Feds Target Firearms Businesses in Banking Crackdown

Image courtesy of GrandViewOutdoors.com

Image courtesy of GrandViewOutdoors.com

A recent initiative launched by the top government regulator of financial institutions to restrict access to credit services by businesses like porn shops, payday lenders and so-called “pyramid schemes” has expanded to ensnare gun stores and ammunition sales, Grandviewoutdoors.com has learned.

According to documents and interviews, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Department of Justice have been working through a program dubbed “Operation Choke Point” to squeeze businesses the Obama Administration deems at “high risk” of committing fraud on their customers.

“Operation Choke Point [is] attempting to shut off the financial oxygen of what are called Third Party Payment Processors,” the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Iain Murray told NRA News.  “What they do is remotely create checks to allow you to buy a product online or sometimes over the phone.”

In a document obtained by Grandviewoutdoors.com, the FDIC deems high-risk merchants and activities to include “get rich” products, pay day loans, home-based charities and credit repair services. The goal of Choke Point is to put banks that service these industries under additional scrutiny from federal regulators to make sure they’re not defrauding their customers.

But in a move that has alarmed many firearms retailers, the FDIC document also includes “ammunition sales” and “firearms/fireworks sales” as being potentially subject to Operation Choke Point’s mandates.

Read the rest at GrandView Outdoors!

 

R.I.P. One AR-15 Rifle – Another 300 Blackout / .223 Kaboom

I’ve read a few stories recently about someone, somewhere, shoving a 300 AAC Blackout cartridge into a .223 / 5.56mm rifle and pulling the trigger – subsequently blowing their gun to bits. Some folks call BS and say it can’t happen as the rifle won’t go into battery and fire.

Well, I’m a believer now, considering a guy 3 lanes down from me blew up his fairly nice looking AR today. In the confusion, I was not able to get the brand of the rifle, but that matters little. Containing 55,000 pounds per square inch of pressure is not in the job description.

This was the round below the cartridge bomb in the magazine. I found it on the ground amongst lotsa small pieces of magazine, spring and follower. And quite a few case fragments. As you can see, it absorbed some violence.

This was the round below the cartridge bomb in the magazine. I found it on the ground amongst lotsa small pieces of magazine, spring and follower – and quite a few case fragments. As you can see, it absorbed some serious violence.

I was pretty occupied with my own business, gleefully trying out two new SilencerCo silencers for which I’ve waited about 10 months. A 22 Sparrow SS and an Octane 45 by the way. And yes, they’re awesome. Happiness = That feeling when your slide cycling makes more noise than the gun shot. That nirvana was achieved with a Smith & Wesson M&P22 with a SilencerCo Sparrow using Aguila Subsonic 60 grain .22LR ammunition.

Suddenly I heard a “splosion” noise and a scream from a few lanes to my right. Running over to see what happened, I saw a man holding his hand and obviously somewhat shaken up. I immediately started looking at his face as he was somewhat disoriented and all was clear there. His left (support) hand looked like he had fondled a few bricks of charcoal for a while. Thankfully, and maybe miraculously, no cuts or blood anywhere. While his hand was “stinging like crazy” in his words, there did not appear to be any burns of consequence. This is one incredibly lucky guy, especially since I can’t be sure he was wearing shooting glasses. The way they were placed on the table, I’m not sure he had them on when he blew up the rifle.

Here’s the apparent sequence of events, picked up from listening to the rifle owner and the shooter.

The owner had two uppers at the range. A .223 and a 300 AAC Blackout. He obviously hand loads as there were 100 round ammo boxes of each type nearby.

The shooter appeared to be new and somewhat inexperienced. I can’t be sure, that’s just an observation from seeing the interaction after the kaboom. Either the shooter picked up a magazine full of 300 Blackout cartridges, or the rifle owner handed him a magazine loaded with Blackouts. I can’t be sure. They weren’t sure themselves.

The shooter loaded the magazine of 300 Blackouts in the .223, chambered a round, and fired. Then the Kaboom. I was not able to discern, nor was the owner, whether the shooter felt anything abnormal trying to chamber the first round. As  the shooter appeared to be inexperienced, I’m not sure they will ever sort that out.

Once we determined the shooter was physically OK, I wanted to get out of their business, so I didn’t get any photos of the rifle, but I can describe the damage. In short, it was pretty much totaled. Perhaps the Magpul front hand guard, rear stock and trigger group can be salvaged. That’s about it.

Here's a .223 Remington cartridge dropped into a 5.56mm chamber.

Here’s a .223 Remington cartridge dropped into a 5.56mm chamber.

The magazine blew up, along with spring and follower. And you can see what happened to the other rounds in the picture here. I *believe* the fact that he was using a polymer magazine may have saved the shooter from additional injury. The explosion clearly took the path of least resistance. Perhaps a metal magazine would have allowed more pressure to go in other directions in addition to out the magazine well.

The magazine well on the lower was bulged out. Kind of like an Elmer Fudd cartoon shotgun.

The upper receiver was also bulged out from the explosion.

The bolt and carrier were both trashed – bent all to hell and completely stuck in the upper and barrel extension.

I assume the barrel extension and barrel were trashed, but as everything was fused together, there was no way to tell for sure until they rip things apart. Shoving a .308 inch diameter bullet into a .223 inch hole is asking for damage I would think.

While I was not shocked at the damage to the aluminum upper and lower, I was surprised at how much the bolt carrier and bolt were trashed. That’s hard stuff there.

Here's a 125 grain 300 Blackout cartridge dropped into the same 5.56mm chamber. Too close for comfort?

Here’s a 125 grain 300 Blackout cartridge dropped into the same 5.56mm chamber. Too close for comfort?

With the brief opportunity I had to look, that’s about all I could tell. But now I was curious. Would similar rounds allow the .223 rifle to go into battery? I decided to try under much safer conditions.

After removing the bolt and carrier from my Smith & Wesson M&P 15 VTAC (5.56 chamber) I dropped in a .223 Remington round to get a rough visual on where it sat. OK, that worked fine, as expected. Next, I dropped a variety of 300 AAC Blackout loads into the chamber, exerting no pressure at all and just letting the round fall. As expected, the big subsonic rounds didn’t get close to proper depth, however some of the longer and skinnier bullet profiles did – mainly the 110 and 125 grain ballistic tip bullet types. Not to the full and proper depth, but close. Close enough where a little encouragement by an inexperienced shooter could force the bolt into battery.

Lessons?

Wear eye protection. Always. This guy won the lucky human award today and I don’t think that’s given out more than once per lifetime.

When bringing a new shooter to the range, hover over them like a helicopter parent. At least until they gain some knowledge and proficiency.

If you own both rifles, figure out your own method for segregation. Perhaps wrap the Blackout magazines with colored tape, or put a colored base plate on them so they’re easily visible.

It might not be a terrible idea to take one or the other rifles to the range, but not both on the same visit.

Whattdya think?

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

Astroturf? Not. NSSF Breaks 10,000 Member Mark

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reports that it has recently surpassed the 10,000 member mark, reflecting strong industry support for its efforts.

No, these new members were not paid with a pack of cigarettes, bussed in to enrollment centers or counted multiple times. The best part? All of these new members are actually living. These are companies, media organizations and individuals who have made the effort to join, and pay dues, to support the industry.

As big as it is, the NSSF SHOT Show is only a small part of what the National Shooting Sports Foundation does for the industry.

As big as it is, the NSSF SHOT Show is only a small part of what the National Shooting Sports Foundation does for the industry.

“NSSF membership continues to climb because more industry connected companies, organizations and individuals are aware of the many ways NSSF works to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports,” said Chris Dolnack, Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer. “Such growth empowers NSSF to speak with a single, powerful voice on behalf of the industry inside the Beltway and in state houses across the country.”

To better accommodate the volume of membership renewals, the NSSF has changed their renewal terms. Now, renewal dates can be anniversary, rather than calendar date, driven. The NSSF membership team hopes that this change will speed up the process of distributing membership and renewal packets.

“We appreciate this incredible support,” said Bettyjane Swann, NSSF Director, Member Services, “and we similarly thank our members for their patience in awaiting their membership renewal packets. If a member has not received the packet and has any questions regarding this, they can certainly contact me.”

The NSSF offers a variety of membership types including voting, supporting, non-profit, retailer, range and individual media. Contact nssf.org for more information.

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!

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.

Want A Free Copy Of The Rookie’s Guide To Guns And Shooting?

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

We’re giving away 10 copies of our book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition over at GoodReads. Entering is simple – details here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

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

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

by Tom Mchale

Giveaway ends February 24, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Be sure to check out our other books, The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S and The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters.

Hot off the press! The Rookie's Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S

Hot off the press! The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Now available in print! The Insanely Practical Guide to Gun Holsters

Gearing Up for SHOT Show 2014!

In preparation for next weeks SHOT Show, we’re packing, planning and setting up more meetings than Lindsay Lohan appearances on COPS.

If you’ve never been, SHOT Show is huge. I mean monstrous. Epic. Ridiculous. And maybe boundless. It’s always been a challenge to accurately describe the scale of this shooting, hunting and outdoors trade show.

Fortunately, the National Shooting Sports Foundation released an infographic that helps accurately describe SHOT. Some spoilers…

  • If you walk by each booth, you’ll put a minimum of 12.5 miles on your shoes.
  • The exhibit halls are equivalent in size to the Great Pyramid of Giza.
  • If you filled up the entire Super Dome with shooting industry vendor booths, that would be the same as SHOT Show.

We’ll be posting lots of news and updates on our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ pages throughout the show. Stay tuned!

how-big-is-the-shot-show_52caf4735d725

Win This LaserMax UNI-MAX ES Rifle Value Pack

Tis’ the season for giving right?

Win this LaserMax UNI-MAX ES Rifle Value Pack laser

Win this LaserMax UNI-MAX ES Rifle Value Pack laser

Thanks to the nice folks at LaserMax, we’re going to give away a LaserMax UNI-MAX ES Rifle Value Pack to one of our lucky Facebook fans. That’s right, just head over to our Facebook page to enter, or you can do it directly from here. That’s all there is to it.

Keeping with our Insanely Practical philosophy, there are no strings attached. All you have to do is Like our Facebook page. The contest entry asks for your email, but that’s only for notifying the winner. We won’t even add you to our mailing list if you enter. Of course, if you would like to get our weekly email, packed with tips, product reviews and fun commentary on all things shooting, you can do that here.

This is an awesome addition to your AR-15 rifle, or any other rifle that has a rail up front. Heck, since it’s modular, you can even mount it on a pistol. We reviewed the LaserMax UNI-MAX ES recently if you want full details.

Enter here!

Deal Alert: Brownells AR Magazines On Sale For $9.99

Brownells AR MagazineJust saw this folks – a great time to stock up on Brownells AR magazines. They’re excellent and reliable.

Students Not Expelled For Playing With Guns

Lots of guns? Yes.

Expulsions and/or Suspensions? No.

“L” shaped Pop-Tarts? I’m not sure, but if there were, no one had a meltdown over it.

What universe am I in? That would be the Jacksonville Skeet and Trap Club in Jacksonville, Florida for the Southeast Collegiate Invitational Shoot.

Students shooting guns everywhere! Panic? No. Respect, determination and safety? Plenty of that to go around.

Students shooting guns everywhere! Panic? No. Respect, determination and safety? Plenty of that to go around. Clemson shooter Libbie Sabo busts some skeet.

Dozens and dozens of college students competed from institutions including Clemson University, Jacksonville University, Florida State, University of Florida, University of Kentucky, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Stetson, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Emmanuel College. If your school was there and I missed it, my apologies – shooters were everywhere.

This is what a clump of lead pellets flying at 1,200 feet per second looks like. Mad photography skills? Nah, I just got lucky!

This is what a clump of lead pellets flying at 1,200 feet per second looks like. Mad photography skills? Nah, I just got lucky!

The event was a mixed discipline format with every shooter completing 50 targets each of trap, skeet and wobble trap.

Another lucky shot! Mine, not the shooter's. Note the breaking clay upper right.

Another lucky shot! Mine, not the shooter’s. Hunter Baughman’s shot was all skill. Note the breaking clay upper right.

These competitors are a fine example to all. I don’t think I’ve been called “sir” so many times since my last arrest.

The agony of De-Miss.

The agony of De-Miss. Collin Clemons expresses some frustration on behalf of the team.

Rivalries? Sure. Even though the Florida State / Clemson football game started about three hours after this event, I hardly saw any fist fights between the two squads.

And a 25-straight celebration.

And a 25-straight celebration.

One of the neat things about the shotgun sports is that men and women compete together. Some events specify mens and ladies winners, but everyone shares the same field. The ladies shown here were taking names. A word of advice – don’t make any side bets against them.

This is a shotgun technique called "intense focus."

This is a shotgun technique called “intense focus.” Don’t interrupt Clemson shooter Cat Blankenship when she’s working.

Generally, with this many schools, each potentially fielding multiple squads, the meet is an all day affair. In the event of ties, a shoot off is held to determine the winners. First one to miss a target is out.

There sure are a lot of Team Clemson photos here. That's my prerogative as I've got two students there.

There sure are a lot of Team Clemson photos here. Hey, that’s my prerogative as I’ve got two students there.

 

Strictly business.

Strictly business. Alex McHale moves to station two.

 

One of the best things about these events is the respect, and pride evident everywhere.

One of the best things about these events is the respect and pride evident everywhere.

 

I believe this is an example of the rigorous pre-round concentration exercise used by many of the competitors.

I believe this is an example of the rigorous pre-round concentration exercise used by many of the competitors. Zach Wyatt is concentrating really, really, hard.

 

These fine young American students are all neat and tidy when it comes to picking up spend shells.

These fine young American students are all neat and tidy when it comes to picking up spent shells.

 

Another successful round.

Another successful round.

 

Just one of the wobble trap fields racked up over 3,000 targets thrown by the end of the day.

Just one of the wobble trap fields racked up over 3,000 targets thrown by the end of the day.

 

Gearing up a tie-breaker shoot off.

Gearing up for a tie-breaker shoot off.

 

University of Kentucky versus University of Florida for the mens trap individual title.

University of Kentucky versus University of Florida for the mens trap individual title.

 

The high overall individual shooters from University of Florida and host school Jacksonville University.

The high overall individual shooters Alex Rennert from University of Florida and Shelby Lopresto from host school Jacksonville University.

 

Team Clemson took top team honors.

Team Clemson took top team honors.

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