7Dec/170

Leupold Scopes: A Hunter’s Favorite Optic

When searching for tactical scopes or hunting scopes, you might find that your search results often end up with Leupold Optics somewhere near the top of your results. That is not a coincidence. A Leupold scope is widely regarded as one of the best hunting scopes on the market today. But their reputation does not stop with just hunting; they are commonly regarded as an all-around elite source for optical equipment. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons Leupold scopes have found their way onto firearms across America.

A Rich History in Optics

The Leupold Company – or rather, Leupold & Stevens – has over 100 years of experience in the field, with experience in surveying equipment, optical equipment for U.S. military tactical missions, water level indicators, range finders for golf pros, and most notably, firearm scopes. Leupold is a company that knows their competition will neither outlast them nor outperform them. That’s because the company has many qualities that separate them it from the rest of the industry.

Built on Core Values

A major reason Leupold withstands the test of time is that their company sticks strictly to their core values. These resonate through everything they do.

  • Desire. They love hunting, plan and simple. The freedom that comes with exploring the great American outdoors drives their employees to produce the best scopes possible.
  • Innovation. Being on the cutting edge of technology keeps the Leupold company motivated. New designs and better scopes continue to grace our firearms due to this drive.
  • Knowledge. Leupold extensively tests their product in the field before it ever hits the shelf. Understanding best practices and practical applications on the hunt helps them know how best to improve their products.
  • Discipline. Leupold refuses to stop until the job is done. They explore every possible avenue that will help them create scopes that make your life easier and your shooting better.
  • Integrity. Leupold strives to stand by their product through thick and thin, continually improving upon products in part by listening to issues that customers have had with previous models.
  • Loyalty. Leupold is faithful to both their company and their customers. They want to continue to make scopes that previous generations did.
  • Dedication. There is a purpose and drive behind what they do. Leupold strives to create an environment that is built on values that current and future generations can be proud of.
  • Teamwork. The best projects are made possible through teamwork. By working together within the company and with the firearms community, Leupold has consistently produced some of the more respected scopes on the market.

Product Suggestions

Whether you have been a longtime customer of Leupold or are just looking to try out some of their products, it is always a good idea to get some info on what you are buying. Three of their optics in particular are great for those looking for some inspiration.

  • LEUPOLD RIFLE MAN 3-9X40 WIDE DUPLEX MATTE

A rugged scope with a clear image, the rifleman wide helps you to capture more in your field of vision than other scopes. The ergonomic main tube stands tough out in the field to remain in pristine working condition for many years.

  • LEUPOLD FX-I 4X28 RIMFIRE FDPLX GLOSS

This fixed power scope has a standard multi-coat four lens system. It features a classic lockable eyepiece design. It does not have all the features of some of Leupold’s more complex designs, but it gets the job done.

  • LEUPOLD VX-R 4-12X40 BALL FIREDOT MATTE

A sleek rifle scope with daylight capabilities, the Ball Firedot can be used in several hunting situations. It comes with one-button illumination that gives you access to eight different intensity settings. There is a motion sensor to help you track activity in your field of vision. This scope is a technological juggernaut.

Those three provide a good sample of the range and diversity in the scopes that Leupold manufactures. Some require their user to be more tech savvy than others, but each will help you have a more successful hunt. Now that you know a little about Leupold and have seen some of the products they make, go out and do a little more research on your own. Check your favorite online gun store for many more of the high-powered scopes from Leupold. You will be able to see why Leupold is the clear choice to make when purchasing a scope.

6Dec/170

Hunting Rascally Rabbits and Other Varmints

“Ya better say your prayers, ya flea-bitten varmint … I’m-a-gonna blow ya to smithereenies” From the wise words of Yosemite Sam to your author’s humble keyboard it's hard to find truer words. If you haven’t guessed it from my apparent affinity for Looney Tune’s quotes today we are talking about varmint hunting.

Image result for Yosemite sam

Courtesy Warner Brothers

Varmint hunting is unique in its own right. Most of the time varmint hunting isn’t necessarily done for meat, but for what’s basically pest control. Don’t get me wrong, some varmints are quite tasty… But many of them are complete and utter pests. They often breed so much, and so fast you must hunt them to just control their population.

Varmint hunting isn’t typically associated with the seriousness of deer, elk, moose, or bear hunting. It’s often more sought for the challenge than the trophy. Outside of the challenge many do it simply for pest control.

While varmint hunting may be a necessity, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. We’ve picked our top 5 favorite varmint and the calibers and guns perfect for blowing them to “smithereenies.”

Squirrel

Good ole’ tree rats, the bane of many a bird feeder. Squirrels are one of the few varmints that are nice and tasty. They can be gamey, but toss them into a stew or fry them in a cast iron pan and you’ll have a nice dinner. Squirrels can be a major pest for those in the countryside. They can chew their way into attics, destroy insulation, and leave a mess. They are nightmares in a barn, especially if you keep corn, horse feed, and similar feeds stored there.

He Looks a little squirelly - Courtesy US Fish and Wildlife

So, you gotta take ‘em out. Squirrels can be easily dealt with a 22 LR but I’ve always stuck to a shotgun for safety reasons. Since squirrels tend to keep to the trees I don’t want to be shooting rifles in the air and risk a miss. The old adage of what goes up must come down is important to remember. The 410 is my preference due to its small size and low recoil. You don’t need anything more powerful than a lightly loaded 410 and good point shooting skills. The 410 is strong enough to kill them, but weak enough where it won’t damage the squirrel past the point of edibility.

The Budget Gun

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H&R Pardner Break-Open Shotgun .410

The classic budget shotgun has always been and likely always will be the single shot shotgun. The H&R Pardner series has been the go to choice for cheap, but well-made single shots for decades and I’d hate to break from tradition. This super lightweight shotgun is easy to point and is perfect for younger shooters. It has a 3-inch chamber, is hammer fired, and features classic wooden furniture. It’s also a sub 200-dollar gun.

The Fun Gun

Mossberg 500 410/24/FULL VR

The Mossberg 500 in 410 is hard to beat if you need to take multiple shots in a short amount of time. The pump action ensures you aren’t dealing with a finicky semi auto action, while providing 5 rounds of rapid fire potential. It’s easy to pump and dump on multiple squirrels and the ribbed barrel and bead sight keeps things simple. The gun has a 3-inch chamber, a 24 inch barrel, and a full choke. It might as well be called the squirrel blaster.

Coyote

Oh coyotes, they were one of the first animals I successfully hunted. They just happened to be hunting a friend's calves and terrorizing the chickens. This is common coyote behavior and they are spreading fast across the southeast United States. They are vicious scavengers that can even be a threat to young children and domestic animals. Coyotes breed very fast, and if you’re hunting them you want something that takes them down without issue. A wounded coyote can be a very dangerous animal. You want a round that can take them out without much effort.

Coyote Courtesy US Fish and Game

Coyotes are also pretty dang suspicious of humans and tend to be skittish. It’s a lot easier to hit them from a hundred yards and beyond than trying to get them in shotgun or rimfire range. Plus, it's a lot more challenging the further out you go. I like the 22-250 for popping coyotes. It has enough oomph to take a coyote down with a single shot to almost any part of the upper body. It’s also less affected by wind than similar cartridges. It’s flat nature and hard-hitting power makes it a great coyote round out to even 500 yards.

Budget Gun

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Savage AXIS 22-250 BL/SYN 22 inch DBM LH

The Savage Axis series are renowned for their quality and affordable price. You aren’t getting a rifle neutered to save a few dimes. You are getting a very competent rifle equipped with a free-floating barrel, sling swivel studs, a steel magazine, and their silky smooth bolt action. The rifle is drilled and tapped for a scope mount and ready to terrorize the next coyote that has the unfortunate luck to meet you and your Savage.

Fun Gun

Browning BLR Lightweight Walnut/Black .22-250

Lever gun? More like lever fun. Okay I’ll put the lame marketing jokes away now. In all seriousness the Browning BLR is one of my favorite lever guns. Instead on using a tube to hold ammo they use a rotary magazine that allows the gun to use spitzer (IE pointy) based cartridges. The BLR’s lever action is smooth and rapid. The 22-250 is a short round so there isn’t a lot of movement necessary to work the action. This gives you a lightweight, easy shooting gun with the ability to cycle rounds rapidly if needed.

Prairie Dog

Prairie dogs hardly seem to be a pest, but just a hair of research tells you just how destructive these creatures can be. It’s not uncommon for large animals like cows and horses to stumble into a prairie dog den. This often results in an injured animal, and some serious vet bills, or having to put the animal down. Prairie dogs also breed faster than rabbits and spread almost like a disease across the land. Taking them down fast and hard is the name of the game.

Courtesy US Fish and Game

Prairies dogs are basically the same size of squirrels, but live on the ground. You won’t get too close without having them scatter to their den. Hitting them from a hundred yards off with a good rimfire rifle is the way to go. The 17 HMR is an ultra-modern rimfire round from the minds at Hornady. It’s flat shooting, fast as lightning, and smashes into prairie dogs with ease. 17 HMR offers much better ballistics than 22 LR and is a more modern choice with more modern hunting projectiles offered. It hits harder, shoots flatter, and flies faster than 22 LR ever will.

Budget Gun

Image result for Mossberg 817

Mossberg 817 Bolt Action

The Mossberg 817 is about a cheap of a 17 HMR as you can find. This bolt action repeating rifle comes in at under 200 dollars and for that price it's a steal. It has a short 14.25-inch length of pull and weighs only 4.8 pounds. This makes it an excellent youth rifle and a lightweight prairie dog reaper. It’s ready for a scope with its Weaver style scope bases. This magazine fed rifle has a unique pistol grip and stock combo and even comes with a forward picatinny rail for mounting a bipod.

Fun Gun

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Henry Repeating Arms Varmint Express

I like lever guns, and the fact that Henry introduced one in 17 HMR wasn’t lost on me. The Henry Varmint Express holds 11 rounds of 17 HMR allowing you to load it on Sunday and shoot it all week long. The adjustable semi buckhorn rear sight and beaded front sight makes it easy to split prairie dogs down the middle. Also, I chose the octagonal barrel model because let’s face it, looks matter. Get your wild west fantasy on and send them varmint packing.

Rabbit

Rabbit is our second tasty treat on the list. Great for cooking in the crock pot or in a stew as flavoring. Rabbit are one of the easiest creatures I’ve ever hunted. Often, it’s as simple as walking, watching one run, and then picking it off when it stops ten feet later. Rabbit are like prairie dogs in the fact that they breed fast and can invade an area quickly. They love to destroy crops, and will eat a home garden to bits and pieces.

He Looks Rascally… Courtesy US Fish and Game

Rabbits are social creatures, and it’s not unusual to find them in groups of 2 or 3. You need an easy shooting, common caliber that’s small enough to avoid damaging the meat of a target. I like the 22 LR. There’s a few reasons, first it’s close range, so the long-range potential of the 17 HMR simply isn’t needed here. Second, the semi auto designs are affordable, widely available and reliable. The third reason is 22 LR is cheap, and easy to buy in bulk.

Budget Gun

Ruger 10/22 Deluxe Sporter

Well this one was incredibly easy. Of course, I am going to choose the Ruger 10/22 as my 22 LR rifle of choice. The Ruger 10/22 is a lightweight, easy shooting rifle that’s ubiquitous. You can build and accessorize the 10/22 to your heart's content. The rotary magazine and finely constructed action ensures reliability. In my opinion there really isn’t a finer semi-auto 22 LR rifle for plinking, target practice and hunting. Plus, it’s extremely affordable and comes in a variety of different configurations.

Fun Gun

Browning Buckmark ConTOUR URX 22 LR 5.5

If the 10/22 is the finest semi auto 22 LR rifle I couldn’t possibly suggest another rifle right? So, I won’t and take an alternative route and suggest the Browning Buckmark Contour model. This semi auto 22 LR handgun is plenty accurate for popping rabbits, but using a handgun is always more challenging than a rifle. The Contour model is equipped with a scope rail across the top which is perfect for a red dot. The Browning Buckmark is an easy shooting and reliable little gun that gives a new edge to rabbit hunting.

Hogs

Hogs aren’t traditionally treated as a varmint animal, but in the southeastern United States their behavior and the laws regarding hunting them are becoming more varmint orientated. The feral hog population is exploding in the South East and its moving north every year. States are deregulating the hunting of these animals and making it legal year-round to exterminate them. Feral hogs destroy everything, from crops to yards. They are aggressive and can easily harm people and domestic animals.

Example of a Feral Hog in Florida - US Fish and Wildlife

You need something potent to take them down and you have a number of choices. I like the 7.62x39mm. It’s a moderately powerful caliber that’s excellent for taking shots under 300 yards. There are plenty of different rifle options for the round. Its moderate recoil makes follow up shots possible, which is important because hogs rarely travel alone. You also may need that quick follow up shot if a hog decides to charge you.

Caliber 7.62 x 39

Budget Rifle

https://grabagun.com/cz-527-carb-7-62x39-no-rings.html

CZ 527 Carbine Blued/Walnut 7.62X39MM

Confession time, I love CZs. CZ has a brilliant and subtle marketing tool that boils down to “Come for the famous pistols, stay for the fantastic rifles.” The CZ 527 Carbine is one fantastic rifle. It’s built for hunting and is one of the finest rifles out there for under a grand. The CZ 527 is a bolt action rifle, with an 18.5-inch barrel and a 5 round magazine. This is one of the few bolt action rifles that comes equipped with iron sights, and is still scope ready. It’s a great brush gun, and with its iron sights you can hit a close-range target fast and accurately.

Fun Gun

Arsenal SAM-7 Milled Receiver AK47 Black

I know AKs aren’t hunting rifles I get it. But listen to my logic. Hogs are an invading force and as hunters we are brave partisans who must resist the tyranny of the hog. Why not use a gun renowned for its presence in the hands of partisans throughout time? That same gun just so happens to be a great hog gun. Why? It’s fast shooting, accurate enough and perfect for dealing with angry hogs. The Arsenal SAM-7 is one of the most well-made AKs on the market and if you are going big, go really big. Just remember after shooting a hog with an AK it’s mandatory you hold your gun above your head and shout, “Wolverines!”

Varmints

Hunting varmints is a blast, both literally and figuratively. Having the right gun and right gear makes it easy to be successful. Varmint hunting is a little less serious and to me more fun than deer hunting. It’s perfect for new hunters or someone tired of the deer blind. You are also providing a service to the environment by controlling the population of pests. So, Grab a Gun, grab some ammo, and get out there.

4Dec/170

Best Compact Handguns for Concealed Carry – Infographic

Concealed carry holders have now reached over 14 million.  That increase of nearly 215% between 2017 - 2017 is a sign that more people are exercising their 2nd Amendment rights for personal protection.  Some of the best firearms to use when you receive our license would be the Glock 43, Sig Sauer P238, Springfield XD-S, and the Smith & Wesson M&P9c.  Here is why.

Compact  Handguns Mentioned:

Best Compact=

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1Dec/170

Eight Must-Have AR-15 Accessories

One of the best reasons to own an AR-15 is so that you can outfit it with all the parts you want to make it truly your own. There are thousands of accessories, creating millions of different possible weapon customizations. Some owners even buy all of their AR-15 parts separately, then construct the firearm at home. Whether you are building your weapon from scratch or upgrading a new or old model you own, here are some AR-15 parts to help you customize your rifle to be one hell of a weapon.

AR Uppers

Perhaps the most recognizable part of your AR-15 rifle is its rail/upper. Here is where many of the accessories you attach to your weapon will be found. AR-15 uppers can be any range of items. Some of the big ones include:

  • Sights and optics. What you intend to do with your rifle (hunting, sport shooting, home defense, etc.) will help dictate which of the many rifle scopes you want to put on your firearm. Typically, there are some base iron sights that can stock out most versions of the AR, but you can upgrade to some of the more advanced sighting options available, like red dot or optical scopes.
  • Sound suppressors. These attach to the end of the barrel, so we are including them on the list here. They can be a great way to improve your hunting trips or just reduce some of the noise damage you inflict on your ears. Though there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding owning a silencer, they are not illegal to own in the United States. Reducing the noise emitted from your weapon makes you a better neighbor and a more conscientious weapon owner.

AR Lowers

On the lower, you can find the trigger housing including the trigger guard and butt of the weapon. AR-15 lowers do not make as noticeable visual changes as the uppers do, but this is where the feel of the weapon in your grip can really be adjusted.

  • AR Triggers. Another accessory that many people might not think to customize is the trigger; if you’ve spent any time shooting a firearm, though, you’ll know that triggers can vary greatly. The main way they differ is in the amount of pressure required to make the weapon fire. There are also several types of actions, such as single or double, that can impact the trigger. You can put the trigger you desire on your AR so you know exactly what is required to make your weapon fire.
  • AR Stocks. Sometimes called the buttstock or shoulder stock, this is the part of the rifle that makes contact with your shoulder. Having a stock that rests firmly and comfortably on your shoulder is ideal for any sustained shooting. This can impact your ability to shoot accurately and effectively if you do not have the stock you need. Not only that, but this can also alter the appearance of your AR.

AR Magazines

Extra ammunition is always a good idea. The ability to access it quickly is an even better idea. That’s part of the reason that AR-15 magazines make the list. Like pretty much everything else for the AR, there is a wealth of options to select from. You will want to think about the size and material that the magazine is made out of when determining which is right for you.

AR Slings

An AR sling might seem like an insignificant addition to your assault rifles, but carry your weapon in your hands for a couple hours while out on the hunt and you will reconsider choosing a sling. Not only will it make your firearm more comfortable to carry, but the right sling can allow you to access your weapon more efficiently when you need to have it in firing position quickly.

AR-15 accessories can distinctly change the form and function of your weapon. Once you have a good grasp on how you intend to use your rifle and what feels comfortable when you shoot, you can begin to outfit your AR with some of the many accessories you can find. Once you do, you will have a weapon that is completely customized to your needs and that is uniquely your own.

29Nov/170

Top 5 Hunting Riffles

Choosing a hunting rifle is a lot like choosing a car. You are surrounded by options for each and every niche, and it can get a bit confusing. That’s not a bad thing because the more choices the better. A lot goes into choosing a hunting rifle, and it should be a decision you make consciously.

A good hunting rifle will last you your entire life, so think of it as an investment and not a purchase. To make things just a bit easier for you we’ve gathered our top five hunting rifles by category. These rifles are aimed at hunters in the Americas and to work within your average hunter’s budget.

You won’t find an H&H Drilling that costs as much as a car on this list. What you will find is five rifles from five distinct and common categories that are all top notch hunting rifles.

  1. The Best Budget Hunting Rifle

Budgets are tight all over and working within a budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise to succeed. Right now, the firearms industry is a buyer’s market and companies like Ruger are producing high-quality firearms at a good price.

One such rifle is the Ruger American Rifle Ranch in 300 Blackout.  This light and handy rifle is remarkably affordable but doesn’t sacrifice quality. This lightweight rifle features a 16-inch barrel, comes with a scope rail, and a threaded barrel.

The 300 Blackout as a round is somewhat new but is perfect for a short barrel, lightweight carbine. Unlike the 223 the 300 Blackout won’t experience ballistic sacrifices from a 16-inch barrel. It’s made for short barrels and it’s also made to be suppressed. While most budget hunters aren’t looking to spend the extra money on a can this gun is the perfect host for one later on down the road.

Image result for NOSLER SSA .300 BLACKOUT

The 300 Blackout round is versatile and can be loaded with supersonic, or subsonic loads. With subsonic ammo and the right can this gun would be exceptionally quiet.

300 Blackout has tons of appropriate hunting rounds available and is a good hunting round inside of 300 yards with supersonic loads. It also has very light recoil and is a great option for new shooters not accustomed to heavy recoiling rifles.

Image result for HORNADY CUSTOM .300 BLACKOUT 135GR FTX

The rifle is made in America but remains remarkably affordable without having to cut corners. It uses a single piece three lug bolt designed to chuck brass fast and hard. You get plenty of scope clearance and topping it with something like the Nikon Monarch would be perfect.

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Monarch 3 Rifle Scope

The gun comes equipped with Ruger’s adjustable trigger system that lets the user adjust the trigger pull from 3 to 5 pounds. It also features a free-floating cold hammer forged barrel and Ruger’s own bedding system. It’s not just a cheap hunting rifle, it’s an excellent hunting rifle that just happens to be cheap.

  1. Best Youth Hunting Rifle

One key to getting a young hunter comfortable with hunting is a weapon that fits them. A weapon they can control and handle, and confidently shoot. The Mossberg Patriot Youth Super Bantam is one of the best deer hunting rifles for young shooters, or for smaller shooters. The Mossberg Patriot Youth Super Bantam is a mouthful, so to keep things easier I’m just going to call it the Super Bantam.

Mossberg has been using Bantam to describe their smaller guns for some time and I finally looked into what a Bantam is. I was not disappointed. A Bantam is a small, but ferocious chicken that walks around with its chest puffed out. It’s a good name for Mossberg’s smaller rifles and shotguns.

The Super Bantam comes in a few calibers, but for youth hunting, I’m going to suggest the 243. The 243 is an outstanding medium game round that’s perfect for deer, hogs, and coyotes. It has very low recoil and popular enough you can choose a custom tuned load for your game of choice. It’s also a short action that’s easier to cycle.

The Super Bantam’s most defining feature and the reason it’s the best youth hunting rifle is the adjustable length of pull. You can easily shrink or grow the stock by adding a series of spacers to it. This allows you to adjust the length of pull for a young shooter and allows the rifle to grow as they do. The gun also features a compact 20-inch fluted barrel and altogether weighs less than 7 pounds.

Image result for Bushnell banner 3-9x

The Super Bantam comes with Mossberg’s LBA adjustable trigger that allows you to adjust the trigger from 2 to 7 pounds. Although for a youth hunting I’d go with 5 or so pounds. The Super Bantam comes ready for a scope with a mounted scope base, and something like the Bushnell 3-9x would be a great fit. As a final note, we offer the always cool Kryptek camouflage model if the young shooter in your life want’s their rifle to stand out.

https://grabagun.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/500x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/B/u/Bushnell-Banner-613948C-029757139474.jpg.jpg

Bushnell 3-9x Rifle Scope

  1. The Most Modern Hunting Rifle

If price isn’t a major concern, and you really want to top out on modern features the Savage Model 10 FCP-SR is the rifle for you. While this rifle is designed for tactical use at its heart it is a bolt action 308, which has long been a fantastic choice for hunting. The Model 10 FCP-SR combines a number of desirable features to produce an extremely accurate and modern rifle.

Image result for savage 10 FCP SR

The 308 Winchester has long been a choice for hunters looking for a powerful and versatile cartridge. It offers excellent ballistics at ranges up to 800 yards and is one of the more powerful short action cartridges out there. It’s potent and has no issues taking most North American game. One of the biggest benefits of going 308 lies in its popularity. Because of its popularity, you have ammo loadings for just about anything.

The Model 10 FCP-SR is rocking a free floated 24-inch barrel that takes the perfect length for a 308 Winchester. Its long enough to take advantage of the powerful cartridge, but far from unwieldy. The barrel is also threaded for either a recoil reducing or flash suppressing muzzle device or a sound suppressor.

The rifle has a honker of a bolt handle that’s easy to manipulate when wearing gloves, which may be a consideration for my northern brethren. The Savage Model 10 FCP-SR is outfitted with two front sling swivels, which looks odd but serves a purpose. It allows you to mount a bipod to the forward sling mount, and still utilize a sling on the rear mount.

Image result for harris bipod 6-9

Harris 6-9 inch Rotating Bipod

The Savage is ready for a scope and a nice long range capable scope from a reputable company like Leupold would be perfect. You’ll be stacking deer out at quite a distance with a good bipod and scope setup. Additionally, the rifle features Savage’s accutrigger that’s one of the best on the market. It’s so light, with very little movement for it to break. It really helps reduce and calm flinch, especially when buck fever sets in.

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Leupold VX-6HD Rifle Scope

  1. The Best Long Range Hunting Rifle

If you told me, you wanted to hit an animal at long range I could suggest to you any number of different rounds. We could go with the 300 Win Mag or the 338 Winchester Magnum, but you may say you it in a short action and in a lightweight platform. After much soul searching I’d go with the 6.5 Creedmoor. The round is easy, but what rifle? Well, I’d mix a new round with a classic rifle, the Remington 700.

Image result for remington 700 SPS 6.5 creedmoor

The Remington 700 is the flagship of Remington’s rifles and is well respected across the world. This bolt action rifle comes it dozens of different calibers and tons of different variations. I prefer the SPS or Special Purpose Synthetic. It’s lighter, and the synthetic stock is better suited for dealing with the cruel beast we call nature.

The Remington 700 SPS in 6.5 Creedmoor is more than capable of reaching out and touching a target. The round stays supersonic past 1,200 yards and the long and svelte 6.5mm round has a nice ballistic coefficient. It’s accurate and takes some time to run out of steam. It can humanely take game at long ranges. The Remington rifle is also well suited for long range shooting, and it’s the choice of the Marine Corps Scout Snipers.

Image result for FEDERAL PREMIUM VITAL-SHOK 6.5 CREEDMOOR AMMUNITION

6.5 Creedmoor Ammo

The gun features a 24-inch barrel for exceptional accuracy and to maximize the 6.5 Creedmoor’s velocity. The rifle is drilled and tapped for scope mounts and you’ll want something tuned for ballistic drop, with a mil or moa dot reticle for bullet drop. Something like the Bushnell Legend in 4.5-14x would be perfect.

Image result for BUSHNELL LEGEND 4.5-14X44 MIL DOT

Bushnell legend Scope

The rifle is outfitted with the X Mark Pro adjustable trigger and comes set at 3.5 pounds from the factory. What’s really cool about this trigger is that it’s externally adjustable. There is no need for a gunsmith to adjust your trigger. Although 3.5 pounds seems just about perfect for me.

Overall, it’s a light and handy little rifle that’s great for taking those long-range shots. The 6.5 Creedmoor round is somewhat new, but have proven popular enough to have a few different hunting loads available. It’s an excellent combination of gun and round.

  1. The Best Brush Hunter

The 30-30 is an American classic. It’s likely killed more deer than any other round in the United States. The 30-30 is most commonly found in lever action rifles like the Henry listed here. The combination of the round and the lever action platform makes a very potent brush hunting combo.

Image result for Henry 30-30

Brush hunting is typically hunting that occurs in thickets, often on the ground. Brush hunting is unpredictable and the ranges can vary between shotgun range and rifle range in just a few minutes. You need a gun that points quickly like a shotgun but has the extra range of a rifle. The Henry Lever Action 30-30 is that gun.

The open iron sights make it quick and easy to get on target for close range shooting and are dynamic enough to allow a shooter to hit targets at 200 yards. The sights are adjustable and are a semi-buckhorn design. This means the rear sight has a wide set of ‘ears’ for close range shooting and a more precise smaller notch for long range shooting. The gun also has a brass beaded front sight that’s easy to see and reflects light for low light shooting. The Henry lever action is also drilled and tapped for a scope rail. I’d mix a little bit of new with old world and go with a miniature red dot sight personally.

The Henry’s short 20-inch barrel keeps the weapon lightweight and maneuverable in thick brush and makes it easy to move over long distances without getting fatigued. The rifle weighs only 7 pounds and has an overall length of only 39 inches.

The Henry’s smooth lever action allows the shooter to make rapid follow up shots to compensate for a miss or to even take multiple animals. The 30-30 round isn’t a long range cartridge, but within its effective range, it’s a hammer. It hits hard, and with the right ammo will expand rapidly and put an animal down quickly. What you lose in range you make up for with moderate recoil, which goes back to the ability to make rapid follow up shots.

Image result for FEDERAL 3030C 3030 125 HP

30-30 Ammo

Henry’s lever guns look as good as they function. The American walnut stock and rich bluing are certainly a throwback to simpler times and simpler rifles.

Over and Out

These are my favorite hunting rifles and I stand behind each selection. The big question is for our readers, do you agree? Disagree? Tell us why and let us know. We all always like to hear from you. What’s your top five hunting rifles?

Filed under: Hunting, Rifles No Comments
24Nov/170

Five Concealed & Carry Best Practices

Owning a firearm sets you apart from non-owners. Your responsibilities increase. When you decide to obtain your concealed carry permit, you assume a new set of duties that are beyond that of simply being a gun owner. Getting your permit is a decision that requires plenty of consideration. Some questions you might want to ask yourself before you start down that path are:

  • Will I continue to educate myself of best practices with my weapon and the laws of my state and country?
  • Do I plan to carry every day?
  • Am I dedicated enough to practice with my firearm and maintain a high level of aptitude with it?
  • Am I aware of the financial obligation to supply my firearm with everything it needs to function properly and safely?
  • Do I fully understand what it means to concealed carry, and am I willing to use extreme force in the face of imminent threat?

There are numerous factors to take into account before you make a decision to concealed carry. If you feel that you are ready for the responsibility, here are some best practices to adhere to once you acquire your permit.

Prepare Yourself Mentally

Every time you make the decision to carry your weapon, you must be 100% aware of the consequences of your actions. Your firearm is a tool capable of deadly force, but it is your mind and mental state that dictates how that tool is implemented. When you immerse yourself in an environment with other people, you need to exercise extreme, judicious discipline. Going out of your way to avoid confrontation is crucial to limiting any sort of conflicts that might arise while you concealed carry.

Your weapon should only be used in dire circumstances after all other avenues have been explored to de-escalate the situation. Many situations can be resolved without the use of your firearm. Remember that you carry it to protect yourself and your family. Keep calm and remain levelheaded. A good rule of thumb is you should only use your weapon if your assailant has the ability to physically harm you, has the opportunity to do so, and is putting your or someone else’s life in danger.

Be a Student of Gun Laws

 

So much of owning a weapon is having the proper mindset and knowledge to use it. The only way to attain this is through education. Each state has a set of laws that differs from the rest, and they can often take federal law a step further. Use of deadly force, where you can and cannot concealed carry, what to do after a shooting, and several other factors change depending on where you live in the U.S. Find a reputable source and educate yourself on national laws, state laws, and any local requirements that might be enforced in your area. Make sure that if you are traveling, you have done your research on where you are going.

Continued Training is Critical

 

As you continue to inform yourself of the laws surrounding firearms and as you keep practicing the correct mental state, you must continue honing your abilities with your weapon. Long before you decide to conceal carry – or even own a weapon – you should seek professional classes to begin your training with how to properly operate a firearm. It should cover the fundamentals of gun use, safety, and different techniques in weapons operation.

Once you have mastered the basics, you can move on to more advanced concealed carry techniques. Proper concealed carry holster use, an overview of concealed carry laws, and how to access and fire your weapon from its concealed location should all be outlined in the course. Additionally, it is wise and recommended to take refresher courses periodically. Not only will you stay sharp on your abilities, but you will also stay current on the latest trends of concealed carry and become aware of any new developments in the field.

Once outside of a professional classroom, you need to practice on a regular basis. This includes more than just going to the range and shooting your handgun. Being comfortable with the accessories you use, like a concealed carry belt, must also be regularly checked and practiced. As we put wear on our equipment, their functions can alter. Being aware of these changes is vital to successfully carrying concealed. Some of these points leads to the next practice.

Wear Appropriate Clothing

 

Concealed carry demands that you be aware of the environment and situation, but it also requires you to play close attention to your attire. From the shirt you wear to the holster and belt you use, all need to be carefully chosen to successfully conceal your firearm and its accessories. No one but you should be able to tell that you are carrying. If you are wearing the wrong clothing, you will be prone to adjust your handgun often, which will draw attention to your firearm. Avoid frequently checking and adjusting your weapon by wearing the right clothing.

Make the Choice to Carry, and Carry

 

Once you have made the decision to concealed carry pistols, it is an option that you should exercise all the time. If you choose to only concealed carry some of the time, you will find yourself becoming desensitized to the severity of the situation. Constant vigilance and dedication are a must when you decide to carry concealed. Finally, you will be ready for what the world brings your way. By carrying all the time, you can face the world around you with a mindset you would not have if you were not carrying concealed.

 

22Nov/170

6.5 Creedmoor vs. 308v2 Winchester – Which is better?

It’s nothing new for a company to introduce a rifle cartridge, tons of them try it and like restaurants 90% fail in the first year. What is exciting is when a round has so much potential in less than a decade it changes the entire rifle game. The 6.5 Creedmoor was one of those rounds. It came to life in 2008 from a little ammo company we know and love called Hornady.

The 6.5 Creedmoor is a rifle round that can be chambered in short action and semi-automatic rifles like the AR 10. It’s a direct competitor to the classic 308 Winchester. The 308 has been in the service of sportsman since the 1950s. It’s also a short action rifle round that is the AR 10’s original caliber. For the longest time, it was the king of full powered short action rifle rounds.

Which is better? We go to science for that.

Effective Range

The 308 Win and it’s military cousin the 7.62 NATO, have long been the choice of military and police tactical shooters. It hits hard and has excellent penetration. It’s great in a semi-auto or bolt action platform. The round was originally designed to be a battle rifle cartridge and not a Sniper rifle cartridge.

Image result for WEATHERBY VANGUARD WEATHERGUARD BOLT ACTION RIFLE BLACK 6.5 CREEDMOOR 24-INCH 5RD

Weatherby 6.5  Creedmoor

The 6.5 Creedmoor was designed for long-range shooting by ballisticians with over 50 years more data and science than the 308 Win. It’s a round loved by 1,000-yard bench rest shooters and has been for a reason.

Image result for WEATHERBY VANGUARD MODULAR CHASSIS BLACK 6.5 CREEDMOOR

The same gun in a modular Chassis

The 6.5 Creedmoor has considerably less drop, and out to a thousand yard, it outperforms the 308 significantly. At 1,000 yards the 308 on average has in excess of 300 inches of drop and has a velocity of around 1,500 feet per second when loaded with a 150-grain projectile. The 6.5 Creedmoor experiences less than 300 inches of drop and the heaviest rounds are still hitting 1,600 feet per second.

On average the Supersonic range of the 6.5 Creedmoor is further than the 308 Winchester by 200 feet.

Sectional Density

Sectional density comes from a calculation that compares a bullet’s diameter and its weight. The higher the sectional density the better the round is. Sectional density is important when it comes to considering a rounds ability to penetrate. This is going to be a consideration for hunters who need to stop a living target.

Image result for SMITH AND WESSON M&P 10 BLACK .308 WIN

308 AR 10s tend to be more affordable

Sectional density is calculated by dividing the bullet’s weight in pounds by its diameter in inches. So if you took a 308 round and a 6.5 round of the same weight the 6.5 would have a higher sectional density due to its diameter.

For example, a 150 grain 7.62 round has a sectional density of .226

A 150 grain 6.5 mm round has a sectional density of .307.

This means the 6.5 mm round is going to outperform the 308 when it comes to penetration. This is going to be incredibly important when it comes to penetrating an animal.

Ballistic Coefficient

Ballistic coefficient, or BC, is a measure of how a bullet cuts through the air. Essentially it’s a rating based on how streamlined the bullet is and how it resists air drag. When comparing BC’s the higher the BC the better. A high BC means the round is more streamlined and resists the effects of air drag. A high BC also means a projectile is more resistant to wind drift, maintains a higher velocity.

Image result for SAVAGE ARMS 10 STEALTH EVOLUTION BLACK .308 WIN 20 INCH

Precision 308 Chassis platform from Savage

The higher the BC the flatter the trajectory will be. This means less bullet drop and a more predictable drop pattern. This is invaluable to know when shooting at long ranges and the flatter the trajectory the easier it is to hit a target. Without digging too deep into the science of BC we can show the difference between 308 and 6.5 CM.

Image result for CMMG MK3 BLACK 6.5 CREEDMOOR 20-INCH 20RD

A Pricier 6.5 Creedmoor AR 10

Let’s look at Hornady’s Match Loads:

The 308 Win Match 178 grain boat tail hollow point has a BC of.530

The 6.5 CM Match 140-grain boat tail hollow point has a BC of .580

You see this trend throughout a wide variety of loads. When you compare like with like you see the 6.5 always wins in BC.

Rifle and Ammo Selection

The science behind ammunition is fun and as a wanna be ballistician I find it equal parts fascinating and confusing. Now inside of 500 yards you aren't likely to notice much difference between the two rounds unless you are a competition shooter. Even then it’s minimal. The 6.5 Creedmoor has proven to be ballistically the better round. Will that be a major concern for shooters inside 500 yards?

Image result for WINCHESTER EXPEDITION LONG RANGE 6.5 CREEDMOOR 142GR 20RDS

Ammo Matters

Unlikely. What will affect you is your ability to choose a particular rifle. Rifle choice is one of the most important considerations for any shooter. At this point rifles in 308 are not only more common, but they are significantly cheaper on average. This isn’t always the case, a Remington 700 SPS in 6.5 Creedmoor is about the same price as the same gun in 308.

However, if I wanted an AR 10 in 6.5 Creedmoor I’d have to be willing to spend significantly more money. Also if I was shopping for a budget rifle I’m more likely to find it in 308 than 6.5 Creedmoor.

Luckily, it’s easy to find 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, and even reloading components. When you compare similar quality 308 and 6.5 rounds the prices are quite similar, often within a few cents of each other. The major advantage 308 shooters have is 7.62x51mm NATO rounds. These FMJ loads are for the military but there is plenty of civilian runoff that turns into cheap plinking ammo. There is also international support for the 7.62 NATO which is also for sale on the open market. This drives prices down for plinking ammo significantly.

308 wins the logistic war...for now.

Is the 308 Dead?

This may seem like I'm just bashing the 308 but I'm really not. Realistically the 6.5 Creedmoor is the better round. This doesn’t mean we need to dump 308 in the trash and buy 6.5’s. It just means the firearms world is constantly improving. The 308 Winchester isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

What say you people of the gun? Are you a 308er who likes to tell 6.5 CM to get off your lawn? Or are you a 6.5 CM fan who wants to leave 308 in a nursing home? Or are you simply a lover of all things that go boom?

Let us know!

Filed under: Rifles No Comments
17Nov/170

Best Rifle Calibers for Big Game Hunting

You may have had a heated debate on this topic with a hunting buddy: What’s the best caliber for big game hunting? Everyone has an opinion on it. The truth is that there is not one right answer. So much is based on personal preference and what type of game you are hunting that selecting just one is nearly impossible. But that does not mean that certain rifle calibers are not better than others; in fact, quite the opposite is true.

There are a few that are more capable than the rest when it comes to your best option for hunting calibers suited for big game. Before you check out the latest semi-automatic rifles for sale, do yourself a favor and look at these bullet caliber options that many hunters agree are preferable for larger game.

.338 Winchester Magnum

What is more representative of big game hunting than Alaskan wildlife? A widely used bullet for hunting moose and grizzlies is the .338 Winchester Magnum. Nearly everyone who has done any sort of large game hunting in North America has used this ammunition at some point. These rounds can take out big game, but they are also generally associated with a large recoil and can be more expensive than some of the other rounds on the list. Don’t let that deter you, however. If you need to take down big game in the States, the .338 will get the job done.

7mm Remington Magnum

Do you desire to hunt exotic big game from regions of Africa? Perhaps impala, nyala, kudu or other animals that are not seen in the States? If so, then the 7mm Magnum is the caliber for you. Commonly associated with a flat trajectory and consistency in hitting long range shots, there are numerous reasons why the 7mm is ideal for big game hunts. Stellar ballistic coefficients, above average velocities, and mid-range bullet weights help make the 7mm Magnum the right choice for the open plains and other African terrains may find yourself hunting in.

.30-06 Remington

Another caliber found in many rifle magazines throughout Africa is the .30-06. Though not often used at the distances that the 7mm Remington Magnum is, the .30-06 Remington is more than capable of taking down your prey at a few hundred yards. One of the smaller bullets on this list, it has plenty of power to be useful against most species you would be hunting. These controlled expansion rounds keep the hide of the animal intact while still deliver lethal force. With a long history of usage, the .30-06 is an old favorite for many hunters that continues to show its worth out in the field.

.308 Winchester

 

What could be a better seal of approval than that of the United States Military? The .308 is the civilian equivalent to what the armed forces use, the 7.62x51mm NATO. Bringing that kind of power in your ammunition to hunting expeditions means when you find your target, you don’t need to worry that you did not bring enough firepower. It is ideal for the most common big game in North America such as deer, black bears, and elk. Easily accessible and easy to fire, this could be the round you need for most hunts in North America.

Though there are plenty of calibers to choose from – anything between a .22 caliber and a 50 cal – there are some that are more equal than others in the world of big game hunting. In addition to the ammunition, it’s a good idea to have high-powered rifle scopes at your disposal. All the ammo in the world will not do you a bit of good if you cannot see the target you are aiming for.

Now that you know a little more about the caliber you will need, you can go scope out the latest bolt action rifles or other firearms to make your hunt successful. Make sure that the rifles you own or buy are compatible with the ammunition you need. While the options presented here are not the only ones available, they are some of the best for big game hunting.

Filed under: Caliber, Rifles No Comments
10Nov/170

Understanding Class III Firearms

Have you ever researched firearms online and come across terms like NFA, Title II, or Class III weapons? Did you know what they meant, or did you simply disregard them and continue to browse the weapons on the website? Either way, it is a good idea to have an understanding of Class III firearms as well as some of the laws, regulations and definitions that surround them.

Let’s start with the NFA, which is short for the National Firearms Act. The original act was signed in 1934 to impose a tax on the manufacturing and distribution of certain. It also required NFA firearms to be registered with the Secretary of the Treasury. NFA firearms were defined as SBS (short barreled shotguns), SBR (short barreled rifles), machine guns, suppressors (firearm mufflers and silencers), and certain firearms defined as “any other weapons.”

In 1968, Title II of the Gun Control Act (GCA) was an amendment brought forward to correct some flaws of the NFA, most notably in the Haynes case. Title II redefined “firearm” to add “destructive devices” and broadened the definition of “machine gun.”

The current list of NFA weapons on the official website looks like this:

(1) a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length;

(2) a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length;

(3) a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length;

(4) a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length;

(5) any other weapon, as defined in subsection (e);

(6) a machinegun;

(7) any silencer (as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code); and

(8) a destructive device.

Finally, we have the term Class III. In order to be sold legally, NFA firearms, which fall under the Title II amendment, must be sold by a specially licensed dealer with a Class III Special Occupational Tax permit. Due to this restriction on who can sell them, these weapons are often referred to as Class 3 weapons. The cost to process any transfer of the weapon was set at $200 in 1934, and it has stayed the same ever since.

Though there have been some modifications to NFA regulations, the legality has remained mostly the same. The way people view these weapons has been the main difference over the years. From semi-automatic handguns to tactical rifles, the public view has become skewed. Many people look at the list of weapons on the NFA list and assume they are illegal weapons. That is simply not true.

Plenty of myths surround these weapons, including the idea that they are illegal. To debunk the misconceptions around these weapons, here are three facts regarding their safety and legality:

  • There is no special license to own an NFA weapon. To obtain one, an approved ATF form must be filled out. Which form you need depends on how you plan to acquire the firearm. The Class 3 license is associated with the seller of the weapon, not the buyer.
  • Since the NFA was enacted in 1934, only one felony has been committed with a legal NFA firearm. Every other crime that used a weapon on the list was committed with an illegally acquired firearm. Law abiding citizens have proven over the decades that they can handle the responsibility associated with owning NFA Class 3 weapons.
  • You can legally make these weapons. As previously mentioned, the right ATF form must be filled out; in this instance, an ATF Form 1 Application to Make and Register a Firearm must be used.

Now that you know a little more about Class III firearms, you can approach your search for a SCAR rifle, semi-automatic shotgun, or another Class III weapon with confidence. Be sure to double-check any state laws before you proceed with a purchase, as there may be additional paperwork to fill out or approvals that must be secured.

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3Nov/170

Five Reasons to Buy Winchester’s New SXP Shotguns

The revival of Winchester firearms has been accompanied by a resurgence in their shotguns – in particular, the Winchester SXP. After several years of focusing on ammunition, the company has returned its focus to shotguns and rifles, and marksmen widely agree that they are happy with Winchester’s decision.

The Super X Pump (SXP) offers a list of features not commonly associated with the Winchester name, but that does not mean they did not bring the typical Winchester craftsmanship to these lever action shotguns. Here are five great reasons to buy one of Winchester’s new SXP shotguns.

GRIP

 

Anyone familiar with Winchester would know that a synthetic pistol grip is not a typical feature from a brand that typically focuses on hunting weapons. Granted, not all of the SXP models feature this attribute; the ones that do, like the Super X Pump Long Beard, are geared towards more defensive-oriented shooters. On all models, there are textured gripping surfaces to prevent the weapon from easily slipping in your hands.

DURABILITY

 

What good is a weapon that cannot withstand the rigors of the hunt or the range? Not much, which is why Winchester packed all of their SXP shotguns with solid components to keep your weapon working at optimal performance. Four large lugs offer support to the rotary bolt. A hard chrome-plated chamber and bore make the SXP ultra-resistant to corrosion and extended use. On the Winchester SXP Breakup Country, shooters will find the alloy receiver drilled and tapped with black chrome protection on the bolt to increase both its life and the lives of components used with it.

RECOIL PAD

 

Whether you are firing the 12-gauge or the 20-gauge version of this weapon, you are going to experience plenty of kick. Winchester tries to mitigate this as much as possible with their inflex technology recoil pad. Found on all of the SXP models, it helps nullify the intensity of the recoil while directing the felt recoil downwards.

SAFETY

 

Many hunters have found certain gun safeties to be unnecessarily complicated. For home defense, the ability to easily and quickly disengage the safety could mean the difference between life and death. Winchester’s crossbolt safety allows for a quick transition to ready-to-fire. Most people agree that the safety can be easily operated while wearing gloves.

PRICE

With these great features under the Winchester brand, you might be wondering how much this will set you back. Though price should not be the number one factor, you want to be sure you are getting the value you are paying for the firearm. The Winchester SXP Marine Defender 20 gauge, for example, can be found at just over $350. There are various pricing tiers available depending on the model, finish and gauge you want, but the SXP series can generally be found between $350-$550 for most versions. Most people agree that Winchester has outdone themselves with all of the features in the SXP series and how much they are being sold for.

Those are just a few of the reasons to consider buying Winchester’s latest Super X Pump models. They come with most of the traditional make-up of previous Winchesters, but with some modern upgrades and twists you might not expect to find but will be glad you did. If you are looking for semi-automatic shotguns for sale, or are just in the mood to upgrade any of your existing models to the latest version, the SXP series from Winchester is a great place to start looking.

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