Category Archives: Shooting Industry News

NSSF: Lots of New Customers? First Shots Sets Them on the Right Path

The NSSF suggests gun shop owners and range officers point new shooters in the right direction early.
U.S.A. -( Our retail and range industry members, with the exception of those in a handful of states, have been fortunate in remaining open during the coronavirus situation. So fortunate, in fact, that we know those ranges and retailers have acquired tens of thousands of new customers who have become firearm owners for the very first time.
As states begin to lift their stay-at-home orders and businesses beyond ours reopen, we know you’ll be reaching out to those clients and start the work to convert them to regular, loyal customers. In doing that, you’re going to start with the basics—safe handling, safe storage, and basic marksmanship skills.
While many of our member retailer/ranges have basic safety, marksmanship and CCW classes as a part of their instructional curriculums, those same ranges also include NSSF’s First Shots introductory events. CrossRoads Shooting Sports in Johnston, Iowa, is one of those that immediately made plans to put First Shots to work for them as the health crisis shows signs of easing.
“‘I’m here to purchase my first gun’ has become a common interaction at the counter over the past two months, fueled by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,” said Ethan Settle, CrossRoads Program and Training Coordinator. “Initially, the flurry of firearms sales was seen in AR-15 platform rifles, home-defense shotguns and a steady stream of handguns while products remained in stock. As supply chains began to dry up, pistol-caliber carbines and semi-automatic handguns continued to drive sales, along with rationed supplies of 9mm ammo. Throughout this period of panic buying, a constant forethought for the staff at CrossRoads was delivering proper training to first-time gun owners and developing their relationship with the firearm community. Enter the First Shots program.”
First Shots – CrossRoads Shooting Supply
“Our indoor range has had a relationship with the First Shots program for the better part of a year now, as we’ve found it to be an exceptional introduction into the fundamentals of firearms handling. The provided First Shots materials and Powerpoint presentation that NSSF developed gives our students a solid basic understanding of the firearms they handle in the range portion of the class.”
Settle noted that First Shots has been an excellent way to impart the topics of safety and responsibility to those who’ve purchased a firearm for concealed carry and home-defense.
“Iowa has no set standard to qualify for a permit to carry, other than some form of instruction by a certified instructor. We use the First Shots program as the backbone of our training curriculum, including that for CCWs. It supports the goals of those in training, be it for sport, self-defense or simply an empowering hobby. We believe this is because First Shots helps us to present firearms and their ownership in a simple and tangible way that redirects the nervousness of a first purchase to the excitement of owning and shooting a first firearm. Many of our class attendees become repeat customers and members after their First Shots experience at CrossRoads.”
Though sales were booming during the early months of the health crisis, demand for firearms by first-time purchasers was hampered by Iowa’s permit-to-buy process. CrossRoads staff eased that burden with a creative sales process coupled with the incentive to return to the range after those new clients made it through the purchase process.
“With many first-time buyers, the need for training and a permit to purchase a firearm was a challenge. Especially with firearms flying off the shelf, the possibility of having a gun in stock ‘next week’ became unlikely,” explained Settle. “We helped ease that situation by offering purchase on layaway or to purchase a firearm and receive half off of a training course such as First Shots. This customer-centric approach not only assured our customers that they could still acquire the firearm they wanted once they received their permit, it gave them an avenue to do so.”
With that approach gaining traction, CrossRoads quickly ramped up its post-pandemic training plans.
“In Iowa, we haven’t been placed under restrictions as strict as what those in other states have experienced. Our main restriction limited gatherings to 10 people or less. We took our governor’s directive on that and limited our First Shots classes to six or seven participants, spaced out around the classroom. At times, we offered as many as three separate First Shots classes per day,” Settle said. “We also maintain social distancing between our students during the range portion of the class while disinfecting surfaces and training materials throughout the day to protect our staff and customers. Our First Shots courses generally receive steady interest throughout the year, but we’re continually adding courses to keep up with the demand, wait-listing and adding new courses as necessary.”
Settle emphasized that this uptick in First Shots classes isn’t a one-time thing for CrossRoads, rather it’s an integral part of the range’s success and one that’s critical to properly servicing the wealth of new firearm owners.
“All in all, the model that First Shots has given us has been a positive for Crossroads and, ultimately, our customers,” said Settle. “For our staff members, one of the most satisfying firearms sales to make is someone’s first purchase. After that, it’s seeing them return to the range with a smile on their face each time they shoot. Crossroads has been very pleased to work with First Shots and NSSF to deliver the best the shooting community has to offer to its newest members.”
NSSF’s First Shots—Get Involved
If you have instructors, available range time and an interest in growing your customer base while nurturing the new gun owners who have entered your marketplace, then First Shots is the easiest way to accomplish these goals. As a First Shots host range, you’ll receive support in the form of targets, ammo, participant handouts and more. NSSF even sends your participants a $25 reward coupon to return to your range for more shooting fun.

About The National Shooting Sports Foundation
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 10,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers.
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Special Tools Solutions & Palmetto State Armory Facility Tour ~ VIDEO

U.S.A. –-( If you’ve been watching and hopefully enjoying my content long enough, you realize I’m also a Car Guy! And Road trips are like Catnip to Car Guys, so when Josiah McCallum, Consumer Relations Manager of PSA (Palmetto State Armory), offered me the opportunity to take a tour of their Jacksonville Florida Facilities I couldn’t pass up the chance to work two of my favorite things into one awesome video (if you’re into mechanical things with wheels as much as I am check out StranerPalooza on the YouTubers).
Palmetto State Armory
My home base is just outside of Gainesville so the two and a half-hour ride in a 2019 Audi RS5 Coupe (basically a 500 horsepower German version of an All Wheel Drive luxury Mustang, so way better) was comfortable and totally enjoyable. If you’re wondering why we were even allowed into the plant with the Covid-19 crisis ongoing? Well this all took place before lockdowns and mask requirements were in place.
The plant is called Special Tools Solutions or STS, it’s a sister company under the PSA umbrella and its about 5 minutes off I-10 in a heavily industrial section of Jacksonville. Joining us on the tour was, of course, Josiah of PSA, Brian Johnson of Ammoland News, and John Ammons and his son Sean of Alpha Charlie Concepts. The outside of the building is pretty nondescript, no tanks, MRAP’s Attack Helicopters or other heavy military hardware you may find at some other flashier firearms manufacturers. I’m not complaining about those guys either, I enjoy climbing all over those things just as much as the next gun guy. On the inside however we discovered the reason PSA is kicking all the ass in the firearms industry these days: with one hundred and ten employees, approximately fifty CNC machines slicing and dicing raw materials into everything from your favorite AR-15, AR-9, AR-10, AK lowers and Uppers.
Hank Strange STS Hand Guard Reamer Tool
Before and After PSA Hand Guard
PSA KS-47 Before and After
PSA 6.5 Creedmoor Lower Before and After
This facility alone rivals the production capabilities of many standalone manufacturers in the industry. The biggest question I wanted to answer was just how much raw materials rolled into the cargo bay doors every month and rolled out again as quality gun parts? The Answer: From One Million dollars a month of raw steel and aluminum, etc. all the way up to possibly Five Million dollars a month. The end results averaging around eight thousand uppers and lowers a month, with tons of other various parts (gas blocks, trigger guards, hand guards) mixed in as of course they are necessary to complete those firearms.
Not all lowers from PSA are made at the Jacksonville Facility. For example, the Meme lowers we’re all very fond of, are manufactured at their DC Machine in Summerville South Carolina. Josiah cautioned that due to PSA’s ability to quickly change production directions literally mid-day based on demand and available materials, this number would be very flexible. Manufacturing isn’t finalized at STS, parts are shipped from there to PSA’s other South Carolina plants for anodizing, coating and other finishes as well as final assembly.
Overall Palmetto State Armory’s almost military-style logistic and manufacturing superiority over competitors in the Firearms Industry is the Secret Sauce to why this company is winning the price wars these days. Often though low prices equals low quality. In my opinion, after taking this and other tours of their facilities in Columbia, PSA has decided to use the Nuclear Option and pour just as much money time and resources into meeting and exceeding justified customer demand for top-notch Quality Control to go with their value pricing.
Do yourself a favor and watch the last part of the video where my favorite tool in the factory shows up, basically a reaming tool for the mag well of a lower, it’s very interesting! Big thanks to Josiah, Palmetto State Armory and the STS crew for hosting us at their plant, and if you guys and girls want to see me do more of these videos leave requests below in the comments, I’m always up for more factory tours.
Especially when Road Trips are involved!

About Hank Strange
Hank Strange is an Enthusiastic Supporter of The Second Amendment, An Avid Filmmaker, Writer, Blogger, Music Producer, and Digital Artist: Hank is a Prolific YouTube Content Creator having Published over 1000 Videos to date relating to Lifestyle in the realms of Firearms, Cars, and Technology. A Proud American Citizen Since 2003 Hank was born of Mixed Race Parentage (his Father having African Ancestry and his Mother being of East Indian Ancestry amongst others) in Guyana, South America. He has traveled to a few places in the world with his Family living in London, England, and Nigeria in West Africa before settling in NYC. Hank & His Wife Lola are both Federal Firearms Licensees and currently live and work in Florida. Passionately Pursuing The Lifestyles Of The Locked And Loaded! Tune in to the daily Gun Culture News “Podshow” Who Moved my Freedom Podcast (WMMF) on the LIfestyles of the Locked and Loaded youtube channel. Hank’s work can also be seen on, Facebook, Instagram, his Personal Blog, and other Social Media.
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Midwest Industries MI-CBUIS Fixed Combat BUIS Review

Midwest Industries MI-CBUIS BUIS works great on firearms with otherwise fragile irons, like this IWI X95 Tavor equipped with Saker 762 sound suppressor provided by SilencerShop.
U.S.A. -( When I first got into modern sporting rifles like the AR-15 in 2004, the backup iron sight (or BUIS) market was very limited. LMT had a set, so did Knights Armorment, and plenty of people simply cut down detachable carry handles. And while all of these worked, more and more companies entered the fray with their own variations.
As development continued these became increasingly complex, and as a result, more expensive. And while I exclusively choose folding BUIS setups for use with magnified optics, for reflex sights, I actually prefer fixed options. But only if they still offer the vast majority of the original optic’s sight picture. In the course of my search for one such BUIS, I came across the Midwest Industries Combat Rifle Rear Fixed Sight (Model #MI-CBUIS).
The Midwest Industries CBUIS is milled from billet aluminum but features a skeletonized body to reduce weight.
The Midwest Industries CBUIS is a rock-solid sight milled from T6 6061 billet aluminum. Despite this, the BUIS only weighs 1.98oz according to my digital food scale – so I’ll assume it’s 2oz. While this is almost twice as heavy as Magpul’s polymer BUIS, it’s still impressive for a billet aluminum component. Normally, a sight built from billet would be much heavier, but the engineers at Midwest did a great job with their lightening cuts and partial skeletonization of the base.
The Combat BUIS is adjustable for windage alone. The sight utilizes an M16A1-style adjustment dial that moves the point of impact 0.5 minutes of angle per click. Unlike the A2, this A1-pattern dial requires either a special tool or a single 5.56mm cartridge to adjust. According to MI, they chose this style over an A2 knob because it’s slimmer, and less likely to snag or hang on clothing or equipment while being carried.
Midwest Industries features an A1-style windage adjustment knob.
Inside the housing, the MI fixed BUIS features a pair of mil-spec aperture “peep” sights. Just like on an M16, there is a larger diameter sight for close range and low light conditions, and a smaller peep or ghost ring for longer range targets. Both work great, but when zeroing your sights, be sure to use the smaller one for added precision.
To acquire a proper sight picture with aperture style irons simply place the front sight post in the center of the circle. Notice the light distortion from the pinhole camera effect of the rear sight.
One neat effect of peep sights is that they artificially increase a human eye’s depth of field. Permitting us to see not just our front sight post, but also our target with relative clarity. It’s an ingenious design, and one that is still very effective – even if a shooter requires a mild prescription of corrective lenses.
The peep sight forces a shooter’s eye to focus on the front sight, while also increasing the clarity of the sight picture.
When I first opened the box containing the BUIS, I was actually surprised to see that it lacked an Allen key. But once I turned it over, the lack of a key made total sense. The Midwest Industries fixed BUIS uses a flat head machine screw to secure itself to a Picatinny rail slot. In testing, this holds up fine provided the shooter uses the recommend torq specs of around 30 foot-lbs. If you lack a torque wrench, I’ve found that a rough equivalent to this is to crank down the screw an eighth of a rotation past tight or snug.
A shooter only needs a flat head screwdriver to install the Midwest Industries BUIS.
While I primarily recommend shooters use these sights as a standalone aiming device, they do work great with reflex sights. While not a true co-witness, they do provide lower third co-witness, which in my opinion is ideal if the iron sights cannot fold away.
In testing, the MI fixed BUIS works great with Aimpoint optics and perfectly co-witnesses in the lower third of the optic.
Overall, the Midwest Industries fixed combat BUIS makes for a solid, reliable aiming device. They lack some of the creature comforts of more pricy options, but if a shooter needs super-durable irons not made in China for a reasonable price, look no further.
The Midwest Industries MI-CBUIS makes a great addition to an entry-level AR like this PSA PA-15 carbine.

About Jim Grant
Jim is a freelance writer, editor, and videographer for dozens of publications who loves anything and everything guns. While partial to modern military firearms and their civilian counterparts, he holds a special place in his heart for the greatest battle implement ever devised and other WW2 rifles. When he’s not reviewing guns or shooting for fun and competition, Jim can be found hiking and hunting with his wife Kimberly, and their dog Peanut in the South Carolina low country.
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Iron Sights Gun Company Range Bag – Review

Iron Sights Gun Company Range Bag – Review
U.S.A. –-(  One of the big perks in writing for AmmoLand is that we have access to the products of nearly every major manufacturer out there.  The counterpoint to that is that there’s usually a lot less time available to check out the gear made by smaller businesses.  Thankfully, that isn’t always the case.  Such as when Iron Sights Gun Company (ISGC) owner Mike Conroy reached out to me.  ISGC is a Veteran owned and operated gun store/range in Southern Louisiana.  They’ve started moving into manufacturing soft goods, such as a range bag, duffel bag and morale patches.  The morale patches have done well enough that they’ve started a monthly subscription service (ISGC Patch Club), but we’re mainly here to take a look at their range bag.
ISCGs patches
Tech Specs:

Dimensions: 17.72 x 9.84 x 10.63 in
Made of 600D Oxford Polyester
Available in both Black and Tan colors
Magazine pouches in both of the large front and back pockets
2 large side pockets
2 smaller pockets on the outside of the side pockets
A very spacious main compartment which also includes 2 adjustable/removable dividers
90% LOOP VELCRO on the exterior (except the bottom)
Available in black and tan

Ok, so we’ve got a hefty range bag that doubles as a morale patch display platform.  Is this a gimmick product or does it have legitimate chops?  I’m happy to say that it’s an extremely capable range bag, but it does have a couple points it could improve on.  Let’s see what worked and what didn’t!
What works:
-The main compartment is huge.  I packed for a big range day, then turned it into a range/picnic with my wife and kids, so I tossed in 4 extra sets of electronic ear protection and still had plenty of space.  I had used the dividers to cut the main compartment in half, keeping my equipment separate from my ammo.
Iron Sights Gun Company Range Bag
-The bag is certainly strong enough.  When it’s plumb full there’s no signs it’s going to have structural issues.  So I added a 35 lb dumbbell on top.  Still no stitches popping or fabric tearing.  That’ll do!
Iron Sights Gun Company Range Bag
-The organizational options are Goldilocks.  There’s neither too many pockets, nor too few.  Main compartment is huge, the end pockets are big enough for small tools, cleaning kits and other sundry items you might need to keep your range day going, and the side pockets are both big enough for 4x 30-round AR15 mags with ease.
Essential range supplies: staples!
-The Velcro hook/loop exterior.  If you like slapping patches on, this bag’s got all the acreage you need.  Not just for irreverant morale patches, this space is good for name tags, unit patches, or other identifying information.  Hell, this would make a good “Go Bag” to store a large number of loaded mags in, and if you wanted to have more than one bag on hand, you can caliber label the exterior.  Or just stick with “Baby Yoda” and the “Pandemic Slut” from the ISGC Patch Club.  Never thought I’d write that sentence….
What needs work:
-That second to last point up there mentioned the side pockets fitting 4x 30-round AR mags easily.  The trouble is, there’s pouches sewn in for six.  The pouches are sewn in too high (so that the zipper hits the mags unless you want to do some origami), and too close together (so that 6 won’t fit in correctly).  I just opted not to use the built-in pouches and dropped 4x mags in, which worked just fine.  There’s room for a 5th, though a little tight.  A couple small adjustments and this issue (from an early-release review sample) is gone.
Iron Sights Gun Company Range Bag
-Hair.  This is no fault of the manufacturer, it’s just unavoidable if you have pets and hook/loop (velcro).  I don’t care if it’s your tactical Belgian Malinois of if you have a “crazy cat lady” horde of felines.  If they’re near this bag, prepare for the hair.
Bottom line:
The Iron Sights Gun Company Range Bag might not be from a major manufacturer, nor a famous brand name.  It is a solid piece of equipment though, and one I’m happy to be using.  One thing that will definitely keep ISGC competitive is their price.  I’m used to dropping ~$80 on a tough range bag, but this one is coming in at $49.99.  If you’re on the hunt for a good way to carry and organize your ammo and range equipment, check out Iron Sights Gun Co and their range bag.

About Rex Nanorum

Rex Nanorum is an Alaskan Expatriate living in Oregon with his wife and kids. Growing up on commercial fishing vessels, he found his next adventure with the 2nd Bn, 75th Ranger Regt. After 5 tours to Afghanistan and Iraq, he adventured about the west coast becoming a commercial fisheries and salvage SCUBA diver, rated helicopter pilot instructor (CFII) and personal trainer, before becoming a gear reviewer and writer.”
–Jens “Rex Nanorum” Hammer
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Peter Walker, Ex-Mckinsey Exec, Defends China In Face-To-Face With Tucker Carlson

U.S.A. –-( There are two salient political and social philosophies, upon which a nation-state or other political, social, economic and cultural organization can be constructed: Collectivism and Individualism. One or the other philosophy may be the blueprint for a state or other political, social, economic and cultural entity; one or the other, but not both; and not an amalgam of the two, for the two are wholly incompatible.
A brief description of the two philosophies may be found in Peter B. Walker’s book, “Powerful, Different, Equal: Overcoming the misconceptions and differences between China and the US.”
Who is Peter B. Walker? He’s a senior partner emeritus of McKinsey & Company. And what is McKinsey & Company? It is an extremely powerful, extraordinarily successful global management consulting firm that was instrumental in convincing major U.S. manufacturers to offshore their business to China.
And, McKinsey & Company is growing. On its new website, McKinsey proudly announces:
This week [February 29, 2020] we’re starting to roll out a new visual identity to better express who we are and what we do today. For instance, more than half of our work for clients now, in areas like design, digital, and analytics, didn’t exist at our firm just five years ago.
“We’re excited about the new visual identity, which we think is beautiful,” says global managing partner Kevin Sneader. “But this is about more than how we look. It’s about updating how we communicate, so we can engage with the world more effectively, now and in the future as we continue to change.”
The refresh includes an updated graphic element, new fonts, a new color palette, and a revamped approach to data visualization and photography. Blue still figures prominently, symbolizing the constancy of our mission and values. Only now it’s a deeper shade set against a white background.
“We think the contrast depicts our clarity of thought and our ability to cut through and deliver what really matters,” says senior partner Peter Dahlstrom. “It symbolizes our aspiration to bring those qualities to all our clients.”
To learn more, check out this overview of the new identity in action. And for a refresher on the importance of good design to business, don’t miss our article, “The business value of design.”
Despite the hype and glitz, the Company’s announcement, begs the question, what does the Company really offer; what does the Company provide its business clients—those well-heeled multinational companies that can afford McKinzie’s services? One digs through various webpages on the site to find this:
“We help organizations across the private, public, and social sectors create Change that Matters.
From the C-suite to the front line, we partner with our clients to transform their organizations in the ways that matter most to them. This requires embedding digital, analytics, and design into core processes and mind-sets, and building capabilities that help organizations and people to thrive in an ever-changing context.
With exceptional people in 65 countries, we combine global expertise and local insight to help you turn your ambitious goals into reality.”
The Company’s services are curiously, deliberately opaque.
Nothing to emulate, really, but it does attract a certain kind of people: the smug, ambitious, amoral, insensitive, and abjectly ruthless.
Who are some of these people who have worked for Company, Mckinsey? The names of a couple of them shouldn’t surprise you. They include the Radical Left Globalist toadies: Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton; and Mayor Pete Buttigieg, erstwhile contender for the Democrat Party nomination for U.S. President, to take on President Trump in the coming General Election.
Senior Partner Emeritus, Peter Walker, is one of the neoliberal global elites who has come out of the shadows, out of the woodwork, in the last few days, to make his case on behalf of the New World Order, and, it would be our guess, on behalf of the Bilderberg Group, whose own seemingly benign opacity, hides a most sinister intent:
“Since its inaugural Meeting in 1954, the annual Bilderberg Meeting has been a forum for informal discussions to foster dialogue between Europe and North America. Every year, approx. 130 political leaders and experts from industry, finance, labour, academia and the media are invited to take part in the Meeting. About two thirds of the participants come from Europe and the rest from North America; one third from politics and government and the rest from other fields. The Meeting is a forum for informal discussions about major issues. The Meetings are held under the Chatham House Rule, which states that participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s) nor of any other participant may be revealed. Thanks to the private nature of the Meeting, the participants take part as individuals rather than in any official capacity, and hence are not bound by the conventions of their office or by pre-agreed positions. As such, they can take time to listen and reflect and gather insights. There is no detailed agenda, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued.”
Peter Walker Emulates Political Power Brokers And Those Who Work For Them
Whom does Peter Walker admire? The names shouldn’t surprise you any less than those from the Ivy League schools that desire to work for McKinsey.
In his book Walker mentions Henry Kissinger: former Secretary of State; National Security Advisor; architect of regime change in Chile that brought the brutal dictator, Augusto Pinochet to power; author of a book with the candid title, “World Order;” and regular participant at the annual Bilderberg Group conferences.
Walker also mentions Hank Paulson, past Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, Secretary of the Treasury under George W. Bush, and principal architect of the massive 2008 Bank bailout.
Then there is Thomas Friedman, regular columnist for The New York Times, and perennial Trump hater, whose presumed areas of expertise include global trade, foreign affairs, globalization, and environmental issues, and whom the National Review dubs a “Liberal Fascist.”
Walker would be just another secretive Global elite centimillionaire or billionaire, perhaps, but for the fact that he appeared recently on Tucker Carlson Tonight? How did this come about, given the usual almost painful reticence of powerful, wealthy Collectivist Globalists who hate to appear in the limelight?
Walker’s name came up in the last couple of days when Tucker Carlson, Fox News host of Tucker Carlson Tonight, explained the tremendous crippling influence of McKinsey & Company our manufacturing base and, impliedly, how McKinsey has endangered our National Security, helping to make China a preeminent global economic, and geopolitical power.
Why did McKinsey CEO appear on Tucker Carlson Tonight. Carlson didn’t indicate that he reached out to Walker. Apparently, Walker reached out to Carlson, not the other way around. Why would Walker do this? Perhaps, he was pressed to do this in an attempt at “damage control” for the Global elites, lest the American public take notice of the threat to the Nation should Trump win a second term in Office and defeat the quest toward NWO Armageddon that Walker and other neoliberal Global elites seek to return to and will be able to return to if they can seat their stooge, Biden, in the White House.
Carlson treated Walker respectfully, allowed Walker to talk; wanted him to talk; did not barge in on his responses to questions. And talk and talk, Walker did!
Walker said at one point during the fox news interview:
“[China] is a collectivist society . . . That difference between collectivism and common good is a huge disconnect with the U.S. We regard and always have been proud that every human life is sacred and therefore any unjustice or injustice is something we ought to be railing against and they are just not wired that way,” Peter Walker told Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
AQ continues analysis of the Carlson-Walker interview in our next segment.

About The Arbalest Quarrel:
Arbalest Group created `The Arbalest Quarrel’ website for a special purpose. That purpose is to educate the American public about recent Federal and State firearms control legislation. No other website, to our knowledge, provides as deep an analysis or as thorough an analysis. Arbalest Group offers this information free.
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Brownells BRN-180S – The Pistol Configuration Build Up (Part 1 of 3)

Brownells BRN-180S – The Pistol Configuration
U.S.A. –-( The BRN-180?  What’s that?  Do you remember as a kid when Grandma made those really sweet chocolate chip cookies, and your Mom made the best oatmeal cookies ever?  Those are some of the best memories, ever.  However, you’ll never forget the night you spent over at Jimmy’s house only to catch a whiff of his Mom’s cookies, wafting through the kitchen window outside where you were playing.  The mind-blowing part of that playdate was when you took your first bite – Jimmy’s Mom, known as “the coolest” henceforth had put chocolate chips in her oatmeal cookies and merged to the two best treats in your childhood into one yummy little package.  Thus, the BNR-180…
Some of you may know the history of the AR-18.  It was another Stoner design coming out of the time period the AR-15 had been conceived.  The AR-180 was the semi-auto version of the select-fire AR-18.  They employed stamped steel receiver work, not a great deal different than an AK.  There was some welding involved, but not a lot.  I could write an article solely on the AR-180, but I’d rather point out some of the features and move forward.  What we’re primarily focusing on is the short-stroke piston contained in the upper portion of the AR-180.
Brownells has been doing some innovating as of late.  Only 25 miles from my custom shop, I spend plenty of time there and know many who work there.  I was excited when I heard that not only had there been some life breathed into this platform, but someone decided to build this up so it would mate to an AR-15 lower receiver.  Genius!  I love it!  I nearly gave Pete Brownell a hug the next time we visited.
There isn’t a huge need for a piston in most AR-15 applications.  Direct gas impingement works fine.  But if you intend on making a short weapon and not only configuring it for a small storage footprint but expect it to work in that same small footprint, your options dwindle quickly and elevate in cost.  The idea that I could snag a 10.5” BRN-180S upper, utilized an AR-15 lower, and also incorporate a side-folding brace or stock that allowed the weapon full use with or without the brace folded was exactly what I’ve been looking for.
Brownells BRN-180S – The Pistol Configuration Build Up
I opted to avoid the “Short Barrel Rifle” designation this time, and instead went with a wrist brace.  I built up a 10.5” BRN-180S pistol instead of an SBR.  My intended use is ‘general’ in the grand scheme of things, but it was intended on becoming a truck gun if you will.  I don’t mean the kind of junk you toss under the seat just in case you need something someday.  No, this is meant to fit into a small space, be rapidly accessed, and go like mad.  I came up with the following build list (Brownells part numbers included):

078-000-537 10.5″ Brownells BRN-180S Upper
080-001-382 BRN-180 Lower Receiver
100-013-641 BCM mod 3 gunfighter grip*
078-000-330 Lower Parts Kit
100-025-392 BAD enhanced parts
100-028-507 Elftmann trigger
100-032-047 side folding wrist brace

(*note – I ordered in the BCM Mod 3 that contains the “duckbill” thinking I was going to use a different lower receiver.  While I zipped that duckbill off with a belt grinder in 4 seconds, if your lower won’t accommodate the “duckbill” that protrudes above your middle finger, then order a different model.)
Brownells BRN-180S – The Pistol Configuration Parts
I had a Sig Romeo 5 I had ordered in from Primary Arms for a different project that was unused, so I mounted it for the optics.  I also had been wanting to get my hands on the new SilencerCo 36M I’d heard so much about.  My relationship with SilencerCo goes way back and they’ve really treated me well over the years.  I love their product and how the product is supported by their representatives.  You can find that can at Primary Arms HERE.
Brownells BRN-180S – The Pistol Configuration Parts
When I get in the parts I’ve ordered for a buildup, I organize them and make a quick note on everything.  When I laid these pieces all out, it really hit me just how simple this genre of ‘building’ truly is.  The upper is self-contained, there is no buffer nonsense on the lower, and the trigger was a ‘drop-in’ to boot.  If you can’t put this thing together, any self-respecting smith can, and in a hurry.  I’m not suggesting you run out and burn your Gadsden Flag in protest, but this type of work is very beginner level, so don’t let that intimidate you.
One of the things that slap you in the face pretty quickly is the rear end of the Lower Receiver.  Often referred to as a ‘buffer tube’ by the industry, you have no need for a receiver extension. Thus, the Brownells matching lower for this unit employs a Picatinny rail instead.  This makes the attachment of a side-folding brace very quick and eliminates parts, cost, and weight.
BRN-180 Lower Receiver (Bottom)
BRN-180 Lower Receiver (Left)
BRN-180 Lower Receiver (Right)
I’m not sure I logged more than just a few moments putting together the Lower Receiver.  In fact, this was the first Elftmann Trigger I’d installed with the idea of keeping it, so I paired this skeletonized trigger with some parts from Battle Arms Development.  They paired nicely in terms of appearance and the BAD product is known for quality, so I decided to try them.
These pictures, just as many, don’t offer the BRN-180S justice.  This is a great option, and you can see it pleases the eye.  Curb appeal aside, I’m really anxious to run this through the paces.  The BRN-180S checks all the boxes for what I have long wanted to accomplish with a price tag that won’t break the bank, coupled with a weight that isn’t extreme.  I have two follow up articles to this one where I’ll take you through the performance, features, components, and how it worked out as a truck gun.  The BNR-180S on face value is solid, so I’m hoping it proves to meet or possibly even exceed my expectations.
Brownells BRN-180S – The Pistol Configuration Build Up

About Michael Ware:
Michael is a Christian husband and father to two children. He owns and operates Controlled Chaos Arms, a premier custom weapons shop in the Midwest. He serves as Chairman of the board of Directors at the Iowa Firearms Coalition. The pursuit of truth drives him in research and his writing.
Michael enjoys shooting, hunting, and fishing throughout the Midwest and Rockies. An avid outdoorsman and tireless supporter of all Second Amendment virtues, he can be found in his gun shop, in a tree stand with his kids, or on Capitol Hill lobbying in support of Freedom and Liberty at any given time.

Michael Ware Linkedin
Controlled Chaos Arms Website
Controlled Chaos Arms Facebook
Controlled Chaos Arms Twitter
Controlled Chaos Arms Instagram

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Ultradyne C4 Precision Folding Front & Rear Sights – Review

Opinion, Rex reviews the Ultradyne C4 Precision Folding Front & Rear Sights.
Ultradyne C4 Precision Iron Sights – Review
U.S.A. –-( It’s rare that I hear discussions on iron sights these days.  Many talk about red dot sights versus low-power variables versus fixed power prismatic optics, but the old way is certainly being phased out.  Strangely, every shooter I’ve ever asked has agreed that shooting with iron sights is a necessary skill, and most agree using irons should be learned before using other optics.  Why then has so little aftermarket attention been paid to improving these basic necessities?  Well, Ultradyne has been working to push the capabilities of the venerable old back up iron sights (BUIS) with their C4 Precision sights.
Ultradyne C4 Precision Folding Front and Rear Sights
At first glance, the C4 precision sights seem to be pretty standard.  On further inspection, they not only hit every benchmark for features, they push the line forward.  They’re pop-up, with a solid locking mechanism.  They’re sturdily constructed from 7075 aluminum and 4140 steel in the “HK” hooded style, with anodized and salt-bath nitride finishes to match.  The rear sight has BDC adjustments in 50-yard increments, from 200 out to 600 yards.  Both the front and rear sights have individual elevation and windage adjustments.  All that together is past where most BUIS stop.  Ultradyne has one more trick up their sleeves though, with their Dynalign sighting system.
Our eyes naturally like lining up circles.  Concentricity makes sense to our brains.  The front sight post in the C4 Precision irons is roundish, which lines up nicely inside the circular aperture in the rear sight.  Furthermore, the front sight differs from most standard front sights in that the post has a circular hole cut through it.  Your aren’t lining up a squared-off post halfway up your target with a C4 Precision BUIS, you’re centering the circular opening.  This means you’re actually going to be able to see what you’re shooting at!  Gone are the days where your holdover at distance means totally obscuring your target, and hoping it doesn’t move while you can’t see it, before taking your shot.
Ultradyne C4 Precision Iron Sights
All of that would be enough to make the C4 Precision BUIS among the best ever.  Ultradyne has gone further though and added a few additional refinements.  First, the front sight doesn’t need a special tool to adjust elevation.  Simple depress the spring-loaded protective “ears”, and spin the front post with your fingers.  When you let the ears pop up again, they lock the front post in place.  Easy!  Second, the side-plate by which the C4’s attach to the top rail isn’t a standard 1913 side piece (which can be mistakenly affixed upside-down), it has a horizontal peg that only allows it to be affixed in the correct orientation.  The third and final refinement may be the ultimate one.  Both the front sight post and the rear aperture are easily replaceable with various options.  Want a 10, 12 or 14 MOA opening in the front post?  Or even a standard squared post?  Available.  Need to narrow the rear aperture from .07″ to .05″ for precision shooting?  The option is there.  With Ultradyne’s C4 Precision sights, you have many options at hand.
Ultradyne C4 Precision Iron Sights
The Ultradyne C4 Precision BUIS are as simple to use as you’d expect.  They really excel as a benchrest setup in their OEM configuration, giving a very precise sight picture and little else.  I’m going to take some time to swap them over to a more “combat backup” oriented package and see how they fare in that role.  While I don’t practice much with iron sights outside of maintaining proficiency, I can still keep ~2 MOA with the Ultradyne C4’s out to 200 yards, which is far better than with any other iron sights I’ve used.  I attribute that to two things:  1. Being able to see the target through the front sight aperture and 2. Using the BDC adjustment on the rear sight so I’m not forced to hold over with the front sight (which would negate item #1).
Ultradyne C4 Precision Iron Sights
The bottom line is that while back up iron sights (or even primary iron sights) have fallen out of favor in the last couple decades, they’re still the most durable and “Murphy”-proof option.  It’s up to each shooter to decide how much emphasis (and budget) to put into their tried and true iron sights.  One thing is clear to me, and that’s that Ultradyne’s C4 Precision iron sights are the most capable and well built in the industry, bar none.  So if you’re looking for an upgrade, or finishing off your build, you’d be well-served checking these out.  Precision doesn’t come cheap though, as Ultradyne’s C4 set (front and rear) run $249 as a pair.  They also have 45° offset sights and barrel mounted options.  Check em out!

About Rex Nanorum

Rex Nanorum is an Alaskan Expatriate living in Oregon with his wife and kids. Growing up on commercial fishing vessels, he found his next adventure with the 2nd Bn, 75th Ranger Regt. After 5 tours to Afghanistan and Iraq, he adventured about the west coast becoming a commercial fisheries and salvage SCUBA diver, rated helicopter pilot instructor (CFII) and personal trainer, before becoming a gear reviewer and writer.”

Jens “Rex Nanorum” Hammer

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Federal Ammunition Steps up in Support of Scholastic Clay Target Program

Federal Ammunition has renewed their commitment to support Scholastic Clay Target Program
Burlington, WI -( Federal Ammunition has agreed to support the SCTP as a Silver Level Sponsor in 2020, according to the Federal Staff and the SCTP! Federal, makers of Top Gun ammunition, Federal Gold Medal plastic, and the coveted Federal Gold Medal Grand paper shotshells realizes the importance of supporting our youth!
“Federal is happy to continue building relationships that support the next generation of (clay target) shooters engrained in our company history, mission and core values,” said Dan Compton, Shotshell Product manager for Federal Ammunition “Youth play a vital role in our future and Federal Ammunition is excited to be on the front line of support for groups like the SCTP.”
“We are extremely happy to have Federal involved in the support of our program and youth shooting!” said Tom Wondrash, SCTP National Director. “Now more than ever, we lean on the support of industry and sponsors like Federal to help us stay the course in youth development and the clay target sports. We appreciate Federal’s commitment and support of youth shooting now and for years to come!”
The SCTP/SSSF strongly recommends whenever possible that you look at supporting and buying products from companies like Federal that support the future of the shooting sports through our youth shooting programs! Check out Federal’s new offerings like the 1-ounce, 12 gauge, high-velocity loads added to the Top Gun Sporting lineup. They are specifically designed to shorten leads, yet reduce felt recoil to allow for quicker follow-up shots.
It is more important now than ever to support programs like the SCTP to help ensure the future of our sport and youth shooting. Are you or your company interested in partnering with the largest competitive youth shooting program in the world? Then contact Tom Wondrash, SCTP National Director at [email protected]

About the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation:

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) is 501(c)(3) public charity responsible for all aspects of the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) and Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) across the United States. SCTP and SASP are youth development programs in which adult coaches and other volunteers use shooting sports to teach and to demonstrate sportsmanship, responsibility, honesty, ethics, integrity, teamwork, and other positive life skills.
For more information about SSSF, visit
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Mike Hughes & Britt Lentz on Riding Shotgun With Charlie #74 ~ VIDEO

U.S.A. -( I met Mike & Britt at SHOT Show 2020 thanks to Klint Macro & Matt Mallory from Meet The Pressers. They said they’re great guys from Next Level Training and they needed to get in the stagecoach. You may have seen Mike Hughes from History Channel’s Top Shot Season 3.
Before Next Level Training and SIRT pistols, Mike was a football player and a patent attorney who enjoyed competitive shooting. He spent a lot of time training and running his business, but having a family took over, and competitive shooting took a backseat.
The SIRT (Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger) pistol was Mike’s idea. It took a lot of work, effort, and research to make the pistols and assembly them, which is all done in Washington state. They’ve got a number of types of pistols, like a GLCOK 17/22, S&W M&P, SIG P320, and a bolt for the AR 15 platform.
We did cover a little about the differences in intellectual property and functional features about making a training pistol that is similar to other pistols. Mike is a great person to cover that, being a former patient lawyer.
Britt brings up Mike being on History Channel’s Top Shot and we talk about that process to get onto the show and some of the behind the scenes stories. Mike really likes how Top Shot brought firearms to a bigger and broader audience and put firearm ownership in a new light for people. He shares that Top Shot was unscripted. It was a long six weeks for Mike, but he shared his secret to success.
Britt has a similar background to Mike. They played football against each other in college. They became best friends at birthing classes. Britt has been on board since the beginning of NLT.
Mike shares one of his favorite and first moments on Top Shot. His first gun to shoot was a Smith & Wesson 500 against Cliff Walsh, a Grand Master with the USPSA.
Mike & Britt were kind enough to give us a coupon code. If you use the code, “RSWC” at you’ll save 10% on your purchase. Please let them know you saw them on RSWC! A SIRT pistol would be a great item to buy while we’re still in quarantine/lockdown/stay at home. So use RSWC in the coupon code and save 10%!
Favorite quotes:

Mike: “We’re talking about hard times, two or three years in, you basically fail. But we’re too stupid to realize it. We’re the walking dead for 9 months. ….in the end, you just keep at it. Pick up the battering ram and keep hitting the wall. …Things are going pretty phenomenal now.”
Mike: “From what I understand about reality shows, they’re scripted reality… Top Shot is not scripted.”
Mike: “Achievement is kinda simple. You just understand the parameters, and what can go wrong, and you prepare like crazy. And you win. You succeed.”
Mike: “It’s like everything in life. Which is premised on relationships: respect, courtesy, being kind.”

Next Level Training Website (Use RSWC for the coupon code!)
Next Level Training Facebook Page
Mike Hughes Top Shot Facebook Page/
Next Level Training Instagram
Top Shot: Trick It Up Clip

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Riding Shotgun With Charlie
Riding Shotgun With Charlie isn’t about firearms. It is about having an intimate conversation with 2 people talking. You’re the fly on the rearview mirror. Many passengers are involved in the firearm community, but not all of them.
This is a more intimate conversation than a phone, radio, or Skype interview. You get to see the passengers. And you’ll see where the road and the conversation take you! , Facebook
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Smith’s Mechanical Broadhead Sharpening System – Review

In this photo you can see how the broadhead holder will hold your broadhead so you can work on it.
U.S.A. –-( I’m writing four Product Reviews in rapid succession on different products that you can use to sharpen a dull broadhead. I hate to be repetitious and bore you but I’m going repeat this first paragraph in case someone only reads one of my Product Reviews so you get the entry comments. “Archery season is upon us. As you’re dragging out your hunting gear you may discover that a few of your broadheads are dull. With a high percentage of Americans laid off right now you might not be able to buy new broadheads. Don’t worry, you can sharpen dull one.
Smith’s Mechanical Broadhead Sharpening System
I have saved the best item for the last. It is called The Smith’s Mechanical Broadhead Sharpening System. I don’t want to say that it is a complex system but it is detailed. So let me walk you through how to use it.

Lubricate the Arkansas stone with water or low viscosity honing oil. Spread it around on the
surface. While working, if it gets dry apply more fluid.
Smith’s recommends sharpening with your broadhead screwed firmly into an arrow. I like to use a hacksaw and cut a 10-16” (whatever length is most comfortable for you) off of an arrow and use that. The kit includes a broadhead wrench to tighten/loosen broadheads from the arrow. Lay the edge of a blade at the correct angle and rub it back and forth. Count the amount of times you rub it and repeat on the other sides. On your broadhead, you will use a lot smaller angle than on your hunting knives. It may be easier for you to perform this task on the edge of the stone. Don’t worry about applying a lot of pressure. The main goal is to match the preset factory angle on the cutting edge.


Using the tools in the kit, disassemble the broadhead and remove the cutting vanes. (To help make it safer to disassemble your mechanical broadheads they have a tilt up broadhead holder. Just screw the broadhead into it so you can work on it). There is a magnet on one end of the carrying case. Lay washers and parts on it so they don’t get lost.
Place the dull blade into the blade holder and screw it down tight, with the cutting-edge outwards.
Lay the cutting edge on the Arkansas stone. Hold at the factory preset angle and rub it back and forth 3-4 times. Do this process along the edge of the stone. Flip to the other side and repeat. Continue until you have your desired sharpness. Repeat with all blades. Like with all sharpening don’t worry about applying a lot of pressure, use enough so you’re comfortable and things are in control. Lay your off hand gently on the main hand to steady it.

If your broadhead has a sharpened chisel tip you’ll want to make sure that it is sharp. This is easy. Sharpen each edge by laying them flat on the stone at the same angle that they received in the factory. Rub them back and forth to sharpen, roll over to the next edge and repeat. I don’t have them in front of me but I believe that all of my chisel point broadheads are 3-sided.
The MSRP on the Smith’s Mechanical Broadhead Sharpening System is $28.99. And as is usual, we will close with the specs:

Natural Arkansas stone sharpens blades to razor sharpness
Wrench and bit holder tool for easy disassembly and assembly
Blade holder secures mechanical blade for precise sharpening
Broadhead mount safely holds broadhead for disassembly and assembly
6 Tool Bits Included
Magnetic strip to hold small broadhead pieces
Plastic storage container
Sliding lock
Rubber grips
Top tray detaches for sharpening
Lightweight and durable construction
Compact Size
Instruction guide

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About Tom Claycomb
Tom Claycomb has been an avid hunter/fisherman throughout his life as well as an outdoor writer with outdoor columns in the magazine Hunt Alaska, Bass Pro Shops, and freelances for numerous magazines and newspapers. “To properly skin your animal, you will need a sharp knife. I have an e-article on Amazon Kindle titled Knife Sharpening #ad for $.99 if you’re having trouble.”
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