Archive for the 'Guns' Category



Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 5 hours ago

David Codrea:

GOA stood alone among national gun rights groups in November, warning that passing the bill will result in giving Congressional Democrats control of Congress for the next 10 months, as the “so-called ‘long-term CR [continuing resolution]’ … would set policy and spending until the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2015).” Their solution was to call instead for “a ‘short-term CR’ into January, February, or March. This would allow the newly elected Republican Congress to set spending and policy for the federal government for most of next year.”

And that’s exactly what has happened.  The Democratic party is evil, but the GOP is a cowardly shell of humanity, without even so much as a thread of dignity or character left.  But the reason I lifted this quote from David’s article is that it reminds me of a comment left here at TCJ when we discussed this.

seriously ? they think the lame duck Senate can pass gun control ? so far the GOP House has stopped everything … quit crying wolf … this is just a fundraising stunt …

Yea, not so much, huh?  Read all of David’s piece at Examiner.

If you’re a machinst and live in or near Huntsville, Alabama, Remington wants to offer you a job.  If I was a machinst and lived in Huntsville, Alabama I’d take it.

The Texas Legislature is flooded with proposed gun legislation.  The legalization of open carry is a no-brainer and shouldn’t take any more than a minute or two to pass, after a couple of hours to craft the law.  We’ll see just how smart or stupid the Texas Legislature is.

Nullification works.  Of course it does.  It just requires the heart, character and stomach to stand up to the federal government.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 2 days ago

David Codrea:

Noting it was largely due to the gun rights vote that Republicans captured the Senate and widened their lead in the House, what will change as a result, if anything, is unclear. If restrictions remain unchallenged, it will recall the many times rules objectionable to gun owners have quietly been allowed to remain in place. Still, there is one change that could be insisted on now, and if it derailed the spending approval process either in a Harry Reid-controlled Senate, or if Barack Obama rejected it, that decision would fall squarely on the Democrats: Congress could, if it wanted to, restore funding to allow for relief of firearms disabilities — or at least it could after January if it passed a short term resolution and left the long term bill for the incoming majority.

Per the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, “prohibited persons” convicted of state-level offenses can contact their state attorney general to learn their options for civil rights restoration. Federal offenses currently require a presidential pardon, with other lawful options provided for in the Gun Control Act of 1968 closed off due to an appropriations technicality, once implemented due to maneuvering by Sen. Charles Schumer.

Not that they will, but the GOP should push that issue.  But the GOP has proven cowardly on too many occasions for me to count.

Mike Vanderboegh on more Jonathan Gruber absurdity.  Now we learn that he is a eugenicist on top of everything else, in the spirit of Margaret Sanger and other Nazis.

Hiker shot on California hiking trail.  Folks, carry guns in the bush.

NO.  Next question.  Can we end our love affair with guns?

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Is Smith & Wesson Going Under?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 3 days ago

CNBC:

Smith & Wesson faces a double-barreled threat: Weak weapon sales and leverage.

The gun manufacturer said Thursday night that sales fell 22 percent in the quarter through October because of weaker sales of a variety of firearms. In turn, the company cut its full-year sales target to a range of $504 million to $508 million, down from $530 million to $540 million.

Why the sales swing? After concerns that President Barack Obama or other politicians would impose strict gun controls, many firearms lovers stocked up. Now that those fears have subsided, demand is returning to normal. That has left inventories elevated, prompting gun companies to offer discounts to clear their stocks.

But Smith & Wesson’s worries don’t end there. The company announced in late November it was buying hunting and shooting accessories company Battenfeld Technologies for $130.5 million. As part of the deal, the company will take on an additional $100 million of debt and fund the rest with cash. Adding that to Smith & Wesson’s $175 million in existing debt, the company will have $275 million in debt.

That’s a potential concern because Smith & Wesson has a covenant on its existing bonds requiring that its debt be no more than 3.25 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). For now, Smith & Wesson might appear comfortably below its leverage limit. Before Thursday’s statement, analysts expected the company to generate $114 million in EBITDA in the year through April. That would suggest a leverage ratio of about 2.4 times, or even lower, assuming some additional earnings from the acquisition.

But if sales and profits continue to fall, leverage could creep higher fast. Indeed, the company had EBITDA of just $68 million in fiscal 2012 before the big surge in gun demand. That would be low enough to violate the debt covenant. A spokesperson for Smith & Wesson told CNBC that the company took its “expected future financial situation and the covenants into account” when it borrowed more money.

There are signs that Smith & Wesson’s profits will remain under pressure. With demand soft, the company’s inventory has continued to rise. At the end of October, it held $99 million in inventory, up from $76 million at the same time a year earlier.

The company also said it plans to offer “aggressive promotions” in coming months to protect market share. It acknowledged that gross margins could take a hit as a result.

I haven’t seen any of those “aggressive promotions” in my area.  The S&W revolvers, M&Ps and other guns are the same as they’ve always been.  And anything from the performance shop at S&W will be very pricey.  I have a E series 1911 and S&W .357 magnum R8 revolver, both from the performance shop, both very nice, but both very expensive.

For some reason S&W feels that they need to expand their product line to include whatever is produced by Battenfeld Technologies rather than either (a) become more competitive with the prices of those they already produce, or (b) move to another location where they don’t have the high cost of union labor.

Since Colt dropped out of eyesight and off of the consumer map by focusing all of their energies on military contracts for the M4 (which has now dried up) and letting their revolver program perish, the reputation is that if you want a good revolver, you buy S&W.  My two S&W revolvers are very good.  But Ruger has laid the smack down and taunted S&W with its Ruger GP100.  I have held this weapon, although not shot it, and it balances nicely and its trigger action is smooth.  It will prove to be a worthy competitor to any .357 magnum / .38 Smith wheel gun.

S&W is probably relying on becoming the supplier of choice for the new U.S. military pistol.

For gun manufacturers, no customer rivals the Pentagon for prestige and revenue potential. That’s why, after years of anticipation, firearm makers are mobilizing for the U.S. Army’s imminent competition to replace the Beretta M9 pistol, the American soldier’s standard sidearm since 1985.

The procurement process for several hundred thousand new pistols formally begins in January and is expected to last about two years. Based on more than 15 years of reporting on the gun business, I’d identify the early favorites as a much-improved Smith & Wesson (SWHC), which enjoys a made-in-the-USA marketing edge, and the formidable Glock of Austria.

For a second opinion, I asked longtime industry consultant and former National Rifle Association organizer Richard Feldman for some snap handicapping. “Beretta starts with a 30-year history of supplying the Army, and that counts for something,” said Feldman, now the president of the Independent Firearm Owners Association, an advocacy group based in Rindge, N.H. “S&W, which lost a lot of police and civilian business to Glock in the 1980s and 1990s, has transformed itself into a modern firearm manufacturing enterprise with much better quality than in the past. Glock, barely in existence the last time this contract was up, is undeniably a powerful contender.”

S&W is fielding a ported version of their M&P .45 (if I am not mistaken), and it would suit me just fine if they won the contract.  My son Daniel (a SAW gunner) thought his Beretta was a piece of crap and the 9mm an underpowered cartridge.  He never used it, and even in combat he avoided actually needing it.  I have never liked the boxy design of the Glock or the slant of it’s frame.  But oh, my friends at S&W, watch it.

As I have said before, “To S&W, I say again like I have to every gun manufacturer.  Don’t even start down the path of relying on government contracts to keep your company solvent.  It’s like shooting heroin once.  Just say no.  Just don’t do it.”  It never works out quite like you intend.  The Marines want a version of the Colt 1911, Cerakote flat dark earth with a tactical rail, if sold on the open market to the civilian population, worth less than what the Marines are paying for it (it has night sights, a tactical rail and Cerakote finish – my S&W E Series 1911 has Melonite coating, a tactical rail, and Trijicon night sights, and sells for less than what the Colt 1911 sells for to the public).  The Army will prove to be finicky and fussy, and the orders won’t stack up to as many as you had bargained for.  The phase-in will be slower than you wanted, and the demand that it does place on your production capabilities will change forever your attention, programs and dedication to QA for other customers.

I’ve had my run-ins with S&W before, but I’ve been kind and understanding to a company that – I admit – I really love.  But S&W’s commitment to stay in labor union territory and a badly anti-gun state, flirt with law enforcement contracts to the exclusion of custumer rights, and now to chase after military contracts and buy out companies in strange moves that I cannot discern or understand, makes this all very troublesome for me.

It’s probably an exaggeration to say at the present that Smith & Wesson is going to go under.  I say this thankfully because I would regret a world without S&W.  But it doesn’t speak well of the current state of the company strategy to buy out other manufacturers to expand your line from your core business, to do so while sustaining higher debt, and to continue to ensconce themselves in an anti-gun, pro-union state.

The way to make money is to be a proud craftsman at your work for a competitive price, be loyal to your base, and respect their rights and their choices.  Why is this so hard to understand, and why do some U.S. gun manufacturers have so much trouble stepping up to the plate to show themselves worthy of the title?

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 3 days ago

David Codrea:

Obamacare is still “anti-gun” and a proper concern for gun rights groups to seek repeal of, the question becomes “How?” Even with the new majority, Republicans will still find themselves as many as 13 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto.

That’s where NRA could come in – if Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and ILA Executive Director Chris Cox wanted it to, or could be persuaded to follow through on. NRA political grades are a powerful tool the politicians in all but incontestable “blue states” vie for, and there are so-called “pro-gun Democrats” in states like Montana who are dependent on them to retain their seats. Even those currently rated lower than an “A” would have powerful incentives not to go into their next election with a markedly lower rating than their challenger. It may even take only one or two “defections” to act like a crack in the dam, convincing balkers that their political fortunes are best served by opposing an administration centerpiece that Americans are increasingly rejecting, with approval at “a new numerical low” providing additional cover for crossing party lines.

See also this followup.  True enough, Obamacare is anti-gun and intentionally designed that way.  Moreover, it is socialist and totalitarian in nature, meaning that the same people who support Obamacare support gun control.  This is appropriate ground for the NRA in my opinion.  But the NRA endorsed Governor-elect of Maryland, Larry Hogan.  You want to know the real bitch in all of this?  Hogan didn’t ask for the endorsement, and is dedicated to defending the laws of Maryland against suits to overturn them (yes, the recent Maryland laws infringing on the second amendment).  I am in favor of pressing the NRA to get score the Obamacare votes, but does anyone really think that an organization who would whore itself like they did for Hogan is ready for the big time on the national stage?

David takes on Mark Morford.  My take is here.

Mike Vanderboegh will be speaking at the We Will Not Comply Rally.  Folks, you know how much I loath I-594.  If I could be there, I would tell them (the rulers) to kiss my ass.  I would not comply either.

Mike notes that a gun-mounted flashlight plays a role in another Denver police shooting.  We’ve discussed this here.  Folks, gun-mounted lights can be done right (and I have them) as long as you know about and avoid sympathetic muscle reflexes, but I’m opposed to police using gun-mounted lights because I think most of them are so incompetent.

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The Ninth Circuit And The Right To Carry Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 6 days ago

Eugene Volokh has an update on current events within the Ninth Circuit and Peruta, and I’ll let you read his information (it’s far from an assessment, it’s more just data and information).

Better is Dave Hardy’s post concerning the implications of all of this.

If denied, Peruta stands (altho two cases heard at the same time raising much the same issues might be taken en banc, court hasn’t ruled yet). If granted, California becomes the new defendant, and files its motion for rehearing en banc, and the court decides that.

You have to read Dave’s complete workup in order to understand where we are with this.  I am interested in part because of a recent trip I took to Hawaii and research I did on guns and gun rights in Hawaii.  I’ll have much more on this in the future, but Hawaii is part of the Ninth Circuit.

That said, I would still rather see states recognize God-given rights rather than turn to black-robed tyrants at the federal level.  That’s what I will be imploring the politicians in Hawaii to do.  Onerous gun control doesn’t have to be that way.  It’s what people choose.  But there are good folks in Maui (where we were) who live under the edicts of elitists in Honolulu and cannot change the power structure any more than we can.

The Gun Went “Click … Click … Bang”

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 6 days ago

Via Uncle, via Jovian Thunderbolt, The Firearm Blog has this video:

Yankee Marshal doesn’t really do a complete job of explaining to you why officer Darren Wilson’s gun went “click … click … bang.”  Neither does Jovian Thunderbolt, and neither does Uncle.

Yes, the gun went out of battery, but the point is that the Sig P229 is a SA/DA pistol.  This wouldn’t be true of other semi-automatic pistols that are not SA/DA.

Scared White Idiots Buy Guns

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks ago

Mark Morford:

How to unpack the creepy, disquieting factoid that gun sales over the Thanksgiving weekend shot, as it were, to a record high?

True. Upwards of 175,000 requests for background checks over Black Friday, the FBI says, which is about three requests per second, which is triple the norm but still just behind December 21, 2012, right after the Sandy Hook massacre, when gun sales freakishly skyrocketed. Because nothing says “We need to come together to stop all the gun deaths” than stocking up on bullets in case the scary black president comes to take away your Glock.

The scary black president! He’s part of the problem, no? He’s one of them, the real reason so many people bought a gun this holiday. According to at least one shop owner, a large percentage of gun buyers mentioned one singular event as a motivating factor for their purchase. Can you guess?

That’s right: Ferguson.

Ferguson? You mean the place where the white cop murdered that unarmed black kid, and wasn’t even indicted for it, and the police responded to the subsequent outrage/heartbreak from the local black community with even more brutality by way of a shocking assortment of military-grade weaponry: enormous tanks and tear gas and riot gear, all of sufficient scale and ruthlessness to outfit an army unit in Afghanistan, because that’s exactly what it was? That Ferguson? Yes indeed.

So. Want to try and unpack this creepy factoid? Break it down a little? It’s not difficult:

You’re a scared white person, almost certainly male. You do not live in a major city, or near a university or intellectual hub of any note, nor have you ever traveled very far from your home town, much less out of state or anywhere further than, say, Mexico. Once. And that was enough.

You do not read complicated books. You do not like new or weird things. You watch lots of TV, mostly Fox News, which rejoices in showing you endless images of angry foreigners and minorities in pain: tear gas explosions, fights in the streets, looting, this time involving sad, small-town black people in Ferguson, all of them protesting the acquittal of that murderous white cop.

[ ... ]

But here’s the surreal catch: it’s not for protection, per se. It’s not about the childish fantasy of how the gun defends against the rapist, or the drug dealer, or the Russian mafia kingpin who kidnapped your daughter for the second time, and this time it’s personal.

The gun is uncomplicated, primitive defense against something far more terrifying and murky: everything you do not know. Guns provide an illusion of security, a violent, make-believe defense against a world that’s too complex, with injustices too prodigious, rage too tempting and calm, peaceful acts of love far too difficult to locate. They make you feel, in short, like you might have a chance.

So this is an interesting commentary on a number of levels, not the least of which is that Morford is badly uninformed on trends in gun ownership.  The anti-gun nuts are mostly old, balding or gray-headed, crusty, rich, Northeastern collectivist white guys.  Girls are buying guns, young guys are participating in 3-gun competitions, shooting is a family sport, and entire families are learning how to use weapons for self defense.

As for hurling insults, we could engage in that all day (like, for instance, Morford has a writing style like a gum-smacking valley girl).  But that would soon get boring.  So I thought I would take on this notion that gun owners don’t read complicated books.

So here’s the deal, Mark.  Let’s play a game, and we can keep playing until someone gives up.  It will show me to be an idiot, or you to be an ignorant loud-mouth blow hard, but we can’t both be winners.  I’ll mention a few books, almost at random, on my book shelf.  You tell me if you think they are complicated enough for you, and then you tell me some titles on your book shelf.  Let’s see what you’re reading.

Are you ready to play?  Good.

James J. Duderstadt and Louis J. Hamilton, “Nuclear Reactor Analysis,” Alvin Plantinga, “God and Other Minds,” Paul Helm, “Eternal God,” Frederick Copleston, “A History of Philosophy,” all volumes, and finally, Collins and LaPierre, “Is Paris Burning?: How Paris Miraculously Escaped Hitler’s Sentence of Death in August 1944.”

Now, it’s your turn Mark.

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Save The Butterflies And Birds: Buy Guns

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks ago

Science has spoken:

The Karner blue butterfly is a tiny thing, with colorful wings that extend just an inch across and a life that rarely wanders more than 600 feet from where it began. Its caterpillars can only eat wild lupines — a flower that’s become less abundant in the wild because of development and habitat fragmentation. As a result, the Karner was named an endangered species in 1992. But Karner blues are getting help from an unlikely source: gun sales.

The Nature Conservancy has a project in the works near Saratoga, New York, that will preserve an area that’s already home to these lupines and butterflies, and much of the program’s funding comes from the sales of guns and ammunition. For that, Karner conservationists can thank the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act.

Passed by Congress in 1937 and commonly referred to as the Pittman-Robertson Act, it sets an excise tax of 10 to 11 percent on the sale of guns and ammunition, paid by manufacturers at the wholesale level. Prior to the law’s passage, guns and ammunition were already subject to taxes, but the Act ensured that the money was set aside to protect game species and their habitats. The law has helped bring deer and elk back from the brink in areas in the East, but it’s also given refuge to many non-game species, like the Karner blue butterfly. At another project in New York, Pittman-Robertson money is helping to protect 5,000 acres of grouse, turkey and deer habitat, and all the snowy owls and other birds of prey that come with it. Troy Weldy, senior conservation manager at the Nature Conservancy’s New York chapter, said the project “could create a premier birding destination.”

Environmentalists who don’t hunt might not think they have much in common with the guy tromping off into the woods with a gun. Yet hunters and anglers have a long history of land stewardship, said John Gale, national sportsmen campaigns manager at the National Wildlife Federation. At the time the Pittman-Robertson Act was passed, widespread hunting had cleared deer and other big game from large areas along the Eastern Seaboard. Realizing that the sustainability of their pastime was at risk, hunters banded together to urge legislative action. “Hunters are the original conservationists — we’ve been carrying wildlife and fish on our back for a long time,” Gale said.

I’m not a proponent of government programs or big taxes, especially at the federal level.  And it’s more likely than not that modern game management practices (bag and possession limits, licensing of hunters, etc.) have led more than anything else to the resurgence of game populations, regardless of any money being spent.  There have never been more deer, fowl and fish than there are now, not since records have been kept.

But for environmentalists, just recognize that hunters and other sportsmen have your back.  You can contribute to the success of your passion.  Buy guns.

Prior: Save the Planet: Buy an AR

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks ago

David Codrea:

What is clear is the promise of a reward and the guarantee that the person receiving it will not have to provide their name lends itself to the potential for abuse. Not only could gangland competitors be effectively removed, an opportunistic criminal could reap rewards for phoning such a calculated tip in, including the possibility of exploiting unsuspecting police to permanently eliminate reported rivals. Also unstated is what safeguards are in place to ensure rogue law enforcement officers don’t themselves create a tip to do an end run around Fourth Amendment protections, artificially establishing phony “probable cause” opportunities for stops, searches and seizures that would otherwise not present themselves.

It all sounds so Orwellian doesn’t it?  Their designs will have come to fruition when families are informing on family members to the god-government.

David Codrea:

Members of Oath Keepers, a national group that includes current and retired military and law enforcement personnel, have rejected orders from St. Louis County Police to abandon posts on top of private businesses that invited their protection, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Monday. The order to stand down was issued under presumed authority of a county ordinance prohibiting unlicensed security personnel.

Do you need any more evidence that the police aren’t interested in your protection or property?

Kurt Hofmann:

If the government’s hired muscle is shooting too many people, too indiscriminately, the answer is not to voluntarily surrender the means of defending against them. If they are unnecessarily shooting people out of fear, it’s well past time for them to stop shooting, out of a much greater fear of the consequences of such shootings. That greater fear can only be imposed by people equipped to make shooting citizens unnecessarily a terminally dangerous activity.

Kurt upbraids Matthew Yglesias, who is a little boy and whose readers are his boy-followers.

Dave Workman (via Mike Vanderboegh):

As Monson put it, “There is no way I would bring a family into downtown Seattle right now. The criminals have won. The gangs have won. The protesters are out of control” … Some might suggest that Seattle tilts so far to the left that it’s a wonder the city hasn’t slid into Elliott Bay. But the city also has a dichotomy. On the one hand, the liberal/socialist core population obviously leans toward the “only-cops-should-have-guns” philosophy, except when it comes to cops actually using their guns to stop criminals …

Yea, progressives can be paradoxical, no?  And as for losers, criminals, and ne’er-do-wells taking over the city, it’s not much different in Portland.  Expect it to head your way, Washington.  And yet the politicians are concerned about things like focusing on guns and making sure that grandfathers don’t give firearms as presents to grandsons.

Via Mike, police and dogs again.

The body language section of the “Police & Dog Encounters” videos is designed to teach officers how to quickly size up the potential threat presented by dogs. And dog behaviorists and police trainers say you can’t just eyeball a dog, decide that it looks like a pit bull or Rottweiler, and decide it’s dangerous.  In the body language section of the “Police & Dog Encounters” videos, dog trainer and author Brian Kilcommons works with four Chicago PD officers on how to approach dogs that are not very happy about having strangers in their territory. “Dogs don’t lie,” Kilcommons says on the video. “They tell you what they are thinking.” That may be true, but you have to know how to interpret what the dog is saying.

Good grief.  Just good grief.  As I’ve said, you bunch of little screaming girls, go spend some time at a farm or ranch and buy and raise a dog.  Good grief.  It’s shameful that cops have to be taught to do things that most little boys can already do.

Finally, Mike gets some nice props.

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Review of Voodoo Tactical Padded Rifle Case

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 3 days ago

Delivered recently, a Voodoo 42″ tactical padded rifle case, which holds two rifles and other weapons (two handguns).  There is also room for magazines, tools, and other kit that you might want to take to the range or into the field.  If you’re like me, you probably cannot even name or catalog the equipment and other miscellaneous stuff you have in your dope bag (or range bag).  This clears it up.  When you head out the door, you put in what you need for the day, weekend or longer.

 Here is a picture of the case unopened, plenty of Molle and cinch straps.  And I like the OD green.

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Here is a picture of the back, with padded shoulder straps and D-rings.

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One aspect of the bag I like is the presence of zippers amenable to locking.  No, it won’t stop someone from picking up your entire bag.  But it will stop someone from going into your rifle bag and coming out with something that you don’t miss until much later.  Here is a picture closed.

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And unclosed.

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I wanted to see how it would handle longer rifles (since it is, after all, a 42″ case), so I put in my Tikka T3 Hunter, with scope, on one side of the dedicated two-rifle bag.

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Nice fit.  Now on the other side, my RRA AR-15 with EOTech.

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See how the top of the EOTech goes to the top of the bag?  The forend grip was given to me straight from a Marine in my son’s MC Battalion.  It saw combat action.  It holds sentimental value for me.  I figure there’s no reason I should have to remove my forend grip in order to get my rifle into a tactical bag.  More on that in a minute.  

One more item worthy of mention is that I didn’t notice any stress on the zippers when the bag was fully opened.  If the zippers were stressed when folded open, I would say so and dock points for that in my review.  This bag passes with flying colors.  Below are the storage compartments opened up.

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Plenty of snaps, velcro and tension cords.  And more on the internal storage compartments.

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Now back to the height of the bag.  Take a close look at the tape measure below.  It reads 11″ seam to seam.

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Another bag I have reads 10.5″ seam to seam.

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The difference is actually about 0.75″ when I get down close to the seams and tape (a picture cannot do it justice).  Does that 0.75″ matter?  Well, it does if you have an EOTech on your rifle plus a forend grip.

The Voodoo 42″ tactical padded rifle case is a worthy way to spend your money if you need a rifle case.  In fact, I highly recommend it if you have a rifle longer than the AR-15 carbine (16″ barrel) that needs to be protected during transport.  And by the way.  I decry the notion of abusing your weapons to the maximum just to ascertain the point at which they will stop working.  You don’t do that with your own body, do you?  Protect your weapons like your life.


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