in a self-defense role?
Consider a stun gun or pepper spray for a moment. One criticism of these is that you must get extremely close to your attacker. But heâ€™s already trying to get close to you. Chances are, heâ€™s already there by the time you realize you are being attacked.
This Steven Seagal Ten Shin Walking Stick from Cold Steel is made of polypropylene and is practically indestructible. It was designed with self-defense in mind. (Photo: Cold Steel)
Even where legal, a real downside to some stun guns is that they can be rather large to stow in a pocket on a regular basis. The handy Sabre Dual Capacitor Stun Gun with LED flashlight, at 3.7x1.7x.95 inches, can fit in a pocket. But carrying one in a purse, pack or messenger bag might be more convenient if you can access it quickly ... and donâ€™t get the bag taken away from you first.
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… ASIDE FROM GUNS AND KNIVES, THE BEST SELFDEFENSE TOOLS ARE THOSE THAT ARE IMPROVISED ... Pepper spray can be useful. As a police officer, I found the Sabre Red spray I carried quite effective against dogs that thought my uniform reminded them of the mailman. Against people, I saw mixed results. Some dropped like a sack of rocks. Others just became ticked off. Most reacted somewhere in between. That’s fine. Remember: In a self-defense situation, if you can distract, discourage, slow down or disable an attacker, you might have an opportunity to get away.
can do more than hold up your pants. I’ve found many survival uses for one over the years, but a belt does make a good flexible weapon. Need a cane or walking stick to compensate for that old knee injury? You also have a weapon that can be effective against man or beast.
TRAINING In desperation, many of these weapons can be used effectively with strikes to the face (especially the eyes), throat, groin or bony areas close to the skin. Proper training, however, can maximize your effectiveness with any self-defense tool. Cold Steel offers DVDs on the use of several types of weapons, not just knives. Tuff Writer offers DVDs on the use of tactical pens. These are good starting points, but nothing is as good as hands-on training.
Consider that in a struggle, you’re likely to get a dose of the spray yourself. That’s why police recruits have to experience what it’s like to be sprayed and to learn to what extent they can still function, despite the discomfort.
The Aegis Academy and Surefire Institute are just two training facilities that offer courses—not only on pistols, rifles and shotguns, but on knives and improvised weapons, as well. Shop around, and you’re bound to find training near you.
Knives and impact weapons, such as a kubotan, are other options. Many impact weapons can be carried on your key ring and can provide a blow, if properly placed, that can be more effective than using your fist alone.
[Editors Note: Please check all local and state laws where you live before using or carrying any improvised weapon. Unless you’re a repair man or mechanic, even a wrench can be illegal to carry concealed as a weapon in some jurisdictions. In addition, cans of bug sprays—an insecticide—is a felony to use as a weapon.] GW
IMPROVISED WEAPONS In my mind, aside from guns and knives, the best self-defense tools are those that are improvised—either those items you carry with you that can serve double duty or things around you that you can grab. These items don’t scream, “weapon!” if someone sees you carrying them, but they often work just as well. Improvised weapons usually fall into edged, impact or flexible categories. Can’t carry a gun or knife at a destination you’re flying to? When you land, stop into the tool department of any store, and you’ll find dozens of sharp or solid items that can serve as effective weapons.
DVDs COLD STEEL www.ColdSteel.com TUFF WRITER www.TuffWriter.com
TRAINING COURSES More than one juvenile delinquent I encountered carried Visegrip pliers in their back pockets. And an old street fighter tactic was to thread a bandanna through a padlock that could be swung to good effect. If you’re a bike rider, a chain bike lock can be a weapon, if needed. Among the things you might have with you every day are several that might serve defensive roles. A good flashlight with a striking bezel or a sturdy tactical pen can be just as effective as any small impact weapon that’s dedicated to that purpose. A good leather belt
AEGIS ACADEMY www.AegisAcademy.com SUREFIRE INSTITUTE www.SurefireInstitute.com SELF-DEFENSE GEAR (Pepper spray, stun guns, etc.) SABRE SECURITY EQUIPMENT CORPORATION www.SabreRed.com
Steven Paul Barlow is a retired sergeant/station commander and former firearms instructor with the New York State Police. He has been writing on outdoor topics for more than 30 years and has served as the editor for a number of Engaged Media special publications, including Gunslingers.
DECEMBER I 2017
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY MICHELLE CERINO
Know what is inside your medical kit so you can easily locate specific items when needed.
W FIRST AID
ON THE RANGE ARE YOU PREPARED? www.gunworld.com
hile perusing Facebook almost any day of the week, I find postings of shooters practicing at a range, competing in a match or just plinking in their own backyards. Not too often, but every once in a while, there’s also a photo showing a mishap. Sometimes, it’s a wound from splashback while shooting at steel or a slice in the web of someone’s strong hand from a “too-high” thumbs-forward grip. These minor issues are handled easily with some medical tape or a bandage. But what happens when you have a major accident? Imagine yourself shooting while at your favorite range in a bay. A medical emergency happens. Do you know where the trauma kit is? Is there even one readily available? How about this one: You’re competing in a natural terrain 3-gun match with stages spread out with some over a mile away. Again, there is a medical emergency on a stage. Where would you have to go to find a trauma kit? Is there one at every stage? And, once you get the kit, would you be able to find what you need or have any idea how to use the tools inside?
DECEMBER I 2017
Eleven 10 Medical Gear sells the RIGID TQ Case for CAT (combat application tourniquet)—a great way to have a tourniquet easily and readily available.
When traveling with my husband, whether for training or competing, we always bring our North American Rescue Range Trauma Kit (MSRP: $368.99). Even if the hosting range has its own kit, we show ours to the class attendees and let them know where it will be kept. We try to keep it in a highly visible area, safely out of the elements. I’ll admit, the contents are all compressed and organized so neatly in the bright-orange bag that I hesitate to dig around. However, it’s extremely important to know what first aid items are available inside and how to find what I need quickly. If your kit doesn’t have a content label that is easily seen, I strongly suggest you make one. That way, when an emergency happens, any needed item can be found quickly.
SAFETY AT THE RANGE The following safety precautions should be taken when you arrive at a range for a class or a competition: Find out where the trauma kits are located. If you don’t see any, ask someone. If you are not given safety protocol for an emergency, ask. Find out— • Who calls 911 • Who waits for emergency services at the gate/door/entrance • Who administers first aid • Who the backup is if something happens to one of these people Make sure you know the address of the range.
Store your emergency medical kit in an area protected from the elements yet visible to anyone who might need it.
If you are the one calling 911, do not say there has been a shooting. A better description is, “There has been an accident at the range.”
IPOK in your personal range bag. The amount of money you invest is minor when it could mean saving someone’s life.
LEARN HOW TO USE IPOK CONTENTS Once you purchase an IPOK to carry in your range bag, learn how to use the contents. With a little online research and practice, you can learn to be comfortable using your CAT. When you reach Tactical Combat Casualty Care—or TCCC (read as “T triple C”)—you will find the guidelines used by combat medical personnel in the U.S. military.
If you arrive at a range and find out there are no trauma kits available (or at least not near your shooting location), you have two options: Bring everything to a halt and demand that one be made available or carry your own.
Many times, people who haven’t shot often get hot spots on their hands. It’s always helpful to have a roll of medical tape in your range bag for such occasions.
To keep the peace—and peace of mind—I choose the second option. I keep an Individual Patrol Officers Kit (IPOK) with Combat Gauze (North American Rescue, $124.99) in the side pocket of my range bag. It’s an easy-to-open, vacuum-sealed package that is small (4x6.5x2.75 inches) and weighs just 7.4 ounces. Inside are one pair of Black Talon Nitrile Trauma Gloves, a Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT), one Combat Gauze LE Hemostatic Bandage and one Flat 4-inch Emergency Trauma Dressing (ETD). There is no excuse not to carry an
For more information about various products contained in the North American Rescue Trauma Kit and how to use them, check the company’s website: www.NARescue.com. You will also find downloadable videos available for personal use. When you are on the range, there are many safety precautions— some mandatory—you should take. Eye protection, billed hats, long pants and long sleeves do much to cover parts of your body from shrapnel and hot brass. However, in spite of being aware of your surroundings and following the four firearms safety rules, accidents sometimes happen. You need to be prepared mentally and physically for such an incident. An important part of having a trauma kit is not only the supplies it contains, but also having the knowledge and training to use what’s inside.
Practice using the items in your medical kit so you aren’t fumbling when there is an emergency.
Do some research; it’s really pretty simple and interesting. Take matters into your own hands so you don’t have to depend on someone else for your safety. Be prepared! GW
AN IMPORTANT PART OF HAVING A TRAUMA KIT IS NOT ONLY THE SUPPLIES IT CONTAINS, BUT ALSO HAVING THE KNOWLEDGE AND TRAINING TO USE WHAT’S INSIDE. Use your own leg to practice applying a tourniquet.
Carry your own IPOK in your range bag so you don’t have to depend on someone else for your safety.
Michelle Cerino is both a firearms trainer and the president of Cerino Consulting and Training Group, LLC—a firearms training company she built with her husband, Chris, in 2011. She writes, hunts and competes in major 3-gun matches nationwide.
DECEMBER I 2017
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TEXT BY BRIAN MORRIS
PHOTOS BY BRIAN MORRIS AND ROBB MANNING
CRISIS CURRENCY: AMMO DURING TIMES OF CRISIS, AMMUNITION WILL BE A PRECIOUS COMMODITY—NOT ONLY FOR YOUR OWN UTILITY, BUT ALSO AS A BARTERING CHIP.
am not an alarmist. I don’t believe in pandering to people’s fears in order to sell magazines. I just like to be prepared. The time to prepare for an emergency is not after it has occurred.
Keeping large quantities of assorted ammunition in a cool, dry place will put you ahead of the curve in times of emergency. Have enough extra so that some can be bartered for other necessities. (Photo: Robb Manning)
One thing to take into consideration is that in times of crisis, the stores will be packed full of hysterical people who didn’t prepare, and most of the supplies needed to survive and thrive through a disaster will fly off the shelves quickly. The only supplies you’ll have are those items you were smart enough to stock up on when there was no emergency in sight. A good example of this was Hurricane Harvey, which hit the U.S. Gulf Coast in late August 2017. As word of the powerful storm began to circulate, most of the critical items flew off the shelves, and fuel costs skyrocketed across the nation. Supplies such as food, water, ammunition, fuel, alcohol, tobacco, sugar, flower, salt, and preserved food stores and medical supplies were in such high demand that they all but disappeared when the realization set in with people that they were going to be fending for themselves, at least for a while.
DECEMBER I 2017
It is never a bad idea to stock up on nonperishable items with long shelf lives. You should start a system via which you rotate out older items through consumption and replace them with items of extended shelf lives. Be careful not to purchase “on sale” food items with expiration dates that are coming to an end. In addition, beware of dented, damaged or swollen containers and cans, because this can be a sign that the seal has been compromised, and the contents could have spoiled or have a reduced shelf life.
THE CURRENCY OF LEAD … BULLET LEAD As we try to store away items to help us through an emergency, one item that stands out to me as probably one of the smarter items to stock up on is ammunition. Ammunition can help protect and feed you and your loved ones. That said, you can have an arsenal of firearms—but they are only as good as the amount of ammunition you have for them. As the fight against gun ownership and the Second Amendment goes on, one of the “backdoor” threats that faces gun owners is the availability of ammunition. Add a natural or man-made disaster to that equation, and you can expect ammunition to be in high demand and surely difficult, if not imposable, to get your hands on. That is why I encourage you to stockpile ammunition
Make sure you have the right ammunition on hand and ready to use when you need it. A firearm is an essential tool to have in times of emergency ... and firearms need to be fed. (Photo: Brian Morris)
for your firearms now so you will have it if and when it becomes a problem to purchase on the open market. While it should be your top priority to stock up on the ammunition that matches your personally owned weapons, don’t forget to stock up on a few common calibers, as well, to be used as bartering items. Ammunition such as .22 LR, 9mm, .45 ACP, 7.62x39, .223/5.56 NATO and assorted 12-gauge ammunitions are always good to have, even if you don’t currently own the weapons to match that ammo.
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LONG-TERM STORAGE SOLUTIONS Something you will want to consider is long-term ammunition storage. Anytime you want to store ammunition long term, one of the biggest problems you will run into is corrosion. The best way to avoid corrosion is to store your ammunition in a cool, dry place. If you don’t do this, you might run into problems that will make firing the ammunition either dangerous or impossible to fire— such as bad primers, ruptured cartridges and rust, to name a few. I suggest you store ammunition either in its original packaging or vacuum seal it.
When a crisis hits and things go south, they do so in a hurry. Your ammo storage plan should include having some mags loaded up for your go-to guns. These organizers from Mag Storage Solutions work perfectly for that. (Photo: Robb Manning)
We have a choice to either prepare—to protect and provide on our own for ourselves and our loved ones in a time of crisis—or we can depend on the government to do that for us. History has shown that it could take days, weeks or longer for aid and relief to arrive. “Murphy’s Law” says, “Anything bad that can happen will happen at the most inopportune time.” Don’t be a Murphy; start building up your supply stores now, so that when you need it most, you can have the peace of mind of knowing you can take care of yourself. GW
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A PERPETUATOR OF DOOM AND GLOOM TO BE PREPARED FOR A CRISIS. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS RECOGNIZE THAT WE LIVE IN A WORLD IN WHICH EMERGENCIES DO HAPPEN.
Another way to store it is in 5-gallon buckets with silica packets placed inside to cut down on moisture. You can fit about 6,000 rounds of 9mm ammunition in one 5-gallon bucket. You can also go online or to a military surplus store and purchase ammo cans for very little money. You don’t have to be a perpetuator of doom and gloom to be prepared for a crisis. All you have to do is recognize that we live in a world in which emergencies do happen.
Brian Morris is a retired Army Special Forces master sergeant with more than 25 years of active-duty experience. He is a former Special Forces weapons sergeant with multiple combat tours in the global war on terrorism. Morris is also an avid hunter, fisherman, outdoor enthusiast and self-proclaimed “prepper.” He is the author of two books: The Green Beret Pocket Guide (www.brianmorrispersonalprotectionsolutions.com) and his newly published book, Spec Ops Shooting (www.SpecOpsShooting.com).
DECEMBER I 2017
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY BRIAN BERRY
WORST-CASE SCENARIO C TRAIN HARDâ€”YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT! arrying a gun is like buying insurance: You have it, hoping you never have to use it.
In most cases, this is true. The vast majority of the more than 16 million concealed- or opencarry gun owners will never draw their handguns to defend themselves or others.
DECEMBER I 2017
Nevertheless, we train. We train for that one moment in time when our actions and training determine the result of a life-or-death struggle. It is not at that time you want to be thinking, I should have trained harder or sought out better training.
and unable to carry a gun of your own. You might be in a gunfree zone or another situation that leaves you without a firearm. Without warning, an assailant is upon you, gun drawn, and he is aggressive or appears mentally unbalanced. In this case, you can comply, but that won’t guarantee you will not be harmed anyway. You might have to disarm your attacker—which is not a guarantee either; in fact, some trainers say it’s too risky to ever do.
During a recent visit to Salt Lake City for a different article than this one, I was able to connect with my brother. While visiting family is important, this visit was for something more important. Our lives have taken us on different paths of learning—mine was the military, and his was martial arts. He has made a lifelong commitment to martial arts a nd self-defense. That’s what I was after: his knowledge and experience. We arrived at his gym to work on some training I have wanted to work on for a while. I had several scenarios I wanted to train on; two of them I feel are the worst cases that could occur—and not just for gun owners. These are things that could happen to just about anyone. I’ll go over one of these here; the other one will be covered in a future column. Before getting in too deeply, it should go without saying that the drill I am going to cover requires extensive training and practice. I do not recommend trying it just because you read about it here. This is a starting point to get you thinking about the possibilities for additional training in your regimen.
GOING UNARMED This is pretty much the worst-case scenario: when you are out
If you are in Salt Lake City, you can get trained at the 54th Street Gym Bihonte Martial Arts Academy (www.54thStreetGym. com). The focus is not on competition but on how to defend yourself and stay alive. Owner Dan Berry has more than 40 years of experience.
You first move is to get a solid grip on the handgun without getting your hand in front of the barrel. This should be a quick move, without hesitation or feebleness. For many semiautos, a solid grip will prevent the gun from cycling a round if fired. This might prevent additional shots being fired. In the event the gun is a revolver, blocking the hammer could also prevent it from firing, but neither of these situations is guaranteed.
MAINTAIN CONTACT You will want to stay in close, because this provides you with leverage. Allowing yourself to be stretched out takes your
WE TRAIN FOR THAT ONE MOMENT IN TIME WHEN OUR ACTIONS AND OUR TRAINING DETERMINE THE RESULT OF A LIFE-OR-DEATH STRUGGLE.
leverage away. Try to keep your head low, with your forehead against the chest of your opponent. This will help prevent you taking blows from fists or elbows.
(Photo 1) Attempting to disarm an assailant, the grab for the weapon needs to be fast and purposeful. Getting a solid grip is critical. (Photo 2) Leverage is important. You want to be in close and keeping your head below your opponent’s chin, if possible.
As you grip the gun, you want to turn it in to your attacker to break it free from their grip. This could be either in and away or out and away. The wrist can only take so much pressure. If the finger is within the trigger guard, it is likely this will break the finger as the gun is turned. The important part is that you keep from bringing the barrel in line with yourself. You should also be aware of your surroundings so that if a round is fired, it won’t impact an innocent bystander. Once you have possession of the firearm, get some distance and call 911, if possible. If your assailant tries to reengage, you should be good to use deadly force.
DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME Again, you should not try this just because you read it here. It takes a lot of practice to conduct this maneuver, and it is not for beginners. As with any kind of training, seek a qualified professional. Better yet, find a few so you can develop multiple techniques.
SEEK OUT PROFESSIONAL INSTRUCTION One of the worst mistakes we can make as gun owners is to think we have enough training and that we have thought through all situations. It is important to seek out the right kind of training, as well. I have covered situational awareness in a previous column, but it is important to also cover it here—in other words, making sure you are aware of what’s going on in your surroundings and avoiding situations that could be dangerous, if possible.
(Photo 3) Using your leverage, you want to turn the gun back into your opponent. In the best case, you would be able to turn it out of their hand.
But sometimes, it is not possible to avoid certain areas or situations. That’s where being trained will help provide you with the tools you need to get yourself to safety—or at least in a position of dominance. Finding a good training professional is difficult. Many will advertise all their qualifications, but the real proof is in the delivery. I was lucky enough to have someone I know and trust to go to. Take the time to find a quality instructor in unarmed combat to enhance your firearm defense skills. Most clubs will let you observe and maybe even take part in a class to see if it is what you are looking for. Reputable gyms should be willing to provide you with references to whom you can talk about the quality of training. (Photo 4) Use your leverage to throw your opponent off balance—and hopefully, to the ground, where you can dominate.
Train hard—your life depends on it! Brian Berry is a retired Army Special Forces Command sergeant major. He is a former Special Forces weapons sergeant and has multiple combat tours under his belt. Brian is the co-founder of Spartan Defensive Concepts, at which he teaches concealed carry and defensive marksmanship courses. Brian retired in 2014 and is now a consultant currently working for the Special Operations community, as well as a senior instructor for American Survival Guide University.
about the author www.gunworld.com
DECEMBER I 2017
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TEXT BY JEFF QUINN
LONGBOXES THERE IS NONE SO SPECIAL AS THAT VERY FIRST ONE.
family. It seemed important at that age that I should do my part, because I was rapidly entering into manhood and felt it was my duty to provide sustenance. Anyway, in my well-rehearsed plea to my parents as I presented my case for the need of a shotgun, I probably didn’t actually use the word, “sustenance,” but that was the angle that I used. I had never carried a rifle or shotgun on a hunt up to that point in my young life, but I had been allowed to go along with the adults on such activities—doing my best to keep up with the hunters and beagle hounds on rabbit hunts or walking along as quietly as a kid can in the woods while scanning the tall hickory trees for squirrels. Often, a squirrel would spot us and run around to the opposite side of the tree for cover. Lacking a good squirrel dog, Dad would send me around the tree to spook the squirrel into rounding the tree once more, placing him in range of a load of shot from Dad’s Remington 1100 shotgun. I had not yet been allowed to hunt, but I figured I was ready. Dad agreed, so I presented my case to Mom but had not received an answer.
HANGIN’ BY THE COUNTER As Christmas approached, we all loaded up into the old Chevy one day and went to town. Usually, when our parents went shopping, they left us kids in the car, where we would wait until they returned from shopping. (Back in those days, it was common for parents to leave their kids alone in the car while they did their shopping. Nobody stole kids back then ... most parents already had more than they wanted.) But this time, they brought us all inside Grandpa’s Discount Center. Grandpa’s was an amazing place for a pre-teen boy. It had lots of interesting stuff to get into.
t a very early age, I learned to appreciate long boxes. As I write this, there are dozens of empty long boxes in the basement of my home. At one time, each held wonderful contents—some, more wonderful than others, but good stuff in every one. To be specific, they contained firearms (shotguns or rifles).
The author’s first shotgun was found lying in a long box behind the Christmas tree almost a half-century ago.
Up near the front was the stuff that interested me: guns, ammunition and related products. The long guns were behind the counter, and in the glass cases were handguns the likes of which I had never seen. Of course, because I was a young boy with no money, I was not allowed to touch the guns, but my sticky, little fingerprints were all over that glass case. I tried to hang by the gun counter, but Mom shuffled us kids off toward the back of the store, which contained a lot of useless stuff such as clothes and such, leaving Dad behind at the front of the store.
MAKING THE CASE FOR A SHOTGUN
My appreciation for long boxes started when I was 11 years old. That was late in the fall of 1970. For Christmas, I had asked my parents for a shotgun.
I didn’t think much about it; I just figured we were being punished for something. For some reason, I looked way down an isle just in time to see Dad carrying two long boxes from the gun counter and heading for the front door. I was confused at first, but that is when the revelation hit me, right there in Grandpa’s, that it was Dad, not Santa Claus, who was buying that gun for me for Christmas. Turns out, he also had one for my older brother.
My arsenal up to that time contained only BB guns, but I was ready to move up to a real shotgun for doing things boys love to do, such as gathering squirrels and rabbits to help feed the www.gunworld.com
DECEMBER I 2017
Being both young and ignorant of such matters as time zones, International Date Lines and logistics, it had not previously occurred to me that one rotund man in a sleigh with a maximum hauling capacity of a Ford F100 pickup and powered by eight wingless mammals could handle the distribution of gifts to every child in the world at precisely midnight on Christmas Eve—although I did realize the world was large and had to contain at least a couple hundred kids at any given time. Seeing those long boxes hustled into the car made me do some serious thinking. I had no proof of anything at that time, but the events of that day raised my suspicions.
YES, JEFF, THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS ... SORT OF When Christmas morning finally arrived, I sprang to my feet before daylight and quickly woke my brothers. We ran into the living room to see if, once again, we had been restocked with things boys desperately need. Sure enough, all around that big red cedar, which we had chopped down in the woods just a few days before, there were colorful packages piled everywhere—four different piles, one for each of us.
AFTER THAT DAY, MY CHRISTMAS LIST NO LONGER LOOKED LIKE A DEFENSE DEPARTMENT BUDGET REQUEST.
We tore open box after box containing such useless things as socks, underwear and Sunday shirts; we also had packages with toys and stockings with goodies: oranges, apples, peppermint candy and such. I had temporarily forgotten about my request for a shotgun, but I happened to glance over behind the tree. Standing against the wall were two long boxes.
Almost knocking down the tree to drag them out, my older brother and I tore them open to discover two, brand-new Stevens Model 95 20-gauge, single-shot shotguns. Strangely, they were identical to the ones we had seen on sale a couple of weeks prior at Grandpa’s. Yeah, I was a bit slow, but all the pieces were falling together, and I knew for certain my loving Mom and Dad had been supplying the magic of fulfilling a boy’s dreams. I lost the fantasy of a kid’s Christmas that morning but gained a greater respect for those two people who raised me and my brothers.
Using state of the art design, injection molding and high density polymer, Fobus has created a holster which cannot be duplicated in leather or any other material.
After that day, my Christmas list no longer looked like a Defense Department budget request. From then on, I never put in a request, leaving gift choices up to my parents. I still have that old, single-shot Stevens. It is well worn and was refinished by me many years ago. It is worth almost nothing, but no man on Earth has enough money to buy that old gun. Since that Christmas morning almost a half-century ago, I have accumulated many long boxes, but none will ever mean as much to me as my first long box on that Christmas morning. www.gunworld.com
Jeff Quinn is a full-time writer/ reviewer on Gunblast.com, an online gun magazine started in 2000. He has also written for the Gun Digest Annual and enjoys living life in the woods of Tennessee, where he raises Longhorn cattle … and his grandkids.
DECEMBER I 2017
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PHOTO BY ROBB MANNING
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS! â€”THE GUN WORLD STAFF 2017
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