Mossberg FLEX System: When One Gun Is Enough

I’ve seen magazine ads for the Mossberg FLEX system for sometime now, but have not had the opportunity to kick the tires, so to speak, until now.

The Mossberg FLEX system allows you to swap stocks, grips and butt pads quickly and easily.

The Mossberg FLEX system allows you to swap stocks, grips and butt pads quickly and easily.

If you’re not familiar with the Mossberg FLEX, the idea is a system of interchangeable parts, like stocks, grips, buttpads and forends, that allow you to quickly and easily reconfigure a rifle or shotgun. There are plenty of good reasons you might want to do this.

  • Seasonal clothing changes. If your shotgun or rifle fits you perfectly in the cold months when you wear heavy clothing, it might be a bit long in the stock during the summer t-shirt months.
  • You may want to share the same rifle or shotgun with another person who requires a different length of pull than you – a child for instance?
  • Maybe you want to use one gun for hunting and home defense. Why not mount a solid stock for hunting outings and a collapsible for home defense use?
Butt pads are a piece of cake to swap. A button on the bottom of the stock releases one, so you can add a different size.

Butt pads are a piece of cake to swap. A button on the bottom of the stock releases one, so you can add a different size.

Before I saw the system I had hesitations about the about how solid this the mounts would be. After all, the stock is the focal point for heavy recoil forces in shotguns and rifles. At the recent Professional Outdoor Media Conference (POMA) I had the opportunity to swap some stocks and shoot.

I found the locking system to be rock solid and here’s why. Mossberg uses zinc fixtures on both male and female sides of the locking mechanism between the stock and receiver. The locking mechanism is similar and appearance and function to AR style barrel extension and bolt carrier the way the two pieces locked together. A semicircular lever lifts out of the stock itself and twists 90° to release the mechanism. A quick bump with your hand and the two halves come apart. It’s a tight fit and I could detect no “play” at all between the receiver and stock.

You can also swap the butt pad for different sizes with a simple button release on the bottom of the stock. The butt pads are designed to snap in place and are available in small, medium and large sizes. Mossberg also offers different sizes of stocks blanks so you actually have two ways to customize. First you choose the stock you want, then select the desired butt pad. Couldn’t be easier.

Mossberg makes the FLEX system for 12 gauge 500 series shotguns, 7.62mm and 5.56mm MVP bolt action magazine fed rifles, 20 gauge shotguns and now FLEX-22 rifles.

Cool stuff.

Top 11 Bad Gun Cliches…

Bad Gun Cliches

Cliche  [klee-shey]
noun

  1. a trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse, as sadder but wiser,  or strong as an ox.
  2. anything that has become trite or commonplace through overuse.
  3. A truly annoying phrase or saying which inflicts physical pain simply by the number of times it’s needlessly repeated.

Actually I don’t believe in banning things, as that’s totalitarian and just plain mean-spirited, but hearing these phrases is reminiscent of brushing my teeth a Dremel tool. Maybe we should limit their use to certified Maury Show guests instead?

So let’s get started. I might stretch the technical definition of cliché just a little bit, as some are just words that make me want to do anything else, like put my tongue on a hot rifle barrel. But that’s okay, because this is going to be fun.

Common sense gun laws!

The problem with “common sense” is that it isn’t common.

The people who define “common sense” have less sense than spackle. (Tweet This)

In an era where politicians don’t read what they write and subsequently vote on, there’s no such thing as common sense laws.

I don’t dial 911!

If you don’t call 911, you’re an idiot.

In fact, if you don’t dial 911 you’re the sort not likely to beat Forest Gump at a rousing game of Wheel of Fortune.

Always, always, always dial 911 at your very first opportunity. Good guys dial 911 to request help and/or report what happened. Bad guys don’t.

Arsenal!

This one drives me nuts! When I hear some apoplectic, blathering broadcaster talk about an “arsenal” I find out we have very different definitions of the word.

To me, an arsenal is a building with more guns and ammunition than I can shoot in my lifetime. (Tweet This)

Not a baby-stash that is a tad larger than what Michael Bloomberg will shoot in his lifetime.

Operator!

When someone tells me there an operator I assume they’re either a surgeon or an OR nurse. What defines a “tactical operator” anyway? I don’t even get the origin of the word “operator.” Is it because they operate tactical things? Or because they send evil folks to the operating room? Or perhaps it’s because they use those cool throat mikes instead of phones?

I shoot all sorts of guns but no one considers me a tactical operator. On the other hand, since I manipulate goofy articles on the Internet on a regular basis, maybe I’m a typographical operator?

High-capacity magazines!

Part of the definition of cliché is something that has lost all legitimate meaning. When it comes to high-capacity magazines, I’m not sure there’s any meaning to begin with. What is high-capacity? Three rounds? Four rounds? 300 rounds? It’s one of those phrases that has a different meaning for everyone. To His Royal No-Longer-In-Charge Highness, Mayor Bloomberg, high-capacity is one round.

To me, high-capacity magazines hold 13,412 rounds. Really, I counted. (Tweet This)

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

Open Carry Ban Leads To Concealed Carry Win in California?

California Shall Issue Permit ProcessBack to back Second Amendment victories emerged from an unlikely source – the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In two cases filled with irony, it turned out that California’s recent ban on open carry paved the way for the concealed carry victory. Huh?

Yes, an anti-gun decision in California enabled a pro-gun court ruling. (Tweet This)

Monkeys are now flying out of my… well, never mind.

While California bans open carry at the state level, concealed carry policies and restrictions are determined at the county level. Frustrated by permit refusals from San Diego County, five residents sued, challenging the county’s requirement for “proof of need” to obtain a concealed carry permit. Apparently, if you’ve been murdered more than once, you “might” be eligible to obtain a carry permit in some locales.

On February 13th, the appeals court ruled on the Peruta v. San Diego case in favor of the residents and ruled the “may issue” concealed permit policy unconstitutional.

“We are not holding that the Second Amendment requires the states to permit concealed carry,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, a Reagan appointee, wrote for the panel. “But the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.”

With no open carry option on the table, and concealed carry effectively banned in many California counties due to arbitrary permit issuance policies, the court agreed that citizens were effectively prevented from exercising their Second Amendment rights.

If you can’t carry visibly or concealed, that only leaves parallel universe carry, which is a difficult skill for most people to master. (Tweet This)

In a follow-up case, Richards vs. Sheriff Ed Prieto, Yolo County, California’s “may issue” concealed carry permit policy was also shot down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court rejected the county argument that the case circumstances were materially different than Peruta vs. San Diego.

“Today’s ruling reinforces the Second Amendment’s application  to state and local governments, and will help clear the way for more California citizens to exercise their right to bear arms,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “California officials have been put on notice that they can no longer treat the Second Amendment as a heavily regulated government privilege.”

According to the San Jose Mercury News, permits permit applications have been flooding in to a number of counties since the ruling, with many seeing double the annual average of applications in the past few weeks.

The bottom line? These two cases have solidified the position that Second Amendment rights apply outside the home – at least for California residents. At the national level, the Ninth Circuit decision is contrary to similar cases in the Second, Third and Fourth Circuit courts, so Supreme Court intervention is likely at some point.

Keep the pressure on folks!

Winchester Ammunition’s Long Beard XR: Turkey Hunting or Home Defense?

Note how the shot column is standing on it's own as a result of the "shot lock" resin.

Winchester Ammunition Long Beard XR: Note how the shot column is standing on it’s own as a result of the “shot lock” resin.

While at the professional outdoor media conference range day I had the opportunity to check out some new shot shell loads from Winchester Ammunition. Winchester’s Long Beard XR is designed to create a tighter pattern at longer distances, resulting in twice the number of pellets in a 10 inch circle at distances up to 60 yards, according to the company.

Here’s what’s interesting about Winchester Long Beard XR: It uses a “shot lock” resin to bond all of the shot pellets together into a solid plug. As the load is fired, the resin disintegrates and turns to dust, leaving the shot pellets to fly on their own. The purpose isn’t that the pellets are bonded together in flight but rather that there’s no airspace between pellets at lift-off time.

This is a target set at 60 yards. While the point of aim is a bit off the neck and head, note the density of the shot pattern in the body.

This is a target set at 60 yards. While the point of aim is a bit off the neck and head, note the density of the shot pattern in the body.

In a normal shot shell the pellets are just piled on top of each other and only held in place by the wad and walls of the shot shell. When you fire it, the pellets get all smashed around as they are pushed to supersonic velocity from a standstill. This somewhat violent process creates mis-shaped pellets. Pellets flying out of round tend to spread out more rapidly, thereby creating a larger pattern. Because physics and aerodynamics.

The shot lock resin fills the air space, so the sudden acceleration doesn’t create a mashing effect. The pellets don’t get all squashed and therefore fly straighter in a tighter pattern.

So what happens when the pellets stay round?

The Winchester Ammunition folks set up targets at ranges of 25, 50 and even 60 yards. As you can see the patterns were perfectly usable for turkey hunting all the way up to 60 yards.

Winchester Ammunition Long Beard XR was designed for turkey hunters and is currently available in 12 gauge shot sizes of 4, 5 and 6.

I have to think this might also make an interesting home defense load for those concerned about over penetration inside. The 4, 5 and 6 shot sizes could help the penetration issue, while a tighter pattern might reduce risk of stray pellets. I’ll test this out against simulated walls soon and share the results.

You can find Winchester Ammunition Long Beard XR at Cabelas.

How To Become A Better Pistol Shooter By Shooting A Wimpier Gun

Smaller caliber guns aren’t necessarily just for newer shooters. If you want to become an expert, practice with a light-kicking gun might be just the ticket.

Ammo Assortment

The classic example is a .410 shotgun. Folks assume that since the .410 is small, light, and shoots a low recoil round, then it must be great for new shooters. With some exceptions, I think the opposite is true.  The .410 is really an expert’s gun. If you see someone slinging a Beretta 687 Silver Pigeon on the skeet range, chances are they know what they’re doing. It’s hard to bust a moving clay target with a small shot charge. But if you can, then repeating the action with a 12 gauge will seem as easy as hitting water with a boat.

There’s a similar scenario with .22LR handguns. While it’s not harder to hit a target with a .22, I think a .22 pistol is just as appropriate for an advanced shooter as a beginner.

If you want to become an expert shooter, you need to master trigger press. Perhaps the best way to build outstanding trigger press skills is through daily dry fire practice, like the drills we explain in the Trigger Pull Drill article. Yet most new shooters are going to get bored with dry fire. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll always encourage lots of dry fire practice, as part of your handgun training. The best professional shooters in the world practice dry fire drills every day. But let’s face it. New shooters want to shoot! So let’s skip the dry fire stuff for now and talk about ways to become a better shooter while actually shooting.

Read the rest at Beretta USA!

Shooting Myth: Knockdown Power

Knockdown [nok-doun]
adjective

  1. Capable of knocking something down; overwhelming; irresistible: a knockdown blow.
  2. Internet lore referring to the ability of large guns like .45’s and shotguns to literally knock people off their feet.

Last week, I wrote about Ten Examples of the Internet’s Worst Gun Advice, and that created quite the discussion! A lot of the conversation stuck on the issues related to knockdown power. Some are still convinced that a shotgun will knock someone backwards, through a plate-glass window or into the next county. Others got hung up on related issues, like stopping power or lethality.

I decided that this was a great excuse to go to the shooting range and do silly things, so let’s talk about the literal definition of knockdown power. I don’t mean stopping power, or lethality or capability to cause damage. Those things are pretty clear concepts. I mean literal knockdown power. Can a projectile fired from a commonly available firearm literally knock someone off their feet? We aimed to find out – and brought a video camera along to document the experiment. There’s a link to the video towards the end of this article.

Testing the Knockdown Power myth with a 50 pound bag of sand and a bulletproof vest.

Testing the Knockdown Power myth with a 50 pound bag of sand and a bulletproof vest.

Since I couldn’t find any volunteers to get “knocked down” I decided to use a 50 pound bag of sand as a stand-in substitute. Yes, I’m the adventurous sort. I’m stacking the deck in favor of the knockdown power myth. Even though an average evil dude is likely to weigh 150 pounds or more, we’re going to see what various projectiles do to an object that weighs just 50 pounds.

One more thing. There was a lot of discussion in the comments last week about kinetic energy, bullets passing through targets and the concept of energy dumps. So to make sure that our Sandbag Stanley absorbed all the gusto and enthusiasm that each round had to offer, we clothed him in a bulletproof vest. It’s for science after all.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

10 Worst Examples of Gun Advice From the Internet

Apparently I’ve taken on a task that is simply not possible without violating several laws of our physical universe – picking only 10 of the worst pieces of shooting advice from across the vast and vacuous expanse known as the internet.

I stopped counting at 32,987,412,318. But no worries, I’ll persevere.

If someone starts talking to you about "knockdown power" they better be talking about one of these.

If someone starts talking to you about “knockdown power” they better be talking about one of these.

Here we go, drum roll please…

1. A weapon light or laser will just give away your position!

If the self-defense scenarios swirling around your brain involve moving ninja fights in the dark that emulate Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon moves, you’re absolutely right!

A weapon light will give away your position, and your tactical pose hanging from the chandelier will be compromised. (Tweet This)

In real life, the benefits of seeing where and / or what you’re shooting at far outweigh any realistic disadvantages of “giving away your position.” One more thing, make it a point to tell the hundreds of thousands of military and law enforcement personnel who mount weapon lights and lasers on their guns specifically for the purpose of fighting in the dark that this is a tactical blunder. What do they know anyway?

2. To defend your home, blast your shotgun through the front door!

We all know that politicians are (self-defined) experts in all things. Some of the best (worst!) gun advice in recent history comes from our very own Vice President. “If you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door.” While blasting your shotgun through the door may help you drill a hole for one of those handy peep holes, it won’t help your legal cause in any way, shape or form. Most likely, this strategy will send you straight to jail. Just ask the Virginia Beach man who actually did this when confronted with two armed and masked home invaders. The bad guys escaped, but the Biden disciple was charged with a crime. The “Biden Defense” is just not likely to yield a positive outcome. Come on, we all know politicians are immune from repercussions of bad behavior. It’s an expected part of the job.

3. Don’t use an AR-15 for home defense!

With all this negativity, we should offer some helpful advice: Always keep one hand on the wheel while shooting a tactical rifle from a golf cart.

With all this negativity, we should offer some helpful advice: Always keep one hand on the wheel while shooting a tactical rifle from a golf cart.

You might have heard from internet commandos that a “high-powered” .223 round will go clear through your interior and exterior walls, Margaritaville machine, and most of Montana!

Or maybe that if you torch off a .223 round indoors, the building will explode! (Tweet This)

Actually, most standard AR-15 ammunition will only go through a few pieces of interior drywall with any significant energy. The projectiles are light and traveling extremely fast. This combination results in rapid tumbling and fragmentation when barriers are hit. While there may be other factors in the pro / con debate of using AR-15′s for home defense, over penetration is not one of them – especially when compared to pistol ammunition and buckshot. Of course, exceptions apply if you choose to use ammunition designed to penetrate.

4. You should carry your self-defense gun with the chamber empty.

Unless your self-defense gun is a single-action revolver with a hammer mounted firing pin, that’s almost always bad advice. If you think you can simply keep an eye on things around you so you have plenty of time to draw your gun, and rack the slide, in the event of an attack, try a Tueller drill sometime. It’s enlightening and will quickly relieve you of any security gained by carrying with an empty chamber.

Also, please write Hollywood and tell them to stop racking the slide every time someone is about to fire a gun. It’s a waste of perfectly good pretend ammunition. (Tweet This)

5. I only train for head shots.

Some of the couch commando elite speak of training for head shots to defeat body armor and perhaps save ammunition during these tough economic times. On the range, a cardboard target is pretty darn easy to hit anywhere you like. Now try that while running full speed. Then try that while you and the target are running full speed. Then try it when everyone is running full speed, shouting, and the target is trying to kill you. Enough said.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

Win A Year’s Worth of Free Ammo!

While the mystery of how the folks at LaserMax managed to find any ammo, much less a one year supply, continues to elude us, the story is true. They’re giving away 5,200 rounds of pistol ammunition. If you win, you get choice of caliber from the following:.22 LR, .380 ACP, 9mm, 38 SPL, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP.

LaserMax ammo giveaway

 

It’s easy to enter to win your one year supply of free ammo via one of three methods…

Method #1

Click here or scroll down to the bottom of this page, complete, and submit the online entry form. Online entries must be received between 12:00:01 AM Eastern Time (“ET”) on Monday, March 10, 2014 and 11:59:59 PM ET on Friday, June 20, 2014 (the “Sweepstakes Entry Period”). Limit: One (1) online entry per email address per day.

Method #2

LaserMax “Spring Savings” Promotion participants will be automatically entered to win. For complete details about this promotion, visit the rebate promotion page.

Method #3

Mail a handwritten postcard, including your name, complete address, phone number and email address to: LaserMax Spring Sweepstakes, c/o LaserMax, Inc., 3495 Winton Place, Rochester, NY 14623. Each postcard must be mailed separately, must be postmarked during the Sweepstakes Entry Period and received no later than Friday, June 27, 2014. Photocopied, illegible, or mechanically reproduced entries are not eligible. LaserMax is not responsible for lost, late, damaged, misdirected or postage-due mailed entries.

That’t it! Good luck!

8 Reasons You Need Professional Help

There are words and ideas that pass right through our brains like truthful reporting zips past the network news. In the shooting world, one of those words is “training.” Lots of respectable people talk about the importance of training. In response, we nod our heads and think “Yes! I need to get some professional training! I’ll get right on that!” But the moment passes, we go back to our daily life, and the next thing you know, we’re back to the normal routine – visiting the range once a month and perforating paper targets with great enthusiasm and vigor.

Pro Shooter and Trainer Todd Jarrett has the class moving fast and trying to hit small steel plates. It's an enlightening experience!

Pro Shooter and Trainer Todd Jarrett has the class moving fast and trying to hit small steel plates. It’s an enlightening experience!

You Need Professional Help!

Once you’ve made the decision to carry a firearm for self-protection (you can read more about it here), nothing can improve your ability to protect yourself and your family like professional training. Not equipment. Not ammunition. Not lights and lasers. Not watching Steven Seagal movies. Nothing.

I know for a fact that I need professional help – just ask my regular readers! But you need professional help too. Here are eight reasons why, in the form of easy-to-absorb concealed carry tips:

Concealed carry classes… aren’t.

Somewhere in the neighborhood of eight million Americans have concealed carry permits. Most of those folks had to complete some form of “firearms training.” Unfortunately state-required concealed carry permit training mostly addresses legal issues and carry regulations. Very, very few of those programs cover self-defense strategy and tactics training. If your concealed carry class does not have you out on the range drawing, moving, shooting, working on malfunction drills, and more, consider your concealed carry class as a starting point only. Please, please, please do not assume that your concealed carry class prepared you to carry a gun for self or home defense.

If it ain’t rainin’ you ain’t trainin’.

If you ever need to use your gun in a genuine life and death scenario, I can guarantee the participation criteria will be different than your decision process as to whether to go practice on any given day. Raining? Cold? Tired? “Nah, I’ll hit the range another day,” you think. None of that will matter in real life. If you have to defend yourself or family, you get no choice whether or not to participate based on your feelings or the weather. One of the best training classes I ever did took place in the pouring rain. The instructor didn’t wait it out. In fact, he was thrilled that we would have the opportunity to learn our deficiencies and improve our skills in less than ideal conditions. Wet and slippery hands, mud in our magazines, and soggy cover garments – it all was genuine. And enlightening. And did I mention, wet?

You too can learn how to create a triple malfunction.

A training class will induce just a little bit of stress, and this is a good thing. It won’t recreate the stress of a real-world encounter, but it will get your blood flowing and nerves off kilter. A little training stress can easily cause you to revert to your lowest level of performance. Trust me, I know.

In one of my classes, I managed to create a triple malfunction. The instructor was hollering at me, but it was all in good fun. I was slightly cocky about my accurate shooting and the instructor wanted to create some stress and urgency to throw me off-track. I managed to dump a full magazine on the ground, eject two live cartridges and inadvertently engage the safety before getting off a successful shot. After the class stopped laughing at my expense, we had a great learning moment. Real training, with some pressure, can show you how your “quiet range” skills might suffer in a real world encounter.

Read the rest at Beretta USA!

NRA’s Wayne LaPierre’s CPAC Speech Live Here Today

You can catch Wayne LaPierre‘s speech from CPAC live, right here,  at 2:15 Eastern Time!

Taking place in Washington, D.C. each year, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) educates, brings together and energizes thousands of attendees and all of the leading conservative organizations and speakers who impact conservative thought in the nation. From presidents of the U.S. to college students, this event has become the place to find our nation’s current and future leaders and to set the conservative agenda each year.

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