Why Every Serious Huntsman Needs a Night Vision Scope

Night vision equipment used to be difficult to find. It was exclusive and mostly used by the military. Civilians rarely possessed anything like a night vision scope, making it difficult to hunt nocturnal game.

Today, night vision gear is readily available and easy to find. From Generation 1 to Generation 3, you can find the scopes and goggles you need for each specific use. They range in price and effectiveness, so let’s review your options and address the basics of commercial night vision devices.

Night Vision Devices

There are three categories by which we group night vision gear. There’s night vision gear that you wear, night vision gear that you carry, and night vision gear that you mount on your firearm.

You can wear or carry goggles, monoculars, or binoculars, but weight distribution is critical. You want to aim for long-term comfort and ease because overnight hunting is a strenuous task. It takes a toll on your body and your sight.

Keep your gear light and close to your face for increased balance and less noise. Long binoculars hanging around your neck, swinging while you walk, could be too noisy for hunting at night.

Helmet Mounts

While wearing a helmet isn’t the most comfortable solution, it often offers the most stability. Make sure your helmet mounts are snug, so the forward weight is easy to manage. Also, keep your chin or harness straps tight.

You may also find that the higher-priced night vision goggles have helmet mounts that flip up out of the way when you’re not using them, which is a convenient feature when your environment is rapidly changing.

You can also find helmet mounts with good padding that are more comfortable than the less expensive ones. You may spend a little bit more money for your comfort, but it’s well worth it, especially when hunting in the dark.

Firearm Mounts

Another way to see at night is firearm-mounted scopes. You can find stand-alone night vision optics, rear-mount optics, or front-mount optics.

You have to remove your day optic to use stand-alone optics, meaning your gun needs to be a dedicated night hunting platform unless you want to change out the scope regularly. Stand-alone optics are usually big, so it’s not easy to switch them a lot.

Rear-mount optics can be used in conjunction with day optics, so you don’t have to fiddle with toggling back and forth all the time, but be aware that you may need a special coupling bracket for any magnified optics. It can also be difficult to shoot this way because the loss of eye relief is significant and not comfortable.

Sometimes you can eliminate the glow of night vision scopes on the face, but eyecups aren’t very comfortable, and in humid weather, they may cause fogging problems. Not to mention, all night vision devices glow very brightly at long range, no matter what you do to try to stop it.

Most people’s preference for firearm-mounted night vision scopes are mounted in front of the day scope. Zero isn’t affected as it is with the others, and you don’t have to adjust your normal head position on the gun.

The bad thing about front-mounted night vision scopes is that they are pricey, and the added weight on the front of the gun makes it difficult to hold.

An old option for firearm-mounted night vision is a piggyback mount. They have significant zero-retention problems though and are quickly being replaced by the front-mounted variations.

Handheld Night Vision Tools

Many of the same tools you mount on your helmet you can simply carry in your hand. It can be more comfortable than a helmet, but it adds weight to different areas of your body you’re not used to, and it’s just another thing to hold in your hand when you want to use it.

However, if you’re merely testing out hunting at night or you don’t do it a lot, this may be the best option. After all, sometimes hunting at night should be about the fun and not about the results.

Other Benefits

Hunting at night gives you a certain advantage because many people prefer not to hunt at night. Only if you’re a serious huntsman do you consider journeying out in the dark to catch elusive beasts.

Night vision also comes in handy if you’re hunting with others. It illuminates the night and allows you to find other members of your party. Especially if someone gets lost, it’s an invaluable tool to recover those wanderers.

Which is the Best?

Most people can afford night vision today. There are many affordable options, so don’t shy away from giving something in your budget a try. It’s an irreplaceable experience to have eyes in the night when all of the night-dwelling creatures are out.

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Understanding Class 3 Firearms and the NFA

Class 3 firearms encapsulate a variety of products, all of which need extra TLC because of their high power. However, owning military grade firearms is fun, for lack of a better word. It’s really cool to be able to experience what a lot of civilians don’t.

It’s important to remember that something called the National Firearms Act (NFA) regulates these high-power firearms, and only licensed dealers with a permit can sell them. They are highly collectible, and with a proper understanding, you too could be the proud owner of one of these pieces of equipment.

The National Firearms Act

Originally established in 1934, the NFA created a tax on making and transferring any firearm defined by the act. People who imported, manufactured, and dealt firearms defined by the NFA had to pay a special tax to perform these activities.

The Secretary of the Treasury required that all shotguns, rifles with barrels less than eighteen inches, machineguns, and firearm mufflers or silencers be registered. The ultimate goal was to deter any transactions involving NFA firearms.

If Congress found an unregistered NFA firearm, they assessed a $200 fine. This was the same as the tax imposed on imports, manufacturing, and dealing. It was significant enough in 1934 that Congress hoped it would prohibit these activities, and the tax is still in effect today.

Progression of the Law

In 1968, the NFA was amended with Title II, deeming part of the NFA unconstitutional. People who already possessed NFA firearms were no longer required to pay the fine. It violated their protection against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment.

Title II also prevents the use of information on any NFA application as evidence in a criminal case. It expands the definition of ‘machine gun’ and adds the term ‘destructive devices.’

Items Defined by the NFA

Firearms, or destructive devices, must meet one or more criteria as listed here to be included.

Machine Guns

The NFA defines a machine gun as “any firearm which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.” Included are parts or combinations of parts intended to manufacture a machine gun, as well as machine gun receivers.

Examples of machine guns are M16 rifles and a registered drop-in auto-sear for an AR-15.

Short-barreled Shotguns

Short-barreled shotguns include any shotgun with a barrel shorter than eighteen inches. Firearms made from shotguns with barrels shorter than twenty-six inches fall into this category as well. This includes sawed-off shotguns if the barrel length is less than eighteen inches.

Short-barreled Rifles

Rifles are firearms fired from the shoulder. They fire one bullet at a time through a rifled barrel. Short-barreled rifles have barrels shorter than sixteen inches, but also include Firearms made from rifles, resulting in a firearm length of fewer than twenty-six inches.

If the rifle has a telescoping stock, this measurement includes the stock fully extended. If the stock is detachable, then the Firearm is measured without the stock. This measurement extends from the end of the muzzle to the front of the breech face.

Short-barreled rifles include M4 Carbines and semi-automatic pistols with shoulder stocks.

Destructive Devices - Explosive Ordinance

Any explosive device, poison gas, or incendiary including grenades, missiles, rockets, bombs, or mines are defined by this ordinance. The definition also includes parts used to make these devices. Claymore mines and improvised explosive devices (IED) qualify as well.

Destructive Devices - Large Bore Firearms

Projectile firearms with bore diameters larger than half an inch are considered large bore firearms. Most shotguns not specified by the ATF are exempt. Antique firearms “not likely to be used as a firearm” also don’t qualify. A manufactured date of 1898 is required for this exemption.


Any device intended to silence, muffle, or diminish the report of a firearm is a silencer. Combinations of parts for the assembly or manufacture of a firearm are included. All commercial silencers on the market today fall into this category.

Any Other Firearm

The NFA includes a clause for any other firearm capable of concealment on a person that can be shot and discharged through the energy of an explosive. It’s a catch-all category including pistols with forward grips and cane guns.

With a better understanding of the NFA and what firearms are included, you can protect yourself and others while still enjoying the use of these military-grade pieces of art.

Online retailers like Grab a Gun specialize in the online sale of all guns and accessories, and you’ll find many NFA firearms for sale including fierce-looking Sig Sauers, this Kriss Vector, and this understated Nordic rifle.

All firearms are subject to NFA purchase guidelines, but now that you know what those are, you don’t have to worry. Happy firing!

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Blanks: A Product of Theater, Sports and More

Pop culture references to blanks have increased their notoriety among most people, even those who aren’t a fan of guns. Movies, television, and live theatre use blanks to produce drama. In track and field races, a starting pistol often uses a blank to signal the start of the race.

Blanks are different than bullets, but you should still exercise safety with any weapon, no matter what you choose to load in it.

What are Blanks?

A blank is a cartridge without the bullet. Often the terms ‘cartridge’ and ‘bullet’ are confused. They are not the same thing.

Typically, a cartridge contains gunpowder and a bullet. When you pull the trigger, it ignites the gunpowder, propelling the bullet toward your intended target. A blank is a cartridge with gunpowder and no bullet.

The cartridge has crimping on the end to hold in the gunpowder. Sometimes plastic, paper, or cotton seals the cartridge to keep the gunpowder contained. When you pull the trigger, it ignites the gunpowder, producing the same noise as firing a bullet, but without any projectile.

Uses of Blanks

When you need the flash and sound of gunfire without the damage of a projectile, or when a real bullet would not be safe, you can use a blank.

In movies, theatre, and television, blanks produce the flare needed to convince the audience that the gun is real. They produce the same sound but are much safer when used under the appropriate conditions.

Often, a starting pistol signals the beginning of a track and field race. The primary purpose is to make a noise that runners cannot mistake for the start of the race. It reduces the amount of false starts and clarifies exactly when to begin.

For this same reason, they can indicate the start of a horse race or hound race. In this case though, the noise also frightens the animal, triggering their response to run. Fast.

Blank cartridges called power loads can also be used in things like nail guns, where what you want is power to drive the nail in place. The noise doesn’t matter so much in this case as does the propulsion of a different kind of projectile.

Some blanks contain slow-burning rifle powder layered with fast-burning pistol powder. The rifle powder and the pistol powder ignite at the same time. The pistol powder reacts quickly, propelling the rifle powder forward.

Because the rifle powder has a slower reaction time, it combusts in the air after traveling only a few yards. This is particularly effective in quick draw competitions because it travels just far enough to pop the target balloon.

Wax bullets are effective in situations in which training requires a non-lethal projectile. Some people consider this a blank and some don’t. It depends on your perspective.

Dangers of Blanks

Make no mistake. Blanks can kill. As stated above, one of the uses of blank cartridges is for nail guns, which are very dangerous tools if not used correctly. Just because something is loaded with a blank does not mean it doesn’t have the power to do any damage.

When used at very close range, the power elicited from the explosion can still cause severe trauma. On the set of CBS’s Cover-Up, actor Jon Erik-Hexum reportedly died after placing a gun loaded with blanks to his temple and pulling the trigger.

The force of the exploding gas is the same as a real bullet, so even though it isn’t launching a projectile, it still contains a massive amount of power. Blanks often contain even more gunpowder than regular cartridges because the intention is to produce a very loud, convincing sound.

You must always exercise caution when dealing with any type of ammunition, even if you don’t think it’s harmful. There are many other reported incidents of fatalities with blanks.

Blanks are useful for many different things. Sporting events, competitions, movies, and other productions use blanks for noise and other purposes. While blanks are effective, they can also be dangerous. Always be careful and make sure you take every necessary precaution to protect yourself and those around you.

Grab a Gun is an online retailer specializing in all kinds of firearms including smokeless blanks and 12 gage blanks. Find all you need here.

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Browning BLR: A Great Choice for the Huntsman Beginner

The Browning BLR is easy to use and offers the fast shooting of a semi-automatic with the accuracy of a bolt action rifle. It’s compact, lightweight, and perfect for deer hunting.

While it’s an excellent gun for almost anyone, it’s particularly useful for beginners because it has minimal recoil and noise, making it less intimidating.


The Browning BLR’s standard cartridges are a win over those of traditional lever action rifles. Standard Win 308 calibers give you a four hundred yard trajectory with enough power to take down the biggest buck.

Its short barrel and light weight make it easy to carry back and forth between hunting spots or to tote up to the tree stand.

The magazine slides nicely into place with little fuss and isn’t really noisy when you move it. It’s detachable, and better than a tube because it keeps the weight closer to the operator. Weight distribution is easier to manage. It’s also quick to load and unload.

While four hundred yards is about the maximum distance you get with the Browning BLR, it is a relatively easy shot in a moderately sized package.


The Browning BLR is the best lever action rifle on the market because it’s advanced enough to fire off powerful rounds. The bolt locks into place firmly enough to bear the brunt of your shot and enables pointed bullets to fly farther. It doesn’t require hollow point bullets like a lot of lever action rifles with tube magazines.

If you like scopes, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the ease in which you can mount one on the Browning BLR. A traditional lever action rifle with a top eject is difficult to fit for scopes, but the BLR does it with ease.


Browning is one of the world’s most well-known manufacturers so you can count on the quality of all of their firearms. They are some of the more expensive rifles on the market, but they come with a better fit and finish than many others.

The Browning BLR is not an exception to this rule. It’s sleek and beautiful.


The Browning BLR is a mite safer for a beginner than a semi-auto. For starters, you can’t have a live round in the chamber of a semi-auto with the bolt open, so you have to use the safety. That’s fine, but it doesn’t make it easy to tell whether a rifle is loaded or not.

A bolt action rifle allows you to have a round in the chamber with the bolt slightly open. A lever action rifle, like the Browning BLR, enables you to have a shot in the chamber with the lever slightly ajar.

The BLR also offers a half cock option. Taking it from half cock to full cock is quiet, and it’s safer than using the safety because the probability is minuscule that you will both full cock the hammer and pull the trigger by accident.

Firing is faster than with a bolt action, and beginners have more selection to choose from.


One drawback to the Browning BLR is that there are a lot of small parts. You can’t tell when it’s assembled, but if you were to take the BLR apart to clean it, you’d have a heck of a time putting it all back together.

The only other drawback is that the maximum range is four hundred yards. If you want to shoot at any longer range than that, a bolt action rifle is your best bet. Accuracy is on point, just not at longer ranges.

At the End of the Day

The Browning BLR features fast firing and easy handling, which is excellent for any beginner who is learning about rifles or learning to hunt. It’s lightweight and has relatively quiet operations, so it’s the perfect hunting companion.

There are many different variations of the Browning BLR like this walnut finish one, or this gem here. You can accessorize as needed and find something that’s just right for you.

Online retailer Grab a Gun has a number of Brownings in stock and can meet all of your lever action rifle needs.

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Mossberg 500: The American-Preferred Affordable Home Protection Firearm

Home protection is at the top of everyone’s mind these days. When it comes to home security, there are a lot of different options. Security systems, smart home controls, and various other electronic devices are all fine choices. But it all gets very pricey, and fast.

When you don’t have the time, the technological knowledge, or the desire to implement any of these systems, sometimes the easiest and most reliable method for home protection fits in your arms.

Using a semi-auto shotgun for home security is not a new concept. However, when cost is a factor, it’s important to know that there are affordable firearms on the market, like the Mossberg 500. The Mossberg 500 meets you at the intersection of home security and cost savings.


Mossberg is quickly approaching its centennial anniversary. Over the years, it has solidified its place as a household name. The 500 model is especially well-known in the shotgun business. It’s safe to say that it is the benchmark by which we judge all other budget shotguns.

Over the years, the Mossberg 500 has been released in upwards of one hundred variants. You can choose from a wide range of finishes, calibers, sizes, and features, resulting in endless combinations.

Models like the All-Purpose 500 FLEX give you the ability to switch stocks, barrels, and butt pads quickly, making it the most versatile of the Mossberg 500 line of rifles.

The Mossberg Maverick 88 comes with a significant pocketbook savings and is essentially a Mossberg 500 without the ambidextrous safety and upgraded trigger group. It offers the same reliability and versatility of the Mossberg 500 and doesn’t feel at all like a downgrade.


The reason why the Mossberg 500 is the best affordable option for home protection is that it’s versatile. If you can only afford one gun, this one will do most of the things you need it to do by just switching out a few accessories.

By switching out only the barrel, you can have a long-barreled shotgun for hunting waterfowl, and a short-barreled shotgun for deer. Conversely, when you get home, you can switch out your birdshot for buckshot to stop an intruder.

Home Defense

The Mossberg 500 is among the most requested firearms for home defense. It is made of alloy, so it’s lightweight and easily maneuverable. The placement of the slide release and safety is perfect because you can reach them both with your shooting hand, giving you the ability to make quick decisions without fumbling the firearm.

You can extend the capacity of the Mossberg 500 to nine, as well as change out accessories like barrels and forend grips. It has two extractors on the bolt, giving you the ability to eject shells when they get stuck. Again, it’s easy to reach with your shooting hand, just in case.

Keeping a round in the chamber always ensures you are better prepared for a worst-case scenario, saving you valuable seconds loading a shell in the pipe. The expanded 8+1 capacity of the Mossberg 500 allows you to do just that.

With the easy-to-reach safety, you can quickly and efficiently defend yourself and your home with one-handed operation. Common sense would dictate that you keep a loaded firearm stored with the safety on and out of the reach of kids.

You can load the Mossberg 500 with either birdshot or buckshot, but it’s safe to say that buckshot has a better chance of stopping an aggressor. Birdshot has the potential to make them even angrier, and you lose those valuable seconds once again by having to fire more than once.

It goes without saying that you should always be situationally aware of your surroundings when handling a firearm, but buckshot will not only stop your aggressor, it will stop your family too. Make sure when you fire the firearm, you aim true and get your kids out of the way.

The Mossberg 500 is an affordable choice for anyone who can’t afford more than one gun or wants a cost-effective firearm for home defense so they can splurge elsewhere. It’s a multipurpose firearm that’s effective for hunting, home defense, and fun at the shooting range.

Online retailers have a wide range of options to choose from. Check out Grab a Gun for Mossberg 500 shotguns, accessories, and other firearms.

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Are Derringers the Most Concealable Pistols on the Market?

The simple answer is a resounding yes, just because of its size. A pistol that fits in your palm conceals pretty easily. But the Derringer has a fascinating history. Take note that while the history of the gun has nothing to do with its concealability, it has everything to do with the way we view it, and all other conceal carry pistols today.

Derringers aren’t the most modern pistol, but they are arguably the most concealable. The historic use of Derringers tells us that. It was made for concealability and ease of use, and its most famous performance is what boosted its novelty and propelled it to success nationwide.

Deringer, or Derringer?

Named for Henry Deringer, its creator, the original Philadelphia Deringer only had one “r”. It was a black powder muzzle loading single barrel pistol. It was sold in pairs, so if the first shot failed, you had another.

Henry Deringer lived in Philadelphia. His father was a gunsmith, so he grew up around the rifles his father created and held an apprenticeship in Richmond, Virginia to follow in his father’s footsteps. The Philadelphia Deringer was one of his first creations, after switching from manufacturing rifles to pocket pistols.

Pocket pistols were not new to the people of Deringer’s time. However, nothing so small and concealable had existed before. Now men and women alike could defend themselves efficiently and secretly.

The Philadelphia Deringer was affordable, so they were accessible to anyone. They were popular among gamblers and ladies who used them as muff pistols in their hand warmers. Popularity soared, and money came pouring in for Henry.

As fate would have it, the Deringer became even more well-known with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and from there, other manufacturers started capitalizing on the name, and, to circumvent copyright law, the Derringer, with an extra r, was born.

Today’s Derringer

Remington, Colt, Heizer, Ruger, Browning and many more all have Deringer-inspired pistols today. They’ve made quite a transformation from Henry’s original.

People most likely associate Remington’s design with derringers because of the improvements Remington made. The double barrel, over-under design (doubling capacity), and the metal cartridges helped maintain its popularity. Smokeless powder enabled the use of smaller cartridges with higher power.

Remington ceased production of their derringer models in 1935, but they paved the way for the evolution of the derringer in other manufacturers lineups.

Other companies have continued to make these pistols in a variety of calibers. Cimarron produces a .38 special and Bond Arms makes a .357 magnum.

Some derringers have trigger guards, and some have longer barrels. They even have fun names like Dragon Slayer, Ranger, and Cowboy Defender.

What’s not to love?

Carrying a Derringer

While a derringer lacks the same firepower as a larger revolver, it’s ideal for deep concealment. You can holster a derringer almost anywhere on your body, but even without derringer holsters, they fit nicely in jeans, jacket pockets, and even your bra. I’m looking at you, ladies.

Yes, the derringer is for everyone. It’s accessible, lightweight, small, and versatile. It’s not intimidating, and it really is a point-blank weapon. You only have one chance to make an effective shot, meaning the deep concealability and use at short range is exactly what it’s intended for.

You won’t get much distance with it, but a small gun is better than no gun, and this is precisely the reason why it seems so much less frightening and risky to carry one. You may not intimidate your target, but the point is that they not see it at all. I dare say you’ll undoubtedly startle them when you need to: at close range.

You can carry it when it’s uncomfortable to carry something bigger, and it hides entirely out of sight. Going for a run where you might run into critters? Derringer. You can even stick it in an MP3 player armband, behind the MP3 player.

We’ve covered how well the derringer conceals, and by now you may be convinced that it’s not just a novelty item. While the history of the derringer makes it a popular pistol by notoriety alone, it’s far from useless.

They’re fun to shoot, and some would say they’re cute, but don’t underestimate the need to practice with your pistol before carrying it. It offers a one-of-a-kind concealed carry option and is ideal for precisely that purpose.

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America’s Favorite Gun: The Glock

Today, in part because of Hollywood, Glock is synonymous with 'handgun.' It seems everyone knows what a Glock is. It’s hard to watch an action movie without a Glock represented, and two-thirds of America’s police departments now carry them.

How did an Austrian entrepreneur, with no experience in making guns, become one of the most influential names in the United States? In three decades, Glock grew to be one of the most recognizable products, making it an icon among gun enthusiasts and a target among gun control advocates.

Glock: A Brief History

In 1982, Gaston Glock was an engineer working outside Vienna. He ran a radiator factory and had no experience in the gun-making arena. This inexperience was to his advantage. Having no knowledge of the manufacturing process, he created his own.

Unlike all other models at the time, he built his unique design on a plastic frame and with only thirty-four components. With its lightweight composition and nearly half of the components of other manufacturers, the Glock was easy to make and less likely to malfunction.

In less than ten years, Glock was shipping more than 120,000 units per year to the United States. To this day, Glock is owned by the Glock family, and they are very secretive about their process. Rarely do they agree to interviews, and never do they open up their U.S. plant in Smyrna, Georgia to journalists, tourists, or anyone else.

Legal Trouble

On January 8, 2011, Jared Loughner used a Glock to open fire on a constituent meeting, attempting to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Six people died, and one additional person was injured. Miraculously, after being shot in the head at point-blank range, Giffords survived.

On July 20, 2012, mass murderer James Holmes used a Glock in an attempt to kill over seventy people in an Aurora, Colorado movie theatre. Twelve people died, and many others were injured.

Many other instances like these happen on what seems like a regular basis. Due to news outlets, social media, and our constant connection to the world, it feels like these occurrences are growing, and these two, in particular, contribute to the new breath of life in the gun control movement.

The United States government keeps a list of firearms law enforcement officers recover at crime scenes. While the Glock has gained in popularity among gun control enthusiasts, there is still no evidence to suggest that it is used more than any other gun to carry out these acts of violence on innocent people. The notion that all gangsters walk around the city concealing a Glock is not supported by the numbers.


Despite some of the negative connotations, Glock has its fair share of followers. Gun enthusiasts around the world love it, and it’s a favorite among law enforcement officers, the FBI, and even famous terrorists and dictators. Military personnel found Saddam Hussein in his hideout in 2003 carrying a Glock.

Glock has a huge presence at trade shows, and no other manufacturer is more influential. With so many law enforcement officers carrying a Glock, it quickly grew to be America’s favorite.

Glock’s Image

It’s clear how Glock’s image has grown in the past thirty years, and we haven’t even talked about Hollywood yet. Glamorized by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger in “End of Days” and Jason Bourne in “The Bourne Ultimatum,” the Glock has taken over the big screen.

Filmmakers and prop masters throughout the industry began using Glock because it was different. That was part of the appeal. Different meant exciting, and America caught onto the hype.

Other firearm manufacturers have been trying to catch up to Glock, and while they can match firepower, they’ve already been overtaken by star power. When a movie refers to a gun brand, it’s the Glock. Even rap lyrics reference the Glock more than any other. It rolls off the tongue just a little bit easier.


Glock is reliable. It rarely misfires or malfunctions, it can outgun a semiautomatic pistol, and it’s easy to shoot. It’s easy to see why law enforcement chose this handgun over any other. When life is on the line, a Glock always goes bang.

It also fires nearly four times faster than a revolver. When put to the test, a revolver got off eighteen shots in 22.7 seconds. It took the Glock only 5.7. The beauty is in its simplicity. Even when handled by someone who has never shot a gun before, it hits every target.

With a variety of models to choose from like the Glock 17, Glock 19, Glock 42, and Glock 43, there are handguns for sale online for almost everyone. Grab a Gun has one of the most expansive online gun stores with competitive pricing and online layaway. Make your entry into the gun arena or enhance your existing collection with semi-automatic handguns that fit your unique needs.

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A Firearm Made for Self Defense – The Springfield XDS

In light of current events, people are up in arms (pun intended) about gun control, self-defense, and what we should all do to protect our children and ourselves. It’s a fine goal, to be sure. But all political discussions aside, some of us just feel more comfortable having something to protect ourselves at home.

This is the perfect time to discuss what seems to be the ideal firearm for self-defense - the Springfield XDS. Springfield has a long-standing tradition of producing quality firearms at affordable prices. Their steady stream of premium products pleases everyone who uses them.

About the Springfield XDS

Springfield took the XDS’s predecessors, the XD, and the XDM, and unveiled something even hotter. The XD was versatile and held sixteen rounds, whereas the XDM held nineteen. Both were also difficult to carry around for long periods of time. More rounds added to an already significant carry weight.

The XDS is slimmer, more compact, and lightweight. Not to mention, it has surprisingly little recoil due to the flexibility of the polymer frame and its shape. The only strike against it is that it doesn’t hold as much ammunition, but we’re talking about self-defense firearms here, not target practice. If you need more than six rounds, you might be in more trouble than the XDS (or any other firearm) can help with.


The Springfield XDS comes in both a .45 and a 9mm. The .45 holds five rounds plus one, but the grip is a bit small and hard to stabilize. However, if you use an extra-length magazine and a

frame-sized sleeve, it’s more comfortable.

On the contrary, the 9mm version is sleeker and lighter. It holds seven rounds, and the extended version holds nine. It’s easier to carry than any double-stack 9mm despite how much ammo it holds. With a barrel clocking in at 3.3 inches, it doesn’t bump your hip as you walk.

Disassembly and Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning, you have to dry fire the XDS to take it apart. Not only that but if you leave the magazine in the frame, you can’t move the disassembly lever. If the lever is in the up position, you can’t reinsert the magazine. You have to completely remove the magazine to disassemble it, adding just one more safety precaution to the operation of the firearm.


This pistol is great for almost any carry purpose. It’s lightweight and compact, and it has the capability for expanded ammunition rounds. It has comfort and controllability, and in the realm of single-stack subcompact pistols, it’s a clear leader.

The short grip, thin frame, and flush magazine make the XDS one of the most concealable firearms today. Even with its magazine capacity of seven plus one, it beats out other top contenders. And when you don’t care to conceal it, you can expand the magazine to nine plus one for a grip that’s more comfortable.

The downside to its compact size and concealability is that you may feel like you have no place to put your pinky if you have large hands. You could lose a little bit of control, but it only takes a bit of getting used to. Some pistols this size feel flimsy or a bit like a toy, but the XDS feels like a real gun comparatively.

Home Defense

The expanded ammunition capabilities are perfect for home defense as well. Even if you don’t plan to conceal the Springfield XDS, you can use it as an effective tool for protecting your home, because you have more versatility of magazines and don’t have to worry about bulk.

Most likely, you don’t conceal firearms on your person at home, so this one is the perfect choice for home use because there are so many different options that are easily accessible and great for rapid use in defense situations.

The Springfield XDS is the perfect self-defense firearm for so many reasons that it might just be our new favorite. You can’t beat the lightweight composition of the frame, making it more comfortable with less recoil. You also won’t find another firearm of this capacity that has as much concealability.

If you’re looking for a new conceal carry firearm for self-defense, the Springfield XDS is the clear choice because of its comfort and ease of use. Check out cheap guns for sale online at Grab a Gun, the internet’s leading online gun shop.

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Understanding the Differences Between Gun Clips and Gun Magazines

gun clips and magazines

There is often confusion surrounding the difference between gun clips and gun magazines, and while they are related, it’s important to know that they are not the same. The terms are used often in firearm communities, so if you want to sound knowledgeable on the subject, you should review the difference.

In today’s firearm culture, the terms are used almost interchangeably, even though it’s technically incorrect. Let’s review the meanings of these terms and how they relate to firearms to avoid any confusion.

What Is a Gun Clip?

A clip stores ammunition in groups, making it easy to load a magazine. It stores rounds in units anywhere from eight to fifteen bullets, so they are ready to insert into a magazine or cylinder of a firearm. Most hold twelve, but you can also purchase extended clips that hold twenty or twenty-five.

It makes loading and reloading faster and often allows for more than one round to be loaded at once. While they are made of inexpensive materials and are disposable, you can reuse them, and many people often do.

There are several types of clips including stripper clips, en blocs, and moon or half-moon clips. A stripper clip, also called a charger or charger clip, strips the cartridges off of the clip and into the magazine. It is used to load a magazine but you don’t have to have one for your firearm to work.

In an en bloc clip, both the cartridges and the clip are inserted into a fixed magazine in the rifle. In this case, it is essential to the operation of the firearm that you use a clip. Otherwise, there is nothing to feed the ammunition into the magazine.

Moon and half-moon clips are cylindrical pieces of metal designed to fit into revolvers. Unlike other types of clips, the moon and half-moon clips stay in place during firing and are used to remove the empty cartridge cases.

What Is a Gun Magazine?

A gun magazine is an ammunition storage device that is either fixed or detachable. They feed ammunition into repeating firearms. They move cartridges into position where they are loaded into the chamber for firing. While it is inaccurate, some detachable magazines are often referred to as clips. It is so incredibly common that it can be confusing.

While a magazine can feed ammunition into the chamber without a clip, a clip cannot feed ammunition without first being inserted into a magazine. You don’t need a clip to load a magazine because you can load it easily by hand. In fact, clips are relatively uncommon because most modern firearms don’t use them.

When to Use a Clip

You can use a clip to load a fixed magazine, but honestly, if you’re using modern firearms, you don’t need one. Clips are used for faster loading and reloading, which means they’re used mostly for fixed magazines but can also be used to load detachable magazines in rapid fire situations.

When to Use a Magazine

Most modern firearms use detachable magazines. You can load these magazines by hand or use a clip. While not all guns use clips, all guns, with the exception of revolvers, have magazines. Unless you’re firing a revolver, you will use a magazine.

Even if a firearm doesn’t have a detachable magazine, it has a fixed (or internal) magazine that you can’t remove, in which case you would use a clip.

Hopefully, now you understand a little bit more about the difference between a clip and a magazine. A clip loads a magazine, while a magazine feeds the ammunition into the chamber for firing.

Many online gun stores like Grab a Gun sell both clips and magazines. They offer affordable prices and online layaway. Now that you’re an expert on the differences between magazines and clips, check out this gun store online for all of your firearm needs.

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Understanding How AR15 Uppers Work and Why You Need One

Most AR15 uppers are very similar. They refer to the upper part of an AR15, and because they don’t contain the serial number, they are interchangeable and don’t have to be registered. An upper contains a charging handle, delta ring assembly, gas tube, gas block, dust cover, hand guard, barrel, flash hider, and forward assist.

There are a few design variations, but all uppers have the same parts and function. It goes without saying that you need an AR15 upper for the rifle to function properly.

Upper Styles

The A1 and A2 upper styles have fixed handles on the top. The A2 has a rear sight with elevation and wind adjustments, handy for any landscape or climate. The A3 and A4 styles are sometimes called flat tops. They have accessory rails on top for mounting any scope, sight, or A2 style removable handle.

Forward Assist

In some combat situations, dirt can clog the upper and prevent the bolt from closing against the back of the round properly. The forward assist enables you to jam the bolt into position when this happens. You will likely never have to touch this button, but it’s there if you need it. Some variations of uppers don’t have this button at all.

Charging Handle

The charging handle pulls the bolt carrier group back, releasing the first round into the chamber. You can also lock the bolt in the back position by engaging the bolt catch. It’s also called a cocking handle or bolt handle and results in the hammer or striker moving to the ready position.


Some uppers have t-marks, which are small white location indicators, helping with accessory location and installation. They’re called t-marks because they’re on the top of the Picatinny rail, but they can also have b-marks, l-marks, and r-marks.

Delta Ring Assembly

The delta ring assembly includes the delta ring, barrel nut, weld spring, and barrel snap ring. It serves to secure the barrel to the upper and provides an attachment for the hand guard. If a hand guard requires special assembly, it’s included in the purchase of that particular hand guard.

A free floating hand guard eliminates the need for a delta ring, so a lot of upper accessories depend on each other and must work together to complete the upper assembly.

Hand Guards

Hand guards attach to the upper and serve as a place to hold the rifle. The barrel gets hot as you shoot, and you can’t stabilize the rifle without a comfortable place to hold it. Hand guards come in all shapes and sizes. It should correspond to the length of barrel you’re using. Free-float hand guards attach to the rear of the delta ring and not at the front of the gas block. They improve accuracy by reducing the flex of the barrel.

Gas Tube

A gas tube transports the high-pressure gas from the gas block to the upper receiver and into the gas tube. Gas tubes should work with your choice of hand guard, and, like hand guards, there are many to choose from.

Flash Hider

The flash hider screws onto the threaded muzzle of the barrel. It does exactly what it sounds like. It hides the flash, making it more discreet in battle. Without cuts on the bottom, it prevents dust from releasing into the air.

It’s important to understand how an AR15 upper functions and why it’s necessary. The components of an AR15 upper allow you to shoot with comfort, ease, and accuracy. You can find all of these accessories and more AR15 parts for sale at grabagun.com.

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