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Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Let’s be honest: The NRA is not as popular as it once was. A lot of gun owners feel like the NRA’s priorities these days have shifted more to lobbying for large firearms manufacturers and promoting their own political influence than actually defending Second Amendment rights. Whether that’s true or not, it is clear that the NRA is hurting.

NRA Alternatives: Pro-Gun & Special Interest Groups

NRA Alternatives: Pro-Gun & Special Interest GroupsTrending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Let’s be honest: The NRA is not as popular as it once was. A lot of gun owners feel like the NRA’s priorities these days have shifted more to lobbying for large firearms manufacturers and promoting their own political influence than actually defending Second Amendment rights. Whether that’s true or not, it is clear that the NRA is hurting. Poll after poll is showing that their approval rating among Americans is the lowest it’s been in at least a decade, even among gun owners. The NRA has also been losing money for years. All of this has led many gun owners to look for other organizations to donate to and rely on for training, range insurance, and the other services that the NRA provides, whether because they no longer wish to support the NRA or because they don’t see the NRA as having a stable future. If that’s you, then you’ve come to the right place. The NRA is far from the only pro-gun organization. This list is full of various organizations that you can choose to support instead of (or in addition to, if you’re not put off the NRA). I’ll start with general pro-gun and pro-Second Amendment advocacy groups and then go into some other special interest groups that focus more on particular demographics of gun owners or focus on specific issues surrounding gun ownership. Finally, I’ll finish up with state-level organizations . Now that you know where we’re going, let’s start working on getting there. Table of Contents Loading... General Groups To get us started, I’m going to talk about a few general firearm advocacy groups. These are the groups that are most like what the NRA is supposed to be. Gun Owners of America Gun Owners of America is probably the most popular NRA alternative. It was created in 1975 by NRA board member and California state senator H. L. Richardson in response to his belief that the NRA was compromising on the protection of gun rights. For gun owners with the same belief today, it’s an excellent resource. Sadly, Sen. Richardson has recently passed away at the age of 93. His work and legacy shall live on through the GOA. GOA primarily focuses on supporting pro-gun legislation and candidates, opposing the opposite including by challenging existing laws in court, and educating the public, media, and government officials about Second Amendment and firearms related issues through the Gun Owner’s Foundation , GOA’s non-profit arm. Like the NRA, GOA rates politicians on their firearm friendliness and publishes voting histories for representatives to help you inform your votes. Wait, there are members of Congress in California that didn’t get an F- rating? In addition to their political activism, GOA also sponsors firearms training programs. Second Amendment Foundation The Second Amendment Foundation has been working to educate the public on the Second Amendment and to defend the Second Amendment in court since the non-profit was started in 1974. The SAF is extremely active in suing governments at all levels for Second Amendment violations and estimate that they’re involved in a whopping 80% of Second Amendment related legal cases currently going on in the US. While the SAF doesn’t provide attorneys for people who’ve been accused in firearms-related cases, but they do provide an attorney referral service. Though the SAF doesn’t engage in lobbying themselves, they do have a lobbying affiliate, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) , which is part of the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights. They also host the Gun Rights Policy Conference, a meetup of national and grassroots gun rights activists to look at threats to the Second Amendment and discuss strategies for combating them. SAF has a great FAQ section, take a look ! In addition, the SAF publishes a variety of resources to help gun owners stay on top of firearms related legislation. Other National Level Groups: American Rifle & Pistol Association National Association for Gun Rights Firearms Policy Coalition Constitutional Rights PAC (focused on constitutional rights in general, not just Second Amendment rights) Special Interest Groups As opposed to the general advocacy organizations above, these groups are focused on specific demographics, political groups , or issues. They can be great compliments to the above groups if you’d like to put additional support towards a more specific aspect of firearms rights and ownership or you can join them in lieu of one of those groups Pink Pistols Pro-gun activism and pro-LGBTQ activism are typically associated with opposite sides of the political aisle, but Pink Pistols brings the two issues together. LGBTQ people are at an increased risk of being the victims of violent crime compared to their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts. Pink Pistols seeks to fix that by teaching sexual minorities how to legally and effectively use and conceal firearms. Then they make that mission public so that would-be attackers can no longer be sure who is and isn’t carry a weapon with which to defend themselves. They do this through local chapters throughout the US that get together to train, socialize, and teach one another. NRA Instructor and leader of the Boston Pink Pistols, Aaron Grossman, fires at targets at the Harvard Sportsmen’s Club. ( Robin Lubbock/WBUR ) Pink Pistols is not a lobbying group for either firearms or LGBTQ rights and encourages members to engage in activism according to their own conscience. In order to protect the privacy of their members, they have no official membership application process or list. To be a member of the Pink Pistols, one simply has to declare themselves one. While Pink Pistols’ mission focuses on LGBTQ people, you don’t have to be a sexual minority to participate. Similar organizations include Operation Blazing Sword and Trigger Warning Queer & Trans Gun Club . The Well-Armed Woman The Well-Armed Woman is the premier online resource for gun info for women. It was founded by Carrie Lightfoot (who was featured in my list of Badass Lady Shooters ) in response to the lack of helpful firearms resources for women. Carrie Lightfoot The site features a massive array of content by and for women, including not only firearms resources but also info on other defensive behaviors like situational awareness and cybersecurity as well as non-lethal self-defense. In addition, the site has a store with a variety of firearms accessories, as well as apparel, gifts, training videos, and self-defense gear, including items not available anywhere else. In addition to the website, through The Well-Armed Woman Shooting Chapters program, the organization also has a ton of local chapters spread throughout the US which provide training and the opportunity to socialize with fellow women shooters. Both experienced shooters and firearm newbies looking to learn are welcome. The Well-Armed Woman also certifies women to be shooting instructors through a course that pays special attention to the needs and issues of women shooters. You can find a list of their certified instructors on their website. A Girl and A Gun is a similar organization that focuses on introducing women and girls to recreational and competitive sport shooting, paying less attention to using guns for defense. Evolve USA Evolve USA is a little bit different from a lot of other gun focused organizations in that they aren’t at all political. In fact, they’re overtly apolitical, actively refusing to discuss or debate anything about gun control from either side. Instead, Evolve focuses on solving what they call “America’s dumbest problem,” the 16,000 people every year who are injured or killed due to preventable gun accidents, by reminding gun owners to take the proper steps to use their guns safely and prevent them from being accessed by people who shouldn’t, and remind other gun owners to do the same. Or, as they put it, to not be a dumbass . You may remember them from this video that went viral a few years back: Evolve also makes great targets, posters, and stickers that you can download for free off of their website to remind yourself and others to be safe. Or just to give yourself a chuckle. National African American Gun Association It’s no secret that the United States doesn’t have a great historical track record when it comes to respecting the rights of our black residents, including Second Amendment rights, even after the government began recognizing them as citizens. Even today, firearm ownership among the African American community is much lower than among whites . The "National African American" Gun Association seeks to change that. They’re a relatively new kid on the block, founded in 2015 in February (in honor of Black History Month). Like the Pink Pistols, NAAGA was originally formed to arm and educated a community, while encouraging members to engage in political activism as individuals. In addition, NAAGA honors the black community’s unique history with firearms over the last 400 years . However, there is now talk in the organization about becoming more politically involved, but whether that will happen and, if so, how has yet to be determined. If you’d like to be part of that conversation or otherwise just want to be part of a developing organization, now’s a great time to join. Safari Club International "Safari Club International" (SCI) is probably the leading voice in advocating for both hunters and for sustainable hunting practices. The Safari Club works to protect hunting both in the US and internationally. Domestically, SCI lobbies government officials on both the state and federal level and litigates cases related to hunting issues. At the international level, SCI is a non-governmental participant in a bunch of different organizations and treaties related to hunting, conservation, and firearms, including the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). Through the Safari Club International Foundation , they also engage in massive efforts for conservation, humanitarian aid, and poaching prevention. A few of these efforts include conservation grants, Sensory Safari, a program which introduces visually impaired adults and children to wildlife education through touch, Sportsmen Against Hunger, which provides food in the form of hunted game for those in need. Fun fact, 1 whitetail deer can feed up to 200 people. Disabled Hunter Program, which makes hunting and shooting more accessible for those with various disabilities . SCI and SCI Foundation are great organizations to support if, in addition to hunting and firearms, environmental preservation, species conservation, and humanitarian efforts are your jam. "The Safari Club" is far from the only group of its kind. There are a couple of other general hunting advocacy groups like the Boone and Crockett Club and the Sportsmen’s Alliance , but there are also plenty of species focused groups as well, including: Ducks Unlimited National Wild Turkey Federation Quality Deer Management Association Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Mule Deer Foundation Pheasants Forever State-Level Groups In addition to the national level groups discussed above, there are also plenty of groups that operate at the state and local levels. Since there are so many of them and membership depends on where you live, I’m not going to provide a comprehensive list here. There are times when we are 1 nation and there are times when we are 50 states, our firearm laws cross both lines often. State law is often the most vulnerable to radical change, what happens in California 10 years ago may be coming to a legalization session near you sooner than you think. I strongly recommend that you look into what state-level groups are representing your rights and support them if you agree. Since much of the Pew Pew team is in California and I’m in Georgia, here are two groups that we like. California Rifle & Pistol Association The California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) is basically the NRA, offering virtually all of the same types of resources and programs, but just for California. In fact, they’re the NRA’s State Association for California. That means that they’re an independent organization (rather than part of the NRA), but they’re recognized by the NRA and promote NRA programs and efforts. CRPA is a group that has had a string of recent victories, the most notable being Freedom Week . Live cam of California shooting ranges, May 30th, 2019. Georgia Carry Georgia Carry is my preferred state-level organization. They don’t provide the sort of resources for gun owners that some organizations do, like classes because they prefer to focus their efforts on lobbying efforts and challenging gun laws in court, a strategy that has proved quite successful. Florida Carry makes similar efforts on their side of the state line. Final Words These are just a few of the many, many gun advocacy organizations out there that you can support instead of the NRA. They’re all great organizations, but you should also feel free to explore more of the wide variety of groups and programs out there. You have plenty of options available to you, so look for one that you can really get behind. What are your thoughts on the NRA? What are your preferred gun organizations and what do you love about them? Let us know in the comments and be sure to share this list with anyone else you who happens to be looking for NRA alternatives!

Carrying a Backup Gun: Locations & Considerations

Carrying a Backup Gun: Locations & Considerations

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Who do you think you are? Why the hell would you need more than one gun? I mean, you’re probably not going to use one gun, let alone two. These doubts and others (where will I carry it? why bother? etc) can make carrying a backup gun a daunting prospect. Beretta 92FS in Action That’s where we come in. But fear not, we’re here as the voice of reason.  Not just gun guys who want you to have a bigger gun collection, but a group of guys in the same boat as you are who can give you some advice about why (or why not) you might want to carry a backup gun. What we’re going to do here, is go over some pros and cons of carrying a backup gun and come to some conclusions about why it may or may not be right for you, even if you aren’t a part-time night dwelling vigilante. Why Do You Think You Need To Carry A Backup Gun? First off, why do you think you should carry a backup weapon? You are carrying a gun to protect you and your family.  If your gun fails or is otherwise not able to be used, you want another option. You want to do everything in your power to be as safe as possible. What Can You Carry For A Backup Gun? Your backup gun can be anything you’d like.  If you want to have a backpack full of 1911s, by all means, go for it.  But that’s not very realistic. So, what’s something more reasonable to carry as a backup?  There’s a long list of sub-compact 9mm guns that are small and still have the power you need to defend yourself. A .380 is another solid choice.  They are small, don’t weigh a lot, and can fit almost anywhere.  They are also a great choice if you have a smaller body or are thin.  A larger gun might not hide so well, let alone two guns. Where Should You Carry Your Backup Gun? The “where” is definitely a personal choice.  Say, for example, you decide on the Smith and Wesson Bodyguard .380.  The 380 is small and offers a lot of options for a carry location.  You can carry it in: Your pants pocket, A backpack, A purse, An ankle holster, A holster, A jacket pocket. Shoulder Holster The location will depend a lot on how you dress and what you’ll be doing. For example, if you are in your car all day, it would make sense to keep a backup in an easily accessible spot in your car rather than in your pants pocket. If you wear shorts all the time, an ankle holster or jacket pocket won’t cut it. Focus on the accessibility and amount of concealment you have when you’re choosing your backup gun carry location. And check out our pick of the Best Gun Holsters for however you carry. Why You Shouldn’t Carry A Backup Gun This is the devil’s advocate part of the article where I will talk about the reasons why you wouldn’t want to have the extra security of a backup weapon. It’s More Dangerous You are handling two guns on a daily basis, thus increasing the odds of a mistake or mishap. I know you’re careful, but you’re increasing the odds of a mishap, that’s all. It’s Twice as Hard to Conceal Two Guns When you’re moving you have to bend, lean, and maneuver in a way that doesn’t show either gun.  When you are new to carrying a concealed gun, you are VERY self-conscious. You move differently, probably stiffer than normal.  You also don’t bend normally.  Well, when you have two guns (let’s say an IWB holster at the 4 o’clock position and an ankle holster on your left leg) lifting your leg or squatting down to tie your shoe takes a little more thought than before. Added Cost This one is pretty self-explanatory.  You obviously have the cost of buying another gun, holster, and ammo for the secondary gun. The added training will also add to the cost.  You will need more range time, ammo, targets, and anything else you might use to train. It May Not Be Practical Do you work in an office or for a business that doesn’t allow guns in the building?  If you do, carrying two guns to work, locking them in your car all day, then wearing them on the way home could get old really quick. Gun Store More Training When you carry a gun, you need to practice your draw from wherever you are carrying.  Using an ankle holster is a vastly different draw than drawing from your hip.  It will take time to get a feel for it. This is a tough one for some people.  A lot of people – including myself – don’t get to the range as much as they should.  Add a secondary weapon to train with and it will be even more difficult to get the appropriate time in at the range. Why You Should Carry A Backup Gun I like to think of a backup gun like a spare tire for your car.  If you have a blowout on the highway, you have options.  You can call the tow truck to tow you into a shop, have someone change it for you, or you can get off your ass and change the tire yourself. If you are carrying a backup, you might find that it’s faster to pull your secondary gun than it is to reload your primary.  Even with a speed loader, a revolver might take a more time than drawing from your ankle holster or pocket. If your first gun fails or you lose access to it, a backup gun is a godsend to have. And, of course, just peace of mind.  You know you have a backup in case you need it.  If you don’t need it, all the better. It’s like insurance. Does It Make Sense For You To Carry A Backup? Realistically, there is a slim chance you will need to use your gun in the near future.  Depending on where you get your news from, things are getting better or things are going to hell in a handbasket… like always. You can take into consideration a lot of things that may sway you one way or another. For example, the area where you live.  Do you live in a high crime area?  If so, you might be more likely to need your weapon. If you live in a really rural area, you might run into a wild animal. Off Duty Officers Most of the officers I know carry a backup gun.  Some even when they are off duty.  They feel like they are missing something when they are not carrying. While an off-duty scenario is a lot different than on the job, police officers tend to get involved in bad situations whether they are punched in or not.  When putting yourself in harm’s way, having a backup is a lifesaver. Everyone Else For the rest of us, you can think about whether you can guarantee you will always be standing when you need quick access your gun.  If you are in your car, is an IWB holster on your right hip easier to access than an ankle holster?  What about if you get knocked down? Ankle Holster These are all real scenarios you should think about when deciding if a secondary gun is for you. Final Thoughts Personally, I don’t feel the need to carry a backup gun.  In my years of carrying, I have not had a single case in which I debated whether or not to draw my weapon, thankfully.  I feel prepared having a single weapon I am comfortable shooting and can draw quickly if the time comes to use it. Do you carry a backup gun?  If you do, give us some details about why, where, and when you have ever had the need for a secondary weapon.  And if you’re in need of some suggestions, check out our Editor’s Picks .

Best Sniper & Precision Rifle for Beginners [Ultimate Guide]

Best Sniper & Precision Rifle for Beginners [Ultimate Guide]

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Want to find the best sniper/precision rifle for you as a beginner? You’ve come to the right place.  We’ve already covered our best recommendations for pistols , rifles , and shotguns , and now we dive into the world of long distance shooting. Let’s get started! Table of Contents Loading... Things To Consider Caliber Common Rifle Calibers For the introductory long distance rifle, we recommend going with the 7.62x51mm / .308 Winchester cartridge. Assorted 7.62x51mm (MEN 147gr, PPU 165gr, PPU 180gr, Gold Medal 168gr It is one of the most widely used rounds so you’ll be sure to find tons of information and it is available for a reasonable price (starting at ~75 cents a round). Plus it’s good up to 800 yards and beyond. Bolt Action vs Semi-Automatic Bolt action rifles are the go-to for accuracy’s sake since there’s less movement going on when the round is fired.  They are also easier to make accurate than with a semi-automatic for a number of sciencey reasons. However, there’s been a lot of progress in semi-autos that are getting them close to on-par with bolt guns, out to reasonable distances.  However, the ability to rapidly re-engage a target without working the bolt might push you towards this route instead. Free Floating Barrel You want to eliminate the contact between the stock and the barrel for two main reasons. First is that the stock can change with outside influences such as weather or use.  This would alter the alignment with the barrel over time. Second, you want the barrel to be able to vibrate at its natural frequency. In normal rifles, the barrel rests on the stock, but in free floating barrels, there is no touching of the barrel with the stock.  The standard test is to see if you can slide a dollar bill between the barrel and stock. Free Float Barrel Dollar Bill, Gunsamerica Price Since it’s a beginner rifle, we’re looking to keep the whole package around $1000 including the scope. Ammo is also more expensive for precision rifles (with Match ammo running up to $1.50 per round and standard ammo at around 75 cents per round).  But check out our recommendations in our online ammo buying guide . Ready for some recommendations of the best? Best Sniper Rifles for Beginners 1. Remington 700 Best Beginner Bolt Action Rifle Remington 700 650 at Cabela's Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 650 at Cabela's Compare prices (2 found) Cabela's (See Price) Sportsman's Warehouse (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing The Remington 700 (all) series will always come up in a list of the best beginner bolt rifles as the gold standard. They start off accurate and there’s endless upgrades.  You can’t go wrong with any of the models but be sure to look at the entry-level 700 SPS Tactical (~$700) or the highest end Sendero SF II (~$1200) which Remington calls their “most accurate over-the-counter rifle.” Readers' Ratings 4.99/5 (687) Your Rating? 2. Tikka T3X Lite Best Do-It-All Bolt-Action Tikka T3X Lite 590 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 590 at Brownells Compare prices (2 found) Brownells (See Price) Cabela's (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing A Finnish rifle that weighs in at 6.5 lbs and can shoot 1 MOA (1″ at 100 yards) out of the box.  Again, there’s tons of upgrades for this sweet gun which clocks in at about $600-$700.  Also available in south paw for you lefties out there. 3. Savage AXIS Savage AXIS 500 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 500 at Brownells Compare prices (2 found) Brownells (See Price) Cabela's (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing The AXIS is great value for the money ($400-$500) and tons of upgrades available.  Also take a look at the law enforcement models which have an upgraded trigger and a heavy barrel. 4. AR-10 AR-10 vs AR-15 You might have heard of the AR-15 which fires the .223/5.56 round, but it was originally designed to fire the .308/7.62 round as the AR-10. At a side glance you might not be able to tell the difference between an AR-10 and an AR-15, but the AR-10 is slightly larger over for both the lower and upper receiver.  However, most of the lower receiver internals and furniture are interchangeable. As an AR platform, many manufactures make an AR-10 style rifle for precision shooting. Our go-to is with Aero Precision’s M5E1 line ($1300-1600) which will push your budget a little higher to almost $2000 with a good scope, but now you are ready to send a lot of (accurate) lead downrange.  Full review here . Aero M5E1 On The Grass Best Semi-Auto Precision Rifle Aero Precision M5E1 .308 1490 at Aero Precision Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 1490 at Aero Precision Prices accurate at time of writing Looking for more AR-10 options?  Check out our Guide to the Best AR-10s . 5. Bergara B-14 HMR A touch more premium option, the Bergara B-14 HMR is one of the best factory produced rifles — period. Bergara B-14 HMR Based on the Remington 700, you’re basically getting what the R700 should be today. Modern, high quality, accurate, and built to last. The Bergara B-14 HMR fits all standard R700 stocks, chassis, and triggers so the aftermarket options are MASSIVE. And these rifles shoot, sub-MOA comes guaranteed with each rifle and Bergara lives up to the claim. We have a lot more to say about the B-14 HMR, so take a look at the Hands-on Review ! Bergara B-14 HMR 900 at GunPrime Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 900 at GunPrime Compare prices (3 found) GunPrime (See Price) Cabelas (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing Accessories Scope Rings/Mounts Once you have your rifle, don’t cheap out on the scope rings.  An accurate rifle is pretty useless if the thing holding your scope to it is wobbling around. Leupold Quick Release Rings We actually recommend going with a one-piece mount so you don’t have to deal with the potential headache of aligning rings shown above. For a cheaper (but heavier) option, we love the Burris PEPR mount ($65) or for slightly more you can shave 5 oz off your rifle with Aero Precision mounts ($80). I would suggest the “extended” version and remember to match the mount with your scope (either 30mm or 1 inch typically. Aero Precision Extended Mount Scopes Nikon ProStaff 3-9x Another thing where you don’t want to skimp.  You’ll always hear the adage “Buy Once, Cry Once” with scopes since if you have a quality scope, you can always put it on a better rifle. A good rule of thumb is to match it up with your rifle in an almost 1:1 ratio.  It’s better to get the cheapest AXIS we mentioned above but pair it with a decent $300 scope. And scopes do get really expensive…our favorite is Schmidt and Bender’s PMII which retails for around $4000. Oh yes…we love optics! You’ll also want to pair up the power of the scope with your purpose. Do you want more zoom to hit really far targets, shoot competition where just 1-4x is needed, or a more middle of the road 3-9x? Check out our Optics and Scope Guide for the AR-15.  Since you’re going precision/sniper rifle, you’ll want to disregard the 1x optics and focus on magnified scopes.  And if you’re going strictly long-distance…check out our Best Long Range Scopes . What precision/sniper rifle did you end up getting? Let us know in the comments!

Gun Review: Magnum Research BFR .444 Marlin

Gun Review: Magnum Research BFR .444 Marlin

/* custom css */.td_uid_2_5f379cf057ef9_rand.td-a-rec-img { text-align: left; } .td_uid_2_5f379cf057ef9_rand.td-a-rec-img img { margin: 0 auto 0 0; } Constantly evolving, now available is the Magnum Research BFR .444 Marlin. It's a heavy hitter with a classy-looking bisley grip. What to know about the new Magnum Research BFR: Magnum Research's latest iteration of its BFR is chambered in the potent .444 Marlin. The BFR has an excellent trigger, which breaks around 3 pounds. BFRs come drilled and tapped for optics mounting. The gun comes equipped with an excellent, Bisley-style grip. It's available at pretty good price: $1,184. I noted some years back that the long-framed BFR (Big Framed Revolver) possessed “comic book proportions.” Some folks took exception to my remark as being somewhat derogatory, no matter how I meant my comment to be interpreted. It looks like the revolver was grabbed by the barrel and by the grip and stretched to accommodate a host of long-cased rifle cartridges. Hence the previous comment. What I didn’t tell you then, but I’m compelled to tell you now, is that the long-framed BFR, irrespective of chambering, is a well thought-out, well-executed and exceedingly accurate precision hunting revolver that balances surprisingly well. There have been some subtle yet significant refinements over the years, and this latest version is the best one ever. Previous iterations utilized a number of Ruger-sourced internal parts, but those days are behind Magnum Research as they are now producing all BFR parts locally. The trigger guard has been lowered and moved forward approximately 1/8 inch to allow for more room for a gloved trigger finger, and the increase in space between the shooter’s middle knuckle and the trigger guard during recoil makes for a much friendlier shooting experience. You might also notice the new hammer profile, allowing easier gloved manipulation and decreasing the chances of your glove getting pinched between the hammer spur and the frame. Note that these are Minnesota cold weather concessions! The steady evolution of the BFR indicates that the Magnum Research management is actually listening to the consumer. A Mission For The .444 Marlin Best Starter Kit for Concealed Carry: S&W M&P 9 SHIELD $394.96 guns.com Safariland IWB Holster $43.99 brownells.com Safariland Duty Belt $88.99 brownells.com SnagMag Ammo Pouch $LOW! gundigeststore.com Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links. Caribou Media Group may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Thank you! When it comes to hunting revolvers, my preferences have always leaned toward compact size and pack-ability (that’s a technical term). For me, this has always been a big part of the allure of handgun hunting. While I’ve dabbled occasionally deliberately in the long-framed BFRs in the past, I recently went to the Dark Side and ordered up a long-framed BFR in .444 Marlin, a cartridge that’s not nearly as popular now as it was years ago. But this was no ordinary test I was conducting. No, I wanted a revolver for plains game hunting in South Africa, where my shots would likely be at longer range, benefitting from a flatter shooting cartridge in a platform that could better take advantage of the .444’s attributes. I specified a 10-inch barrel to get the most of the high-velocity potential of the .444 Marlin, along with Magnum Research’s new Bisley grip frame, a recent addition in response to all of the requests for a Bisley-type grip. I also specified black Micarta grips to hang on to, a tough yet attractive grip material that’s perfect for the less-than-ideal conditions one often encounters in the field, as they are impervious to inclement weather, blood, chemicals, etc. A Bisley By Any Other Name A note about Magnum’s Bisley: I have heard grumblings from some on the Internet that the BFR Bisley is not a true Bisley as far as the design is concerned. I would remind critics that the more well-known Bisley by Ruger is also an interpretation of the design that originated with Colt as a target-style grip named after a range in England. They’re both interpretations of the original design and a better execution in this author’s opinion. As with Ruger’s version, Magnum’s Bisley was designed to better control and mitigate the effects of heavy recoil. Unlike Ruger’s Bisley, however, Magnum Research has provided ample room between the shooter’s knuckles and the trigger guard, all but removing the threat of busted knuckles and the potential for developing a flinch as a result. In separate testing, I offered my abusive .500 JRH BFR to a couple of novice shooters to try, and they were impressed with the ease with which they handled the heavy recoil due to the Bisley’s superior design. Yes, it’s that good. Custom Care The revolver came from Magnum Research’s custom shop, the Precision Center, and arrived with the fit and finish I have come to expect from them, but the most pleasant surprise was the creep-less, glass-rod-like break of the Precision Center-tuned trigger. When tested, it broke at precisely 3 pounds. The man who does the action tuning for Magnum Research deserves a full commendation for such a smooth and pleasure-inducing action, and it’s by far the best trigger I have ever received from a revolver manufacturer. I cannot overstate the importance of a good trigger to build confidence and competent shooting. The entire revolver is constructed from tough 17-4PH stainless-steel and, like all BFRs, comes with a five-shot counter-bored cylinder — a nice detail that allows for a partially loaded cylinder to be safely shot without fear of frame/loading gate damage from unsupported case heads. Another nice feature is the freewheeling pawl, which allows for easier loading and unloading, as the cylinder will rotate in either direction when the loading gate is open. This is an invaluable feature, particularly in the field where sometimes you need to top your revolver off in a hurry. Optics-Ready Options Because my intent was to perhaps shoot at ranges previously treated by me as outside of my comfort zone, I planned on equipping my new BFR with a scope of some sort. A fixed four-power Leupold handgun scope got the nod, mounted on the Magnum Research-provided scope base. BFRs all come drilled and tapped for optics if the owner so chooses. The excellent Weaver-style base comes with the three necessary mounting screws and is a snap to affix. Attaching the scope to the base are a pair of Leupold quick release rings. Despite my optical enhancements, the BFR comes with an excellent adjustable rear sight sourced from LPA that is a vast improvement over the old Ruger piece and provides a sharp sight picture. I chose a four-power scope to give me significant magnification without exaggerating my wobbles more than necessary! Though, truth be told, it took me some time to get really comfortable shooting with the glass installed.

Survival Gear Review: Lock Pick Sets

As far as survival skill sets are concerned, one of the most underrated and under researched skills I can think of is lock picking. In the circles I know of and generally run with, emphasis is definitely on the “ beans and bullets ” mentality….and that’s pretty much about it. Expansion of survival skill set horizons is underplayed and ignored. Hell, if you have enough bullets, you can take the beans, right? This survival theory doesn’t sit well with me for multiple reasons, but at the basest level, I like to learn new skills and processes to keep myself interested and to help ensure I have an edge – no matter how small – in any future situation I may encounter if the chips are down. Coming full circle to the subject matter, I have – for some time – been wanting to delve into the personal unknown of lock picking. I have a close friend whose passion is lock picking, so I needed a set of lock picks and his instruction. Enter Lock Pick World. A UK company whose owner – according to the website – has been up to mischievous pursuits with lock picks since the tender age of eight. Fast forward 20 years, and that first elation of a bumped lock has blossomed into an extensive online company that offers a huge array of lock picks, bump keys, and other lock picking needs to the entire world. Also Read: Survival Tools After a short chat with "Lock Pick World" with the details of my desires coupled with a complete and utter lack of knowledge about locks and lock picking, I soon ordered up a beginner’s lock pick set, a slightly more advanced set, and a practice lock with clear sides so that I could see what the hell kind of voodoo was going on inside a lock. Just a week later, the package was at my door and I was geeking out. Quick Navigation Lock Picking Ain’t Easy… At First Lock Pick Sets Wrapping It Up "Lock Picking Ain’t" Easy… At First After having a novice go with the picks, I quickly found out that: A) movies are completely wrong, and B) I didn’t know anything about anything with lock picking, even after a couple hours of trial and error with the provided practice locks and some unwitting door knob locks around my domicile. Even a bit of research into the tools of the trade – rakes, sweeps, bump keys, and more – didn’t give me much intel on the dance that must be performed to open a lock. Throwing up the white flag of the admitted ignoramus, I beckoned my lock picking buddy to come show me some black magic with the tools provided by Lock Pick World. To be fair to our subject company, Lock Pick World does indeed offer instructional videos and practice locks on their website (Follow this link to their tutorial page) , but I remained hard-headed and wanted to be shown with my own new tools how to pick a lock. I’m a hands-on kinda guy. Also Read: Cut Shotgun Shells For Survival My buddy (who we’ll call Matt, because that’s his name) acquiesced to the request for lock pick instruction once I goaded him with beer. He arrived with a Craftsman tool bag jam packed FULL of locks, deadbolts, door knobs, and lock pick sets. After he showed me quick basic tricks with combination locks, we got to the nitty gritty with what he called “ bitch picking ”, a type of unrefined raking lock picking that requires very little finesse – just a bit of time and luck. A flat tension tool (included in the provided Lock Pick World sets) is inserted into the keyway, and a small amount of undulating rotational torque is applied. A longer rake tool is inserted in the keyway, and essentially bounced up and down, back and forth, until the tumbler pins are all bumped out of the way and held in place on the shearline ledge – and the lock opens. It’s very easy to do – shockingly easy, as a matter of fact – and is a good place to start learning how to lock pick. Here’s a quick video of me performing this method of lock picking with the Lokko clear sided lock and their Praxis Pick Set. "Lock Pick Sets" The Dangerfield Praxis pick set is the set I prefer to use when I’m working on my technique – it has two sets of eight laser-cut picks – each in either .015” thick or .023” thick so you can tailor your pick width to the lock. Different tension tools are provided as well, and all the tools are made from a stainless steel that is much sturdier than their minuscule thickness belies. The Praxis set comes in a small zip-up camouflaged case, and isn’t so big and heavy that it wouldn’t find a very welcome home in your Bug Out Bag or glove compartment. The Lokko Beginner’s Box pick set that I also received was a bit more oriented to the beginner – which was perfect for me, and it was the set I started out with. The kit contains a couple of the aforementioned plastic clear-sided Lokko locks, a black leather case containing an assortment of fifteen different tools, and a “spy case”, which is a rather unconvincing “credit card” plastic case that slides open to reveal a simple lock pick set comprising of a tension tool, a long rake, a hook pick, and a snake rake – good basic tools to have with you everywhere, or to use as a starting point for the hobbyist or even kids. The website shows a “how to” book included in the kit; my kit did not come with the book. The faux credit card container is a little cheesy, but it’s convincing enough at a glance to thrill kids who watch spy movies, or perhaps fool someone who is performing a cursory search. Related: Escape & Evasion Gun Belt Review The real treasure of the Lokko Beginner’s set are the clear-sided locks; these locks let you see exactly what on earth the going on inside a standard tumbler-style lock and how to act accordingly to open the lock up. These plastic locks were Godsends to help me refine my technique once my instructor departed. The Praxis set is about $60, and the Lokko Set is about 40 bucks, both are great sets, though I’d definitely grab the Lokko Set if you’re starting from scratch, like I clearly was. Lock Pick World’s website is a treasure trove of knowledge for the neophyte raker as well as an advanced licensed locksmith – it’s wholeheartedly recommended that you use their site (and the magic of YouTube) as a resource to get your ball rolling after you purchase a pick set. Wrapping It Up Honestly? Praise the powers that be for Lock Pick World. Yes, I know that sounds melodramatic and sponsored (false on both counts), but I’d still be in the dark in the wide world of lock picking without the basic tools to kick-start me into getting off my posterior and learning how to learn a new survival skill set. The tools are excellent, quality made kit – and while I’m not a seasoned tumbler-defeater, I can tell you that the tools from both kits have all stood up to my ham-fisted attempts and learning how to open doors (literal and figurative) that were previously unattainable. The kits from Lock Pick World are great, the knowledge base and support structure (via their website and customer service) is top-notch, and getting started is easier than you think. You just need the tools and the ability to get off your ass and give it a whirl. Lock Pick World will help you with the first; the second is up to you. Consider it a challenge. Thoughts? Any of you do lock picking? Feel free to provide resource links and comments below! Other interesting articles: Lock’er Down Exxtreme Center Console Safe: Survival Gear Review "Survival Gear Review" : Valkyrie War Cord Survival Frag Survival Gear Review: MSR HyperFlow Microfilter Survival Gear Review: Trucker’s Friend

New Years Resolutions for the Gun Industry 2017

It’s that time of year again, people are already looking at their New Year’s resolutions. Lose 10 pounds, buy more ammo, finish that 80% lower… that’s all great. I’ve been thinking or a few annoyances I’ve like to see go the way of the dodo. These are the 2017 New Year’s resolutions for the Gun industry. New year’s Resolutions No 1 – Iron Sights on All Rifles Courtesy of Magpul This is one of the biggest annoyances I’ve come across. I buy a new rifle and there isn’t a set of iron sights to be seen. In the case of ARs maybe there is a fixed front sight. This isn’t limited to budget rifles either. Plenty of high end 1,000 dollar and up rifles aren’t coming with iron sights. Luckily throughout 2016 I’ve been seeing this less and less from gun companies, but it needs to be completely dead by 2017. New Year’s Resolution 2 – More Light Bearing Holsters Courtesy of Blackhawk Picatinny rails have been on handguns long enough for holster companies to start producing more light bearing holsters. Sure if you own a Glock you can find quite a few, but even then you’ll be paying out your butt for them. Own a CZ? A Walther? a compact firearm? Good luck finding a light bearing holster for it. C’mon guys there is money to be made here. "New Year’s Resolution" 3 – Standard optic mounts for handguns. Courtesy of Glock Minature red dots on handguns are becoming a pretty popular option. Glock has the MOS system, SIG is releasing their own optics and optically equipped handgun, and Springfield is even releasing an XD with an optic attached. Companies making these minature red dots include Trijicon, SIG, Vortex, Burris, Docter, Insight, Meopta, and more. This is all great right? Yeah it is, but optics companies can’t decide on a base plate, so we have a wide variety of them floating around. The Glock MOS series comes with 4 plates to accommodate most of the options out there. How about these optics companies get together and settle on or maybe just two designs and stick with it? New Year’s Resolution 4 – Minimize Proprietary Magazines Courtesy of OKAY industries You know what I love about buying rifle? Paying 35 dollars for an extra magazine because a company has declined to use something already common and available. In general if you are going to design a 223/5.56 caliber rifle with a removable magazine its a good idea to go with an AR 15 magazine. If you are famous for a certain handgun and you make a new handgun that’s almost identical, use the same magazine. It’s cheaper and easier for all of us. I get that if you are designing a 338 AR 10 you can’t use existing magazines, so I’m not fully against proprietary magzines, I’d just like to see them minimized. News Year’s Resolution 5 – Prepare to be suppressed Courtesy of CZ If you create a popular, or even semi popular handgun consider offering a factory threaded barrel. Not just a special, hard to find edition of your handgun, but a common option. Also consider having a factory suppressor height sights model CZ is great about this in my experience, but other companies seem to ignore this often. Make it cost more, most people will pay it versus plopping another 100 bucks on just a threaded barrel. Suppressors are getting more and more popular, and with the current election results we may even see the Hearing Protection Act pass.

Summary

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Let’s be honest: The NRA is not as popular as it once was. A lot of gun owners feel like the NRA’s priorities these days have shifted more to lobbying for large firearms manufacturers and promoting their own political influence than actually defending Second Amendment rights. Whether that’s true or not, it is clear that the NRA is hurting.