Team Smith & Wesson’s Trevor Baucom: Go Big or Go Home!

If you’re thinking about getting into competitive shooting, you could always start small, maybe with a local club match. Of you could just go and enter the most challenging competition there is – the Bianchi Cup. That’s what Team Smith & Wesson’s Trevor Baucom did. Oh, and he did it from a wheelchair. You see, Trevor is a medically retired Chief Warrant Officer and Blackhawk Pilot who was paralyzed in a crash during a night assault mission in Afghanistan. Now, as a sponsored competitive shooter, he’s opening doors to the shooting sports for lots of folks.

Trevor Baucom, Team Smith & Wesson

We caught up with Team Smith & Wesson’s Trevor Baucom at SHOT Show 2013.

We had a lot of fun talking with Trevor Baucom. Here’s what we learned…

My Gun Culture: So Trevor, if we have our facts straight, you’re a relatively new addition to Team Smith & Wesson. Didn’t you join the team sometime in mid-2011?

Trevor Baucom: That’s right, I was formally introduced as a team member at the NRA Annual Meeting in 2011 in Pittsburgh.

MGC: Now for the interesting part – was your first major competition really the The 2011 Bianchi Cup National Championship?

Trevor: Well no, not really. Bianchi was my FIRST shooting competition PERIOD! I had shot plenty just playing around, but never anything in terms of serious competition. After a couple of months of training, Bianchi was the first match I ever shot!

MGC: Ummm, that’s kind of like learning how to read by picking up a copy of War and Peace isn’t it? For those who aren’t familiar, the Bianchi Cup is the most brutal test of handgun shooting skill.

Trevor: It’s all about accuracy. Meaning out to 50 yards with a handgun kind of accuracy.

MGC: So were you completely high on drugs to venture into competitive shooting this way?

Trevor: Nah… That was the first one and I kind of think “Go big or go home!” I had a blast and it was really fun.

MGC: So how did you do?

Trevor: Well, I didn’t come close to winning. Doug Koenig has nothing to fear from me! I’ll improve on it as I go. My goal is always to outdo myself every year. Hey I didn’t come in last place either…

MGC: How did the whole Smith & Wesson thing come about? Tell us about the chain of events that got you here.

Trevor: I had just gotten out of the hospital and was going to outpatient rehab. I was in and out of the rehab facility and I saw this car with GUNS-TV on the license plate and I thought “That’s pretty cool.” Then I saw a 2nd Ranger Battalion license plate on the front of the car. And I did my first five years in the Army in the 1st Ranger Battalion so I go out there one day and see a bunch of guys talking by that car. So I went over and asked who the Ranger was. The guy answered that it was actually his son, and it turned out the guy was Jim Scoutten, host of Shooting USA. Anyway, over the next week or so, we talked more and one thing led to another. He introduced me to the folks at Smith & Wesson and here we are.

MGC: Now you also shoot Steel Challenge right?

Trevor: Yes sir!

MGC: How’s that going for you?

Trevor: It’s a blast, I love Steel Challenge. I did the World Shoot the past couple of years. I’ve been improving my times year over year and did the Nationals this year.

MGC: We also heard that you’re starting into 3 Gun competition as well?

Trevor: I am. I am shooting the AR15.com match in July at Rock Castle. That’s going to be my first major 3 Gun match. Ithaca Gun Company has sponsored me. They don’t offer a semi-auto shotgun, so I have to shoot the Heavy Metal class. So I’m going hard core!

MGC: Let’s talk about your competition guns. For Bianchi and Steel Challenge what are you using?

Trevor: I’m shooting the Smith & Wesson M&P Pro Series with a 5 inch barrel. I’ve got a production version and an Open Class M&P that Apex Tactical has fixed up for me. For Steel Nationals, I’m going to shoot the new Smith & Wesson M&P Core. For 3 Gun I’ll be shooting a Smith & Wesson M&P AR, probably the 300 Whisper. So I’ll still be shooting the .30 caliber for Heavy Metal, but with a little less pop. Then I’ll use one of the Smith & Wesson M&P Core’s in .45 ACP for the pistol and of course an Ithaca Model 37 pump shotgun.

MGC: So with all that, you’ll leave Rock Castle with a nice, sore, shoulder…

Trevor: Nah, it’s alright. They hooked me up with a really nice recoil reducer. It has a strut inside that soaks up a lot of the recoil. I did a charity trap shoot with it a couple weeks ago and it was fine.

MGC: Let’s talk about hunting. You live in Tennessee right? Lot’s of hunting opportunities there, so what do you enjoy?

Trevor: There’s lot’s of hunting and fishing. I hunt deer, turkey, and HAVA (Honored American Veterans Afield) is working on getting me out for an elk hunt too.

MGC: So how was your deer season this year?

Trevor: I didn’t get out very much at all. But, my oldest son got his first deer. It ended up being a management buck, but it was bigger than the 10 pointer it was hanging next to in the freezer. So while it was a management buck, it was a big one. So that was the only one we got this year as we just didn’t get out enough. Turkey season is great because I don’t have to go anywhere. The farmer behind us has given us free rein to hunt 300 acres for Turkey. So as long as I don’t shoot his cows, I’m OK!

MGC: No worries, I’m sure the Bianchi Cup stuff has got your accuracy all set. So, since you’re an Army Ranger veteran and probably expert on this topic, you can settle a long-standing debate. My wife and I have been arguing over the best home-defense gun. I think it’s an MK19 Automatic Grenade Launcher, but she’s worried about the blast radius and collateral damage. What say you? Settle this for us, please.

Trevor: I got this. I coach soccer, and one of the soccer parents asked me about home-defense a couple of weeks ago. Her husband is deployed and there is a lot of construction where she lives, so there are lots of strangers coming and going at weird times. She went shopping for pistols and couldn’t figure out what she needed. I told her, look, we’ll get you a pump shotgun. First of all, the noise is going to scare the hell out of anybody. If someone tries to break in, take your boys into the bedroom, and if someone tries to come in, shoot them right in the junk! He’s not gonna mess with you any more! So that’s where I’m at. Load it with light bird shot – you don’t have to have anything heavy. It’s not gonna go through walls. If you hit him below the belt, he’s going to stop. And a pump shotgun has follow-up rounds if you need them. A shotgun is harder to miss with than a pistol and it’s not going to go through walls and such.

MGC: Remind me never to break into your house… So what’s your schedule for the year looking like?

Trevor: I’m competing about once a month on average. What I really love is doing HAVA shoots. I love going HAVA because you’ll get guys out there and see a 180 degree attitude change. We had a quadriplegic who hadn’t been able to get out. We set him up with a friend operating the stick because he can’t move anything. They had the sip and puff trigger where you blow into it and it shoots the gun. That guy went from not saying a word to anyone and moping to having a huge smile after the second round. He was happy, having fun, and talking to everybody. That’s why I love HAVA. You get the wives and kids out there. They teach everyone gun safety first and get them shooting. It’s a great organization.

 

We’d like to thank Trevor Baucom and Team Smith & Wesson for helping us get Trevor’s story out there. If you haven’t tried competitive shooting, you now have no excuse! No need to start with the Bianchi Cup though. You can leave that to Trevor.

Shooting Accessory Review: Smith Enterprise Tactical Cheek Piece

The Smith Enterprise Tactical Cheek Piece Completes a Scoped Rifle

Smith Enterprise Tactical Strap-On Cheek Piece side

Smith Enterprise Tactical Strap-On Cheek Piece – Shown here mounted on a Springfield Armory M1A Standard

Which of the following can happen when you mount a scope on a rifle primarily designed for iron sights?

A. It becomes more dangerous-er, and therefore illegal in New York, Colorado and within 500 feet of banks located on the Island of Cypress.

B. Your primary self-defense plan becomes shooting the gun out of the bad guy’s hand. From 600 yards away.

C. The effective range of your rifle increases 5,432%, allowing you to easily hit targets up to 17.2 miles away.

D. The scope is a lot higher than the iron sights and you have to stretch your neck like a Gumby action figure to see through the scope.

If you answered (B) perhaps you should take up macrame instead of shooting? If you answered (D) you are correct!

For Part 2 of our Springfield Armory M1A Standard rifle project, we mounted a scope to the M1A using a Springfield Armory steel scope base. Once mounted on top of the M1A receiver, the rail itself is already higher than the iron sight plane. Add rings and a scope and now the scope sighting plane is roughly an inch and a half taller than the iron sight plane. The walnut stock on this rifle is not adjustable, so unless you can extend your jaw an extra inch or so on command, you’ll find that attaining a firm cheek weld and being able to see through the scope are somewhat mutually exclusive. Accuracy really suffers when trying to hover your face a couple of inches above the stock.

Here’s where a cheek piece comes in handy. There are all sorts of cheek piece solutions. Some of our most decorated snipers in the Vietnam war attached shaped blocks of wood to the top of their rifle stocks. You can do that too. Or you can acquire an elastic slip-on pad with foam inserts to add some height to your stock. We’ve tried those, and while they are inexpensive and simple solutions, they aren’t all that great. Things just move around too much and the foam insert pads can be too squishy, preventing you from getting a solid and repeatable position on the stock.

A number of vendors make cheek rests that strap on with velcro, straps or cords. Many of these have either padding or a firm insert that increases height of the stock. The Smith Enterprise model uses three straps that go around the bottom of the stock and a fourth that wraps around the butt of the stock.

Smith Enterprise Tactical Strap-On Cheek Piece back

The Smith Enterprise Tactical Strap-On Cheek Piece features a rubberized back for a non-slip fit.

The exterior of the Smith Enterprise Tactical Cheek Piece is a solid canvas material. The insert is very firm, with just a little bit of give. This achieves two goals: getting a solid and repeatable position on the gun and providing a bit of recoil dampening for your jaw bone. The insert is just about 1 ½ inches high, so it creates perfect scope alignment on the M1A shown in the photos here. The interior of the rest is made of a rubberized material so it grips the stock really well.

Once we got this mounted on the Springfield Armory M1A Standard rifle with walnut stock, it didn’t move around. At all. As you can see by the photos, we mounted this with all three straps forward of the sling loop on the bottom of the buttstock. You may prefer to mount it so that the third strap is behind the sling loop to help prevent forward / backward motion. We just liked the fit as shown, and with the fourth back strap, we did not have any issues with the pad moving.

While this specific model is marketed as a solution for the M14 / M1A rifle, it will fit most any rifle with a more or less standard stock. If you need about an inch and a half of height, check out the Smith Enterprise Tactical Cheek Piece. It’s a solid and well made product.

Our Rating

4 Nuns Four Nuns! The rubberized backing and vertical horizontal strap system ensure that this stays solid in place through carry and recoil. We also really liked the firmness of the cheek insert. It’s solid enough for a good cheek weld, but still offers just a bit of cushion.

 

Check out other My Gun Culture product reviews here!

 

You can find the Smith Enterprise Cheek Piece at Brownells

Smith Enterprise Strap-On Cheek Pad
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Fun Hakim Rifle Facts – Only Surrendered Once!

A (sort of) true history of the Hakim battle rifle…

This Hakim Rifle was only surrendered once!

This Hakim Rifle was only surrendered once!

The Hakim was begat by the Swedish Ljungman AG-42, designed by Erik Eklund around 1941.

Erik Eklund, designer of the Hakim rifle, later went on to form the pop group ABBA.

Erik Eklund, designer of the Hakim rifle, later went on to form the pop group ABBA.

Bored with designing guns for a country who hardly ever goes to war, Eklund later founded the pop group ABBA, where he had many fun escapades with that other guy and those two Swedish singer-babes.

Sweden later sold designs and tooling to Egypt as part of an All Middle East ABBA Mega-Tour. In return for releasing the Ljungman AG-42 design and 28% of t-shirt sales, Eklund insisted that the Egyptian government allow the pop group to sing “Fernando” in front of the Great Sphinx of Giza.

One of the design changes made to the AG-42 with the Egyptian Hakim was addition of a larger muzzle brake. The Hakim actually flies forward several feet when fired, while bathing the shooter with a refreshing mist of hot burning gas. This design feature makes rapid surrender almost effortless. Surprisingly, the French never expressed interest in acquiring the design.

The Hakim has the largest perceived weight of any rifle ever built, with most users assuming it weighs in at approximately 419 pounds. In actuality, the Hakim tips the scales at just over 10 pounds. Perception can be deceiving.

One of the reasons that only 60,000 – 70,000 Hakims were produced was weight. As the Hakim arsenal began to sink into underground oil reserves, production was halted as cleaning crude from wooden rifles is very time consuming and messy.

The Hakim features a unique bolt cover mechanism which was specially designed to allow the rifle to be thrown vigorously into the sand with an aggressive surrender motion, without allowing grit to interfere with the operation of the bolt.

The Hakim muzzle brake actually propels the rifle forward!

The Hakim muzzle brake actually propels the rifle forward!

Hakim designers anticipated collector interest in rifles that had never been fired before surrender, thereby preparing them for the lucrative gun show market. Collectors who know, know that Hakim’s will be squeaky clean inside due to their unique sand-proof design.

The Hakim operates via direct gas impingement, like the M16 / AR-15, meaning dirty and corrosive powder blast is driven into the firing mechanism. One primary difference between the Hakim and AR design is the addition of an adjustable gas flow regulator, which requires a special tool that is never around when you need one. Like in the heat of battle.

The Hakim fires the 8x57mm IS cartridge, otherwise known as the 8mm Mauser. This is generally a 192 grain projectile which used to be insanely cheap to buy until it rose in popularity after a series of wildly successful Billy Mays television infomercials.

Hakim bolt

3 out of 4 engineers agree – the Hakim bolt is impossible to figure out!

To open the bolt of a Hakim, the user has to first push it forward in a closing motion, then pull the bolt carrier backwards. This counterintuitive design was apparently intended to prevent enemy soldiers

with no musical training (think trombone here) to use captured Hakims against the Egyptians.

The Hakim was manufactured during the 1950’s and into the early 60’s. It saw battlefield service in the Suez Crisis / Sinai War of 1956 where large numbers of Hakim’s were thrown down in surrender in anticipation of a voracious military surplus rifle collector market.

And there you have it – an abbreviated history of one of the more interesting military rifles of the 20th century.

Buyers Guide: American Heroes in Special Operations by Oliver North

My Gun Culture Shooting Buyers Guide

imageAmerican Heroes in Special Operations by Oliver North is one of those ‘must reads’.

We were fortunate enough to meet Colonel North and get a signed copy of this book at the 2012 NRA Annual Meeting. Needless to say, we started in on this book immediately.

Over a dozen different trips overseas to cover the war on terror, Colonel North has interviewed Special Operations Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and their ‘civilian’ counterparts in the CIA and DEA to bring over two dozen accounts of Special Operations missions between 2001 and 2010. In between these riveting narratives, Colonel North has included segments outlining topics including Special Operations Weathermen, Ranger School, AH-6M Little Bird Fact Sheets, HALO School, and Special Operations K-9 Unit narratives – just to name a few.

The riveting personal accounts of heroic deeds and ultimate sacrifice will keep you glued to your favorite reading chair.

Highly recommended.

Available Here American Heroes in Special Operations

Half-Cocked: Today we pause…

9-11-2011 - Today we pause...

9-11-2011 - Today we pause...

Half-Cocked: AR-15 vs. AK-47

AR-15 vs AK-47 debate settled

Who's the better man?

The Browning BAR Booger Picker Pocket

WWI_Uniform_BAR_cup_pocket

Edwin the WWI Stud Muffin

Meet Edwin. He’s a stud muffin – mainly because he walks around dressed in full WWI battle regalia.

All his buddies in the U.S. Army 79th Infantry Division think he’s a total bro because he’s a new BAR man. BAR as in Browning Automatic Rifle that is.

Edwin has come to war equipped with a cup, as all good privates should. Mainly so the private can protect his privates. It’s not like you think, however, as Edwin’s cup, or pocket, protects him in an entirely different way. Offensively, not defensively.

Early BAR men were issued an automatic rifleman’s belt with a special metal “cup” between the BAR magazine pouches and pistol magazine pouch. This cup was intended to support the BAR’s stock as the shooter fired from the hip in a concept called “walking fire.”

The idea behind this was to make an automatic weapon portable enough to accompany advancing troops. The Vickers Machine Gun was a tad too bulky and heavy for this use, even by a hunk like Edwin, and the Chauchat Machine Rifle, which was portable, was entirely French in terms of reliability and performance. Enough said.

Enter the Browning Automatic Rifle. Awfully heavy to shoulder fire under control while dashing across the shell-cratered battlefields of France, designers developed the ‘walking fire‘ concept. The stock was snugged in to a pocket or cup on the shooters ammo belt, thereby supporting some of the weight of the rifle and allowing a semblance of controlled hip firing. Historians are unclear as to whether elite troops like the German salsa-dancing belt buckle guard were specifically recruited. Among other problems with the ‘walking fire’ concept was that the very first BAR’s featured a top mounted ejection port. Of course, only those who minded brass being ejected straight into their face while attacking the huns considered the ejection system a problem.

The original Browning Automatic Rifle with top ejection port (Browning Museum, Ogden, UT)

The original Browning Automatic Rifle with top ejection port (Browning Museum, Ogden, UT)

Admit it. We all have been known todig for gold now and then, but very few of us would voluntarily choose to cleanse our nasal passages with burning hot .30-06 brass at a rate of 500 to 650 rounds per minute. Semi-automatic maybe, but no way would I give up my favorite nose-clearing pinkie finger in favor of steaming brass ejecta.

As you can imagine, early testers, even those with serious allergies, complained. Something had to be done. So Mr. Browning went back to the drawing board and relocated the ejection port to the side of the BAR’s receiver. Burning booger problem solved.

And now you know the real story behind development of the BAR’s side mounted ejection system.

Size Matters

Size Matters - A10 Warthog Gatling Gun

Size Matters - A10 Warthog Gatling Gun

Shown: A-10 ‘Warthog’ 30mm, 7 barrel Gatling Gun.

Ready! Aim! Shake Your Groove Thing!

Marquis Nazi Belt Buckle Pistol - NRA National Firearms Museum

Marquis Nazi Belt Buckle Pistol - NRA National Firearms Museum

“A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.” – John F. Kennedy

Fortunately for us, some ideas do not live on. For example, the Marquis Nazi Belt Buckle Pistol invented during World War I and (nearly) fielded ‘en masse’ during World War II.

German Troops Practicing Groovy Hip Aiming Techniques

German Troops Practicing Groovy Hip Aiming Techniques

The Marquis Belt Buckle pistol, also known informally as the Power Pelvis Gun, was conceived by Louis Marquis while interned in a POW camp during World War I. Frustrated by long chow and loo lines, Marquis was consumed by a desire to exert his authority over other POW’s without drawing the attention of guards…

Read the full article at AmmoLand.com and learn more about Germany’s groovy hip gyration programs, effeminate battlefield charges, secret salsa dancer recruitment programs, and more!

Is The MK19 Grenade Launcher Appropriate For Home Defense?

MK19 Automatic Grenade Launcher

Suitable for Home Defense? The MK19 Automatic Grenade Launcher

In today’s edition of He Said / She Said, we examine the relative pros and cons of using the MK19 Automatic Grenade Launcher as a primary home defense weapon. Much has been said about the merits of pistols, revolvers, shotguns, and AR platform rifles for home defense, but little serious consideration has been given to suitability of larger and more powerful crew-served weapons.

First, some basic specifications:

  • 350 round per minute cyclic rate
  • 40 x 53mm high-explosive grenade rounds
  • Battle-proven
  • ‘Moderate’ stopping power
  • Tripod and vehicle mount options

 

He said She said
I’ve been looking into other options for our primary home defense gun. I’m thinking we need something crew-served – like the MK19 Automatic Grenade Launcher.
Hmmm. Not bad. I like the stopping power, but you do realize it has an effective blast radius of about 15 meters right? That’s way bigger than our family room. 

I think the collateral damage might be a bit excessive. And we just got a new wide screen TV, remember?

Yeah but at least we wouldn’t have to worry about complex things like range estimation. I think it would be pretty much point and shoot since it would be indoors.
Ummm. Have you considered that the MK19 grenades require at least 30 meters of flight time to arm? Our hallway is definitely not that long.
Well, we have been talking about getting a bigger house. Why not kill two birds with one grenade, so to speak? Maybe we can design in a longer hallway to the master bedroom and a larger family room at the other end to contain the blast radius.
I’m not sure that we can count on bad guys only breaking in through the main hallway. What if someone tries to come in through a window? Have you thought of that?
But honey, those rounds will penetrate up to 2 inches of rolled armor! Awesome!
Right. Have you even thought about ammo costs? We certainly don’t have room in our budget for 40x53mm high explosive rounds, or even practice rounds for that matter. 

And last time I looked, you don’t have reloading dies for the MK19…

No problem, I’ll check and see if Midway USA has some!
And last I checked, the tripod mount only comes in black. And you know I’ve been wanting to re-do the master bedroom in a tangerine, turquoise, and aubergine palette

I do like the vehicle mount option though. I would feel a lot safer on those long drives to Florida…

So what do you think, is it a plan?
How about let’s talk after you get me my new computer and come up with an extra 20 grand?

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