Vista Outdoors Plans to Dump Savage and Stevens Firearms Brands

Original Post and Feature from MarketWatch.com Here

Vista Outdoors announced Tuesday that it is shifting its focus back on ammunition and shooting accessories and is exploring options for exiting its firearms brands. The Savage and Stevens firearms brands are not the only brands Vista plans to exit. It also will explore the sale of several brands including Bell helmets, Giro snow goggles, Blackburn handlebar tape, and Kimmy Styks paddle boards.

The company aims to refocus back to its core portfolio after a rapid acquisition of brands that scaled it outside of its niche. There is also some discussion that the company has received some backlash after the fatal shooting of 17 people in Parkland, Fla. Due to its firearms brands that produce assault-style weapons.

Read the full article on MarketWatch.com here.

 

University of Wisconsin Detect CWD Prions at Mineral Sites for Deer

Original Article from Journal Sentinel Here

Research published May 2nd, 2018 have verified Chronic Wastings Disease (CWD) in the environment at a site where deer gather. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin found CWD prions in the soil or water at 9 of 11 mineral sites for deer tested in south-central Wisconsin.

The results that the prions were found is not the “breakthrough” considered in this research, rather the analytical methodology to detect and monitor the presence of the prion.

“Detection of prions in environmental reservoirs represents an important first step in understanding environmental transmission of CWD as well as the potential for cross-species transmission,” said Joel Pedersen, lead author of the study.

PHOTO: This map shows the sites of the mineral licks sampled by UW researchers for their CWD prion study. (Photo: University of Wisconsin)

The results of the study suggest that mineral sites in CWD outbreak zones may serve as reservoirs of CWD prions that contribute to disease transmission to susceptible animals.

Read the Full Article and Research Publication Here.

Sporting Goods Store Destroying Assault-Style Weapons

Feature and Original Post Here: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

When a retailer closes its door to selling a manufacturer’s products the process is to usually return unsold merchandise. However, When Dick’s Sporting Goods decided to no longer sell assault-style rifles at its Field and Stream stores they decided they would destroy the merchandise.

“We are in the process of destroying all firearms and accessories that are no longer for sale as a result of our February 28th policy change,” a spokeswoman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This decision was made following the shooting at Parkland, Fla., high school. In addition Dick’s Sporting Goods plans to no longer sell high capacity magazines or sell firearms to anyone under 21 years old. This now has Dick’s facing two lawsuits for limiting firearm purchases by age.

The so called “assault-style weapons or rifles” is a term used to describe semi-automatic rifles with large magazines that were designed for combat and rapid fire use” – 1994 U.S. Department of Justice. These are also weapons described to feature a detachable magazine, pistol grips, and other accessories that make the rifle look like military rifles.

Read the full post here.

Update on YETI® and the NRA

Original Post From Statesman.com 

This widely shared and debated topic of YETI® V.S. the NRA originated from an email sent out on the weekend of April 20-22nd. The NRA emailed its members over the weekend that YETI® decided to cut business ties with the NRA Foundation. The email and social media outrage immediately lead to some customers destroying YETI® products, including the destruction of a YETI® cooler with the use of tannerite.

The events and outrage over the weekend lead to YETI® to defend its commitment to the second amendment. The post can be seen below:

  

YETI® explains that they were offering alternative customization program broadly available to consumers and organizations, including the NRA Foundation, and eliminating a group of outdated discounting programs.

The stance between YETI® and the NRA Foundation is still ongoing.  

To read the original post from the Statesman.com click below:

   

Increase in Recreational Opportunities for Public Lands and Waters

Original Post and Picture from U.S. Department of Interior  

Secretarial Order 3366 directs interior bureaus to create and deliver plans to the Department within 90 days. These plans are meant to increase recreational opportunities on public lands and waters. It also will designate one full-time employee charged to oversee recreational opportunities.  

“From my first day on the job, I have made it abundantly clear that we are going to refocus on Interior’s long-standing but recently forgotten recreation mission,” said Secretary Zinke. “We are incredibly fortunate, as Americans, to have amazing public lands and waters to carry out our tradition of outdoor recreation but the Department must continue to create opportunities to increase access for these pursuits.” 

Read the full post and details of Order 3366 here!

U.S. Secretary of Interior Announces $1.1 Billion for Conservation

Original Post and Picture from U.S. Department of Interior

On March 20, U.S Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced more than $1.1 Billion in national funding for state wildlife agencies. These funds are from revenue generated by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration acts.  

Secretary Zinke commented “Every time a firearm, fishing pole, hook, bullet, motor boat or boat fuel is sold, part of that cost goes to fund conservation. The best way to increase funding for conservation and sportsmen access is to increase the number of hunters and anglers in our woods and waters.”  To date, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has distributed more than 20.2 billion for state conservation and recreation projects.

Read the full article and see each state’s total funds for sport fish and wildlife this year here.  

Airguns Legal for Deer Hunting in Texas

Original Article: Air Gun Wire

Effective September 1, 2018 .30 caliber and larger airguns and airbows will be legal for deer and turkey hunting in Texas. This is a big step for Airguns gaining a foothold as Texas joins several other states in allowing the use of airguns and airbows for hunting.  

Recent popularity for airgun and airbow hunting has sparked with the release of the revolutionary Benjamin™ Pioneer Airbow and Benjamin™ .357 Caliber Bulldog. Both bring new weaponry to the table.  Check out the video below as Jim Shockey is blown away by the results of the air bow on a hunt.

Read the full article here on airgunwire.com!

 

 

Why are Pistol Caliber Rifles so Popular?

The idea of a pistol caliber round in a rifle is not a new idea by any stretch of the imagination. Starting in a bygone time, when musket balls and muzzleloading firearms were the weaponry of the day, shooters recognized the simplicity of packing one caliber of ammunition, and thus carried both long gun and pistol in the same caliber. Later, the cowboys of the west developed systems not to foreign to us now, rifle and pistol chambered in the same cartridge, allowing the need for only a single type of ammunition to be carried. Sometime between then and now the golden era of rifle cartridges, ballistics, and wild cats was born. Shooters poured themselves over statistics of bullets traveling two and three thousand feet per second and effective shooting ranges stretched beyond what many thought would have ever been possible. In the midst of the cartridge revolution, of the development of new weapons systems, and of the age of modern shooting came a resurrection of pairing what is typically thought of as a pistol cartridge into a rifle platform.   

Arms makers have dabbled in and out of pistol type rounds in long guns over the years, and many of those firearms have grown a cult following. Hi-Point Firearms, based in Ohio, has been producing the 995 carbines since the late ‘90s, right through the Clinton gun ban. Guns like the Hi-Point Hunter series, the Marlin Camp 9, and Marlin Camp 45 have scratched the itch of shooters who are looking for a compact rifle in a pistol cartridge. Keeping the tradition of rifles built with pistol calibers alive, these guns were the beginning of a new era.

Recently a mainstream resurgence has occurred in the firearms industry and shooters are taking notice. Manufacturers like CZ, Ruger, and Sig Sauer are turning out modern carbine rifles in pistol calibers, and the trend doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Stop by any tactical firearm manufacturer’s website and it won’t take long to find their short barreled rifle system chambered in a popular pistol round. The trend is evident, so why all the commotion? 

Pistol Caliber Carbine Features  

So what makes shooting a rifle chambered in a pistol caliber so appealing? Is there really more than hype and marketing to consider when it comes to pistol caliber carbines? Let’s consider some of the reasons these rifles are gaining popularity, and why you might want to consider purchasing one. 

  • Economical to Shoot – Blasting away at the range dropping hundreds, maybe even thousands of rounds of empty brass is exciting. Shooters spending a day at the range smoking standard centerfire ammo will have a sore wallet. However, if they change up the cartridge from 556mm or 7.62X39 to steel cased ball ammo in 9mm…all of a sudden one exciting day of shooting can turn into two, with some money to spare! 
  • Less Recoil – With all that shooting you will be doing by saving on ammo costs, you sure don’t want to abuse your shoulder. Pistol ammo shoots at lower velocities, which in turn produces far less felt recoil. The break on a rifle stock hammering your shoulder at the range is nice not only for long sessions of shooting but also for shooting drills. Learning to breathe, proper trigger control, and steadying sight picture is much easier to do when recoil is lessened. Shooters who utilize lower recoil ammo for drills and practice are less likely to develop a shooting flinch. 
  • Magazine Size and Capacity – Lay a 30-06 round next to a 9mm or 45ACP for that matter and it is easy to see how much space is saved in chambering, bolt, action, and in the magazine by shooting the smaller pistol calibers. Many manufacturers have even made popular pistol magazines that you may already have on hand fit their rifle systems. Kel-Tec and Ruger both make 9mm rifle offerings that accept Glock 9mm pistol magazines! Load several 33 round 9mm Glock mags for the range and compare them to size and weight of loaded 30 round mags for your AR-15, or an AR-10. 
  • More Places to Shoot – Because of the lower velocity of pistol cartridges, indoor ranges, and steel target ranges allow pistol fire while limiting typical rifle cartridges. Running a carbine rifle setup on a pistol cartridge opens up the door to a whole new selection of places to run and gun. Not that we don’t love shooting our pistols at the range, but having the option to run a shouldered long gun at the indoor range is amazing. 
  • Suppression – Semi-automatic carbine rifles are notoriously picky when it comes to subsonic ammo, suppressors, and fire and ejection cycles. Standard rifles can be tuned to fire subsonic ammo through a suppressor no doubt, but switching back to standard ammo and dropping the suppressor after the rifle is tuned to shoot suppressed creates its own set of problems. Pistol ammunition, and actions built to run pistol ammunition are happy to eat whatever ammo you feed them, subsonic or not. Unthread the suppressor from your favorite 9mm semi-auto pistol and hook it up on your CZ Scorpion Evo 3 and you’re ready to rock and roll.

 

Use Case, Can a Pistol Caliber Carbine be Useful?  

So it’s pretty evident that folks enjoy shooting pistol caliber rifles, and the firearm manufacturers have taken notice. Aside from being a fun day at the range, cheaper to shoot, and easier on recoil; do pistol caliber rifles have any real-world use as a tool? Is there a niche or use case for a rifle chambered in a pistol cartridge worth spending the cash? Here are some use case scenarios that will allow you to be the judge.

  • Home Defense – For the most part, pistol caliber carbines are small, light, and easy to handle. Pick up a CZ Scorpion Evo 3 or Kriss Vector Gen II and shoulder it. You will quickly see how ergonomical, user-friendly, and efficient these rifle are to maneuver. These rifles are ideal when it comes to close quarter action, home defense, and even urban bug out situations. No doubt many will argue that the 9mm isn’t the ideal home defense round, or that the 9mm is too weak for this type of personal defense work. Without question, taking fire from a 9mm would ruin your day, but if you just can’t stomach defending your castle with the same cartridge the US Army carries, opt for the 45ACP model. Launch a 185-grain .45 caliber bullet at over 1,000fps and knockdown is no longer an issue!  
  • Bug Out – We touched on this factor briefly when covering home defense, but considering a pistol caliber carbine in a bug out type scenario is worth a deeper dive. There is no doubt that AK/AR rifle systems have their place in a toolkit designed for bug out scenarios, but depending on your system, a pistol caliber carbine might be a better fit. Paired with a pistol in the same caliber that accepts the same magazine, this rifle presents a system in which there is no better way to simplify. This creates easy thinking and confidence in a stressful scenario…one type of ammo to pack and one type of mag to pack it in. If weight becomes a factor and mobility goes from four wheels to two feet, packing a 4 pound Kel-Tec SUB-200, or the Aero Survival Rifle at 5 pounds, that breaks down to drop into a backpack and gladly accepts Glock mags, is tough to beat. Pistol caliber rifles are definitely worth a second look when you are considering your bug out pack out.
  • Camp / Ranch and Varmint Rifle – In a sort of patrol type use case around the ranch, or poking around the hunting lease, a pistol caliber carbine like the Ruger PC Carbine is an ideal fit. A handy rifle with iron sights or a low power scope designed to shoot inside of 100 yards has dozens of uses including varmint control and small game meat for the table. With more firepower than the hugely popular 22LR but not near as much bark as a standard rifle cartridge, a practical little rifle around camp is a valuable tool.

Is There Room in Your Collection for a Pistol Caliber Rifle?  

Running a pistol cartridge, be it 9mm, 45ACP, or .40 S&W, in a rifle platform has many advantages. If you are destined to purchase a rifle for plinking, self-defense, or as a camp rifle, a pistol caliber rifle is a great choice. Arms manufacturers have taken notice, and the market is chock-full of options for every application and budget.

 

NRA Channel to Stay On Apple to Offer “Alternative View”

Original Post and Photo: SFGATE

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently stood up for his beliefs in the fundamentals of democracy when approached by gun control proponents to remove NRA TV from Apple TV. Cook relayed in an interview following the decision: “You can’t have democracy without discourse, that’s why the National Rifle Association’s channel is staying on Apple TV.”

The boycott of companies that stream NRA TV has come to surface following the Parkland shooting. When approached, Cook revealed that he, in fact, disliked the NRA’s position and tactics, but believed in the importance of offering a point of view from both sides of the issue for Apple. Cook also made it a point to clarify that the NRA channel is not directly streamed from Apple, but available on as an app download.

Read the original blog post from SFGATE here:

The AR-15 Versus the Mini-14

The short barrel carbine rifle is a remarkably popular rifle system with endless use cases and versatility. Rifles like the AR15, Mini30, Mini14, and AK47 offer adaptability at the range and in the field. While the AR15 is by far the most popular carbine rifle among shooters today, discerning shooters often consider other rifle platforms the industry offers. One rifle that has quite the following is the Mini14, a design steeped in tradition and birthed by the tried and proven M1 Garand. Comparing the Mini14 and AR15 platforms reveals many similarities and differences, confirming strengths and weaknesses one may have over the other. This article features a headtohead comparison between these two popular rifles.

The Case for the Mini14 

Jeff Cooper, perhaps the father of the modern rifle and pistol tactical techniques, said of the Mini-14: “It seems to me that the Mini-14 is a curiously successful marriage of the .30 US carbine and the .223 cartridge.  It will do everything the carbine would do, but better; and everything the M-16 will do, but better.” (Guns for Home Defense)

 

Introduced by Sturm, Ruger in 1973, the Mini-14 chambered in .223 caliber was called the Mini-14 because of its design based on a scaled-down version of the M14 rifle. Mechanically similar to the battle-proven M1 Garand the Mini-14 is built with a self-cleaning, fixed-piston gas system.  Featuring an adjustable ghost ring iron sight and detachable box magazines, the Mini-14 is produced in a variety of models, the most popular being the ranch rifle. Outfitted with either wood or plastic traditional style stocks in blued and stainless finish, the Mini-14 ranch rifle is a handy fast action reliable carbine.   

The Mini-14 has found a loyal following with shooters who have experience shooting the M1, M14, and M1A, and appreciate the design in the .223 caliber. The Garand rifle platform was said by General Patton, “In my opinion, the M1 rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised.”  In the hands of a rifleman, the Mini-14 is a powerful, tough and proven rifle capable of many functions across use cases; including home defense, tactical, and sporting. 

The Case for the AR15 

Developed by Armalite in 1956, the AR platform was developed in hopes of fulfilling a US military contract. Armalite was not selected for the military contract and sold the platform to Colt Manufacturing. Colt developed the platform for the civilian rifle market and the most popular carbine platform in America was born. 

Easily the most adaptable, flexible, and versatile rifle platform ever devised; the AR-15 is modular in nature, allowing for customization with an endless array of aftermarket components.  Built on synthetic stocks, grips, and rails the AR-15 has become known as the “black rifle” because of its similarity in appearance to the military issue M 16. Many non-shooters mistakenly classify the AR-15 as a non-civilian grade rifle simply because of its appearance.   

Accurate and capable, the lightweight carbine AR-15 rifle is produced by many arms makers in many configurations for defense, sporting, and tactical use. Versatile enough for long range and excellent for in close tactical shooting, the AR-15 has proven itself as the modern sporting rifle of the day. 

Head-to-Head 

The fact is that many shooters have already made up their minds concerning which platform is better than the other when it comes to the AR-15 versus the Mini-14. However, this decision most likely was made without considering all the factors. Brand loyalty runs deep in the firearms world, so it’ll take a high-level view between the two platforms to leave the opinions at home. 

Pros for the Mini-14  

  • Perception – The Mini-14 is considered a “safe” rifle in most states with strict gun laws. Unfortunately, many states have laws restricting the possession of AR-15 rifles. If you live, work, or travel in one of these states, a Mini-14 ranch rifle with a wooden stock and a 5 or 10 round magazine might be the solution. The look of a wooden stock on a sporting rifle is easier to digest for many non-shooting folks, it looks like Grandpa’s bolt gun. 

Unfortunately, there is a large debate surrounding the AR-15 and its possession  as a legal rifle, most being caused simply by the appearance of the gun. Be sure to know your local laws pertaining to owning a carbine before deciding on which carbine is right for you.      

  • Stock Trigger – The Mini-14 by Sturm Ruger is manufactured with an exceptional trigger when it comes to carbines. Shooters know that a quality trigger is a vital part of accuracy. The trigger group on the Mini-14 is not easily swapped or adjusted, thankfully Ruger equips the rifle with a quality trigger. 

Generally speaking, the trigger group on stock AR-15 rifles are not that impressive. With that in mind, upgrading the trigger on your AR-15 is easy to do, but at a cost.

  • Piston Operation – The fixed gas piston system used in the Mini 14, based on the M1 Garand, is cleaner and more efficient than the direct impingement action typically used in the AR 15 platform.  This feature leads to a cleaner running rifle with less fouling and jamming in the Mini 14 than the AR 15.  The Mini 14 is not equipped with a forward bolt assist, because it doesn’t need one. 

AR-15 carbines have a reputation of being finicky with issues like short stroking and ejection failures. The direct impingement action in the AR-15 platform is more likely to see jamming issues than the Mini-14 action. 

  • Low Profile – The Mini-14 rifle has a lower profile compared to the AR-15 design. The low profile composition allows for lower mounted optics, and for a traditional “hunting rifle look”. 

AR-15 rifles are built with a higher profile, options like pistol grips and flat top rails create a higher profile. The raised profile of the AR-15 rifle makes mounting optics interesting, and gives the rifle more of a tactical look. 

  • Cold Hammer Forged Barrel – Sturm Ruger outfits their Mini-14 rifles with an extremely durable forged barrel from the factory. The durability of a cold hammered barrel cannot be beaten. The end result of the cold hammered forged barrel is longer barrel life. 

Most AR-15 rifle platforms come standard with pencil barrels. Lighter weight factory barrels are not as durable as the forged barrel standard on the Mini-14.  AR-15 barrels are easy to swap and upgrade, but again, at an added expense. 

Pros for the AR15  

  • Accessories and Customizing – The greatest advantage of the AR-15 over any other rifle system is its ability to be easily customized.  The interchangeable nature of the AR-15 makes for a rifle platform that is totally customizable and adaptable. This coupled with the popularity of AR-15 rifles has driven an explosion in the market around AR accessories and options for customizing your AR.  From AR optics to stocks, slings, barrels, foregrips, and heat shields, there are countless options for customizing your AR-15. 

The Mini-14 platform does not lend itself to added accessories or customizing.  The Mini-14 carbine rifle is only produced by Sturm Ruger, limiting the production of aftermarket options for the rifle. 

  • Accuracy – Stemming from the availability of quality accessories and customizing parts, the AR-15 can be made to produce extreme accuracy.  With all things being equal in consideration of ammunition and range conditions, expect greater accuracy from an AR-15 over the Mini-14. 

The largest complaint and shortcoming of the Mini-14 rifle is accuracy. Designed to be used as a varmint style ranch rifle, the Mini-14 has respectable accuracy inside of 200 yards, but don’t expect it to perform like a bench rest rifle. 

  • Magazine Availability – Because of the fantastic popularity of the AR-15 rifle, there are legions of companies building and selling magazines for the AR. If you plan to keep a healthy stock of mags for your rifle at a decent price, then the AR-15 is for you.

The Ruger Mini-14 does not have the circulation of the AR-15 platform and you’re much less likely to find as many options when it comes to price and variety for the Mini-14 magazines.

  • Options with Manufacturers – Colt’s patent on the AR platform expired in 1977 opening the market to all manufacturers. The number of companies selling the AR-15 rifle platform and rifles based on its design is too hard to define.  From traditional arms companies like Remington to tactical rifle companies like Bushmaster, the AR-15 market is full of various gun builders all competing for your business. 

The only manufacturer of the Mini 14 platform is Sturm Ruger. Consider that even though Ruger makes the Mini-14, they also produce a line of AR-15 rifles. 

The debate between the Mini-14 versus AR-15 rifles is one based on both personal preference and use case. Both systems have their pros and cons, and their die-hard followers as well.  Shooting either rifle at the range or on the hunt is enjoyable and fulfilling. At the end of the day, maybe it’s best if you decide which you should own by shooting and testing both.