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It seems only a few years ago when I got my first AR15. It’s actually been over a decade since I purchased that Bushmaster AR15 from a relative down in Texas. I waited with bated breath as the assault weapon ban just fell out of existence.

Where Does the Industry Go From Here?

Where Does the Industry Go From Here?It seems only a few years ago when I got my first AR15. It’s actually been over a decade since I purchased that Bushmaster AR15 from a relative down in Texas. I waited with bated breath as the assault weapon ban just fell out of existence. Suddenly, we could outfit our post ban guns with muzzle devices, telescoping stocks, and all the other cool stuff we should have rightfully had in the first place. At that time there were a few upgrades you could get: Free float rails were tubes or a tubes with quad rails on them. There were a few manufacturers selling components to the military and some of these items eventually trickled down to the civilian consumer… and then the war on terror began heating up and interest in the black rifle among civilian shooters caused a technology and engineering boom for the AR15 that has been unparalleled in small arms manufacturing… ever. The AR15 Evolves and New Players Enter The high demand for the AR15 and accessories on the civilian side is mirrored on the government side. Manufacturers from all over the world compete to get their product bolted on to our military’s M16s and M4s.  The choices available to the government and consumer for AR15’s and associated equipment is unprecedented in the firearm industry. There is no single firearm in the history of the world that has had as much aftermarket support and possible configurations as the AR15. O ur civilian demand has only benefited our nations military as we spend countless dollars with companies who turn that money into research and development of new tech for our war-fighters. The question now is… will it last? What will things look like five years from now? The panic is over. The market is flat. The endless sales of AR15’s for around $599 (watch those quality indicators folks, a good gun still costs more than that!) and that Wal-Mart also sells AR15 parts and accessories tells me that we are near market saturation. Where did all these manufacturers and equipment makers come from? As the war on terror winds down, many machine shops and aerospace companies around the US are looking for ways to keep their machines turning out a product. If the military isn’t buying new high-end machined widgets for jetfighter X or program Y, then what does a ISO 9001 certified company produce? Whats hot right now? The AR15. Think about that for a second. Companies such as Abrams Airborne Manufacturing (VLTOR), Aero-Precision, Mega Machine shop, and Lancer Systems are just a few of the big players who are using aerospace engineers to develop parts for your favorite rifle. Friggen aerospace engineers (!) are working their engineering and machine magic to equip the lowly civilian shooter with the best small arms accessories and design advancements in the history of the world. Many other smaller machine shops around the nation have also jumped into the game, and there are plenty of innovators outside of the aerospace industry. Vltor’s Parent Company: All this engineering might can be bolted on to your rifle right now. Many aerospace companies are producing AR15’s and accessories on the side and we reap the benefits. You have 15 different choices of magazine, hundreds of rails, an endless sea of receiver styles, open source accessory attachments, and high-end equipment that is simply unheard of. All of this is awesome but… not all is rosy. We are going to kill a few companies with the bounty. In a Tough Spot This manufacturing pressure places other companies in a bad place. Gun companies such as BCM, Colt, Bushmaster, Windham, Rock River Arms, Armalight, etc. are placed in a hyper competitive environment. These companies are, largely, gun companies. It’s what they do. They can’t just say “put a hold on the AR15 division, we just got a contract from Boeing… ” like the engineering / machining companies can. As such, they have to compete in a very diverse market and the capital from R&D has to come from government contracts and civilian sales. As civilian sales slow, I am worried that we may lose a few good companies in the coming years if things stay calm politically. Some companies will move on to other designs and sell other styles of firearms, but those without the flexibility to do anything but produce a generic AR15 may be in big trouble . I predict a falling away of many of the small boutique brands and parts assembly brands. I won’t name names here, but the ARFCOM industry forum is littered with companies both big and small. If they don’t make something unique, or don’t have the right branding (and lets face it, buying a “cool” brand moves rifles) then good luck. The market is quite hard right now. Companies such as Larue (and many, many others) have re-engineered the weapon to lower parts count while maintaining modularity. How much further can we push Eugene Stoner’s design? Where Will Things Go? The market will correct itself, and the supply will stabilize. Whatever big players are left will be in a cost, brand, and engineering war for your money . For the most part, I think we have all the engineering in place that the AR15 can possibly receive. We have monolithic, polylithic, and the new BAR style receivers hitting the market. We have add-a-rail modularity in place. We have incremental design improvements from things like LMT and KAC’s redesigned bolt groups, to mundane things such as anti rotation trigger pins. Other than materials and weight, I don’t see any new designs that will represent a breakthroughs in AR15 evolution. I believe the AR15 design will get a wee bit lighter, but from this point out most design improvements will be incremental . The Shot Show will get a little less exciting for the AR every year hereafter. The accessories market will make great strides as integrated light, laser, IR systems trickle down to the consumer. More electronics integrated into optics will permit on the fly ranging and calculation in durable consumer level items. I also suspect we will see technology adapted more seamlessly into the rifle. If companies get bored, they may start to integrate powered rails into the system to test the market. One battery powering all lights and lasers through a single source is something companies are working on now. One item that would greatly benefit the AR15 community would be if Knights Armament went open source with their patented E3 bolt. In my opinion, the E3 bolt is a long overdue design improvement on one of the AR15’s weakest  components… the bolt. If we adopted this bolt industry wide, the AR15 would only become an even more reliable platform. Likelihood of this happening. About zero. We can dream can’t we? So where will things go? Accessories, night vision, and other electronics are going to be a big deal in the next few years… that’s my prediction. The gun can’t be pushed much further and still be called an AR15. Share: Google Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit More Tumblr LinkedIn Pocket Email Print

How to Shoot a Pistol Accurately [Ultimate Guide]

How to Shoot a Pistol Accurately [Ultimate Guide]

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Want to shoot better ? Learn how to shoot more accurately with your pistol/handgun through: Review of fundamentals Easy to do exercises at home Proper range practice tips Helpful gear All with tons of pictures and videos. Some which will include what NOT to do. Leaning Back Shooting Stance We also cover everything in our video Beginner Handgun Course …perfect if you’re completely new or have no formal training and want more hand-holding. Table of Contents Loading... Introduction If you’re here, you probably realize that…shooting pistols is actually pretty hard ! In the beginning of my shooting experience, I had a lot of sympathy with the Stormtroopers missing everything too.  At least they had the excuse of a stressful situation! Yes, I know they shot blasters Now I’m not some professional competitive shooter or instructor, but take that as a positive …I still remember how it felt when I couldn’t hit anything and the differences each tip/exercise made in my development. It’s going to take you a while, but let’s get started in making you a more accurate pistol shot beginning with fundamentals. Shooting Stance Some of you might scoff at the idea of how you stand has anything to do with how you shoot. But think of it as the foundation of everything . If you have a wobbly base, chances are it doesn’t take much to mess up whatever is on top.  And loud explosions and recoil have a way of messing stuff up. "Leaning Back Shooting" Stance The main thing is to have a stable/comfortable stance that tilts you a little forward to manage recoil.  Don’t worry if you have ever done that newbie lean (back). Now’s the time to correct it! If you want to get more technical, there are the three main types of stances: Isosceles, Weaver, and Modifed Weaver (Chapman). Isosceles Shooting Stance, Front They are just variations on some foot placement and what arm is flexed a little more.  But just notice how stable I look and the slight lean forward . "Isosceles Shooting Stance" , Side And why’s it called isosceles? Thanks high school trigonometry class! Isosceles Shooting Stance, Top My favorite (Chapman) is geared towards being right handed but left-eye dominant. Chapman Shooting Stance, Side Choose what feels most comfortable for you…but I go through all three stances in my Stances article . Handgun Grip My first advice received about handgun grip was from the salesman at my local gun shop.  He asked me to grip his hand with the same strength I’m going to grip my future 1911. I gave him a nice firm handshake while he proceeded to crush my hand. A dick move, but a great lesson . Handgun Grip I’m now an advocate of gripping as hard as you can but not so much that you have tremors.  I’ve found that having a crushing grip on the gun reduces the movement of your non-trigger-fingers, which is a good thing. And how you hold the gun also has a huge effect on your accuracy. Glock Slide You want the web between your trigger finger and thumb to be as high as possible on the grip to contain the recoil of the slide moving back and forth. Handgun Low Grip You can imagine the gun flipping with the recoil with a low grip. You’ll want to almost jam your hand/web into the backstrap to get a high grip. Handgun High Grip And because there’s this piece of metal moving back and forth, you want your forearm in line with the gun to absorb more recoil. Handgun and Wrist Alignment You’ll be tempted to first hold it at a slight angle since it feels more natural…but resist! Incorrect Handgun and Wrist Alignment Now that you’ve got your shooting hand grip correct, let’s take a look at the empty space for your non-dominant hand. Handgun Grip Empty Left Side You want to fill it completely up with the other hand so you maximize grip.  I like to double-check by making sure there’s a 45 degree angle between my left hand and the handgun slide. Handgun Grip Wrist Angle Thumb placement of your dominant hand is personal preference. Handgun Grip, Thumb Up You’ll see both up in the air or pointed towards the target. Handgun Grip, Thumb Down Experiment to see what you like or just go with what feels more natural.  The non-dominant thumb will run along the frame. If you’re running a 1911 or something else with a manual safety… STI Trojan 1911, Safety Disengaged I like to rest my right thumb on it (since it was already there when I disengaged the safety). Handgun Grip, 1911 Safety Shelf And although it might feel a little weird at first, I like to set my wrist at an angle when I punch out both my arms. This keeps everything steady and helps prevent limp wristing (floppy wrists that don’t allow proper ejection and loading of the next round). Handgun Grip Set Wrist Sight Picture You’ve probably heard it before…focus on the front sight! Well it really does help and in the beginning I was squinting hard with just one eye open and trying to focus on the target. Glock Night Sights View Remember that you want to match the top of the front sight with the top of the rear sight . The top and middle of the front post is where your rounds should end up…not the actual front dot. Same for fiber optic sights… Fiber Optic Sights View And more standard iron sights. Revolver Ramp Sights View I’ve found it immensely helpful to keep both eyes open . It will be very difficult at first depending on how long you’ve been shooting with one eye open. But once you master it, it makes everything so much faster with less eye fatigue . And now you get more situational awareness . First thing is to figure out which eye is dominant. If you’re like me, you’ll be seeing some double-vision because both eyes are open. I’ve found adjusting your sights closer to your dominant eye (left to right, not closing the distance to your face) makes it a lot easier to figure out which image to use. Weaver Shooting Stance, Side This might be just a little shift if you’re using Isosceles, or it might already be perfect with Weaver. For me, since I’m left-eye dominant but right hand dominant, I like the Chapman stance since it puts the sights more in line with my left eye. "Chapman Shooting Stance" , Side Trigger Pull Might be the most important part of everything, and what dry-firing practice is all about below. The best advice is to squeeze super slowly that you’re almost surprised when the shot breaks. You’re not yanking on it since that will result in jerking the trigger and sending the shot off. It will be hard since it’s your gun and you practice with it, so you know when it will break. But the slower you pull the better your shot will be. One of the reasons you might shoot someone else’s gun really well the first time is since you don’t know the trigger (and when all the loud noise and recoil will come). How about where to place your trigger finger? Trigger Finger Position It’s personal preference (and something to do with your finger length too) but I would suggest somewhere between the top quarter of your finger tip to right before the first joint crease. Keep in mind that the ideal pull would be completely straight back with nothing else moving except the first two joints of your trigger finger. Take a look at your gun and fingers to see what looks/feels the best. I find that I shoot better when I’m closer to the first joint.  This length gives me good leverage and isolates the third section of my trigger finger (closest to hand) so only the first two joints are moving. Less is more here! Breathing One thing I always forget to do when I’m shooting. Holding in your breath messes you up after a while and so I just try to breath naturally. Precision Shooting You’re pistol shooting, not sniping 1000 yards, so you don’t have to plan your breaths (and heartbeats). Trigger Reset An easy mistake to do is to immediately lift your finger off the trigger after each shot and look at the target. The hole will always be there so take your time . Whenever you lift your finger off quickly, you’re likely shooting too fast and jerking the trigger, or introducing excess movement to the gun. You’re also making it harder for yourself the next shot since you’ll have to pull the first part of the trigger again (the slack). Proper trigger reset is: Holding the trigger all the way at the end until after the shot breaks Releasing it only until the point it resets (you’ll feel or hear the click) If you’re firing again, to start at the reset point and not all the way at the beginning of the trigger pull. Dry-Firing Practice What is Dry Firing? Dry firing is pulling the trigger on a cocked gun and allowing the hammer/striker to drop on an empty chamber or dummy round. It’s probably the most effective way of improving pistol accuracy.  And you can do it at home! Is Dry Firing Safe for My Gun? If your handgun/pistol shoots centerfire rounds (9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, etc) instead of rimfire rounds (such as .22 LR), then you can dry fire all you want since the firing pin is not actually hitting anything.  Rimfire firing pins hit the mouth of the chamber when there’s no cartridge so you should practice with snap caps that take the hit. Various Snap Caps Still…my advice is to consult your owner’s manual to double-check. Snap Caps 11 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 11 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing Why Dry Firing? The main point of dry fire practice is to develop muscle memory so you consistently produce a great trigger pull and don’t flinch when it’s time for real shooting. And if you’ve developed some bad habits along the way, it does a great job of rewiring you back over time. At least for me, I find that after a good amount of time (a week or two) of dry firing a few minutes a day, I become “one” with my trigger and grip. The One My grip just feels right, and I can sense all the little nuances in the trigger pull.  And when I focus on the front sight and pull the trigger, the front sight stays super steady. It takes a lot of practice (and perfect practice) to reach that point.  And it’s a diminishing skill that needs to be kept up to date too.  Even just a few days of not practicing I can feel some differences the next time I dry fire or shoot. Best Way to Dry Fire First, always make sure your gun is unloaded and follow the 4 Rules of Safety . Guns are always loaded (treat them as such and don’t have live ammo in the room) Never let the muzzle cover anything you don’t want to destroy (point it in a safe direction) Keep your fingers off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot Be aware of your target and what is beyond I always check if my gun is empty every time I pick it up, even if it’s between strings of dry firing.  It just gets you into a good habit. I also like to set up targets or at least small things that are safe to “shoot” at such as a light switch or doorknob. I focus on the front sight (both eyes!) and remember to squeeze so slowly that I’m surprised when the gun clicks. "Fiber Optic Sights" View I sometimes actually say “squeeze” out loud to make sure I do it.  Once you can do it slowly, you can speed it up a little as long as the front sight still doesn’t move. One great way in the beginning to make sure the sight doesn’t move is to physically place a small coin on top of the front sight during your exercise.  If it doesn’t fall off, you’re probably doing a great job. Dry-Firing with a Coin Finally, remember to practice both full trigger pulls (with the slack) and trigger reset pulls.  To do a trigger reset pull, leave your trigger finger depressed at the end of the first shot, and rack your slide with your non-dominant hand. For some guns you don’t have to rack it all the way back, sometimes just a half-inch or so is enough.  Get back into your two-handed grip, let the trigger reset (listen for the click), and shoot. For the longest time I only practiced full trigger pulls and got great at those, but when I had followup shots I started jerking the trigger.  You’ll likely be firing both ways so be prepared for anything! Check out more in our Safe & Effective Dry-Fire Training article. Range Practice Too much range practice in the beginning is sometimes detrimental, since you haven’t built up the muscle memory of dry firing, and instead you build up a flinch reaction. Don’t worry if that’s you already…with some quality dry firing at home you can overcome it. Angeles Shooting Range Stations I like to always have some dry firing sessions at home in between range days.  And when I get to the range, I always dry fire a couple shots before loading up real ammo. I start off at short distances since there might be a lot of effects that come into play at 25 yards (wind, ammo, etc) but it’s all me at 3-5 yards. Sometimes if it’s a new gun or if I’m doing really poorly, I’ll start shooting with a supported position first to get some confidence and set a baseline accuracy.  You can do this by sitting down and placing your elbows on the bench, or leaning into the counter. I also found this graphic to be immensely helpful in diagnosing my shooting errors. Shooting Diagnostic Have a target, shoot a couple shots at it, and see where they land in relation to the chart. If you’re a lefty, you will have to mirror image the findings.  And if there’s no overt grouping (your shots are all over the place), it’s likely your grip is not consistent. I usually start off pretty strong and as I get more comfortable I forget some of my lessons, such as remembering to squeeze.  That’s when I start telling myself “squeeze” every shot again. Lastly, there’s a great drill to run once in a while if you have a buddy help you load a magazine with both live ammo and snap caps. Walther P1 Mag with Snap Caps You need a buddy since they can mix up the order without you knowing.  The point is to see if you have a natural flinch during shooting which will show up when you reach the snap caps and they do not go bang.  It’s a great visual moment to see how you actually deal with the recoil. It’s one thing to be dry firing and shoot perfectly, but another once real recoil is entered into the equation.  My own natural flinch was a pretty pronounced pull down and to the left. Check out our article on some of the best range training drills . Shooting Gear Here are some shooting gear and accessories that I’ve found to help me become a better pistol shot. Snap Caps : Essential if you’re shooting rimfire such as .22LR, but also great for other calibers if you want to work on reloads in the future, or do the drill I just mentioned above. Used Pistol Snap Caps Snap Caps 11 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 11 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing Laserlyte : Awesome tool to visually see where your shots are hitting.  It’s a device that fits into your handgun as a dummy round but shoots a laser when the firing pin hits it.  Pair it with randomized targets that detect the lasers to work on target transitions and future competitive shooting moves. Laser Training Targets Also a great tool for getting non-shooters interested in going with you to the range!  Kind of expensive but think of all the ammo you’ll be saving. Find our complete roundup of the best Laser Cartridges and Targets . Editor's Choice (Laser Cartridge) Laserlyte Cartridge 90 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 90 at Amazon Compare prices (3 found) Amazon (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Optics Planet (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing Shoot N’ C : Sticker targets you can put on paper targets at the range which show a splash of color whenever you hit it. PSA .223 Wylde Accuracy Makes it much easier to figure out where you’re shooting when the target is farther out. Shoot N' C 13 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 13 at Amazon Compare prices (2 found) Amazon (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing Hand Strengtheners: I thought it was dumb to get these, but the harder a grip you can get on your gun, the more you can manage recoil.  Consider me a believer.  Just get ready for literally every single person that sees them to try it out. Hand Strengtheners 13 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 13 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing Talon Grips : Essentially sandpaper/rubber stickers that are cut for your specific gun.  Drastically increases the amount of grip on your gun. Glock 19 with Light and Talon Grip Or you can be really obsessed about grip like me and just stipple your polymer gun. Talon Grips 18 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 18 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing Dry Fire Training Cards : Simple idea but great for both beginners and advanced shooters.  It gets boring sometimes to raise your gun and shoot at a target.  Maybe it’s a little better with laser targets or a timer.  But now you have a couple dozen variations to choose from. "Dry Fire Training" Cards 17 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 17 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing I’ve started training with my set so I’ll report back to see if I make it higher in the competition standings. Dry Fire Training Cards MantisX : Now we’re going hi-tech!  This training module attaches to your front rail and gives feedback to your phone through Bluetooth. MantisX on 1911 I’ve had my hands on one for a few months and it’s definitely much better than simply looking at if your front sight moved when dry-firing.  Instead of simply feeling like you messed up…it tells you where it moved, how much it moved, and how to correct it. High-Tech Dry-Firing MantisX Firearm Training System 149 at MantisX Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 149 at MantisX Compare prices (2 found) MantisX (See Price) Amazon (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing Full review HERE .  I’d say if you’re really serious about upping your shooting game…try it out.  Work with both dry and live fire.  Plus it’s fun to compete with your friends. Conclusion And that’s it…now you’ll be able to work on your fundamentals, dry-firing, and range shooting to become a more accurate pistol shooter.  Remember, you won’t become a pro in a few days. The guy next to you at the range nailing all the steel targets probably has dozens of hours of dry firing and thousands of rounds under his belt. And…don’t do this! Leaning Back Shooting Stance If you’re looking for some handgun training…check out our Gun Noob to Gun Slinger program.  All the important stuff to get you competent in 2 hours.

Best .22LR Rimfire Ammo [2020]: Accuracy, Plinking, & Hunting

Best .22LR Rimfire Ammo [2020]: Accuracy, Plinking, & Hunting

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Most people’s first time shooting is with a .22LR firearm. Fully Upgraded 10/22 But what .22LR ammo do you choose? There are dozens, even hundreds of brands and types, so what is the best one? Popular .22LR Ammo Is there a best one? As with any other type of ammo, what .22LR you buy depends on what you want to do with it. .22LR (CCI vs Winchester vs Super Colibri) But don’t worry, I’ll walk through my favorite rounds for cheap plinking, hunting, accuracy, and even going subsonic. Best .22LR Ammo For Plinking We’ll start off with the cheapest ammo that will run reliably in semi-auto rifles and pistols.  As you know if you’ve shot any .22, the ammo can be a little finicky even when you’re shooting the “best” brands. Centerfire vs Rimfire Primer We run into trouble with some ammo since it lacks the *oomph* to cycle the bolt in semi guns. Look for “good” prices around 5-8 cents each.  I think the days of sub-5 cent rounds are long behind us. Vortex Venom Mounted on Buckmark And since .22 LR hasn’t become plentiful yet, I’m including a couple links for each recommendation since they might not be in stock. 1. Remington Thunderbolt Usually, the cheapest rounds…but some guns don’t like them.  Mine have no complaints but I read enough about them that I would test them out first before taking the plunge and stacking deep. Remington Thunderbolt 33 at Lucky Gunner Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 33 at Lucky Gunner Compare prices (2 found) Lucky Gunner (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing 2. Federal Auto Match 325 rounds of affordable .22 LR that’s mostly available nowadays.  No complaints in my bolts or semi’s. "Federal Auto Match" 20.99 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 20.99 at Brownells Compare prices (2 found) Brownells (See Price) Lucky Gunner (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing 3. Federal Champion What I’ve shot the most and have in storage the deepest. For hunting, the name of the game is to get a quick/clean kill without making too much of the meat inedible.  Usually, this means going with a high velocity and hollow point (HP) bullet. Federal Champion 28.99 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 28.99 at Brownells Compare prices (2 found) Brownells (See Price) Lucky Gunner (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing For Hunting 4. CCI Stinger The gold standard in small game hunting.  Fast, accurate, and deadly with its copper-plated 32-grain hollow point bullet.  Can’t go wrong with this one and has enough oomph to cycle semi’s. CCI Stinger 6.99 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 6.99 at Brownells Compare prices (2 found) Brownells (See Price) Lucky Gunner (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing 5. CCI Velocitor Cool name…cool round.  I like my CCI’s and the newer Velocitor brings a tad heavier round (40 gr) to the mix at just a tad slower velocity than the Stinger.  Slightly harder to find. I’ve found the most accurate ammo also has a much better ignition rate compared to the plinking rounds.  If you also want reliability…go with these. Day At The Range .22 LR Accuracy Test CCI Velocitor 6 at Palmetto State Armory Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 6 at "Palmetto State Armory" Compare prices (3 found) Palmetto State Armory (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Lucky Gunner (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing 6. CCI Standard Velocity One of my favorite all-around loads in terms of price and reliability.  And apparently the most accurate according to Day At The Range. CCI Standard Velocity 7 at Palmetto State Armory Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 7 at Palmetto State Armory Compare prices (3 found) Palmetto State Armory (See Price) Lucky Gunner (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing What’s your take on CCI? Readers' Ratings 4.92/5 (623) Your Rating? For Accuracy 7. RWS Target Rifle I’m unfamiliar with this brand but the results speak for themselves.  Let me know how it shoots for you! RWS Target Rifle 8.99 at Lucky Gunner Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 8.99 at Lucky Gunner Prices accurate at time of writing 8. Wolf Match Target I was surprised at this one…Wolf always works but I never saw it as accurate. "Wolf Match Target" 8.99 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 8.99 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing 9. Norma TAC-22 I like this one since it works very well in my semi-auto guns like the 10/22 and .22 LR AR-clones. If you’ve got a suppressor or want to be a little quieter…going subsonic is the way to go.  It sounds like a cap gun instead of having the * CLAP * of a faster-than-sound bullet. Norma TAC-22 53.99 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 53.99 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing Subsonic Rounds 10. CCI Subsonic HP My favorite overall subsonic round.  Accuracy and reliability of CCI and not so slow (1050 fps) that it can’t run on semi’s. CCI Subsonic HP 6 at Palmetto State Armory Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 6 at Palmetto State Armory Compare prices (3 found) Palmetto State Armory (See Price) Lucky Gunner (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing 11. Norma T-22 You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who speaks ill of Norma ammo.  This one is no exception.  Should be able to run on semi’s (1017 fps). Norma T-22 82.99 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 82.99 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing 12. Aguila Super Colibri Powder?  Who needs powder? These rounds run off only the primer so they are super-quiet and super slow (420 fps).  Won’t run in your semi though. "Aguila Super Colibri" 5 at Lucky Gunner Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 5 at Lucky Gunner Prices accurate at time of writing Conclusion So there you have it…our roundup of the best .22LR for plinking, hunting, accuracy, and even sub-sonic. Did we miss any that you really think belongs here?  Let us know! If you’re looking for a new .22LR, take a look at the 7 Best .22 LR Rifles ! And for more calibers check out Best Places to "Buy Ammo Online" . More Popular Ammo Brands

4 Guns that Changed the World

4 Guns that Changed the World

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Firearms advancement comes down to power , speed , weight , and accuracy . Just as conflict has shaped our nation and the world at large, so have the guns and their creators. We’re sharing four landmark firearms that altered the perception of what was possible and established a foundation for everything that followed. National Firearms Museum Collection Now, just to be clear, these are not the only 4 guns to change the world.  They’re probably not even the 4 most important. No such list could be compiled without names like Minié, Vieille, Mosin, Nagant, Kalashnikov, Luger, Mauser, Lanchester, Shepard, Maxim, Garand and literally dozens more. In fact, a whole article could be written just naming the people that should be named. These 4 guns were important inventions and had a huge impact in their day and on the history of firearms as a whole. But they are only a page in a much longer book. And with that, on to the fun stuff… Sharps Breech-Loading Rifle Could Christian Sharps have had any idea of the enduring American classic he created with his 1848 “ Patent No. 5,763, Breech-Loading Fire-Arm ”—a self-capping gun with sliding breech-pin? The Sharps rifle, which gave rise to the term “sharpshooter.” Other breech-loading rifles existed—perhaps most notably the Ferguson flintlocks some patriots used in the Revolutionary War. However, Sharps came up with a functionally advanced firearm that could be mass-machined and endure the perils of use. Read his patent, and you’ll sense his pride in his rifle’s unique features: It loaded at the breech, with one charge—a clean, self-contained cartridge of linen or paper—placed in the main barrel “on a line with the bore.” It could be loaded only when the trigger-guard lever was down, dropping the breechblock. The “lever with high power” closed the barrel “perfectly tight.” In the process, a sharp-edged breech slide rose to slice off the end of the cartridge. For priming, a cap nipple was accessible to the hammer only once the breech was secure, making loading safer. A tube feed of pellets or percussion caps could be used to prime the nipple, allowing an astonishing eight to 10 firings per minute. Its design kept moving parts from heating, expanding and “tightening”—a common problem. Like any inventor, Sharps faced both financial and manufacturing challenges. He created the Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company in 1851 but left it just two years later, no longer its owner. Meanwhile, historians recognize the significant role Sharps rifles and carbines played in America’s westward expansion. Bleeding Kansas The “ Beecher’s Bibles ” shipped to abolitionist Free Soilers in Kansas were Model 1853 carbines. The Reverend Henry Ward Beecher of New England—the brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe of Uncle Tom’s Cabin —had observed that the “Sharps Rifle was a truly moral agency,” each possessing “more moral power” than a hundred Bibles. Breecher’s Bibles Historical Marker From 1854 to 1858, between 900 and 1,000 Sharps carbines arrived in the Territory of Kansas in wooden crates marked as books, machinery, and medicine. American Civil War Over the course of the war, the U.S. government purchased 80,000 Sharps carbines and nearly 10,000 Sharps rifles. The government still issued well over a million rifle muskets to the vast majority of Union troops, fearing that the ease of loading Sharps cartridges would result in wasteful ammunition practices. However, it was a must-have for cavalry and elite units needing to reload on horseback or in covert settings, for example: The 2nd U.S. Volunteer Sharpshooter Regiment—aka Berdan’s Sharpshooters —favored the New Model 1859 rifle. The 5th New York Volunteer Infantry, a unit known as “ Duryée’s Zouaves ,” was also known to have carried it. The first shot fired at the Battle of Gettysburg is credited to a Sharps, and the federal cavalry at the battle had more than 4,700 of the carbines in action. In fact, the Sharps was so popular and such a force multiplier on the battlefield that the Confederate states made several attempts to copy the design and produce their own. There are a few stories of historical note on this aspect of the Sharps, if you’re interested in learning more about it – check out this video from Forgotten Weapons The West Model 1874 was often referred to as “Old Reliable,” the “buffalo rifle.” Reworked under the revamped Sharps Rifle Co., it was also a favorite of competitive shooters as Sharps were noted for accuracy and individual “personalities.” They came in a variety of sizes—barrel lengths and shapes, optional double-set triggers as well as to-order sights and butt plates. Custom cartridges allowed for powerful calibers like the “Poison Slinger” and “Big Fifty” that riflemen could reload to suit their own personal tastes. Bat Masterson and Bill Tilghman each carried one. “Wild Bill” Hickok did as well. Despite his love of Winchesters, even Theodore Roosevelt had a .45-caliber Sharps. Today Rifle or carbine, sporting, military, target or custom, the various iterations of Sharps drew to a close in 1881 thanks to the repeating rifle. With only about 120,000 of the firearms ever produced, authentic antiques will run buyers well into the thousands. Similarly, some quality custom reproductions are equally drool-worthy not only because of their beauty and functionality but also as a legacy of a growing nation. Pedersoli Sharps Old West Rifle 1100 at Cabelas Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 1100 at Cabelas Prices accurate at time of writing Sadly for us, even the price of a reproduction is still not small. The good news is that you can fire a reproduction without fear of harming a piece of history! Colt Single-Action Army Before it was the Peacemaker, the Equalizer, the Model P or the Colt SAA, it was the New Model Army Metallic Cartridge Revolving Pistol . The name highlighted exactly why this six-shooter was indeed new, special and destined to change America. With its SAA, Colt introduced in 1873 the closest thing to a semi-automatic handgun of the day. Engraved Colt Single Action Army. Simplicity With Clout Loading it was a breeze. Simply cock the hammer to the second click, and open the loading gate on the right. Turn the cylinder, and you could load the chambers with self-contained metal cartridges or use the front slide bar to unload them. No primer caps were necessary. No loose powder had to be tapped into chambers. Once loaded, it was cock-and-fire, cock-and-fire, cock-and-fire, repeat. Typically, an empty chamber served as safety, with five rounds ready and waiting. It was no lightweight either. Colt was able to come up with a sturdy, top-strapped frame that could withstand the powerful discharge of the gun’s six .45-caliber centerfire cartridges. Despite that, it had a beauty, elegance, and purposefulness that drew the military, law enforcement and everyone else. Army Cavalry Colts With a 7½-inch barrel and weighing in at 2½ pounds, Colt’s SAA cavalry model became the Army’s sidearm of choice. Within two decades of the SAA’s initial production, the Army had purchased 38,000 of them, with cavalrymen fighting what came to be known as the “Indian Wars” a priority for the new weapons: Soldiers in the Great Sioux War were issued two weapons—a .45-caliber Colt SAA and Model 1873 Springfield rifle. In 1874, the 6th and 10th Cavalry were to receive 1,000 each, and 1,000 Colt SAAs were reportedly shipped to San Antonio Arsenal for the 4th Cavalry. Custer’s cavalrymen at the Battle of Little Bighorn carried Colt SAAs. The Artillery Model Clint Eastwood Using a Colt SAA Artillery in Fist Full of Dollars In 1893, the military turned to the .38-caliber Colt M1892 Double-Action Army Revolver for speed. However, the .45-caliber Colt SAAs and their stopping power still had a place: Starting in 1895, 16,000 to 17,000 of the pistols were refurbished and cut down to 5½ inches for issuing to light artillery battalions. Theodore Roosevelt requested Colt SAAs for his Rough Riders, and their charge up San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War in 1898 included artillery models. Units like the 20th Kansas Infantry deployed in the Philippine Insurrection of 1899 to 1902 carried them. Then-2nd Lieutenant George S. Patton carried twin Colt Peacemakers while on the Mexican Expedition in 1916. Civilian Colts Lawmen, civilians and in-between men alike all wanted the Colts, so models came in a variety of barrel lengths from 7½ inches to 5½, 4¾ and even shorter. Calibers varied as well, with a favorite the Frontier chambered for the same .44-40 rounds that the popular Winchester rifle fired. Men of their time—larger-than-life personalities like the Earps, Pat Garrett, “Buffalo Bill” Cody, Judge Roy Bean and Captain Jack Crawford—became enduring legends, taking their Colt SAAs with them. While production of the pistol tapered and then ended prior to World War II, spaghetti westerns, TV sagas and Hollywood icons like John Wayne romanticized the Colt SAA and brought it back to life and use. Second-generation models date to 1956 to 1974 while third-generation production resumed in 1976. Today, many handgun purchasers and collectors still go out of their way to claim a Peacemaker as their own. All Three Generations of Colt SAA, American Hand Gunner Finding a modern production SAA might prove harder than you might think, as of the time of this writing – I couldn’t find anyone that had them in stock. However, they can often be found on auction sites such as GunBroker.com . Colt Model 1911 Namesake for its birthright year, the "Colt Model 1911" was created to solve a problem—combine power with speed to create a fast, reliable sidearm that could stop crazy in its tracks. John Moses Browning’s powerful semi-automatic single-action creation did it so well that the Colt 1911 has been the weapon of choice for the U.S. Marines Special Forces as well as other members of the armed forces like Navy SEALs, Delta Force and Force Recon. It’s the gun that everyone has or wants, and it was like that from the very start. Colt 1911 Changing Tactics The watershed event was the close-quarters guerrilla warfare that U.S. troops faced in the Philippines around the turn of the century. The Army’s .38-caliber Colts were once again found lacking in vital stopping power. The .45-caliber Colt Single-Action Army revolvers came back into action. The consensus, however, was that while nothing less than a .45 would do for power, something more was needed for speed. Browning’s Answer Browning had the answer, and he proved it by bringing his best game to the military selection trials near the end of 1910: The pistols under consideration—the 1911 and a .45 made by Savage—were each to fire 6,000 rounds in 100-round increments broken by five-minute cooling intervals; the gun was plunged into a bucket of water. Each pistol was to be cleaned and oiled after every 1,000 rounds. Following the 6,000 rounds, each pistol would also be tested for its ability to handle errors, dirt and other malfunctions. While the Savage pistol experienced some issues, Browning’s 1911 was deemed “superior, because it is more reliable, more enduring, more easily disassembled when there are broken parts to be replaced, and more accurate.” 1907 Army Pistol Trials In March of 1911, it became the Army’s official choice. Two years later, the Navy and Marines adopted it as well. So what was the technological leap that Brown mastered? Other manufacturers had learned how to use the energy and recoil of one shot to enable the next fed from a magazine. However, Browning combined that action with the desired .45 caliber and a clean, unbeatable recoil-spring design that allowed field stripping with the gun’s own components. He chose a linear pull for the trigger design, connecting the trigger to a sear that uses pressure to rotate around a pin and release a cocked hammer. In short, Browning had created a warhorse handgun. Century of Service Browning’s precision drop-in design made Colt Model 1911s the gun of World War I, World War II and beyond: It first saw action in 1916 on the 5,000-troop Punitive Expedition into Mexico to capture Pancho Villa. More than 68,000 Colt 1911s were delivered to the Army in early 1917 to be used in World War I on the Western Front. For World War II, the U.S. government procured nearly 2 million 1911s for all its armed forces. Interestingly, the 1911’s drop-in design allowed part interchangeability and thus multiple manufacturers for government contracts. Durable, thousands of the guns were refurbished in the 1920s and the following three decades. Law enforcement—Texas Rangers as well as federal agents—often chose the Colt 1911. Forces carried the 1911 in both Korea and Vietnam. The Beretta M9 ( Our Review Here ) eventually took its place as the Army’s signature sidearm in 1985, but the Model 1911 has continued to play a role for many special military and law enforcement units. Flexibility and Versatility Browning’s Colt Model 1911 has seen various modifications and calibers over the years—anything from .45 ACP to .38 Super to 9-mm to a .22 training model and more. Other manufacturers have offered their own variants: Smith and Wesson, Kimber, Remington, Springfield, Ithaca, Taurus, Armscor and Sig Sauer are just a start. Most Affordable 1911 Rock Island Armory 1911 520 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 520 at Brownells Compare prices (2 found) Brownells (See Price) Cabelas (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing But beneath all the copies and variations lies the truth that the Colt Model 1911 provided power, speed and a slick utilitarian design that has endured for a full century and crossed into the next. The 1911 isn’t leaving us either, it is still a popular handgun among competitive shoots, hobbyists, police, and some military units. If you’re interested in getting a 1911 of your own, We Can Help . Colt M16 Rifle Baptized by fire amid a storm of controversy, conflict, and frustration, the M16 is the gun that very nearly wasn’t. It was an alien concept conceived by a technical high school graduate turned inventor-engineer outside the normally streamlined realm of ordnance procurement. Colt M-16 However, Eugene Stoner’s lightweight yet deadly design eventually resolved the constantly evolving challenge of speed and power in a way that for many was counterintuitive and difficult to understand. Obsolescence In the 1950s, the Army finally started to embrace that modern combat for infantry happened at fairly short ranges. The M1 rifles and carbines that U.S. soldiers had carried throughout World War II and Korea were relatively slow, heavy and designed for long-range accuracy—1,000 yards versus the more practical and common 120-yard point of engagement. With tensions building in Vietnam’s extreme tropical landscapes, the Army knew it needed something better, something fully automatic—with one trigger pull be able to launch a hail of bullets—yet able to pack a punch while maintaining accuracy. M14 and 7.62mm Determined to stick with a higher-caliber round, the Army first armed its troops with the M14, which fired a 7.62×51 NATO cartridge from 20-round magazines. However, the gun proved uncontrollable on automatic, the muzzle continuously rising with each successive shot. Despite resistance, the Army found itself revisiting the idea of a lightweight .223-caliber automatic weapon using speed to deliver the desired level of impact. Learn More About the Differences Between the AR-10 and AR-15 Stoner’s AR-15 Meanwhile, an engineer at ArmaLite by the name of Jim Sullivan started to rework Eugene Stoner’s AR-10, one of the M14’s former competitors. AR-10 on display at the "National Firearms Museum" in Fairfax, Virginia. The rescaled AR-15 was a comparative lightweight made primarily of fiberglass, aluminum, and steel. On firing, Stoner’s AR-15 siphoned the gas from the barrel and sent it back to force the bolt carrier to the rear and eject the spent cartridge, allowing the next round to slide into place. The gun could be set for semi-automatic or full yet remained controllable. The original AR weighed a bit over 5 pounds, had a Bakelite handguard and included a three-pronged flash suppressor. However, neither ArmaLite nor its parent company Fairchild was weapons manufacturers. When the AR concept failed to attract international or domestic military sales, ArmaLite sold the rights to the AR to Colt in 1959. Stoner left ArmaLite two years later, and in 1962, Fairchild sold its share of ArmaLite. Colt, however, was well-seasoned in marketing a gun to the military whether the Army favored the M14 or not. Colt’s M16 In the early 1960s, AR-15s were sent to Vietnam in dribs and drabs, first 10, then another 1,000. By 1963, with the Vietnam conflict escalating, then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara halted M14 production and sent the AR-15—renamed the M16—into production. Initially, the Special Forces who used it lauded the weapon’s efficiency. The trade-off in weight alone was significant as an M14 plus the typical 100 rounds of ammunition weighed about 17 pounds versus an M16 and 280 rounds—nearly triple the ammunition. Several hitches plagued the M16, however: Despite McNamara’s intent to have one gun for all services, Colt still ended up producing two variations. The initial order was for 19,000 M16s for the Air Force and 85,000 XM16E1s—M16s with a forward assist—for the Army and other services. While ball powder provided the higher speeds desired, it also caused more fouling and was more susceptible to moisture. Ammunition left in guns could swell, burst cartridges and jam weapons. Although former campaigns in the Pacific and Korea had shown the necessity of chrome plating the chamber to prevent rust, corrosion, and pitting, the early M16s did not have chrome-plated chambers, the feature having been deemed an unnecessary expense. With use, the supposed self-cleaning firearm often jammed in combat, the only remedy to immediately tear it down and clean it. The powder used in the M16’s 5.56mm ammo was changed between testing and fielding, with the fielded powder being hotter than what the M16 was designed for. This caused decreased dwell times and resulted in ripped case heads, failure to extract, and other malfunctions. Some units claimed a 50-percent combat failure rate and this lead to soldier injuries, death, and low morale. M16A1, 2, 3, 4 By 1967, the XM16E1 had become the M16A1. Cleaning kits became standard issue with the “self-cleaning” gun. The firing chambers were retrofitted with chrome-plated ones, and stick powder replaced ball powder. In 1969, the M16A1 finally officially replaced the M14. From top to bottom: M16A1, M16A2, M4A1, M16A4 Since then, the M16 has continued to serve, accompanying U.S. soldiers to conflicts around the globe like Granada, Haiti, Panama, Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The 20-round Vietnam-era magazine now holds 30 rounds, and Special Forces requests led to the M16A2, 3 and 4. While the M16 gives way to the slightly smaller, still-lighter M4 carbine, it does so gracefully, having passed on its best qualities. This isn’t nearly the whole story though, if you’re interested in a more in-depth history of the M-16, here is the (Not So Brief) History of the M-16 Changing Worlds, Changing Technologies Just as conflict—why we fight—marks social progress, the firearms we use—how we fight—signal significant technological leaps: The Sharps rifle brought the idea of one clean, safe, breech-loaded cartridge rather than lengthy, messy and potentially perilous muzzleloading. The Sharps made reloading quick, and the rifleman could do it anywhere—lying down or from the back of a horse. The Colt SAA introduced the convenience of .45-caliber cartridges neatly slipped into a revolving cylinder, fully prepared to fire repeated rounds and make them count. The Model 1911 gave us reliable semi-automatic single-action fire from a powerful, elegant, durable sidearm with a utilitarian design that remains relevant more than a century later. The M16 took us to the extremes, revealing the dark side of technology and its inadequacies. Yet ultimately, it lightened the load, allowing individual soldiers mobility, control, and automatic fire through a streamlined combat rifle made of aluminum, fiberglass, and steel. Each delivered not only effective, accurate stopping power but also that precious chance to fire one more shot and live one more day. Equally important, each was eventually surpassed, their templates inspiration and incentive for others to improve and expand upon. So yet again, as smart everything infiltrates an uncertain world, no doubt another great gun will emerge to change our understanding of it all, once more reshaping and redefining the rules of engagement—hopefully for the better. What are some other guns that changed the world? What will the next big innovation be? Let us know in the comments!

Photo Gallery: 8 Hot New Deer Rifles for 2012

/* custom css */.td_uid_2_5f379cb8423fb_rand.td-a-rec-img { text-align: left; } .td_uid_2_5f379cb8423fb_rand.td-a-rec-img img { margin: 0 auto 0 0; } Rossi Rio Grande Image 1 of 8 Rossi has stepped up its popular Rio Grande lever-action rifle line with the addition of .410-gauge shotshell and .45-70 Gov’t. ammunition models. Both new rifles offer a fast side-loading gate, closed tubular magazine, authentic buckhorn sights, handsome Brazilian hardwood stock and clean lines. The .45-70 Rio Grande provides 6+1 rounds for shooting fun and is available in blue finish. The .410-gauge holds five rounds of ammunition, and is available in blue or stainless finish. Contact Rossi Firearms at (305) 474-0401, or visit www.rossiusa.com. For many parts of the country, gun deer season is here. If you've waited until the last minute to buy that new deer rifle, here are 8 hot choices selected by our sister publication, Deer & Deer Hunting. This article appeared in the November 2012 issue of Deer & Deer Hunting magazine.

What Type of Survivalist Are You?

The traditional connotation of “Survivalist” is not good and usually involves crazy people with lots of guns, too much camouflage, and a bomb shelter full of food. You and I both know this isn’t true. There are “survivalists” in all walks of life with various levels of gear and preps. *Please Remember* These descriptions are obviously broad, sweeping generalizations and should not be taken too seriously. They are simply my thoughts on the types of survivalists and preppers I have noticed since getting involved in the community. Quick Navigation 1. The Off-Grid 2. The Serious Prepper 3. The Average Citizen What are You? 1. The Off-Grid The Off Grid Survivalist lives off the land in a “ homesteading ” type of way. They grow and produce as much of their own food as possible and get their energy in non-traditional means. To call someone who is off-grid a survivalist can sometimes be a misnomer because they don’t always stockpile food and seeds the way other preppers do since they are already living the life. 2. "The Serious Prepper" The serious prepper lives in a more traditional manner but often has an extensive Bug Out Location stocked with lots of gear. The serious prepper spends all of his or her available time and money on prepping and gear, and has the stuff to show for it. The Serious Prepper might be a contradiction in terms because they often think of prepping and gear testing as their hobby and fun time, so it’s not really work, but at the same time they take it all very seriously. 3. "The Average Citizen" In my opinion this is probably the most common type of survivalist out there. The Average Citizen Survivalist lives in a regular home and his or her friends and family may not even know they are a “survivalist” They spend a small or moderate amount of their money on preps and gear, concentrating mostly on events that are likely to happen, such as regional emergencies and extended power outages.  They will most often have a Bug Out Bag prepared. What are You? Do you fit into one of these descriptions? Or in the more likely event that are you somewhere in between, tell us a little bit about your preps and survival philosophy. Also, if you have other “types of survivalists” I’d be happy to add them to the list. photo by: cobalt123 Other interesting articles: Survival Debate: Home Stocks or Self Storage Starting My Bug Out Bag Survival Shotgun Part 2: Choosing Gauge and Type 5 Poisonous Plant Families the Survivalist Should Know

Summary

It seems only a few years ago when I got my first AR15. It’s actually been over a decade since I purchased that Bushmaster AR15 from a relative down in Texas. I waited with bated breath as the assault weapon ban just fell out of existence.