Archive for the 'Firearms' Category

Holosun Red Dot + Night Vision

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 4 days ago

Outdoor Life.

Holosun is known for making reliable, affordable red dots, and their new line of red dots is designed for use after dark. There’s a digital night vision model and two thermal models (standard and high definition).

They optics have a small footprint, a little larger than their AEMS, and are affordable compared to competitive offerings. The night vision optics will be about $1,000, and offer a 1024×768 resolution digital night vision sensor with up to 60 fps. They’ll also have features like 8x digital zoom, video recording, and are powered by two 18350 rechargeable batteries.

The DRS-TH Pro is the high-definition thermal red dot, and it will have a 384×288 resolution with white hot, black hot, highlight, outline and fusion display. The high-definition thermal will be around $2,300. For comparison, Steiner makes a thermal red dot that will set you back $7,500. The bad news is that these new optics aren’t available yet and you likely won’t be able to buy one until the end of the year.

They’re taking a smart approach to the product.  They are overlaying the thermal image over their red dot.  This will be effective for not only night hunting of game like hogs, but for home defense as well.

For $1000.  I see it coming now.  Lawsuits brought by Trijicon and Steiner and whomever else wants to join.  “We thought of it first and wanted to patent it but they beat us to it, we don’t want that product to be legal in the U.S.”

For companies that jack their prices up out of reach to the ordinary citizen and go whoring after military and LE contracts, this is the first reaction.  It all pays for their boats and college for their children, don’t you know.

On the other hand, companies like Holosun keep building products people want for a reasonable price.

Ernest Langdon on the Beretta 1301

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 4 days ago

He says it’s the best combat shotgun available.  I agree.

Telescopes on Rifles

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 4 days ago


NEW from Sightron comes their first 40mm main tube optic!

While 34mm and 35mm have become standards in the industry, rarely is a 40mm tube seen. The SVIII from Sightron comes with ED glass, their ExacTrack W&E System, multi-coated lens, and a ton more features.

It’s a 5X40 with a 40mm tube.  It will sell for $2900.

Maybe I’m underestimating your prowess as a hunter, but it seems to me the only people who can use a scope like that are professional snipers.

How about this idea instead.  Build robust and durable scopes with a large tube for good light and clear glass for a reasonable price?  Comparatively few people live in an area where they will need 40X magnification.  Except for maybe .50BMG, what cartridge would be effective on game at a distance where you need 40X magnification?

Beretta 92Xi SAO

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks ago

Introduced at Shot Show.

This is a nice looking handgun, with an optics ready slide, a rail and a frame mounted safety. They were responsive to customer demands. This is also made in America for around $1200.

Barrett Firearms Sells Out

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 3 days ago

Well then.

So what does this mean for Barrett’s promises not to sell to law enforcement where the rights of the citizens aren’t honored?

What does it mean for Barrett to sell to a company ensconced in a tyrannical country like Australia where one cannot own a firearm?

Savage Stevens 555 Sporting Over-Under Review

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks ago

Seen at All Outdoor.

Frankly it didn’t seem like a very educated or enlightened review to me.  I’m not sure what sort of shotgunner routintely shoots sporting clays with a 22″ barrel and thus has trouble with a 30″ barrel.  That seems odd to me.

However, the gun looks beautiful to me.

I normally keep up with new offerings and so it surprised me that I hadn’t seen that Savage had come out with new over-unders.  I do like the fact that it has an adjustable cheek riser.

Savage should have sent the shotgun to me for review.  I would have examined the quality of the walnut, the finish, the parts fit-up, the lockup, etc., and reported back honestly and completely, after putting many hundreds of rounds through the gun (quail season is ending soon so I would be limited to the clay range).

With the Beretta 686 running for $2,400. the Beretta 694 running for $4,500, the Benelli over-unders running for that or higher in some cases, the Beretta DT11 running for $11,000, it’s nice to finally see an American made over-under for a reasonable price (< $1,000) and good finish and fit-up.  If it indeed can claim that – as I said, Savage didn’t send it to me for review.

Cleaning Your Guns

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 2 days ago

Goodness, there has been so much ink spilled over this subject I can’t even begin to rehearse it all.  Here is an interesting recent piece.

In past years I have run several series of tests with commercial and experimental barrel-cleaning media in an effort to take barrels that had been fired back down to base metal, with no carbon or copper fouling as a starting point. A part of the test was to see which medium worked as advertised and which was less effective than expected. The tests were divided into cleaners that relied on chemical action to realize the expected results and cleaners that were abrasive in nature to remove the fouling. The results were verified via bore scopes with magnification to validate the findings.

It was no surprise that we found that some barrels responded to some of the chemical cleaners better than others. This was particularly prevalent with the smoothness of the barrel’s interior surfaces. Match-grade barrels that had been lapped to remove any irregularities or imperfections cleaned down to bare metal without too much effort. Run of-the-mill production barrels fouled earlier and were more difficult to clean almost universally, though there were a few notable exceptions.

Upon examining the barrels that fouled quicker, it was found that microscopic voids and tool marks left from the original manufacturing process were the greatest contributors to lead, copper or carbon fouling. The rougher the barrel’s interior, the quicker it fouls.

Even after cleaning down to bare metal with the abrasive cleaners, some barrels still needed chemical cleaners to remove the fouling embedded in the voids and irregular spots.

After thoroughly cleaning a barrel down to bare metal and removing all perceivable fouling and contamination, a tight-fitting clean patch pushed through the barrel still had a very slight discoloring present due to the vapor-thin residues left by the cleaning agents. This was not really a concern because the bore scope verified the condition of the bore to the satisfaction of the test.

Out of curiosity, we tried a few cleaners that had nothing to do with firearms, but were excellent cleaners that left no smudges or residual film in their intended application. What we found worked to enable a clean patch in and a clean patch out was glass cleaner. It removed everything but the shine after the hard work was done by the chemicals and abrasives.

I am not recommending you use glass cleaner on your Ruger, I’m just stating a finding that may be of interest.

We’ve discussed this before, but it doesn’t appeal to me as prima facie wise to remove everything.  I need to be convinced before I believe it.

Microscopic voids, minor erosion, stress corrosion cracking, tooling marks, and the like, are part of the scene.  No surface will be free of imperfections.

The very first round after removing all of the copper and lead will refill all of those imperfections with copper and lead.  Why continue to beat yourself up over trying to get it all out as if the gun had never been fired?

Anyway, I know that Paul Harrell uses soap and water, others use copper cleaners, others use solvents and still others use odorless mineral spirits (I do on shotguns).

I have never heard of using Windex on the inside of barrels.  I’d have to study the effect of ammonia on metals (SS, carbon steel, MoCr, etc.) before I was comfortable with that.  At a minimum I’d make sure to remove every last bit of the Windex with solvent and patches, and then oil it, before setting it aside.

Have readers ever used Windex on barrels?

Shipping Your Rifle Just Got A Little Harder

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 3 days ago

Shooting Illustrated.

Both UPS and FedEx allow only FFLs, law enforcement agencies and specific governmental entities to ship and receive firearms of any type, for any reason. That means unless you happen to be an FFL, you’ll have to enlist the services of one to both send your rifle to a gunsmith or to a manufacturer for warranty repairs, or to receive your rifle from either. An added complication is that in order for FFLs to use UPS or FedEx for this purpose, they must first apply for and receive approval to be a firearm shipper from the company they want to use. As an FFL myself, I can attest that this process is neither simple nor a hoop that every FFL will choose to jump through. UPS takes it one step further by requiring that firearm parts only be shipped by FFLs as well. What constitutes a firearm part? According to the UPS representative who serviced my old account, UPS considers a firearm part to be “anything that would be assembled to make a gun or added to a gun,” such as magazines, small parts, aftermarket furniture or any other components.

Moving on to brighter skies, USPS appears to mirror federal guidelines when it comes to the shipping of rifles. “Publication 52” is the postal service’s main-source document for firearm-shipping rules. According to section 432.3, so long as the rifle is unloaded and all other laws (state, local, etc.) are in full compliance, a non-FFL may mail a rifle to another non-FFL within the sender’s state of residence. Outside of one’s state of residence, it may be mailed to an FFL or to yourself (in care of someone else), in advance of your arrival at the destination address. Specific rules are outlined for each of these situations, so check local, state and USPS regulations before shipping that family heirloom off into the wild blue yonder, whether for repair or use in a different state.

USPS regulations are elusive on the topic of FFLs returning firearms to their lawful owners. However, “27 CFR § 478.148” states that an FFL may return a firearm (or like replacement) to its owner across state lines. There are no restrictions on shipping firearm components and parts through USPS, except that receivers and frames that ATF classifies as firearms must be shipped as firearms.

[ … ]

USPS requires that you declare the firearm and certify that it is unloaded before handing your package over to them. At no time may ammunition be shipped with a firearm (regardless of shipping method). You may be required to show a copy of the receiving FFL’s license and include a copy of your driver’s license with the firearm as well. A note for the receiving party is always a good idea. One of my outgoing rifle shipments, also last year, arrived at the receiving end completely out of the box. In fact, there was no box at all, just a rifle in a case. Thankfully, the paperwork was also in the case, so the receiving gun shop had sufficient information to be able to contact me for guidance.

Even though long-gun shipping has become more complicated in recent months, it’s still not overly difficult. By following the relevant laws and shippers’ rules, you can get your rifle where it needs to be without much fanfare.

I think the bottom line is that we’re probably going to have to either [a] drive it to where it needs to go, or [b] go through an FFL.  FFLs know it’s necessary to ask them for this service, so they charge for it.  I don’t blame them – the FFL costs money to maintain.

The murky thing is “firearm parts.”  Thus far I haven’t had any problems ordering things like ammunition, charging handles, BCGs, etc., and I’ve received barrels in the mail before.

But you can count on the federal code making things as difficult as possible.

Rock Island Arms 5.0 pistol

4 weeks ago

This weapon breaks a lot of traditions in handgun engineering. Here is the article referenced in the video. It has many truly unique design features. You’ll find the design discussion interesting, although effectiveness, durability, usability, and accuracy all remain to be seen. I’d like to shoot it because the way firearms shoot is really what matters.

Made in the USA. New for 2023. Precision trigger. Hammer fired. The reviewer really likes it.

Comparison of High Dollar and Medium Dollar Scopes

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks, 1 day ago

No budget scopes were tested.  He does a fine job of explaining the differences in pictures you can understand.  I have to remark that I do not even have the time or facilities to shoot at distances where these effects would be experienced, so the point is moot for me.  I see no need for me to own a $2000 scope where I live.

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