Man Cave Makeover or Dame Den Remodeling Sweepstakes from Crimson Trace

Man-Cave-Makeover-Sweepstakes Prize PackageI just got an email from Crimson Trace about their Man Cave Makeover Sweepstakes. No worries ladies, the mega-gear giveaway is equally useful for a Dame Den Remodeling.

Visit the Crimson Trace BookFaceBook page to enter. You can win…

Grand Prize (1)

(1) Grizzly™ 75 Custom Cooler with Crimson Trace® Logo
(1) Crimson Trace® CMR-205 Rail Master® Pro™
(1) Crimson Trace® Neon Sign
(1) Crimson Trace® Rubber Floor Mat
(1) Crimson Trace® Wall Clock
(1) Crimson Trace® “Speed of Light” Tin Sign
(1) Crimson Trace® “Where There’s Red” T-Shirt
(1) Crimson Trace® “Laser-Bones” Trucker’s Hat
(4) Crimson Trace® Stainless Mason Jars
(2) Crimson Trace® Stainless Coffee Tumblers
(1) CRKT® R.B.T.™ (Range Bag Tool)
(1) CRKT® Picatinny Tool™
(1) BLACKHAWK!® CQB Rigger’s Belt
(1) BLACKHAWK!® Universal Bedside Holster
(1) Tactical Tailor® Medium Range Bag
(1) Tactical Tailor® Universal Laser Holster

Approx. Value = $1500

Second Prize (4)

(1) Grizzly™ 16 Custom Cooler with Crimson Trace® Logo
(1) Crimson Trace® CMR-201 Rail Master®
(1) Crimson Trace® Wall Clock
(1) Crimson Trace® “Speed of Light” Tin Sign
(2) Crimson Trace® Stainless Mason Jars
(1) Crimson Trace® Stainless Coffee Tumbler
(1) BLACKHAWK!® CQB Rigger’s Belt
(1) BLACKHAWK!® Universal Bedside Holster
(1) BLACKHAWK!® Universal Laser Holster
(1) Tactical Tailor® Small Range Bag

Approx. Value = $500

15 Gifts for the Gun Loving Guy

Editors Note: We’re pleased to welcome a new ‘riter to the My Gun Culture project – Mary Katherine. I’ve been shooting with Mary Katherine and her family on and off for years. She’ll be offering some women’s perspective on things like guns, gear, concealed carry and more. By the way, she shoots a Beretta PX4, Smith & Wesson Shield and Marlin 30-30 – just in case you were wondering.

Looking for stocking stuffers to give to the firearms enthusiast in your life? Feast your eyes upon these amazing, handmade finds from small online business owners in America.

Chocolate pistols

Does he have a sweet tooth? You choose the flavor of chocolate and this shop will send you one dozen of these delicious treats!

nikkis

Expanded View Smartphone Case

Take a look at this neat case. Customize the color and type for the perfect fit!

smartphone-case

Rubber Band Gun

What a great gift for any kid, young or old! Have their name engraved on the side for a personal touch. Three designs available!

rubber-band-gun

Shotgun Shell Letter Opener

This is a great addition to the office of any gun lover. Have their name engraved or give as is.

letter-opener

Tie Tack and Lapel Pin

Wearing a tie isn’t always fun, but you can make it enjoyable with this tie tack. It also comes with a lapel pin back for versatile gift he is sure to enjoy!

tie-tack

Full Size Handgun Soap

Who doesn’t want a bar of soap that comes in its own gun case?

handgun soap

Bullet Bottle Opener

Every man needs a 50 caliber bottle opener in his kitchen drawer. Have it engraved to really wow him…

bullet bottle opener

Printed Pistol Tie

Help him dress up with this classy tie. It is also available as a bowtie!

pistol tie

Bolt Action Pen

A bolt action pen is a must have for the office…

bolt action pen

Macbook Decal

Blow him away with some awesome decals for his Macbook!

macbook decal

Fishing Lures

If he loves hunting and fishing, he is going to love one of these!

fishing lures

Marksman Cufflinks

If you are looking for a simple and understated gift, then these cufflinks are perfect!

cufflinks

Wild West Flask

You can never go wrong with a fancy flask.

wild west flask

Personal Keychain Pistol

Personalize this unique keychain bottle opener for a special little reminder…

personal keychain pistol

Shotgun Money Clip

Last, but not least, this sleek money clip is the perfect option for a simple, but stylish gift.

shotgun money clip

A Little Plinking Fun with Federal Premium’s What’s Your 20? Targets

It doesn’t take much of an excuse for me to go to the range for a little MSR shooting. Why right now, I need to go to test some different SilencerCo Saker MAAD mounts.  But what to shoot?

How about this? The folks at Federal Premium just launched a fun social media campaign called What’s Your 20?

They’ve produced six downloadable targets. The idea is to shoot them in whatever creative ways you can dream up, using Federal MSR ammo, and share the results on Federal’s Facebook page for some bragging rights and your moment of fame. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #WhatsYour20 when sharing so your results get seen.

I’ve got some American Eagle that I’ll be using over the next couple of days. You can pick up bulk packs at Cabelas for a great price.

Here are the targets. Just click the ones you want to get the 8.5×11 downloadable version:

Federal Premium Ammo What's Your 20

What'sYour20_target_eagle

What'sYour20_target_face

What'sYour20_target_pumpkin

What'sYour20_target_tree

What'sYour20_target_zombie

The Making of an All-American Boot

What else would my official tour guides be wearing other than Danner Mountain Cascade boots? You'll see these in the new Reese Witherspoon movie, Wild, hitting theaters December 5th.

What else would my official tour guides be wearing other than Danner Mountain Cascade boots? You’ll see these in the new Reese Witherspoon movie, Wild, hitting theaters December 5th.

Few things are more personal than boots.

Perhaps the deep emotional attachment stems from the fact that feet are our primary attachment to Mother Earth, barring any unintended face plants from overindulgence or clumsiness. Or maybe it’s a result of the activities we do in our boots: work, hike, hunt, shoot, walk, run, sleep (sometimes) and who knows what else.

In any case, plenty of us have a love / hate relationship with our footwear. I hate shoes, but I love boots. My feet just aren’t comfortable in anything else. Some people laugh at me because I wear my Danner Tanicus boots almost all the time. They think I’m trying to be all G.I. Joe, but the real reason is that it feels good to wear those giant pillows on my feet – I don’t care if I am wearing shorts or a suit.

A small sampling of some of the stitch down styles made at the Danner Portland, OR facility.

A small sampling of some of the stitch down styles made at the Danner Portland, OR facility.

My boot fetish led me to seize the opportunity to tour the Danner boot factory in Portland, Oregon a few weeks back. One of my favorite parts of this job is touring factories, seeing how products are made and meeting the people who make them. Danner didn’t let me down. Who knew that the process of making footwear could be so darn interesting? Seeing all that goes into the making of my boots also explained why a great pair can cost a few hundred bucks – and be well worth the money.

We’ll focus on the classic stitch down styles that are generally made right here in the US of A. Why stitch down? Because those fancy leather upper sections that you work so hard to break in just right can be reattached to new soles when you wear those out. They also provide a more durable and stable platform on which to walk. We’ll talk more about that later.

Let’s walk through the manufacturing process. Ha! See what I did there?

Call in the cows

Come on, we can’t talk about a classic boot that’s not made of leather, right? When I toured the Galco Gunleather factory, I was blown away by the amount of leather they use. Now I’m not so sure who uses more quality hides.

Each and every half-cow is hand inspected and areas with blemishes or other irregularities are marked so they aren’t used as a boot upper. Cosmetics are important, but you really don’t want a weak spot in the leather to be used in your boot. Testing is done on each hide to grade thickness, tensile strength and adhesion of any colorings or coatings.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

Black Rifle Holiday Gift Guide

We’re getting into the gift giving, and more importantly, gift receiving season, so here are some of our picks for black rifle accessories. Some are old; some are new; some are expensive and others not, but all are useful additions to the modern sporting rifle.

Aimpoint Carbine Optic

Aimpoint Carbine OpticI’ve always loved the red dot options from Aimpoint. For me, since I like these on a defensive rifle, the “always on” feature is fantastic. You never, ever have to worry about turning your red dot on when you go for your rifle. Just leave it on all the time and make yourself a reminder to change the battery every year.

New for 2015 is the Aimpoint Carbine Optic. Made specifically for black rifles, it has a fixed-height mount pre-measured for back up iron sight co-witness. By making the optic platform specific, Aimpoint was able to reduce the price to an entry point level. It’s got a 2 MOA dot, and if you leave it on all the time, the batteries will last for about a year.

It’s just hitting the dealer shelves now, but you can find one here. MSRP is $393.

XProducts Drum Magazine

Here's a 50-round skeletonized model for .223 / 5.56mmI’ve never paid much attention to drum magazines for black rifles, at least until I checked out the X Products version. Made from steel and aluminum, these are no plastic discount catalog gimmicks. They’re getting to be a big deal on the 3-gun circuit for good reason. Sporting a 50-round capacity, the overall height is still lower than a normal 30-round magazine, do you can dive for prone position shooting and get even lower to the ground.

They’re not just for 2.23/5.56mm black rifles either. Check out the XProducts website to see options for .308 and other calibers.

You can find a 50 round standard drum for about $200 at Brownells.

Badger Ordnance Tactical Charging Handle Latch

Badger charging handleOK, forget the “tactical” part of this product. It’s just handy if your black rifle has any type of receiver-mounted optic. The latch is enlarged and extended, so even if you have a scope that gets in the way of standard charging handle operation, it’s easy to reach. You don’t have to do digging underneath the rear of the optic to find the charging handle.

You can buy just the extended latch and mount it to your existing charging handle or you can just buy the complete charging handle with the bigger latch built in. The neat part is that Badger makes the extended latch in right-hand, left-hand and both-side configurations.

Available at Brownells. The latch only is less than $20, while the complete charging handle is about $100. You can pick up the ambidextrous model for about $120.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

Hollywood Gets It Right! 7 Examples of Realistic Gun Movie Scenes

Given enough time and typewriters, a barrel of monkeys could write the script for Dumb and Dumber. I’m guessing it might take three monkeys with a used Smith-Corona Speedline about an hour. Following similar logic, with enough movies, even the folks in Hollywood are bound to get some gun handling scenes right.

It’s probably too much to ask for those folks to get a whole movie right when it comes to guns, so I’ll focus on scenes only here – a few shining examples of where they managed to recreate realistic gun scenes.

Air Force One: Trigger discipline!

Here’s one from a movie that made The Top 9 Worst Hollywood Gun Scenes Ever list a couple of weeks ago.

Air Force Major Caldwell (William H. Macy) displays some actual trigger discipline when the @ss-kicking President (Harrison Ford) hands him an MP5A3. Believe it or not, Caldwell aligns his trigger finger along the receiver as they head off into the plane to kick some terrorist butt.

William Macy in Air Force One

 

Act of Valor: All of it.

The movie Act of Valor was made by a couple of former Hollywood stunt men with cooperation by the US Navy. In fact, all military personnel in the movie are played by active military personnel. That’s right; there are hardly any real actors in this movie, which explains why the gun handling is so good throughout. It also explains why the acting leaves a little bit to be desired, but that’s OK. As a side note, it took over two years to film the movie because the actors (all US Navy SEALs) had to keep going on deployments overseas.

Not only are the actors actual SEALs, many of the scenes in the movie were filmed using live fire. Rather than mock up everything for a movie, the producers filmed a number of live training exercises.

I’m only identifying scenes in this movie as I promised scenes only at the beginning of this article, but the whole movie is on target so to speak. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Blanks? Who needs blanks? When the SEALS lay down a little bit of covering fire on the bad guys from their boat-mounted General Dynamics GAU-17/As, you’ll see real brass flying, not that crimped nose movie prop stuff. That was one of the live fire scenes, and it sure was impressive.

Real pros use semi-automatic, aimed fire. You’ll see this throughout the movie, along with actual magazine changes. This scene shows a brief example of the good guys aiming at bad guys and using rapid semi-automatic fire for maximum effect.

As you might expect, the gun handling in this movie almost qualifies as an instructional class as opposed to entertainment. In another scene, two of the heroes even manage to execute perfect muzzle discipline while diving away from a terrorist suicide bomber. That’s focus!

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

 

Be sure to check out our latest books! They are ON SALE now for a limited time!

How to Find 22LR Ammo

This is 2,900 newly purchased rounds of .22LR ammo. It might last me a month.

This is 2,900 newly-purchased rounds of .22LR ammo. It might last me a month.

This is a real, un-doctored photo, taken just this morning. This ammo was purchased Wednesday evening. Really. And I could have bought more.

Yes, .22LR ammunition is a lot more scarce than it used to be, especially those bulk packs of Winchester, Remington and Federal. But just because you don’t see those 300 and 500 round boxes sitting on the Wal-Mart shelf doesn’t mean that .22LR ammo isn’t available. It is. You can get all you want, with two conditions:

  1. You have to work harder to find it.
  2. You have to pay more.

It’s a basic economics decision. You can clutch the memories of old prices while sitting at home not shooting your .22s, or you can accept the new reality and shoot. Your choice.

I’m going to work harder and pay a little more because I really like shooting my .22s. I’m not going to hoard what I have and continue to buy ammo to squirrel away – that’s exactly what’s causing this problem for all of us. I’m going to shoot my .22s and have fun doing it. As I write this, I’m testing a CMMG .22 conversion kit for AR rifles, the new Smith & Wesson M&P 22 Compact with a SilencerCo Sparrow and a Ruger 10/22 with a Timney Trigger upgrade. I intend to shoot lots and lots of .22LR through these guns.

Subscribe to the emails

I few months ago, I got an email from Cabelas letting me know that they had 2,000 round cans of Federal Champion .22LR ammo. I clicked, and a ton of .22LR ammo was on its way for a good price. Subscribe to emails from companies like Cabelas, Webyshops and Brownells, and you just might be surprised at what lands in your inbox. Most companies place a lot of value of their email subscribers and are more than happy to tell them first about new product availability. It’s a win-win – help them communicate with you! Just be sure to keep a close eye on your inbox as you’ll need to act fast.

Grand openings

New stores are opening all over. Chains like Academy Sports, Bass Pro, Cabelas and Gander Mountain can’t build new locations fast enough. Guess what? When they have a grand opening for a new location, they want to create excitement and buzz. Every single grand opening I’ve attended in the past year has managed to offer plentiful supplies of .22LR ammunition. In fact, the ammo in the picture above was purchased at the Grand Opening event of a new Palmetto State Armory store here in South Carolina. Keep an eye on the news and make time to attend. It’s fun, and you’re sure to find some deals.

Set product alerts

Brownells has a neat feature (and plenty of other retailers do also) that allows you to set an automated alert for out of stock products. Use it. You’ll get a text message or email as soon as new product arrives and can be the first to order. I use this all the time with great success. You never know when an alert will come in, so again, keep an eye on that inbox and act fast.

Set alerts like this one at Brownells so you can be notified immediately when the ammo you want is in stock.

Set alerts like this one at Brownells so you can be notified immediately when the ammo you want is in stock.

GunBot.net

Here’s a great example of American ingenuity that solves a frustrating problem. The creators of GunBot.net have established wonder-magic connections to dozens and dozens of online retailers for ammunition. Their website checks availability and pricing of ammunition, magazines and reloading supplies. All you have to do is visit gunbot.net, and you’ll see a consolidated list of retailers that have the products you’re looking for. You can display in-stock products only and sort by price per round. Just click and you’re linked to that particular retailer to place your order. Couldn’t be easier. As of today, you’ll see that you can buy all the .22LR ammo you want for about $.10 per round. Yes, that’s more than it used to cost. Get used to it – it’s still half the price of centerfire ammo. Oh, and don’t gripe at the GunBot.net folks about prices, they don’t set them, they just link you to the folks who do. Make it a point to check GunBot.net a couple times a day and you might find a deal closer to the “old” prices.

These are a couple of the methods I use to shop for my .22LR ammo. I’ve yet to run out, and shoot my .22s as much as ever.

A Story of Students and Shotguns

Note in ascending order the wad, shot cloud and short-lived clay.

Note in ascending order the wad, shot cloud and short-lived clay.

The Clemson squad has taken to naming each other's shotguns. This new 692 Sporting is "Leonidas." a 682 Gold on the same squad is "Maximus Decimus Meridius"

The Clemson squad has taken to naming each other’s shotguns. This new 692 Sporting is “Leonidas.” a 682 Gold on the same squad is “Maximus Decimus Meridius”

What do you get when you combine 133 college students, from seven colleges with over a quarter of a million dollars worth of competition shotguns?

You get boatloads of clay dust and a lot of smiles.

I just returned from the annual SCTP Florida shoot. SCTP is the Scholastic Clay Target Program. It’s a nationwide initiative for students of all ages, including college, to compete in clay target sports. This particular event is a combined discipline event where each squad shoots 50 targets of skeet, trap and wobble trap. Combined scores determine school team placement, but competitors are also awarded individual honors in each of the three disciplines.

In its fourth year at the Jacksonville Gun Club, host school Jacksonville University arranges the match and logistics (thank you!) and invites participation from a number of southeastern schools with shotgun teams and clubs. As a side note, Jacksonville Gun Club is the oldest shooting club in the United States. Some locals claim that Ponce DeLeon founded the club shortly after stumbling ashore in what’s now known as St. Augustine, Florida in 1513. I’m not so sure…

Read the rest at Beretta USA!

A Galco Gunleather Tour: How Many Holsters Can You Make From 44 Miles of Cows?

Got leather?

Got leather?

Got cows?

Galco does. Lot’s of them. You know Galco, right? They’ve served billions and billions of holsters. Well, maybe not billions, but at least dozens of boatloads, judging by the size of their factory and activity level of all the folks in there.

I recently had the distinct pleasure of a factory tour. You see, I’m a self-admitted holster geek. I even wrote an entire book on methods of concealed carry and gun holsters. Yes, I’m hopeless on holsters, so when I had the opportunity to visit Galco, I jumped on it like Kanye West to the nearest microphone.

The very first thing I learned about was cows. Did you know that every year, Galco turns 886,000 square feet of leather into first-rate gun holsters? That’s about 20,000 cows. If you lined all those cows up, they would reach from PETA’s headquarters in Washington DC all the way to the Chick-Fil-A in Warrenton, Virginia. Trust me, I did the math.

OK, so odds are you’re not reading this because you need to know how many cows it takes to block the highway from DC to Warrenton, so let’s get to the cool part – the making of holsters. It’s a fascinating mix of high-tech automation and skilled hand crafting.

The first challenge is shoes. See, we used to make lots and lots of shoes here in the US, so there were thousands of tanneries that supplied all that leather. Now, since most shoes are made overseas, there are only two major vegetable tanneries here in the US, and Galco buys the lion’s share of tanned leather from both of them.

Just some of the leather headed towards the factory floor.

Just some of the leather headed towards the factory floor.

Like yummy steaks, leather comes in different cuts depending on the intended usage. Galco orders back sections, which are about half a cow from the center of the back down each side. One of these sections is about the size of the hood of a 1970 AMC Gremlin, but not quite as wide and a little longer.

The handmade dies (upper left) are mashed through the leather sheets to produce desired shapes.

The handmade dies (upper left) are mashed through the leather sheets to produce desired shapes.

The older way of cutting leather involves use of hand-made dies. These dies are laid out over a sheet of leather and pressed through to cut the desired shape. It’s up to the experienced cutter to obtain maximum use of each sheet of leather while minimizing waste.

High-tech cutting. The leather is optically scanned to capture shape and flag areas of imperfection.

High-tech cutting. The leather is optically scanned to capture shape and flag areas of imperfection.

The new way is incredibly cool. As each cow is different, the incoming leather sheets are always different sizes. Imperfections such as discolorations or scrapes exist in different spots on each and every sheet. A digital scanner looks at each incoming sheet of leather and identifies shape, surface area and “marks” imperfection areas with a “do not use” status.

Read the rest at AmmoLand!

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!

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