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Gun World - May 2018

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FOR 2018
SINCE 1959
SHOOTING
UNICORNS
LUGER 1907
.45 ACP
TRAIN
DEVELOPING A
SELF-DEFENSE
MINDSET
NEW
COLUMN
AMMO 411
TOUGH,
MODULAR AND
DESIGNED
TO EVOLVE
FOR FUTURE
DEMANDS
GUN WORLD
MAY 2018 VOLUME 59, NO. 05
05
0
74808 03105
4
U.S. $4.99
DISPLAY UNTIL :
5/08/18
SUAREZ GUTTERSNIPE 17
PERFECTION-IMPROVED CARRY GUN
AMMO
FACTORY
CONTENTS
ON THE COVER
GUN: Beretta APX with FDE grip and threaded barrel
(Thanks to MJ Gunshop; MJGunshop.com)
PHOTO: Robb Manning
PHOTO AT TOP OF COVER: Franklin Armory Reformation
COLUMNS
06 ......................................................... UP FRONT
10 ............................................................. KIT UP!
12 .............................................................. OPTICS
16 ................................................................. HUNT
20 ............................................. ARTEMIS ARMED
80 ................................................................... EDC
84 ................................................................TRAIN
88 ....................................................... AMMO 411
92 ...................................................CLEARED HOT
96 ............................................CHEWING THE FAT
98 ...................................................DOWN RANGE
GUN WORLD (ISSN 0017-5641) is published monthly in January, February, March,
April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December by
Engaged Media Inc., LLC, 17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92614.
Periodical postage paid at Irvine, CA, and additional mailing offces. POSTMASTER:
Send address changes to GUN WORLD c/o Engaged Media Inc., VSI, Inc., 905 Kent
Street, Liberty, MO 64068. © 2018 by Engaged Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any material from this issue in whole or in part is strictly prohibited.
GST#855050365RT001. Canadian Post: Publications Mail Agreement Pitney Bowes,
Inc., P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2, Canada.
www.gunworld.com
p
4
MAY I 2018
GUN WORLD
MAY I 2018
COVER STOry
56
BERETTA APX
Modular and ruggedly built, the APX is a duty pistol
that, with a pullout chassis, is designed to evolve for
future demands.
By Andy Massimilian
FEATURES
www.gunworld.com
p
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24
SHOOTING UNICORNS
The Luger Model 1907, chambered in .45 ACP, is
a beast as rare as the unicorn of myth and fantasy.
Lugerman brings this unicorn to life ... and we get to
shoot it.
By Patrick Sweeney
32
NEW HUNTING GEAR 2018
Here’s a look at some of our favorite new hunting and
shooting gear for 2018—the best new products that
don’t go bang!
By Brad Fitzpatrick
40
NEW HUNTING RIFLES 2018
If you’re looking to upgrade your hunting battery this
year, you’re in luck. There are models to suit every
taste, budget and hunting scenario. Here are some of
our favorites.
By Brad Fitzpatrick
48
NEW TACTICAL/SELF-DEFENSE GUNS 2018
While the AR platform continues in popularity, other
platforms were introduced. Innovation and concealed
carry continue to drive the handgun market.
By Richard Schutz
64
GUTTERSNIPE 17
Suarez International’s Glock-based, maximizedpotential, concealed-carry handgun increases the
effectiveness of Glock perfection.
By Todd Burgreen
72
SIG AMMO FACTORY TOUR
What do you do if you’re SIG Sauer, you make worldclass firearms, but you’re not happy with the ammo
on the market with which you test those firearms?
You build your own ammo plant, silly. We take you on
a tour of this state-of-the-art facility.
By Chris Tran
MAY I 2018
BY ROBB MANNING RMANNING@ENGAGEDMEDIAINC.COM
REAL SOLUTIONS
UPFRONT
A
GUN WORLD
MAY 2018
Volume 59 • Number 5
EDITORIAL
Robb Manning Editor
Kelly Nomura Executive Managing Editor
Amy Maclean Managing Editor
DESIGN
Julian Aviña Art Director
CONTRIBUTORS
Steven Barlow, Brian Berry, Todd Burgreen, Michelle Cerino, Brad Fitzpatrick, Steven K. Ledin,
Andy Massimilian, Jeff Quinn, Richard Schutz, Patrick Sweeney, Chris Tran, Beckey Yackley
t the time of this writing, we are fresh off another heartwrenching school mass shooting. And again, militarystyle rifles and high-capacity magazines are the topics of
contention. I don’t have all the answers, but I know that we
need real solutions, not knee-jerk reactions.
ADVERTISING
Bob Hulsy Ad Sales Director
(714) 200-1940 bhulsy@engagedmediainc.com
Casey Clifford Senior Account Executive (714) 200-1982
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Spencer Redmond Account Executive (972) 448-4649
John Bartulin Account Executive (866) 866-5146 ext. 2746
John Cabral Advertising Design
Eric Gomez Advertising Traffic Coordinator
Gennifer Merriday Advertising Traffic Coordinator
With all the laws that are broken by the mass murderers, it defies logic to
think that adding more laws will do anything to prevent evil people from
committing acts of evil.
MARKETING
Michael Chadwick Digital Marketing & Media Coordinator
OPERATIONS
Robert Short IT Manager
Parveen Kumar Newsstand and Circulation Analyst
Shailesh Khandelwal Subscriptions Manager
Alex Mendoza Administrative Assistant
Melinda Magde Project Coordinator
Victoria Van Vlear Intern Program Manager
Leaders need to find the root cause (or causes) of why this is happening and
fix it, not legislate or ban the tool used—because the gun is just the tool.
And, as we all know, if you take away the tool, people will just find another
tool. The new tool is almost always worse than the previous tool; that’s just
the way it works.
EDITORIAL, PRODUCTION & SALES OFFICE
17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92614
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www.gunworld.com
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Instead, we have so-called leaders in Washington, D.C., talking again about
assault weapons bans, high-capacity magazine bans and bump-fire stock
bans, as if banning those things would have prevented any of the mass
killings. Most of the talk comes from people not educated about the subject
they’re talking about.
GUN WORLD (ISSN 0017-5641) is published monthly in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August,
September, October, November and December by Engaged Media Inc., LLC, 17890 Sky Park Circle, Suite 250,
Irvine, CA 92614. Periodical postage paid at Irvine, CA, and additional mailing ofces. POSTMASTER: Send address
changes to GUN WORLD, c/o Engaged Media Inc, VSI, Inc., 905 Kent Street, Liberty, MO 64068. © 2018 by Engaged
Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue in whole or in part is strictly prohibited.
GST#855050365RT001. Canadian Post: Publications Mail Agreement Pitney Bowes, Inc., P.O. Box 25542, London,
ON N6C 6B2, Canada
CUSTOMER SERVICE
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Subscriptions, Address Changes, Renewals,
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(800) 764-6278
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The scary part—those people in D.C. talking about banning these rifles—
are part of the very institution 2A was designed to protect us against.
Hmmm … I bet they’d like to take away the only real (or tangible) thing
preventing their absolute power.
It’s troubling to see that a real solution is not likely to happen. The media
is largely anti-gun. They point to the NRA and pro-gunners and make
accusations that we don’t want a conversation. But what I see from antigunners isn’t a conversation; it’s them dictating a list of demands that all
start with the word, “ban;” ban this, ban that.
SUBSCRIPTION RATES
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I get enjoyment out of guns; it’s my recreation. I like to collect them, and I
like to shoot them. I don’t drink much, I don’t smoke, and I don’t do drugs. I
drink coffee, and I shoot guns. They also keep my family and me safe. And, as
noted in 2A, they are there as a safeguard against a tyrannical government.
ENGAGED MEDIA, INC.
Scott Hall CEO
Tom Conradi Group Publisher
Pinaki Bhattacharya Vertical Manager
Jason Mulroney Content Director
Philip Trinkle Newsstand Sales Director
Malic Vann Digital Marketing Director
Perhaps you’re pro-gun, but you don’t own an AR15, so you don’t care if they
get banned; maybe you’re even for banning them. Banning military-style
semiautos won’t fix anything, And, after they get banned, when the next
mass shooting occurs, the anti-gunners will claim the bans didn’t go far
enough. So, just know: They’ll be coming for all guns.
This magazine is purchased by the buyer with the understanding that information presented is from various
sources from which there can be no warranty or responsibility by Engaged Media, Inc., as to the legality,
completeness or technical accuracy.
GST #855050365RT001
[Editor’s note: In “Bipod Roundup: An Investment in Stability” (page 76 in
the April 2018 issue of Gun World), B&T Industries’ B10-LW17 V8 Atlas is
listed with an MSRP of $320. The actual MSRP is $280.] GW
www.gunworld.com
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Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: PITNEY BOWES, INC., P.O. Box 25542,
London, ON N6C 6B2, Canada
p
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MAY I 2018
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KIT UP!
1
2
3
1
1
MAKE: Hudson Sup
MODEL: FASTmag, G
OPTIONS: Standard
(7.62x51), pistol; bla
Foliage Green, Coyote Brown
MSRP: $35 (Gen-IV, 5.56 or 6.8 SPC)
URL: Hudson4Supplies.com
Made of high-impact-resistant
polymer, the FASTmag is tough—
we set it on concrete and drove a
Tundra truck over it. A couple of
tabs bent slightly, but they were
easily pressed back into position,
with no loss of structural integrity
or performance. Designed to bend,
not break, the anti-fragmentation
properties keep it together, even
when hit by a bullet. A semi-rigid
strap makes for user-adjustable
tension. We mounted it upside
down with a full mag and did 100
side-straddle hops, and the mag
didn’t budge a hair. Despite solid
mag retention, mag retrieval is
smooth. It mounts on a belt or
MOLLE/PALS, up or down, and can
be double stacked with other mag
pouches (FASTmag or other) using
the attachment slots.
MAKE: Ruger (by CRKT)
MODEL: RTD
BLADE: 1.4116 stainless steel;
length: 3.665 inches; thickness:
0.125 inch
HANDLE: Glass-reinforced nylon;
length: 4.853 inches
OVERALL LENGTH: 8.5 inches
MSRP: $90
URL: Ruger.com/CRKT
MAKE: ZRODelta
MODEL: Cowl Induction Muzzle
Brake, Gen 2
MATERIAL: 4140 alloy steel, black
nitride coat; Cerakote optional
SIZE: 5.6 ounces; 2.83 inches long
OPTIONS: 5.56/.223 (1/2 x28), 6.5
(5/8-24), .300–.308 (5/8x24)
MSRP: $200
URL: ZRODelta.com
The Ruger Take Down (RTD) is
inspired by the 10/22 of the same
name. Designed by Matthew
Lerch, it uses Ken Onion’s tool-less
feld-strip technology that makes
quick work out of cleaning and
maintenance, even when at the
range or in the woods. With the
knife closed, fip the lever, spin the
wheel—and that’s all she wrote.
It’s a fipper-style folder with a
locking liner that’s secure, even
with the takedown mechanism.
The blade has a straight back and
jimping for increased control.
www.gunworld.com
A slim-design muzzle brake, it
comes in at a diameter of under
1 inch yet still provides excellent
recoil reduction. We found it keeps
the muzzle on target for fast
follow-up sight-picture acquisition,
and the slim design is fast to point
from target to target. The horizontal
ports push gas out and away at an
angle that minimizes felt recoil but
also reduces ground debris and
dust kick-up for the prone shooter.
Excellent design and ft/fnish.
P
10
MAY I 2018
control afforded by a modern
wrist-over grip, but with improved,
more-natural body mechanics.
It allows the user to get in a
better squared-up fghting stance
while ensuring the shooting eye
maintains proper alignment. We
found it to be faster in going from
target to target and more stable
while shooting, and it offered better
muzzle control during recoil. It also
reduced forearm and wrist fatigue
during long shooting sessions.
MAKE: Zippo
MODEL: Rechargeable Hand Warmer
POWER: 5200 mah lithium ion
battery, six-hour run time (low);
5V1.5A output
MSRP: $45
URL: Zippo.com
6
5
MAKE: Maxim Defense
MODEL: M-Lock Rail Covers
SIZE: 5/8 x 6 3/8 inches; 1/8 inch
thick
OPTIONS: Black, FDE, gray,
OD Green, blue
MSRP: $30 (four-pack)
URL: MaximDefense.com
These rail covers are of Santoprene
construction and snap into the slots
in M-Lock-compatible handguards
for a nonslip grip and to protect
the hands from heat buildup. For
shooters who prefer slim-type
handguards, these are thin and
narrow, so they add very little to
the grip circumference.
MAKE: Velocity Triggers
MODEL: Sentinel Trigger Guard,
3 Hole
OPTIONS: Black, red, FDE,
OD Green, pink
MSRP: $18
URL: VelocityTriggers.com
Thankfully, we’re pretty much out of
the clear for cold weather until next
fall, but it’s never too soon to prep.
This is the best e-hand warmer
we’ve used to date. It equals or
surpasses the heat output of fuel
heaters, except it’s odorless—and
it’s instant; no waiting for the
element to get hot. Unlike other
battery-powered heaters, this one
is totally silent. It has fve heat
settings; and on “high,” it gets hot
enough to be uncomfortable if left
in contact with skin. It doubles as
a power bank to charge USBcompatible devices and comes in
green or silver. We would love to see
it come with a pouch.
Machined from billet 6061 T6
aluminum, it’s skeletonized, with
three holes that are then anodized
or Cerakoted, depending on the
color. The improved ergonomics
provide more room for a gloved
trigger fnger. The squared front
and back provide a precise ft
into the lower receiver. Coupled
with the three trigger screws (that
replace the roll pin and spring pin),
everything makes for zero play.
Plus, it looks sweet.
www.gunworld.com
p
11
MAY I 2018
mium
MODEL: 224 Valkyrie Gold Medal
Sierra Matchking 90 grain
MSRP: $32
URL: FederalPremium.com
We’ve tested it briefy at close
ranges, but we have yet to push
it out to distance. However, if it’s
half as good as advertised, the
fat-shooting 224 Valkyrie will be
a stellar cartridge. Federal boasts
that it will still be supersonic past
1,300 yards and will outperform
its peers in the AR15 platform—
including 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC,
5.56/.223 and .22 Nosler—and
compares favorably with the 6.5
Creedmoor. It’s based on the .30
Remington case, necked down
to .224, with a heavy-for-caliber
projectile. Along with this load,
Federal also released a Nosler
Ballistic Tip 60 grain, Fusion
MSR 90 grain and an affordable
American Eagle TMJ 75 grain,
priced at $14 per box. Look for
more to come about this new round
in a future Gun World.
SCOPE-EYE CHRONICLES
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY STEVEN K. LEDIN
The Vortex Strike
Eagle has great
looks to go along
with its giant, 8x
magnification range.
THE EAGLE
STRIKES
AGAIN T
THE VORTEX STRIKE
EAGLE COULD BE THE
SINGLE AR OPTIC TO
SPEND YOUR HARDEARNED MONEY ON.
he Vortex Strike Eagle’s 1-8x24 riflescope is
astounding for a few reasons.
Primarily because the ginormous 8x magnification
range it offers is still pretty new on the market,
and there are few players offering such technology. In fact,
even 6x magnification range scopes are still relatively new,
with manufacturers introducing this new-to-them technology
www.gunworld.com
P
12
MAY I 2018
every year. The 6x-range scopes still have a lot of staying
power, and new introductions are not yet late to the game.
But the 8x range has been offered by select few others so
far—and fewer still that are not at the nosebleed high-price
level. Several of these 8x scopes deliver significant distortion
and tunnel vision at lowest powers. The Strike Eagles do not.
The SV-4 Switchview
throw lever, made
by MGM Targets,
is available as an
accessory and makes
the magnification
ring adjustment seem
even smoother.
I first used a 6x magnification range scope when preparing
for an elk hunt in Colorado with Burris Optics in 2009. That
newly introduced Six X 2-12x40 on my Weatherby helped me
collect a nice elk. My confidence on that hunt was increased
by using the new 6x magnification range technology that
produced a huge field of view at 2x to an image large enough
at 12x for comfortable shots at 300 yards and past. What
a very useable difference from the older, favorite 3.5-10x
scopes I used a lot! And the Strike Eagle featured here has an
even greater 8x magnification range.
loosening from initial use, how it positively stops when at
the limits—and, overall, how happy it makes me feel. This
scope was exceptional and better than the several 1-6x
Strike Eagles I’ve gotten to know. It was silky-smooth from
“low” to “high” power, with nothing in between but butter.
The Switchview throw lever makes it feel even silkier.
The next thing I do is test the turrets. These turrets have no
fancy stuff; just solid tactile and audible clicks—exactly how
you hope they would be on all scopes ... but rarely are. These
move as surely as the clicks on a mini Snap-On ratchet. The
turrets are low and capped. The retail price is kept as low as
possible by omitting frills, and the turret is a case in point. The
minimalist in me appreciates how they only move the centered
reticle and don’t pull up and twist, or have a zero-stop, buttons
or anything unnecessary. Once your gun is sighted in, use your
fngernail or screwdriver to rotate the adjustment dial on the
turret top to zero and re-cap. Shoot. Repeat.
THE AMAZING STRIKE EAGLE
Another reason the Strike Eagle is astounding is its sub$400 street price. New technology costs money, and to be
one of the first on the market with it costs more. For an
8x scope from a reputable company to be this affordable
makes my head spin. The flip-up caps are included, but the
Vortex SV-2 Switchview (made by MGM Targets) throw lever
shown in the pictures is available as an accessory for about
$50. The attractive Strike Eagle has a pleasing and uniform
satin-black color.
I play with or test most scopes on the market eventually for
some reason or another, and there’s a lot more to scopes than
meets the eye, so to speak.
LIKE BUTTER
Actually looking through the scope is the last thing I do. I
first go about moving the magnification ring from stop to
stop, feeling through my fingertips for grinding, hard spots,
The turrets have
no frills; instead,
they feature crisp,
repeatable clicks.
Rotate the sliding
collar to reset zero.
I tested the adjustments on a tape measure at 100 yards.
A full revolution of the turrets moved the reticle the correct
46 inches (44 real MOA). They were perfectly repeatable.
The 100-yard factory parallax setting made little difference,
even when using it at much-nearer .22 LR ranges—although
parallax error is apparent at high power at closer distances.
The Vortex Precision Cantilever mount I used to mount the
scope was made by American Defense Manufacturing. It
returned to zero within an inch every time.
The third turret on the left side adjusts reticle brightness. It
is marked from 1 to 11 and has no “off” position between
numbers. Install your CR2032 battery here for 150 hours of
use. There is an extra battery holder neatly ensconced in the
windage turret cap. The glass-etched second focal plane ARBDC2 reticle corresponds to most 5.56/.223 and 7.62/.308
ballistics, and the large circle that Vortex calls a “halo”
draws your eye to the center for quick acquisition on large
or moving targets.
TOP CONTENDER
The 1-8x24 scope, itself, grew a bit over its older brother—the
1-6x version of the Strike Eagle. More magnification range
means more parts, and the 1-8x grew by about a half-inch
www.gunworld.com
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MAY I 2018
SCOPE-EYE CHRONICLES
ANOTHER REASON
THE STRIKE EAGLE IS
ASTOUNDING IS THE
SUB-$400 STREET PRICE.
NEW TECHNOLOGY COSTS
MONEY, AND TO BE ONE OF
THE FIRST ON THE MARKET
WITH IT COSTS MORE.
The Strike Eagle
could be the single AR
optic to spend your
hard-earned money on.
The Vortex Precision
QR Cantilever Mount
was made by ADM and
returned to zero within
an inch every time.
Vortex Strike
Eagle 1-8x24
SPECIFICATIONS
MAGNIFICATION: 1-8x
EYE RELIEF: 3.5 inches
FIELD OF VIEW: 116.6–14.4 feet/100 yards
TUBE SIZE: 30mm
TURRET STYLE: Capped
ADJUSTMENT GRADUATION: ½ MOA
TRAVEL PER ROTATION: 44 MOA
MAXIMUM ELEVATION ADJUSTMENT: 100 MOA
MAXIMUM WINDAGE ADJUSTMENT: 100 MOA
PARALLAX SETTING: 100 yards
LENGTH: 10 inches
WEIGHT: 16.5 ounces
BATTERY: CR2032
MSRP: $499.99
in length and a little over 1 ounce. Not much difference to
notice. The field of view on “low” power lessened by 0.1 inch,
and the 3.5-inch eye relief stayed constant.
Optical quality is also very good. This Strike Eagle would be a
perfect match for an AR and the way most shooters use them.
It will be a fun choice for plinking and range use, as well as
a great starter competition optic. The versatility makes it a
superb choice for pig hunting in most conditions.
CONTACT INFORMATION
MGM TARGETS SWITCHVIEW
MGMSwitchview.com
If you’re looking for the most useful and enjoyable single AR
optic to spend your hard-earned money on, this Strike Eagle
would be a top contender. GW
ABOUT
THE
AUTHOR
VORTEX OPTICS
VortexOptics.com
Steven K. Ledin is a former U.S. Navy nuclear gunner’s mate and current
director of a prominent online optics retailer. He’s a CCW and NRA instructor
and has been a sponsored competitive shooter and private investigator. He has
hunted (and gotten lost) from Alaska to Africa.
www.gunworld.com
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MAY I 2018
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SEE YOUR LOCAL DEALER OR LEARN MORE AT SAVAGEARMS.COM
HUNT
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY BRAD FITZPATRICK
TURKEY
TRIBULATIONS
SOMETIMES, THE GREATEST
LESSONS FOR HUNTERS COME
THROUGH FAILURE RATHER
THAN SUCCESS.
H
unters tend to equate success with harvesting
an animal. It’s the reason that virtually every
article written about hunting tactics includes a
photo of a hunter with their kill.
experiences with these birds included a day-long, back-andforth calling session with what turned out to be a domestic
yard bird, as well as a near-drowning in a roaring spring
creek. I hold the dubious distinction of being the only hunter
to ever completely fail to get a shot on a guided hunt at one of
the finest turkey outfits in the country.
Big gobblers are
very crafty and can
easily give hunters
the slip. Make one
mistake, and he’ll
be gone.
I don’t think I’m hopelessly lost, though. I’ve taken my lumps
as a turkey hunter, but that’s made me better prepared to talk
a big tom into range when the spring season rolls around.
A lot of early mornings turned into unproductive days in the
turkey woods, but over time, the sum of my failures helped
me improve my game, and I’ve charmed a few gobblers into
range, despite my shortcomings.
The captions with those photos vary, but for all intents and
purposes, each could read the same way: Do what I’ve told you,
because, as you can see, I’ve filled my tag and therefore possess
great insight about the ways of wild game.
In truth, we learn a lot more from our failures than we do
from our successes.
I clearly remember several hunts during which I screwed up and
failed to do my part. On one November afternoon, I let a massive
whitetail buck slip past me because my nerves got the best of me.
I missed a chance at a big coyote dressed in full-winter plume
because he was practically under my feet and responded to the
electric call before I was ready to shoot. I remember squandering
an opportunity on a buck that came in to my grunt call because,
simply put, I wasn’t sure that grunt-calling really worked.
No animal is more adept at making a fool of a hunter than
a spring gobbler. Biologists tell us these birds have a brain
roughly the size of a walnut—which makes it all the more
humbling when a tom simply doesn’t commit to your carefully
orchestrated call sequence!
I’ve had a pretty successful hunting career, but when it comes
to killing big gobblers, I seemed cursed. Some of my worst
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MAY I 2018
Remember that you’re
competing with real,
live hens, so trying to
pull a gobbler from
a half-mile away
probably won’t work.
Sometimes, you need
to invade his space.
I tried calling softly. Nothing. I tried being aggressive. Still
nothing. I tried multiple calls. I tried a gobble. I think I
would have tried a grunt call if I’d had one. There was a
different tom about a mile away that would chirp back at
me sometimes, but even the best turkey load won’t hold a
pattern at that distance.
I was sitting back against an uncomfortable little tree, tapping
my boot tips together and wishing I’d slept in an extra four
hours. Then, suddenly, there he was—a big gobbler at my 3
o’clock. I’d been made. The jig was up, and soon, he was gone.
I’ve tried to learn from my mistakes. Here are the three most
important lessons I’ve gleaned from those turkey-hunting disasters.
Turkey hunting is a mental game. You need to stay strong.
Those old birds—the big gobblers with ground-dragging
beards and spurs that look as if they belong to some beast from
the Jurassic Period—often aren’t into long conversations.
THE HANG-UP BIRD
There was a turkey to which I devoted an entire season in Ohio
and never managed to kill; a bird that was easily identifiable:
His tail fan was so mangled that it looked as if he’d been
sucked into a jet turbine. I called him the “hang-up bird.”
(Actually, I called him a lot of other things, none of which bear
repeating in this magazine.)
Instead of serenading a bird in another zip code, pay close
attention to those birds that are close by but aren’t saying a
word. Staying focused is the only way you’ll kill them when
they’re suddenly in your lap.
His modus operandi was to come off the roost, rush to the
call as if he were being led by a string and then halt—well
out of gun range. He’d strut, he’d gobble, but he wouldn’t
move. I tried switching my position. That didn’t help. I tried
subtle calling. Nothing.
I tried everything I could think of, except the obvious; I never
pushed the boundaries. Sometimes, when a bird is really
skittish, you simply have to stand on the X.
I found out early in my career as a turkey hunter that not
all gobblers are willing to run a 5K in the name of love.
Sometimes, I’ve found, it’s important to get into a gobbler’s
territory. If he’s a dominant male, that will prompt him to get
off the roost and come courting. If he’s a subordinate gobbler,
it might be the chance he’s been waiting for: an opportunity
to rendezvous with a hen without facing the wrath of other
toms (which, based on his disheveled appearance, might have
happened to Hang-Up a time or two). Scout your birds, fnd
where they’re roosting, and don’t force them to parade a half-mile
to find their hen.
THE BIRD I SHOULD HAVE KILLED
You’re probably wondering why I kept turkey hunting after so
many failures. I wonder that sometimes, too.
If you’re expecting an
old gobbler to come
to a call gobbling and
strutting, you might
get an unpleasant
surprise. Many birds,
such as this one, are
wise enough to stay
quiet during their
approach.
But the biggest blunder I’ve made came at the tail end of an
otherwise glorious hunt that should have resulted in a dead
bird early on the second morning of turkey season.
A gobbler was working his way toward me with unmistakable
resolve. The bird couldn’t decide whether he wanted to strut
or jog to my location, and he alternated between the two.
It was just as it should be, just as it happens on television.
THE STRONG, SILENT TYPE
I’ll let you in on a secret that’s not really a secret at all among
seasoned turkey hunters: Big, old gobblers keep their beaks shut.
I’m not sure if it’s a trait that comes with old age or if all the vocal
young jakes get shot early in their lives and that natural selection
favors quiet birds. Doesn’t matter. Old birds are often quiet birds,
and they’re the most likely to blow your cover.
That very thing happened to me. Early one morning, I clucked
at a tom I knew was roosted a few hundred yards away, and
he immediately gobbled back. But then, he shut up.
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MAY I 2018
HUNT
ESTER’S
X4 NWTF
EVER TURKEY
UN
Different loads—even
high-end turkey
loads—pattern
differently from
various shotguns.
Take the time to know
your gun and load—
and wait for the bird
to get into range.
fan of Winchester’s new SX4
iked the older SX3 model, and the
s the same ultra-reliable Active
system, yet it offers some nice
such as an oversized safety and
e button.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s possible to miss a turkey. I’ve
made long shots with a rife, I’ve had great afternoons knocking
passing doves from the sky ... and I managed to miss a gobbler
standing stone-still at 40 yards. (Or was it 50?)
That was my first problem. Turkey hunters need a keen sense
of when birds are in range. Get a little itchy with that trigger
finger, and you’ll end up watching your bird run away when it
should be on the ground.
gth polymer replaces some
components, such as the trigger
d the new polymer is actually
and less inclined to mar and
an aluminum.
I’d also never patterned my gun. I assumed that a 12-gauge
shotgun loaded with high-end turkey loads would be a death
ray at bowhunting ranges. Not so. When you’ve done everything
right but failed to make the shot, there’s a special kind of agony
only hunters who have been in that situation can appreciate.
NWTF Cantilever Turkey is loaded
eat features, including an Infex
pad, stock spacers, a 3½-inch
er, TRUGLO fber-optic front sight
Weaver rail that makes securing
optic on the gun very simple.
e Mossy Oak Obsession camo
p helps conceal the gun, and a
ion of the sale of each SX4 NWTF
donated to the National Wild
Turkey Federation to continue
its efforts to conserve wild
turkeys. The MSRP is $1,069.
(WinchesterGuns.com)
Know your range, pattern your gun, and seal the deal. GW
Turkey hunting can
be frustrating, but
there are few things
as rewarding as
taking a big, old tom.
Hornady’s Emily Mierau
is pictured here with
her great Nebraska
gobbler.
He was committed, and I was focused. Just a little closer, and
he’d be mine.
I shot and waited for the flop, but there was none. When I
came down from recoil, all I saw was a heartbroken gobbler
running away from what should have been his Waterloo. I
couldn’t believe it: I had missed!
ABOUT
THE
AUTHOR
Brad Fitzpatrick is a full-time freelance writer based in Ohio. His works have appeared in
several print and online publications, and he is the author of two books: The Shooter’s Bible
Guide to Concealed Carry and Handgun Buyer’s Guide 2015. He has hunted on four continents
and was a collegiate trap and skeet shooter before becoming a writer.
www.gunworld.com
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Artemis Armed
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY BECKY YACKLEY
The Tactical Walls end table is a goodlooking, well-built, functional addition
to your home décor. And it hides your
guns in plain view for fast access.
TACTICAL
DECORATING...ISH
THANKS TO TACTICAL WALLS,
HAVING GUNS IN YOUR HOME
DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T
HAVE A STYLISH HOME.
www.gunworld.com
YOUR HOUSE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A MAN CAVE
I love guns. I’m not shy about it. I’m actually pretty proud of it. I
admire the craftsmanship and the art that are part of a frearm.
I really never care about having my guns on my couch,
because I practice and dry-fire, but some people do. I get
it: Some people don’t want their house to look like their
goal is dominating at the next world shoot. They want to
keep their guns in a safe or out of plain sight and perhaps
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MAY I 2018
invite the neighbors in without worrying about scanning
the area for firearms first.
Two RFID cards come
pre-programmed for
easy use.
But many gun storage options look either rustic or tactical,
which is fine for many of us; however, some people want their
décor to have a more refined look.
Then, I discovered the non-man cave, totally normal, practically
Martha Stewart-approved end table from Tactical Walls.
When you cut the foam to fit your guns, I advise you to trace
your gun with a marker first and then cut the foam to fit. I
skipped the tracing and went straight for the cutting ... and
probably could have done better. To make it easier for me to
grab my pistol and mags, I cut the area around the pistol grip
large enough to get my fingers around the gun, and I also cut
it so a shallow “cushion” could be put back into the bottom of
the cut-out area so my mags and pistol were not countersunk.
GUNS, GUNS EVERYWHERE—AND NOT A PLACE
TO SET MY DRINK
This table solved two problems for me. First, we have an
old farmhouse. The layout being what it is, and with my
husband being a cop, I like the idea of having a firearm
handy. My dilemma has been that if I’m dry-fire practicing
with my competition gun, I’m not going to have a firearm with
live ammo sitting out. The solution? Stow the firearm in a
purpose-built, stylish Tactical Walls (TacticalWalls.com) end
table that doesn’t scream, “Man cave!”
YOUR INTERIOR
DESIGNER ALTER
EGO WOULD BE
PROUD TO HAVE
THIS LITTLE TABLE.
IT’S STYLISH, AND
THE LACK OF ANY
TACTICAL DETAILS
MAKES IT LOOK
LIKE A STANDARD
FURNITURE STORE
END TABLE.
A simple tap with the
card, and the drawer
drops down. As the
door drops, the slideout comes down
toward you.
The RFID chip reader comes with two cards to allow access.
PLAIN-JANE TACTICAL
One of the great things about this table is that you can bring
Second, I need a place to set things—such as those bills I
have to remember to pay or my glass of vodka as I wind down
at the end of the day or try to write something for my editor.
This table is a perfect height for next to the couch and serves
perfectly in its role as an end table.
What makes this table really cool is the hidden compartment
you can customize to fit your guns. The secret compartment
drops down via an RFID chip reader to allow you access to
your gun without needing a key.
EASY TO ASSEMBLE
The directions were clear and very simple; in fact, I had my
13- and 18-year-olds assemble it for me. It even came preprogrammed. We read the directions several times prior to
installing the batteries and closing the drop-down door to
make sure all was good. But this was so simple, it really
wasn’t anything you couldn’t do in 15 minutes.
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MAY I 2018
Artemis Armed
it into just about any room, and it will fit the décor. The finish
on the one I have is satin black, but other colors are available.
The design is simple—even a little “plain-Jane.” However, not
looking too “trendy” adds to its versatility, and it won’t look
dated down the road. This is really a nice piece of furniture,
and it makes me want a Tactical Walls shelf (this company
makes some pretty cool-looking shelves, too).
There’s room for a
pistol and several
mags inside. The
speed that the drawer
slides out can be
adjusted via a knob.
If I could change anything with this table, I would make a model
that is narrow and rectangular in shape for people who want a
small end table and not a square. Nevertheless, whether you
want to hide a gun or paperwork, this table is an option that
requires very little effort on your part to put it into play.
UP YOUR DECORATING GAME
Your interior designer alter ego would be proud to have this
little table. It’s stylish, and the lack of any tactical details
makes it look like a standard furniture store end table. You can
also indulge in having your guns handy without the neighbors
ABOUT
THE
AUTHOR
“HIDDEN IN PLAIN
SIGHT” IS ONE OF
THE WAYS TO HIDE
SOMETHING WELL,
AND THIS PIECE
ACCOMPLISHES
THAT TASK.
knowing they’re right there in your living room.
“Hidden in plain sight” is one of the ways to hide something
well, and this piece accomplishes that task. GW
Author Becky Yackley competes in action shooting (3 Gun, USPSA, Bianchi and IPSC)
with her husband and three sons. When she isn’t shooting matches or writing, she
is busy with her camera. Becky is the founder of the 2A Heritage Junior shooting
camps and works in social media for several frearms industry companies. www.gunworld.com
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MAY I 2018
gun world
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY PATRICK SWEENEY
THE LUGER MODEL 1907,
CHAMBERED IN .45 ACP, IS
A BEAST AS RARE AS THE
UNICORN OF MYTH AND
FANTASY. LUGERMAN BRINGS
THIS UNICORN TO LIFE …
AND WE GET TO SHOOT IT.
shot them. These guns are almost like unicorns:
You’ve read about them, you’ve heard about them, but you
know they only exist in fantasy.
wonders if someone just “happened” to take it home since it
was no longer being considered for adoption).
The Luger Model 1907, chambered in .45 ACP, is one such frearm.
The others apparently stayed in Germany, if they even
existed in actual steel. Two wars later, one of which
essentially involved the Eighth Air Force bombing the
country until the rubble bounced, made it hard to track the
inconsequential details of where a few old pistols got to.
One of the remaining ones might have been “liberated” and
brought back to the States.
U.S. ARMY TESTS
The test pistols used in the trials that ended up with the
adoption of the Colt 1911 are such pistols. Rarest among
them is the Luger Model 1907. Depending on what source you
read, there were four, five or six of them made, two of which
were shipped to the United States for the tests. One was used
up in the testing, reduced to a rusted mess. The other one
disappeared into the mists of time shortly after the tests (one
www.gunworld.com
But for those of us who were not wealthy, connected collectors,
even handling one was simply not in the cards.
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MAY I 2018
“I wanted it, but $10,000 for a Martz, back when a full-house
1911 from Steve Nastoff cost $2,500, was a bit much to take.”
Indeed.
The right-hand side
adds to the mystery:
Who is this LugerMan,
and what is a Model
1907?
LUGERMAN
Well, times have changed, and the .45 Luger is now available—
oh, not the originals and not from Germany. And because you
brought it up: I saw a gunsmith at the IWA show in Germany
who was making .45 Lugers. His quote for the basic model
was 10,000 Euros.
Now, you can have one here in the States for a bit more than
half that, and you get choices, as well. Eugene Golubtsov—
aka “LugerMan”—is making them.
Before the one test gun disappeared back in 1910, the Army
had draftsmen measure and record all the dimensions.
Copies of those blueprints were available, and Eugene availed
Oh, there were similar ones to be found, made or purchased
shortly afterwards. John Martz made custom Lugers,
including a model in .45 ACP. His approach was somewhat
limiting. His method involved taking two otherwise intact
Lugers and cutting them into two pieces, but sliced off-center.
Then, he would weld the two larger halves back together. This
meant each .45 Luger caused the demise of two 9mm Lugers,
because the remaining parts could not be welded back into a
9mm Luger. It also meant the costs of cutting, welding, handfitting and tuning had to be borne by the new owner.
THE END RESULT IS A
BIG PISTOL—WHICH
SHOULD NOT COME
AS A SURPRISE WHEN
YOU CONSIDER WE’RE
HURLING .45-CALIBER
BULLETS HERE.
I talked to Cameron Hopkins recently about this. He was
the editor of American Handgunner back when Martz was
working, and even he was stopped by the price:
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MAY I 2018
gun world
himself of the opportunity. He acquired a copy of said prints,
sat down with the computer and began planning CNC machine
cutter paths to make parts. The end result is a big pistol—
which should not come as a surprise when you consider we’re
hurling .45-caliber bullets here.
DESIGN NOTES
The grip safety is clean, elegant, works perfectly and, unlike
the 1911, does not pivot in such a way that a too-high hold
negates its function. If there were one thing John Moses
Browning should have changed back in 1910, it is the way the
1911 grip safety works. But, hey, in 1910, no one held a pistol
in any way that his design caused problems. In this, Georg
Luger got it right.
In layout, and appearance, you would be excused if you did
not notice the caliber until you were within arm’s length. The
Model 1907 differs from a basic P-08 in size and the shape of
the trigger, plus the rather uncommon grip safety. In photos,
unless you spot the trigger, there is no clue about caliber.
The safety is the normal Luger safety, with the rearward
position clearly marked as “safe” with both the word and
an arrow. The barrel and barrel extension are much larger
than those of the 9mm, again because of the proportions of
the cartridge they contain. This is a good thing, because it
allows the manufacturer to also offer—and, hold on to your
hats—a 10mm option.
I tested it with a bunch of my knowledgeable firearms
friends. I would send them a hi-res photo and ask, “What’s
up with this?” I got comments back about the grip safety,
and one mentioned a somewhat thicker barrel, but no one
mentioned a caliber change. However, once you pick it up,
oh boy, the world suddenly changes!
In all respects besides size, it is a normal Luger. But that size
makes a big difference. The grip is larger—noticeably so. If you
have large hands, you will not find it a problem, but shooters
with average or smaller hands will find that the Model 1907 is
just a bit portly. Part of this comes from the grips, which are
a bit squarer than I personally prefer. But they are wood, and
wood can be altered. The frame is also a smidge longer front
to back, simply because it is holding a magazine that contains
.45 ACP cartridges. That is unavoidable ... and unchangeable.
Couldn’t ask for
a better day: The
author gets to test a
.45 ACP Luger—and
it is serial number 4.
ONE UNAVOIDABLE
ASPECT OF THE
LUGER DESIGN IS
THAT THE SPEED
AND TIMING OF THE
TOGGLE SYSTEM “IS
WHAT IT IS,” AND
THERE’S NOT A LOT
OF ADJUSTMENT
IN ITS TIMING
A DESIGNER OR
MANUFACTURER
CAN MAKE.
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26
An autoloading pistol
needs magazines,
and Eugene
Golubtsov (aka
“LugerMan”) makes
the magazines for his
Model 1907. He does
it right—bending
and welding sheet
steel and then heattreating it to stand up
to use.
That’s right—a 10mm Luger. And because this is a
fully custom-built product, you have many choices
in barrel lengths, sights, etc. But let’s not get
ahead of ourselves.
The sights on the pistol I was sent were the
traditional ones: that is, a pyramid front sight
that comes up to a point and a V-notch rear. You
can, on yours, have the sights as a patridge front
and rear, which would make for a much more precise
and pleasant aiming experience.
You see, the pistol I tested is a pre-production sample,
serial number 4. As a result, it was made to be as close an
example of the test trials pistol as was possible. This meant
period-correct sights.
The toggle train is marked on top with a script logo that is the
company (LugerMan) but is meant to evoke the appearance of
the DWM logo that many of you who have Lugers will have on
your 9mms. It looks good, it looks right; and, if your buddies
haven’t memorized the exact configuration of the DWM logo,
they won’t notice the differences.
One detail you’ll notice right away are the spring forces
involved. If you have used a 9mm Luger, you know how much
effort it takes to pull back the toggle train and cock/chamber
a round in the pistol. Well, make sure you’ve eaten your
It looks to be a
DWM marking on
the toggle. Is it? No,
it is the LugerMan
marking, and this is a
.45 Luger.
www.gunworld.com
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gun world
Wheaties before you go to do the same with the Model 1907:
It is a lot stiffer ... but then, you are shooting a .45 ACP.
This applies in spades to the magazines. The magazines are
a detail that Eugene, the owner of LugerMan, is particularly
proud of. They are not simply common extrusions, scaled or
altered to hold .45 ACP ammunition. He folds the correct sheet
steel, welds the tube and heat-treats the tube and lips to hold
the rounds properly and feed them at the correct angle. The
springs are adjusted to keep up with the toggle action, and the
follower is metal, while the base plates are wood.
One unavoidable aspect of the Luger design is that the speed and
timing of the toggle system “is what it is,” and there’s not a lot of
adjustment in its timing that a designer or manufacturer can make.
This means the magazine has to be ready for the toggle when it
returns, or bad things happen. The magazine spring in the Model
1907 is strong. LugerMan includes a period-correct (but made for
his magazines) magazine loading tool. I have two words for you:
Use it. Slip the hole over the magazine tab and pull down. (The
pointy screwdriver end of the tool goes up for this use.)
LUGERMAN INCLUDES
A PERIOD-CORRECT
(BUT MADE FOR HIS
MAGAZINES) MAGAZINE
LOADING TOOL. I HAVE
TWO WORDS FOR YOU:
USE IT. SLIP THE HOLE
OVER THE MAGAZINE TAB
AND PULL DOWN. (THE
POINTY SCREWDRIVER
END OF THE TOOL GOES UP
FOR THIS USE.)
SHOOTING THE UNICORN
Pull down, insert a couple of cartridges, relax, then repeat. Do
this until the magazine is full. The original tool was useful in
the original 9mm Lugers. In the .45, it is absolutely essential,
although a bit marginal for the job.
Eugene is making an improved one. It won’t look like the
original, but it will work a lot better.
The grip safety is a
great addition, and
the safety lever is
forward to fire in the
OK, history is cool, and looks are cool, but we all buy firearms
to shoot them. Whether it is for EDC, competition, plinking,
hunting or just having fun, we expect to shoot the guns we buy
(collectors aside, that is).
So, how does it shoot? Well, it is different. I’ve put a lot of
ammo downrange. With many handguns, I can feel the various
parts working as they cycle. When I’m “in the zone,” I can feel
the slide unlocking, the round being stripped off the magazine
and the slide closing.
The Model 1907? None of that. I press the trigger, there’s a
loud noise, and right now, the pistol is closed up and I have
to get the sights back on target. Also, unavoidably, the axis
of the bore is higher above your hand than it is with other
designs. This gives the Model 1907 a bit more leverage to get
the muzzle up in the air.
The odel 1907
takes down just like
any other Luger ever
made, so you have
no worries there. Fair
warning: The springs
needed to function in
this .45 are stout, so
your hands will get a
workout shooting the
Model 1907.
Which brings me to reliability.
In the test trials, Georg Luger had a heck of a time getting
his pistols to work with the ammunition the ordnance board
provided. He fnally got permission to build his .45 Luger using
German-made ammunition and have the test board test it with his
ammunition. With an ocean in between the factory and the test
site, that seems reasonable. And I guess the U.S. Army fgured
that if the Luger turned out to be the winner, the ammunition
companies here could always be made to manufacture ammo
that worked in the pistol and not vice-versa.
So, your prior shooting experience will, perhaps, color your
time with the Model 1907. If you have spent a bunch of time
shooting a soft-recoiling, low-bore-axis 9mm pistol, the Model
1907 is going to seem like a handful. It isn’t, but that’s only
because you’ve been spoiled by your polymer-framed 9mm.
The recoil isn’t harsh or excessive; it is just sudden.
The sights on the Model 1907 (#4) were just like the originals.
If you decide you just have to have a .45 Luger (and who
doesn’t want one?), I can’t recommend too strongly taking the
www.gunworld.com
patridge sight option. You will enjoy your shooting sessions
a great deal more than if you were using the pyramid sights
of the original, late-19th-century design. The original sights
made accuracy-testing a lot more work than it usually is, but
the Model 1907 worked hard to help me out. It liked what it
liked, and it didn’t like what it didn’t like.
Well, old Georg’s plan didn’t work out. His Luger still wasn’t as
reliable as needed, even with his ammo. It seems the toggle
p
29
MAY I 2018
A full-up kit: a Luger
in .45 ACP, two spare
magazines and a
loading tool. Trust
me, you are going to
need the loading tool,
so do not lose it!
LugerMan
LUGER Model
1907 .45 ACP
The magazine
loading tool in its
correct use. You will
need this, so learn
to use it—and never,
ever lose it or lend
it. When LugerMan
makes the improved
one, get it, too.
SPECIFICATIONS
TYPE: Toggle-locked, short recoil, striker-fred, selfloading pistol
CALIBER: .45 ACP
CAPACITY: 7+1
BARREL: 4.75 inches
OVERALL LENGTH: 9.4 inches
WIDTH: 1.48 inches (at toggle); 1.25 inches (body)
HEIGHT: 5.75 inches
WEIGHT: 34 ounces
FINISH: Rust blue
GRIPS: Checkered walnut
SIGHTS: 19th-century blade and notch
TRIGGER: 5 pounds
MSRP: $ 5,795 (standard U.S. Army test model)
CONTACT INFORMATION
LUGER MAN
LugerMan.com
system, while elegant, beautifully crafted and mechanically
efficient, is picky about what it likes.
So, your .45 Luger will probably be touchy, as well. And what
your Luger likes or dislikes might differ from your gun club
buddy who also bought a .45 Luger. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that there are more .45 ACP ammunition
options out there than you can shake a stick at. I only tried
a handful and found more than enough that worked just fine.
And if you are a reloader, you can easily find a load tuned to
your Luger that makes it purr right along.
You can also order
the display case with
your Model 1907. It is
a hand-fitted walnut
case with room for
the pistol, spare
magazines and the
loading tool. It has a
glass cover (held in
place by means of a
pair of hand screws)
so your drooling gun
club buddies don’t
slobber all over the
rust-blue finish.
www.gunworld.com
p
30
MAY I 2018
Performance DATA
Weight
(grains)
Velocity
(fps)
Extreme
Spread
Standard
Deviation
Accuracy
(inches)
American Eagle Subsonic FMJ
230
819
46
19.4
3.2
Asym Practical Match FMJ
230
791
59
20.6
2.9
Browning FMJ-FP
230
852
49
15.9
3.5
Federal Syntech*
230
762
39
16.7
3.8
Hornady XTP**
185
919
37
14.6
2.7
Hornady FTX
185
979
19
8.9
3.5
Aguila FMJ***
230
809
44
17.2
4.75
Ammunition Brand
NOTES: Accuracy results are the average of five five-shot groups over a Sinclair
shooting rest at 25 yards. Velocity is the average of 10 shots measured by a Labradar
chrono programmed to measure velocity 15 feet from the muzzle.
BELOW: Comments on the reliability and accuracy with this pistol, which will be different
for your Model 1907:
*The Model 1907 hated Syntech and refused to feed it reliably.
**Hornady XTP, always accurate, did not feed reliably in the Model 1907, even though it
shot the smallest groups.
***Aguila FMJ fed flawlessly, but the groups were not impressive.
THE BARREL AND
BARREL EXTENSION
ARE MUCH LARGER
THAN THOSE
OF THE 9MM ...
THIS IS A GOOD
THING, BECAUSE
IT ALLOWS THE
MANUFACTURER TO
ALSO OFFER—AND,
HOLD ON TO YOUR
HATS—A 10MM
OPTION.
The Model 1907 .45 ACP (left) has a
much larger hole down the barrel than
does the 9mm.
Hey, you have a new, one-of-a-kind pistol—one that
cost you $6,000 as the starting price. If you can’t be
bothered to find a load that functions in it correctly,
I don’t want to know what kind of gasoline you are
putting into your expensive sports car. Think of it this
way: You’ve just bought the sports car of your dreams.
Are you really going to complain that the only gas
station with the correct fuel for it is on the other side
of town? Probably not. Find the ammo your particular
Model 1907, or variant, likes, and use it.
The last detail to amaze you is the fnish. Eugene
machines the various parts out of billets of 4140 steel.
After ftting and polishing, they are given a slow, rustblue fnish. When I started test-fring #4, I mentioned
to Eugene that I really wanted to be careful, because I
want to put too much wear on a brand-new pistol.
esponse I got was, “Don’t worry. That one has had
than 6,000 rounds through it; close to 7,000.” The
low rust-blueing method is very durable, and the
ion of the toggle system only puts the visible wear
e finish in a few, small areas.
t your new Luger all you want. The finish
t care. GW
ww.gunworld.com
p
31
MAY I 2018
gun world
TEXT BY BRAD FITZPATRICK
NEWHUNTING
D
GEARFOR
2018
GEAR ITEMS EVERY HUNTER
WILL WANT FOR THE
UPCOMING SEASON
www.gunworld.com
p
32
MAY I 2018
espite what many
people believe, the
annual SHOT Show
isn’t just a platform
for launching new
frearms. Each year, hundreds of
hunting accessories make their
debut in Las Vegas; many of them
are just as exciting and innovative
as the latest gun models.
Here’s a look at some of our
favorite new products for the new
year—the best hunting products
that don’t go bang! GW
Leupold VX
Freedom Scope
The Leupold VX Freedom may offer the absolute best value in
optics, regardless of price point. This rugged, affordable scope
is designed, manufactured and assembled in Oregon and
offers an 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum body with a 1-inch
main tube, scratch-resistant lens with Leupold’s Twilight Light
Management System, and ¼ MOA fnger click adjustments. The
optical clarity and lens coating provide crisp, clear images that
surpass almost anything else in the Freedom’s price range (the
3-9x40 has an MSRP of $260), and you’re getting that trusted,
made-in-America Leupold promise of quality. There are models
specifcally designed for rimfres and muzzleloaders, and
magnifcation ranges vary from 1.5-4x all the way to 4-12x. Will
this scope become the new standard by which affordable optics
are judged? Count on it. It’s that good.
MSRP: $235–$390
URL: Leupold.com
,
Browning Women s
Buck Shadow Boot
For 2018, Browning is launching a women’s version of the Buck
Shadow boot, designed using a “last” (model) of the female foot
for a better overall ft and improved comfort. Many of the same
great features from the men’s Buck Shadow carry over to this
new boot, including a waterproof OutDry breathable membrane,
a Silent Grip sole with Ridgetrak lugs for improved stability on
any terrain and a Silent Cell midsole that offers support and
comfort for long days in the feld. Thinsulate Ultra insulation
keeps the feet warm, and sturdy laces ensure a proper ft with
plenty of support. These boots debuted at SHOT and will be
released in the fall of 2018—just in time for hunting season.
“We are so excited to launch the Browning’s women’s boots,”
says Browning Footwear’s Ashley Vanderhoof. “Taking the
time to build a boot made for women, by women was very
important for us. They are remarkably comfortable and
durable and are made with exclusive features to give each
woman the best advantage when hunting in any terrain.”
MSRP: Starting at $180
URL: BrowningFootwear.com
www.gunworld.com
p
33
MAY I 2018
gun world
FLIR ThermoSight
Series
s thermal imaging products are changing the way
hunt, and the company’s newest offering, the
ermoSight Pro Series line of optics, allows you to
nt predators, varmints and pigs—day and night,
anks to its FLIR Boson thermal core. With multiple
or pallets from which to choose, the ThermoSight
s a high level of customization. This thermal optic
enough and compact enough to easily mount on
of your hunting rifle. Continuous onboard video
d by recoil; when you fire, video data is kept for 10
ter the shot. This is an impressive feature not found
cs. The unit comes with a built-in compass and an
know the exact angle of your shot in steep country
accordingly. Rarely has this kind of high-tech gear
average shooter—and never at this price.
, depending upon model and features
Champion Wheelybird 2.0
Shooting clays in the backyard is one of the fastest and
most effective ways to improve your shotgunning, and
Champion’s Wheelybird 2.0 offers a number of great features
at a very reasonable price. There’s a wireless remote
with an effective range to 100 yards; an optional,
15-second delay (ideal for practicing flushing
shots from a low-gun position); and a
short, 1.75-second cycle time for faster
shooting. The vertical clay stack holds
about 50 standard targets (108mm), and
the solid wheels and rubber-molded handle
make transporting the unit fast and easy.
There’s also a foot pedal that allows for singleperson shooting (great when you want to break a
few clays after work), and you can adjust speed and
angle for multiple presentations.
MSRP: $530
URL: ChampionTarget.com
www.gunworld.com
p
34
MAY I 2018
Nikon BLACK RANGEX 4K
Laser RangeFInder
Need a rangefnder that goes the distance? How about Nikon’s
new BLACK RANGEX 4K, which can range targets—
over two miles away! This handheld unit offers
Tru-Target Technology that allows you to select
between frst target priority for ranging smaller
items (as narrow as a fencepost) or distant
target priority that displays the range of
the farthest target within a group. 6X
magnifcation makes fnding your target fast
and easy, and the HYPER READ technology
returns readings in just 0.3 second. The red
OLED display offers fve different levels of
brightness to match ambient conditions. The
unit comes equipped with Nikon’s clever ID
technology that helps compensate for incline
or decline and provides an accurate, realworld range based on your position relative to
the target. The unit is fog proof and waterproof
and is covered by a fve-year warranty. You
might expect that this handheld unit would
cost four fgures ... but you’d be wrong: The
BLACK RANGEX 4K runs less than $500, making
it a great buy.
MSRP: $450
URL: NikonSportOptics.com
Federal Premium
Grand Slam
Federal is launching its new Grand Slam premium turkey shotgun
loads just in time for turkey season. The FLITECONTROL FLEX
wad ensures these loads produce dense, even patterns through
both ported and unported guns. The copper-plated lead shot is
buffered to maintain a round shape for more-consistent fight
and better penetration, and the roll crimp and clear card wad help
keep the buffering in place, protect the shot charge and eliminate
damage. There are several load options available for 10-gauge
(3½ inches), 12-gauge (3½, 3 and 2¾ inches) and 20-gauge
(3 inches), with the option for #4, #5 or #6 shot payloads. With
velocities at or around 1,200 fps, these new loads promise to
hit hard, pattern evenly and transfer energy effectively. That
translates to lethal shots at a wide variety of ranges. As an added
bonus, proceeds from the sale of Grand Slam help support the
conservation efforts of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
MSRP: $15–$24/10
URL: FederalPremium.com
www.gunworld.com
p
35
MAY I 2018
gun world
Bushnell Impulse Cellular
Trail Camera
The Impulse trail camera is loaded with high-tech features that will help you scout for game
without ever leaving your home. This camera connects easily to any smartphone. However, you
won’t be roped into a contract that requires additional payments beyond your regular phone
bill. Ultra-fast processors snap one image per second, and those pictures can be sent straight
to your phone. Plus, there’s an anti-theft mode with GPS alerts that prevents thieves from
snatching your expensive trail camera. The 100-foot No Glow flash allows for bright images
at night without the risk of scaring game; and, with the capability to take 20 MP HD images
and 1080 HD video, you’ll always get the clearest, crispest digital photos and video possible.
Battery life is an impressive six months, but there’s also an option for a solar charging panel
with infinite lifespan. The Impulse ushers in a whole new era of trail cam technology and
provides a wealth of information for serious hunters.
MSRP: $300
URL: Bushnell.com
Canyon Coolers 150-Quart Navigator
Whether you’re planning a week-long camping or hunting trip or need a heavy-duty cooler to keep harvested game fresh, the Canyon Navigator
has you covered. Its thicker walls and a new cam-over pull-ring latch design keep gear at a constant temperature, and a built-in basket system
helps you organize the contents to maximize space. Other key features include 10 sturdy lash-down points that work with Canyon’s Jungle Cord
lashing system, two extra-large drain points (on the front and the side), seat pads, skid plates and even a bottle opener. The Navigator has been
certifed IGBC bear-resistant and is backed by a lifetime warranty.
MSRP: TBA
URL: CanyonCoolers.com
www.gunworld.com
p
36
MAY I 2018
CamelBak Trophy TS
The new Trophy TS from CamelBak offers a long list of userfriendly features you won’t find on competing packs. There’s a
large main compartment and small interior compartments so
your gear will remain organized and close at hand. The Trophy
TS also allows you to carry a rifle or bow in either the leftor right-hand position. Once you’re on stand, the waist belt
extends and secures to the tree to provide a functional shelf
for your gear. There’s a blaze-orange rain cover to keep your
items dry and alert other hunters when you are on the move,
and the Air Director back panel keeps you cool on long treks.
Of course, because this is a CamelBak product, there’s a fluid
reservoir: The 52-ounce Chute Mag Water Bottle offers instant
hydration for long, arduous climbs in steep country. Rarely has
one bag offered so much to treestand hunters. Release date
is summer 2018.
MSRP: $199
URL: CamelBak.com
www.gunworld.com
p
37
MAY I 2018
gun w
Real Avid Carbon
Boss AR15
More hunters than ever are carrying AR-15s into the field,
and that means that every one of them should have
a Carbon Boss AR15 from Real Avid in the pocket of
their pack or hunting jacket. Carbon fouling leads
to a whole host of problems—primarily, failures to
function. With the Carbon Boss’s assorted brushes,
tools and cleaning points, you can wipe away the
deposits of a whole day’s shoot in just minutes. This
tool includes bronze phosphor bolt brushes, a bolt
scraping tool, Cotter pin puller, pin punch, firing pin
scraper, bolt lug scraper and so much more. In short,
if there’s a functioning part of your AR that gets exposed
to carbon fouling during firing, there’s probably a tool in
the Carbon Boss to clean it.
MSRP: $30
URL: RealAvid.com
Sport
Train
875
The new Sport Trainer 875 from SportDOG is a lightweight,
sturdy training collar specifically designed for use with
close-ranging dogs. With 10 levels of static and continuous
stimulation, as well as vibration and tone options, you can
redirect your hunting dog with the proper level of correction.
Additionally, with the Add-A-Dog collar system, you can
train multiple dogs at once. The sturdy SportDOG collars are
among the most robust in the industry. They come standard
with DryTek waterproofing, which prevents moisture from
damaging the electronics and allows these collars to be
submersible to 25 feet. The easy-to-read OLED
screen allows you to toggle between
dogs, view stimulation levels, battery
life and more, and the control unit is
compact enough to fit easily into the
pocket of a vest or jacket. The unit
runs on rechargeable lithium-ion
batteries that can be fully charged in
two hours and run 50 to 70 hours between
charges.
MSRP: $220
URL: SportDOG.com
p
38
Gear Keeper Integrated
Retractable Holster
for RangeFinders
When I’m in the field, I’m usually carrying a lot of gear, including a pack, rifle,
bino, rangefinder, water and other items. If your gear isn’t well organized, it can
be a real hassle finding the piece of equipment you need. However, Gear Keeper’s
new Integrated Retractable Holster keeps one piece of important equipment—your
pocket rangefinder—close by and easy to reach. A padded Realtree camo pouch
holds the rangefinder in place and keeps it safe from nicks and dings. And because
it is tethered to a 32-inch cable, you can easily measure distance and return the
rangefinder to its pouch without the worry of locating or losing this valuable piece
of hunting equipment. Plus, the rangefinder won’t be dangling from your vest or
pouch, so it won’t make noise as you move.
MSRP: $45
URL: GearKeeper.com
gun world
TEXT BY BRAD FITZPATRICK
HERE’S A LOOK AT
THE BEST BOLT GUNS,
SEMIAUTOS, SINGLESHOTS, LEVER-ACTIONS
AND HIGH-POWERED
PELLET RIFLES FOR THE
NEW YEAR.
NEW HUNTING
RIFLESFOR
I
2018
f this is the year you’ve decided to upgrade your hunting battery to
include a brand-new hunting rifle, you’re in luck.
There’s a laundry list of new guns for the upcoming year, with new
models to suit every taste, budget and hunting scenario—from longrange varmint and predator shoots to dangerous game in the thick bush.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most-exciting new guns for 2018. GW
www.gunworld.com
p
40
MAY I 2018
Franchi
Momentum
Savage 110
Hunter With
AccuFit
The Franchi name is synonymous
with “shotguns,” but this year, the
Italian brand is launching its frst
bolt-action hunting rife. Named
the Momentum, this gun includes a
futed bolt with three locking lugs,
a free-foated, cold hammer-forged
threaded barrel, TSA recoil pad and
adjustable (2- to 4-pound) trigger.
The black synthetic stock comes with
stylized cutouts and textured panels.
The 110 Hunter is an excellent
production rife—made better
by the addition of Savage’s new
AccuFit system. It comes with
fve separate comb risers and
four length-of-pull spacers, all
of which allow the shooter to
customize the gun for a perfect
ft. Combine this with the 110’s
Accustock (featuring a rail
system that engages the entire
length of the action), adjustable
AccuTrigger and a 110-barreled
action with barrel nut for precise
headspacing, and you’ve got a
versatile, accurate hunting rife
that doesn’t cost a fortune.
But these avant-garde additions
are for more than just esthetics.
Franchi took the standard
synthetic rifle stock and made
it as user friendly as possible:
There is a recessed area near the
rear sling stud to accommodate
your hand when shooting off
bags, and the grip panels provide
a firm and stable platform for
holding the rifle when shooting in
a number of different positions.
The sling studs are recessed and
sit flush with the contour of the
stock so they won’t hang up. Yet,
they are large enough to easily
accommodate most swivels. There
are six caliber options: .243 Win,
6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win, .308 Win,
.30-06 Springfield and .300 Win
Mag; and there’s also a combo
version that comes equipped
with a Burris Fullfield II 3-9x40
rifle scope already mounted. The
Momentum weighs 6.6 to 6.7
pounds unscoped, so it’s easy to
carry in the field.
A new stock design incorporates
new, soft-touch fnger grooves
and grip inserts for maximum
control and comfort. In addition,
there are a dozen caliber
offerings that range from
.204 Ruger all the way up to
the powerful .300 Win Mag
(including the superb .280
Ackley Improved—a hunting
round that’s just now getting the
attention it deserves). This rife’s
weight ranges from 7.15 to 7.35
pounds, depending upon caliber.
MSRP: $750
URL: SavageArms.com
MSRP: $609 (rifle); $729
(scope combo)
URL: FranchiUSA.com
www.gunworld.com
p
41
MAY I 2018
ld
Mauser M18
Nosler Model
48 Long Range
Carbon
as big news in the hunting
orld when Mauser announced
as releasing a new rifle
2018. Dubbed the M18, or
olkswaffe” (“people’s rifle”
German), this bolt gun comes
th a synthetic stock that offers
wo soft inlays for a secure grip
any conditions, along with
cold hammer-forged barrel.
e five-round, detachable box
agazine fits securely in place,
d the trigger is adjustable and
ry crisp. There’s a threesition rocker-type safety
at’s easy to find, with clear
marcations. Mauser backs
is rifle with a serious accuracy
arantee: five shots under an
ch at 100 yards. That’s a bold
mise, especially because this
eople’s rifle” is priced under
700. There are a number of
liber options, including .243
in, .270 Win, 7mm Rem Mag,
08 Win, .30-06 Springfield, .300
in Mag and 6.5 Creedmoor.
The Model 48 Long Range
a gun that’s built from the
up for serious long-range s
The most striking feature o
rifles is their PROOF Resea
match-grade, carbon-fiberbarrels. These are lighter a
stiffer than stainless steel
and dissipate heat more ef
making them a great optio
dedicated long-range hunt
rifles. The barrel is matche
a trued and faced Model 48
feed action, and the barrel
is then dropped into a Man
MCS Elite Midnight Camo c
fiber stock. Both the action
bottom metal are protected
Cerakote in Sniper Grey.
A Timney trigger and two-p
rocker-type safety round ou
long-range rig. The threade
comes with a knurled end c
Nosler promises MOA accur
with its prescribed ammuni
Even with a 26-inch barrel,
rifles weigh around 7 pound
it’s suitable for hunts for w
need to do a lot of hiking. A
chamberings include 6.5 Cr
.300 Win Mag, and the flat.26, .28, .30 and .33 Noslers
aren’t cheap guns, but if yo
serious about hunting at lon
and need a rifle that’s up to
task, the Nosler is a natura
ristian Socher, CEO of
auser’s North American
stributor, Blaser USA, sums up
e M18 by saying, “Being able
produce a rifle this good at
ch an affordable price means
ore sportsmen than ever can
lize their dream of owning a
auser.” Very true.
RP: $699
RL: Mauser.com
MSRP: $2,995
URL: Nosler.com
www.gunworld.com
p
42
MAY I 2018
Remington Model
783 Synthetic
Heavy Barrel
Rigby Highland
Stalker
London gunmaker John Rigby &
Company produces exquisite hunting
rifes. While we might not all be able
to carry one of these guns in the feld,
if the looks of this elegantly styled
British Highland Stalker don’t stir your
blood, you’d better check your pulse.
The bolt-action Highland Stalker—
named in honor of the Scottish
Highlands, where the “stalking” rife
concept was born—is inspired by the
smaller-caliber rifes Rigby produced
at the turn of the 20th century. They
were carried by the likes of Karamoja
Bell and Jim Corbett.
Remington’s budget 783 bolt
rifles are designed to be
accurate and affordable. For
2018, the company is adding a
new model to the growing 783
family—the Synthetic Heavy
Barrel. With a stubby, 16 ½ -inch
barrel, the overall length of this
rifle is just a shade more than
3 feet. As a result, it’s perfect
for maneuvering on the inside
of a blind or in a treestand and
works very well when hunting
in heavy brush. The Flat Dark
Earth synthetic stock stands up
well to the elements. This rifle
comes equipped with Remington’s
CrossFire adjustable trigger.
There’s a top rail for mounting
optics, and the barrel is threaded,
so adding a suppressor or other
muzzle device is simple.
Rigby spent three years developing
this new rifle, which comes
standard with grade V walnut, an
ambidextrous stock, rounded grip
shape, Rigby pattern iron sights,
hand-finished checkering and
original-style engraving. Available
calibers include .275 Rigby, .308
Win, .30-06 Springfield, 8x57mm
Mauser and 9.3x62mm. These
rifles weigh 7.8 pounds. Of course,
if the stock version of this “Aston
Martin” of hunting rifles isn’t
lavish enough for you, there are
innumerable upgrades and custom
options available through the Rigby
Custom Shop. Incredibly beautiful
and built to the highest standards,
these drool-worthy guns should be
on your short list of purchases ... if
your lotto numbers ever line up.
Current chamberings include .223
Rem, .300 Blackout, .308 Win and
6.5 Creedmoor. This compact bolt
gun weighs 8 pounds, which is a
bit heavy for a short rifle; but that
extra heft should help tame recoil.
Plus, it’s very affordably priced.
MSRP: $459
URL: Remington.com
MSRP: $8,995
URL: JohnRigbyandCo.com
www.gunworld.com
p
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MAY I 2018
gun world
CMMG Mk4 V2
.22 Nosler
Winchester XPR
Sporter
Anyone who thinks all MSRs are
basically the same needs to visit
the CMMG website. This brand
constantly manages to come
up with fresh, new AR-platform
hunting, tactical and target rifes.
The CMMG Mk4 V2 in .22 Nosler is
no exception. The Mk4 harnesses
the potential of the exciting, new
Nosler round by chambering it in a
rife with a 24-inch, medium-taper,
416 stainless barrel with a 1:8
twist rate. A Geissele Automatics
SSA trigger allows for precision
shots on varmints, hogs and
predators at long distances. At
7.5 pounds, this rife is actually
fairly portable, considering its
impressive long-range capabilities.
With the exception of Rigby’s
nearly $9,000 Highland Stalker,
the new XPR Sporter is the
only other rifle on this list
with a wooden stock. Despite
the abundance of syntheticstocked rifles on the market,
there are still plenty of serious
hunters who believe nothing
can replace the look and feel of
a walnut stock. Those hunters
will appreciate Winchester’s
affordably priced XPR Sporter.
At its heart, the Sporter shares
the same push-feed action, box
magazine design, two-position
safety with bolt unlock button
and crisp MOA trigger as other
XPRs, but the close-grain grade
I walnut stock gives this gun
a classic look. Despite its low
price point, the walnut on the
XPR Sporter is actually quite
good, with crisp checkering and
an excellent wood-to-metal fit.
In addition to the V2, CMMG is
offering three other variants of
the Mk4 in .22 Nosler this year,
with barrels of 18 and 22 inches.
All these rifes come with forged
7075-T6 uppers and handguards
that are KeyMod compatible for
adding accessories. If you’re
serious about taking long shots at
song dogs and other varmints, this
rife needs to be on your short list.
Perma-Cote fnish on the metal
reduces glare and protects against
corrosion, and the bolt has a
nickel Tefon coating for a smooth
bolt stroke. There are 12-caliber
options ranging from .243 Win to
.338 Win Mag, including .270, .300
and .325 WSM.
MSRP: $1,450 (V2)
URL: CMMGInc.com
MSRP: $600
URL: WinchesterGuns.com
www.gunworld.com
p
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MAY I 2018
Marlin 1894 CST
GAMO TC35
and TC45
The Marlin 1894 CST offers the
company’s time-tested, pistolcaliber, lever-action design with
modern upgrades. This .357
Magnum/.38 Special rifle holds
six rounds in its tubular magazine
and measures just 35 inches long,
which makes it ideally suited for
blind and treestand hunting. The
stainless steel metalwork has
a matte-silver finish that won’t
produce excess glare, and the
hardwood stock has been painted
black. It has enough texturing
to be easy to grip when firing.
The large loop design is easy to
manipulate for fast follow-ups,
even when wearing gloves. The
XS ghost ring sights allow you to
get on target quickly, making this
an ideal rifle for hog hunters who
might need to take multiple shots
at running animals.
If you dismiss air-powered
pellet rifles as being
underpowered for serious
hunting, take a look at the
two new, big-bore offerings
from GAMO—the TC35
(.35 caliber) and TC45 (.45
caliber). These single-shot
pellet rifles are capable
of shooting 1-inch groups
at 50 meters and are
suitable on game as far as
100 yards away. Muzzle
velocities range from 600
to 900 feet per second, and
energy figures can top 150
foot-pounds. There is a
growing number of states
in which air rifles are legal
for hunting big game.
Both rifles come with a
black carbon-fiber, 480cc
air cylinder capable of
filling to 250 bar; an
adjustable two-stage
trigger; integrated
suppressor; and a Weaverstyle rail for mounting
optics. You can expect
to get roughly 15 shots
per air tank fill too. The
TC35 is designed for small
game and coyotes, while
the larger TC45 is better
suited for game up to and
including whitetail deer.
The 16½-inch barrel is threaded,
allowing for the addition of a muzzle
device, and a thread protector is
included. For hogs, predators
and deer-sized game at close
to moderate range, this is an
excellent choice—especially if
you’re hunting in an area where
elbow room is at a premium.
MSRP: $1,154
URL: MarlinFirearms.com
MSRP: $999
URL: GAMOUSA.com
www.gunworld.com
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MAY I 2018
gun world
Traditions
OuTFITTER G2 .450
Bushmaster
Weatherby
Mark V Camilla
Subalpine
The G2 isn’t brand new, but this
year, Traditions’ single-shot rife gets
a power boost with the addition of
the mighty .450 Bushmaster version.
These rifes are undoubtedly
marketed toward deer hunters who
are allowed to hunt with straightwall cartridges; even so, the G2
guns make sense for anyone who
needs a safe, affordable big-bore.
The break-open design is easy to
use, and a transfer bar safety offers
peace of mind.
Most shooters probably know the
name, Roy Weatherby, but it’s his
wife, Camilla, who is being honored
with the introduction of Weatherby’s
first Mark V built by women, for
women. Camilla rifles come with
shortened lengths of pull and stock
geometry designed to better fit
a female shooter’s frame, which
translates to faster shots and more
comfort under recoil. The newest
Camilla, the Subalpine version,
features a synthetic stock covered
with Gore Optifade’s Subalpine camo.
The 22-inch Lothar Walther
barrels come outfitted with
muzzle brakes, which is a good
thing when you consider the
level of recoil generated by the
Bushmaster cartridge in a light
gun. If you don’t need the level
of power the Bushmaster version
offers, there is also a wide array
of other centerfire options,
including .44 Mag, .243 Win
(including a youth model), .444
Marlin and .35 Remington. There
are combo packages available
with optics and cases as well.
The action and hand-lapped, fluted
barrel are treated with a Flat Dark
Earth Cerakote finish to protect the
rifle, and the new LXX trigger is
light and crisp, with a broad face
for maximum control. The Camilla
Subalpine, like other Mark Vs, is
capable of sub-MOA accuracy; and, at
just 5¾ pounds, these are rifles you
can carry all day in the high country.
Available chamberings include .240
Weatherby Magnum, 6.5 Creedmoor,
.270 Win, .308 and .30-06. If
you are (or know) a serious
female hunter who wants
a sub-MOA rifle that fits
properly, the Camilla Subalpine
might be
the perfect choice.
MSRP: $439–$586
URL: TraditionsFirearms.com
MSRP: $3,000
URL: Weatherby.com
ww.gunworld.com
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MAY I 2018
Bergara B-14 Ridge
Bergara is still a relatively new name to
many shooters, but if you haven’t heard
of this brand, listen up. This Spanish
company has produced quality barrels
for years, and a few years ago, the
brass at Bergara decided to start using
those barrels as the basis of building
a series of high-quality, affordable,
bolt-action hunting rifles. The Bergara
B-14 Series of rifles has won over
many critics in short order—including
many of my gun writer colleagues and
me. These rifles walk the line between
production affordability and high-end
performance, so what hunters end up
with is an MOA hunting rifle that looks
good and doesn’t cost that much.
The Ridge uses the same push-feed
action as other Bergara B-14 guns,
but it incorporates a #5 contour CrMo
barrel in 22- or 24-inch lengths with
a threaded muzzle. Add that barrel
and action to a molded synthetic
stock made of glass-fiber-reinforced
polymer, throw in a 3-pound trigger
that’s crisp and smooth, and what
you have is a heavy-barreled hunting
rifle that’s capable of MOA groups yet
weighs around 8 pounds. What does a
gun like that cost? How about $865?
The Ridge is available in a number of
calibers, including .22-250, .243 Win,
6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win, .308, .30-06,
7mm Rem Mag and .300 Win Mag.
NEW! Traditional Lockb
Automati
Model: 2A08
Bear down made strong
where freedom rings.
GET YOURS AT
www.bearandsoncutlery.com
MSRP: $865
URL: BergaraUSA.com
www.gunworld.com
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MAY I 2018
gun world
TEXT BY RICHARD SCHUTZ
2018
TACTICAL
FIREARMS
ROUNDUP
ast year was a tough year for most people in
the firearms industry. There was no long-term
political reason for firearms enthusiasts to run
to their local gun shop and buy up stocks of guns
and ammunition. Add to that the fact that many
manufacturers and dealers had stocked up on firearms and
ammunition in anticipation of another administration that
was unfriendly to the firearms industry.
L
in Las Vegas, Nevada. I saw nothing but enthusiasm, product
line extensions and innovation.
Roughly 60,000 industry professionals attended the 40th
annual SHOT Show, which covered 15 acres of floor space,
to meet with the representatives of 1,660 exhibiting
companies representing most major shooting, hunting and
outdoor-related products.
For firearms enthusiasts, the 2018 SHOT Show provided us
with more firearms and firearms-related products to view
than we could possibly do justice to in only four days. On the
Monday before the SHOT Show began, Industry Day at the
Range took place at Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club. This event
allowed many in the media to have “hands-on” time with
some of those firearms.
There were several innovative firearms, such as the
ARCHON Firearms Type B 9mm pistol and Franklin Armory’s
Reformation. This year was the year of the .224 Valkyrie
chambered rifle, with at least six manufacturers giving livefire demonstrations of their rifles (five MSRs and one bolt
gun) using Federal ammunition.
None of that was evident at the 2018 SHOT (Shooting,
Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show at the Sands Expo Center
www.gunworld.com
OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST OF THE
NEW-FOR-2018 TACTICAL FIREARMS
Here are some “new-for-2018” firearms that we found
most interesting. GW
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MAY I 2018
The BRN-10A brings back the original Eugene Stoner
lightweight .308 battle rifle. It features a heavy barrel
with aggressive fluting under the handguard, three-prong,
Dutch-style flash hider, brown retro furniture to mimic the
original fiberglass stock, 7075-T6 aluminum billet receivers,
a trigger-style charging handle underneath the carry handle
and a 20-inch barrel assembly.
Brownells Retro AR-10
In 2017, Brownells introduced a line of four “Retro” AR-15 rifes
based on the famed Eugene Stoner design that became the
M-16 service rife issued to the United States military during the
Vietnam War. Now, in 2018, Brownells is expanding its offerings
to include two AR-10 rifes: the BRN-10A and the BRN-10B.
The BRN-10B substitutes a lightweight barrel assembly, closedprong, Portuguese-style fash hider and black retro furniture.
MSRP: $1,600
URL: Brownells.com
ARCHON Type B
ARCHON Firearms (pronounced AR-KON), formerly known as
Arsenal Firearms USA, introduced the Type B (formerly the
Stryk B) compact, striker-fired polymer pistol in 9mm. The
barrel moves straight back instead of tilting during recoil,
giving the Type B a very low bore axis—which helps reduce
muzzle flip. While firing the Type B during Industry Day at the
Range, I found the flat-face trigger to have a better-thanaverage feel and a short reset. The multi-angled blocks on
the grip felt a bit foreign but allowed for a good grip on the
pistol. Four 15-round Mec-Gar magazines are provided with
the gun, and both front and rear sights are Glock compatible.
A front rail is provided, as are front and rear slide serrations.
The weight, including an empty magazine, is 29.6 ounces.
MSRP: $850
URL: ArchonFirearms.com
www.gunworld.com
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MAY I 2018
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Franklin Armory
Reformation
The Franklin Armory Reformation received more pre-SHOT
Show hype than any other item. It was billed as a non-NFA
firearm with an 11.5-inch barrel and a conventional Magpul
SL stock. Even when we fired the Reformation at Industry Day
at the Range, we were not told what the “secret sauce” was.
On the first day of the SHOT Show, Franklin Armory announced
that the Reformation was not a rifle or a shotgun—as defined
by the ATF—because of its NRS (“not a rifle or shotgun”)
technology. It has straight-cut lands and grooves, so there
is no “rifling” to make it a rifle; yet, it retains a standard
chamber. The beneft is an SBR-like (short barrel rife) frearm,
except no NFA stamp is required because it’s not a rife. So, yes,
this can be shouldered.
Initially, the Reformation will be available chambered in
.300 Blackout. A 5.56 NATO version will be available shortly
thereafter. Off-the-shelf ammunition has been shown to provide
IWI Tavor 7
After several years of development, Israel Weapon Industries
has taken the 5.56x45 NATO Tavor X95 platform and transformed
it into one chambered in the 7.62x51 cartridge. At ¾ inch longer
and 1 pound heavier, the Tavor 7 is only marginally bigger than
its little brother, the X95, and has the same barrel length, at
16.5 inches. While the basic design is the same as the X95,
numerous improvements have been incorporated into the fnal
product: The safety now has a 45-degree throw, rather than
90 degrees; several sling attachment points have been added;
the ejection side can be changed quickly in the feld without
any special tools; and the bolt can be locked to the rear by
pulling the charging handle to the rear and rotating it up into
a notch, as on an MP-5. M-Lok attachment points are provided
on the handguard, and a four-position gas system is provided.
Standard SR-25 magazines are used.
MSRP: $2,299
URL: IWI.us
Ruger PC Carbine
Savage Model 110
The 9mm PC Carbine from Ruger takes the traditional
pistol-caliber carbine to a new level by providing magazine
interchangeability across both model and manufacturer lines
in a takedown platform. The PC Carbine allows the use of
both Ruger (SR9, American and Security-9 magazines) and
Glock magazines with a changeable magazine well system.
The takedown design is taken from the tried and true 10/22
takedown rifle. Additional flexibility is provided through
a reversible magazine release and a reversible charging
handle. (See the April 2018 issue of Gun World for a full
review of the PC Carbine.)
For 2018, Savage has not only refreshed the entire line, it
has also dropped the dual numbering system in favor of the
three-digit version. It hasn’t dropped the short action; there
are now just short-action and long-action versions of the 110
model based on the cartridge for which the rifle is chambered.
Additionally, certain other models, such as the 11/111, 16/116,
12 FCV and 11 Scout models, have been incorporated into the
model 110 family. An AccuFit stock has been added to all but
the Trophy model 110 versions.
The Savage 110 is now available in 10 models. Right- and
left-hand versions are available in some models, and each
model has several chamberings available. The AccuTrigger,
AccuStock and button rifle barrels are retained. The AccuFit
stock allows the length of pull to be adjusted in ¼-inch
increments, and the comb height can be adjusted in 1/8-inch
increments. The model 110 family now includes the Hunter,
Storm, Predator, Tactical, Long Range Hunter, Long Range
Hunter .338 Lapua, Varmint, Scout, Bear Hunter and Wolverine.
MSRP: $649
URL: Ruger.com
The Trophy Model 110 rifles do not have a comb height
adjustment and come in Hog Hunter, Brush Hunter, Lightweight
Storm and Engage Hunter XP versions.
SpringFIELD Armory 911
MSRP: $750–$1,300
All new for 2018, the Springfield Armory 911 is a 1911-style,
single-action .380 ACP micro-pistol for everyday carry. The
flush-fit magazine holds six rounds, and the Mag X-Tension
magazine holds seven rounds. The 911 is 5.5 inches long,
3.9 inches high, 0.9 inch wide and weighs 12.6 ounces. It
features a 7075 T6 anodized hard-coat aluminum frame with
G10 grip panels, a 416 black nitride slide with loaded chamber
indicator and rear cocking serrations. It also has an extended,
ambidextrous thumb safety; full-length guide rod assembly
with flat wire spring; 2.7-inch 416R stainless steel barrel with
black nitride finish; G10 pivoting trigger; and drift-adjustable
Pro-Glo tritium night sights. It will also be available with a
stainless slide and Viridian green grip laser.
MSRP: $599
URL: Springfield-Armory.com
g
2018
51
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Mossberg 590M
Mossberg has taken the 590 shotgun to a
new level with the addition of the detachable
magazine-fed model 590M. The 590M takes
the time-proven tubular magazine pump
shotgun and incorporates the flexibility of
detachable magazines with 5-, 10-, 15- and
20-round capacities. This gives the shooter
the advantages of greater initial capacity
and faster reloads for competition, home
defense or in tactical situations.
The 590M is available in 2¾-inch 12-gauge
only, with an 18.5-inch barrel. The standard
models use a single-bead sight, while the TriRail model uses a ghost ring rear sight with
a ramp front sight. The Tri-Rail model also
has a heat shield. Both models weigh 7.75
pounds with an empty 10-round magazine.
MSRP: $721 (Standard); $801 (Tri-Rail)
URL: Mossberg.com
SIG Sauer P365
A much-anticipated pistol at the 2018
SHOT Show was the SIG Sauer P365
9mm micro-compact, striker-fred polymer
pistol. This high-capacity, micro-compact pistol
features a center-feed, modifed double-stack, 10-round-capacity magazine, which gives it a
capacity of four rounds more than a Glock 43 and three rounds more than a S&W Shield M2.0.
It comes standard with SIGLITE night sights. All of this comes in a package that is 4.3 inches
high, 5.8 inches long, 1 inch wide and weighs 17.8 ounces with an empty magazine. It ships
with one 10-round fush-ft and one 10-round extended baseplate magazines. An extended,
12-round-capacity magazine is also available. A slim-line rail accommodates SIG light and
laser accessories. At SIG Sauer’s Range Day, we found the P365 very comfortable to shoot and
control. (Watch for a full review of the P365 in a future issue of Gun World.)
MSRP: $600
URL: SIGSauer.com
Daniel Defense
DDM4V7 P
Daniel Defense has added the DDM4V7
P pistol to its extensive lineup of AR-15
and AR-10 rifles for 2018. The DDM4V7
P comes chambered in either 5.56x45
NATO or .300 Blackout, along with an SB
Tactical Pistol arm brace or a Law Tactical
folding buffer tube arm brace. Because it
is classified as a pistol and not an SBR,
even with the 10.3-inch-long barrel, no
ATF paperwork or tax stamp is required.
In 5.56x45 NATO with Law Tactical folding
arm brace configuration, the DDM4V7
P uses an MFR 9.0 rail system, is 30¼
inches long, weighs 6.17 pounds and has
a 10.3-inch-long barrel with an improved
flash suppressor. The receiver is CNC
machined from 7075-T6 aluminum and is
Type III hardcoat anodized. The barrel is
cold hammer forged from chrome-moly
vanadium steel with 1:7 twist rifling and a
government profile. The pistol is available
in black and MIL-SPEC+ Cerakote.
MSRP: $1,942
URL: DanielDefense.com
www.gunworld.com
p
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MAY I 2018
Windham Weaponry .450 Thumper Pistol
Windham Weaponry has taken its .450 Bushmaster “Thumper” rife and made a pistol version for 2018. The .450 Thumper Pistol is a
semiautomatic AR-15-style pistol with a direct impingement gas system. The overall length is 26.25 inches, and it weighs 5.8 pounds
without a magazine. The forged receiver is made of 7075-T6 aluminum with a hardcoat black anodized fnish. The 9-inch, mediumprofle barrel is made from 4150 chrome-moly vanadium 11595E steel with an M4 feed ramp. It has a melonite QPQ fnish and a .450
compensator. A full-length 1913 MIL-STD rail runs the length of the upper receiver and continues on the 7-inch Windham Weaponry
free-foat handguard. The handguard has M-Lok attachment points at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. The polymer fip-up front and
rear sights are made by Kriss. The Thumper Pistol uses a Hogue pistol grip, and the arm brace is by SB Tactical.
MSRP: $1,254
URL: WindhamWeaponry.com
Glock G19X
The 9mm G19X is Glock’s crossover model, which uses a G19
slide on a G17 frame. This is similar to the model developed
for the U.S. military, minus the external safety. It’s Glock’s
first-ever factory-colored slide (in coyote) using a PVD coating
to prevent corrosion. The G19X features the Glock Marksman
barrel, bilateral slide stop levers, Glock night sights, a lanyard
loop and no finger grooves in the grip. Two 17+2-roundcapacity magazines are furnished with the pistol. The G19X is
7.44 inches long, 5.47 inches high (with magazine) and 1.30
inches wide. It weighs 24.83 ounces with an empty magazine
(31.39 ounces loaded). As an added touch, it comes in a
Coyote-colored case.
MSRP: $749
URL: Glock.us
Made in USA
Walther PPQ SC
The new Walther PPQ SC 9mm subcompact, striker-fred polymer pistol has the best factory
trigger I have felt on a striker-fred pistol. The ergonomics of this subcompact are also
excellent. The PPQ SC features a Tenifer coating on the slide, barrel and internal parts; lowprofle, three-dot polymer sights with a 5.6-inch sight radius; bilateral slide stop levers; 1913
MIL-STD front accessory rail; bilateral magazine release; and three internal safeties. Two
10-round magazines are provided. Overall dimensions are 5.4 inches long, 4.4 inches high,
1.3 inches wide and a weight of 21.2 ounces with an empty magazine.
MAKE RELOADING EASY
Fits
GSG-1911
and
SIG SAUER
1911-22
Mags
MSRP: $649
URL: WaltherArms.com
MAKE RELOADING EASY
www.mygtul.com
757-647-0805
www.gunworld.com
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MAY I 2018
gun world
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY ANDY MASSIMILIAN
BERETTA
AX
MODULAR AND VERY RUGGEDLY
BUILT, THE APX IS A DUTY PISTOL
THAT, WITH A PULLOUT CHASSIS,
IS DESIGNED TO EVOLVE FOR
FUTURE DEMANDS.
D
The 9mm APX holds 17+1 rounds and is 7.55 inches long,
5.6 inches high, 1.3 inches wide and weighs 26.8 ounces
unloaded. The 4.45-inch barrel is hammer forged. These
dimensions are slightly shorter than the Glock G17, but with
near-identical barrel length and a bit more weight from the
APX’s more-prominent use of steel instead of polymer.
esigned to vanquish all comers to the Army’s
XM17 Modular Handgun System competition
to replace the Beretta M9, the APX was one of
about a dozen designs submitted for evaluation.
Although the Army selected the SIG Sauer P320
for its needs, the APX is, nonetheless, a winning new design
with very good functional features and an exceptionally solid
build. Here’s why.
Like several of Beretta’s polymer-framed firearms, the APX
has an appearance that departs from design orthodoxy, with
uniquely shaped cocking grooves along the entire slide and
a squared-off trigger guard. However, unlike the Neos, PX4
and Cx4 Storm, which were designed by Italdesign Giugiaro
(which styles/engineers for Lamborghini, Bugatti and Audi,
among others), Beretta designed the APX in-house; and its
unconventional appearance seems to spring from functional
reasons, not aesthetics, which turned out to be “unglamorous”
to some Americans’ sense of style. The slide allows the
shooter to securely grasp it anywhere to manipulate it, and
the squared-off trigger guard is intended to provide a solid
stop for lights, according to the company.
GUN DETAILS
“AP” stands for “Advanced Pistol”; the “X” is Beretta’s
designation for “polymer-framed firearm intended for military
or LE, such as the PX4, CX4, and ARX,” according to the
company. The full-sized version was the first out of the gate,
but this year, Beretta will launch additional APX variants,
including a compact, Centurion, RDO and Combat model. RDO
models accommodate red-dot optics, while Centurions have
full-sized grips but compact-length barrels. Combat models
have threaded barrels and are RDO-capable. There’s even a
late-year Target version in the works that has a compensated
barrel, adjustable sights and competition trigger.
Beretta intends to sell the APX in every state except California
(where the foolish, unproven technology of microstamping is
mandated for all new handgun designs) and Massachusetts
(because of uncertainty in how the attorney general could
reinterpret the law regulating which pistols may be sold in
that state). If desired or mandated, the APX can be ordered
with a loaded chamber indicator that sits atop the slide, a
The APX is made at Beretta’s fagship plant in Gardone, Italy, and
is chambered in 9mm Luger or .40 S&W. It is a double-action,
striker-fred pistol that uses the familiar modifed Browning tilt-up
barrel locking system. The striker spring is slightly pre-tensioned
after the slide is cycled, and depressing the trigger fully cocks
and releases it, as with Glocks, M&Ps and many others.
www.gunworld.com
p
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MAY I 2018
The modular Beretta
APX is the wave of
the future … and it
looks the part. (Photo:
Beretta)
magazine disconnect safety and/or an ambidextrous thumb
safety. The safety levers can be installed where the rear
takedown pin is now located without permanent modification
of any parts.
disconnector, ejector and slide stop levers. The chassis frame
is the serialized part, which defines the firearm for legal
purposes. Its removability enables the user to configure a
single firearm into multiple weapons in different calibers and
in different sizes of pistol—and even into a rifle. Essentially,
the pullout chassis will enable the APX to evolve for the everchanging demands of the consumer.
MODULAR ADVANTAGE
The APX incorporates what I consider the future of firearms
design: modularity made possible by a removable chassis
frame that forms the slide rails and contains the trigger, sear,
www.gunworld.com
THE APX INCORPORATES
WHAT I CONSIDER THE
FUTURE OF FIREARMS
DESIGN: MODULARITY
MADE POSSIBLE BY A
REMOVABLE CHASSIS
FRAME THAT FORMS
THE SLIDE RAILS AND
CONTAINS THE TRIGGER,
SEAR, DISCONNECTOR,
EJECTOR AND SLIDE
STOP LEVERS.
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MAY I 2018
gun world
LIKE SEVERAL OF BERETTA’S POLYMERFRAMED FIREARMS, THE APX HAS AN
APPEARANCE THAT DEPARTS FROM
DESIGN ORTHODOXY, WITH UNIQUELY
SHAPED COCKING GROOVES ALONG THE
ENTIRE SLIDE AND A SQUARED-OFF
TRIGGER GUARD.
It also makes a thorough cleaning easier than on some nonmodular designs, on which components are attached with
pins and a detailed strip is required to clean and inspect them.
Beretta offers different sizes of grip frames, slide/barrel
assemblies and perhaps a .45 ACP version in the future, but
a rifle configuration, such as the shoulder stock and barrel
that transformed the Neos pistol into a carbine, is not yet on
the horizon. Interestingly, the APX and the SIG P320 were
the only truly modular pistols submitted to the Army’s trials,
because other designs merely offered interchangeable
backstraps or grip panels.
The grip has a
very workable
surface texture. The
finger grooves are
comfortable—much
more so than the
Glock Gen3. If
desired, the mag
release is easy to
access and readily
switched to the right
side.
The removable chassis frame also saves FFL transfer fees
and paperwork and allows grip frames to be customized and
gunsmithed without fear of ruining the serialized component if
the project goes awry. The Beretta online store sells full-sized
grip frames in three different colors, each with a matching set
of backstraps, for only $50. Users also save the substantial
federal excise tax associated with buying a complete firearm.
Finally, a custom firearm can be made without the hassle
and multitude of legal restrictions that apply to shipping and
handling a non-modular firearm.
www.gunworld.com
p
58
The chassis frame is made of stamped stainless steel, and the
internal parts are attached to it by pins, rather than welds, for
easy removal and replacement. The frame is attached to the
grip by a single roll pin at the rear and by the takedown lever
in the front (it is removable without special talent; but refer
to the Gun World website for a video that will save you time).
CONSTRUCTION QUALITY
Reliable engineering and robust construction seem to have
driven this pistol’s design, with steel used in places other
makers use polymer; this includes the recoil spring guide
rod, sights and slide back plate. The steel parts, including the
barrel, are nitride treated for a harder, corrosion-resistant
finish. The barrel is cold hammer forged, making it among
the most durable types made and typically outlasts barrels
made using other methods. The grip frame is a fiberglasspolymer mixture that is thicker than competitive models in
some areas. A throated chamber ensures reliable feeding
of hollow-point bullets, and a wide extractor made of heattreated steel makes extraction more certain. The APX also
uses dual recoil springs that, according to Beretta, “offer the
best combination of performance and ease of manipulation
without the need for a special progressive rate spring.”
MAY I 2018
The parts’ fit and finish are very good, with only a hint of
machine tool marks between some of the slide serrations;
these marks have no bearing on function.
ERGONOMICS
The APX offers very good ergonomics for right- and lefthanded operators, starting with three different-sized
backstraps designed to provide comfort and a close-toideal positioning of the finger on the trigger (although my
hands are medium sized, the large backstrap gave me the
best grip). Interchangeable backstraps are hardly new, but
Beretta’s execution of the concept is far better than most
of its competitors’ because the material is flexible rubber,
not hard plastic. Plus, the grips add length and width, and
the texture affords a good mix of comfort and adhesion. The
front of the grip features wide, shallow finger grooves with
very good texture; and for those whose fingers don’t fit the
grooves, Beretta offers grip frames without them.
The magazine release button sits at an ideal spot for the
thumb of the firing hand and is easily reversible to the other
side—more so than on some other designs.
Slide lock levers are bilateral and accessible with the thumb.
Although smaller and sitting closer to the frame than I prefer,
the APX’s levers are better than those on Glock and M&P,
which are entirely too small and sit too close to the frame to
be accessible under stress or if wearing anything heavier than
The APX, broken down
to its main components.
Note the dual recoil
springs held captive on
a steel guide rod.
www.gunworld.com
p
59
MAY I 2018
The serrations on the slide
might look odd to some,
but they are 100 percent
functional, rather than
cosmetic. You can rack the
slide by placing your hand
anywhere along it. Note the
slide stop lever that can
be made more prominent
and easier to activate by
bending it outward.
gun world
slide. Dovetail mounts allow for drifting adjustments.
The wide, slightly
curved backstrap
is one of the APX’s
design features that
reduces perceived
recoil.
very lightweight gloves. And accessible, easily worked levers
are important, especially when the slide should be locked
open to readily clear a double-feed stoppage.
The APX comes with night sights using the typical three-dot
pattern, and the RDO model also accepts reflex optics on the
One of the better, albeit subtle, features of this pistol is the
trigger shoe shape, which dispenses with popular notions of
what a “combat trigger” needs to be. Much wider than most
designs to reduce the perceived weight of pull, the APX’s
smooth-faced trigger shoe gives a feeling of better control
than the typically narrower, grooved-faced trigger. My sample
had a total pull weight of 6 pounds, 2 ounces, measured with a
Lyman electronic gauge. There was some takeup, a significant
amount of creep typical of double-action striker mechanisms
and some overtravel—which should be removed if Beretta
decides to change anything on this pistol.
Several different
grip frame covers,
along with matching
backstraps, can be
ordered online for
$50 (MSRP) and
include the mag
release button.
Some lack finger
grooves to suit users’
preferences. The
long, metal tab locks
the strap into the grip
frame.
www.gunworld.com
p
60
One aspect of the APX I did not like was the gradual thickening
of the trigger guard near the grip, which made the underside
of my trigger finger drag as it pressed rearward on the trigger.
It wasn’t drastic enough to be an annoyance; however, it is
easily fixed with a Dremel tool. A Beretta rep explained to me
that this was added to the design because the fabric on some
gloves could become stuck under the trigger without it.
FIELD-STRIPPING
Takedown of striker-fired pistols with pre-tensioned strikers
often requires pulling the trigger, which allows the slide
assembly to move forward off the frame without catching
onto the sear. That can create a hazard for the careless and
ignorant, who don’t always check the chamber for a round (is
MAY I 2018
ONE OF THE BETTER,
ALBEIT SUBTLE,
FEATURES OF THIS
PISTOL IS THE
TRIGGER SHOE SHAPE,
WHICH DISPENSES
WITH POPULAR
NOTIONS OF WHAT A
“COMBAT TRIGGER”
NEEDS TO BE.
anyone still around who would do that?). This hazard can be
avoided with the APX, because it can be disassembled in two
ways: One involves pulling the trigger, and the other involves
disengaging the sear from the striker. The latter method is
time-consuming and requires dexterity, and I suspect it won’t
be used that often as a result.
With this method, retract the slide slightly and hold it. Then
press a small, spring-loaded button (the “striker deactivation”)
on the right side of the frame inward with a nail or pen point.
Depress the takedown lever leftward, rotate it down, and pull
the slide forward, off the chassis rails. The simpler method is
to verify the chamber is clear, press and rotate the takedown
lever, keep the pistol pointed in a safe direction and pull
the trigger, allowing the slide to be removed. Removing the
magazine is required as step one in either procedure.
sight picture (I intend to buy one for mine and use an MGW
Sight Pro Tool to replace them).
moves upward as the
trigger is pressed,
allowing the striker
to move forward.
Shown is the FPB
in its upwardmost position with
the trigger fully
depressed. Firing pin
blocks are common
but are not often
visible. By showing
movement that is
visible, the operator
knows it is not stuck
in the deactivated
position—which
is potentially
dangerous.
The APX did not deliver the type of accuracy I expected—but
neither is it an inaccurate pistol. The average-sized group
of eight attempts for each load fired from a rest at 20 yards
ranged from 2.28 to 2.57 inches. Off-hand performance
might be improved by replacing the stock trigger with
Beretta’s competition trigger and by removing the trigger’s
overtravel. Reliability was flawless, with zero stoppages in
more than 300 rounds tested.
Beretta’s attention to crafting the APX’s grip design resulted in a
pistol that is extremely easy to point and easy to control. The wide
radius of the trigger guard’s undercut, shallow fnger grooves
RANGE TIME
I tested the APX for accuracy by shooting three different loads
at 20 yards from sandbags and then for reliability with three
more. My sample pistol shot 1 to 2 inches lower than point
of aim, because the sights were regulated to place the shot
under the white dot of the front sight, instead of just above the
front sight’s top edge. This is consistent with how SIG Sauer
pistols are sighted, and Beretta sells two types of adjustable
sights with fiber-optic inserts for those who prefer a different
www.gunworld.com
p
61
MAY I 2018
gun world
Toward the rear of the frame are two pins. The
forwardmost pin is not a pin; it’s actually the
striker deactivation button. Depressing this
button de-cocks the striker, allowing the slide
assembly to be removed. Pulling the trigger also
works and is an easier step for the safetyconscious shooter who clears the chamber and
keeps the pistol safely directed.
with texture on the front strap, along with a broad backstrap, all
worked in unison to reduce muzzle rise, making perceived recoil
feel as if I were shooting a less-powerful caliber.
As on many recent
Beretta offerings,
the visual design—
in particular, the
slide, in the case
of the APX—is
very different from
anything else on the
market. Whenever
something is
different, it’s going
to invoke “love it or
leave it” feelings.
One-handed shooting was also far easier than with many other
pistols I have tested. This makes the APX a pistol you can spend
lots of time shooting without experiencing any degree of hand
fatigue from recoil. Although the smaller slide lock levers had
me concerned, I could manipulate the dominant-side lever,
even when wearing medium-weight gloves. Plus, judiciously
bending the levers slightly outward improved accessibility.
Fully loaded magazines locked in place easily, even with the
slide closed, making tactical reloads on the move more fuid.
BERETTA GOT IT RIGHT
I would have liked better accuracy, better-regulated sights
and a trigger without overtravel (which the APX competition
Beretta
APX
SPECIFICATIONS
ACTION: Semiautomatic
CALIBER: 9mm Parabellum
OAL: 7.55 inches
HEIGHT: 5.6 inches
WIDTH: 1.3 inches
BARREL: 4.25 inches
WEIGHT: 26.8 ounces (unloaded)
SIGHTS: Fixed
CAPACITY: 17+1
MSRP: $575
CONTACT INFORMATION
BERETTA
Beretta.com
www.gunworld.com
p
62
MAY I 2018
Performance Results
Ammunition
Accuracy (inches)
Best
Average
Velocity (fps)
Average
Federal Hydra Shock 124-grain JHP
1.60
2.28
1,041
Hornady XTP 124-grain JHP
1.31
2.38
1,116
Winchester USA 115-grain FMJ
2.47
2.57
1,151
NOTES: Accuracy was measured using eight five-shot groups fired at
20 yards from sandbags and measured center to center. Velocity was
measured 15 feet from the muzzle with an Oehler 35P chronograph.
version might provide)—but that didn’t stop me from buying two APXs
for my range.
Beretta got many design aspects correct and succeeded in crafting a duty
pistol that won’t be outdated soon. Yes, the Army preferred the SIG Sauer
P320 for its requirements, but the APX could be ideal for yours, as a result
of its good ergonomics and exceptional comfort and control during live fre.
Its heavy-duty construction promises durability over the long run that will
likely eclipse other polymer-framed pistols when shooting a steady diet
of the +P NATO loads for which it was intended. Its modular chassis is the
wave of the future, with benefts that will become obvious as
Beretta rolls out different slide/barrel assemblies and perhaps
even totally new platforms in which it can be used.
Finally, with an MSRP of $575 and a street price of about $500, the
APX is extremely competitive, given its quality and features. GW
RELIABLE
ENGINEERING
AND ROBUST
CONSTRUCTION SEEM
TO HAVE DRIVEN
THIS PISTOL’S
DESIGN, WITH STEEL
USED IN PLACES
OTHER MAKERS USE
POLYMER ...
Two-Tone HF1
SO GOOD-LOOKING
YOU’LL HATE
TO CONCEAL IT.
! !""" "
!"$ #""""!!!
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HF1
gun world
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY TODD BURGREEN
GUTTERSNIPE17
SUAREZ INTERNATIONAL’S
GLOCK-BASED,
MAXIMIZED-POTENTIAL,
CONCEALED-CARRY
HANDGUN
www.gunworld.com
p
64
MAY I 2018
F
irearm evolution is a slow, tedious matter at times,
with breakthroughs and improvements coming in
bits and pieces. It is infuenced by a multitude
of factors, such as manufacturing techniques,
metallurgy, cartridge improvements, technology,
market forces (i.e., capitalism) and countless other factors,
as experienced in individual countries and cultures.
The frearm development path covers centuries. One of the
most basic concepts that has remained constant (or stagnant,
depending on point of view), is handgun sights. The earliest
muzzle-loading pistols feature sights we can recognize today
in the form of a front post and some sort of rear notch with
which it is aligned.
Suarez International’s
Guttersnipe 17 (SI-317) is the
answer for the concealedcarry practitioner wanting
a handgun with maximum
capability.
Yes, modern open sights are more refined, but the basic
form is the same—align the front post within the rear notch.
This is now undergoing a change with the advent of red-dot
sights (RDS) in lieu of the traditional iron open sights used
for everyday personal defense weapons, law enforcement
and military weapons.
HANDGUN EVOLUTION BREAKTHROUGH
THE SUAREZ
GUTTERSNIPE
INCREASES THE
EFFECTIVENESS
OF A CONCEALEDCARRY HANDGUN
BEYOND WHAT
MANY THOUGHT
POSSIBLE WITH
THE PLATFORM.
www.gunworld.com
p
65
Competition handguns have sported enhanced sights such
as red-dots or magnified optics for decades now. However,
a subtle movement is underway to incorporate red-dots into
everyday concealed-carry or personal-defense handguns.
The previously applied red-dots were big and ungainly
affairs, with complex custom mounts utilized for a “gaming”
application and less than suitable for everyday carry.
This is not the case with the current RDS offerings coming
on line. The ever-rising groundswell of RDS on handguns
is evident, with multiple manufacturers offering options of
mounting RDS to the frames of their semiautomatic handguns.
A leader driving the RDS concept, both in theory and
application, is Suarez International (SI). SI also encompasses
a worldwide training organization. This assists in proofing
concepts and providing real-world feedback. Gabe Suarez is
the driving force behind all SI endeavors.
NEED-DRIVEN
Recent events illustrate what a dangerous world we inhabit—with
terrorist attacks growing in frequency and coming closer to home.
If a hostile situation is encountered, the civilian will most likely
be defending himself with a handgun. A handgun is defnitely not
the optimum choice, especially when compared to a rife, and is a
compromise between portability and performance.
SI frst began work on the RDS concept when seeking an answer
to questions posed by many of its students regarding how best
to enhance the handgun—the primary weapon for many.
MAY I 2018
gun world
The SI Guttersnipe
17 is evaluated at
Echo Valley Training
Center’s Hesco
Shoot House.
Proficiency with a handgun is one of the most perishable
weapon skills. It is impacted as we get older as a result
of changes in our vision, which can cause difficulty seeing
iron sights and the target at the same time or difficulty
transitioning focus between the front sight and the target.
The solution was the same as most had already opted for with
their rifles: Add a red-dot sight. That solution, with trial and
error in product development, not only assisted SI’s students,
but also enhanced the basic ability of the personal-defense
handgun platform as a whole. The Suarez Guttersnipe 17 9mm
is an excellent example of this. It is one of the company’s
most popular RDS handgun upgrade offerings.
The use of the
Guttersnipe 17 as
an everyday-carry
handgun is what sets
it apart from other
similar endeavors—
incorporating a reddot optic, traditionally
used for competitive
shooting, onto a carry
gun.
The Suarez International Guttersnipe 17 begins with a customerprovided Glock G17 frame. Two customization areas that are
immediately noticed are the grip frame and the Suarez V3 SI317 red-dot-ready slide. SI starts by reducing the G17 frame to
G19 dimensions. This is a refection of the grip being the most
problematic portion to conceal; because the slide doesn’t print,
it is most likely in the waistband and in line with the hip/leg if
practicing concealed carry. The longer G17 slide, combined with
customized grip, improves concealability but also contributes to
a superior-feeling handgun with better balance.
CUSTOM WITH A PURPOSE
The Suarez use of the term, “Guttersnipe,” harkens back to
the custom ASP handgun from the 1970s. The ASP was based
on the S&W Model 39, with gunsmith Paris Theodore totally
reworking it to excel in close-quarter encounters. The unique
sighting system on the ASP, referred to as a “Guttersnipe”
sight, was a narrowing U-channel with fluorescent-yellow
panels that would form three triangles, all pointed at the
target when the sight was properly aligned.
Advances with red-dot sights now supplant the role of the
original Guttersnipe sight.
www.gunworld.com
p
66
MAY I 2018
The SI 317 slide is specifically designed and built to function
with the Trijicon RMR. An adjustable LED 6.5 MOA-dot Trijicon
RMR was chosen.
Suarez technicians consult with each end user about the
profile and texture desired. I chose not to go with finger
grooves on the grip, and I had an extended beavertail
molded into place, as well. Multiple frame colors and slide
finishes are available.
The Suarez
Guttersnipe 17 uses
the company’s SI-317
slide, which has front
cocking serrations.
While the grip frame and mounted RMR grab your attention
esthetically, SI continues with significant upgrades, such as
co-witnessing suppressor-height sights, along with a Suarez
match-grade barrel. Suarez barrels are created from LotharWalther chrome-moly match blanks and feature 1:10-inchtwist rifling. The barrels are black-Melonite finished.
LONEWOLF
ALPHAWOLF
THREADED
BARREL
Suarez then adds its own SI “flat and straight” patrol-grade
trigger (other trigger types are available). Geometrically flat
and straight triggers improve mechanical leverage and allow
you to consistently place your shooting finger in the most
advantageous location for manipulation. The Guttersnipe’s
entire action is polished and tuned. All of this creates a
superior carry handgun that excels in gun fighting and not
just reactive defense.
THE SUAREZ
GUTTERSNIPE 17 IS A
HANDGUN THAT PUSHES
THE ENVELOPE PAST
“SAFE” NORMS WHILE
STILL MAINTAINING
REAL-WORLD FIGHTING
APPLICATION.
The Lone Wolf AlphaWolf
threaded barrel opens up
the option for suppressor
use with Glock handguns.
Lone Wolf is a great resource for any Glock connoisseur
wanting to spice up or alter their Glock. It is continuously
expanding its product line to satisfy Glock customers.
A top view of the
Suarez SI-317 slide,
featuring a Trijicon
RMR, suppressorheight sights and
Suarez match-grade
barrel
One such product is the AlphaWolf threaded Glock barrel—
an excellent choice to complement the high suppressor
sights of the Suarez Guttersnipe 17. The AlphaWolf’s
stress-relieved 416 stainless steel barrel is button rifed
and then honed via a three-stage process. The applied
SBN coating offers a hardness rating of RC60. Strict quality
control ensures the drop-in installation is a perfect ft.
Fluting along the barrel improves heat dissipation, as well
as offering a path for debris to escape during slide cycling,
thereby improving reliability in the harshest of conditions.
A thread protector is included with the AlphaWolf.
It does not take a drastic leap of imagination to envision what
roles the Suarez Guttersnipe 17 and Lone Wolf AlphaWolf
threaded barrel would fll as a suppressor host—anything
from sentry removal, guard dog neutralization or CQB
operations. 147-grain 9mm loads are generally subsonic
and widely available from various manufacturers. They are
perfect for maximizing suppressor capabilities, especially
with a red-dot-equipped handgun.
LONE WOLF DISTRIBUTORS
LoneWolfDist.com
www.gunworld.com
p
67
MAY I 2018
gun world
RANGE TIME—TIME TO PROVE SOMETHING
Range-testing of the Suarez Guttersnipe 17 took place at Echo
Valley Training Center (Winchester, Virginia) and Defender
Tactical (Wardensville, West Virginia).
Initial testing priorities were making sure that Glock reliability
was not compromised and that the Trijicon RMR red-dot proves
to be a worthy addition by increasing capability beyond what
was expected from a normal iron-sighted Glock. A concern
based on brief handling of other red-dot-equipped handguns
was being able to fnd the RMR’s dot just as quickly as traditional
iron sights, especially in quick/fast close-range affairs.
The suppressorheight rear sight and
extended beavertail
found on the SI G17
Guttersnipe
The RMR offered the capability to engage multiple targets
in rapid sequence with faster transition between targets
compared to open sights, because there’s no need to align
front and rear irons—you just place the dot on the plate.
It also helps that the Trijicon RMR’s 6.5 MOA dot doesn’t
obscure the target.
Speed drills involving plate racks and dueling trees were run
with times more similar to a pistol-caliber carbine than a
handgun. The advantage offered by the use of red-dot sights
in the competition environment is well-known.
Suarez’s orientation of the suppressor-style iron sights around
the red-dot acts as both backup sights and quickly fixes the
shooter’s eye to the red dot stationed above the front post. I
found the use of the red-dot sight easy to learn and, after just
a short time, I was able to put the dot on target quickly.
The Trijicon RMR sight withstood the recoil and heat
generated by repeatedly long strings of fire. The RMR weighs
1.2 ounces, which aids its ability to withstand the inertial
forces experienced as a slide reciprocates.
As many “maturing” shooters can confirm, the single-focus
plane with the red-dot sight is easier to shoot accurately
than coordinating front and rear sights. These shooters can
now do as nature intends for them to do: focus on the threat.
Moreover, because the indexing of a red-dot sight is far easier
than pieces of steel, shooters find they can perform beyond
what was considered possible with iron sights ... all simply
because the concept uses the eyes in a more normal manner.
Point-shooting with the Suarez Guttersnipe is still very
possible using the RMR’s window as a ghost ring—
albeit a large ghost ring—if the shooter is forced to react
spontaneously to a threat. The RMR red dot was easy to pick
up, and the sight assisted in engaging targets quickly. Both
eyes open is strongly suggested; it is a must to get the most
out of the RDS concept.
The Suarez International Guttersnipe 17 incorporates
a variety of enhancements made to the Glock G17,
including the Suarez SI-317 slide, Trijicon RMR red-dot
sight, co-witnessed Suarez suppressor-height iron
sights, Suarez match-grade barrel, reduced contour
textured frame and the Suarez “flat and straight Patrolgrade trigger.”
www.gunworld.com
p
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MAY I 2018
EXPERT OPINION
I invited David Altenburg of Defender Tactical to attend an
initial range session with the Suarez Guttersnipe 17. David’s
career credentials as a Marine and FBI special agent speak
for themselves. He is an active participant in various regional
IDPA/IPSC matches and also attends training seminars given
by the best instructors in the country who visit Echo Valley
Training Center during the year. This allows him to maintain
the proficiency levels he has worked so hard to achieve.
David Altenburg puts
the Guttersnipe 17
through its paces.
He is a retired FBI
special agent who
shares his years of
experience via his
training company,
Defender Tactical.
David’s familiarity with the Glock, a formerly issued FBI
sidearm, allowed for a quick comparison with the Suarez
variant. David, himself, has been exploring the RDS concept,
and I appreciated getting his guidance regarding how best
to maximize the Suarez Guttersnipe 17. I quickly sensed that
the Guttersnipe 17 possessed inherent accuracy superior to
what I was capable of; this was very reassuring and instills
confidence in a handgun.
Range-testing purposely included DeSantis, Comp-Tac,
BlackHawk and Galco holsters in order to determine if the Suarez
Guttersnipe 17 was worthy of being considered for everyday
concealed-carry duties. Holsters with generous, open-cut tops
were the easiest to use with the RMR-topped slide.
www.gunworld.com
THE USE OF THE SUAREZ
GUTTERSNIPE 17 AS
AN EVERYDAY-CARRY
HANDGUN IS WHAT
SETS IT APART FROM
OTHER ENDEAVORS
INCORPORATING REDDOT SIGHTS ON PISTOLS.
A Trijicon RMR 6.5
MOA red dot is
captured in this
image.
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69
MAY I 2018
gun world
Drills consisted of drawing from concealment to see if the
red-dot sight was easy to obtain when operating in haste.
Various scenarios engaging targets from behind cover or on
the move were also utilized. Magazine change drills were
done for the dual purpose of getting a feel of manipulating the
Guttersnipe with the RMR installed and making sure the red
dot was seamlessly picked up after reload and back on target.
Performance Results
Ammunition
A Suarez magazine guide is hand fitted on the Guttersnipe’s
reduced G17 frame. The Suarez guide not only funnels the
magazine into the grip smoothly during reloads, it also serves
to keep the firing hand in place and orientated correctly, no
matter the rate of fire. It didn’t take long to figure out that the
Suarez Guttersnipe 17 has great potential in terms of accuracy,
speed and extending effective engagement distances.
Velocity (fps)
Federal 124-grain Hydra Shok
1,120
3.5
3.0
Black Hills 115-grain JHP EXP
1,190
3.66
3.0
SIG Sauer 124-grain V Crown
1,155
3.0
2.5
3.33
2.75
NOTE: The accuracy test protocol consisted of five five-shot groups
with each ammunition type and fired at 25 yards. Velocity figures were
obtained by averaging three rounds fired over an RCBS chronograph.
for understanding best practices to use to maximize skill with
an RDS-equipped handgun. This kind of support is not typical
of 99 percent of other providers of RDS handguns.
What sets the Suarez Guttersnipe 17 apart is the amount of
product development and field trials it received from Suarez
International. Gabe’s videos discussing the RDS concept
(these can be found on the SI website) are excellent resources
SPECIFICATIONS
ACTION: Glock DAO
CALIBER: 9mm
SLIDE: Heat-treated 17-4 aerospace stainless steel
(Suarez V3 SI-319)
FRAME: Glock G17, polymer
FRAME FINISH: Covert Grey frame
(other options available)
GRIPS: Custom textured
BARREL: Suarez match grade, 4.5 inches
(threaded)
OVERALL LENGTH: 7.75 inches
WEIGHT: 20.2 ounces (unloaded)
SIGHTS: Suarez Elevated Suppressor Sights and
Trijicon RMR 6.5 MOA red-dot
CAPACITY: Uses 15-, 17- and 33-round Glock
magazines
MSRP: $750 (starting price, with options available)
915
Hornady 147-grain XTP
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE
Suarez
International
Guttersnipe 17
Group (inches)
Average
Best
For example, a key part of the Suarez red-dot system
stressed repeatedly in Gabe Suarez’s writing and videos is
to have the red dot co-witnessing with the handgun’s iron
sights. There are many reasons for this: Anything electronic
can fail, no matter how rugged. Thus, it’s important to have
backup sights ready. Another advantage of the Suarez
decision to retain elevated irons around the red dot is that
it provides instant verification of zero; and, if not zeroed,
there’s instant backup. Lastly, the co-witness sights assist in
initial orientating to the red dot, especially during a shooter’s
first exposure to the RDS format.
Suarez incorporates
its own “flat and
straight” patrolgrade trigger to
the Guttersnipe
17—an important
enhancement in
terms of accuracy.
Notice the dual
undercut trigger
guard.
Suarez Guttersnipe
17 incorporates
many enhancements
beyond the typical
Glock G17. However,
it retains Glock’s
impeccable reliability,
eating everything the
author fed it.
The use of the Suarez Guttersnipe 17 as an everyday-carry
handgun is what sets it apart from other endeavors incorporating
red-dot sights on pistols.
The Suarez Guttersnipe 17 is a handgun that pushes the envelope
past “safe” norms while still maintaining real-world fghting
CONTACT INFORMATION
SUAREZ INTERNATIONAL
SuarezInternational.com
TRIJICON
Trijicon.com
DEFENDER TACTICAL
DefenderTactical.net
ECHO VALLEY TRAINING CENTER
EchoValleyTraining.com
www.gunworld.com
p
70
MAY I 2018
application. The Guttersnipe increases the effectiveness of a
concealed-carry handgun beyond what many thought possible
with the platform. GW
A LEADER DRIVING
THE RDS CONCEPT,
BOTH IN THEORY
AND APPLICATION,
IS SUAREZ
INTERNATIONAL ...
The Guttersnipe’s
Covert Grey frame
is textured for
enhanced purchase
and retention. An
extended beavertail
is added, along with
a magazine guide,
on the reduced Glock
G17 frame.
Accuracy with the
Suarez Guttersnipe
17-equipped Trijicon
RMR is impressive.
gun world
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY CHRIS TRAN
CLEAN SLATE, UNLIMITED POTENTIAL
had the good fortune to travel to Jacksonville, Arkansas,
in early 2017 to visit SIG Sauer’s new ammunition factory.
SIG Sauer had been producing ammunition for a few years,
most notably in Kentucky, and I was very curious as to the
reason for the switch to a brand-new plant. Hopefully, I
could get some questions answered during the one-day tour.
I
The representatives from SIG Sauer pulled out all the stops for
several industry writers and me; I was extremely fortunate to
have the opportunity to meet with some writers whose work
I had read for years. It was apparent before we even set foot
on the new property that SIG Sauer took this venture seriously
and wanted to put the best foot forward with some heavyhitter names in attendance.
After an introductory dinner, social hour and a good night’s
sleep, we all boarded a bus from the hotel and took a quick
drive out to SIG’s new ammunition plant.
Bud Fini briefs the
writers on the history
of the SIG Sauer
Ammunition line and
the reasoning behind
the new plant in
Arkansas.
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72
Writers were first given some background regarding why the
new facility exists. Then, we were all divided up into groups
and scheduled to visit different parts of the facility in a roundrobin fashion, allowing each writer some individual time to
review different aspects of the vast facility and have some
one-on-one time with the in-house subject matter experts.
MAY I 2018
FROM THE GROUND UP
To put SIG Sauer’s ammunition factory into context, one must
remember that SIG is one of the most renowned international
firearms companies in the world. Being a “top dog” means
that the company must constantly improve, refine and
innovate. A lot of testing goes into the production and creation
of SIG’s legacy firearms, as well as its newer offerings.
The pristine, modular
and nimble plant foor.
Here, multiple calibers
of ammunition casings
are extruded, shaped,
formed and tumbled.
SIG engineers are constantly looking at how to make their
firearms perform at their best; what they realized is that there
are a lot of variances across ammunition brands, calibers,
loads and platforms. The amount of inherent ammunition
variance thus presented the possibility of skewed reliability
results in firearm performance—and that possibility was
unacceptable to SIG.
To address this, SIG fell back on the old adage of, “If you want
something done right, do it yourself.”
SIG Sauer’s Executive Vice President of Ammunition and
Special Projects Bud Fini explained that SIG wanted to
position itself as a “one-stop shop.” He went on to emphasize
further that with the development and production of SIG’s own
lines of ammunition, it gave itself a clean slate—that is, there
were no deadlines for development, and the company could
really take its time to refine its processes and ensure all of its
own internal requirements were met.
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p
73
SIG ENGINEERS
ARE CONSTANTLY
LOOKING AT
HOW TO MAKE
THEIR FIREARMS
PERFORM AT THEIR
BEST; WHAT THEY
REALIZED IS THAT
THERE ARE A LOT OF
VARIANCES ACROSS
AMMUNITION
BRANDS, CALIBERS,
LOADS AND
PLATFORMS.
MAY I 2018
gun world
... SIG CAN
CHANGE CALIBER
PRODUCTION VERY
QUICKLY ACCORDING
TO PRODUCTION
DEMAND; IT
REQUIRES ONLY 30
MINUTES OF DOWN
TIME TO SHIFT
PRODUCTION FROM
ONE CALIBER TO
ANOTHER.
The machinery that
forms SIG’s 6.5
Creedmoor casings
dates all the way
back to 1953. Why?
Because it works.
Nothing is left to chance, and the physical layout of the facility
is designed to maximize effciency. Delivery docks are located
close to the heavily armored powder storage area. The powder
storage area is located close to the proper area on the production
line, with a direct corridor to shorten travel and delivery time.
How better to ensure quality control than to be the one to make
the ammo itself? SIG aimed to make its ammunition cleaner,
more competitive and of better quality than what was presently
on the market, ensuring its ammunition and frearms testing
were of the highest possible consistency and quality.
The modularity of the facility layout, as well as the production
capacity the plant is capable of, means that even though the
facility is huge, it is also very agile, nimble and adaptable to
ammunition production needs. Plant staff explained to me that
SIG can change caliber production very quickly according to
production demand; it requires only 30 minutes of down time
to shift production from one caliber to another.
MODULAR PRODUCTION
Upon taking the tour of the facility, it became immediately clear
that everything down to the last detail was excruciatingly well
thought out. The plant was generously sized, with plenty of
room to grow and change inside the structure itself. Modular
walls and large, open spaces on the plant floor meant that
as production capacity increases, SIG’s factory layout can
change and adapt to demand as well.
This long, secure
pathway leads to the
powder bunker and
feeds directly into
an offloading base
to be expediently
transported to the
plant floor.
This high dedication to efficiency results in a robust
production output. SIG maintains six to eight months of
ammunition inventory in addition to the daily production
output, which is substantial in itself. In short, the SIG
ammunition factory is a production powerhouse.
WHAT’S OLD IS NEW
The streamlined, yet bustling, factory floor is a marvel of
cutting-edge technology. However, the production machines—
the heartbeat of the factory—are literally relics. According
to Plant Manager BJ Rodgers, 6.5 Creedmoor ammunition
is assembled and created using machines that date back
to 1953, while other rifle and pistol cartridges are made
with machines dating back to the 1940s. All the machines,
however, are retrofitted and updated (in many cases, with
customized computers and components—some of which we
were not allowed to photograph).
It was amazing to watch sourced brass cups go through
extrusion, tumbling, more forming, primer pocket drilling,
more tumbling and multiple redundant quality checks to
verify headspacing, squareness and centricity. One room is
specifically set up to test the uniformity of the casing walls,
themselves, at key stress points. The casing is set in resin
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MAY I 2018
What’s old is new:
Here, antique
machinery is
retrofitted with high
tech to precisely
measure casing
uniformity.
and cut in half, and the cross-section of the casing is minutely
pierced at specific stress points to measure the hardness
uniformity throughout the case.
SIG also made a commitment to Jacksonville: At the time of
my tour, it employed 72 employees and 10 engineers. Despite
the melding of current and legacy technology, people are
what drives the company. On the assembly floor, scores of
employees were busy operating machines, feeding boxing/
packaging machines and loading casings into metal trays for
powder loads and bullet-seating processes.
Cross-sections of
ammunition casings
are set in resin and
tested for casing
uniformity and
denseness. The
more uniformly that
casings handle the
stress of exploding
powder charges
has an effect on the
uniform performance
of SIG’s ammunition.
SIG’S AMMUNITION
IS THE REAL DEAL,
AND I WOULD BE
VERY CONFIDENT
USING IT IN MULTIPLE
SCENARIOS.
The loading station was particularly interesting; employees
hand-sorted cartridge casings into metal trays, visually
and physically inspecting the trays prior to them being
prepped for loading. The human eye, along with a
proprietary system, ensured the loading process was
precise and immaculate. In fact, during the ammunition
assembly process, if tolerances deviate outside of 0.25
to 0.50 percent, the entire assembly line is stopped and
systematically and methodically backtracked to locate the
point of origin for the defect before assembly proceeds.
An additional round check occurs during boxing, and every
box’s overall weight is checked before complete boxes of
ammunition are transported for final delivery packaging. In
addition, the quality control employees arrive an hour before
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MAY I 2018
gun world
A local plant worker pauses for a brilliant smile while at work on the plant floor.
Lead Ballistician
John Ervin pours
carefully measured
gelatin for mixing
into ballistic gelatin
blocks. The scale
that measures the
dry gelatin for gelatin
block fabrication cost
$5,000.
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p
76
MAY I 2018
SIG MAINTAINS SIX
TO EIGHT MONTHS
OF AMMUNITION
INVENTORY IN
ADDITION TO THE
DAILY PRODUCTION
OUTPUT, WHICH IS
SUBSTANTIAL IN ITSELF.
IN SHORT, THE SIG
AMMUNITION FACTORY
IS A PRODUCTION
POWERHOUSE.
shift workers do. They run complete diagnostics on assembly
machines prior to the start of production to set up the team for
as smooth a day as possible. Nothing is left to chance.
AMMUNITION TESTING
One of the more informative stops of the day was visiting the
ballistics testing portion of the factory. I was privileged to spend
some time with Chief Ballistician John Ervin.
The fanciest production facility in the world means nothing
if the ammunition doesn’t work as designed. Rounds are
consistently tested during the production and quality control
stages; however, rounds must also be tested to verify they will
perform as anticipated.
This is where John’s expertise is crucial. SIG’s factory has
several stations to test round performance, consistency and
velocity. These stations range from 100-yard tubes for shootthrough to a unique pistol range consisting of a bullet trap
with a constant waterfall of liquid medium that cascades
down it. This station is designed to safely capture not only the
round, but also the particulate from the impact.
In order for rounds to be accurately measured for ballistic
performance, SIG tests its ammunition in lab-like surroundings,
A 100-yard tube
runs along the plant
wall. This tube is
used to test-fire rifle
cartridges.
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MAY I 2018
gun world
with as many controls and precise measurements as possible.
For example, SIG boasts that it produces and goes through
more ballistic gelatin in a year than the entire United States
government. No small claim! If consistent testing is to
be achieved, everything—right down to ballistic gelatin
consistency—must be controlled. SIG solved that problem by
choosing to produce its own ballistic gelatin in house.
Completed ballistic
gelatin blocks are
refrigerated and
marked with the
date of manufacture
to ensure uniform
ballistic penetration
results.
Ballistic gelatin has a shelf life. The longer it sits, the more
moisture evaporates from the gelatin block, which changes
the consistency, size and density of the block over time.
This variable can affect round penetration and potentially
skew crucial measurements, resulting in inconsistent or
inaccurate performance outcomes.
John walked me through the production process of the gelatin
blocks—which was impressive, to say the least. Gelatin is
carefully measured out, mixed, poured, set and refrigerated.
Each block of gelatin is marked with a date and time stamp so
the ballisticians know exactly when the block was produced,
as well as if it is used within the appropriate time frame. SIG’s
ammunition factory has the capacity to produce 12 blocks
of in-house ballistic gelatin an hour, meaning that testing
capacity is never slowed down due to lack of gelatin blocks
and additional protocol media to shoot through.
I observed John shoot SIG’s 9mm V-crown rounds through
multiple media—gelatin blocks alone (to measure penetration
protocols), as well as several layers of clothing, auto glass and
drywall. All indicators demonstrated excellent performance
through all media as measured.
Lethal art: Round
penetration and
expansion are made
more visible with the
injection of red dye
to ascertain ballistic
performance.
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78
... SIG’S AMMUNITION
IS A WINNER—
CONSISTENT, ACCURATE
AND CLEAN, FROM
MULTIPLE TARGET
ENGAGEMENTS
RANGING FROM AS
CLOSE AS 50 YARDS OUT
TO 750, BOTH THROUGH
SEMIAUTO AND FULLAUTO PLATFORMS.
MAY I 2018
Perfect and uniform
expansion is typical
for SIG’s ammunition
across all calibers.
AMMUNITION PERFORMANCE
The one-day tour was a whirlwind, and I had
information flowing out of my ears by the end
of the day—not all of which is encapsulated
in this article.
Fast forward to August 2017, and I had another
unique opportunity to spend two days at
the esteemed SIG Academy in Epping, New
Hampshire. I was there—again, with another
group of industry writers—to attend an event
that showcased SIG’s MCX VIRTUS platform.
During those two days, I spent my time
shooting SIG’s 5.56 and 300 BLK (both
subsonic and supersonic) ammunition through
various VIRTUS configurations. Without
a doubt, SIG’s ammunition is a winner—
consistent, accurate and clean, from multiple
target engagements ranging from as close as
50 yards out to 750, both through semiauto
and full-auto platforms.
SIG’s ammunition is the real deal, and I
would be very confdent using it in multiple
scenarios. I experienced no ammunition-induced
malfunctions throughout the high round-count
experience, and I wouldn’t hesitate for a second
to buy it for my own personal use. GW
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MAY I 2018
EVERYDAY CARRY
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY STEVEN PAUL BARLOW
When traveling light, you
can still be well prepared
with small, yet effective,
defensive gear.
WHENLIGHTISRIGHT
SOMETIMES, THE LESS YOU CARRY THE BETTER ... BUT DON’T COMPROMISE TOO MUCH.
Y
ou’ve made the commitment to be ready to
defend yourself. Part of that preparation means
carrying concealed whenever and wherever you
can. But there are plenty of situations when you
can’t carry everything you’d like to have with you
“just in case” bad things begin to happen.
When you roll up your shirt sleeves at work, without a suit jacket,
it might alarm your co-workers or customers if you wear your
Glock G17 on your belt. Or, the tasks on your schedule for the
day might require you to bring other things along that make
demands on your pocket space.
So, if you’re headed into one of those days, can you go minimalist
with your defensive gear and still not be too vulnerable?
Look at the duty belt of the typical uniformed police offcer. It’s
flled all the way around with “just-in-case” gear these days. But
as a citizen carrying concealed, you have to be more discreet. You
are limited to what you can ft in your pockets, and what you ft on
your belt must not print on the outside of that shirt or light jacket.
BRING ENOUGH GUN
Be careful not to go too minimal with your handgun. Remember,
handguns aren’t always the instant fight-stoppers we’d like to
believe they are; and, they’re less so when you downgrade to a
less-effective, smaller model you don’t shoot well.
No matter how much you change your wardrobe or lifestyle,
there are still going to be times when you have to go bare-bones.
If you’re going for a brisk walk or bike ride for some exercise in
the morning, you might opt to leave your full-sized 1911 home.
www.gunworld.com
I remember overhearing a conversation when I attended an IDPA
competition one time:
p
80
MAY I 2018
“You’re shooting much better now with the full-sized gun,” o
guy said. “Remember you tried shooting matches with t
pocket pistol when you first started?”
“Yeah; I couldn’t hit a thing with that gun,” the other guy sa
“So now I only use that pistol when I’m carrying concealed
a pocket
as this
del from
nhide, can
oriented
our pocket.
he outline
on’t print
e of your
A DIFFERENT HOLSTER
Sometimes, your choice of holster can make a big difference in
helping you feel less burdened when carrying concealed.
The Q-Series Stealth is one such lightweight, minimalist holster
that still provides good comfort and security. This holster is
basically a cover for your gun’s trigger guard with an inside-thewaistband clip. Many use it as an appendix holster. I’ve never
found appendix carry to be comfortable, but this holster works
just as well in other positions around the waistband, including
the 3 o’clock position, where I usually carry. (This company also
makes magazine carriers.)
A simple belt slide holster is very unobtrusive. A good one I’ve
been using is a leather Homeland Holsters ambidextrous model
from Personal Security Products. While most belt slides are
strictly for outside-the-waistband carry, this one also includes a
metal clip so it can be worn inside the waistband. It can also be
used with a number of different handguns.
For a small handgun, a simple pocket holster (I use the DeSantis
Nemesis) allows for pocket carry without the gun printing on the
outside of your pants, and it can help keep the handgun oriented
properly. An extreme minimalist method to attach a handgun to
your waistband is a clip, such as those made by Clip Draw or
Techna Clip, that fastens to the gun’s receiver. Great care must
be used to ensure nothing contacts the trigger when securing
the gun inside your waistband.
SMALLER BLADE AND LIGHT
Even when carrying
minimalist gear, a spare
magazine is a good
idea. This Q-Series
magazine carrier can
keep that reload where
you won’t have to
fumble around for it
when it is needed.
This dog bites! “Spike”
is a plastic keychain
companion from
Personal Security
Products. Place your
fngers in the eye holes,
and it becomes an
impact weapon.
If I’m opting for minimalist carry or carrying in a jurisdiction
where the blade length of knives is limited, a smaller knife
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81
MA
is still able to handle most of my day’s cutting chores. If I’m
trying to defend against a gun grab, a small blade can still be
effective with slashing strikes. A lightweight knife I’ve been
carrying a lot lately is the Spyderco Salt 2 FRN Yellow—a
powerful cutter in a small package with the added benefit of
extreme corrosion resistance.
… HANDGUNS
AREN’T ALWAYS
THE INSTANT FIGHTSTOPPERS WE’D LIKE
TO BELIEVE THEY
ARE; AND THEY’RE
LESS SO WHEN YOU
DOWNGRADE TO A
LESS-EFFECTIVE,
SMALLER MODEL YOU
DON’T SHOOT WELL.
EVERYDAY CARRY
CHOOSE WISELY
Did you ever see one of those tiny, little survival kits with gear
so flimsy and small that it is just about useless? If you opt for
minimalist carry, choose quality gear you can depend on when
your life is on the line. The principles of concealed carry apply,
no matter the size of your carry gear. It has to be effective and
readily accessible. So, even when traveling light, that means you
can’t leave it home. GW
This North American
Arms Sidewinder
revolver in .22 WMR
is best as a backup
weapon. However,
if circumstances
require minimalist
carry or deep
concealment, it
might be an option
... if you are aware
of its limitations.
enough light for most close-quarters situations. It has a two
way pocket clip, so you can attach it to the brim of your hat fo
hands-free operation.
PEN OVER PEPPER
When I’m opting for minimalist carry, I might leave the peppe
spray behind and go with items that have dual practica
CURITY PRODUCTS
This Tuff Writer titanium pen also
doubles as an impact weapon
that can be carried in places
where other weapons are banned.
It’s a good alternative when you
leave your pepper spray or other
defensive devices at home.
AUTHOR
www.gunworld.com
y
Media special publications, including Gunslingers.
p
82
MAY I 2018
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TRAIN
TEXT AND PHOTOS BY MICHELLE CERINO
S
ome consider firearms training to only involve
heading to the range for shooting drills or
maybe even dry-practicing at home. Other
people focus on situational awareness and Jeff
Cooper’s “Color Code.” Given a situation, they
can usually recite what condition they would be in.
Two great reads: Left of
Bang prepares you to
make good decisions
in the moment prior to
things “going south;”
and The Unthinkable
explores human
responses to things
“going south.”
Now, don’t get me wrong: All of this is super-important when
a self-defense situation arises and a firearm is needed. And
I definitely believe that people who carry a firearm need to
know how to run their gun competently and confidently—as
if it’s an extension of their body.
However, I see something missing. As a concealed-carry
holder, you have to know if you have the proper mindset to
do what is necessary to take someone else’s life.
I’ve sat in on many seminars about mindset while attending
the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers
Association (ILEETA) over the past several years and have
had many books recommended to me.
The following is a list of books I found helpful with changing
my thinking from “if this happens” to “when this happens.”
NOT “IF”—BUT “WHEN”
DEVELOPING A
SELF-DEFENSE
MINDSET
IF IT COMES DOWN TO IT, ARE YOU
PREPARED TO TAKE SOMEONE’S LIFE
IN SELF-DEFENSE?
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The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes—and
Why, by Amanda Ripley. Through investigative journalism,
Amanda Ripley traces human response to some of history’s
most noteworthy disasters. Then, to understand the science
behind each event, she interviews leading brain scientists,
trauma psychologists and disaster experts. Finally, she
has her own brain examined by military researchers while
experiencing realistic simulations.
The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals That Protect
Us from Violence, by Gavin de Becker. In this thoughtprovoking book, Gavin de Becker explains how to spot subtle
signs of danger before it’s too late. Through real examples—
from an outsider’s perspective and, when possible, that
of a surviving victim—he inspires us to recognize our gut
feelings and act on our intuitions.
Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps Combat Hunter Program Can
Save Your Life, by Patrick Van Horne and Jason A. Riley. Getting
yourself “left of bang” refers to making better observations and
decisions before shots are fred. Through their book, Horne and
Riley explain how to systematically assess your environment and
head off situations before they become problems.
FOR PACIFISTS
For some people, the struggle could be a religious one. Perhaps
their faith or belief system might not allow them to harm someone
or take a life. For those people, I suggest the following book.
MAY I 2018
A Time To Kill: The Myth of Christian Pacifism, by Greg
Hopkins. Through detailed Scriptural analysis, Hopkins
explores the basis for Christian self-defense. He uses Bible
verses to prove that Christians are expected to defend
themselves, their family and other innocents.
CRIMINAL MINDS
I find it important to understand and study some of the
well-known active killers throughout history. Through the
following books, I’ve realized criminals don’t have a certain
“look” or background and that no neighborhood or city is
immune from violence.
A Sniper in the Tower: The Charles Whitman Murders,
by Gary M. Lavergne. On August 1, 1966, Eagle Scout and
exemplary Marine Charles Whitman murdered his mother and
wife. He then went to the University of Texas/Austin and began
shooting people from the 28th floor of the university tower.
Inside the Mind of a Teen Killer, by Phil Chalmers. For over a
decade, Chalmers visited high-security prisons, interviewing
A Time to Kill is a good
read for those who
struggle with their
belief system that says
they are not allowed
to harm others or take
a life, even in selfdefense.
REMEMBER,
EXTREME
VIOLENCE
CAN HAPPEN
ANYTIME …
ANYWHERE. IT
IS UP TO YOU
TO DEVELOP
THE MINDSET
TO DO WHAT
IS NECESSARY
TO PROTECT
YOURSELF AND
YOUR LOVED
ONES.
young offenders. He finds out why teens kill, as well as
possible warning signs.
Terror at Beslan: A Russian Tragedy With Lessons for America’s
Schools, by John Giduck. On September 1, 2004, Chechen rebels
took more than 1,100 people hostage, eventually murdering 334
people over the course of three days.
REFUSE TO BE A VICTIM
Finally, remember this: During force-on-force training, the
“good guy” never dies. Consider the following events.
Lance Thomas, watchmaker. In the 1980s, Lance Thomas
owned a high-end watch store in Los Angeles. He survived
four armed robberies by shooting back, even though he had
been shot himself at times. Thomas refused to be a victim.
Sergeant Marcus Young, Ukiah Police Department, California.
On March 7, 2003, Sergeant Young had an altercation with
a violent felon outside a local Wal-Mart while arresting the
felon’s girlfriend. When the felon pulled out a knife, Young
twisted the man’s arm—only to have the man pull out a .38
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MAY I 2018
TRAIN
S&W and shoot Young five times. The assailant then went to
Young’s patrol car and tried to remove his rifle and shotgun.
On his knees, with his right arm paralyzed and a left hand
that had a 2-inch tear between the index and middle fingers,
Young could not draw his gun. Remaining calm, he asked the
17-year-old cadet riding with him to unholster his pistol and
place it in his left hand. With four shots, Young stopped the
assailant before he could grab a firearm from the patrol car
and start shooting again. Sergeant Marcus Young never gave
up. He did what was necessary to end the fight.
It’s important to know
your enemy. These two
books help get you
into killers’ minds to
better understand how
the homicidal mind
works and to use it
to keep yourself and
loved ones safe.
Do I trust my gut instincts?
Do my religious beliefs allow me to take
another person’s life?
Do I have the willpower to continue fighting when injured?
Remember, extreme violence can happen anytime … anywhere.
It is up to you to develop the mindset to do what is necessary to
protect yourself and your loved ones. Keep in mind that the body
won’t go where the mind has never been. Do your research and
study past scenarios so that when the time comes, you might
recall a situation you read about and know how to react.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
If you carry a gun or plan on carrying one, it’s important to
know your mindset before you strap your gun on. And, be
honest with yourself: It is best to learn now and address it
than to find out you don’t have the proper mindset at the
moment of “bang.”
Don’t be the person who says, “I never expected that to
happen!” GW
ABOUT THE
AUTHOR
www.gunworld.com
ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS:
P
86
Michelle Cerino is both a frearms trainer and the president of Cerino Consulting and
Training Group, LLC—a frearms training company she built with her husband, Chris,
in 2011. She writes, hunts and competes in major 3-gun matches nationwide.
MAY I 2018
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TEXT AND PHOTOS BY PATRICK SWEENEY
THE MAGICAL
LOAD
The shape of the
125-grain lead bullet
doesn’t change things.
Seat it to the proper
length for feeding, and
you are good to go.
www.gunworld.com
p
88
MAY I 2018
BULLSEYE
M
y 9mm update came in the 1990s. I had
first tried to reload the 9mm Parabellum in
the mid-1970s. In 21st-century parlance,
“the technology wasn’t mature.”
You want a subsonic load to feed your suppressed pistol?
Just replace the 125-grain bullet with a 147-grain one. For
suppressor use, I’d avoid the cast or swaged lead bullet, just
to keep the cleaning down. So, a jacketed, plated or coated
147-grain, and you’ll be doing 925 to 950 fps.
By the early 1990s, I suddenly found myself with a bunch of
9mms, despite being a confirmed .45 ACP fan. I asked Bob, our
then-VP of the IPSC gun club (who was feeding his two sons
buckets of 9mm ammo for their competitive efforts), what to
load 9mm with.
If you wish, this can also be your practice or competition load,
even though you have had a bump up in power factor (PF). PF is
a measure of momentum, so you gain more with more weight,
despite the slight decrease in velocity.
BULLSEYE IS
THE OLDEST
SMOKELESS
POWDER IN
CONTINUOUS
PRODUCTION.
INTRODUCED IN
1898, IT IS A
FAST-BURNING
FLAKE POWDER
THAT CAN
BE VERY
ECONOMICAL
TO USE.
“4.2 grains of Bullseye,” was his response.
“OK; what bullet?”
“Any. It doesn’t matter.”
And that’s how I came to discover the magical load.
Bullseye is the oldest smokeless powder in continuous
production. Introduced in 1898, it is a fast-burning flake
powder that can be very economical to use. It is my
understanding that Alliant has a sample of the first production
lot in storage, and they occasionally pull a small amount to
test it. It still works just fine.
BUMPING UP THE POWER FACTOR
The load Bob was cranking out by the literal bucketload was
4.2 grains of Bullseye over a 125-grain, lead round-nose (LRN).
The load delivers a 125-grain bullet at 1,050 to 1,075 fps, which
makes Minor with a comfortable margin yet does not create
excessive recoil. It does create smoke, so if you want to load
bullets for match use or avoid the smoke, substitute plated or
coated 125-grain bullets, and you’ll be fne.
The powder charge just doesn’t care. Jacketed, plated, cast or
swaged lead, or coated, any 125-grain bullet is going to be going
a bit more than mid-1,000 fps and not more than 1,100 fps.
www.gunworld.com
p
89
MAY I 2018
As an intermediate step between the rimfre-power and factorypower 9mm loads, 4.2 grains of Bullseye with lighter bullets
make for a good transition. And there are no problems with
accuracy; it is more than accurate enough for plinking purposes.
YOU WANT A
SUBSONIC LOAD
TO FEED YOUR
SUPPRESSED
PISTOL? JUST
REPLACE THE
125-GRAIN
BULLET WITH A
147-GRAIN ONE.
BULK BULLET BUYING
Then, there is the economy.
At 4.2 grains per shot, a pound of Bullseye is good for slightly
more than 1,600 rounds. If you buy in bulk—and you should—an
8-pound keg of Bullseye, 10,000 primers and 10,000 plated 100or 115-grain bullets (you use range brass 9mm to load in. There’s
no lack of that for free at the gun club), and your ammunition
costs you $140 per thousand, plus your time. Steel-cased factory
ammo starts above that, and everything else goes up in price
even more. All those are at a 130 PF or stouter, not the super-soft
100 PF ammo you’re loading for you and your new shooter.
You won’t even have to change the seating die in your loading
press for overall length. Whatever it is for the 125 LRN, it will
work for the 147 PRN. If you use a flat-nose bullet, use that
design seater for each weight.
And there’s a bonus: If you want to go up, you can. The max
load for a 115-grain bullet and Bullseye is 5.1 grains with
a Speer plated, round-nose 115 at slightly fewer than 1,200
fps. Magic. GW
FOR NEWBIES
Here’s where it gets really interesting. Suppose you want to
introduce a newbie to shooting. You’re afraid the recoil of
a standard 9mm load might spook them. Substitute a plated
115-grain—or even a 100-grain bullet—for the 125-grain and
load up. No change in powder.
For more information, visit AlliantPowder.com
ABOUT
THE
AUTHOR
You’ll get 1,100 fps or a bit more with the lighter bullets. The
muzzle blast will be about as inoffensive as you can possibly
make it, and a new shooter is not likely to be put off by this.
You can go even lower in weight. Hornady makes a 90-grain
XTP bullet, and—stuffed over the same powder charge—
it will zip out of the muzzle at 1,100 fps or a bit more. It is
really soft in recoil, so you might find that it doesn’t cycle your
pistol. Install a softer recoil spring.
However, the felt recoil is really soft. A .22LR with a 40-grain
bullet at 1,000 fps posts a PF of 40. A 9mm with a 90-grain bullet
at 1,100 fps is a PF of 99. For a new shooter, that compares
favorably to our standard load, which posts a PF of 125 to 130.
For a subsonic
load to feed
your suppressed
pistol, replace the
125-grain bullet with
a 147-grain one.
www.gunworld.com
p
90
Patrick Sweeney has been a decades-long reloader,
competition shooter, gunsmith and frearms writer. He is
also a state-certifed law enforcement frearms instructor,
a court-recognized expert witness—and winner of much
more than his fair share of loot and glory.
MAY I 2018
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Pictured with optional accessories.
CLEARED HOT
TEXT BY BRIAN BERRY
PHOTOS BY BRIAN BERRY AND ROBB MANNING
Every year, tens
of thousands of
gun industry types
converge upon Las
Vegas for the SHOT
Show. Despite the
“anything goes”
atmosphere of Vegas,
one thing that doesn’t
“go” is frearms
carried inside on the
convention foor.
NO GUNS
A
ALLOWED?
THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS
OF CONVENTION SHOW CARRY
re guns allowed? That is usually the frst question
asked when attending a large gathering of gun
enthusiasts in a public setting. You would think
that the question is a “no-brainer,” but, in many
cases, you would be wrong.
There are a couple of large gun industry events I like to attend. The
policies of two of the biggest refect a stark difference regarding
whether or not attendees are allowed to carry a gun at the event
for self-defense. There are many factors that come into play, not
the least of which is the level of responsibility the event host is
www.gunworld.com
p
92
MAY I 2018
willing to accept. Other factors, such as what the owner of the
venue allows, what the local laws allow and what type of permit
the gun owner has, all play a role.
IRONY IN THE GUN INDUSTRY
During the 2018 Las Vegas SHOT Show, hosted by the National
Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), no loaded frearms owned by
private citizens were allowed inside the convention center. Much
of this policy has to do with the venue management rather than
the NSSF: The Sands Expo Convention Center (SECC) policy is that
neither personal frearms nor ammunition is allowed:
“Only frearms on display by exhibitors, and with fring pins
removed (and have been inspected by SHOT Show Safety
Advisors), shall be permitted on the show foor.”
This means that regardless of whether or not you had a concealedcarry permit, and you also had reciprocity with Nevada, you could
not carry inside the convention enter.
Gun industry
conventions often
have lax, nearly nonexistent security.
CARRYING
CONCEALED WHEN
NOT PERMITTED
SUPPORT FOR THE SECOND AMENDMENT
In contrast, the NRA annual meetings (NRAAM), encourage members
to exercise their rights under the Second Amendment. Even during
the 2017 NRAAM, held in Atlanta, the NRA posted the following:
“During the 2017 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits, lawfully carried
frearms will be permitted in the Georgia World Congress Center
and the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center in accordance with
Georgia law. However, frearms are not allowed in the remainder of
the CNN Center, including the food court and shops. When carrying
your frearm, remember to follow all federal, state and local laws.”
So, as you can see, here are very different takes by two of the
industry giants concerning frearms-carry at their event venues.
Even in the NRA’s case, you must still be legally able to carry a
frearm at its event. In the case of the NRA convention, if your
state doesn’t have reciprocity with the state in which the event
is held, you are forbidden from carrying your frearm. For the
SHOT Show, I imagine it has to do with state laws about carrying
The question comes up quite often about carrying concealed—
even though a sign or other policy states differently.
For the most part, we should avoid this. At a minimum,
you might be asked to leave the establishment. You
could also be charged with a crime.
One concern when
carrying concealed
in a crowd such as
this is the constant
bumping into other
people. It’s best to
carry as tightly to
the body as possible,
such as inside-thewaistband carry.
For instance, in Nevada, if you are arrested for carrying
a concealed weapon for which you have a permit
but are carrying in a prohibited place, you face a
misdemeanor charge. A Nevada misdemeanor for
carrying a concealed weapon into a prohibited place
can result in community service, up to six months in
jail and fines of up to $1,000. Carrying without a permit
will likely result in a felony.
frearms in casinos, as opposed to thinking there will be a big
shootout at the show.
EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE
Of course, there are some exceptions. During the run up to the 2016
elections, then-candidate Trump spoke at the NRAAM in Louisville.
Guns were not allowed to be carried in the area where he was
speaking. I have no complaint about that and don’t feel that a Secret
Service agent’s job needs to be harder than it already is.
EMPTY YOUR POCKETS, PLEASE
While I am sure there is plenty of security in and around these
events, it is not overt—and almost unnoticeable. I’ve seen
www.gunworld.com
p
93
MAY I 2018
CLEARED HOT
KNOW THE LAW
LOW-PROFILECONCEALMENT
I always tell students and others that the most important thing
about carrying a frearm is to know the law. The easiest way to
get yourself in trouble is to violate one of the local statutes by
assuming that all state laws are the same.
Another concern when carrying concealed in a crowd is
constantly bumping into other people as you make your
way through the event.
DON’T GO UNARMED!
Now, you might be asking yourself, Should I go disarmed? My
answer is, Not completely. There is a multitude of things besides
a frearm you can carry for self-defense.
If you are carrying concealed but outside the waistband,
you run the risk of your frearm making contact with other
people. Depending on the venue, this could be unnerving
for the other person.
The frst would be a good folding knife—one strong enough that it
won’t break off in the event you strike bone or something else hard.
I have also begun carrying a tactical pen. Manufacturers now even
make them so they don’t have the “extreme” tactical look to them.
As responsible gun owners, we want to present a positive
image to others. When I know I will be in a crowd—and even
in most situations—I prefer to carry inside the waistband.
It is still easy to get to; there is less “printing” and less
chance of an uncomfortable encounter. Holsters such as the
new Safariland model 17 and 17T are excellent minimalist
Be careful if you are using a Taser or pepper spray; both must still
be used in accordance with local laws. And whatever you do, do
not have your pepper spray in your carry-on. It can result in a hefty
fne. In addition, not all “gun-free zone” signs are noticeable. Just
because you didn’t see it doesn’t mean you’re excused.
HAVE A BACKUP PLAN
There are plenty of issues to think about when traveling with
weapons of any type to venues such at SHOT, NRAAM or other
large, convention-style shows. If you are fying, make sure to check
with your airline for rules regarding any weapons you’re planning to
travel with. The same goes for buses and trains. In addition, be sure
to plan ahead and look on the event website for guidance.
Whatever you decide, be responsible. A single form of defense
should never be your only plan. The best bet is avoidance. But
when that fails, you’d better have a backup plan! GW
lightweight concealed-carry options.
more-overt security at my local gun show, where it mimics the
TSA routine when boarding a fight: full-up metal detector, all
belongings removed from pockets, and bags get the once-over.
There is none of that at SHOT or NRAAM.
With these two examples in mind, what can you do in case you
aren’t allowed to carry a frearm for self-defense?
My number-one suggestion is that when traveling to and from
the convention building, avoid areas that are questionable in
nature. There is plenty to do in Las Vegas without venturing
into the seedier areas. In Nevada, carrying in bars is OK—as
long as you follow local laws. This year, for the NRAAM, Texas
does not allow that.
Alternatives to
frearms and knives
include items such as
these (starting at the
top left): Böker Plus
Urban Survival L.E.,
tactical pens (Bear
Edge, Fenix and Böker
Plus) and fashlights
with a striking bezel,
such the Surefre E2D
Executive Defender.
(Photo: Robb
Manning)
Brian Berry is a retired Army Special Forces Command sergeant major. He is a
former Special Forces weapons sergeant and has multiple combat tours under
his belt. Brian is the co-founder of Spartan Defensive Concepts, at which he
teaches concealed carry and defensive marksmanship courses. Brian retired
in 2014 and is now a consultant currently working for the Special Operations
community, as well as a senior instructor for American Survival Guide University.
about
the
author
www.gunworld.com
p
94
MAY I 2018
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Chewing the Fat
TEXT BY JEFF QUINN
A NICHE
THAT
NEEDS
FILLING
YOU CAN FIND SINGLE-SHOTS,
REVOLVERS AND OLDER
SEMIAUTOS, BUT NO ONE
MAKES A MODERN SEMIAUTO
.22LR POCKET PISTOL.
www.gunworld.com
p
96
PHOTO BY ROBB MANNING
T
hese days, shooters are blessed with almost every
type of frearm imaginable, from replicas of 18thand 19th-century frearms to the most-modern of
pistol and rife designs, as well as shotguns for
every possible use. We are blessed with more
choices than were ever possible before in history.
However, there is a niche in the frearms market that needs to be
flled, and that is a good, reliable, lightweight .22 LR pocket pistol.
Three decades ago, there were a few on the market, but most
were cheap and unreliable and went away over time. A couple
were really pretty good, such as the little Iver Johnson TP22
and the Walther TPH. The Walther was a bit ammo-sensitive but
worked pretty well, if a bit on the heavy side.
Today, there are a couple of pocket-sized .22 pistols on the
market, such as the Taurus and Beretta. But what I have
been lobbying for in recent years is a .22 of modern design
such as the Ruger LCP and the little Kel-Tec pocket guns. I
am thinking they would sell like crazy, because everyone
who owns the little .380 pocket pistols will want one for an
understudy, and those who find the .380 too difficult to fire
will want one as an alternative.
MAKING THE CASE
The .22 Long Rife cartridge is no powerhouse, especially
when fred from a short-barreled pocket gun, but it does have
its uses. For defense, no one is recommending the .22 as a
frst-line primary fghting gun, but it can (and has) serve as a
defensive pistol when needed.
The .22 Long Rife makes a small hole, but it makes a hole,
and most people do not want extra holes poked into them ...
they tend to leak blood and let in air. A pocket-sized .22 pistol
can make those little holes very rapidly, without a lot of recoil
and blast, so those who are recoil-sensitive fnd them easier
to shoot well. The .22 LR bullets also penetrate pretty well to
get to the important parts inside the body. As a backup gun
to another primary defensive weapon, the .22 pistol can work
as a last-ditch hideout. A lightweight .22 pistol can be carried
without notice to either the carrier or to others.
.22 UNDERSTUDY—BENEFITS
Besides its use as a backup to a backup, a .22 polymer-framed
pistol would make an excellent understudy for those who own
and carry a small .32 or .380 pocket pistol. The .22 allows for
economical practice with lighter recoil and is an excellent
way to train a shooter who will be depending upon one of
the centerfre variants as a daily carry gun. While neither the
.32 nor the .380 is an ideal defensive pistol, both are carried
daily by thousands of people as their primary and only means
of defense, and a .22 understudy would allow for hours of
inexpensive practice and lighter recoil.
MAY I 2018
Another good purpose for a small, lightweight pocket .22 is as
a little trail companion, whether your trail carries you hiking in
the wilderness or in more-urban settings.
Sometimes, things just need to be shot. Running into a raccoon
or opossum in the chicken house or a cottonmouth down by
the creek, a handy, little .22 that is always in the pocket can
serve well to cleanly dispatch such critters. Such small, handy
.22 pistols were once referred to as “kit guns,” because they
were often included in a fsherman’s or hiker’s “kit” to have
available if needed. I don’t hear that term used much anymore,
but a .22 pistol is a very useful tool around camp for plinking
or for putting meat in the camp pot.
ABOUT
THE
AUTHOR
PLINK AWAY
Another great reason—and perhaps the most important—is
that little .22 pistols are just fun to shoot. A .22 semiautomatic
pistol and a brick of ammo make for a very fun and inexpensive
afternoon of fun, especially away from the public range and out in
the rural areas of our country. Plinking at targets-of-opportunity,
such as rocks and sticks, or shooting biodegradable targets
such as vanilla wafers or Lifesavers is fun and inexpensive;
plus, the leavings help to feed birds and such. (A bonus of using
Lifesavers candy is that the hole in the middle provides a good
alibi if you miss but still claim that the small bullet went through
the hole. No one can prove otherwise.)
Jeff Quinn is a full-time writer/
reviewer on Gunblast.com, an
online gun magazine started
in 2000. He has also written
for the Gun Digest Annual and
enjoys living life in the woods
of Tennessee, where he raises
Longhorn cattle … and his
grandkids.
So, there it is—my defnition of the niche in the frearms market that needs flling. It is not as if I am
asking for a stainless, highly polished Schofeld replica or something. I have been shot down on that
one a few times.
AD INDEX
BEAR AND SON CUTLERY ........................47
BRAVO COMPANY ................................. 8-9
I am suggesting a dandy, little pistol I believe would have wide popular appeal and that would sell as
well as the small polymer centerfre pistols sell—a pistol for which almost anyone could fnd a need.
CZ-USA ...................................................37
Hopefully, this niche will be flled sooner rather than later. GW
DILLON PRECISION..................................91
DEL-TON .................................................71
FOBUS U.S.A. ..........................................53
GTUL .......................................................55
GUNCRAFTER INDUSTRIES, LLC .................5
HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS...........................7
HKS PRODUCTS, INC. ..............................31
HOGUE GRIPS .........................................79
RAVIN CROSSBOWS ................................87
RIO GRANDE CUSTOM GRIPS, LLC ...........97
SAR USA...................................................2
SIMPLISAFE............................................99
SPRINGFIELD ARMORY ...........................23
STURM, RUGER & COMPANY, INC. .........100
All Jeff wants is a modern semiauto pocket pistol chambered in
.22 LR. (Photo by Robb Manning)
TAURUS INTERNATIONAL.........................39
TUCKER GUN LEATHER ............................63
NOTE: This is a mockup, not an actual
offering in Ruger’s current lineup.
Shown is the Ruger LCP II .380 ACP,
with a CZ DUO (.25-caliber) magazine
modifed with an LCP mag baseplate.
VISTA OUTDOOR ......................................15
WILSON COMBAT ....................................19
www.gunworld.com
p
97
MAY I 2018
DOWN RANGE
On this Memorial Day 2018, the Gun World staff salutes
those who have given their lives in defense of our great
country. (Photo: PictureLake/Getty Images)
www.gunworld.com
p
98
MAY I 2018
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