November 2004

Short Shots: 11/04

Post-Ban High-Capacity Magazine, Gun Sales Are Brisk
Reports from our retail sources show that interest in “post ban” guns and accessories is high, and several manufacturers were ready with special offers, new products, and modified capacities that will restore some functionality to firearms that had been affected by the ban. To wit:

SIG Sauer is offering new factory magazines with 12- and 15-round capacities. These magazines are marked “Law Enforcement Only,” but are now legal for sale to the commercial market with the sunsetting of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. SIG pistols that can carry 12- or 15-round magazines are the P226, P228, P229 and the SP2009 and SP2340. Sales of these magazines to California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and New York are prohibited. Online orders for magazines from customers in these states will be cancelled.

Magazines available for sale through are: 12-round magazine for the P229 chambered in .40 S&W or .357 SIG; 13-round magazine for the P228 or P229 chambered in 9mm; 12-round magazine for the P226 chambered in .40 S&W or .357 SIG; 15-round magazine for the P226 chambered in 9mm; 12-round magazine for the SP2340 chambered in .40 S&W or .357 SIG; and 15-round magazine for the SP2009 chambered in 9mm. The company says these magazines are brand new, and depending on the volume of online orders, it will take six to 10 weeks to fulfill the orders.

Also, regarding new SIG pistols with 10-round magazines, dealers and distributors currently have P226, P228, P229 and SP2009 and SP2340 pistols in inventory that were shipped with 10-round magazines. SIGArms supplied distributors with a coupon to include in these gun boxes. The coupon applies to new and certified pre-owned SIG P226, P228, P229 and SP2009 and SP2340 pistols purchased between September 14 and December 31, 2004. The coupon allows the purchaser of the pistol to buy one high-capacity magazine for $14.99 or two hi-capacity magazines for $19.99. This price includes shipping.

The coupon can be downloaded from the SIGArms website. To redeem this coupon, simply complete the form and return it to SIGArms (as instructed) with a copy of your 4473 and proof of purchase (sales receipt). The maximum number of magazines that can be ordered through this special offer is two per pistol. This coupon offer is void in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and New York and other locales where prohibited. Delivery is expected to take eight to 12 weeks.

ArmaLite is another company whose products will become more popular after the expiration of the ban. ArmaLite will factory-convert your post-ban–configuration ArmaLite rifles to pre-ban configuration by installation of a new flash suppressor and a front sight base that includes a bayonet lug.

Charges are as follows for the AR-10: Removal of muzzle brake, threading muzzle, replacement of the brake with threaded flash suppressor, installation of a sight base that includes a bayonet lug, and phosphating the barrel assembly: $147, plus return shipping. AR-10 pricing may be reduced by $10 if an ArmaLite AR-10 flash suppressor is returned with the rifle. Similar conversions for the M-15 cost $8 less.

As an alternative, the company will replace your barrel assembly with an ArmaLite pre-ban style barrel with no charge for installation. The cost of a new ArmaLite barrel is $365 for the AR10A4 and AR10A2 models, $195 for the M15A2, and $205 for the M15A4.

Only upper receivers need be returned. If demand requires, ArmaLite will be forced to limit monthly returns and spread the conversions out over time. If the ban is reauthorized before customer rifles or upper receiver groups are converted, they will be returned for the cost of shipping only.

Also, ArmaLite will provide collapsing stocks for 7.62mm/.308 AR-10 carbines for $103. Collapsing stocks for 5.56mm/.223 caliber M15 rifles are $87.

ArmaLite will provide a 20-round magazine for 7.62mm/.308 AR-10 rifles for $39. The 30-round magazines for 5.56mm/.223 caliber M15 rifles are $18.

As early as September 15, Bushmaster was selling a new post-ban gun with two of the most-popular pre-ban features. The new Carbon 15 Model 4 Rifle (BCWA3F 14M4IZ) sells for $ 1110. It’s an XM15 E2S M4A2-type carbine in .223. It has a telescoping buttstock and a permanently installed Bushmaster Izzy Flash Suppressor.

Consumers who buy one of a few specified new Smith & Wesson handguns at retail between August 15, 2004, and December 31, 2004, and whose new guns did not include two high-capacity magazines at the time of purchase, will receive two high-capacity magazines (subject to federal, state and local restrictions) at no charge. S&W owners must submit the handgun’s model number, serial number, and a copy of either the dated receipt or Federal Form 4473.

The affected models include all versions of the SW9, SW40, and SW99 (excludes 45 ACP); the 910 and 410; and all variants of the 5906 and 4006.

Taurus will give you a free high-capacity magazine when you purchase any of the following models: 24/7, PT-92, PT-99, PT-100, PT-101, PT-111Pro, PT-138 Pro, PT-911, and PT-938. Moreover, Taurus has listed new capacities for its pistols, effective 9/14/04, as shown in the accompanying table.

Our Take: Shooters nationwide will welcome the return of high-cap magazines for pistols, but especially the 9mms. We expect a boom in gun sales as a result, as well as huge increases in replacement magazine sales.

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USA Shooting Hires New National Pistol Coach
Long-time national pistol coach Erich Buljung has been replaced by Sergey Luzov, USA Shooting’s Running Target National Coach.

“We have a great deal of respect for Coach Buljung, his technical expertise, and his dedication to the program, but it just became increasingly apparent that we had to start broadening the overall program to grow it to the levels necessary to support international success.” said Wanda Jewell, Director of Operations.

“I think Sergey will add a new dimension to the pistol program that will be both positive and well received by the athletes,” added Jewell.

Luzov was a competitive shooter for 15 years and was the 1986 World Champion and world record holder in running target. He also won three World Cup gold medals while competing for Belarus in 1986 and 1988. Luzov had been the national running target coach, a discipline that will be removed from the Olympic program.

Our Take: At the conclusion of the 2004 Olympic Games, USA Shooting had to say goodbye to Buljung and start to build a larger and more competitive athlete pool. The program badly needs increased emphasis on growing and interacting with the pistol grassroots programs.

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Kerry Accepts Shotgun He Would Ban
At a Labor Day campaign rally in Racine, West Virginia, Sen. John Kerry accepted an ironic gift from a labor union representative. The gift, a Remington model 11-87 shotgun commonly used in hunting and recreational shooting, would be banned as an “assault weapon” under a bill that Kerry is co-sponsoring.

“The semi-automatic shotgun that Kerry accepted is one that he’d like to ban under his bill known as ‘The Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2003 (S. 1431).’ Kerry tells union workers that he’s a hunter, but the truth is he would ban their shotguns,” said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

Kerry was given the shotgun by Cecil Roberts of the United Mine Workers of America.

The union represents workers at a Remington factory in Ilion, New York. Last year the union urged Kerry to support a bill to end frivolous lawsuits against firearms makers (S. 659). The suits threaten manufacturing jobs. However, Kerry voted against the bill.

Remington President Tommy Milner said, “Rest assured, Remington was neither aware of this presentation in advance nor in any way supportive of its intent to support Senator Kerry’s candidacy. In fact, the company remains amused by ongoing photos of Senator Kerry shooting without either ear or eye protection while discharging a firearm.”

Our Take: Several sportsmen’s groups have pointed out that Kerry’s effort to cast himself as an avid hunter do not square with his anti-gun votes as a U.S. senator. In various photos Kerry appears unaware of proper firearms handling.

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House GOP Wants to Repeal D.C. Gun Bans
A majority of the U.S. House of Representatives is supporting legislation that would repeal almost all of the District of Columbia’s gun restrictions.

Rep. Mark Edward Souder (R-Ind.) said House Republican leaders have promised him a vote before the Nov. 2 election on his proposed D.C. Personal Protection Act, which would end a ban on handguns in the nation’s capital; remove a prohibition against semiautomatic weapons; lift registration requirements for ammunition and other firearms; and cancel criminal penalties for possessing unregistered firearms and carrying a handgun in one’s home or workplace.

Souder’s bill also would deny the District’s elected officials “authority to enact laws or regulations that discourage or eliminate the private ownership or use of firearms.”

Souder, who lives in Northern Virginia when Congress is in session, said his proposal is based on the Second Amendment’s guarantee of gun rights. “This is a constitutional issue, not a home rule question,” Souder said. “The fact is, we didn’t allow the District to have home rule on the selling of slaves, either.”

Although the most recent challenge to the District’s handgun ban was defeated in the House in 1999 by a vote of 250 to 175, 34 members who supported the ban have signed on as co-sponsors of the Souder bill.

Our Take: D.C. has one of the highest crime rates of any urban area in the country. Obviously, the area’s gun-control efforts haven’t worked, so it’s time to try something different.

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Arnold Bans .50 BMG Rifles
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill banning .50-caliber BMG rifles. Despite his gun-toting film career, Mr. Schwarzenegger is in favor of some gun controls, including the 10-year federal ban that expired in September. On the other side of the ledger, however, he supports a bill that makes it easier to get “prop” guns for television and movie productions.

For years, movies and television shows have used real guns to help provide action in cop shows and military movies.

For shows shot in California, prop houses have operated under a state exemption that allowed them to hand over small arsenals of weapons to prop masters who, while having to fill out a federal form, did not have to undergo extensive background checks complete with mandatory waiting periods.

But that changed earlier this year when agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives informed the industry that tighter federal controls meant that production companies would either have to wait for 10 days and pay a $15 fee every time they needed a single firearm or obtain the kind of federal license meant for gun dealers.

Prop houses provide mostly replica or rubber guns to productions. Real guns reconfigured to shoot blanks are used when weapons are fired on screen.

This new rules would cause problems, considering that around 60 percent of all productions involve firearms.

State officials, the Motion Picture Association of America and prop houses met with ATF agents and quickly crafted a temporary compromise that shrunk the waiting period to 48 hours and the fee to $20 per rental, not per weapon.

To permanently give studios easier access to prop guns, the California Assembly has approved the creation of an “Entertainment Firearms Permit.” Applicants must pass a background check and pay an initial fee of $104, renewable at $29 per year.

Once the permit is signed by the governor, anyone with a permit will be able to rent weapons as needed — the 48-hour wait and $20 fee will be eliminated.

The permit includes the rental of standard firearms, including handguns, rifles and most shotguns. The rental of assault weapons, short-barreled shotguns and similar restricted firearms will still require separate special federal permits.

Our Take: California continues its tradition of being one of the most anti-gun states in the country. To our knowledge, there has been no instance of a .50-caliber rifle being used in a crime. However, when one of the state’s biggest industries is involved, the rules are different.

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SIGArms Lands Big Pistol Contract
As many as 65,000 handguns may be ordered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under a five-year contract awarded to SIGArms Inc. for the SIG Sauer P239 in DAO and the P226 and P229 Rail pistols in 9mm and .40 S&W. The contract is valued at $23.7 million, one of the largest non-military contracts for handguns in history.

Specifically, the contract is for the P226R-DAK, P229R-DAK and the P239-DAO models. The new DAK trigger system delivers a 6.5-pound double-action only trigger pull.

Our Take: We have an impertinent question to ask: Shouldn’t the Department of Homeland Security buy guns made in the homeland?