The NRA Show starts TOMORROW, and here’s another good reason to attend!

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The big NRA Show in Nashville starts tomorrow! If you’re going too, be sure to stop by and say “hi” if you see me!

First, I’ll be wandering all over the show — so feel free to stop me and say hello (look at the picture below — I’m the short guy with the hippie hair and John Lennon glasses.) You can also (and no doubt more reliably) catch me at two events:

Friday, April 10th is the first day of the show and ...

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The marketplace determines what’s best on its terms, not ours.

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What makes one firearm design more successful than another? Probably not what you think.

Ian McCollum at Forgotten Weapons posted an interesting video recently about a prototype BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) pistol that was produced circa 1920. The pistol, in .45ACP, was intended to garner a military contract which never materialized.

What I found most intriguing was the combination of design features it incorporated: the trigger mechanism reminiscent of an FN 1910, and a ...

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Going to the NRA Show in Nashville? Stop in and say hi!

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Who’s going to the NRA Show in Nashville in a week-and-a-half? I hope you are, because I am too – and I’d really like to meet as many readers and listeners as I can!

I’ll be wandering all over the show so feel free to stop me and say hello (look for the short guy with the hippie hair and John Lennon glasses), but you can definitely catch me at two events:

First, on Friday (April 10th) starting at Noon and running ...

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Do you collect any particular guns? How about these?

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Believe it or not, I’m not a collector. There are times, however, that I’m sorely tempted!
I know that sounds odd, perhaps even unbelievable, but I don’t collect anything — not in the gun world, not outside the gun world. I’m just not the collecting type, though I’ve certainly been tempted by the acquisition bug now and again.

For instance, I find .25ACP and .32ACP pocket pistols fascinating. There are so many designs from so many manufacturers ...

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More women in the gun business is a Good Thing!

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You’ve probably heard that firearms manufacturers are marketing more towards women these days, and gun control groups point to that as the “cause” of women buying more guns. But which comes first — the chicken or the egg?

I’ve noticed a big swing in the shooting world in the last decade, and especially in the last five years: more women, at every level. There are more women in shooting competitions than ever before, more women hunting, more women buying firearms for ...

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The unifying power of the shooting sports. Pass it on.

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Maybe if we paid more attention to what we have in common and less to what separates us we’d be better off. Especially in the shooting world.

My best friend has a brother named Maurice. Both of them are without a doubt superb shooters, but for Maurice long guns are where it’s at. He’s a tremendous shot with a rifle; in fact, the only time I’ve ever been able to best him was on a day he was recovering from the ...

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Here’s a quiz: what guns do the police seize most often?

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Police evidence lockers are full of guns that have been seized; either they’ve been used in a crime or they were recovered as part of a related crime investigation. What are the most common guns found in these lockers?

I remember the days when the local police departments would get together, gather all of their seized firearms (those which they couldn’t trace to a rightful owner) and auction them off at the local fairgrounds. They’d have dealers on hand to handle ...

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SHOT Show 2015: What about the revolvers?

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As you may have heard, I just got back from the 2015 SHOT Show. Pickings for revolver enthusiasts were slim, but there are a couple of things to talk about!

SHOT Show 2015 is a wrap and, as usual, I came back with a nasty sickness. No, not the infamous “Vegas Itch”, but the equally infamous “SHOT Show Crud”!Whenever you put 60,000+ people in a relatively confined space for four days and let everyone handle the same items again and again ...

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Self Defense news from the 2015 SHOT Show!

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Unless you’ve been under a rock with regards to social media recently, you probably know that the 2015 SHOT Show happened in Las Vegas last week. I was there!

I almost wish I hadn’t been, however. It seems whenever I go to SHOT, I pick up a bug. No, not bedbugs — colds and flu!

With over 60,000 people in a fairly confined place, all of them handling the same products (especially products like rifles, which you put next to your ...

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Not going to the 2015 SHOT Show? Don’t worry!

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Every January the entire shooting industry gets together for the biggest trade show (and party) of the year: the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show, for short.) How can you keep up with the all the great news?

People in the gun world talk about SHOT Show like it’s Mecca: everyone wants to go someday! It’s a place to see and fondle all of the guns you wish you had in your own safe. SHOT Show, however, is officially ...

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What happened to the M16 in Vietnam? How about asking the guy who designed it?

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You can find all manner of misinformation on the internet, but you can also find the truth. The problem is that the latter isn’t always as interesting as the former, but not in this case!
The M16 is now the longest-serving general-issue small arm in the United States military. Hard to believe? It was first adopted in 1962, and because of continual upgrades and improvements continues to be relevant even 53 years later. That’s remarkable, if you ...
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New Years news from Ruger, Glock, and more: SHOT Show is upon us, and I’ll be there!

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happy-new-year

The big news this month is the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trades show (the SHOT Show) in Las Vegas. We can expect a lot of new product announcements, but they almost always start leaking out before show time. Such is life in this ever more interconnected world!

Ruger, for instance, has announced a new version of their “Match Champion” GP100. This is a gun ...

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Say what you mean!

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Maybe it’s the increasing reach of social media, or maybe I’m just getting crotchety in my declining years, but I’m noticing more people in the gun world speaking in code rather than plain language. I think that’s a mistake.

Every field of interest that you can find has its own lingua franca, a way of communicating to other members of the group. Sometimes it’s out of necessity (technical terms, for instance, that just don’t exist in common language); sometimes it’s an ...

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Louis Awerbuck, RIP.

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.awerbuck-book
One of the top teachers in the defensive training world died yesterday.
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There aren’t a lot of people I want to train with. I do, however, have a “short list” of self defense teachers whose classes I’d like to attend, and that list has an interesting mixture of both the old and the new.

The problem with the “old”, of course, is that the people ...

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An interview with Hamilton Bowen!

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Hamilton Bowen, the renowned gunsmith and proprietor of Bowen Classic Arms, doesn’t often grant interviews. When he does, you should listen.
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Hamilton Bowen is a name familiar to anyone who appreciates fine firearms. Through his company, Bowen Classic Arms, he’s become known for exquisite craftsmanship and unparalleled style.

(I’ve said, more than once, that he’s the only guy in this business who consistently gets the ...

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Ed Harris: Loading Cast Bullets In the 9mm Luger/Parabellum.

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rugerp85
It’s been too long since Ed Harris has graced our presence. He’s back, though, with an article about shooting cast bullets in 9mm — and, of course, with related stories about his days doing just that at Ruger. Enjoy!

Tales from the Back Creek Diary:
Loading Cast Bullets In the 9mm Luger/Parabellum

by Ed Harris, Gerrardstown, WV

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Lately, with ammo supplies in retail stores either drying up entirely, or becoming frightfully more ...
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NRA Show notes: how to botch a new product introduction. Not that it really matters when the product is this bad.

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So, let’s say you’ve got a new product and a major opportunity to show it to the world. Think it might be a good idea to, you know, make it easy for people to learn about it? One company apparently doesn’t!
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It’s a bad sign when a company introduces a new gun, spends a large amount of money to publicize it at a major trade show, then says “we’re ...
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Ladies, the guy behind the gun counter is not your friend. Really.

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If you’re new to the shooting world, and have decided to purchase a handgun for self defense, you’ll need to do your own research — because the guy behind the gun counter won’t do it for you!

Eleanor Roosevelt and Annie Oakley notwithstanding, shooting is a male-dominated activity. Most of the people in the industry, from presidents of firearms manufacturers down to the counter clerks, are men; most of the writers in the ...

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What happened with the Remington R51? A tale of colliding generations and expectations.

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r51_malf
Photo courtesy of Paul Carlson/Safety Solutions Academy

Remington’s only indigenous handgun, the R51, debuted last December to rave reviews from journalists in attendance. The reviews of production models have not been nearly so kind. What happened in between?

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I, like many others, was intrigued and excited by Remington’s announcement of their R51 pistol last year. Here was the thin, modern, efficient single stack 9mm many of us had ...
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The younger generation is here, and it’s about time we started treating them like fellow shooters.

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Photo courtesy of Personal Defense Network

Believe it or not, this guy is one of the most die-hard Second Amendment fans you are likely to find. He even owns a company that makes AR-15 rifles and parts, and is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Yet there are a whole lot of people who probably wouldn’t give him the time of day at a shooting range. That’s ignorant, and ...

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Vera Koo: a role model for young shooters.

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Do you know the name Vera Koo? If you have daughters, you should. This lady should be their role model.
Female shooters get a lot of press today. I’d venture to say that just about everyone reading this blog would recognize the names Lena Miculek, Julie Golob, Jessie Duff, Randi Rogers, and Tori Nonaka because of their accomplishments on the range.

There are some women in the shooting sports, however, who inexplicably get little to no press coverage. One of those ...

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Colt needs a modern pistol design to compete. Believe it or not, they may have one.

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If Colt is going to compete in the 21st Century civilian market, they’re going to need a modern striker fired gun. Believe it or not, they have one; they just don’t know it yet.

SHOT Show was only a couple of weeks ago and there were lots of companies there showing all kinds of new guns. One company that hasn’t produced anything really new for some time, however, is Colt. Going to their booth at SHOT has always felt to ...

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Colt disappoints, but there’s a reason for it.

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Some expected Colt to have a big announcement at SHOT. Here’s why I wasn’t surprised that they didn’t.
As you may be aware, I did not attend SHOT Show last week. There’s lots of news about the show floating around the ‘net, though, from the Gun Digest roundup of the new handguns to last week’s Gun Nation podcast, where we talked live with Paul Carlson of Safety Solutions Academy who was at the show. He ...
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Smith & Wesson introduces two 9mm revolvers!

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Smith & Wesson has announced several new revolvers to be shown at SHOT Show, and two of them are creating some buzz on the ‘net. Why? Because they’re chambered in 9mm!
Smith & Wesson has announced several new revolvers to be shown at SHOT Show, and two of them are creating some buzz on the ‘net. Why? Because they’re chambered in 9mm!

The first is the Performance Center Model 929, which S&W spokesperson Julie Golob refers ...

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Ruger announces two new revolvers!

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Just in time for SHOT Show 2014 next month, Ruger has added a couple of new revolvers to the line.

First is a version of their 5-shot polymer revolver called the LCRx. The LCRx is, like the original LCR, chambered for the .38 Special +P. It differs from the original in having a hammer spur (the LCR has a hidden hammer, similar to the S&W ‘Centennial’ series.)

I realize they’re simply supplying market demand, and I have no doubt some ...

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Ithaca Gun Company is expanding to South Carolina!

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I’ve made little secret of the fact that I’m a big fan of Ithaca shotguns. The venerable Model 37 is my favorite shotgun of all time; the light, smooth action is just a joy to use, and I’ve said many times that it’s the cure for chronic short-stroking. Hand an Ithaca to someone who’s having trouble cycling their Mossberg and the problem almost always disappears.

Because I’m a fan I tend to follow the company fairly closely. It hasn’t always been ...

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Let’s talk antique guns: the Husqvarna m40 and the Gustoff Volkssturmgewehr!

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Just the other day, Forgotten Weapons put up a story by Peter Rasmussen about the Husqvarna M 40 pistol (sometimes referred to as a Lahti, for its designer Eimo Lathi.) Rasmussen goes into some detail regarding the pistol and its history in Sweden, including the reasons for it eventual demise.

This was particularly interesting to me as I once owned an M 40. I found it at a local gun show, pristine and complete with holster, two magazines, ...

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Some people should stick to Glocks: a review of a bad review.

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In the September issue of SWAT Magazine is a review of the Wiley Clapp special edition Ruger GP100. I’ve mentioned this gun previously; it’s a mix of some good things, some mediocre things, and a surprising omission or two. Overall it’s a nice treatment of the old warhorse, and I’m glad to see attention being paid to something other than hunting revolvers at Ruger.

It’s this article that I find a little odd. Written by Todd Burgreen, it’s your typical gun ...

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Why are we so resistant to learning from our mistakes?

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Last week I became aware of a YouTube video of a fellow shooting himself in the leg after making ready during a match. He starts the video off by proclaiming that it wasn’t his fault – it was his gun which malfunctioned and was in the hands of the maker’s service department for analysis of the “failure”.

I knew, ten seconds into the video, that it wasn’t the gun. I knew, just due to the fellow’s demeanor, that he’d had his ...

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Are all gunwriters idiots?

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That’s a loaded question. (Sorry, but I just couldn’t resist the pun.)

That’s a question I ask every time I read yet another ridiculous article. Convoluted (or completely absent) logic, factual errors, reliance on outdated or inappropriately applied data are all issues with far too many writers. The “old days” weren’t much better, either; I can find articles from some of the past luminaries in the gunwriting game which aren’t exactly paragons of research or fact. They were, however, far more ...

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