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Beth Alcazar Defines Living the Concealed Carry Lifestyle as a Mom - YouTube
Before Beth Alcazar was a Senior Staff Writer for USCCA, before she became a sought-after voice in the concealed carry movement, she was a mom. “I still love describing myself as a mom with a gun because ultimately that’s what I am, I’m a mom,” said Alcazar. Her job duties as a mom range from counselor to alligator wrestler, she told us with a laugh, but her ultimate job responsibility is that of protector.
It came with the program
Alcazar started writing for the outdoor industry almost twenty years ago to learn more about PR, marketing, and to ultimately get her feet wet in a professional writing career. “I wasn’t pursuing something with shooting, it just sort of came with the program, if you will,” she said. Along the way she met many interesting people and came to appreciate the business and industry as a whole. Everything seemed to be moving in the right direction until it all came abruptly crashing down upon her.
Tragedy turned triumph
At 37 weeks pregnant with her third child, her job was was abruptly terminated. She was facing a c-section with no insurance, wondering how she would get through it. That’s when she decided to reach out to one of those contacts she had made in the outdoor industry, Kevin Michalowski, now the Executive Editor of Concealed Carry Magazine. Even though Michalowski gave her a shot she didn’t know if there was a place for her to write, she didn’t see herself as an expert yet.
“For the longest time I didn’t feel like I had a voice to offer… I said I’m just a mom with a gun, I don’t know if that has a place,” Alcazar said. The USCCA and Michlowski assured her that it not only had a place, it was desperately needed. Next she had to take a deep dive into the world of concealed carry firearms.
Igniting the passion
“I realized that yes we have guns, we use guns, but I don’t know enough. I need to know more. I need to know everything there is to know about these guns,” said Alcazar. Her passion for firearms has grown. Now she is a certified instructor in several disciplines. “It became more than just a passion for me. I thought now that I know things, and I’ve taken classes and trained, what about everybody else,” Alcazar said. Now Alcazar carries a Springfield XD-S with her everywhere she legally can and she feels confident knowing she has the ability to use it.
Alcazar has become leading in voice in the concealed carry movement and continues to grow her following, especially among new female shooters. It’s a testament to how she approaches her training and being a mom with a gun. It wasn’t always the case though. When starting to carry she felt the same way that many new shooters feel about concealed carry. “It’s almost like I didn’t know I could [carry a gun for protection]… and I had to pursue the training to prove to myself that yeah, I can, and so can anyone else,” she said.
Today, she still pursues that training relentlessly and will talk shop with just about anybody about guns. Her goal still remains the same though; get guns into hand of responsible citizens so they can learn how to properly defend themselves. She doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.
As handgun hunting’s popularity continues on a meteoric rise, more options hit the market each year. Whether hunters favor semi-automatic pistols or the more traditional revolvers, there are ample choices for the shopping hunter. Check out any of these that are sure to put the knockdown on game animals.
Nosler M48 Independence – $1,750
The brand new Nosler M48 Independence single-shot, bolt-action handgun represents the best-of-the-best in terms of ultimate accuracy in a hunting handgun. The 15-inch barrel has a threaded muzzle for either a suppressor or brake. The handgun’s exceptional two-stage trigger rivals that of target rifles, and an aluminum chassis-style stock rounds out the package. Each handgun is machined and built from US made parts by the gunsmiths in Bend, Oregon.
The Independence is not cheap, but it exudes all-American quality and easily shoots sub-MOA groups to match. In fact, in the hands of a capable handgunner, the M48 will outshoot many rifles.
Ruger Super Redhawk – $820
Ruger’s revolvers have made solid hunting sidearms for decades. The newer Ruger Super Redhawk wheelguns are no exception. The top choice here has long been the .44 Magnum, but now Ruger also chambers the Super Redhawk in the more commonly hyped pistol 10mm round as well. The dual-chamberings allow use of two calibers in one, like the .44 Mag/.44 Spl, 10mm/.40S&W, and .454 Casull/.45 Colt. These stainless steel, double action revolvers are attractive, potent, and sure to be passed to the next generation of hunters.
Remington 1911 R1 Hunter – $550
The craze over 10mm long-slide hunting pistols is still booming and the options are many. Not only is the 10mm round more potent for hunters than other common semi-automatic handgun calibers, but the longer barrels and slides mean greater velocities and accuracy with the longer sight plane.
The Glock Model 40 MOS and Springfield TRP with the 6-inch barrel both make solid choices as well, but the Remington R1 Hunter is one of the most popular “tens” on the market today. The 6-inch barrel and longer slide are built with stainless steel, coated in black PVD, dressed in aggressive G10 grips, and topped with fully adjustable sights.
Magnum Research BFR – $990
These hulky Biggest, Finest Revolvers — or BFR for short — are the epitome of the single-action wheelgun hunting handgun market. With calibers like .30-30 and .45-70 headlining the family of American-made revolvers, the Magnum Research BFR can take down most any big game animals in the world. Both long and short-cylinder versions include some of the most potent chamberings to be found in a hunting handgun. Because of its quality all-stainless steel build, recoil is controllable, the handgun is easy to keep on target, and accuracy is quite exceptional whether with iron sights or an optic. Plus, the cool factor is off the charts.
Smith & Wesson 460 – $1,150
Any number of Smith & Wesson revolvers could be inserted here, including models like the Smith & Wesson 629 or 657 in .44 Magnum and .41 Magnum respectively. But when big game is the name of the game, it’s always better to have too much gun than not enough, and certain calibers extend the effective range as well. The Smith & Wesson 460 chambered in .460 S&W is one of the most potent revolver rounds and Smith & Wesson does it up right with the power and accuracy for longer distance big game hunting. Smith & Wesson advertises the .460 as having “the highest muzzle velocity of any production revolver on earth.” Look at models like the XVR or Performance Center 460’s for top quality. If the .460 sounds like too much gun, be assured these revolvers will also fire both .45 Colt and .454 Casull.
Known as the people’s pistol the Heckler & Koch VP9 is the German company’s answer to the Glock 19 craze. In an already crowded concealed carry market, though, I was curious how the striker fired pistol actually measured up. Spending some time on and off the range with HK’s pistol, I got an intimate look into the VP9 design.
The Basics and Some Winning Features
Chambered in 9mm, The VP9 features a striker fired design measuring 7.34-inches in length and 5.41-inches in height with a 4.09-in barrel. Tipping scales at 25.56-ounces, the VP9 can pack 15 rounds of ammunition in its magazine, offering plenty of rounds for plinking or concealed carry use. The VP9 also sports a small accessory rail for those interested in throwing on a light/laser combo for low-light shooting situations. The rail is a standard in most midsize, concealed carry pistols; but it’s still nice to see on this platform. I always appreciate a concealed carry gun that can double as a bedside home defense pistol.
The VP9, known as the People’s Pistol, is a 9mm chambered semi-automatic handgun from Heckler & Koch. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Guns.com)
Outside of the basics, the VP9 boasts interchangeable backstraps as well as side grip panels that easily swap out for a somewhat customizable grip area. Punching out a pin in at the rear of the grip, the backstrap and panels slide out of place. HK provides customers with two other sizes in the back offering three total sizes – small, medium and large. Being a petite shooter myself, I opted for the smallest size. The change was noticeable. I was no longer overcompensating with my grip and the VP9 instantly felt more comfortable in my hands. I love a platform that understands its customers aren’t all built the same and thus provides options to dial in comfort. Versatility is key in the VP9.
The VP9 sports an accessory rail for laser/light combos. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Guns.com)
HK could have stopped with the backstraps and still had a winning design, but it continued its features by packaging the platform with a sweet trigger. Breaking around 5 pounds, the trigger brings a smooth, fluid feel that is easy to fire. Additionally, the trigger comes equipped with an integrated safety device that aims to prevent accidental discharges by not engaging the trigger unless depressed.
Normally, the HK sports 3-dot luminous sights; but in the case of this HK VP9, which I nabbed straight from the Guns.com Vault, Trijicon Night Sights sit atop its slide. The sights function extremely well in low light situations and are great even in the middle of the day shooting with the sun overhead. If you can scope out an HK VP9 with those Trijicon sights, grab it up. It makes all the difference!
On the Range and in a Holster
On the range, the VP9 performed exactly how I imagined an HK firearm would – perfectly. It ate several boxes of ammunition and saw several hundred rounds of ammunition pass through its barrel with no stoppages. Even the cheap, dirty ammo that I would never run through my good guns proved no match for the VP9 platform. Having a gun that is not ammo specific and can power through any box is an advantage when it comes down to training. Skipping the overpriced stuff and opting for the more affordable ammo opens the door to extended training sessions that don’t break the bank.
The paddle style mag release can be a challenge to learn at first but does prevent accidental mag release. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Guns.com)
While I appreciated the overall design of the VP9 while firing it, there was at least one area that threw me for a loop – the paddle style mag release. Though my shooting journey started a decade ago with a paddle style release by way of the Walther P22, I am so used to push button mag releases a la Glock, that the paddle style seemed foreign. It’s not a deal breaker by any means but it will be a learning curve for those use to push buttons. The upside to the paddle style, though, is you won’t accidentally engage the mag release while gripping the gun – a quality that even Glock perfection can’t escape.
The VP9 uses an interchangeable backstrap and side grip panels to help shooters dial in comfort. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Guns.com)
Speaking of Glock, the VP9 offers a size similar to the Glock 19 offering a midsize platform that can easily accommodate concealed carry. Large and heavy enough to make shooting easier, with diminished recoil, the VP9 also works its way into a holster. Like most midsize platforms, you won’t be sporting a Baby Gap t-shirt, but for every day clothes, it works. The larger size means it is easily accessed on the draw, affording owners no issues while drawing.
With a 15-round capacity, elevated sights in certain models and an ergonomic design paired with a clean, crisp trigger the HK VP9 is a straight-up winner with the only downside coming down to price. Retailing for $562, it is pricier than other semi-auto striker-fired pistols out there but if you’re willing to throw down some extra dough, you won’t be disappointed. Also, it’s worth noting that you can often find it a little cheaper if you’re willing to go the used route.
All in all, the VP9 is a functional, comfortable 9mm pistol with the makings of a great concealed carry gun for those that want to step outside of the cliched Glock box.
Four Budget Concealed Carry Guns Under $400 - YouTube
As much as we’d like to drop serious coin on tricked out carry guns, sometimes that’s just not feasible. When that’s the case, gun owners must turn to wallet friendly concealed carry models. Diving into guns under $400, I pulled some handgun models from the Guns.com Vault that would make fine additions to any concealed carry arsenal.
Bersa Thunder .380 – $290
The Bersa Thunder earns the honor of being the only .380 ACP pistol on this list. Brings a small, compact design to the concealed carry world, the hammer fired pistol offers 8+1 round capacity. Designed with concealed carry in mind, the Thunder pairs a lightweight small-frame to the .380 cartridge, which offers little to no recoil. The result? The Thunder proves to be a cinch to manipulate and shoot. During the course of testing, I had no issues with the Thunder firing, feeding or extracting the ammo I fed it.
The Bersa Thunder sports a manual safety that also keeps to its simplistic theme. While I personally am not a fan of manual safeties, as they add an extra step in the drawing and firing process, there are plenty of gun owners who prefer it and the Bersa accommodates.
The Bersa Thunder offers a .380 ACP design on a reliable, lightweight build. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Guns.com)
In total, the Bersa Thunder is a fantastic like .380 model for those in need of a backup gun or .380 fans who want something reasonably priced and easy to carry. The Bersa Thunder .380 retails for $290 with used models coming in slightly lower.
Ruger LC9s – $399
The Ruger LC9S introduces a 9mm design, featuring a striker fired construction. Delivering a capacity of 7+1 rounds, the Ruger LC9S opts for a slim, lightweight build boasting a 3.12-inch barrel length.
The LC9s provides a more rugged feel to the concealed carry pistol world, with a checkered grip frame and steel slide. The trade-off to its compactness? It does bring more recoil to the table than the .380 Bersa Thunder. No surprise there given that 9mm offers some more punch; but if you struggle with grip this gun might prove too snappy.
The Ruger LC9S, Pro modeled pictured, is a little snappy but chambers 9mm in a compact platform. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Guns.com)
Concealed Carry wise, the Ruger LC9s’ small build works in its favor, allowing it to nestle inside holsters easily and efficiently, concealing flawlessly in a variety of outfits. The LC9s also sports a few safety features including an integrated trigger safety, manual safety on certain models and magazine disconnect. The Ruger LC9S slides right in under that $400 mark with an MSRP of $399.
Beretta BU9 Nano
Beretta fans get some bang for their buck with the BU9 Nano model, chambered in 9mm. This compact Beretta pistol was designed for concealed carriers, bringing a lightweight build and small size to gun owners looking to pack some heat. The striker-fired Nano features a 3-inch barrel paired with a 6+1 capacity. This particular model review was nabbed from the Guns.com Vault so it features a Crimson Trace laser – a nice bonus for users wanting a little extra aiming help.
The snag-free aesthetic of the BU0 Nano certainly helps it on that draw, keeping the gun from grabbing onto clothes. The polymer frame aids with the overall cleaning and maintenance process especially during summer months when carriers tend to be the sweatiest.
The Beretta BU9 Nano offers 9mm, a pop of color and a Crimson Trace Laser. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Guns.com)
The BU9 Nano boasts the added benefit of appealing to left-handed shooters with a reversible mag release that can be swapped to either side of the gun. The Beretta BU9 Nano brings a concealable design and, in this case,, a laser package, to concealed carry. Fair warning, we busted our price point with this model, as the MSRP comes in over $400, but used models slip under that price mark which is why it makes this list.
Hi-Point C9 – $199
We couldn’t dive into the world of budget guns and not bring in the most famous of them all — the renowned Hi-Point. With the C9 design, HiPoint brings a 9mm pistol to the wallet friendly table. This gun isn’t quite the most attractive in the room but it certainly gets the job done. Featuring a polymer frame with 3.5-inch barrel length, the C9 packs eight shots in its standard mag, although a 10 round mag is available for purchase.
The gun itself doesn’t come close to understanding the term “ergonomic” with a clunky, odd shaped and heavy construction. isn’t one you buy for its comfortable fit. The heaviest out of all the models on this table, the C9 tips scales at almost 30 ounces — that’s nearly 2-pounds of gun metal – then again, you don’t buy a HiPoint for comfort. I will give it some points, the C9’s heavy build does bring lesser felt recoil. If you can manage to chamber a round that is. The slide is incredibly heavy on this model and it took some time to discover how to sling-slot the slide back in order to chamber the round.
The HiPoint C9 is a crowd pleaser with the lowest price on this list. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Guns.com)
It may sound like I am dragging the HiPoint design, but actually, I had a blast with the C9. In fact, it was my favorite gun to shoot and I ended up buying one. It’s quirky, but there’s a certain fun factor to it. Of course, the greatest advantage to this system is its price. MSRP is $199 but, again, you can find this model closer to the $130 mark used, that is if you can find it used. There’s a reason the internet demanded the newest HiPoint be named the Yeet Canon, after all.
Regardless of what model you choose, there’s plenty of options when it comes guns that won’t break your budget. While I took a look at just a few, Guns.com has plenty more for your shopping pleasure – both new and used.
The Milwaukee Police Department has been the latest to adopt the increasingly popular Sig Sauer P320 handgun system. (Photo: Sig)
Police in Wisconsin’s largest city moving forward will be using Sig Sauer’s modular P320 platform as their newest duty handgun.
The Milwaukee Police Department’s over 1,800 officers have been hanging up their current Smith & Wesson M&Ps in exchange for the new Sig. The move continues the P320’s adoption by a number of law enforcement agencies from coast-to-coast, as well as the military who use the series as the M17 & M18 Modular Handgun System.
“We chose the Sig Sauer P320 as the official duty firearm for the men and women of the Milwaukee Police Department based on the pistol’s superior performance, accuracy, and dependability throughout our rigorous testing process,” said MPD Chief Alfonso Morales in a statement.
The Chief stressed the ability to swap out the serialized trigger group across numerous grip sizes has been popular with the officers who are fielding the new gun. Due to its modular design, it can be configured in full-size, carry, compact and subcompact models in either 9mm, .357 Sig, .40 S&W or .45 ACP.
“During this transition, we are finding that our officers appreciate the ability to choose their grip size based on the modularity of the P320, and we are seeing the positive effects of this comfort in higher qualifying scores overall,” said Morales. “Our transition to the Sig Sauer P320 has been seamless, and we couldn’t be more pleased with our decision to make it the official duty pistol of the Milwaukee Police Department.”
Milwaukee has reportedly adopted the platform in 9mm. The agency in 2009 chose M&Ps chambered in .40 S&W.
Baltimore’s new police commissioner joined with city leaders to announce a new crime reduction plan for the murder-plagued city that includes responding to emergency calls faster.
Michael Harrison, BPD’s new commissioner, announced the new plan alongside local prosecutors, federal law enforcement, and Baltimore Mayor Jack Young. The plan includes the increased use of technology such as data-driven crime suppression strategies, leveraging partnerships with federal agencies, recruiting more officers and setting a response time goal — something the city currently doesn’t have.
The newly established benchmark for BPD to respond to “emergency calls for service” is set at 10 minutes. “This goal is for the highest priority calls where life or property is in immediate danger,” says the report, noting that the metric will be evaluated over the next year.
“The importance of that goal is that the department has not in the past set a response time goal,” said Harrison in the press conference. “Now, we get to emergency responses– people with lives in danger, crimes in progress and perpetrators still on the scene — we get to those extremely fast, but now we have a written goal that we can work to achieve and then make sure we improve on that goal.”
According to the agency, BPD is the eighth largest municipal police force in the country and is staffed by some 3,000 personnel. The Department’s jurisdiction covers Maryland’s largest city, with a population of over 600,000. According to the Baltimore Sun, the city has suffered 185 homicides so far in 2019. In 2018, the number of murders in the city, 342, outpaced other urban centers such as Detroit and Chicago.
Harrison recently joined the agency after a 23-year career with the New Orleans Police Department, becoming Baltimore’s fifth commissioner since 2012.
The new initiative may take a minute to turn the city around, as the new chief describes it as a five-year plan.
In related news, Deputy BPD Commissioner Daniel Murphy was reportedly robbed at gunpoint Friday night, the day after Harrison’s new crime plan was introduced.
The Mobilize Rescue Systems app and Compact Kit come together to keep gun owners safe at the range. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Guns.com)
Nothing beats a fun day at the range with family and friends. However, it’s important to ensure you pack the right gear when headed out for some plinking fun. In addition to the usual eyes, ears, guns and ammo it’s imperative that all gun owners also pack a first aid kit and a little know-how in the event of an emergency.
Mobilize Rescue Systems looks to make this packing and first aid process a little easier, offering a unique take on medical training with its Compact Kit and Mobilize App.
Mobilize Rescue Systems Compact Kit
The kit is compact enough to slid into a range bag or attach to the exterior of a MOLLE equipped bag. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Guns.com)
Mobilize Rescue Systems takes an innovative approach to the first aid world, merging technology with hands-on first aid kits. On the onset, a standard first aid kit doesn’t seem like much to be impressed with, however, Mobilize is anything but standard.
Upon unboxing the Mobilize Rescue Systems Compact Kit, I was immediately impressed by the rugged, durable bag. Measuring 7.5-inches in length with a 4-inch width and 3-inch diameter, the bag sports a dark gray look with MOLLE support allowing it to be tossed onto any range bag or backpack. The outside sports a hook-and-loop area perfect for patches to customize the look.
The Compact Kit sports a variety of first aid basics to control bleeding. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Guns.com)
Diving further into the Compact Kit I found a 4-inch Pressure Dressing, HyFin Chest Seal, QuickClot, SOF-T Wide Tourniquet, gloves, trauma shears, CPR face shield and emergency blanket neatly packed and organized inside the bag. It’s a nice starter for those dipping their toes into the realm of first aid and those who aren’t interested in piecing together their own first aid kid.
Stocked with the basics to manage major issues you might encounter on the range, Mobilize has organized all materials in a means that is intuitive and easy to find – a bonus as you don’t want to dig through your first aid kit during an emergency. Each item is color-coded and labeled to coincide with the app, so items can be found quickly and efficiently. Mobilize Rescue Systems also offers a reordering function on their website, allowing owners to restock easily when needed.
Supplies are neatly labeled and color-coded so the system is intuitive. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Guns.com)
While the Compact Kit itself would be enough to get two thumbs up from me, Mobilize doesn’t just stop there. The company, realizing that not every bystander has medical access or training opportunities, has developed a revolutionary smartphone app that pairs with the kit. Consumers gain access to the app that is a step-by-step triage center all on your smart device.
With the aim of mitigating medical situations until EMS arrives, the app walks users through the stages of assessing a medical emergency offering explicit directions that are easy to follow. Upon booting the app up, it immediately asks whether the victim is bleeding or not. If you select yes, it allows you to choose where the bleeding is on a simulated body then walks you through the appropriate steps to contain the bleeding until help arrives.
The app tells users exactly where to find the supplies in the bag and how to use them properly. (Photo: Jacki Billings/Guns.com)
Investigating further, the app also walks users through the steps of helping an unconscious person including how to perform CPR with easy to follow, spoken directions. Even better, it includes an audible tone timed to 100 beats per minute – the rhythm in which CPR should be performed. In addition to audible directions and tones, on-screen demonstrations give novice first aid civilians an opportunity to copy what they see.
The app pairs beautifully with the Compact Kit, working as a whole. On-screen instructions direct users to products inside the kit – clearly labeled so they are easy to find. In this, lies Mobilize’s strength. A perfect blend of practical application meeting technology to better help bystanders in the event of an emergency.
I am a huge advocate of first aid training in addition to gun training, but medical classes aren’t always accessible – Mobilize Rescue Systems is. The only downside to the Mobilize System is its price. Coming in at $180, which includes the kit and Mobilize app, some gun owners might find it a bit too expensive to stock; but if you’re looking for a means to tote some first aid knowledge on the go and don’t have the time to take a class, the Mobilize Rescue Systems route is a good way to go.
The best big game hunting rifles is capable of firing a cartridge big enough and powerful enough to kill an animal weighing several hundred pounds at various ranges. While there are many solid options, the following are all proven and will not disappoint in the field.
Savage 110 – $900
Savage’s reputation continues to grow for building affordable, factory production rifles that often shoot as accurately – if not better — than custom rifles costing twice the price. Hunters in the market for a big game rifle should look to the Savage 110 family of bolt action rifles, which are available in many specialty models, including the Predator, Bear Hunter, Hog Hunter, Long Range and many others.
An absolute favorite among the 110 actions is the new High Country. The features – spiral fluted bolt, fluted barrel, threaded muzzle, AccuTrigger, AccuFit system, and AccuStock — are all geared toward increased performance, comfort, and accuracy. The thing literally looks as good as it shoots.
Henry Long Ranger – $825
While not many hunters may immediately think of a lever action in a top list for big game rifles, Henry is changing things with the advent of the Henry Long Ranger line of rifles. They are filling a gap in the hunting market for a lever action capable of shooting longer ranges with modern calibers.
When Henry introduced the Long Ranger lever action rifle in .223, .243, and .308, hunters were quick to embrace the platform for everything from varmints to medium sized, or even big game. With the addition of the 6.5 Creedmoor chambering this year, the hot just got hotter. Henry’s Long Ranger is the best lever action for hunting medium-to-large game at ranges only dreamed of with older lever guns.
Weatherby Mark V – $1,800
Sometimes hunters desire something just a little bit different than a regular old rifle or caliber, and Weatherby has things covered in that area. The immediately recognizable, glossy, high-grade Claro Walnut stocks with skip-line checkering define the refined Weatherby Mark V bolt-action rifles. Partnered with a potent Weatherby magnum chambering like the .257 Wby Mag, .300 Wby Mag, or 6.5-300—though standard calibers are also available – set the Weatherby apart.
Of course, the family-run American company builds numerous synthetic stocked models, as well as a pair of very appealing women’s rifles in the Camilla duo. The new Mark V’s come with hand-lapped barrels, an adjustable trigger, and a sub-MOA accuracy guarantee. The six or nine-lug bolts, depending upon caliber, are some of the strongest in the business. Plus, Weatherby just completed their move out of California and into a stunning new facility in gun-friendly Sheridan, Wyoming.
Winchester 70 – $1,200
Few bolt action rifles are as instantly recognizable by both name and appearance as the venerable Winchester Model 70. The pre-64 actions, with their controlled round feed and especially noteworthy quality, always fetch a premium on the used market. The Winchester rifle has remained in constant production for decades, and most any of these bolt guns, however, will be a shooter and ready hunting companion. There are many new models available, from stunningly beautiful to completely utilitarian, in just about every big game chambering a hunter could want.
Browning BAR – $1,400
Autoloading rifles seem to summon strong feelings of love or hate among hunters. For those who love them and the rapid follow-up shots they allow, it’s nearly impossible to beat the Browning BAR. The gas driven rifles use a seven-lug bolt to handle everything from lighter calibers on up to the hard-hitting .338 Win Mag and numerous short magnums as well. Their detachable box magazine is a nice choice for hunters.
These rifles remain in full production today by Browning, though the earlier Belgian-made rifles are hard to beat on the used market. The BAR has been around for a hundred years, and if you can’t trust that kind of lineage in a rifle, then perhaps a semi-auto is not your first choice.
The measure is supported by local and national gun control advocates (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)
The San Diego Council this week voted to pass a bill backed by gun control advocates that would require gun owners to lock up their firearms at home.
The Safe Storage of Firearms Ordinance, introduced last month by City Attorney Mara Elliott, passed the Council 6-2 on Monday, setting it up for a final follow-up vote. The move could hand firearm owners found in violation of the regulation as much as six months behind bars and fines topping $1,000.
“This law will prevent life-altering accidental shootings by reminding gun owners that they are responsible for securely storing their guns for the protection of those around them,” said Elliott, a Democrat running for re-election who has made her push for strong gun laws a focus of her campaign.
The measure requires people who keep firearms in their home to store them in locked containers or disable them with a trigger lock. There is an exception for guns on their person or “in the immediate control of the person.” The potential prosecution of violators would be waived in cases of a lost or stolen firearm if the gun owner reported its loss to local authorities within five days of the discovery.
The California Rifle and Pistol Association is on record opposing the measure, submitting statistics showing that mandatory storage laws do not keep people safe and are ineffective in curbing gun accident, suicide or crime numbers. Further, the Second Amendment group argues the ordinance would prevent some from gaining quick access to their firearm when they need it most.
While similar mandatory gun lock bans have been the subject of legal challenges on constitutional grounds all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, they have been upheld, a fact that Elliot’s office pointed out to the Council.
As for Elliott, since taking office she has spearheaded efforts to provide training to police agencies throughout California on the use of the state’s Gun Violence Restraining Orders. Such orders allow prosecutors, the police or family members to ask the court to suspend an individual’s gun rights for a year if they think that person could be a threat to themselves or others. Elliot’s office in the past 17 months has obtained 175 GVROs to seize guns under California’s “red flag” law.
The Taurus TX22 is a .22LR platform with some nice features. (Photo: Jeff Wood)
I have long wanted a .22LR pistol if nothing else just to have some cheap shooting fun for myself and the kids. It’s hard to beat the .22 platform when it comes to teaching kids the responsibility that firearms demand. The Taurus TX22 brings a .22LR design to the table and after a glance at a trade show event, I knew I wanted to find out whether it truly could be a family-friendly pistol.
The Taurus TX22 pistol caught my eye at SHOT Show in January 2019. I immediately fell in love with the feel of the .22LR pistol. It felt like a full-size gun in my hand. The well balanced and lightweight TX22 felt much like the Smith & Wesson M&P or maybe the Sig Sauer P320.
Another feature the TX22 possessed was 16 round magazines — two of them, in fact. Most .22 pistols are built as single stacks with 10 round magazines. It was refreshing to see that barrier broken. Having those 16 round mags prolongs shooting time, reducing the amount of time you’d spend stopping to reload. The magazines themselves feature a small circular pin through the follower that pulls down slowly rounds are added to the feed lips until it is full. A handy feature for easier loading.
The TX22 comes with adjustable sights and the ability to toss on a suppressor. (Photo: Jeff Wood)
The sights are adjustable, another welcome feature. There are two screws to adjust with a micro flat blade screwdriver — one for elevation adjustment and the other for windage. The TX22 also features an ambidextrous safety, with familiar positioning and function. Up for safe, and pulling down with the thumb puts the gun into the firing mode. For the many patrons to the NFA, adding a suppressor to your favorite pistol is a must. Rounding out its features, the TX22 even accommodates this with an adaptor collar needed to mount a suppressor.
On the Range
Shooting the Taurus TX22 suppressed. (Photo: Jeff Wood)
When I picked up my TX22 from my FFL, I had a box of ammo and suppressor in hand ready to head immediately to the range. A quick stop by my local shooting spot armed with 100 CCI Mini Mags was just enough to wet my whistle. It was the fastest five minutes of my life, if I recall. Those 100 rounds burned through the TX22 like grain through a goose. I was now addicted.
I departed from the range to pick up two important things — more .22LR ammo and my son. I knew he would love this thing as much as I did. Junior and I purchased an assortment of ammunition, a pretty good spread in my estimation. I wanted to try everything, from the cheapest bulk ammunition to the ritzy high-end stuff. I even bought a couple of different boxes of subsonic ammunition to see how the TX22 would handle.
The next few hours of shooting turned out to be some of the most fun we’ve shared. We tried every brand of ammunition I brought and went through magazine after magazine of plinking fun. I was ecstatic with the performance, after shooting 600 to 700 rounds, we experienced no major failures and little issues — other than some cycling issues with the 730 fps subsonic.
Junior taking the TX22 for a whirl. (Photo: Jeff Wood)
The pistol ran flawless — suppressed or not. There was, of course, a bit more back-pressure when shooting suppressed, which caused the gun to foul a little more aggressively, but that is no real surprise. The TX22 is balanced perfectly and fit me so well. The very mild recoil of the 22LR is soaked up nicely by the recoil spring, the gun barely moves in the hand when fired. Follow-up shots were easily made. It’s worth noting, the striker-fired TX22 trigger is very clean with resets pretty short as well.
The TX22 has a single magazine release, though it can be switched to either side to accommodate left or right-handed shooters. I initially found the magazine release to be a bit small and perhaps difficult to purchase with my thumb; however, I quickly withdrew that observation after shooting the gun. At no point during my shooting did I find it to be a problem. Mag changes were done quickly and without any issues.
The TX22 functions well as a varmint plinker. (Photo: Jeff Wood)
Speaking of the magazines, though I enjoyed the larger capacity the design is not without its faults. As I removed the mags from the box, the floor-plate of both was easily pushed off. The first time resulted in my magazine guts shooting out across the floor. When I tested the second magazine for the issue, I found it to be the same. The floor plate retainer seems to not include an anchor keeping them in place. Oddly enough, though, the problem never reoccured.
When loading the magazines, it is easy to shove the follower down well ahead of the cartridges feeding into the lips. This can cause cartridges to tilt inside the magazine resulting in an obvious malfunction requiring that the magazine be emptied and reloaded. This problem is easily remedied by simply pulling the follower down to allow the next cartridge to be fed into the magazine, one at a time until all 16 rounds are loaded.
The TX22 is a solid .22LR platform. (Photo: Jeff Wood)
As it turns out, the Taurus TX22 is everything I hoped it would be when I first held it in a Las Vegas casino. It shoots well, handles well and its function matches its handsome looks. It also brings some great features that were long overdue on the .22LR platform. The Taurus TX22 is a fantastic pistol all around, simply done right. The Taurus TX22 retails for $349.