10 Reasons the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational Is My Favorite Shooting Event

Jerry Miculek of Team Smith & Wesson looks on as a competitor blasts an aerial target (upper left)

Jerry Miculek of Team Smith & Wesson looks on as a competitor blasts an aerial target (upper left)

I had the good fortune to compete in, and cover, the shooting community’s coolest adventure, otherwise known as the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational. As the name implies, this is a full-blown outdoor 3 Gun match.

The third annual Crimson Trace event was held at the COSSA shooting range located in the high desert about 7,394 nautical miles outside of Bend, Oregon. The remote location and match schedule ensures several things: it will be dark, as in black hole kind of dark; your equipment will have to perform in exceptionally dusty and dirty conditions (drop a magazine in the dirt here and it will sound like nails on a chalkboard for the rest of the match); and, you will not sleep for several days.

A look down at some of the shooting bays in use.

A look down at some of the shooting bays in use.

1. Sleep

More accurately, lack of sleep defines this event. Shooting begins around 9 pm and continues until four or five in the morning. The first night of competition, I rolled back into my hotel room after sunrise – exhilarated but tired. Lest you think you can catch up during the day, busses leave for the range before lunch for training, safety briefings and sponsor range demonstrations. Next week, I’ll get into some really neat new products demonstrated at the range event.

2. Safety

As safety is the number one concern, range officers are more plentiful than fake ID’s at a Justin Bieber concert. As all of the range officers are avid 3 Gun Shooters themselves, there is a full match for them the two nights prior to the pro match Friday and Saturday nights. We media weasels squad up with the range officers and shoot the full match with them Wednesday and Thursday nights. This is a great win-win solution. We media hacks don’t have to shoot with the pros and face total humiliation, the range officers shoot the full match, and we all work the bugs out before the pros start Friday night. As you’ll see from the photos, every person on the range wears glow sticks front and back for absolute visibility. A big hat’s off to the professionalism and dedication of all the range staff. They preserved the perfect safety record while adding plenty of fun.

Nope, not dark enough yet. A pre-match briefing at Stage 7.

Nope, not dark enough yet. A pre-match briefing at Stage 7.

3. My Sig Sauer P226 Elite SAO

I wrote about this gun prior to the match. Hard use in the dusty match conditions confirmed my early opinions. Dumping mags in use dry dust all week got the gun plenty dirty, but it ran like a champ. The best part was comfort of high-volume shooting. I used American Eagle 147 grain 9mm ammo that clocks in around 950 feet per second. The recoil impulse was light and smooth – perfect for high-speed competitive shooting.

4. Live entertainment

During the awards ceremony, Crimson Trace founder Lew “Joe Cocker” Danielson stopped mid-speech, ran to his truck to retrieve his guitar, and broke into a rousing rendition of “Leaving On A Jet Plane.” As a special tribute to the ladies’ present, he followed with an a capella encore performance of “You Are So Beautiful.” Lew explained lack of guitar accompaniment to the fact the song requires seven chords and he only knows four so far. An inspiring moment from one of the industry’s finest individuals. It was epic.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

 

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Dogs Gone By: On the Front Line in the War Against Prairie Dogs

The Battlefield: The Silver Spur Ranch in Encampment, Wyoming.

The Battlefield: The Silver Spur Ranch in Encampment, Wyoming.

We awoke at dawn.

Most of us were slightly nervous, but energized by the certainty of impending combat. I doubt the enemy ever sleeps. They’re too busy digging a tunnel network to support their underground trafficking enterprise.

We’d been the ones to choose the field of battle – the Silver Spur Ranch in Encampment, Wyoming. Encampment is an eerily appropriate name given the enemy’s permanent dug in positions.

Our foe has a great propaganda machine, although I have absolutely no idea how they can afford such a thing. As a result, most people know them as those cute, adorable and cuddly Facebook poster critters. Awwww.

The modern day tank that carried the day during the trench warfare stage - the Yamaha

The modern day tank that carried the day during the trench warfare stage – the Yamaha Viking UTV.

Like Hollywood celebrities, our enemy’s day to day behavior is somewhat different from their public image. They cause massive, and I do use that word deliberately, damage to agricultural and grazing land. They eat each other like real world zombies. They reproduce faster than Anthony Wiener texts his, well, you know. They carry the plague. They’re downright evil.

Yes, I’m talking about prairie dogs.

When it comes to setting a battle strategy, you need to use every possible advantage. If you’re fighting fair, your tactics suck, or so they say. And we had no room to give up the slightest advantage. The Silver Spur Ranch has been occupied with just over 15.371 billion prairie dogs – I counted. We numbered six, plus our guide Roger, and our hosts Jeff, Matt and Neal. By my calculation, that was just 10 of us, except when I used Common Core math. Then I got an answer of negative 19.7 apples.

Even though the numerical odds weren’t exactly in our favor, I was confident in our chances. I took stock of our advantages:

  • We have opposable thumbs and can do neat things with them like play Angry Birds.
  • We live in above ground structures and eat bacon pretty much whenever we want.
  • My brain is larger than theirs, so I figured my enemy had only 85% or so of my IQ.

Our enemy?

  • They have the intelligence of spackle.
  • They live in holes.

When you’re facing an enemy of near unlimited strength that’s dug in, you have to figure out how to break the trench warfare stalemate using technology. Back in World War I, they invented tanks to overrun the enemy. So did we, although ours were slightly more nimble than the Little Willy Tank of 1915. We used Yamaha Viking side by side UTVs – a two-seater and a six-seater. These off road wonders had plenty of capacity to haul a dozen guns, cases of Hornady ammo and us. And they navigated gulleys, sagebrush and prairie dog and badger holes with ease.

We also had the advantage of outspending our opponent in the arms race. The Blue Heron Communications team, representing Smith & Wesson, only brought 38 guns, so I was a little worried, but it worked out OK in the end. Hornady supplied somewhere north of 10 billion rounds of varmint ammunition by my best estimate.

On the first day of battle, I rode with Neal, the marketing head at Hornady ammunition. Smart move on my part to ride with the ammo guy, right? With 15 billion enemy, I was NOT going to run out of cartridges at a critical moment. Neal chose a Thompson Center Venture in 22-250 caliber and stoked it with Hornady’s .22-250 V-MAX loads. With that setup, he was the big gun on our team. One shot, one kill, if you get a hit pretty much anywhere. He backed that up with a Smith & Wesson 617 revolver offering 10 shots of .22 long rifle – just in case our perimeter was overrun.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

 

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The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

Three Gunning for Home Defense?

Two of the pistol choice contenders: Springfield Armory TRP 1911 (left) and Beretta PX4 Storm (right)

Two of the pistol choice contenders: Springfield Armory TRP 1911 with Crimson Trace Master Series Laser Grips and Lightguard (left) and Beretta PX4 Storm with Crimson Trace Rail Master Pro (right)

In a rare fit of advance planning and organization, I’m starting to think about what gear to use at this year’s Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational match. The event takes place August 12th through 17th in the high desert outside of Bend, Oregon, so I’ve got a little time.

As the event title implies, I need to pick, you guessed it, three guns to use – one handgun, shotgun and rifle. Stages are designed in such a way that you must always use at least two, and usually all three guns. Some targets require use of a specific gun type. For example, you might have to obliterate targets 1 through 9 with your pistol and targets 10 through 17 with your rifle. Other targets are optional, meaning that it’s the shooters choice whether to use a shotgun, rifle or pistol.

The event is more fun than should be legal, especially as it takes place in the absolute dark of night. Last year, shooting started sometime after 9pm and finished up some mornings near 5:30am. Who needs sleep?

This year, I’ve already decided to use the Midnight 3 Gun event as a home defense equipment trial of sorts. Rather than picking guns that are perfectly optimized to three gun competition rules, I’m going to pick guns that are reasonable to use in my home for protection of self, family and my ABBA vinyl record collection.

What does that really mean? If I was choosing to optimize for the competition and game the rules, I might select the following:

Tweaked out “competition optimized” guns like the shotgun mentioned above are obviously are not necessarily well suited for home defense. You wouldn’t want to be navigating your home in the middle of the night with a six foot long shotgun complete with magazine tube extending into the next room. A short and compact model would almost certainly be more appropriate – even if it had lower capacity.

With all that said, here’s what I am considering for each gun category:

Pistol

Last year I used a Glock 17 with rear activated laser and front activated light.

Last year I used a Glock 17 with rear activated laser and front activated light.

I’ve got a number of contenders going for the perfect home defense / M3GI pistol. Last year I shot a Glock 17 equipped with Crimson Trace Lasergrips and Crimson Trace Lightguard. It’s certainly no slouch for a home defense gun. 9mm is acceptable as a defensive round, capacity of 17+1 is solid and you can find a holster to fit a geared up Glock. But it’s a new year and a new match. I’ve been there and done that with the Glock, so I’ll be trying something different. Perhaps one of the following:

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

Scenes From A Gun Show

gun show 2-1

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to ingest a super-sized slice of Americana.

Is it legal to sell shooting books without a background check?

Is it legal to sell shooting books without a background check?

I got a bug up my butt to rent a table at a local gun show for the weekend to sell some of my books. Obviously my primary goal was to break my back for a weekend to provide for the family. Hanging out at a gun show for a couple of straight days was purely an unplanned fringe benefit, and I’m sticking by that story.

You hear a lot on the news about gun shows, and how delightfully evil they are, right? Criminals buying guns, thermite grenades and TOW missiles for sale and not a background check to be seen for miles around. While I’ve attended dozens, OK, hundreds, I’ve never invested the time to do some good old-fashioned crowd watching.

Being a lousy journalist, but somewhat good at stalking, I decided to make some notes throughout the weekend on my observations. This is quality science folks, because I was an Economics major in college. Real numbers economics, not home economics, so I can count reliably to nearly three digits.

Here’s what I saw…

31%

Percentage of people wearing hats. As one might expect, about 75% of all hats were ball cap types, but a surprisingly low percentage were camo or emblazoned with things like “don’t tread on me” or “molon labe.” Most were logoed with the wearer’s favorite sports team. I looked hard, but did not see any hats promoting Poysippi, Wisconsin’s Legion of Broom curling team. Rounding out the hat community were a good number of floppy jungle hats, Panama Jacks and bandana head wraps.

14.9%

Percentage of attendees what were children.

23%

Percentage of attendees that the Brady Campaign refers to as children when they recite crime statistics. This demographic actually represents people aged 17-25.

Fortunately, these were the only guns pointed at me this weekend.

Fortunately, these were the only guns pointed at me this weekend.

22.2%

Percentage of women attending the show. Yes, I did numerous aisle counts and averaged the results. I was that bored. Guys, if you saw me looking at your wife or girlfriend, it was all in the name of science. Really.

20%

Percentage of women working in booths at the show.

2

Number of (obviously) pregnant women.

1,143

Number of men who appeared to be pregnant.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

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5 Million Freakin’ People vs. Moms Demand Bloomberg Alimony Checks

NRA-Millions-video

Breaking news! The White House released a new report suggesting slight statistical corrections to previous figures. Earlier this year, Vice President Biden claimed that 90% of Americans support increased background checks. The new findings indicate that 90% of Americans actually ATTENDED the recent NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. You heard it here first folks.

Speaking of 75,267 people, and yes that’s the actual number that attended the NRA Annual Meeting last weekend, the NRA’s new ad campaign makes it abundantly clear the difference between the anti-gun effort and the Second Amendment rights preservation effort.

In the words of a new NRA membership video called Bloomberg’s Millions, “He’s one guy with millions, but we’re millions with our 25 bucks. Let’s see who crushes who.”

That. Is. Brilliant.

As a career marketing puke, I know it’s a brilliant campaign because it doesn’t spin, fool, or exaggerate. It hits the crux of the issue harder than that Mike Tyson punch where he swacked Zach Galifianakis in The Hangover. In case you didn’t see the movie, that punch was painful to watch, but entertaining for all except Zach.

The issue is simply this. The NRA has no power. None. None whatsoever.

You know what has power? 5 million freakin’ people who voluntarily send $25 a year to the NRA because they believe in the NRA’s position.(Tweet This!)

Power comes from 75,267 men, women and children who spend a whole lot of their hard-earned money (thanks Indianapolis, you were wonderful hosts!) to travel across the country to visit, talk, see products, hear speeches and vote.

On the other hand, astroturf, or lack of power comes from…

Protest Prostitutes.

As you may have heard, there was a protest by Moms Demand Something Or Other For Baby Emus, no wait, I think it’s Moms Demand Salaries From Michael Bloomberg, hang on, I’ll get it in a minute. Moms Demand Every Town Install Free Pillow Spray Dispensers. I think that’s it, right? Sorry, they keep changing names so frequently I lose track.

Anyway, Mom’s Demand Bloomberg Alimony Checks came to Indianapolis to “confront and challenge” the NRA. Fortunately, there are cheap flights to Indy because Bloomberg had to foot the bill to fly the couple of dozen men and women holding identical, organization provided signs. That’s right; they had to be paid to protest.

If your sign and t-shirt are issued when you clock in for your protest shift, you might be a protest prostitute. (Tweet This)

If your convictions are for sale for $8.50 an hour, you might be a protest prostitute. (Tweet This)

If the energy level of your protest won’t melt butter on a hot day, you’re a protest prostitute. (Tweet This)

While entertaining to watch, protest prostitutes have no real power, they’re just the hired help.

Once there, and between union-mandated coffee breaks, they “confronted” the NRA from a safe distance of about a mile away. You know, because we’re all gun totin’ savages just raring to shoot people and shout things like “I was in fear for my life!” Especially moms.

Heck there was no need to confront. If they had bothered to come to the convention, they would’ve found 75,267 of the most polite and respectful people around. Well, in all honestly, it was only 75,266 because of that one guy who failed to say “excuse me” when he stepped in front of me at the Wall of Guns exhibit.

Let’s get back to the whole power thing.

Groups like Moms Demand Piers Morgan for President constantly refer to the NRA as if it were some autonomous organization that derives its power from an obelisk buried deep within the moon.

In fact, the only power that the NRA has comes from those 5 million freakin’ members who contribute 25 bucks a year to fund its efforts. Those are voluntary partings with hard-earned money by the way. Voluntary. Not one rich elitist with a couple of unemployed protest prostitute sycophants.

I don’t know why this is such a difficult concept for the gun control movement to understand. They continue to speak of the NRA as if it had a will of its own that disregarded the will of the people.

If I hear one more person talk about the political clout of the gun lobby and NRA, I’m going to strap on a meatloaf suit and jog through the African Lion Safari exhibit at Busch Gardens.

The NRA has too much power? 5 million freakin’ people are SUPPOSED to have political clout. Lots and lots of it. (Tweet This!)

It’s part of that whole constitutional republic democratic process thing. Remember?

It’s a simple concept.

“He’s one guy with millions, but we’re millions with our 25 bucks. Let’s see who crushes who.”

If you’re reading this, and are not a member of the NRA, you need to join now. If 10% of the people who agree with the NRA would simply join, we wouldn’t be having these silly discussions about preserving our rights.

 

Grab a copy of Tom’s free eBook, A Fistful of Shooting Tips. It will help make you a better shooter and the envy of your range in no time.

The NRA Annual Meeting: 75,000 Friends and Hundreds of Toys

The NRA Annual Meeting 2014, Indianapolis, IN.

The NRA Annual Meeting 2014, Indianapolis, IN.

I love the NRA annual meeting. You would think a gathering of more than 75,000 people couldn’t be a more polite undertaking than a Miss Manners Impersonator convention, but it is. You can’t go 10 feet without hearing one or more of the following: Please. Thank you. Sir. Ma’am. Pardon me! Have a nice day!

If the folks who rant and rave about how evil the NRA is would actually come to an NRA event, I believe they would be surprised. Actually, they would be dumbfounded. I was chatting it up with a bellman at my hotel one morning, and he observed “I don’t see why people get so upset about the NRA. These have been some of the nicest people ever to come for a big convention.”

If the best part of the NRA annual meeting is the people, the second best part is the product displays. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting finds this week.

ARES SCR™ Sport Configurable Rifle

I had an opportunity to shoot the ARES SCR™ Sport Configurable Rifle at the American Suppressor Association media event the day before the NRA convention started. For a minute, let’s set aside the discussion of whether a company should even have to make a rifle like this because of silly legislation. As one of the guests on this week’s Armed American Radio Show so aptly stated, “It’s an AR rifle that doesn’t look like an AR rifle.”

The ARES SCR Sport Configurable Rifle

The ARES SCR Sport Configurable Rifle

Here’s what it is, besides a great example of creative ingenuity. Imagine a standard AR / MSR upper receiver, hand guard and barrel, but with a classic rifle stock. You know, just like the stock on your favorite hunting rifle or shotgun. Being that the “bang-bang” parts are all Modern Sporting Rifle, it takes almost all of the standard replacement parts and accessories. Magazines, lights, lasers, vertical foregrips and bipods for example. Remember, it’s an AR / MSR that just doesn’t look like one.

The short bolt carrier that makes the ARES SCR work.

The short bolt carrier that makes the ARES SCR work.

Here’s why it exists: It’s legal in all 50 states, even with the latest in silly and unproductive laws passed as of the date of this article.

The first question people ask is “how does it work?” There is no standard buffer tube as with a standard AR platform rifle, so the bolt carrier is short with a curved pigtail that extends down to a recoil spring in the standard rifle stock. The operating principle is the same.

Shooting the Ares SCR is like shooting any standard stock rifle. You’ll want to mount your optic like you would with a standard rifle – as low to the bore as possible. Since the stock curves down instead of straight back, a standard AR height optic will be too high for a proper cheek weld on the stock. We were using an Aimpoint Micro H1 and it is exactly the right height if you don’t use the AR mount.

Initially, Ares will offer this as a complete package with the lower standard stock and upper mated together. If the upper you want to use accepts standard size bolt carriers, and if there is a short bolt carrier available for your desired caliber, you’re good to go. Just throw that new upper on the lower just like you would with a standard AR / MSR.

Weaver Tactical 6-30x56mm

I fell in lust with a beast of an optic – the new Weaver Tactical model. With 30x magnification it will be a lot of fun for rifles that can reach way out there. It might pair well with the DoubleTap Ammo 7mm Remington Ultra Mag mentioned in this article.

Weaver Tactical-1

It’s got a 34mm tube and an illuminated reticle that offers 5 intensity levels of red and green. It’s a mil dot reticle with .1 mil elevation and windage adjustments. As it’s a long range scope, the best feature might be the SmartZero reset turrets. Remove the cap, set the zero stop, and rotate away, even more than once. When you need to, dial them back to a positive zero point without having to count how many rotations you turned.

I’m probably going to do a dedicated feature on this optic down the road, but I can’t decide on the ideal rifle. Maybe a .22-250? Or perhaps the Weatherby .257 Magnum? Of course a nice .308 is always a good choice. What say you?

 

Crimson Trace New Laser Bling

The Crimson Trace team has quite a bit of new gear in both red and green laser configurations. The new Master Series Cocobolo Diamond pattern grips are gorgeous and will class up any 1911.

Crimson Trace Master Series-1

Also new are green Lasergrips for the Ruger LCR family. With a positive on/off switch and 2 hour battery life, it’s a great upgrade for your snubbie.

On the short-term horizon are upgraded models for Glock Gen 3 pistols with rear activation laser switches. The new models feature positive on/off switches, which are handy for saving battery life when practicing in daylight conditions.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

Win a Wilson Combat 1911 From Brownells

Ryan models the Brownell's custom Wilson Combat CQB 1911. That's OK though as I don't think he's eligible to win.

Ryan models the Brownell’s custom Wilson Combat CQB 1911. That’s OK though as I don’t think he’s eligible to win.

At the recent NRA annual meeting, the Brownells booth was busier than the door of Michael Moore’s refrigerator. Fortunately, the inside of the Brownells booth was a whole lot safer than the contents of Mikey’s Frigidaire. The Brownells team is nice, respectful and knowledgable, unlike the other extreme presented here.

Why the crowd?

Brownells is celebrating their 75th anniversary with a bang. To mark the occasion, they’ve had Wilson Combat build a custom CQB 1911, and they’re gonna give it away. Yep, this could be yours.

It. Is. Gorgeous.

I entered. And since I am such a nice guy, I’m going to reduce my own chances of victory and tell you about the contest too.

You can enter here.

NRA Annual Meeting Day 3

Day 3, while a bit quieter than the first two days of the NRA Annual Meeting, had plenty to offer. Here are a few of the interesting finds.

The Story Behind the Galco VHS Holster and Beretta M9

Part of the fun of wandering the halls of the NRA Annual Meeting is learning interesting back stories. Way back in 2005, troops deploying to overseas combat zones were buying Galco’s VHS (Vertical Holster System) for their issue Beretta M9 pistols. Why the Galco VHS? When zipping around foreign countries in helicopters, handguns must be carried in a muzzle down orientation, which the VHS is designed to do.

The Galco VHS Vertical Holster System

The Galco VHS Vertical Holster System

In early 2005, Galco was temporally sold out of the holster due to the large number of troops deploying. A customer called in to order one for “civilian” use and was told they were backordered and the reason why. He ordered his holster, then asked if he could pay for an “extra” that Galco would donate to a soldier headed overseas. The light bulb went on and the folks at Galco started theHolsters for Heroes program. Donations flowed in and over $100,000 worth of holsters were given to our men and women in uniform.

Now you know the rest of the story.

Burris XTR II Extreme Tactical Riflescope with FastFire Red Dot

In the midst of the total chaos known as the NRA Annual Meeting, I was fortunate to get a tour of the new Burris offerings from Marketing Director Lori. What jumped out at me was the XTR II. Here’s why.

Burris_XTR-II-1

Here’s the new Burris XTR II on a Beretta ARX 100

It’s a dual focal plane tactical scope. Not first focal plane, not second focal plane, but both. With a first focal plane scope, the hash marks indicate consistent trajectory at any magnification zoom level, but the reticle itself shrinks and grows as you zoom in and out. With a second focal plane placement, the reticle itself appears to stay constant size, but the hash marks only indicate proper bullet drop at one magnification level.

The new Burris has a lit horseshoe reticle in the second plane, so it stays the same size for quick short-range shots at any magnification. The ballistic drop compensation pattern is in the first focal plane, so 400, 500, 600 and 700 yard hold points are accurate at any zoom level.

The mounted FastFire Red Dot is useful for quick, shorter range shots. it’s also a great way to spot distant targets. Get in the vicinity using the FastFire, then shift your eye to the scope for a magnified view.

Read the rest at Beretta USA!

NRA Annual Meeting, Day 2: The Superheroes Arrive

No worries folks, Gotham and Indianapolis are both safe…

Thanks to a couple of #BerettaHeroes who arrived on the scene of the second day of the NRA Annual meeting to make sure no dastardly villains ruined the event.

#BerettaHeroes NRA Annual Meeting

Josh and Jack, both from the Great State of Indiana, made a brief appearance at the Beretta booth and allowed their fans a quick photo opp. As no villainous plots were hatched today, we can just assume that the deterrence factor was strong.

As you can see, Jack prefers the punch and reach of the Beretta ARX 100 while John values the classic reliability of the Beretta M9. Both declined to elaborate on their hand-to-hand martial arts training, citing national security concerns.

You know these guys are pros – note the trigger finger discipline. No word yet on whether the dynamic duo will be providing overwatch security tomorrow.

Retrieving Freedom

Meet Traveler. He works for a 501c3 organization that helps Veterans with disabilities. Word is, he actually will work for food!

Retrieving_Freedom-1

Retrieving Freedom places trained service dogs with Veterans with physical disabilities and PTSD. The organization also trains dogs for placement with children diagnosed with autism.

The service dogs are provided at no charge, but training and support is an expensive endeavor. Please check out Retrieving Freedom and send them a donation! Every little bit helps the good work at Retrieving Freedom, so break out those wallets.

Girl Power Hour at the Beretta Booth.

The good folks at Beretta sponsored a #GirlPowerHour for writers, bloggers and media personalities. Of course the guys attended the event in force. What male media maven would pass up an opportunity to schmooze with the coolest ladies in the biz?

Beretta_Girl_Power_Hour-1-2

The crew was treated to a personalized booth tour of Beretta’s Class of 2014 guns including theBeretta PicoBeretta ARX 100 and the absolutely gorgeous new Beretta 692 over and under shotgun.

Read the rest at Beretta USA!

NRA Annual Meeting Day 1

It’s that time of year again.

Can you tell the NRA is in town?

Can you tell the NRA is in town?

We’re at the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting in beautiful downtown Indianapolis. I’ve not been to Indianapolis before, but will be back. The downtown area is fantastic. It’s filled with old buildings refurbished with modern interiors. Stores, restaurants and hangouts – it’s a great town for a convention. Indianapolis has clearly rolled out the welcome mat. The people are friendly and there’s been a strong police presence to help manage traffic and crowds. Most of them have been asking attendees about all the new products they saw inside. Officer Friendly lives here.

As there will be a million and seven articles about the newest mainstream products, we’ll be covering the more unusual and interesting offerings here over the next three days, so stay tuned for end of day updates. Let’s take a look at some Day 1 finds.

A Sixpack of Pure Fun From the Target Factory

This booth display stopped me in my tracks. Why? Shooting reactive targets is simply way more fun than shooting holes in paper. While there are plenty of “reactive” targets that are fine for outdoor ranges, I don’t know of many (any?) that are OK to use at indoor ranges.

NRA_Target_bottles-1-4

The NRA Target Bottles are made from a “plasticky” material that allows bullets to pass through, creating only a smaller-than-bullet-diameter hole. Unlike the outdoor target cubes, these are ultra lightweight. You can hang them from a Target Factory frame made of the same material, or, if you shoot at an indoor range, you can use the Target Factory adapter and hang some bottles from those motorized target hangers that zoom back and forth.

NRA_Target_bottles-1-5

These NRA Target Bottles have each been shot about 100 times with everything from .22 to .50 caliber.

You know these come in six packs, right? Spares are packaged just like your favorite long neck beer or glass bottle soda. They’ll handle most any caliber from .22LR to .50 and you can shoot each bottle hundreds of times before it’s destroyed beyond recognition.

 It’s one of those “why didn’t I think of that” ideas. Brilliant.

Read the rest at Beretta USA!

 

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