NEW PRODUCT: SilencerCo Threaded Barrels

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Wandering the halls of the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers show, I stumbled across a brand new product from SilencerCo.

Literally arriving in town this morning, threaded barrels for Glock 21 and 17 models are now in production. Threaded barrels for the Glock 19 and Sig P226 will be available over the next couple of months.

Perfect threading for suppressor use is a big deal as slight variations can result in baffle strikes or internal damage for expensive silencer devices.

Pricing and availability details to follow.

Pic of the Day: The Ultimate Plinking Pistol?

Smith & Wesson's new M&P22 Compact .22LR pistol equipped with a SilencerCo Sparrow suppressor.

Smith & Wesson’s new M&P22 Compact .22LR pistol equipped with a SilencerCo Sparrow suppressor.

This nifty combo just took over 1st place in my safe as the ultimate plinking pistol. It’s a Smith & Wesson M&P22 Compact .22LR. We reviewed that recently and you can read about it here. It comes with a threaded barrel, but you’ll need an adapter to convert the thread size and pitch to standard silencer mount size and for necessary extension past the slide. EWK Arms makes an inexpensive adapter that gives you what you need to mount most .22LR silencers. The one shown here is a SilencerCo Sparrow. As you can see, size proportions are perfect between the pistol and suppressor. Feel and balance are also perfect with this combo – both pistol and silencer are equal proportions and lightweight. The best part? The standard sights on the M&P22 Compact are visible over the top of the Sparrow silencer.

Federal’s Target Grade Performance .22LR ammunition, shown here, is a great match for this combo. Th 40 grain lead bullets cruised out the business end of this pistol at 949 feet per second (unsuppressed) which is well below the speed of sound. It’s a sooper-dooper quiet combination.

If you want to have a little bit of structured plinking competition, check out the new Battleship Game targets from Birchwood Casey. Like the classic board game, you shoot each other’s battleships until sunk. Who says .22’s aren’t powerful?

A Shooter’s Introduction to Bowfishing

Muzzy's Pro Bowfisher Mark Land demonstrates the technique.

Muzzy’s Pro Bowfisher Mark Land demonstrates the technique.

I don’t fish.

I don’t have anything against fishing, in fact, I kind of like it, mainly because you’re expected to enjoy a cold one while taking in the great outdoors. The only reason I don’t fish more has to with that economic principle called opportunity cost. The concept of opportunity cost was developed by Austrian economist Friedrich von Wieser or the late Colonel Jeff Cooper, I can never remember which. Anyway, it’s a microeconomic theory that defines the value of an alternative forgone in a situation where limited resources force a single choice. For me, the limited resource part is the time away from work and chores and the choice part is whether to go shooting or fishing. To put the opportunity cost theory in down-home terms, for every hour I go fishing, that’s an hour I don’t have available for shooting, and to me, an hour not shooting is kind of like a century and a half. It’s just like choosing steak or lobster. I love lobster, but I’ll never pass up a medium rare, bone-in ribeye for it.

The Muzzy eXtreme Duty bowfishing reel.

The Muzzy eXtreme Duty bowfishing reel.

Opportunity cost theory is neat in textbooks, but in the real world it simply means I know less about fishing than Jivaro Indian embalming techniques.

When I had the opportunity to learn a few things about bowfishing last week at the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association (SEOPA) annual conference, I jumped at the chance. Shoot fish? Heck yeah, count me in! It seemed like a very elegant solution to that whole pesky opportunity cost thing. I could shoot AND fish at the same time. If I was lucky, there might even be a barrel involved.

Waiting on my departure time to the Fontana Lake marina for an outing on the Muzzy Broadheads adventure fish slaying boat, I pondered whether it was appropriate to ask our guide, Mark Land, if I could use a regular gun instead of a bow. In my view, it should be more or less the same as you’re trying to hit a swimming fish with a projectile. Plus, I’ve heard stories on the internet about ill-tempered carp jumping into boats, so I figured there was a good self-defense case too. While I even offered to use a suppressed gun to keep the noise down, Mark insisted I use a compound bow. Gee, when a guy who works for an archery company offers to take you out for free, I guess he expects you to use his products. That was OK with me though, it was still shooting, more or less.

Arriving at the marina, I glimpsed the Muzzy adventure boat. That’s my name, not theirs, and I call it that because it’s far more aqua-tactical than those Jungle Cruise boats you ride on at Disney. Muzzy uses this one to promote bow fishing and it’s decked out not just for the activity of bowfishing tournaments, but optimized for photography and television production outings. I’m pretty sure it has a two trillion horsepower Mercury outboard. It’s also got a different twist on the air boat concept – a trolling fan. This allows slow travel, maybe eight miles per hour or so, in very shallow and grassy areas. Using the fan, this boat only needs about 8 inches of water to operate, so you can chase fish into the most elusive of hiding spots. The boat is also decked out with more floodlights lights than Rikers Island Penitentiary. Those are for spotting fish in the prime fishing hours after dark. In fact, Mark’s got so many lights rigged on the Muzzy boat that a separate gas generator is required to power them all. Getting started with a rig like this is cheap – only about fifty grand.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

Photo Gallery: Sig Sauer P226 Elite Single Action Only

Like the feel and capacity of the Sig Sauer but can’t get used to that single / double action? Check out the single action only P226 Elite in 9mm…

Pic of the Day: Smokin’ Hot…

Smokin' Hot!

Smokin’ Hot!

Here’s a SilencerCo Osprey 45 suppressor. This is mounted on a Glock 31, which is actually a .357 Sig pistol. One of the neat things about many .357 Sig guns is that you can do a barrel swap to .40 S&W using the same magazines. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to suppress .357 Sig ammo as you’ll always here the supersonic crack. Although in some cases you may want to use a silencers just to reduce the muzzle blast – especially when you might fire it indoors.

In this case, I added a Lone Wolf .40 S&W threaded barrel in order to mount the SilencerCo suppressor. The wisps of smoke are from a rapid string of Winchester Ammunition Train & Defend .40 S&W (Train) ammo. This makes a great suppressed round as the 180 grain full metal jacket projectile moves out of this particular gun at an average of 880 feet per second – well below the speed of sound. Yes, it’s quiet.

New Daisy Slime Oozing Targets

Daisy's Slime Oozing Targets add a whole new level of fun over paper targets.

Daisy’s Slime Oozing Targets add a whole new level of fun over paper targets.

Here’s a neat idea sure to capture a young shooter’s attention. New Slime Oozing targets from Daisy provide fun interactivity with hardly any mess. I saw these recent at a media shooting event and had to check them out when I saw experienced gun writers bypassing real gun tables to head to the Daisy booth. That’s right – a bunch of normally serious folks were gleefully plinking away at these targets.

Each hit from a BB or pellet gun releases a little bit of pinkish-reddish slime ooze that clearly indicates a hit. Right now, two types of targets are available: a half watermelon and a set of three soda cans. The ooze in the center is lightweight, so the targets are easy to hang on a normal target stand – no special support is required. The slime itself is thick and gelatinous, so while it will ooze from a BB hole, it’s unlikely to drip all the way to the ground. The slime dries pretty quickly and automatically seals the holes, so when finished for the day, take it home and bring it out again on your next trip.

You can find these online and at sporting retailers for less than $20.

Photo Gallery: Beretta’s 692 Sporting Shotgun with B-Fast Comb

Here are some photos of the first Beretta 692 Sporting model with B-Fast comb and 32″ barrels to make its way to the US. Look for a full review soon!

Pic of the Day: Trijicon TA33-C 3×30 ACOG 300 AAC Blackout

The 30mm objective lens provides plenty of light.

Trijicon’s ACOG for 300 AAC Blackout manages supersonic and subsonic ammo hold points.

Wanted: Marital Bliss at the Shooting Range

Half-Cocked: Professional Shooting Instruction

“What exactly will it take to make this work for you?”

“I’ll be in the truck!”

“&%$#*)! !!^&$%@!”

I overheard these comments and a few more choice ones, at my regular shooting range the other day. The source was a couple, probably in their 50s, who had settled in at one of the shooting benches to my right not three minutes prior. I was busy and not paying much attention until my marital spat early warning system alerted me to the fact that a guy was in the early stages of making sleeping arrangements for the sofa.

Glancing in their direction, I saw the husband attempting to teach his wife defensive shooting. It was pretty clear that she was an inexperienced shooter. Whether she had fired any type of gun before, I don’t know.

Anyway, he had her firing a snub nose revolver and was guiding her to assume an aggressive fighting stance and hit targets about 15 yards down range. She was obviously having less fun than Simon Cowell at an elementary school talent show. Within minutes of the couple’s arrival, they were gone, presumably to give each other the silent treatment for the rest of the day.

Marriage is a wonderful thing. I know first hand as I’ve been happily married for many more years than I’d like admit, only because that would date me. For all the wonderful benefits of marriage, one area where it doesn’t work out all that well is gun training. There are far too many personal dynamics at play in the significant other relationship.

In other words, who makes the absolute worst possible shooting trainer? Your significant other, that’s who. OK, there are exceptions, but generally speaking you’re not going to have a good learning experience at the range with the person with whom you share a toothbrush.

Why? Lot’s of reasons.

Relationship dynamics are already well established. A learning session has no place for relationship nuances. A learning session involving life and death issues is no place to bring emotional leftovers – good or bad.

Most significant others think they know a whole lot more than they do about the topic at hand. In this case, the “expert” was starting his student off with a lightweight snub nose revolver. That’s a really poor first time shooting experience for anyone, man, woman or child. Good trainers know that the key is to start a shooter with something that doesn’t scare them with blast and recoil, thereby allowing them to overcome fears and build confidence.

Even if they know the “material” most significant others don’t know how to train. Effective teaching is an art unto itself. If you think that just because you know a subject, you are qualified to teach others, stop, do not pass go and do not collect $200.

If your significant other wants to learn how to shoot, do everyone involved a big favor. Spend a hundred bucks on a class or invest in an hour or two of one on one training with a certified instructor. Once they learn the basics, and build some confidence, you can go to the range together.

An outing to the shooting range is too much fun to spoil with a needless spat.

Beretta’s ARX100: A Quick Tour

 

The Beretta ARX100 is designed to be a Transformer.

The Beretta ARX100 is designed to be a Transformer.

I’ve never watched the Transformers movies, but if my understanding is correct, those flicks were about 1974 AMC Gremlins morphing into deep fried banana splits, thereby earning free admission to the Texas State Fair. Or something along those lines.

Even if I’m a bit off in my understanding of the Transformers plot, you have to admit the idea of effortless transformation on demand is a pretty cool thing. Politicians do it all the time based on poll numbers and density of cameras within 25 yards, so why shouldn’t rifles be able to perform the same feat?

Getting back to the point, since I’m writing this on the Beretta Blog, let’s talk about transformation with respect to the new Beretta ARX100 rifle. Its family heritage is the ARX160 – a 21st century rifle designed for the Italian (and other) militaries and law enforcement organizations. As a result, some mondo engineering has been applied to make this rifle fit not only a wide variety of potential shooters, but also easily adapt to a broad range of requirements. If you haven’t noticed, people come in all shapes and size. Some do most things, including shooting, with the right hands, while others buck the trend and use the left side. Folks are also tall, short and everywhere in between. Don’t even get me started on accessories preferences as it seems no two people on the North American continent can agree on exactly how a rifle should be equipped with optional gear.

Apparently the main design goal of the Beretta ARX100 is to not only accept all these physical and opinion differences, but embrace them. The rifle has been designed to be instantly customizable in many, many ways. Most importantly, all this customization can be done without tools – that’s where the engineering magic comes in.

With all that said, let’s take a quick tour, from back to front. In a future article, we’ll do a deep dive on how the ARX100 operates and shoots. For now, we’ll focus on how it’s put together.

Read the rest at Beretta USA!

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