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Citizens Association for Responsible Gun Ownership = CARGO



Hello Fellow CARGO Members,

The next meeting will be held at Napoli’s on Thursday, September 18th.

We have reserved the Napoli's meeting room for dinner:


701 N Highway 78 # A

Wylie, TX 75098

For the dinner portion of the meeting, we will be in the meeting room between 5:30 and 6:45 for food and fellowship.

For the actual meeting, we are moving to a separate building, just down the road from Napoli’s. Member Don Bridges has volunteered his shop for the meeting. There are a very limited number of chairs at the shop, so please bring a camp chair for the meeting. We will meet there from 7:00 (ish) until 9:00 (ish)

The address is

2274 EAST Brown Street in Wylie

While heading east on Brown Street, it is 1/2 mile past stop sign that's at the intersection of Brown Street and Kreymer Lane on the right hand side.

The shop is behind a small white house with a picket fence around the front yard.

Because we missed one of our gun topics last month, we have three topics this Month:

· Revolvers – any “wheel gun” from any era.

· Magnums – this can be handguns, rifles or carbines and / or the cartridges.

· Newest purchase in your collection – do you have anything new in your collection? Bring it to share!

If you have any suggestions for future speakers or topics please send your feedback to CARGO@att.net.

When was the last time you visited our web site? Please take some time to go to the newly remodeled CARGO website at www.cargogunclub.org


From Member Scott Brantley with North Texas Armament:

We are proud to join the @National Shooting Sports Foundation in its commitment to safe and responsible firearm storage and handling. Join the Own it? Respect it. Secure it. Initiative: http://www.nssf.org/safety/ORS/

Scott A. Brantley






A Great Time To Buy A Machine Gun? Lawyer Claims ATF Accidentally Approved Manufacture of New MGs For Trusts

Posted by Bob Owens on May 15, 2014 at 12:01 pm

According to Joshua Prince’s law blog, an attempt by the ATF to play fast and loose with regulations may have opened the door for gun trusts to purchase newly manufactured machine guns for the first time since 1986.

Feel free to read the entire article if you want to read the nuances of Prince’s argument, but the gist of it can be found in the concluding paragraphs of the post:

So, we have a prohibition on any “person” transferring or possessing a machinegun which was not lawfully registered before May 19, 1986. BUT, an unincorporated trust is not a “person” under the GCA, so this provision cannot apply to it.

In turning to the National Firearms Act, as amended, 26 U.S.C. 5801, et seq., we find that a “person” is defined as including a trust, pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 7701. Yet, there exists no 922(o)esque provision in Section 5801, et seq.

Therefore, pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 5812 and 5822, an unincorporated trust may lawfully transfer and make machineguns, as it is not a “person” for purposes of the GCA and Section 922 only applies to “persons” as defined by the GCA. And yes, this opens up a lot more issues for ATF in relation to the purchase of firearms by trusts under the GCA. Someone isn’t likely to be employed much longer…

I will continue to update our viewers, as I have already submitted a Form 1 Application for a minigun…oh hell yeah I did…

I’ll be tickled if the ATF now has to start approving new machine guns for the civilian market, as the Hughes Amendment was passed on a very controversial voice vote to begin with, and never should have become law. Likewise, I find it highly amusing that the ATF’s attempt to do with regulations what the Obama Administration can’t get done through the legislative process has backfired so spectacularly.

All that allowed, expect for this regulatory door to slam shut very quickly, with the ATF rescinding this regulatory change just as quickly as possible.

I don’t think Mr. Prince expects in the slightest for his application for a new mini-gun to be approved, but if it does manage to get one approved, I hope he enjoys it. Until the forces of good have enough clout to vote in enough right-thinking politicians to start dismantling the National Firearms Act, the Gun Control Act, and the Hughes Amendment to FOPA, fully-automatic weapons will remain the over-priced toys of the very wealthy.



Maryland Considers Bill To Confiscate Guns From 110,000 Registered Gun Owners

Posted by Bob Owens on March 6, 2014 at 7:49 am

Maryland is considering a law that would link the state’s gun ownership registry with the criminal registry, creating a confiscation list affecting approximately 110,000 individuals:

More than 100,000 individuals in Maryland could become disqualified from owning their registered gun under a bill currently under consideration by state lawmakers.

According to the Associated Press, the Maryland House of Delegates is debating a proposal that would link the state’s gun and criminal registries, enabling law enforcement officials to more effectively seize firearms in the possession of those convicted of felonies or violent crimes.

Under Maryland law, anyone convicted of such crimes is required to relinquish their firearms. However, the chief sponsor of the proposed bill, Delegate Luiz Simmons (D-Montgomery Couny), said the law is incapable of truly being enforced if police cannot use their database to pinpoint the individuals in question.

If passed into law, the new bill would require police to run a check twice a year in search of convicted felons with registered guns. Police, meanwhile, believe the linked systems would lead them to disqualify 10 percent of registered gun owners. That amounts to approximately 110,000 people.

10-percent of your registered gun owners are felons, Maryland? Really?

At the same time they are mulling this confiscation bill, anti-gun Democrats are attempting to move forward another bill that will stall firearm sales until background checks are complete, however long that takes.

Under federal law and existing state law, authorities have a week to complete a background check, and if they don’t disqualify a purchaser, the dealer can complete the sale. Maryland is attempting to create a situation where they can refuse to hire additional staff—or even shrink current staff—conducting background checks, slowing transfers down to weeks or even months.

You think that can’t and won’t happen? Try to register an item affected by the National Firearms Act with the ATF. The current wait time on most NFA items now is stretched out beyond nine months. It’s currently easier to manufacture a human being than register a suppressor for legal transfer with ATF.



Gun Lost in Transit? The Feds Want to Know

Posted by BearingArms.com Staff on August 13, 2014 at 9:56 am

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has proposed a new rule that would require firearm dealers, manufacturers, and importers to report to the federal and local authorities if a gun has been lost in the mail. The time allotted for sending the report would be just two days.

Via the Washington Times:

The rule’s goal is to crack down on potential guns lost in transit and then used in crimes. Federal regulations already require firearm dealers to report guns lost in their inventories within 48 hours after discovery, but there’s no reporting regulations on guns lost in transit.

Within the last 15 years, gun thefts that happen during transport have increased 20 percent, the ATF said. From 2008 to 2012 there were about 1,500 cases where agents traced guns that weren’t reported as missing and dealers said they never received them, the agency said.

However, Larry Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation thinks otherwise:

Out of the millions of guns shipped each year, the number lost in transit is minimal, said Larry Keane, a senior vice president for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms industry. What this proposed rule will do is add increased burden and cost on the dealers who ship the guns, leading to fewer jobs and higher prices on the consumers who want to purchase the firearms, he said.

“There’s already in place voluntary reporting when guns are lost or stolen in transit, and ATF has never said members aren’t cooperating or this is even a problem,” Mr. Keane said. “Manufactures work very closely with ATF when situations arise to help in the investigation — which usually ends up to be someone in the common carrier — but these cases are exceedingly rare.”

Keane also said that it would make more sense if the rule were to be switched around. “The proposed rule would require the sender to alert authorities when the gun goes missing. But Keane said it should instead be the receiver who notifies the authorities. ‘If they don’t get what they paid for and it doesn’t arrive, then they’re more likely to know that it went amiss than the manufacturer who sent it out,’ he said.”

The ATF is will be taking comments from the public for the next 90 days.

–Kara Jones



Did ARMagLock Create a Device To Beat “Assault Rifle” Registration Requirements?

Posted by Bob Owens on March 20, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Our friends over at Ammoland published a story today about a company called ARMagLock, which claims to have created a device that renders the AR-15 a fixed-magazine firearm, defeating the Connecticut, New York, and proposed California “assault weapon registration requirements.

From ARMagLock:

ARMagLock is a new patent pending AR-15 fixed magazine solution that allows New York, Connecticut and California AR-15 owners to avoid assault weapon registration within

their respective state by staying compliant with the laws.

The California Legislature is now trying to pass a law mandating registration of all assault weapons. SB 47 will require that all assault weapons owners register their firearms with the CA DOJ, to include AR-15 firearms with magazine locking devices requiring a tool or bullet to remove the magazine. The registration shall contain a description of the firearm that identifies it uniquely, including all identification marks, the full name, address, date of birth, and thumbprint of the owner, and any other information that the department may deem appropriate.

SB 47 amends the definition of an assault weapon to refer to a rifle that has one of several specified military-style features and “does not have a fixed magazine,” rather than a gun with one of those features and the “capacity to accept a detachable magazine. Continued legal possession requires that you REGISTER and pay a FEE (TAX) on ALL your semi-autos newly classified as “assault weapons.”

These new laws apply to rifles that do not have a fixed magazine. The laws define “fixed magazine” as an ammunition feeding device contained in, or permanently attached to, a firearm in such a manner that the device cannot be removed without disassembly of the firearm action. This wording essentially renders other magazine locking devices useless. AR-15 owners now have to disassemble their firearm action in order to release the magazine.

Just to be sure there is no confusion, the new law states (b) (1) Any person who, from January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2013, inclusive, lawfully possessed an assault weapon that does not have a fixed magazine, as defined in Section 30515, including those weapons with an ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with the use of a tool, shall register the firearm before July 1, 2015. See here for exact wording of the law: SB 47.

The ARMagLock turns your firearm into a “fixed magazine” firearm that cannot release the magazine unless you pull the takedown pin, and separate the upper and lower receivers, thus “disassembling” the firearm action. Once the receivers are minimally separated, the ARMagLock can be engaged to release the magazine.

Installing the device looks relatively straightforward, and non-permanent.

I’ll let lawyers weigh in and tell us whether the device actually does meet the letter of the law in all three states, but if it does what it claims, it’s a wonderful political tool, even if it is a (purposefully) feature-debilitating addition to AR-15s.

Theoretically speaking, the ARMagLock would seem to make AR-15 style rifles compliant with the laws and preclude registration, while still enabling them to be readily converted back to a normally functioning firearm when residents of these states either visit or move to free states (or if they are to be used as the founders intended as “liberty’s teeth”).

If you’re stuck in one of these three states, would it be worth it to you to spend a little over $50 to avoid having to register your rifle, or would you rather simply register, or not register or modify your rifle and hope you don’t get caught?



Smith & Wesson officially becomes the second gun company to pull out of California over microstamping

Posted by Bob Owens on January 23, 2014 at 8:46 am

Smith & Wesson is following Ruger out of the California semi-automatic pistol market in what is almost certain to be a mass exodus if the law stands:

Smith & Wesson announced late Wednesday evening that it will stop selling its handguns in California rather than manufacture them to comply with the new microstamping law. The other publicly traded firearms manufacturer in the U.S., Sturm, Ruger, also said this month that it will stop new sales to California.

The announcement came a week after the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for firearms manufacturers, filed suit against California for requiring that all new semi-automatic pistols that are not already on the state’s approved gun roster have the microstamping technology.

Microstamping doesn’t work, on any level.

The theory is that a laser can etch the firing pin and breech face of a semi-automatic firearm, so that when a round is fired, a uniquely identifying mark is left on the primer by the firing pin, and another is left upon the cartridge case by the breech face etching.

It’s all quite cute in theory, but falls apart in the real world for raft of reasons that even Wikipedia could figure out:

◾Stamped casing can only be traced to the last registered owner, not to the person who used the gun when the casings were stamped. In the case of a stolen gun, as is the case for most firearms used in crime, the stamped case would not lead to the criminal.

◾Unscrupulous individuals could collect discarded brass from a firing range and salt crime scenes with microstamped cases, thereby providing false evidence against innocent people and increasing the workload for investigators.[5]

◾High costs for testing the efficacy of the technique must be passed on to customers, increasing the cost of firearms for those who obtain them legally.[5]

◾Microstamping is easily defeated. Diamond coated files are inexpensive and will remove microstamping. Firing pins are normally replaceable and can be changed with simple tools or without tools. Firing a large number of rounds will wear down the microstamp.[5] Marked components such as slides, barrels, firing pins and ejectors are all easily and commonly replaced items.[6]

◾Microstamping is an immature, sole source technology, and has not been subjected to sufficient independent testing. Transfer of microstamped marks to the cases is less reliable than proponents claim.[5]

◾Microstamping would be irrelevant/non-applicable for implementation of revolvers as these types of weapons do not eject shell cases necessarily.

◾Ejected casings can be easily collected and removed from a crime scene.

Specific to California, opponents say:

◾Firearms sold to law-enforcement are exempt. Problems could arise if a police officer’s firearm is used in a crime or stolen, and the fact that a firearm is “unsafe” if not provided with stamping technology exposes the police to liability.[7]

◾Guns manufactured before an effective date are exempt and the bill does not extend to guns outside of California. There’s no possibility that this bill would ever cover enough guns to provide the investigative advantage claimed for it by the proponents.[5]

◾Failures of the microstamping parts of a firearm makes it “unsafe” under the California law, which then becomes illegal to sell, give or lend under existing law.[8]

Much like the “smart guns” New Jersey is trying to wish into reality, the technology is highly suspect, failure prone, and the police themselves refuse to use it, a fact we discussed on Cam & Company yesterday.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)—which I feel compelled to note is the actual manufacturer’s lobby, not the NRA, despite the claims of serially-ignorant and hyperbole-prone gun grabbers— and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) are challenging the micro-stamping law in court:

“There is no existing microstamping technology that will reliably, consistently and legibly imprint the required identifying information by a semiautomatic handgun on the ammunition it fires. The holder of the patent for this technology himself has written that there are problems with it and that further study is warranted before it is mandated. A National Academy of Science review, forensic firearms examiners and a University of California at Davis study reached the same conclusion and the technical experts in the firearms industry agree,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “Manufacturers can not comply with a law the provisions of which are invalid, that cannot be enforced and that will not contribute to improving public safety. As a result, we are seeking both declaratory and injunctive relief against this back-door attempt to prevent the sale of new semiautomatic handguns to law-abiding citizens in California.”

We can hope that this failed dream technology is defeated in the courts and that California’s deranged legislators doesn’t come up with something even more far-fetched and inoperable.



Practice Shooting: How to Maximize Your Range Time

By: Tiger McKee | September 2, 2014

Time and ammo are precious commodities, so when you have the chance to practice shooting you want to maximize your investment.

An afternoon of shooting is fun, but you want to focus on the skills needed to defend against an attack, too. I make a list of the skills I want to practice in advance, with the number of repetitions to perform, which also ensures I don’t get sidetracked once I hit the range.

Pick three skills, like movement, malfunctions and using cover, and combine all three into one drill. Set up malfunctions by mixing some dummy ammo in with live ammo.

To begin the drill move to cover, issuing verbal commands as you draw the pistol and engage the threat, clearing malfunctions as they occur. Although you’re focusing on three primary skills, remember to apply other tactics, such as scanning the environment for other threats.

Keep in mind a high round count has nothing to do with the quality of practice; you can burn through ammo and not learn anything. Even on the range, perform several dry runs of a drill before running it live-fire to ensure when you do press the trigger, your shots are accurate.

When planning your practice sessions make it a point to work on the things that you don’t like, which is normally the stuff we don’t do very well. It may not be much fun, but we should constantly be striving to strengthen our weaknesses.

This article is an excerpt from the Summer 2014 issue of Modern Shooter magazine, presented by Gun Digest.



9 Things New Shooters (and Concealed Carry Permit Holders) Need To Know About Training

By Mike Seeklander published on September 12, 2014 in Training

In my various roles as a firearms trainer, I have spent countless hours fixing problems for students whose issues were created during their previous training. Unfortunately, most of those mistakes are self-ingrained by shooters doing repetitions with improper technique. Along the way, I’ve come to realize there are several simple, yet often unfamiliar, concepts about firearms training that shooters don’t know or understand.

1. Sometimes, you get what you pay for. Free isn’t always good.

One of the biggest obstacles I face is fixing a skill that came from an invalid, “free” source that a shooter found on the Internet. There are countless articles, blogs posts and videos on the Internet with so-called experts teaching what they believe to be valid techniques.

The unfortunate thing is that some are far from experts, and the bigger problem is less-experienced shooters might not know how to tell the difference. I have been sucked into the endless stream of information myself and, on occasion, find that after getting sidetracked a dozen or more times, I am no closer to the answer I was looking for. After the fact, I realize that I have probably wasted two or more hours I could have spent practicing.

So how do you validate the good from the bad? Look for instructors or sources of information that can be cross-checked. Most people who are really skilled at anything are usually easy to find, because they have been on the path of their particular skillset for years.

Be careful about taking material away from an unknown source, especially when it comes to guns and gear. It seems like everyone out there is an expert, and it is hard to find objective information.

Just remember, you get what you pay for.

2. Not everything you see on the Internet is true, valid or should be the focus of your efforts.

The Internet and Facebook are plagued with flashy videos and cool stuff. I use those outlets myself as an attention gainer and because doing cool stuff on the range is fun! And beware of paying attention to the wrong things and getting sidetracked by material that does not even come close to the material you should be spending your time on.

I’ll use a current example that seems to be exploding on the Internet, a particular instructor who calls himself “Instructor Zero.” I have had numerous people post his “awesome instructor skills” video on my Facebook page and have been emailed about him several times. I do not personally know him, and use him only as a point in this blog.

The truth is, I find some of the things he does on the videos to be unique and interesting, and I would welcome both a beer and some range time with the guy (not at the same time!), because I guarantee I could learn some things from him.

Here is the problem: In the comments (I have excluded some of the idiot comments that are probably posted by non-shooters), people seem to notice the wrong things:

•The gun instructor’s skill will ‘blow your mind.’

•The guy has sick skill and speed.”

•His drills are ‘crazy’ dynamic and mimic real-world concepts.

•He has ‘mad shooting skills.’

Now, here are the things that I notice, and feel are important:

•His manipulation skills are incredible; each is refined by obvious hours of hard work. He has refined his index points and fundamentals to an incredibly high level. While most of the shooting he does on the videos is close range, I would feel pretty confident in saying that he is a very skilled shooter.

•He seems to be humble and does not promote as flashy, although the videos come across that way because, I assume, his company is good at marketing hi). He makes several statements about “specificity” in training and how he focuses his efforts when he practices. This is critical information and an insight into how he focuses when he practices.

•He mentions safety, and the importance of it, as well as the fact that the stuff he shows needs to be trained before being tried.

•He demonstrates a solid understanding of close-range fighting, and the dynamics of distance (when using a handgun). Watch how he does his post engagement scan/check.

My point? There may be a big difference in what you see on the Internet and do pay attention to, versus what you should be paying attention to regarding to training. I would love to train with Mr. Zero and would do so because of what I would learn from him that helps me shoot better, not just mimic something flashy I saw him do in an internet video.

3. The majority of your training should be focused on shooting better.

A full-speed concealed draw process looks great in a photo! But if I can not manage the recoil, sights, and trigger, I won’t hit anything. Good shooting skills begin there!

The unfortunate thing is that I get students in my classes who have spent countless hours training, and some who have trained with several different instructors who still do not understand the fundamentals that will allow them to maximize their shooting abilities.

The biggest thing I see students lacking is the inability to manipulate and control the firearm they are shooting. In handgun classes, they have very little idea of how to maximize their recoil control with a proper grip, and in a rifle class I rarely find someone who has really learned to control the rifle during fast shooting.

Manipulation of the firearm is the second-biggest area they lack skill in, whether it be performing a reload, or clearing a malfunction. Often, I find those students lacking skills that should be fundamental. In the beginning of your skill development during your own practice, or in any training class you take, if you are not learning or practicing something that will help you shoot better, you are on the wrong path.

Every single training drill you do should have a purpose in your skill development. If you are attending an instructor-led group class, then each drill your instructor gives you to do should have a purpose.

Consider this, if you don’t leave each and every class or practice session a slightly better shooter, then why are you there? Now, for those who argue that defensive-type instruction should include tactics and scenario-driven learning experiences, I agree. But not at the expense of being able to hit the desired target as quickly as possible.

Don’t get sidetracked into tactics and games before you spend the time learning how to shoot.

4. Educate yourself across several sources BEFORE you spend your money on guns and gear.

It seems like absolutely everyone has an opinion on guns and gear. While there are hundreds of well-versed gun-store employees out there who will give you great advice on what gun to buy and carry, there are also an equal amount who have absolutely no clue.

I can honestly say I see more students fail in the selection of a fundamentally proper weapon and the accompanying gear than in any other area. When you are researching guns and gear, consider the following:

•Purchase with a purpose in mind. Just because author A, B, or C says it is an awesome gun or holster does not mean that it will meet your needs.

•Get several opinions. We all have opinions. In terms of selecting guns and gear, get several. Validate the source.

•Try the equipment before purchasing, if possible. Most of the good ranges that sell guns have a rental program where you can try a similar gun before buying it. Would you buy a car without test-driving it? Why buy a gun that might not work for you?

5. Never, ever fight your gear.

I have a common solution I give students when they show up to my classes with a gun that they are fighting, or gear that does not work: “Throw it over the berm or in the trash.” Really, get rid of it!

If it does not work in class, what makes you think it is going to work in the real world? When in doubt, follow the leaders. If you simply can’t decide on what to get, write or call several experts on the field and get them to give you their top-three recommendations for guns and gear in the context you will be using them in. Look for the commonalities.

6. Train with an expert early in your development, and at least once per year.

I know, training classes are expensive. So is ammunition and wasted time is invaluable. If you know anything about me, you realize I offer training programs in the form of my books and supporting DVDs you can use to greatly increase your skills.

You know what I have found though? Students who have read my books or watched my videos, and who then attend my range courses, tell me across the board that they were missing something that they could not get from the book or DVD. It’s not that they did not like my material — just that I gave them a different depth of feedback when they trained with me in person.

I try to take at least one course a year myself, and I recommend you do the same. If you have one particular instructor you like, take his or her courses for a few years, but don’t be afraid to branch out. The training you receive, and what you do in practice, must be focused on the context of what you are training for. This means that you must invest the most time practicing the skills you are most likely to use.

It also means you must practice with the gear you will use in the environment you are likely to use the skill. Listen, the truth is that we all like to practice the stuff we are good at. And we also like to use the gear that is the easiest to do the best with on the range, which often is not the same gear you might carry daily. I have made this same mistake myself.

Look at the chart below to get some examples of what the average concealed-carry holder might want to practice versus what he or she should be practicing to employ that handgun.

What they want/tend to practice

What they should be practicing


A fast draw from a “range” holster without the normal shirt they conceal their handgun with.

Executing a consistent draw from the holster they carry with and the concealment garment they wear while moving toward a piece of simulated cover.

Drawing from real-deal carry gear with the actual garment used to conceal the gun changes things. Doing it while moving adds another element. Or how about adding an obstacle to move around while you are drawing? How often do you think you will be attacked when completely alone? Moving around a loved one while drawing is a good skill that fits the context of where you operate.

A static (flat-footed) concealed-carry draw using the support hand to clear the garment during all of the practice session.

Performing a consistent draw process with the strong hand only sweeping the garment, I actually teach the strong hand as the primary sweeping hand in Your Defensive Handgun Training Program.

The support hand is commonly occupied, believe it or not. Practicing one way that does not always meet the need in a bad situation is a sure path to failure. Think about how common it might be to be in a parking lot with a flashlight in hand, or with your support hand holding hands with your child, when bad things happen. Both require the use of a one-handed sweep-and-draw process. Make sure you practice them!

Shooting really fast “double taps” (I cringe at that word but use it for the purpose of this article).

Recoil control with varying and multiple shots, a visual (and physical) follow-through-and-assess process.

You see, the good ol’ “double tap” is a shot sequence that is used primarily in competitions. It was also taught by some who used to teach students to shoot twice and then assess. I disagree with this method, and history and literally hundreds of real-world shootings teach us that it often takes more (and sometimes many more) than two shots to stop an attacker. Imagine shooting twice with a small, commonly carried pocket pistol (.380 ACP), and hoping it stopped an axe-wielding attacker… only to find that it didn’t work. Not smart! Practice rapid follow-up shots and a visual follow through.

7. Practice sessions should ALWAYS be approached with a purpose.

I can’t tell you how many times in the past I have wasted time and ammunition with the best of intentions. I loaded up my gear and went to the range to get some skills practice in with no plan. Inevitably, I would find myself putting a few drills together and then practicing the stuff I liked versus what I really needed to work on.

Another failing point is working on too many different things in one session. I have found that I have much more success working on one or two skill areas and repeating them until I have learned as much as possible from that drill.

Most of my practice sessions start with some fundamental drills, then I pick a skill area to work on. Examples might be one-handed shooting, or shooting while moving, or shooting from tough positions. Normally, I like to have a drill that allows me to watch an electronic timer and measure the results. While not all defensive training is best done by just paying attention to times, the numbers still give me something to try to improve.

Make sure you come to each practice session with a plan! My Logbook documents my practice session and allows me to plan my next one.

8. To continue improvement, you must measure your skills.

This one assumes you are already knowledgeable and skilled enough to take a test, like my S-P Handgun Skills Test. If you are not at that level yet, then simplify the process and work on keeping your shots inside a certain area of the target.

For example, if you are working on the fundamentals and you are a brand new shooter, you might spend an entire session working on managing the sights, trigger, and grip in a few simple drills.

If you plan to shoot 100 shots during your practice session, you can count and track the number you hit in the scoreable area of the target (whichever target you choose). If you are in the military or law enforcement, you probably have a preset qualification that you can use to measure your skills.

Why am I so adamant about measuring your skill? Simply because once you begin to focus on measuring something, you immediately boost your chances of focusing on improving that metric.

9. Keep a shooting Logbook.

Whether you use a notepad, electronic means, or maybe a pre-designed logbook (I designed one for each of my programs), make sure you are keeping track of your practice sessions. I like my pre-formatted books because they make it faster and easier to gather the data I like to follow up on.

You are probably reading this post because you are a new shooter and have some goals you are trying to meet. There is no better way to help yourself meet those goals than to begin to log your training sessions, what you are learning in them, and the factors you need to continue to focus on to help yourself improve.

Believe me, I know it takes work, and a “systematic” approach to training beats a random one every time.

So there you go, nine things you can really put to use if you are a new shooter and have an interest in paying attention to your improvement. Remember, each one is something that I have personally watched shooters fail at. Make the choice to be the exception, rather than the rule.

Are these the nine things you’re using to improve your shooting skills, one step at a time? If so, which has helped you the most? Share your results in the comments section.

SLRuleMike Seeklander is owner of Shooting-Performance LLC, a full-service training company, and the co-host of “The Best Defense,” the Outdoor Channel’s leading self-defense and firearms instruction show. Previously, as Chief Operating Officer, Director of Training, and a Senior Instructor at the U.S. Shooting Academy in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mike was directly responsible for the development of more than 50 firearm-training programs. Prior to that, as a federal government employee, he served as the Branch Chief and Lead Instructor for the Firearms division with the Federal Air Marshal Service as well as a Senior Instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training. Mike is currently a nationally ranked competitor on the practical-handgun competition circuit, as well as author and producer of several instructional books, DVDs, and lesson plans specifically related to both basic and advanced firearms training. Mike is the current I.D.P.A. BUG (Back up Gun) national champion and winner of the 2011 Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships production division title. The USPSA currently ranks Mike as a Grandmaster.



Uniformed DPS Trooper Asked to Leave Waffle House Because He Was Armed

September 13, 2014 10:22 am Second Amendment

Manager yelled that he had to leave and he was not welcome back to the restaurant

(Breitbart) – A uniformed Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Trooper was asked to leave a Waffle House restaurant in Grapevine this week because he was armed. The trooper was wearing a Texas DPS helicopter pilot “field uniform” that consists of a DPS polo shirt, tan slacks and his badge and gun were on his belt. Trooper was asked to leave and not to return because he was wearing a gun.

Breitbart Texas spoke with Trooper Evans via Facebook Messenger. He said he could not comment directly to the media about the matter. From postings on his Facebook page, Breitbart Texas learned the trooper was on his way to work and was standing at the cash register when the manager of the Waffle House began yelling at him from the doorway of the kitchen telling him that he had to leave and he was not welcome back to the restaurant. Despite Evan’s explanation that he was a law enforcement officer with the DPS and he was in uniform, the manager persisted in his rant.

“So I just got asked to leave the Waffle House in Grapevine!” Evans said on Facebook. “Apparently my Department Approved DPS Aircraft Uniform is not welcome there. I was asked to leave by the management and was also instructed not to return.”

“They said it was because I was wearing a gun,” he explained. “I was in uniform, TX DPS Polo Shirt and Tan pants, with my badge visibly displayed on my belt. I explained to the manager that I am a state trooper and he said I still wasn’t allowed to have a gun in the restaurant.”

The reaction against the manager and Waffle House on Facebook was predictably angry that a uniformed police officer would be thrown out of a restaurant.

CBS DFW’s Bud Gillett reported that Waffle House said the manager simply missed seeing the badge on the trooper’s belt. They admitted it was inappropriate for him to chastise the trooper in front of other patrols. In a press release sent to CBS DFW, Waffle House spokesman Pat Warner said:

‪“It is Waffle House policy to allow police officers to bring weapons into our restaurants. In this incident, the manager did not initially see the officer’s badge and should have handled the issue with more discretion. We apologize to the officer for any embarrassment we may have caused him. Our corporate Director of Security has contacted the officer, explained our policy and apologized to him. We have also coached our team on how to better handle these situations.”

Trooper Evans lives in the San Antonio area according to his Facebook page. He was in North Texas on official business. The trooper also has been deployed to the Texas/Mexico border as part of Operation Strong Safety. He is a U.S. Navy Veteran, having served in the late 1990s.

Evans posted on Facebook that the real issue to him was how the manager handled the situation by embarrassing him in front of other customers in the Waffle House. “I could care less if the guy knew who I was or weather he recognized my uniform or not,” Evans explained, “it was the fact that he felt yelling at me from across the restaurant was an appropriate way of addressing his concerns.”

Workers at the Waffle House told CBS DFW it was just a misunderstanding. They said they support police officers and even offer a police discount.



The Top 5 .45s for Concealed Carry

by Justin Opinion on September 8, 2014

There’s no denying the feeling of potential instilled by a handgun. And when that gun fits your hand just right, the feeling is even better. The last decade has seen a resurgence in the popularity of the .45 ACP, a round whose reputation has been built by more than a century of proven results. Here are 5 .45 ACP concealed carry pistols that push the limits of form and function.

#1 Springfield Armory XDS 3.3” or 4.0”

Let’s start right at the top of the list and avoid the artificial drama. The XDS.45 has proven to be durable and reliable. I’ve had my copy for a couple of years now, and I’ve fed all kinds of ammo through it. I’ve yet to have a failure of any kind. The slimness of the XDS is now legendary at exactly 1”. And at just under 4 ½” tall it disappears when carried. Add a crisp short-stroke trigger and great stock sights, and it’s a born shooter. Down sides to the XDS include hard recoil and low round capacity (5+1 with the flush mag). Tiny enough to carry inside the waistband (IWB) in any weather, no manual safety to manipulate under stress, and the reliability it has demonstrated make this my first choice every time. MSRP ranges from $600 to $650, depending on finish.

#2 Glock 30S

One thing the Glock 30S is not – slim. It’s a double-stack .45 ACP with a grip circumference to match. But in every other way it is about as svelte as the Glock 19, and just a hair thicker at the slide than the Springfield XDS. At 1.18” the 30S is not at all uncomfortable to carry nor especially hard to conceal. Smart holster choice and proper cover garment selection, and even the rotund grip becomes a non-issue. What you get in return is eleven (10+1) rounds of .45 ACP! And that’s in the standard magazine. Did I mention that the G30S will also accept the standard mags for the G21/G41? Yep. So your backup magazine can hold 13 rounds, and if your duty weapon or home defense pistol is a full-frame Glock, the G30S will integrate nicely as a backup or alternate. Easy to field strip, easy to maintain, and easy to shoot (downright fun, actually). I put the Glock 30S at number two because I consider it to be the most reliable, durable, and best compromise of caliber and capacity out there. Should be priced under $600 at your local shop.

#3 Kahr PM45 / CM45

Kahr Arms has been making some superb firearms for some time, and the PM45 is no exception. The CM45 is not as refined, and relies on forged rather than milled primary components – but that aside, there is no evidence I’ve seen to suggest any deficiency in performance. I include them both as #3 with it coming down to a price range choice.

Kahr makes a finely engineered and constructed pistol. And tight. When I purchased a Kahr years ago, it took several hundred rounds before I didn’t bruise my fingers just trying to field strip it. Tolerances are taken seriously at Kahr, and it shows in performance. The PM45/CM45 uses the double-action-only (DAO) trigger. The pull is heavy and very long, but silky smooth. It is also very thin, at 1.01” and the height is about 4 ½” exactly. The Kahr holds 5 in the mag and one chambered, and extended magazines of up to 7 rounds are available. There are several configurations, with prices ranging from $855 to $1,022 for the PM45. The CM45 is more budget friendly, at $460 – but only comes in one flavor.

#4 The Ubiquitous 1911

Which brand 1911 and in what length would be a long story on its own. So I’m lumping them all together. I know guys that carry a full size 5” 1911, people who prefer the commander length (4 ¼”), and many who love the 3” ultra-compacts. The 1911 in most any configuration has one common trait – it’s thin. Even the tiny versions usually accept 7 round magazines. The platform is so well supported that parts, accessories, and options are virtually limitless. What it usually comes down to is this – “cocked n’ locked.” You are either comfortable with that or you’re not. Unlike all the previously mentioned guns, the single-action-only 1911 requires some extra skills and training to make it a safe and effective choice. Among the 1911’s I personally prefer the commander length – 4 ¼” barrel, for carry. The 3” models can be extremely finicky (the Browning design never intended it to be that short). A couple of brands have mastered it – a gunsmith I trust swears by the Kimber when it comes to 3” models – but most others will malfunction. For those who train to carry and use the 1911, there are endless variations and options out there and probably always will be.

#5 Glock 36

The G36 is a polarizing conversation piece among gun folk, some love it and swear by it, and some don’t see why it exists. I’m somewhere in the middle of that debate, but I do think it belongs on the list. The G36 is about the size of the G19/23 in both frame and slide. This makes it very appealing for concealed carry – especially in the thickness dimension. Glock kept the polymer frame as thin as possible. So, why doesn’t everyone just carry a G36 instead of a 9mm G19 or the .40 G23? Mostly – capacity. The 36 is a 6+1 capacity handgun and there are no alternate magazines for it. The mags for this pistol are not compatible with any other Glock, and vice versa. But if you’re okay with that, it is a reliable and dependable Glock that is easy to carry. Expect retail to be closer to $550 on this one.



Prepping 101: Live Well! Tips to Make Survival Not Suck!

by GunsAmerica Actual on September 14, 2014

I forget which zombie movie it is, maybe World War Z? One of the characters says something to the effect that if you stay put in one place, you die. That may be true of real zombies, but that will not be true of the zombies who surround us and who aren’t preparing for the collapse. For the most part, people are decent. And though they may be confused by the fog that their anti-depressants and reality TV put them in, when they finally figure out that one day late was too late, they are going to try to run to where they think they can be saved. That may be a rumor of where a FEMA truck is supposed to show up with food and water. That may be a distant relative that must be able to help them. Ultimately what it means is that the streets will be full of people seeking to get out, or just to find resources, and the street is where you don’t want to be for a long time. But survival is boring, and the food is bland. These are some tips that I thought of that make a lot of sense if you are compiling a bare bones prepper/survival list. They aren’t too expensive and they will add a certain “quality” to life that is 100% better than just surviving.

Books by the Box

Even if you aren’t a big fan of Tom Clancy or romance novels, they sure will kill a lot of time and keep your brain from farting out when you are on guard duty. For those of us who have an actual physical used book store in town, go down to the store and ask the owner about buying a bunch of dead stock for a set price. She may tell you that you can have a whole bunch of books for not a lot of money, because it helps her to get them out of the way. This is also great for flea market dealers. They don’t make a killing off of their books, so offering $50 for a whole bunch of them will generally get you a big smile and a car full of books. Just bring boxes. Yard sales are even better.

Craigslist would be the obvious other local place to find books. Estate sales and moving sales will often yield huge collections of books that you can have almost or entirely for free. The guy who runs my mini-storage facility saw that I had thousands of books in storage (a whole other story) and offered me his mother’s entire book collection for free, because “she puts notes in the margins” believe it or not.

Ebay is also a resource, and one I have used to buy collections of just one author who I would love to read “some day.” Recently I snuck a few Ann Rice books out one lot I bought on Ebay from the Interview with the Vampire series that was slated for survival. Hey, if the collapse never shows up I’ll be tickled happy, but I don’t want to miss reading those books if I happen to die in the “great event” that may be coming.

Blenders and Mixers!

If you read the article we did on survival food, nonfat dried milk is one of the best things you can buy that adds up to lots of calories and lots of food value for the money and for the space. If you add to that freeze dried fruits, a life of smoothies could be part of your future.

There are two types of survival blenders. One is a sturdy hand crank and it sells for roughly $100 all over the web. We are also hoping to review an almost $500 larger hand crank system that is more of a food processor from Cottage Craftworks. It appears to be able to mix bread even, and they have a Kitchenaid mixer conversion kit as well as $40 bread machine. Cool off grid stuff!

Tailgate blenders come in a wide variety of cost options. If you just search Google for 12 volt blender you’ll find a number of them under the Waring name ranging from $99 to $149. There is also a battery powered Margaritaville mixer, and the $359 Tailgator gas powered blender (they actually exhibit at SHOT Show).

Waffle & Pie Irons

You can’t ever discount the emotional benefit of hot food, and the easiest way to heat food is with an open fire. We are going to review some specific cooking options, but at the end of the day, you can certainly cook with an open flame, and you should plan to. As per our advice in the food article, one of things you can store is flour, and besides bread, a killer meal from flour is waffles. Search Ebay on cast iron waffle and you’ll see that historically, the cast iron waffle iron has been a fundamental kitchen implement in the homestead. Today you can buy these old irons, but is also a very good copy being sold under the name Texsport for $40-$50. It has a swivel base that is very important for even cooking. Keep your fire low and be patient. Survival food doesn’t have to suck, and waffles with sugar (another storage item we suggest), don’t suck.

The other thing you may already have to take camping. They are called Pie Irons, and they are made primarily by a company called Rose. They can be found on Amazon and Ebay, as well as the camping and Amish stores around the web. Pie irons are cheap, and with a little bit of oil and bread, you can make interesting creations from TVP and reconstituted veggies that will not pale to the food you eat today. The most important thing is that they only need an open flame. If your solar oven can’t get enough sun and your propane ran out two weeks ago, pie irons give you the tool you need to make yourself a hearty hot meal.

12 Volt Lights, Fans, etc.

We are going to get back into solar very soon in this series, with a much more elaborate system. If you plan to run solar (or wind), your power is going to be saved in increments of 12 volts, with batteries. You can, as we already explained in our introductory solar article, invert that 12 volts DC into 120 volts AC, and run regular lights and appliances. The problem is, an inverter is essentially just a power transformer with some control circuitry, and transformers eventually fail. Even transformers that sell for 100s of dollars and that are used correctly eventually fail, and if you are using an inverter, it will eventually fail. Have a backup inverter of course, but also plan to store 12 volt lightbulbs, fixtures to hold them, and other 12 volt appliances, like fans if you live in a hot location. You can only store how much power you can hold in your batteries, so you might as well use some day to day for convenience. I don’t, however, suggest that you use your inverter for convenience needs. How would you feel if you blew your converter while running a 120 volt electric box fan? How stupid will you feel? Since Ham radios primarily rely on 12 volt power supplies, there are very few actual 120 volt things that you will absolutely need that you can’t find on 12 volts. I was in Home Depot the other day and they even had 12 volt refrigerator bags. That would be great to use if you have some spare power. You can kill game and save some for tomorrow without having to worry about it spoiling. Find everything you can in 12 volts and buy it now, before it is too late.

Toilet Paper, Feminine Hygiene, Soap, Dandruff Shampoo, Hair Scissors and Razors

Hygiene is a huge deal in a survival environment. If you are currently on a septic system and not city sewer, you should be able to use your toilet for the foreseeable future. Just manually pour non-drinkable water into the rear tank and flush it as usual. If you are on city sewer you should get a back up camping toilet of some kind. There are lids for 5/6 gallon buckets that are a toilet seat and they work great. But in either case, you really need a good supply of toilet paper. I haven’t found the bulk Costco paper to be that much more of a value by the foot, and if you are on septic, beware that toilet paper made from recycled paper can become an issue for your drain field. If you can afford it, buy the bulk packs of virgin fiber toilet paper. Get enough for a long time, and tell everyone in a survival atmosphere to use it sparingly.

If you have a menstruating or soon to me be menstruating female among your group, you have to buy a good supply of pads or tampons. Both options take up a lot of space for how long they cover you for, but they are absolutely required if you hope to keep your girl healthy and happy. Don’t leave this out.

You should also have a good supply of soap and shampoo. If you currently use dandruff shampoo, make sure to have a good supply of it on hand, and again, use it sparingly. The human body doesn’t like to be dirty and as I’ve seen in some lectures, we kind of spoil. Stay clean, and if you have the money to put away the deodorant you use in bulk, get some of that too.

A pair of hair scissors and a whole bunch of disposable razors should also be in your supplies. It will be hard to keep spirits up in a survival situation, and a regular haircut and shave are simple things that can keep you feeling like yourself. I even put away a rechargeable hair clipper that hopefully I could use with my solar.

Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Floss

I actually bought some tooth extraction pliers on Ebay for my medical kit because teeth are one of those things that can really mess you up without a dentist around. There is a book, “Where There Is No Dentist.” You don’t want to go there if you don’t have to, so take care of your teeth and the teeth of others. Even if you don’t currently floss every day, buy a ton of dental floss and do so in survival. That is even more important than brushing for problem free teeth.

Mosquito Issues

If you live in a area of the country that is hit hard by mosquitoes, be prepared to protect yourself from them in survival. Bug repellant is expensive, but you should have some that has Deet in it, and get the squeeze bottle not the aerosol. It goes further per ounce. Also consider investing in mosquito head nets and even a mosquito suit. They work great, and face it, guard duty happens in survival. You are going to have to contend with mosquitoes, so you might has well be prepared. Like any other bio-weapon that the banker slave shadow government may see fit to unleash on us, malaria is a reality for much of the southern US. Just because you don’t see it now doesn’t mean you won’t see it after “the perfect storm” puts America in 3rd world country territory.

Laundry Detergent & Larger Sized Kid Clothes

There is a cheap cheap laundry detergent at Walmart with spanish writing on the bag. It works great, and you can buy a ton of it for $30. Clean clothes should be a priority for you in survival, and you don’t need drinkable water to wash them.

Also, if you have kids that are due for a growth spurt, it wouldn’t hurt to take a duffle bag down to your local thrift store or flea market and fill it up with the next size up, especially in shoes. Remember the whole point of this is to make it so you don’t have to leave the house for anything. Kids outgrow clothes within the window that you may be holed up, and having those larger clothes on hand won’t hurt. That also goes for small clothes for you if you are overweight. Surviving on beans and rice, with others, you won’t be eating more than you need anymore and you will get smaller. A few outfits that fit you won’t hurt a bit, and used clothes are pitifully cheap.

Over the Counter Medications

There is no describing how nice it is to have some children’s ibuprofen on hand when a kid gets a fever. You feel like you scored the winning touchdown at the Superbowl when the kid is feeling much better ten minutes later. In survival, why not have some basics for your medical kit that everyone occasionally needs. Immodium, Ex-Lax, Tylenol, Pepcid, etc. They all come in store brands that are much cheaper these days and that work just as well.

Canning Supplies

We covered this a bit in a prior article, but if you plan to garden, or you have the ability to hunt wild animals or slaughter farm animals for food, a pressure canner is an absolute must. I suggest the All American Canner because it has a metal to metal fit and no plastic gasket to break. But in the prior article I suggested that you get a can sealer and use steel cans. If you are planning to stay in one place, glass Mason jars are fine, but you have to make sure you have plenty of lids, because unlike the jars, the lids can only be used once for a proper seal. A pressure canner is required for everything except pickles and tomatoes because it brings the temperature above 212 degrees. Botulism can live at 212, but not much higher, and that is the primary cause of sickness from canned food. Follow time and pressure directions carefully with canning. Your life could depend on it.

What’s On Your List?

Please add suggestions in the comments below. There are plenty of things that some people are going to forget, like an extra few packs of wooden matches and disposable lighters. But please, make sure you have at least looked at the topics we have already covered. Prozac infused comments like “you don’t need toothpaste you need food” don’t do anyone any good, and believe it or not, we’ll delete at least a few of those this week. If you are among the awake that are taking all of this deadly serious, you are in the absolute minority, and we are surrounded by people who will wish they had listened when they had the chance. If you have something helpful to share with us please do. Once you get to the point where you accept that it might be your own responsibility to just live, the next step is to live well.



Sorry, California Glockaholics: No Glock 41 or Glock 42 for you.

Posted by Bob Owens on January 23, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Glock factory reps have confirmed that the new .45 ACP Glock 41 and .380 ACP Glock 42 are not on California’s “approved” guns list.

Glock won’t be microstamping (since the tecnology doesn’t exist in any viable form), so while Glock models that are currently on the approved list will continue to be sold, new models are a no-go.



The Ever Popular and Collectable M1 Garand

By: Jim Thompson | August 29, 2014

The M1 Garand’s rich history continues to grow as this rifle remains a popular option among collectors and competitors.

The rifle taking shape on John Cantius Garand’s drawing board in the 1920’s, even to 1932, was a very radical departure from its predecessors, not merely because it was a semi-automatic.

Garand conceived and designed the rifle and the tools and machines that would produce it. For the first time, it was a truly unique U.S. design. The Springfield single shots had been mundane but reliable, nothing that startled anyone. The Krag-Jorgenson rifles, from 1892, were beautifully made, the work of Ole Herman Johannes Krag and Erik Jorgenson, but genuinely obsolete from their inception. The ’03 Springfield was a fine rifle, based purely on the Model 1898 Mauser, license arrangements resulting in the payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars to the originating firm in Oberndorf.

Any new military firearm stirs up the “old guard.” This wild new thing, controversial from the very first announcements, stirred up imaginations and resentments far and wide.

Using the “gas trap” system, involving a false muzzle, handling a huge volume of hot, still expanding gases, was radical enough with the then-new .276 Pedersen Center Fire cartridge. There was considerable use of stainless steel in the gas cylinder and the piston of the operating rod. Using new, faster powders, it seemed the new cartridge would obviate the issues of sludge, residue and secondary ignition that plagued other such contraptions in the U.S., Great Britain, Belgium, Germany and Russia.

For the first time in a modern infantry rifle, simple snap-apart field strip for ordinary cleaning was built into the design, and even detailed stripping was possible with only a bullet as a tool, albeit often when finished such a projectile often wound up distorted beyond normal parameters.

About 1932, Army Chief of Staff Douglas MacArthur determined that the new cartridge was uneconomical and ordered that the new rifle had to be redesigned to utilize the millions of rounds of .30/06 ammunition still extant, produced for World War I. This was the second major change, as the original design had been primer actuated. Garand was resourceful, and by 1936, the rifle was adopted and in production.

Talk concerning ammunition wastage and safety issues began immediately in the popular press. Digging out old newspaper articles can be fascinating; some refer to the firearms blowing up, others spontaneously disassembling. Rumors about excessive cost and other “boondoggle” whispers got rolling. Many firearms writers of the times jumped on this bandwagon. During the Great Depression, it seemed extravagant. And firearms companies who had (or more often, simply claimed they had!) competing designs were not at all averse to planting tales about weapons allegedly cheaper and better in every way.

They weren’t. They weren’t even close. Some, especially the Johnson variants, could boast a tiny advantage here and there, but over the long term, none were close in terms of overall durability, accuracy and reliability.

Telltale Rifle

That the rifle is still discussed, analyzed in detail and shot in competition well over a decade into the 21st century, and the names of many of the competitors are barely remembered, all by itself, pretty much tells the tale.

Had the Garand had all or most of the maladies ascribed to it, there’d be no way, eight decades later, the descendants of the prototypes, specially prepared, would even be prepared for high-power completion, or discussed with reverence. Nor would it still be winning matches once in a while against competitors designed by Gene Stone over 30 years later.

Still, a great deal of its legend is the sheer joy of shooting the rifle. My late brother-in-law, Lyman Pollock, half track driver with 2nd Armored Division in World War II, remarked, it was “fun, even for kids, and they all shot it well and fast once they got used to it.” And they did, constantly.

The valid early critiques were being diagnosed in the field. The gas trap system and seventh round stoppages were annoying enough that the company modified production techniques and also modified earlier rifles. By July of 1940, the gas port, a much older propulsion setup, was standardized, and older rifles were modified to the new gas system. Only slightly later the drawing misinterpretations that had caused the jamming issues were addressed, older receivers being precision welded and machined to the new standard.

By late summer of 1940, the M1 rifle was getting very close to the reliable, accurate, comfortable machine we know today.

By the end of World War II, Springfield Armory and Winchester Repeating Arms had produced around 3.6-3.8 million rifles. Receiver production ceased somewhere beyond 3.8 million, winding down in 1945.

No other combatant had a standard semi-automatic rifle in general service. The Soviet Tokarev and German G.41/G.43 series rifles were nowhere near as reliable or rugged, nor did they see common infantry duty.

Even the Marine Corps had, before the end of the Guadalcanal campaign, changed their minds about the rifle. They had landed in August of 1942 with M1903 Springfield bolt-action rifles, but by early 1943, had acquired M1’s and found them superior in all respects, repealing their earlier rejection and adopting the M1 as their baby.

Sold From the Beginning

How good had it been in its early form?

In the 1946 match season, using ordinary military ball ammunition, the M1’s shot scores higher than the old M1903 had before the war with some of the finest match-quality ammunition ever to leave Frankford Arsenal. Some of those scores were shot again with the older bolt rifle, and again, aggregates scores with the M1 were higher, and the bolt guns didn’t win many. The M1’s fired were “accuracy selected,” by the way, not modified, and were most often shooting against match-prepared but military-configuration ’03 specimens. N.R.A. publications noted the scores and the results. This trend continued for years until the “aught three” pretty much disappeared from military-style/open competition.

Postwar, the safety-modified operating rods were supposed to be installed on extant rifles, and all new replacements featured the inbuilt relief. The T105E1 sights replaced all earlier sights, proving so sturdy with their internal springs that even current M16/AR15/M4 receiver sights use the same principles and function identically.

Quality and strength had improved consistently at the Armory throughout the war, and even while the rifle was out of production, further progress was made.

Winchester had not kept up with quality and revision requirements during the war, but when production resumed in the ’50s, two private U.S. firms were included in planning, Harrington and Richardson and International Harvester. Having never before produced a precision product, IHC had great difficulty, resulting in several bailouts, but H&R easily adapted to production of the big military rifle. In Europe, Breda and Beretta were sent worn-out tooling, drawings and a considerable supply of parts, and began producing rifles circa-1954. The Italians continued longer than anyone else, delivering the very last Berettas as late as the 1980’s, according to some reports. The BM.59 in fact used an intact M1 receiver, slightly refashioned.

U.S. military production of the M1 Garand ended in 1956, replaced by the M14, which is a direct descendant of Garand’s rifle. Indeed, in those years when I was doing production articles, it was at Smith Enterprises International I was advised of the actual production processes, out of 1930’s machine technology. Ron Smith stated unequivocally that the production processes were such that the operating rod raceways on both rifles simply could not be formed completely by computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines. When I asked for illustrative details, Smith rattled off the names of several failed businesses that tried, already then, around 2003. The companies were entirely out of business. Reconfiguring the operating rod raceways of many aftermarket cast non-issue receivers is, in fact, still one of the recurring nightmares of shooters who purchase them thinking they are saving time and/or trouble.

Generally, the later an M1 is, the better made it is, and the higher overall quality will be. As a bonus, such a rifle has likely missed a lot of combat as well, and is likely to be in far better condition, having also missed the brutal attentions of generations of raw recruits.

The rifles have been on the civilian market since not long after World War II, albeit always priced higher than all its ordinary bolt-action contemporaries. They’re the last general-issue U.S. military service rifles that civilians can own without a nightmare of paperwork or nosebleed prices, usually both, because they are not selective fire.

Alive and Well

There are some easy rules to keeping the M1 alive and well, most of them applicable to other firearms, too.

Barrel life is greatly extended if kept clean and if rate of fire is kept moderate. A service M1 barrel can last far longer than the old 6,000-round military accuracy estimate. Commercial barrels last longer, but again, keeping them clean is prudent and economical. Commercial barrels, especially heavies, are generally more accurate than service barrels, and those in .308 even more so. The newer caliber is recommended for shooters, and even more enthusiastically for reloaders. It is decidedly more accurate, easier on the rifles, and in the years to come, high quality surplus will still be available. The shorter round is also fairly close in configuration to .276 Pedersen Center Fire, the original cartridge for the M1 Garand.

The correct lubricant for heavy moving parts on the M1 and related rifles is panthermic (tolerant and usable in a wide range of temperature parameters) grease. “Lubriplate,” in fact, was invented for the M1 rifle. But newer wheel bearing greases are even better performers. I buy them in large tubs at auto parts stores for a few dollars. There are more expensive lubricants, including synthetic machine assembly greases, but they won’t work any better. Don’t use oil. It won’t work. No manual has mentioned oil for a very long time, except for the admonition not to use it. In fact, I haven’t used thin gun oils on firearms for almost 40 years, and haven’t had lubrication-induced malfunctions or heavy wood damage from oil since.

The troubleshooting charts in the detailed manuals need to be kept on hand and regarded with respect. Internet twaddle not so much. And of course one has to remember that substandard, non-issue parts, especially clips, are changing certain equations. The premature dumping of the clip along with several live rounds is correctly solved by replacement of the bullet guide and/or operating rod catch. However, if one has an out-of-specification operating rod catch, a chronically defective third-rate bootleg civilian clip, and so on, well, this difficulty can prove unsolvable. In fact, it’s smart to avoid clips that look new unless one can affirm they are G.I. marked.

Shooting unmodified wartime or prewar operating rods with the square corners illustrated here is unwise and can be expensive. Not too many years ago, a competition shooter at Rio Salado in Mesa, Ariz., told me something odd was happening with his rifle. It was binding, he said. It bore an expensive heavy barrel, was securely glass bedded, someone had done a lovely trigger job, but it bore a circa-1938 unmodified operating rod that was already showing stress cracks. I advised him the rod, even fatigued, was probably worth several hundred dollars to a collector, and that he might want to replace it with a later unit. Advising him to go some other way seemed to annoy him. He said it was original to his “DCM rifle.” He seemed to think someone was conspiring to cheat him. A few weeks later, at a high-power match, it distorted, jumped its track and partly separated. A more suitable “77” series National Match operating rod in new condition could’ve saved the match, and those could be had for about a third what his now mangled unit was worth.

An Enduring Rifle

The literature of the M1 is vast. Duff’s industrial histories cover parts appropriateness/correctness in detail. Harrison’s books contain many errors, but the illustrations are still some of the best. Hatcher’s Book of the Garand covers the rifle’s development but is by no means complete. My two volumes are for shooters, collectors, reloaders and enthusiasts, but are not intended for the kind of minute parts detail information needed to restore rifles, and are marketed as practical histories, written in an inverted-pyramid journalistic form that would be inappropriate to industrial histories. It was important to me to include the Italian rifles, since I have used and enjoyed them since the early ’70s or so, and when I initiated by projects, there was very little information on them at all. Other than the gas traps, the Italian rifles are probably the most rare of the Garand rifles. Some enthusiasts doubt there are 1,200 in the entire United States, almost all Danish-marked.

It’s imprudent, at least, to not pursue the literature of any firearm with both a shooter’s and a collector’s value. If nothing else, a late-issue manual is absolutely imperative.

My first M1, a re-milled rifle, welded together from condemned receivers, front and rear, was ordered in May of 1963 from P&S Sales. My second came some months later. I first fired an M1 about 1957.

Hitting the target is not as easy as it was a couple decades ago, but I have learned some tricks—pulling the eye back to reduce conceptual size of the peep aperture to aid discrimination, for example, when the natural tendency is to get closer and hunker down. Eyesight deterioration has taught me to shoot almost by feel, and I can sometimes equal the groups of three decades ago in very short times just from familiarity with Garand’s great instrument.

And why has the entertainment value of the rifle lasted so long?

It’s fun.

Sources for Collectors

To find out more about obtaining your own M1 Garand, the U.S. Government source for qualified individuals is:

Civilian Marksmanship Program—United States Army

1401 Commerce Blvd.,
Anniston, AL 36207


Phone: (256) 835-8455

As of this writing, the CMP is the only predictable source of M1 Garand rifles in the United States. Their stock of rifles includes U.S.-produced return donations from foreign countries.

The primary source of up-to-date collector-centered data on the M1 Garand is:

Garand Collector’s Association

POB 7498

N. Kansas City, MO 64116


Phone: (816) 471-2005

While the Garand has been out of production for decades, new data about production and sometimes quality controls pops up periodically, and is often seen first in The GCA Journal. The marketplace in that publication is also an excellent source for parts.

Editor’s note, this article originally appeared in the June 12, 2014 edition of Gun Digest the Magazine








“No Drill” 1903A4 Sniper Rifle – 1903 Springfield

by Administrator on September 12, 2014

If you trace the evolution of the modern sniper rifle, it invariably leads you back to the Model 1903 Springfield. It served US forces in World War I, then soldiered on into World War II, through the Korean Conflict, and even appeared here and there in Vietnam. Several versions of the 1903 Springfield were used as sniper rifles, the most common of which was the 1903A4. It first appeared in 1943 and carried a Weaver 330 scope, mounted on a drilled and tapped Redfield base that was created specifically for the gun. The Weaver 330 later turned into the M73, and then the M73B1, and with its 2.2x not waterproof sniper scope, the 1903A4 is today the most classic of all US sniper rifles, but they are expensive, in the thousands of dollars for even a beat up one.

Over the past several years there has been an explosion in shooting competitions based on “as issued” military bolt rifles, or “service rifles.” Thousands of old ’03 Springfields and other bolt action battle rifles have left the confines of the gun safe after decades of non-use and have again become “working rifles.” The problem is, a lot of the shooters involved in these new service rifle competitions are great shooters, but have aging eyesight. Over a certain age, you really need optics to shoot well, but the 1903 Springfield isn’t the easiest gun on which to mount a scope. The receivers are extremely hard on most of them and difficult to drill and tap, and drilling and tapping them is a big decision as well. It is very rare if not impossible to find an ’03 that is all original, but they all have historical value and significance. Most of us out here with the guns are also history nuts and at least quasi-collector/accumulators, and we can’t just decide to drill and tap them for scope mounts so we can shoot them better. That is why, until now, they have largely just sat in the safe.

Fortunately, after searching far and wide, I found a scope mount for the 1903 Springfield that doesn’t require drilling and tapping, and actually looks, feels, and is solid like a genuine drilled and tapped mount. It is made by S&K Scope Mounts and it is called the “Insta-Mount.” With the new replica M73B1 scope being sold by Gibbs Rifle company , it is hard to distinguish an S&K 1903A4 from a real 1903A4. And the nice thing about it is that you can use really any scope setup you want with your rifle. The S&K mount gives you a standard Weaver base, for use with any standard rings or rail bases. For a casual service rifle match, even the oldest eyes will be able to shoot an authentic 1903 Springfield with optics, and without destroying the historical and monetary value of the gun.

What’s the catch? Well, one is that you do have to inlet your stock a little for the width of the barrel band that holds the front of the mount. In the rifle you see in the pictures, a Rock Island ’03 probably made right before World War I, the stock was already definitely not original, and they almost never are. The government cannot throw away or destroy battle rifles without an act of congress, so over the last half century or more they have re-barelled, re-stocked, and even completely refinished these rifles over and over again. In general, ’03 stocks are a dime a dozen and go for $100-$150. My stock on the Rock Island could even have been replaced three times and you would never know the difference. It has no inspector marks, called cartouches, and even if it did, you can buy cartouche stamps on Ebay that when used creatively are virtually undetectable from original specimens. The receiver is generally the only original part on an ’03, and my Rock Island has little collector value other than that it is a genuine Rock Island ’03 that looks pretty good and works.

If you have an ’03 that you wish you could shoot in a casual service rifle competition with optics, this S&K mount kit may work for you and it may not, but there is more than one way to skin a cat. If you don’t want to inlet your stock, buy another stock, put it on the gun, and inlet that. The bolt handle is another part you may want to modify if you plan to shoot the gun with a scope a lot, but as you can see from my pictures, this can be an optional modification, and you can do it with another bolt as well. On my gun, with the 3/4 inch rings I was able to score for the M73, the regular ’03 bolt handle clears just enough to not require any modification. I have included both pictures of my bolt and those of a bolt that has been ground down for a proper clearance for a real drilled and tapped 1903A4 mount, so you can see exactly what S&K is talking about in the directions when they discuss this issue. Remember these are battle rifles, and most competitions are timed, so a good clean bolt throw can be important.

With the installation pictures I have included here you will not go though the fits I went through when I first got my first S&K mount. It comes with virtually no directions, and a pile of what seems to be way too few parts to create a solid scope mount on a rifle. I freaked when I first read the part about grinding your bolt after you have installed your “no drill” mount. What’s the point of having a no drill mount when I now have to go grind my bolt? Well it’s not such a big deal after all. The same thing with inletting the stock. It is just part of the deal, and a whole lot better than trying to drill and tap an ’03 receiver. Read the directions, and follow the pictures. It goes together fairly easily, but keep in mind that the mount is aluminum, and it is easy to booger the screw holes if you are not careful. I had to get a second mount when I overmuscled the first one.

At present there are only two companies carrying the M73B1 scope. Gibbs Rifle Company is using it for their hog rifles that Scott Mayer already did a story on here. Those rifles are being made from revitalized de-milled drill rifles, so Gibbs has no conscience problem drillings and tapping them for a proprietary mount being supplied by Hi-Lux, who is making the replica scopes in China. I was unwilling to drill and tap my Rock Island, and my search led me to S&K, but it took me weeks to find a 3/4 inch Weaver scope mount with which to mount the M73B1 scope. Surprisingly, they don’t exist through normal suppliers, but I found one source, Sun Optics, that was willing to send me rings to try. My understanding is that Val Forget from Gibbs is in contact with them as well, so if you want to put this together, you will have to call around and see what you can get like I did. The Hi-Lux drill and tap mount also has a built in windage adjustment, because the M73 is known to not be very flexible with windage, but my rifle zeroed just fine with the turrets.

The rings I was not able to get were the 7/8ths inch that are required for the M81/82 and M84 scopes that were found on the Garand M1C and M1D sniper rifles. I have a picture of some here. These scopes were based on the Lyman Alaskan and are also only about 2.5x power. These would be historically accurate for period correctness, but I have not found a government issued 7/8ths mount for the Springfield, so for historical correctness I’m not sure. We will visit these scopes, including the what appear to be very good replica M82 and M84 scopes from Numrich Arms, in an upcoming article on the M1C and M1D we ordered from CMP. There was no sense holding this article up for now when summer competition season is around the corner just so I could find a 7/8ths scope mount with a Weaver base. I will find one, in time.

Also note that we have an article coming up on the “other” Springfield 1903A1 sniper variant that carried a special Unertl external adjusting scope. Hi-Lux also has created a replica of this classic external windage and elevation adjustment scope, and we are trying to work with the American Gunsmithing Institute to make a video of how to mount this on an ’03. That scope requires drilling and tapping, to the barrel (uhum), and it is a little tricky. But for an only moderately collectible ’03, it’s a nifty scope to create a pretty unique rifle. If you watch the movie “Saving Private Ryan,” in the beginning scene on Omaha beach the sniper character uses an M73 scope and a 1903A4, then later in the movie, in the scene where he gets blown up in the tower, he uses the Unertl model scope on a 1903A1. I sent one of my other ’03 Springfields, a re-parkerized gun I bought on GunsAmerica for $350, to AGI to make the video and hopefully that will come together soon.

A vintage 1903 Springfield is not going to be the most accurate gun in your arsenal. Most of them were re-barreled at some point with two groove emergency war barrels, and the ones that weren’t are pretty well shot out. You can still easily get surplus and aftermarket replacement barrels, as well as stock sets, bolts, and just about every other part for an ’03. If you tune your gun up it may do better than the two inches or so we were able to get out of my Rock Island. And even then, the Rock Island plant closed in 1919. It is almost 100 year old firearm, and it shot as well as many out of the box brand new deer rifles I have owned over the years. The S&K mount, though sorely lacking directions, is a brilliant piece of engineering and seems solid as a rock. That leather cheek pad I got on Ebay for $25 and it fits just fine, and looks great. I am leaving my Rock Island set up as a 1903A4. It’ll outshoot any Nagant I’ve ever seen, and we’ll see how she does against the Mausers, Arisakas and Enfields out there at some point. But let me warn you, if you get to the shoot and you see a Swiss K31, scope or no scope, put your rifle back in the car and go home.

More on this as well later.



At the Range: Tactical Training with .22 LR

by Guns & Ammo TV | September 11th, 2014

It’s well known that the .22 LR is perfect for instructing beginners, thanks to minimal recoil and relatively low cost. However, .22s are hardly just for young or new shooters.

The same things that make .22 LR great for beginners also make it a valuable training tool for more advanced shooters. Whether it’s for running drills to prepare for competition or for simple practice, shooting .22 LR is an efficient way to sharpen your abilities.

Brush up your skills by training with .22 LR in this segment of Guns & Ammo TV, airing Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET on the Sportsman Channel.



SIG Sauer SG 553 Pistol Now Available to U.S. Market

by G&A Online Editors | September 4th, 2014

SIG Sauer, Inc., is now importing a limited number of Swiss Arms SG 553 pistols to the U.S. market.

The Swiss-built SG 553 is manufactured around the SG 551/552 series gas piston action and features an adjustable two-position gas piston system, ambidextrous controls and a hooded front sight.

“The classic SG rifle series are highly sought among collectors and firearms experts,” said Jeff Creamer, SIG Sauer Executive Director and General Merchandise Manager. “This was a unique opportunity and the only time SIG Sauer has been able to offer the SG 553 to the commercial market in the United States.”

The SG 553 is chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO and is available with either the famous Swiss Rotary Diopter Sight welded to the receiver or with an M1913 rail for mounting optics or accessories. Flip-up sights come standard on the railed models, while all models come Nitride-finished for enhanced durability.

The SG 553 Pistol also incorporates a Swiss-style polymer handguard, translucent polymer 30-round Swiss magazines and a three-prong flash hider. It has a barrel length of 8.9 inches, an overall (extended) length of 20.2 inches and weighs 5.9 pounds without a magazine.

The SG 553 Pistol is available in limited quantities for $3,792



Prepping 101: Surviving a Radiation Event

by GunsAmerica Actual on September 5, 2014

With the Russian/Ukraine conflict now going hot, we really need to return to the topic of radiation, since both of these are nuclear armed countries, with nukes pointed at us. In part one of this article we covered the basics of inexpensive Geiger counters and the basic need to have one. Radiation is silent. Without a way to measure it where you reside, you will never know if you are being bombarded by a nuclear event, or whether that mushroom cloud you saw in the distance was just a conventional explosion. Dirty bombs, nuclear reactor accidents, suitcase nukes and of course ICBMs are scary things, but with your own Geiger counter you will instantly know if you are in danger or if, for now, you are not in danger. In this article we will use the $80 Version II MyGeiger kit that I ordered pre-soldered ($12), and the $20 SBM-20 Geiger tube. We will take a look at the actual numbers when it comes to radiation, as well as the free logging software. And most importantly, we will discuss the only preventative measure that you an take to protect you from radiation poisoning. It worked on nearly 100% of those treated after Chernobyl. If a nuclear event is coming, those without this key inexpensive ingredient on hand will not be happy campers.

Radiation as it effects humans is measured in “sieverts.” One (1) sievert is thought by researchers to carry an additional 5.5% chance of developing cancer. Most of the US has a baseline radiation level of .1 μSv per hour. The μSv stands for micro-sieverts, or millionths of one sievert, three decimal places to the left of milli-sieverts, or msv. This data from the Wikipedia page will give you an idea of what normal life will subject you to:

0.098 µSv: banana equivalent dose, a whimsical unit of radiation dose representing the measure of radiation from a typical banana

0.25 µSv: U.S. limit on effective dose from a single airport security screening

5 to 10 µSv: one set of dental radiographs

80 µSv: average dose to people living within 16 km of Three Mile Island accident

0.4 to 0.6 mSv: two-view mammogram, using weighting factors updated in 2007

1 mSv: The U.S. 10 CFR § 20.1301(a)(1) dose limit for individual members of the public, total effective dose equivalent, per annum

1.5 to 1.7 mSv: annual dose for flight attendants

2 to 7 mSv: barium fluoroscopy, e.g. Barium meal, up to 2 minutes, 4–24 spot images

10 to 30 mSv: single full-body CT scan

50 mSv: The U.S. 10 C.F.R. § 20.1201(a)(1)(i) occupational dose limit, total effective dose equivalent, per annum

68 mSv: estimated maximum dose to evacuees who lived closest to the Fukushima I nuclear accidents

80 mSv: 6 months stay on the International Space Station

250 mSv: 6 month trip to Mars – radiation due to cosmic rays, which are very difficult to shield against

500 mSv: The U.S. 10 C.F.R. § 20.1201(a)(2)(ii) occupational dose limit, shallow-dose equivalent to skin, per annum

670 mSv: highest dose received by a worker responding to the Fukushima emergency

1 Sv: Maximum allowed radiation exposure for NASA astronauts over their career

4.5 to 6 Sv: fatal acute doses during Goiânia accident

5.1 Sv: fatal acute dose to Harry Daghlian in 1945 criticality accident

21 Sv: fatal acute dose to Louis Slotin in 1946 criticality accident

64 Sv: nonfatal dose to Albert Stevens spread over ~21 years, due to a 1945 plutonium injection experiment by doctors working on the secret Manhattan Project.

The sievert is preferred over other measures of radiation because it is calculated as an effect on human tissue, and different types of radiation have slightly different conversion factors, with Alpha radiation rating extremely high. This is not an exact science. Different types of body tissue absorb radiation differently, so at no time should you think it is ok to go out into a radiation saturated environment thinking that you are measuring risk with your Geiger counter. Human cells can repair themselves to some degree, but once you are exposed to radiation there will always be a risk of early death. People died of Thyroid cancer decades after the bombs landed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

No matter what type of Geiger counter you buy, as long as you are getting a background radiation measurement it should be easy to rely upon the unit to notify you of a local nuclear event. The old yellow CDV meters measure in Roetengens, which are more of a pure measure of radiation, but once you have that baseline on your meter, you’ll be able to tell if the rate has risen.

The VII MyGeiger kit is the cheapest device I have seen consistently available at this price. The tubes are also very available, and as low as $15 with free shipping from Russia right now on Ebay. In the first article we focused on the VI kit, because I hadn’t been able to get the VII, but if you don’t already have one, I would buy the VII kit. You don’t need an extra interface to use it with the free Radiation Logger software, and it uses a regular USB instead of a printer cable to connect. The circuit has also been modified to handle a higher level of radiation, and the overall assembled board is cleaner and less subject to getting bumped. You can and should make an enclosure for the kit, but beware that the battery sold by the Radio Hobby Store, or at least the one that came with my kit, didn’t have the right connector. It can be powered via the USB as well.

If you think about the the term Geiger counter, you can understand what one does. The tube is called a Geiger-Mueller tube. When charged with 400 volts or so, the GM tube registers an electrical charge when it detects any radiation. The circuit and display count these pulses, and converts them to a dose measurement. This particular tube is capable of sensing Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiation, but if you are indoors when an event occurs you really only have to worry about the Gamma, though some Beta exposure may be possible. Alpha particles are very heavy and fall to earth quickly. They also have half lives of only a day or two for the most part. Beta also has a short half life, but they can remain airborne much longer.

The Radiation Logger software will track and log radiation for a long time and graph it for you. These are somewhat scientific features as opposed to survival features, but the software does allow you to adjust your conversion algorithm depending on how your tube performs. On Windows 8 I was able to just install the software, plug in the USB and it worked as promised. Stick to the 1.4 version if you want the software to accumulate the radiation for you. The display on the Geiger counter will do this as well, but it resets when you restart the device.

In the Event of an Event

The only known protection against radiation poisoning is Potassium Iodide. This is a fairly plentiful substance that is used in photographic developing and to treat thyroid illness. In all of my research that I have done for this prepping column, the scariest thing I have encountered is that buying potassium iodide in bulk is tracked by the government. To buy it directly from the biggest photographer’s supply, it costs $69.99 per pound. But hold your horses. In order them to to sell it to you, you are required to fill out a DEA form and submit the photography recipe that you intend to use it for. Apparently, potassium iodide can be used to create crystal methamphetamine. Therefore it is regulated. I have not found what the penalty would be for making up a recipe, but not actually using the potassium iodide to make meth. There are plenty of valid recipes easily Google’able. There is a huge advantage to having a bulk supply of potassium iodide on hand, if you are willing to jump through the DEA hoops to get it. If you read the Wikipedia page, it has the unique property that if you dissolve it in water the dosing is exactly what you need. Cost wise, it isn’t even close. The pills are 130 milligram doses, and one pound equals 453,592 milligrams. In a nuclear event, that will treat a whole lot of people, and having it immediately on hand is absolutely imperative.

Those of us who don’t wish to deal with the DEA helicopters in the front yard have to buy potassium iodide pills, the most common of which is the IOSAT brand, $6.99 per person on Amazon. This gives you a 14 day supply of KI (the elemental name for potassium iodide), 130mg per day. You can find better deals on Ebay and Amazon, but the pills may have a much shorter shelf life because they are not sealed in foil. Who knows. KI is a salt, so maybe it never breaks down.

How important is KI? In the wake of Chernobyl, the Polish government provided KI to 30 million people, just in case. Tens of thousands of Ukrainians who hadn’t supplied themselves with KI developed thyroid cancer in the following years. Those around the disaster who had KI on hand and took it showed no thyroid cancer at all. Thyroid cancer was the only measurable cause of deaths after Chernobyl. Read the Wikipedia page if you have any doubt. it is very clear that KI will protect you from the primary harm of radiation exposure.

How does it work? I can only give you a superficial explanation. As explained, thyroid cancer is the primary cause of illness and death after radiation exposure. The thyroid gland is a sponge for any iodine that you ingest, until it is saturated, then it absorbs no more. Both a nuclear reactor meltdown and a nuclear bomb explosion produce the radioactive isotope iodine 131. If you take KI before or just after a nuclear event occurs, it will saturate your thyroid with iodine for a day. So why does the IOSAT give you 14 days? Because iodine 131 has an 8 day half life, so after 8 days it begins to decay, and by 14 days it is pretty much done (this was a corrected brain fart thanks to the comments below).

I have read that all postal employees are given a supply of KI, though I haven’t been able to confirm this. In January of this year, the Department of Health and Human Services bought 700,000 20 pill packages. Potassium iodide is perhaps the biggest survival non-secret that few people seem to know about of all time. If you don’t have KI on hand, you are not prepared to survive a nuclear disaster, or war, and a whole lot of other people are. Just do it.

Discovering a radiation event, being able to measure it, and being able to act on that knowledge are not terribly expensive things. You don’t have to pay $500 for a Geiger counter now, or $5,000 after an event happens. The pre-soldered VII kit is an extremely advanced tool that has been hardened in VII for extreme radiation exposure, and that comes out of the box ready to go. You can buy KI on Amazon and Ebay even cheaper per person than the IOSAT brand pills. There is no mystery to radiation, and empowering yourself to survive just isn’t that hard. As I have said throughout this series, ten years early is better than one day late.



WARNING: Updated US Collapse Military Manual Surfaces

by GunsAmerica Actual on September 7, 2014

3-39.33 Civil Disturbances April 2014


FM 3-19.15 Civial Disturbance Operations April 2005


It is a rare day when you don’t hear something about the militarization and overreach of the police in America. Just this week Ron Paul came out with a statement about the police in Philadelphia, who have had a nasty habit of confiscating the homes of over 500 families whose children have been caught with controlled substances. If you live in any kind of city or suburb, you have already seen the militarized cops, replete with armored vehicles. As we are so careful at the range to not sweep anyone with a loaded gun, these cops are very happy to point loaded weapons right at innocent Americans, just because they can. We saw that after the Boston bombing, the residents of Watertown and Newton Massachusetts celebrated the boot jacked thugs who dragged people out of their homes and put their feet on their heads, in search of one, unarmed, man.

But what if you live in flyover country? What if your local police and Sheriffs have already either joined Oathkeepers or have on their own declared that they will never violate the constitution if ordered by the President or other bought and paid for politicians, even it the event of a disaster? Do you feel safe? Do you feel like the black suited stormtroopers will never knock at your door?

Think again. Because the executive branch of the US Government doesn’t just command the police. They also command the military, and as recent changes to the US Army Civil Disturbances manual reflect, not only is that military planning and training for a war with the citizens, nobody is even going to remember that the military is not supposed to do that, no matter what.

In 1871, the Posse Commitatus act was signed into law. It was created because the US Army had been used to occupy the South after the Civil War, and abuses from that era were so egregious that it was decided this should never happen again. In 2006, George W. Bush specifically, and covertly, as part of the 2007 Defense Authorization Bill, dismantled Posse Comitatus.

Section 1076 is titled “Use of the Armed Forces in major public emergencies.” It provided that:

The President may employ the armed forces… to… restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition… the President determines that… domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order… or [to] suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy if such… a condition… so hinders the execution of the laws… that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law… or opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.

Since that time, the laws were further cleaned up to not conflict with the Insurrection Act of 1807, and in In 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama signed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 into law. Section 1021(b)(2) extended the definition of a “covered person”, i.e., someone possibly subject to detention under this law, to include:

A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

That means that if you unwittingly bought a pocket knife from an Ebay seller in Pakistan who the government has deemed supporting “the terrorists,” then did the belligerent act of not allowing a police officer into your home without a warrant, you could be on that list.

If this sounds like a meaningless connection of dots from someone who is just trying to scare you, check out the difference in the treatment of Posse Commitatus from from the 2005 Civil disturbances manual, compared to the April 2014 version.

This is the 2005 version. It clearly prioritizes the Posse Commitatus Act and explains to the Federal troops reading it that local law enforcement is in charge:

It of course covers exceptions, but if you read them, it is clear that at the time, 2005, four years after 911, the military was still being informed that the only way they should get involved is if the Constitutional rights of the citizens were in danger, or if Federal property was at risk of damage:

Compare that to the 2014 version. Now that the law has been gutted, Posse Comitatus is only mentioned in passing, as part of a very mean manual clearly meant to instruct the US Military in Nazi SS 101. It gives lip service to the fact the US Constitution forbids it, but read further:

The exceptions reflect a completely different thought process:

What I find most interesting is that there are many parts of the manual that haven’t changed. For instance this Graduated Response Matrix sample card has not changed since 2005. This manual was made for CONUS and OCONUS (inside and outside the continental US),
so when you see a Youtube video that shows our US Military firing on unarmed civilians, this is one of the places that it is documented training. Americans have no problem lighting up a 1986 Honda Civic in Iraq whose occupants couldn’t read the sign saying stop. But the same manual is going to be used against you when you protest after the bank holiday that confiscated 50% of your bank account because the system was “too big to fail.”

A lot of people are finally waking up to the fact that the reforms post-911 weren’t necessarily the best thing for the future of America. We took so much for granted, and who even knew what the Posse Commitatus Act was before it was eroded, and before the US Military was being used to staff drunk driver checkpoints?

Please share this knowledge with others. The abuses of government have become so brazen that it appears they don’t care anymore if they get caught. Just over the past year we saw the public disclosure of full American looking towns built on military bases made specifically to train the troops to fight against us. This isn’t supposed to be what America is about, and everyone who has woken up to these facts has a genuine duty to share them as much as possible. The future is in our hands, and it is really scary



Gun store turns over records to New York state police

by S.H. Blannelberry on September 3, 2014

Under the threat of a possible SWAT team raid, a gun shop owner in Albion, New York, turned over sales records to the state police last Friday.

Joseph Palumbo, co-owner of the Albion Gun Shop, received a request Thursday from the Narcotics Enforcement Unit, the division of the New York State Police responsible for enforcing the SAFE Act, demanding that he turn over the names of every individual who purchased from his store an AR-15 with a ‘bullet button,’ a modifying device that affixes a magazine to a rifle so that it cannot be detached without the use of a tool.

Palumbo thought this was an odd request given that he had previously sought clarification from both local and state law enforcement on whether the modified firearms were legal under the SAFE Act, the sweeping gun-control law enacted in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, which expanded the ban on so-called ‘assault weapons’ to include all semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines and one or more cosmetic traits, e.g. pistol grip, folding stock, threaded barrel or bayonet mount, among others.

“The New York State Police told me that my guns were NY S.A.F.E. compliant,” Palumbo told Ammoland. “The chief of the Medina police told me my rifles were NY S.A.F.E. compliant and in fact purchased one of the guns from my shop.”

In the request issued on Thursday, the Narcotics Enforcement Unit gave Palumbo 24 hours to turn over the records. Left with little or no choice, Palumbo complied, giving state police the names and addresses of at least 170 customers.

Palumbo told the Niagara Falls Reporter that “there had been a plan to raid the gun shop with the SWAT Team, but the lead investigator felt it would be best to go in peacefully.”

Meanwhile, an attorney representing the gun shop owner believes that his client may have been set up.

“My client disclosed to me that he would not have sold these rifles to the general public had they not been approved by the New York Division of State Police,” said James D. Tresmond.

To that end, Ammoland reported that an informant within the state police released an email from New York State Police Division Counsel Kevin Bruen replying to a trooper’s inquiry about whether the rifles were legal to possess, to which Division Counsel said, “a court would have to rule on the legality of these rifles.”

In other words, Division Councel had no idea whether the AR-15s with the bullet buttons were lawful under the SAFE Act. To answer that question the state would either need to wait for a lawsuit to present itself or bring charges against an individual selling and/or possessing those rifles so that a court could render a decision.

It goes without saying but if a law is that ambiguous it needs to be scrapped, as Palumbo’s attorney pointed out.

“The New York S.A.F.E. Act is being enforced arbitrarily on a case by case basis,” Tresmond said. “That amounts to unconstitutional vagueness under the Supreme Court’s Morales standard, and the law should be enjoined for that reason alone.”


From AR15.COM:

July, 2014

Canton Trade Days

Grand Opening

Thanks to all who came out this month over the 4th or July weekend for the grand opening of the ARFCOM store at First Mondays in Canton, TX.

We had a good turnout despite the holiday, and managed to get the store complete enough to open on time. For those that did not make it out, in addition to the ARFCOM merchandise, we had:

• Complete line of ARFCOM rifles, shotguns, and handguns

• The Gun Cleaners - ultrasonic firearms cleaning

• BoarGear - guided hog hunts and misc boar gear

• TargetVision - wireless camera to use at the range

• Ultimate Night Vision - large variety of thermal and image intensifying night vision gear

We also had a scavenger hunt going on, and one of our exterior walls for ARFCOMers to sign. Giveaways for the scavenger hunt and a raffle were awarded over the weekend as well.

New Products

There were a number of new products at the store opening some of which will be making their way to the online store shortly if not already there. These include:

• Billet ARFCOM Domino Sets

• ARFCOM Glocks

• ARFCOM 5.56 M193

• 2014 Texas Poker Chips and Challenge Coins

• New Stickers

• New Patches

• New Shirts (exclusively available at the store)

We will also be working each month to bring you new products, vendors, and reps.


There were a number of giveaways during the weekend, including two rifles, some ATN Shot Trak cameras, and miscellaneous shirts and accessories. Thanks to all the donors, and congrats to all the winners.

One of the rifles was a raffle started at the M-79 range during the New Dawn event. Because all the tickets were not sold during the shoot, the remaining ones were sold at the opening and the prize awarded.

After the store closed, we gathered outside and grilled some hot dogs, hung out and watched fireworks. By far the best part of the weekend: the chance to get together with new and old friends, put faces to usernames, and enjoy the company of good folks. Thanks to all of you that were there, and especially those that travelled a great distance.

We hope to see a bunch of you this coming month, July 31-Aug 3rd. For more details, maps, and other pertinent information, see this thread.



G&A Basics: How to Mount AR Optics

by Guns & Ammo TV | September 3rd, 2014

Modular rifle platforms like the AR-15 make it a breeze to quickly attach optics and accessories. It’s generally easy to mount a rifle scope or red dot sight to an AR-15, but knowing the right tips and tricks will result in correct installation and staying on target when it counts.

A variety of optic choices on the market today offer slightly different mounting systems, though knowing the basics of their installation will allow you to mount nearly any optic under the sun to your AR-15. Installing optics in the correct and leveled rail position with the right tools will greatly increase your chances of success.

Learn how to properly mount AR-15 optics with Kyle Lamb and Craig Boddington on this episode of Guns & Ammo TV, airing Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on the Sportsman Channel.



Citizens are Arming Themselves in Texas – Sheriff Teaches Them How

September 5, 2014 1:09 pm


When faced with a violent dangerous situation most people fall back on a basic instinct of survival. We see it often in areas where criminal activity is on the rise. Citizens instinctively know they must do whatever it takes to protect themselves and their families. In Ferguson, MO we saw shop owners taking a stand against looters and criminals by arming themselves with “assault rifles” because no matter what their political leaning when push comes to shove a big black gun is sometimes your best friend.

The only ones who witness situations where innocent people are in harm’s way and continue to advocate gun-control are those who sit in their chauffeur driven bullet proof cars surrounded by a private security force like Michael Bloomberg, Jessie Jackson, or Al Sharpton. These folks can afford to put politics over personal safety because their politics do not affect their safety.

Citizens, like those in Detroit, MI who are faced with a decreasing police force and an increasing criminal element in their city are turning to everyday carrying of firearms for self-defense. We’ve seen Detroit Police Chief James Craig give armed citizens the credit for a decrease in crime and recently we reported on the Tuscaloosa, AL sheriff who is providing handgun training courses to residence of his county.

Our politicians are moving toward stricter gun control laws but the people are beginning to arm themselves. Texas has become the front line in the illegal immigration battle and Texas citizens are arming themselves and preparing for the fight. Texas sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra of Hidalgo County, TX a county along the Texas/Mexico border is teaching classes that empower homeowners and ranchers in his county to protect themselves and their families with a firearm.

“This is [a] class developed to help our residents that own a weapon or thinking about purchasing a weapon,” said Sheriff’s spokesman JP Rodriguez. “It teaches them the fundamentals of use of force, Texas law and familiarization with firearms.”

Throughout the country law enforcement officers are beginning to realize they must see citizens as capable partners in the fight against criminals. With the Obama lead invasion of illegal aliens in our country, many of them criminals, the only way to prevent a complete destruction of our way of life is to band together and fight. And sometimes that means using a big black gun.



Test Your Marksman Skills with Long-Range Shooting

By: Dick Jones | September 1, 2014

Dick Jones won the North State Regional 1,000 Yard Championship at Camp Butner, N.C., two consecutive years. The competitive shooter relays some of the tricks, tips and considerations of high-performance long-range shooting.

Going Long

I’ve been encouraged by the recent interest in long-range shooting. I enjoy almost every form of shooting, but precision position shooting has always appealed to me.

While I like the precision of benchrest competition because it involves extremely accurate rifles and ammunition, I prefer a broader kind of long-range shooting, where the skill of the shooter is more emphasized. Most of my competitive shooting career was in the field of NRA High Power, and my definition of long range might be different from someone from a different background.

In High Power, long-range shooting begins at 800 yards as part of the Palma course of fire. Mid-range shooting is done at 600 yards, and 200 and 300 yards are considered short range.

For most hunters and recreational shooters, any range beyond 300 yards is often considered long range, and this comes with good reason. Any shot at a game animal beyond 300 yards should only be attempted if the shooter has a good working knowledge of the trajectory of his rifle, and some idea of the effects of wind.

The primary reason for this is that a properly sighted-in rifle can stay within 4 inches of point of aim out to about 300 yards. In most situations, staying within 4 inches of point of aim is a reasonable goal and will suffice in most situations.

Knowing Your Zero

Beyond 300 yards, almost all rifles begin to require holdover or elevation adjustment, and the effects of the wind become much more critical. The ability to consistently make good shots at long range doesn’t require any special talent. It only requires preparation and judgment based on that preparation.

Once you’ve put the work in, there’s no excuse for not getting the elevation right. We now have range finders, ballistic calculators and even scopes with the elevation knob calibrated to the drop numbers of a specific load.

Even though all this information is quite good, there’s no substitute for actually checking the point of impact at different distances for assurances the numbers are correct. It’s been my experience that the numbers are almost always off a minute of angle or so, in most instances due to weather conditions, barrel length and other factors.


All the elevation information in the world won’t get you on target unless you can figure out what the wind is going to do to your bullet in the time it takes to get to the target.

At 1,000 yards, it takes a 180-grain Matchking from a 22-inch M1A barrel about two seconds to get to the target. By the time it gets there, my match loads were no longer supersonic, and dropped through the target with no supersonic snap. During this time, the bullet is high above the range.

Remember, to hit a target at 1,000 yards, I had to bring the sights up 38 minutes or about 34 feet. The trajectory takes the bullet even higher than this, so the wind the bullet is traveling through is not just a few feet off the ground.

When scoring and coaching at 1,000 yards, a good coach can pick up the trace of the bullet as it drops through the tree line behind the berm at Camp Butner and follow it into the target. This is a lot of exposure to wind. Miss the wind by 2 mph and you’re going to shoot an eight or seven. Miss the wind by 5 mph, and you’re off the paper with little chance of getting back on.

This all means the little wind meter you hold in your hand may not help. It only measures the wind where you’re standing, and that may be substantially different from the wind where your bullet has to pass.

On KD, or Known Distance ranges, there are normally wind flags, but the apparent angle of the flag can fool you based on your position on the range and these can be confusing. Probably the most reliable wind indicator is mirage, the refraction of light waves by heat.

Mirage indicates wind direction, speed in frequency and amplitude. I find it on average to be the most reliable way to gauge wind. Under certain conditions of low light, there can be an absence of mirage, so it can’t always be counted on.

To properly read the amplitude and frequency of the mirage, you need some sort of horizontal line to compare. I like to read the top edge of the target, provided that’s a straight edge, as it is on a KD range. At 600 yards, this is a good representation of the space where the bullet spends the most time.

Remember to read an area above the target because it will give you a more realistic reading. Ground speeds tend to be lower than higher elevations where the bullet travels. When you read mirage through a scope, do so with the scope focused at mid-range to give a better representation of strength and direction.

The common theory is that deflection at short range has more affect because it’s exaggerated by the distance, but it’s been my experience that wind deflection has about the same effect through all the bullet’s flight because when the bullet is further down range, it’s going slower and therefore more affected. In competitive shooting situations, most long-range shooters fire their shots in a very short length of time, reducing the opportunity for wind changes.

Learning to reliably read wind is time consuming, and I don’t think there’s any other way to do it but to shoot in the wind in situations where you know within seconds where your last bullet went. Until recently, the only way to do this was to shoot on a range with pit targets where someone pulls and marks your target on every shot.

Now, there are several companies who make cameras that will transmit your group to your IPad, computer screen, or Smart Phone. Most of these devices even flash or mark the last shot. This is going to make learning to read wind a lot easier for those dedicated enough to actually shoot and pay attention.


Ammunition choices for long-range shooting are different from hunting or short-range shooting. The aerodynamic characteristics of the bullet become an issue of paramount importance, since the bullet stays in the air for such a long time.

Up to about 300 yards, the shape of the bullet has little effect on trajectory. This is because the trajectory at short ranges is based on the bullet at velocities very near muzzle velocity. Once you get past 600 yards, velocity falls off drastically and the falling rate of the bullet remains the same. As an example, the 600 yard zero on my M1A .308 was just 13 minutes higher from 200 yards to 600 yards but I had to add another 28 minutes to be on at 1,000 yards.

Of course, the effects of wind are similar but quite a bit more linear. Obviously, the faster the bullet travels, the less the effect of both wind and gravity because the time of flight to the target is shorter. This is why high velocity rounds are more popular with long-range shooters.

The problem with the extreme end of high velocity cartridges is throat erosion. Most of the hyper-velocity cartridges suffer will burn the accuracy out of a good barrel in under 1,000 rounds while rounds like .308 Winchester might get as much a 5,000 rounds.

Relating to barrel life is the practice among most conventional long-range shooters of not tailoring loads to a specific barrel/rifle. With a practical barrel life of no more than 1,000 rounds, load testing in lots large enough for statistical relevance to find the best load, could possibly use up the entire life of the rifle’s barrel. The normal practice is to find a load that works well and use it without spending time on load development for a specific rifle/barrel combination.

Putting It All Together

As complicated as all this sounds, long-range shooting is still simply a matter of learning how to accomplish a task, and using that knowledge to accomplish it. No two shots are ever quite the same, and successful long-range shooting requires good skills and equipment, but it’s one of the most rewarding of all the aspects of shooting. Once you’ve put a shot exactly where you want at 1,000 yards, you’ll always remember the feeling, and if you’re like me, you’ll want to do it more than one time.

Editor’s note, this article original appeared in the March 27, 2014 edition of Gun Digest the Magazine.



Take Aim at these Seven Shooting Destinations

By: Doug Howlett | August 4, 2014

Americans love their games and a good number of us also love to shoot. It only makes sense to mix the two and in no activity is this more embodied than in sporting clays. With high-end courses dotting the landscape, shooters can hit the road for a true vacation where they can enjoy not just a little time behind the butt of a gun, but also enjoying some of the finer things in life. Here are seven shooting destinations worth visiting.

Elk Creek Hunt Club

Owenton, Kentucky

Home of the 2009 U.S. Open (of sporting clays) and spread across 2,500 wooded acres, the sporting clays course at Elk Creek has become a must-shoot for serious enthusiasts. Forty-five updated and paved stations spread over 35 shooting fields actually create three separate courses. Each can be shot as 50- or 100-target rounds. A fleet of like-new carts are charged and ready to transport you to each station and a well-outfitted pro shop is there for anybody looking to buy or rent a shotgun or any other essential item. Accredited instructors are on hand to offer lessons to anybody in need of a few pointers.

The Fork Farm and Stables

Norwood, N.C.

At the heart of scenic Fork Farm and Stables, is a center called The Ordinary, which is anything but ordinary. Named after John Colson’s Ordinary, believed to be the first licensed tavern in North Carolina history (around 1701) and that once sat on this very site, the facility is at the heart of the Fork Farm and Stable’s outdoor and shooting programs. Home to the International Wing Shooting School, there is a 12-field, 24-station sporting clays course; a seven-field, seven-station sub-gauge course; covered five-stand to keep shooting when the elements turn nasty; and a six-trap, 60-foot tower and flurry, which can be set to throw an endless variety of presentations. The course, designed by British designer and IWSS director John Higgins, is set upon 1,600 wooded acres wedged between the Pee Dee and Rocky Rivers.

Dover Furnace ShootingGrounds

Dover Plains, NY

When Beretta wanted to introduce the media to their new high-dollar competition over-under, the DT-11, just a couple of years ago, one of the venues they chose to showcase their new model was at Dover Furnace Shooting Grounds. Located in the southeastern corner of Dutchess County, a short 90-minute drive north from Midtown Manhattan, the unique grounds are billed as the largest public shooting facility of its kind in the Northeast with 2,000 acres inside its property lines. At the center of the facility is a giant 35-foot stone iron ore furnace built in 1881 and which lends its name to the facility. Dover Furnace boasts 22 sporting clays stations, 4 FITASC fields, trap, skeet and 5-stand stations, and for those shooters not satisfied with clay targets, real upland bird hunting as well. Featuring the latest in technology, shooters can use a long-range wireless key system that allows for prepaird or pay-as-you-shoot options.

Quail Creek Plantation

Okeechobee, FL

Quail Creek began as the private destination of Ft. Lauderdale developer Whit Hudson, who sought a place for him and his friends to gather and hunt quail. A 2,500-acre tract in Okeechobee fit the bill so Hudson bought it, hired Fred Fanizzi and his wife, Maria, to run the place, and in 2001, seeking to help the land pay for itself, started selling quail hunts. Within the year, the team realized they needed a sporting clays course where hunters could warm up before a hunt and the legendary plantation was on its way. Quail Creek offers shooters two Marty Fischer-designed 14-station courses that can be shot in either 50- or 100-shot rounds. The Red Course is a little more forgiving, while the Blue Course delivers longer shots and faster targets.

Wynfield Plantation

Albany, GA

Earning Orvis’ coveted Shooting Lodge of the Year in 2005 and living up to it every year since, Wynfield Plantation is one of only a small number of lodges in North America that the sporting company endorses. The easy going atmosphere and relatively flat, pine forests will appeal to the genteel sportsman looking for a kind, but true Georgia quail hunting environment. With an emphasis on hunting, Wynfield kennels approximately 85 dogs and also helps sportsmen train their own. Whether combining it with a quail hunt or one of the sumptuous country cooked meals served in the main lodge, the plantation offers a beautifully designed 10-stand sporting clays course that will get you in top shooting form for a real hunt. Shot as a 50- or 100-target round, the course offers plenty of passing and crossing shots as well as ones representing fleeting rabbits and incoming teal.

Rough Creek Lodge and Ranch

Glen Rose, TX

Like the Lone Star state where it is set, the list of offerings at Rough Creek Lodge and Ranch are big. Boasting on its website as many as 79 activities to enjoy while there, at the top of that list has to be their 10-station sporting clays course that can shoot like an 11-, 12- or 13-station course. Shot presentations are routinely changed up to keep the course challenging for repeat visitors with shots over open plains, creeks and woodlands. There are also 5-stand, wobble/trap and a rifle range, as well as hunting opportunities for upland birds, whitetail deer, wild turkeys, elk, predators and exotic game.

Rockcastle Shooting Center

Park City, KY

With so many shooting activities going on at Rockcastle—in 2014 it will serve as home to the NRA World Action Pistol Championships the annual Brownells Rockcastle Pro-Am 3-Gun Championship—its easy to forget the facility is also a dynamite destination for sporting clays enthusiasts. The 15-station course, designed by renowned designer Bill McGuire, has targets that are reset every two weeks to keep the action exciting and new. The facility also offers 5-Stand that overlooks the property’s scenic Cattail pond to warm up before hitting the clays course. A fully equipped pro shop provides everything you would need for a day of shooting. Rockcastle is part of the 2,000-acre Park Mammoth Resort in Park City, Ken.


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