New Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston 2 Air Rifle

20140113-125635.jpg

I had the opportunity to try Crosman’s newest air rifle at SHOT Show Media Day at the Range. It’s a break open, .22 caliber rifle so more speed yet an easier cocking mechanism.

The new piston system provides 15% more velocity and 35% more power, but with 10 pounds less force required for cocking.

Shooting it? Since energy is stored with a gas system and not a spring, it shoots like a dream. No sproinggggg!

Stay tuned, we’re working on a head to head test of this rifle against a .22 Long Rifle rimfire. Given the advances in air rifle power and velocity, the results should be interesting. I already know one benefit: you can shoot it in most any back yard.

Black Friday Sale – No Camping Out Required

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun EditionWe were going to have an in-person Black Friday (and today and Saturday) sale event, but the thought of all those people camping out for days outside the office was kind of weird. We decided to be Insanely Practical about the whole thing instead.

Today, tomorrow and Saturday, our newest book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition, is not 10, 20, or even 40, but 60% off!

That’s right, the Kindle version is just $3.99 for these three days only.

Recently featured in American Handgunner magazine, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting is the perfect resource to help you, or a friend, develop safety, confidence and skill with handgun shooting. Filled with tips, ideas, products, lots of photos and even a few cartoons, this book will get you up to speed in no time.

American Handgunner Magazine - Insider column feature

What our readers have to say

“Tom does a great job, in a comedic fashion, of explaining firearms and shooting in general.”
Hank H.

“This is a fun yet serious read. Great for anyone new to guns as well as those with some experience.”
Richard H.

“This a great tongue-in-cheek look at sometimes serious problems in becoming a gun owner. Everyone from rookie to veteran gun owners should read this.”
SixFourCop

Pick up a copy of The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting today! Whether you’re an experienced handgunner, or just starting out, there are plenty of helpful tips, photos, ideas and more that will help you become a better shooter. And it’s all delivered with a dose of fun.

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!

Want Free Body Armor From Engarde USA?

Hey folks, I’ve got some exciting news that may cheer you up in these troubled economic times. Great, now I sound like a G. Gordon Liddy commercial…

The good folks at Engarde USA donated a free set of body armor for us to give to one of our lucky readers. Yes, that’s right. Free. No charge. And it’s not even used! Just kidding… but seriously, it is new in the box. And it’s never been shot at. If you win, it’s our recommendation that you try to avoid getting it shot at also.

Win this Engarde USA body armor. A $625 value, it can be yours just for sharing a little "Like" on your Facebook page.

Win this Engarde USA body armor. A $625 value, it can be yours just for a little “Like” on our Facebook page.

We’ve actually got a second identical set of Engarde Body Armor that we’re going to shoot at with all sorts of pistol calibers. So you can see exactly what you’re getting and how it performs. Look for a separate review article here in the next week.

But, just to tide you over, here are the basic features:

  • External configuration designed to wear over your shirt.
  • The carrier fully encloses front and back panels that overlap on the sides.
  • The panels are constructed from Dyneema SB-21. You can read more about that here, but for now, know that it’s designed to stop most pistol rounds.
  • Separate pockets allow insertion of ceramic plates to help stop rifle or machine gun rounds. Ballistic plates are not included in this giveaway, but you can buy them from Engarde USA.
  • Generous hook and loop panels allow attachment of gear on the exterior – front and back.
  • The carrier features hook and loop straps over the shoulders and around the sides for a perfect fit.
  • The interior features mesh construction to help keep you cool and comfortable.
  • The carrier is navy blue.

This is an incredibly awesome opportunity! The Engarde USA armor we’re giving away retails at $625! Yes, six hundred and twenty five dollars! 

How to win:

  • Like our Facebook page.
  • Yes, that’s it. No catches. Nor do you have to attend a brief seminar educating you on vacation property investments in the swamps lowcountry of South Carolina.
  • We’ll fire up the Google machine and use Random to pick the winner from all of our followers on Saturday November 23rd. So, instead of going shopping after Thanksgiving, make sure to get on Facebook for a minute and like My Gun Culture.
  • If you already like our Facebook page, you’ve already entered! And thanks for checking us out before this contest!

The fine print:

  • The size is large. If you win, you can choose any size you want, as long as it’s size Large. Don’t worry, be happy, the Engarde Large size fits the broadest variety of humans. I myself take an extra large, but I’ve really been enjoying the Butterscotch Krimpets recently. Sorry, no substitutions. I have one set here, in the box, waiting for you, but it’s a size large.
  • The color is Navy Blue.
  • State laws. It’s up to you to make sure there are no stupid laws in the place of your residence that would prohibit me from sending this to you. If your laws won’t allow you to win, we have to pass you by and go to the runner-up. Sorry, no substitutes or cash equivalents. Write your congress-critter and get the laws fixed so you can win next time.
  • We’ll post the winner on our Facebook page. Depending on your specific Facebook privacy settings, we may not be able to message you, so it’s up to you to check our page to see if you won. If a week goes by and we can’t contact you, we’re going to the next name generated by Random.
  • That’s about it. We’re going to keep this pretty simple. Because we believe in insane practicality.

While you’re waiting to win, why don’t you check out our latest books, available in print and eBook format. They’re insanely practical too.

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

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

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

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

 

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.

The Automatic, Systematic, Hydromatic M3 “Grease Gun”

The M3 Grease Gun. Photo courtesy of the NRA National Firearms Museum. Go there. Really.

The M3 Grease Gun. Photo courtesy of the NRA National Firearms Museum. Go there. Really.

This week, rather than talk about “This Goofy Gun” we’re going to change things up a little and take a look at “This Greasy Gun.”

Most folks think that the M3 “Grease Gun” submachine gun of World War II fame was created in response to the success of the German MP38, MP40 and British Sten machine guns. While partly true, that’s not the whole story. Here’s the rest of the storied, and musical, history of the M3 Grease Gun.

Many people know that the M3 was produced by General Motors’ Guide Lamp Division. What they don’t know is that the design was envisioned much, much earlier, or so I hear. By 1940, GM was getting a little worried about competitive pressure from AMC’s Gremlin impacting sales of their Cadillac LaSalle. That Gremlin was a beast of a car wasn’t it? Anyway, to add some kick to the planned 1941 model, GM hired long lost brother of the infamous Edward Hyde of Dr. Jekyll fame, George Hyde, to design some killa’ glovebox accessories for ’41 model sales incentives. Having the same family wild hair as crazy man Mr. Hyde, George took to designing prototypes of the M3. “Heck, I just wanted to amp up the “Boom!” factor for our customers. Most companies were putting a flashlight mount in the glovebox, but I figured a .45 ACP submachine gun would be way more spiffy,” commented GM Engineer George Hyde.

Alas, GM discontinued the Cadillac LaSalle in 1941 and the M3 Glovebox Submachine Gun was never marketed. But the story did not end there. In 1941, the Ordnance Department asked the Army to submit requirements for a new submachine gun. In addition to specification of .45 ACP caliber, inexpensive stamped-metal construction and  automatic fire control, the new gun must have a really catchy theme song.

Seeing opportunity to resurrect Hyde’s previous project, and do a little contract work with a very young John Travolta, GM’s Guide Lamp Division started stamping out prototypes of the M2 and finally M3. As for the theme song? That was Travolta’s job. And now you know the real story behind that catchy jingle from the movie GreaseYou’re the One That I Want. Not having been born yet, Olivia Newton John was not available for promotional campaigns. Besides, those skin-tight pants were way too risque for pre-war America.

Read the rest at Outdoorhub.com!

And The Winners Are…

Thanks to all who entered the Ultimate Concealed Carry Giveaway co-sponsored by Team Gun Blogger and My Gun Culture.

Ultimate Concealed Carry Giveaway

With some help from Random.org, the winners were drawn, and here they are:

First Place: Team Gun Blogger Twitter follower Stand-Fast America

Second Place: My Gun Culture Twitter follower Mike Clinton

Third Place: My Gun Culture Facebook follower Tom Jeffries

If you won, we’ll contact you to work out shipping of the prizes. If you didn’t, stay tuned, there’s a really, really awesome giveaway right around the corner.

This Goofy Gun: The Winchester 9410

Today’s pop quiz! What do the following have in common?

  1. Ben Cartwright
  2. John Moses Browning
  3. Saiga-12 Auto Shotguns

Give up?

It’s the Winchester 9410 lever-action shotgun!

No, the goofball who took this photo was not high on black powder residue. Why, that's a Winchester 9410 lever-action shotgun!

No, the goofball who took this photo was not high on black powder residue. Why, that’s a Winchester 9410 lever-action shotgun!

Admittedly, the Cartwright clan had access to guns from the future, as they shot an awful lot of Winchester 1892’s, which is only two different than the 1894 design we’re talking about here. Close enough. For this pop quiz anyway.

Continuing to refine his lever-action designs, John Browning designed the Winchester 1894 in, you guessed it, 1894. It’s one of the most popular rifles in history with over seven million produced between 1894 and 2006, with those made between 1980 and 2006 technically being made by the U.S. Repeating Arms Company under the Winchester brand.

While there’s a lot of hoopla about the Saiga “assault shotguns”, one can consider the Winchester 9410 as a predecessor – a manually operated “assault shotgun.” Unlike the Saiga, the biggest thing it’s going to assault is rabbits or clay targets, as long as they’re not too far away. And you can only assault things as fast as you can work the lever- up to ten times without reloading.

As you’ve figured out, the Winchester 9410 is closely modeled after the Winchester 1894 rifle, with a few necessary differences. Slender, slick and a natural pointer, the 9410 acts a lot like its ancestor. It’s pure joy to handle and shoot. A couple of the major differences (besides the fact that is’t a freakin’ shotgun!) are a specially designed extractor/ejector for controlled ejection of .410 hulls and a tang-mounted safety added to the ’94 family in 2003.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub.com!

What Do You Need To Shoot 3 Guns At Night? Loadout for the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational

Later this week, I’m going to run around shooting guns in the pitch dark. Just for fun.

The Crimson Trace midnight 3 Gun Invitational event takes place far from city lights outside of Bend, Oregon. The matches begin at 9 or 10pm each night and continue until 3am or so. So it will be dark. Really dark. All three guns – shotgun, rifle and pistol – will need a 100 lumen light at minimum. Lasers will help  make target designation faster. Night vision gear is allowed, but I’ll take that plunge next year if I’m able to attend.

Since Crimson Trace is sponsoring the event, I’m choosing to equip with everything possible from Crimson Trace products. Just to see what’s possible with the current product line. Here’s a breakdown of the gear I’m bringing:

Glock 17 Crimson Trace lightguard lasergrips 9mm

Glock 17 Gen 4 – It’s hard to beat a double-stack polymer wonder gun for this type of event. High round count, low-recoiling 9mm ammo, easy availability of Crimson Trace Lasergrips and a rail to attach a Crimson Trace Lightguard makes this a strong contender or the ideal M3GI pistol.

Crimson Trace M3GI Gear Glock Lasergrips

Crimson Trace Lasergrips for Glock Gen 4 full size and compact – I like this specific version as it’s compatible with a Crimson Trace Lightguard. The laser features a rear-activated pressure switch while the Lightguard has a front-activation switch. There’s also a positive on/off button to save battery life when you’re shooting in daylight conditions.

Crimson Trace M3GI Gear lightguard Glock 17

Crimson Trace Lightguard for Glock – Blasting out 100 lumens of light with 2 hours of continuous operation, this light will make target identification easy for anything within pistol distance.

Smith  Wesson M P 15 VTAC 8  1

Smith & Wesson M&P 15 VTAC – With a 1:7 twist barrel, this rifle shines with heavier projectiles at longer range. While this match, given the dark conditions, will have all targets inside of 200 yards, how can I not bring this honey? The Viking Tactics JP hand guard allows you to mount sling attachments and rail segments just about anywhere you want.

Bushnell Elite Tactical 1 6 5x24 12  2

Bushnell Tactical Elite 1-6.5×24 with BTR-2 reticleI reviewed this a while back and loved the flexibility. With a first focal plane reticle, it acts like a red dot at true 1x power and a moderate range scope when zoomed in. It should be perfect for nighttime targets from 25 to 100 yards away.

Switchview 679

MGM Switchview – You know MGM Targets right? The folks that make all those fun steel plates and critters to shoot at? Well, they also have a nifty little accessory for rifle optics with a zoom ring. The Switchview lever clamps over the zoom ring and features a “throw bar” lever to make adjusting power level fast and easy. It also offers a great visual indicator as to how the scope is currently set. If you’re shooting in the pitch dark, like at the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun event, you can feel the current zoom setting on your optic!

Crimson Trace MVF 515 673

Crimson Trace MVF-515 Modular Vertical Foregrip – I’ve used this in daylight and dusk conditions but can’t wait to shoot it in the dark. Dual touch controls on both sides operate either a green laser and/or a 150 to 200 lumen tactical light. Couldn’t be more intuitive.

Vtac ug main

Viking Tactics Padded Sling – Love, love, love this sling. Here’s why. It’s two point attachment allows you to brace the rifle for steadier shooting and of course tote your rifle around. It’s got quick-adjust tabs that allow you to instantly tighten the sling, or loosen it for shooting. You can even flip the rifle to your offside shoulder without removing the sling. The rifle carries well muzzle down in the front or muzzle up in the back without adjusting the sling straps. Oh, and it’s padded for comfort. Highly recommended!

Crimson Trace M3GI Gear Magpul PMAG Window

Magpul PMAG 30 Gen 3 Window Magazines – PMAGs. Need I say more? With windows to see how many rounds you have left.

Mossberg JM Pro Tactical Class  1

Mossberg JM Pro Semi-Automatic Shotgun – Look for a full review on this one soon. In short, it’s part of the Mossberg 930 Signature Series and this one has Jerry Miculek behind the design. If you need more than the 9+1 capacity to deal with your targets, you might want to bring some friends with guns.

Crimson Trace M3GI Gear RailMaster Light

Crimson Trace RailMaster Universal Tactical Light – I’m actually bringing this along with no intention of using it. Currently, I have it mounted on a rail segment on the Mossberg JM Pro. With 100 lumens of light and a constant on switch, it will work great for shotgun distance targets. Hopefully it will get left in my shooting back for the event. Read the next segment to see why.
? Crimson Trace CMR-204 Combination Light / Laser – Word has it that these soon-to-be-released units will be available to test at the match. So, if my assumptions are correct about this being a rail mounted unit with integrated light and laser, it will be taking the place of the RailMaster light currently strapped on to the Mossberg JM Pro!
Mesa Tactical SureShell Shotshell Side Saddle Carrier  4 Mesa Tactical SureShell ShotShell Side Saddle Shell Carrier – Say that 10 times fast. Now again, but in Cantonese. When 10 rounds of 12 gauge isn’t enough, reach for some reloads on the side of your receiver. The match format calls for low-volume shot gun reloads so this should provide perfect insurance against the occasional miss.

Crimson Trace M3GI Gear Cyclops LED visor light

Cyclops Solutions LED Hat Clip Light – The whole place will be pitch dark! So I’m bringing this nifty little device I found on a recent trip out west. It’s a 3 LED light that clips on to the brim of most any hat. Turn it on and illuminate whatever is in front of your face. Unfortunately I’ll probably be sulking over my scorecard with this piece of gear.

Crimson Trace M3GI Gear Safariland ELS competition belt

Safariland ELS Competition Belt and Magazine Carriers – Another review in progress, the Safariland ELS system is impressive. An inner belt goes through your pants belt loops. The outside of the inner belt is velcro. The outer belt is pretty rigid stuff with a velcro lining. This sticks on to the inner belt and is surprisingly secure. The outer belt features 118,839 holes (my estimate) that are used to attach ELS plate “sockets.” Accessories like magazine carriers, holsters, shotshell carriers, rifle magazine carriers, light pouches and duty gear are attached by mounting the male portion of the “plate sockets” to the individual accessory. You can easily add and remove components depending on your match or duty requirements. It’s really, really flexible. I’m configuring the belt with two Glock magazine pouches, two shotshell carriers, two AR magazine punches and a holster. I might add a Bat grappling hook system if I have time.

Desantis Speed Scabbard Glock Lightguard

DeSantis Speed Scabbard Holster for Glock 17,19,22,23 with Crimson Trace Lightguard or Laserguard – This is really more of a concealed carry holster for Glocks equipped with Lightguard tactical lights. It’s made of leather, not Kydex and does not feature a reinforced mouth for quick reholstering. As the match stages all end with pistol, the way I’m shooting them anyway, this will be fine. I’m really excited to use this as a CCW holster after the match.

Crimson Trace M3GI Gear SportEar hearing protection

SportEar XT4 Electronic Earmuffs – I picked up a set of these at the Shooting Industry Masters event and have used them ever since. Not only do the electronics block out dangerous sound levels over 85dB, they amplify nearby sounds up to eight times. Separate frequency adjustment knobs allow you to tune the system to hear things like range commands and quiet noises like a twig snapping in the woods.

Crimson Trace M3GI Gear 685

Cabelas Armor Xtreme Double Long-Gun Hard Case – This case is a tank. Made of sturdy, high-impact resin, it has four crank-down locks and accepts two padlocks for travel. You can cut the center foam layer to fit your specific toting needs. It’s got a gasket seal and is water and airtight. A pressure release valve makes it cool for air travel. Most important feature? Lifetime warranty!
blackhawk padded weapons case Blackhawk Padded Weapons Case – This two rifle soft case is what I’ll use while at the range. The Cabelas Armor Xtreme is for travel while this one is for range use. A padded interior with divider allows you to easily carry to long guns. Extra pockets accommodate magazines and range gear. You can even unzip this case all the way to configure it as a shooting mat.

Danner Rivot TFX Hot Military Boots

Danner Rivot GTX Hot Military Boots – Danner has graciously provided these for the match. I’ve been wearing them the past few weeks to break them in and already it’s clear these are not only comfortable, but durable.

ESS Crossbow Eyeshields

ESS Crossbow Eyeshields – We reviewed these a while back and found them to be some of the best eye protection that money can buy, short of full combat goggles.

Think that’s enough? Let’s see how I fare with the TSA gauntlet of molestation…

A Brief History of Guns, The Early Years…

Here’s an excerpt from our brand new book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition. It’s part of the Insanely Practical Guides series and is loaded with light-hearted education, lots of helpful photos and some comedic relief. Hope you enjoy!

Before there were guns...

Before there were guns…

Guns have been annoying politicians longer than you might think. Before we jump into modern day firearm knowledge, let’s take a look at the long and winding road of gun history…

1,100 BC

Legends of the earliest known uses of guns have been passed down through generations of Zoran women. Historians believe that many women folk of Zorah, then near Philistine, gushed and swooned at the sight of Samson’s guns. According to the folklore, Samson had two guns, of exceptionally large caliber. Also according to history, he used those guns on more than one occasion – smiting at least one lion and many Philistine warriors. Sadly, the Zoran Congress, led by Senator Delilah of Timna, Philistia, soon enacted an assault hair ban and Samson was stripped of his guns.

 

1250 AD

Most historians believe that the key ingredient required to make all those useless guns work was invented around this time. In fact, NRA National Firearms Museum Director Jim Supica claims that Franciscan monk Roger Bacon wrote of the mixture shortly before 1250 A.D. That was an awfully long time ago – just after the birth of Joan Rivers.

Anyway, according to Bacon’s ancient texts, the lute and dulcimer trio of Guns and Roses discovered gunpowder while searching for better ways to wow the crowd at outdoor concerts. The forward-thinking band found that a mixture of charcoal, sulphur and salt peter provided plenty of noise and flash for bitchin’ stage theatrics. Salt Peter, Saint Peter’s long-lost stepbrother, was not at all happy about this recipe and he immediately started work on development of smokeless powders that did not require any of his bodily parts. Progress was slow as smokeless powder was not invented until the late 19th century.

 

1300

The earliest cannons appeared on the scene. After all, what good was the newly invented gunpowder without something to shoot it from? Early cannons were quite simple – nothing more than a tube open on one end and closed at the other. A small hole near the closed end allowed cannoneers to light a powder charge inside. Crudely constructed from iron, wood and sometimes Mighty Putty, these weapons applied the same basic principles used by guns today.

 

1350

While loud and impressive, early cannons did little to meet self-defense requirements. Since gun holsters had not yet been invented, concealed carry was not feasible. Hunting with the newly invented firearms was also problematic as many animals were reluctant to stand in front of cannons long enough to be converted to SPAM. In response to complaints of supermarket butchers everywhere, the “hand-gonne” was invented. Simply a downsized cannon mounted on a pole, the hand-gonne struggled for popularity mainly because no one knew how to pronounce the word “gonne.”

 

1400 to 1639

Clearing up name confusion, people stopped making “hand-gonnes” and replaced them with matchlocks and wheellocks. Matchlock guns featured an exposed flash pan filled with fine – and easy to ignite – priming powder, which would light the main charge to fire the gun. A dangling, and lit, fuse was suspended over the flashpan. A mechanical linkage was used to lower the smoldering fuse into the highly combustible flash pan. Occasionally, the matchlocks would fire when the user wanted, but usually before, after or not at all.

 

1526

The gun company Beretta is founded in the Foccacia region of Italy, in a town called Brescia. Having made guns prior to this date, company founder Ben Cartwright achieves his first commercial success with production of 185 Arquebus Matchlock barrels for the Arsenal of Venice. The British Secret Service, Double-0 branch, is issued the 186th Arquebus. England quietly canceled the Double-0 program when it was discovered that matchlock rifles concealed poorly under dinner jackets.

 

1640

The first kinda, sorta reliable flintlock was built. Some astute marketers even guaranteed their flintlocks to be 31% reliable, 67% of the time. Offering major advancements in luxury and comfort, such as heated drivers-side seats, the flintlock allowed shooters to carry their guns pretty much anywhere, except schools and government buildings, of course. As the flintlock features a covered flash pan for priming powder, users could even take their guns into rainy conditions. No longer would major World Wars endure rain delays, thereby minimizing network television scheduling challenges.

As a side note, the phrase “keep your powder dry” came into vogue during the flintlock era. As guns of the time relied on ignition of two separate powder charges – one in the flash pan and one in the barrel – keeping powder dry and flammable was a requirement of guns going bang instead of fzzzlpphhtt.

Stay tuned for the the next phase in firearm history…

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition is available on Amazon.com now!

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition from Insanely Practical Guides

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition from Insanely Practical Guides

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