May 2018

Editorial

Downrange: June 2011

Our sister site GunReports.com recently reported on a Texas bill that would permit concealed handgun license holders to carry openly. Curiously, Texas is one of only seven states that does not have some form of an open-carry law. Under Rep. George Lavender’s (R-Texarkana) bill, CHL holders could carry their weapon openly if it was in a holster. 'We have a constitutional right to bear arms, and in many ways, it’s being infringed on,' Rep. Lavender said. In the comments section under that story, there was a lot of back and forth about the topic—with some of the points covering areas I hadn’t considered before.   More...

Down Range: September 2011

Some years ago, I sold two guns that I now regret selling. I used my Walther GX-1 22 LR for five years as a collegiate 3-position shooter at Texas A&M, competing all over the country and in Japan. As a working adult in New Jersey, I also shot it in a weeknight league in northern New Jersey and in a league that shot at West Point. Additionally, I had an LGR air rifle by the same manufacturer, using it to compete in the NCAA championships, where I met the really good shooters.   More...

Down Range: August 2011

Ruger is one of the most aggressive companies at rolling out mid-year new products, and 2011 offers a bumper crop of new guns in the pipeline. Two new handguns caught my eye. The SR40c (directly below) is the compact version of the striker-fired SR40 pistol. The Ruger SR40c pistol has a 3.5-inch barrel and an overall length of 6.85 inches. The pistol weighs 23.40 ounces and features a height of 4.61 inches, with the same 1.27-inch-wide grip (across safety levers) as the full-sized SR40. It also has a fully adjustable 3-dot sight system and an integral accessory rail that accommodates most lights and lasers.   More...

Down Range: July 2011

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is vowing to block President Obama’s nominations until he gets detailed answers on a controversial program that resulted in drug cartels acquiring more than 1,300 firearms from the U.S., according a report in The Hill. Grassley is pressing the Department of Justice (DOJ) on who initiated the 'Gun Runner' program that authorized the sale of guns to people acting as straw purchasers for drug cartels in Mexico. Gun Runner might have contributed to the death of at least one federal agent.   More...

Down Range: October 2012

Working in the bowels of the Fast and Furious mess have been two largely unthanked writers, Examiner.com gun blogger David Codrea and citizen journalist Mike Vanderboegh of the Sipsey Street Irregulars blog. Over the months, and now years, of this newest BATFE scandal, they have continued to locate and publicize whistleblowers’ accounts, incriminating documents, and other strings that unraveled this unbelievably stupid operation. I wish I could say it was “criminally stupid” what various DOJ lawyers and law-enforcement “professionals” committed in F&F, but the fact of the matter is, when you work for FedGov, you can wrongly shoot people (ask Randy Weaver) or immolate dozens of women and children (in Waco) and still retire with a fat taxpayer-funded pension.   More...

Down Range: July 2012

David Kopel, the noted 2nd Amendment writer and lawyer, recently wrote that a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that the National Rifle Association was viewed favorably by 68% of Americans, and unfavorably by only 32%. That’s a high favorability rating for the gun group compared to other years.   More...

Down Range: June 2013

President Obama recently blamed the defeat of Senate gun-control proposals on lies spread by the National Rifle Association, calling it “a pretty shameful day for Washington. The gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill,” Obama said in the White House Rose Garden about 90 minutes after the vote. In April, senators voted 54-46 to expand background checks of gun purchases, six votes shy of the 60 votes needed for passage of the amendment under the Senate’s debate rules.   More...

Down Range: July 2013

I was at the range the other day and was daydreaming between relays. Got to thinking, I wish there was a commodities fund (or even better, an IRA) where I could invest in ARs. An AR-IRA. That would be very cool and profitable, I think. Some guy would come on Fox News and rather than pitching gold, he’d sell ARs as “tangible assets you can hold” and trickle brass into his hand like they were gold coins. And William Devane would grab the carry handle on a Larue or Daniel Defense item, tuck it into a sheath on his saddle, jump onto his horse and say, “I just feel so much more secure knowing that I own ARs. And you can’t print ARs.”   More...

Down Range: November 2012

The NRA has started a new program — Firearms For Freedom — that allows gun owners to donate firearms to help fund the NRA and the fight for 2nd Amendment rights. Clifford T. Burgess, the NRA Firearms For Freedom program coordinator, said the new program was an opportunity to leave a financial legacy for the next generation of America’s gun owners. Burgess said, “Many NRA members ask if there’s a way they can contribute firearms to help support NRA programs. The answer to that question is yes.”   More...

Downrange: March 2013

Like other gun-control supporters, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) campaigned for banning handguns in the 1980s. Since the early 1990s, however, she has campaigned for banning a variety of firearms — mostly rifles — she calls “assault weapons,” along with any firearm magazine that holds 11 or more rounds of ammunition, which she calls “large.” The NRA-ILA points out that numbers of all of the firearms and magazines that Sen. Feinstein has advocated banning have risen to all-time highs. Americans now own about 100 million handguns, tens of millions of “assault weapons,” and many tens of millions of “large” magazines.   More...

AFTER NEWTOWN

The first dreadful pieces of news on Friday, December 14, out of Newtown, Connecticut coalesced into yawning horror that would grip a nation and sadden our world. Twenty-six people — 20 first graders — were dead at the hands of a lone, deeply troubled young man wielding an AR-15 and two semi-automatic handguns. People who own guns — people who love the freedom and responsibility that accompanies firearms ownership — are every bit as appalled and shocked as the non-gunowning public.   More...

Down Range: August 2013

Are you a teacher? Know one? Live with one? If so, do you endorse what a vice president of the National Education Association said at this year’s Netroots Nation conference? Speaking to 3,000 assembled “progressive activists” at the conference, NEA VP Lily Eskelsen García, a sixth-grade teacher from Utah, boldly declared a “prophecy” about the eternal destiny of NRA and Second Amendment supporters, and of politicians and lobbyists working to promote gun rights. She said, “I’m not an ordained minister; I’m not a theologian, but these guys are going to hell.” The NEA has more than 3 million members.   More...

Sabatti 450/400: Affordable Double Rifle, Perfect Caliber

Subscribers Only — A double rifle for $5500? It can’t be very good, we thought, when our neighbor phoned us to tell us he had just bought an Italian Sabatti Model 92 Deluxe rifle, new from Cabela’s for that price, in caliber 450/400. The cartridge is an excellent one for double rifles. It’s known as the 450/400 3-inch or the 400 Jeffery. There is also a 3.25-inch version that was originally a blackpowder cartridge, but the 3-inch version was never factory loaded with black powder. It is one of the lower-pressure British cartridges, along with the 470 and 360 No. 2, and thus is an excellent choice for a double rifle, especially if it’s to be used in extreme heat. The cartridge was one of the more popular all-around cartridges for hunting use when it was introduced in 1902. Its popularity suffered when the 375 H&H Magnum came along a few years later, but the 400 Jeff throws a heavier bullet, 400 grains versus 300, and some hunters prefer that. We went to look at our neighbor’s rifle, and then arranged to shoot it. What follows are our impressions and observations of what we now consider to be a bargain.   More...

Good News on Virginia Reciprocity

Subscribers Only — We reported last month that effective Feb. 1, 2016, Virginia would sever concealed handgun permit (CHP) reciprocity ties with 25 of 30 states, likely affecting many Gun Tests readers. Good news: The cancellation of reciprocity was moved back a month to March 1, about the time this issue arrives in your mailbox. Also, the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc., (VCDL), an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization defending the right to keep and bear arms in the state, said there was a package deal in the works between Governor Terry McAuliffe and the Republicans in the General Assembly dealing with 1) concealed handgun permit (CHP) reciprocity, 2) voluntary background checks at gun shows, and 3) those subject to a permanent domestic violence protection order.  A VCDL release said those three components would be represented by matching bills in the state’s House and the Senate bodies. Under the reciprocity section, Virginia will now honor carry permits from all states. “This is considerably better than current law and something VCDL has been trying to get for at least seven years now,” the group said in a release. Because Virginia will honor all other states, Virginia CHPs will be recognized by all the states affected by the reciprocity cancellation, plus three new states will be given reciprocity status: New Hampshire, Georgia, and Colorado. Further, going forward, the State Police and the attorney general will have no say in how reciprocity is handled. If another state requires a formal agreement to honor Virginia CHPs, the new law requires the attorney general to enter into any such agreement.   More...

Downrange: Bad CHL News Come February 1

In a startling move, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced on December 22 that Virginia will sever concealed handgun permit (CHP) reciprocity ties with 25 of 30 states. This will affect hundreds, maybe thousands, of Gun Tests readers who reside in Tennessee and other states bordering the Commonwealth, and perhaps millions of people nationwide.  Effective Feb. 1, 2016, — about the time this issue arrives in your mailbox —­Virginia will no longer honor carry permits from the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The following permits will continue to be recognized: West Virginia, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. The move also means several states will no longer recognize Virginia’s concealed-carry permits because they require mutual recognition of permits. Those include Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wyoming. Speaking about this audit and update, Attorney General Herring said, “Virginia, and nearly every other state in the country, have recognized that carrying a concealed handgun is a significant responsibility that should be extended only to those who have gone through a process to prove a level of competency and responsibility.” “The standards for proving competency and responsibility are up to each state,” Herring said, “and the General Assembly has established Virginia’s standards for whom it considers capable of safely carrying a concealed handgun. Those standards should be applied evenly, consistently, and fairly to anyone who wants to lawfully conceal a handgun in Virginia.”   More...