March 2012

Down Range: March 2012


Todd Woodard

Later in this issue is a quick-hit list of new products the staff encountered at the 2012 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. Unlike some years in which manufacturers push banal items that are simply color or texture changes, we saw some cool stuff in the pipeline that’s worth advising you about. Standard caveat applies: We didn’t shoot anything enough to say “Buy It!”, but we can comment about advances in design or execution that we believe hold promise.

Georgia Senate Approves Suppressors for Hunting. The Georgia Senate has approved legislation that would end the ban on suppressors for hunting firearms. Senate Bill 301 was approved by a vote of 48-5. Silencers are legal to possess and use for lawful purposes in most states, but require a federal permit from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Defensive Firearms Use Underreported. Tough Targets: When Criminals Face Armed Resistance from Citizens is a new publication from the Cato Institute that uses a collection of news reports of self-defense with guns over an eight-year period to survey the circumstances and outcomes of defensive gun uses in America. Authors Clayton E. Cramer and David Burnett say that outside of criminology circles, relatively few people can reasonably estimate how often people use guns to fend off criminal attacks. If policymakers are truly interested in harm reduction, they should pause to consider how many crimes are thwarted each year by ordinary persons with guns.

Sandia’s self-guided bullet prototype. Sandia National Laboratories engineers Red Jones and Brian Kast and their colleagues have invented a dart-like, self-guided bullet for small-caliber, smooth-bore firearms that could hit laser-designated targets at distances out to 2,000 meters. Sandia’s design for the 4-inch-long bullet includes an optical sensor in the nose to detect a laser beam on a target. The sensor sends information to guidance and control electronics that use an algorithm in an eight-bit central processing unit to command electromagnetic actuators. These actuators steer tiny fins that guide the bullet to the target.

FOX bans firearms and ammunition ads for UFC fights: The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has learned that FOX Sports Media Group has banned advertisements featuring firearms and ammunition from its coverage of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events. NSSF is encouraging all gun owners, sportsmen and firearms enthusiasts to contact FOX today and urge them to rescind this anti-gun corporate policy. GT

To follow the progress of our tests or to hear about our gun-inventory sales, please “Like” the Gun Tests Magazine Facebook page, To read up-to-date information on new firearms and accessory introductions, gun legislation, and the latest efforts to restrict the 2nd Amendment, log on to, or “Like” the GR Facebook page at