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  • April 30, 2008

    Rumor Mill Alert!-1

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    Hate to be a tease, but there’s going to be a very interesting, eye-catching new product introduction in the next day (or so) from one of the biggies in the industry. Wish I could be more specific but a platoon of lawyers would haul off my first-born in a heartbeat were I to give details.

    Ah, hell, on second thought…keep on eye on this site. Never did give a damn about lawyers anyway.

    —John Snow

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • April 30, 2008

    Gun Makers Win In New York City-0

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    A Manhattan-based federal appeals court has ordered the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against firearms manufacturers by the City of New York that sought to hold the manufacturers responsible for the criminal misuse of firearms. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms industry's trade association, Judge Robert J. Miner, writing for the U.S. Court of Appeals, held the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, enacted in 2005, is constitutional and that Brooklyn, NY, federal court judge Jack B. Weinstein misinterpreted the law by not dismissing the case.

    “We think Congress clearly intended to protect from vicarious liability members of the firearms industry who engage in the 'lawful design, manufacture, marketing, distribution, importation, or sale' of firearms,” said Judge Miner.

    In dismissing the city's claim that its suit fit within an exception to the act, a claim that would allow its case to go forward, the court wrote that the statute was “intended to shield the firearms industry from the vicarious liability for harm caused by firearms that were lawfully distributed into primary markets.”
    Following the ruling by the court, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel Lawrence G. Keane said, “The ruling is very gratifying to members of the firearms industry. In passing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, Congress understood that frivolous lawsuits like New York City's defied common sense and represented a clear abuse of the judicial system that threatened to bankrupt a responsible and law-abiding industry.”

    The city's lawsuit against the nation's firearms manufacturers was originally filed by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in June 2000 and was continued by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Mayor Bloomberg is also suing out-of-state firearms retailers. That case will go to trial later this month before Judge Weinstein.
    According to Keane, the ruling is seen by many as another major setback for gun-control groups, principally the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which pursued and funded many of the municipal lawsuits, including this New York City case, against the firearms industry.

    There’s a reason many American manufacturers have backed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Can you imagine what would happen to the economy if General Motors was sued in this manner by a group philosophically opposed to SUVs and large pickup trucks—they’re out there, believe me—by claiming the manufacturer was responsible for any harm caused when a third party—say a bank robber in a stolen car—hurt someone during the commission of a crime?

    Judge Weinstein is a well-known opponent of the firearms industry, and it’s no surprise that he resolutely refused to recognize the will of Congress—and ultimately, the will of the American people—in this case.

    —Slaton White

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  • April 29, 2008

    Firearms Microstamping: Technological Advancement or 2nd Amendment End Run?-7

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    (The following is a guest blog by Derek A. Reeves. Reeves works in firearms retailing, is a competitive shooter and served in the U.S. Marine Corps)

    We watched with popcorn in hand as Judge Dredd, (played by Sly Stallone), stood trial for murder and we were stunned as the prosecution pulled out its trump card. An innovation that marks the spent casing with the DNA of the shooter. The prosecution proved its case and Dredd was taken away yelling “I am the Law.” Now back to reality. On October 13, 2007 California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law Assembly Bill 1471 – Firearms Microstamping. A technology designed to stamp the fired casing with the serial number and other identifying marks of the weapon that fired it thus, in theory, enabling law enforcement to track the casing to the gun then to the perpetrator. Sounds good doesn’t it? Well this is where the movie and real life catch up because in both the technologies involved are flawed.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • April 26, 2008

    Sig Sauer P250-5

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    Sigsauerp250
    Took delivery of a new toy today—a Sig Sauer P250 in 9mm. For those not familiar with this handgun it has a hyper-modular design that allows you to mix and match different sized frames with different grip widths, swap out slides and barrels to change calibers and even install different length triggers to achieve a custom fit with the shooter’s hand.

    Mine is the mid-sized, “compact” frame and holds 15+1 rounds of 9mm ammo. In the .40 S&W and .357 Sig models, the magazine capacity is 12+1 and in .45 ACP is 7+1. These are the four calibers for which the P250 is chambered.

    Normally I view swap-caliber guns with a degree of suspicion, if for no other reason than the concept strikes me as a scheme to get me to buy fewer firearms. My brother feels the same way. As soon as he saw the gun he asked why would someone want a gun that could swap calibers this way. Well, I can think of a few good reasons, but I think what attracts me to this gun is its potential to compete in different classes of practical pistol shooting while providing the exact same grip geometry and trigger pull. That and the ability to scale down the gun to quickly suit different concealed carry needs.

    I only managed to put 100 rounds through the pistol at my gun store’s range this morning, but I really liked the way the gun handles—the excellent ergonomics of the gun struck me in particular.

    First off, the trigger pull on this DOA-only platform is outstanding.  

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • April 26, 2008

    Follow the Money-0

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    I’m glad there are some smart and industrious pro-gun folks out there keeping tabs on our foes. I’d love to lump myself in that category but I think I spend too much time at the gun range to accomplish much in the way of honest work.

    I’m thinking specifically of Say Uncle and David at The War On Guns. They have a couple of posts looking at the financing of the American Hunters and Shooters Association, which is a sheep in wolf’s clothing that pretends to be pro Second Amendment.

    —John Snow

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  • April 25, 2008

    Gun Dealer Speaks at Empty Holster Protest-0

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    According to the Associated Press, the online dealer who sold one of the guns used in the Virginia Tech shootings spoke at the campus last night at the behest of the group Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.

    This coincides with the SCCC’s Empty Holster Protest:

    During the week of April 21-25, 2008, thousands of college students throughout the United States, organized under the banner of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC), will attend classes wearing empty holsters, in protest of state laws and school policies that stack the odds in favor of dangerous criminals and armed killers by disarming law abiding citizens licensed to carry concealed handguns virtually everywhere else.

    Thompson said donations from his online customers helped pay for the purchase of “hundreds” of holsters for use in the protests.

    —John Snow

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  • April 25, 2008

    Braised Prairie Dog (And Other Perforated Treats)-1

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    My friend and fellow Gun Shots contributor, John Snow, calls prairie dogs “the third rail of American wildlife” for their ability to fatally polarize an otherwise coherent discussion of shooting, conservation and even land use.

    It’s hard to be neutral about prairie dogs, whether you drive a thousand miles to shoot them or you believe that they’re the crucial ingredient of a healthy Western landscape. But if they divide folks, they also suck any intelligence out of discourse about their proper management.

    Take, for instance, a fairly routine article this week in the Billings (Mont.) Gazette about a proposal to import a handful of Wyoming white-tailed prairie dogs into a sliver of southern Montana to supplement struggling populations.

    The story itself raised the usual risk of draconian Endangered Species Act prohibitions without proactive management, but it’s the comments on the story – more than 70 at last check – that reveal the fertile field of incoherence that defines most discussions of prairie dogs these days.

    As you can read, most comments advocate the immediate and selective long-distance removal of prairie dogs with 55-grain eviction pills. Other comments proclaim that prairie dogs did more to create prairie ecosystems than glaciers and wind. And almost all the comments deteriorate into insults, the eco-ninnies calling shooters drunk and primitive, the red-misters calling the prairie dog advocates rodent-huggers and pedophiles.

    Lest you dismiss all this vehemence as inapplicable nonsense, you need to know that the landscape is shifting for varmint shooters in much of the West. In one of the most eyebrow-raising episodes of the last year, the lunatic fringe convinced Colorado’s wildlife agency to at least consider banning recreational prairie dog shooting in that state. A decision is expected next month.

    If I can sift through a great deal of nonsense to the basis of their complaint, it appears that these varmint advocates have a germ of a case: Prairie dog shooters do not utilize the meat or hide of their quarry, one of the fundamental tenants of fair-chase hunting.

    So take a look at this site of “Native American Recipes.” Though when you consider our reputation as lead-slinging drunkards, maybe this site is more appropriate.

    Bon appetite. And remember that a mil-dot covers the chest of a prairie dog at about 400 yards.

    - Andrew McKean

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  • April 25, 2008

    Remington AccuTip Bonded Sabot Slug-5

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    If you took a look at the biggest changes in firearms for hunters over the last few years you would probably have to conclude that the most significant innovations have come in blackpowder arms. We’ve got muzzleloaders that use smokeless powder, break-action guns that are simple to use and ergonomically outstanding, and electronically fired designs that don’t require use of a primer. Likewise the ammo we stuff down these guns has become more sophisticated, accurate and lethal.

    But we’ve seen another revolution in hunting arms as well in recent times—I’m thinking here of slug guns. The rifled slug gun of today is a different beast when compared to what we hunted with even ten years ago. I saw a striking example of this today with a Remington 11-87 Sportsman that I took to the range. The shotgun itself is a stout looking beast with a cantilevered rail for mounting a scope, a camo dipped thumbhole stock and a 23-inch rifled barrel.

    Before today, I had shot two different loads through the shotgun: Remington BuckHammer 1 ¼-ounce slugs and Remington Premier Coppersolid 1 oz. slugs. Both have performed very well at 100 yards, with a slight accuracy advantage going to the Coppersolid load—but the difference is small enough that I wouldn’t feel handicapped hunting with either.

    Accutip_slug
    I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a few boxes of the new AccuTip Bonded Sabot Slugs, introduced earlier this year by Remington, in time to take bear hunting in Canada next week. These sexy-looking slugs (funny how new ammo must have an eye-candy element) shot as well as they looked. Granted, I only put one box through the gun (I’m saving the rest for the hunt) but I was rewarded with two key-hole groups, the first being a two-shot group just to see where I was on the paper and the second a three-shot group after I had adjusted my point of impact to get the 11-87 about dead on at 100 yards.

    These .58-caliber slugs weigh in at 385 grains and have a published velocity of 1,850 fps in the 2 ¾-inch length shell I’m using. Remington says the slug delivers consistent expansion whether the target is 5 or 200 yards downrange and has excellent (95 percent) weight retention to boot.

    If the hunting gods smile on me next week, I’ll hopefully be able to report on whether the slug performs as advertised. The accuracy is there—I’m curious to know whether the terminal ballistics is as impressive.

    —John Snow

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  • April 24, 2008

    More Blue Book Of Gun Values-2

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    Well, that didn’t take long.

    As I predicted, I was quickly able to start wasting time with my new copy of the Blue Book of Gun Values. My favorite bit in this latest edition appears on the last page (page 2,176 for those who are interested) and is entitled the “Top Ten Emailed Gun Questions.”

    This list serves to remind us that the politically correct statement that there is no such thing as a stupid question is, well, stupid.

    —John Snow

    Top Ten Emailed Gun Questions

    In the good ol’ days, some shooters and gun collectors would mail us out of focus, blurry pictures with illegible handwritten letters going into detail about the questions they had. The great thing about email is that it allows some people to write even more badly than they speak. As you can see from the following, effective communication may not be going in the right direction.
    10. RE: .22/45 over under pistol or darringer—I just bought this one, don’t know if it is a pistol or a darringer, or the age of it, if you have any info on gun I would appreciate it, how old and is it safe, it was made in ducktown, tn. is all the information I have on gun how much is it worth, looks like it has never been fired could be old or new

    9. RE: Army—I was looking at Blue Book online. I cannot find Army

    8. RE: Guns—1889 winchesrt leaver axion 3006what it werth

    7. RE: Manufacturer—I got a 38 special revolver with c.a.l. Georgia unit writin on it and it says it’s a astra 960. I’m trying to find the maker of this gun. can you help.

    6. RE: shells—I got this old worn out 20 guage H&R single shot that still shoots good. My buddi dropped off some 28 guage shells the other day. We put them in the 20 guage, and they fit pretty close. How will they shoot?

    5. RE: How old—I have a 22 calibar short made in Germany and the serial number is 339919. I’m trying to find out when this gun was made.

    4. RE: gunsock—I would like to buy a gunsock for my husband for Christmas and need a price.

    3. RE: rifle—I have a .22 rifle. Can you tell me what it worth

    2. RE: Saddam’s gun—What is the estimated value of the gun Saddam had on him when he was caught?

    1. RE: Winchester—I bought a Winchester Remington 870 I was wondering how much they run for.

    [ Read Full Post ]
  • April 23, 2008

    Gun Rights Victory In Kansas-3

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    Good news for gun owners in Kansas, according to the Associated Press.
    Gov. Kathleen Sebeluis signed a bill earlier this week lifting the ban
    on a variety of Class III weapons.


    Kansans will be able to own machine guns, other fully automatic weapons, sawed-off shotguns and silencers starting July 1.

    Gov. Kathleen Sebelius signed a bill Monday to legalize the possession
    of such weapons. The state banned owning machine guns in 1933, but some
    legislators said a change was necessary because legal questions
    threaten to keep dealers from delivering weapons to law enforcement
    agencies.

    Given Sebelius’s history of not supporting gun-rights measures—she
    vetoed a concealed carry bill a couple years back—this comes as a
    welcomed surprise.


    —John Snow

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