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Dan Wesson Bruin – A Close Look At The Civilized Brute

Hunter Elliott from RangeHot.com is well known for his thorough and practical review of firearms. In this post Hunter takes a close look at the Dan Wesson Bruin and tells us what he thinks of this firearm. Be sure to check out Hunter's video below, where he does a practical review of the gun.

Hunter is generally a big fan of the Dan Wesson 1911, ever since he reviewed the Dan Wesson ECO (check out that review here). Bur before we dive into the details of the Bruin, let's look at Dan Wesson the company.

Dan Wesson Firearms

Dan Wesson Firearms is a proudly American company, which is a part of the CZ-USA group. The company was founded in 1968 by Daniel Wesson II.

Interestingly, his great grandfather was Daniel Baird Wesson, who was a co-founder of Smith and Wesson. In 2005, the company was acquired by CZ-USA.

Hunter's Full Video Review

Hunter's First Impressions and Note

After testing the Bruim, Hunter had some first impressions about the weapon, which include:

  • Solid aluminum trigger
  • Adjustable for overtravel
  • Breaking crisp at four pounds with just a bit of takeup and almost no overtravel
  • The slide stop and extended thumb safety are serrated, while the magazine catch is checkered

Overall Thoughts On The Bruin

The Dan Wesson pistols are expensive, but you get what you pay for as the Dan Wesson pistols are quality guns. The Dan Wesson pistols are hand fitted (so not your typical production pistol) with forged steel and contains no MIM parts. So really, if you take into consideration the high quality materials used and the time taken to produce such a pistol, the high price is to be expected.

In terms of what you want to used the Bruin for, it is a pistol that can be used for handgun hunting. It of course can also be used for self-dense or going shooting at the range.

To see Hunter's full length review of the Dan Wesson Bruin, go check it out here.​

 

 

What Is The Best Laser Bore Sighter? We Look At 5 Great Options

What is the best laser bore sighter? There are a lot of laser bore sighter options available. Some really expensive and some a bit more affordable. So what makes them different? We look at 5 laser bore sighters that we really like. Key considerations we kept in mind was

  • Price
  • Ease of use
  • Performance
  • Overall build quality
  • Battery life

If you want some tips on how to use a laser bore sighter, check out this video that describes how to laser bore sight a rifle:

Our 5 Top Laser Bore Sighter Options

Below we look at 5 laser sighter options that we really like. But we know there are other laser bore sighters out there that are also really good, and could possible be named the best laser bore sighter. If you have some thoughts on a laser bore sighter that you believe should be on our list, please share your thoughts in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

SightMark AccuDot Laser Bore Sight – 223 Model SM39001

In one’s search for the best laser bore sighter, one is looking for a sight that is sturdy enough to hold up in field conditions, but offers precise sighting capabilities. It also helps if the sight can be transferred among firearms. To these ends, this SightMark laser delivers.

It comes in a sturdy brass casing, has a boresight that quickly moves in on and sights targets, has a practical large laser target (about dime-sized), and although designed for .223 use, can be used for similar caliber rifles, such as the 5.56. Further helping this product in its quest for best laser bore sighter are its reliable batteries, built in centering, and consistent performance in target shooting.

The single biggest complaint about this laser bore sighter is that it seems to be overlarge for some .223 rifle chambers. The product can jam in chambers and be difficult to extract. There has also been some minor complaints concerning batteries draining quickly if left in the product. The manufacturer claims that this model has a 15-100 foot range, but some users say that it’s more accurately a 25-100 foot one.

223 Bore Sight Laser Red Dot In-Chamber Cartridge .223 REM / 5.56 Red Dot Laser Sighter

This candidate for best laser bore sighter is manufactured by GoZierTactical, a law enforcement firearm accessory favorite. Adjusting (“sight twisting”) generally is not needed with this product, though it is generally more effective at the 50 yard mark when used in conjunction with live ammunition.

This can also be used with a 5.56 caliber, loads quickly, can be used with the rifle bolt open, and no chamber jamming issues have been reported. Only real complaint concerns this product’s batteries, which die quickly and only seem capable of holding a limited charge.

This particular laser seems to work equally well for stationary target shooting and tracking live prey. This best laser bore sighter nominee does not have a carrying case, but offers resealable plastic packaging.

SiteLite Mag Laser Boresighter

This best laser bore sighter contender is a SiteLite product that is among the more expensive of the products reviewed here, but it more than compensates for this by including a number of features. These include:

  • lifetime product warranty
  • fits a wide variety of rifle calibers including several shotgun models
  • features the SiteLite BTS program which can produce a target for various firearm and ammunition types
  • features the SRL Scope Leveler to center crosshairs before using laser
  • includes DVD of company president on a hunt in which he uses product to bring down 255 pound mule deer

In addition to these features, this contender for our best laser bore sighter award gets high marks for its accuracy with both stationary and live targets, the range of gun barrel sizes that it can be used with, and the ease with which this sight can be adapted (with O rings) to fit various caliber guns.

The only real negative feedback from users concerning this sight concerns its plastic switch, which can break off with extended use, and some security concerns when trying to access included internet materials. Aside from factory packaging, this product does not come with a carrying case or a protective cover.

LaserLyte 22-50 Caliber Mini Bore Sight

In our quest for the best laser bore sighter, one of the items on our “wish list” is that the physical size of the sight could be reduced without either compromising centering or sighting accuracy. LaserLyte was apparently listening, as it has produced a laser bore sighter that is 50% smaller than its previous models, while still being easy to use and adjust on a range of firearms without sacrificing accuracy.

The result is a laser sight that saves both time and money, as its accuracy means that less ammunition has to be used. The product fits longer barreled pistols, and can be used with shotguns if an adaptor is installed. This best laser bore sighter is remarkably accurate for its size, getting within three or four inches of center at 25 yards, and even getting impressive results at 100-150 yards.

The construct of this product is lightweight in design, but it holds up well, even under field conditions. This particular sight does not drop into firearm chambers, meaning some users may have to do a little more adjusting. Only real negative reports with this particular product concerns its batteries, which some users claim come out of the box “dead”. This appears to be a retailer as opposed to manufacturer issue however.

Sightmark Triple Duty Universal Bore Sight

As we wind down our hunt for the best laser bore sighter, we come to another Sightmark product offering. This sight is far more versatile than traditional “arbor” type site, being compatible with all rifle and pistol types. This Sitemark is also quite accurate, easy to center, and has a durable construct, making it a good choice for field use.

This sight contains a very strong magnet and adjusts easily to all metal barrel types, cutting down on centering time. This best laser bore sighter nominee is our only candidate to feature a green laser, which is easier to see in outdoor daylight. And users give high marks to Sightmark’s customer services department for quick response times and helpful suggestions with this product.

The Triple Duty has a number of issues with its batteries, ranging from dead or the wrong batteries arriving with the product, to batteries not holding a charge for very long, to being difficult to recharge. This product comes with no accessories.

How Do The Laser Bore Sighters Compare?

Before choosing a best laser bore sighter, let’s remember why we’re using one in the first place. Despite what all of those Hollywood sniper movies imply, these sights don’t allow one to simply attach the sight, look through the scope, and draw a bead on the target.

What they do do is allow the firearm user to do is get much closer to the target, making up the remaining striking distance themselves. Therefore, in reviewing these products, our first concern was the sight’s accuracy, its ease in centering, and how easy it was to adjust on the barrel, which can affect the sight’s overall performance. Given the size of these sights and how often they have to be moved around, durability of these products was our next consideration.

How easy these sights were to adjust on barrels and put into and remove from chambers was another consideration, since it seemed to affect product performance for some users, especially users wanting to use the same sight on different types of firearms. With the exception of a single product reviewed here that seemed to have multiple issues on this front, batteries were not especially considered in scoring these products.

Problems were reported across the board with charge life and adaptor use, but closer examination shows these issues to be largely a result of operator error. While they are essential to the functioning of these laser bore sighters, they are easily obtained at any number of stores (CR2 3 volt lithium batteries for flashlights work nicely for these sights) and are inexpensive. Users of this type of sight are advised to have a source of these batteries even before they obtain these sights.

The SiteMark AccuDot is an accurate, sturdy, inexpensive sight that is fairly easy to use, making it not a bad choice for casual and novice users. It is limited in firearm calibers that it can be used with, and users have complained of extraction difficulties when it is used in chambers. A number of users have also disputed the distance accuracy claimed by the manufacturer.

GoZier Tactical’s 223 Bore Sight Laser Red Dot we found to be the best all around inexpensive laser sight. It’s durable, performs well under different conditions, and lacks the jamming and adjustment issues of some of these other products.

It’s difficult to find much wrong with the multi-featured SiteLite Mag Laser Boresighter, though its price may cause “sticker shock” for some. Some users have reported switch damage, though this may be due to user handling.

You get what you pay for apparently, because the pricey LaserLyte 22-50 Caliber Mini Bore Sight is another one of our favorites. Many users will appreciate its smaller size and sleeker shape that sacrifices nothing in accuracy.

But then again, money isn’t everything, since the Sightmark Triple Duty Universal Bore Sight is a comfortable mid-level price, and scores well in all categories, especially in firearm versatility. The green laser is a boon for daytime use. Just keep a close eye on its battery levels until Sightmark addresses this issue.

Our Choice For The Best Laser Bore Sighter

In terms of ease of use, accuracy, durability, and price, we’ve awarded the Sightmark Triple Duty Universal Bore Sighter our best laser bore sighter prize, with the SiteLite Mag Laser Boresighter placing a close second. Both products are accurate, reliable, can be used with a range of firearms, and should be considered for either target or field use.

What Do You Think – What Is The Best Laser Bore Sighter?

We really hope you have found this article helpful! We realize there are other laser bore sighters out there that are also really good. If you have a laser bore sighter in mind that you believe should be on our list of the best laser bore sighter options, please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

How Did Obama Inadvertently Affect Gun Sales?

It is January 20th, 2009. Blake Shelton’s “She Wouldn’t Be Gone” is topping the Country Music charts, “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” is the #1 movie at the box office, and Barack Hussein Obama II has been sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. President Obama would go on to serve two terms as President.

During his tenure as President, President Obama managed to get a lot of folks who strongly believe in the Second Amendment, really really angry with his outspoken stance on gun control. But how exactly did the Obama administration actually affect gun control?

How Did the Obama Administration Affect Gun Control?

obama-gun-roomWhile President Obama has always been a vocal advocate of gun control, especially in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, you might be surprised at how little has changed legislatively during his administration. With his second term nearing a close, the Obama legacy can only boast of two new laws enacted, and both loosened gun restrictions going back to the George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan presidencies, respectively. Obama took heat by gun rights activists in early 2016 for issuing a string of 23 executive actions aimed at reducing gun violence. What is often distorted (or overlooked completely) by media reports is that an executive action – as opposed to executive order – carries little weight in the real world.

The Evolution of President Obama’s Gun Control Doctrine

Obama Before the Presidency

Back when Mr. Obama was a largely unknown state senator from Illinois, he was an outspoken proponent of banning assault weapons. He maintained that rhetoric during his political rise, famously saying in a (federal) senatorial debate with Republican Alan Keyes that assault weapons “have only one purpose; to kill people.” He added that a ban on such weapons constituted a “common sense” way of thinking. It was during this campaign he repeatedly voiced his disagreement with then-President George W. Bush’s refusal to reinstitute the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.

The First Term

Banning assault weapons remained front and center during Mr. Obama’s first presidential campaign. He stated early and often that Congress should pass a permanent ban. From all indications it appears that shortly after being elected to a first term, Obama was forced to acknowledge (privately, at least) the difficulty involved in motivating the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and Senate to go along with anything that even sniffed of an all-out assault weapon ban. For four years, his calls for removing such weapons from American society – except for the battlefield – faded into the background of day-to-day Washington DC rituals.

Even though Attorney General Eric Holder spoke of the new administration’s intention to resurrect the ban, such talk disappeared as well, especially after Obama told ABC News that “none of us are under any illusion that reinstating that ban would be easy.”

The Second Term

The Sandy Hook shootings – which killed 20 young students and six adult staff members, and coming a little over a month prior to his second inauguration – seemed to galvanize the President back into his role as Gun-Controller-in-Chief. Tired of the seemingly endless parade of mass public shootings, Obama came out swinging, declaring that his second term focus would be on increasing gun control measures. The words sounded good, but there was little (actually nothing) to show from a legislative standpoint. Though Congress took up debate on a new assault weapons ban, complete with an amendment that expanded background checks on gun purchases, failed to pass the Senate.

Obama Gun Legislation

Prior to Sandy Hook, the Obama administration didn’t press Congress for any type of new gun control legislation, preferring to say it was a states’ rights issue and that an effective approach would be to have local and federal authorities enforce laws that were already on the books. Considering congressional recalcitrance to be proactive on the issue, this was the President’s new fall back position.

The two new actual laws that have been passed on Obama’s watch actually expanded gun rights! The first allowed those legally qualified to carry guns to do so in national park areas. Previous to that, Reagan-era rules said guns must be locked in gloveboxes while on federal land. The second law made it legal to include guns with checked baggage while traveling on Amtrak. This reversed a policy that went into effect shortly after the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on September 11, 2000.

To die hard gun control activists, the President’s written words at the time (2011), and their eloquent reiteration of America’s gun freedom history, must have been hard to swallow:

“In this country, we have a strong tradition of gun ownership that’s handed from generation to generation. Hunting and shooting are a part of our national heritage. And, in fact, my administration has not curtailed the rights of gun owners – it has expanded them, including allowing people to carry their guns in national parks and wildlife refuges.”

obama-shooting-gun2

For Second Amendment supporters, the sentiment was a far cry from what the National Rifle Association (NRA) warned us would be the most anti-gun president in American history. While Mr. Obama may have had grand designs to make gun ownership more restrictive, the reality of his time in office simply doesn’t meet that standard.

“Ruling” By Executive Command

In another case of either media misunderstanding or misreporting, President Obama only issued a handful of actual executive orders related to gun control. What he did do was use a concept called executive action, which is an entirely different beast. We’ll talk about those in more detail later. An executive order is a legally binding pronouncement by a president which is duly recorded in the Federal Register. It can only be rescinded by subsequent presidential order or action of the court system or Congress.

Executive orders issued by Obama have nibbled around the fringes of banning assault weapons but a group of 23 presidential actions issued in January 2013 were widely and inaccurately reported as orders. When compared to the legal effect of an order, a presidential action carries no legal weight and is little more than a suggestion or personal goal. The following list of presidential actions read more like a wish list than anything even remotely resembling orders.

  1. Encourage via Presidential Memorandum that encourage federal agencies to share data with the federal background check network. (Note: a memorandum falls somewhere between an order and an action. It isn’t listed in the Federal Register, but serves notice to the public that the president will issue new guidelines to one or more federal agencies.)
  2. Figure out how to remove those legal barriers that prevent doctors from providing patient information to the federal background check network. (Note: this one scared a lot of second amendment and right to privacy adherents but, remember, this is an action, not an order.)
  3. Encourage individual states to also share information with the federal background check portal.
  4. Address, through the office of the Attorney General, dangerous individuals who are not supposed to have firearms but have managed to to procure them. Figure out where the system is failing and fix it.
  5. Create rules allowing law enforcement at all levels to access full background checks on persons who have had a weapon seized. This will help insure guns don’t make their way back into the hands of such individuals. (Note: This is merely an announced intention to PROPOSE rules. Nothing concrete at all.)
  6. Enlist the ATF to write guidelines describing how private gun sellers should go about running a background check. Step-by-step instructions will go a long ways towards encouraging licensed dealers to screen those they are selling to.
  7. Create a national marketing push towards promoting responsible, safe gun ownership.
  8. Examine safety standards related to gun locks and safes. Change/strengthen them if needed.
  9. Direct, via Presidential Memorandum, that all federal law enforcement agencies trace guns recovered in connection with criminal activity.
  10. Make widely available to all levels of law enforcement a Department of Justice document detailing data on stolen/lost guns.
  11. Fill the vacant Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agency’s director slot.
  12. School officials, first responders, and law enforcement have widely varied knowledge and training in regard to an active shooter event. Provide standardized information.
  13. Provide maximum support to law enforcement in its mission to reduce violent gun acts and follow through with gun crime prosecution.
  14. Assign the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the mission of uncovering any possible underlying causes of gun violence, and how the national epidemic might be brought under control.
  15. Solicit private sector input on developing new firearm technologies that improve upon gun safety. Require Attorney General to report on the state of the art in reducing gun danger to citizens.
  16. Make it clear to the public that Obamacare does not prevent physicians from questioning patients about the presence of guns in their houses.
  17. Make clear to health care workers that federal law does not prevent them from contacting law enforcement to relay violent threats received from patients.
  18. Encourage schools to focus on hiring more safety officers. Provide financial incentives.
  19. Create standardized emergency response models to be distributed to churches, schools, colleges, and universities.
  20. Fill in state health administrators on what mental health services Medicaid should cover. In-time mental health treatment might prevent some gun violence.
  21. Create regulations called for within Obamacare that clarify basic health benefits and parity requirements within the Act’s exchanges.
  22. Finalize equality regulations in regard to mental health.
  23. Encourage a national mental health discussion, led by Secretary Sebelius (Health and Human Services) and Secretary Duncan (Dept. of Education).

Almost as quickly as they were announced, these executive actions fell off the radar for media outlets. There was an update six months later by Vice-President Joe Biden that two of the actions were complete and others had made “significant progress”.

The Big Question

Every presidential administration puts a spin on issues. But what about the numbers? The truth can surely be found in the numbers, right? Taking into account President Obama’s tough talk on gun control, were his policies effective as reflected in the numbers? In particular, we want to examine the following, when compared to the previous Republican administration of George W. Bush:

* Did gun ownership increase or decrease during his time in office?

* Were there fewer or more gun related incidents?

* Were gun sales higher or lower?

And the ultimate question by which history will judge the man: How successful was Obama at advocating gun control? Let’s take each question in turn.

Gun Ownership and Sales – Up or Down?

Any way you slice it, President Obama’s two terms have been great for the gun industry. Measuring by production, George W. Bush’s administration watched gun manufacturing increase by 18%. That’s quite a jump until you consider that Barack Obama’s administration witnessed a 140% production jump. We have a winner, hands down, when it comes to that metric.

weapons-manufacturing

Gun Production – 2008 to 2014: ATF 2016 Report on Firearms Commerce in the U.S.

According to The Washington Post, gun sales as measured by the number of Federal firearm background checks conducted, shot upwards in the last two years of Bush’s final term and continued that trajectory all through Obama’s terms, resulting in a much higher cumulative total for Obama. The obvious conclusion is that Mr. Obama’s lip service towards gun control overpowered an absence of substantive legislation to back it up and sent Second Amendment supporters into a gun-buying frenzy, which is not unsurprising. A certain percentage of the citizenry live in fear that the government is always poised to take their guns. They were (are) highly convinced that Obama would shut down the industry at any moment if he could, and resulted in a massive gun sales increase over the past eight years.

Gun Crime

Despite wildly differing claims about gun crime rates by various leading politicians, the Bureau of Justice reports the gun crime rate has been relatively stable since 2008. Before that, gun crime surged in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s but had stabilized by the time George W. Bush took office and has fluctuated modestly throughout the Obama years. These statistics are based on handgun crimes. Other types of guns project a slightly different trend – climbing steadily since the year 2,000. The rate isn’t much different whether you look at Bush or Obama.

The Bottom Line

As to whether President Obama has been an effective advocate for gun control, there’s no hard and fast answer. It depends upon a person’s particular opinion and what they consider evidence of “effective” advocacy. If you’re looking for a president who isn’t afraid to consistently espouse an opinion that more gun control is needed, you probably think that Obama has been an effective advocate. If you were looking for substantial legislation to back up his consistent public opinion, there has likely been disappointment. And if you fall into the camp of those who confused his 23 point gun control executive actions for orders, you probably are greatly disappointed in the quality of the advocacy.

In one interesting piece published on the Mises Institute website, the author compared Obama’s gun control policies as quite similar to Ronald Reagan’s and George W. Bush’s. The latter two were proponents of enhanced background checks and closing the “gun show loophole.”

*NOTE: The gun show loophole refers to the gun sales that fall outside the control of Federal law, such as between two unlicensed parties – the kind that often meet at a gun show.

Interestingly, Obama, Bush, and Reagan seem to align more than one might expect on the gun control issue. Maybe presidents’ of the two major parties aren’t as far apart as one might expect, even on “divisive” issues.

Images:

Flicker

Wikipedia

The Best Range Bags To Keep You Organized

Don't you just hate it when you get to the range and you open up your bag only to find your ammo has spilled out, everything is full of gun lube and worst of all, there are nasty scratches on your gun! It is a disaster! That is why we here at SmokingBarrel firmly believe in range bags to keep everything tidy and organised.

The best range bags are going to help you make sure that you are organized when you show up at the range for target practice. You cannot get any better with a weapon unless you are in practice, and that is why you need to get to the range as often as you can. These are the five best range bags you could use, and you can take a look at any of them to see which one works the best for you. Your organization and safety are a very important part of firing off rounds at the range, and that is why you need the best range bags out there.

5 Great Range Bag Options

Below we look at 5 range bags that we believe are the best range bags currently available. Of course taste and needs differ, so we realize there are probably a bunch of other bags out there that could be called the best range bags, which are not on our list. So if you have some thoughts on the topic, please feel free to share them with is in the comments section below. We would love to hear which bag you think is the best range bag.

Osage River Tactical Shooting Bag

Click on image to go to Amazon

This bag comes with a lifetime warranty, and that is the first thing you should consider. The best range bags options typically come with good warranties. This is a great product that will be backed up by the manufacturer no matter what happens to it, and you need to remember that when you are using the bag every day. This bag comes in four colors, and it is made of ballistic nylon with heavy zippers that will stand up to all the punishment that they get. You will be using this bag a lot, and the best range bags have the storage you need.

There are two side pockets, a front pocket and center pocket for your use. You can keep your ammunition in one pouch, accessories in another pouch, scopes in the front and your firearms in the center of the bag. There is some nice padding that will protect your guns, and you can zip the whole thing up for your trip to the range. Carry it by the handle or use a shoulder strap, and you will be able to practice as much as you need.

Gunmate Range Bag

Click on image to go to Amazon

The gunmate range bag is a really good device that is going to help you when you are trying to get to the range with all your gear. You need to make sure that you have looked at this bag because it has a nice construction that will help you protect your weapons. It has the traditional boxy design that has four main compartments, and you can zip them all up at any time. This bag is a little bit bigger than some other bags, and that will give you more space inside the center console.

The bag has its own shoulder strap, and you can throw it on your shoulder or carry it by the handle when you are ready to get out of the house. The bag is much tighter than others, and that means that your items will not slide around before you get to the range. It is very strong, and it will keep you and your weapons safe before you start your session.

The Allen Company Rangemaster Shooting Bag

Click on image to go to Amazon

This is one of the most unique bags in the industry. It comes in the same configuration that you will find with other bags, and it has a setup that you can use to help roll up all the gear that you are used to carrying. Someone who has a lot of delicate items can use it, and you can wrap them all up in the bag. You can put your accessories in the side pouches, and you can slide larger accessories into the front.

This is one of the best range bags and pretty special because it comes with the rolling pads that you can use to roll up weapons that do not have their own cases. Something that you have to piece together can be rolled up and stored the right way any time you need. The heavy duty fabric on the bag is very strong, and the zippers are strong enough to keep all the pouches closed.

Shangri-La Tactical Assault Bag

Click on image to go to Amazon

This is one of the best range bags that feels more like a bag that might be standard issue in the military, and you will notice that as soon as you see it sitting there before you pack it. It comes with three side pouches that can actually be strapped down with cloth straps that are right there on the bag, and it has a sturdy handle that you can carry it with when you are ready to get moving. The stacked design of the bag gives you more space in the top of the center chamber, but the bottom of the center chamber is much longer.

You will be able to stack up the items you are carrying in the bag if you need to, and it would be impossible for someone to get to them without making a fuss. That means that this bag is going to keep your guns safe, and it is going to be the perfect place for you to keep your guns even when you are not using them. You can lock the zipper pulls if you have to, and then you can get on with your life when you drop the bag at home.

GPS Tactical Range Backpack

Click on image to go to Amazon

This is a very unique backpack that is designed to be packed up in the most efficient way you can. You have two pockets on the front and two straps in the back. You can strap the backpack to your body so that it cannot be stolen, and it is much easier to carry because you can strap it on so tight. You also have straps on the front of the bag that will help tighten the compartments when you want to stop the items inside from moving.

The unique part of this bag is that it can actually be setup with sliding pouches that you use to pack up your weapons and accessories. There are special pouches in the top and bottom of the bag that you slide in and out, and you unzip the pouches to make sure that the items can be pulled out easily, and that is why there are four in the bag You can break up each gun into its own pouch, and then you can pull it out any time you want. That helps you a lot, and it makes it easy for you to care for your weapons in the best way possible.

This bag is helpful because it is actually a backpack, and it is a very nice design that helps you keep all your guns in different places. You can slide out one of the pouches at any time, and then you will be able to get the practice in the range when you want to.

Which Bag Do We Think Is best range bag?

The best range bags are the only thing you need when you are carrying all your items to the range. The range is a good place to practice, and the range is the only place where you can safely learn how to use a gun. Carrying the gun in something safe keeps everyone protected before you start firing, and you can use the bag as transport if you are carrying the guns in your car or going on a trip. You need to pick the best range bag for your needs, and you should pick the one that is large enough for your weapons.

Our Top Choice

We would use the GPS Tactical Range backpack because it was made to be the simplest to use.

It has the special pocket that will allow you to slide in scopes and suppressors, and you can pack everything away in seconds before you zip it up. This is a much easier bag to carry when you are going to the range, and it will also help you if you are thinking about taking it into the wild to go hunting.

You just have to be sure that you have taken a look at all the best range bags, and we believe you will come to the same verdict.

What Do You Think - What Are The Best Range Bags?

Do you already have a great range bag that you think is the best? If you have used a bag that you think should be on our list of the best range bags, please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

The Top 10 Most Popular Firearm Articles On The Web In Sept 2016

Welcome to the first issue of The Top 10 Most Popular Firearm Articles On The Web for September 2016!

Here at SmokingBarrelUSA.com we want to produce quality content, but we also realise that we are part of a greater community. There are lots of great articles out there and we love reading them, however it can be tough finding the best and most popular articles out there.

So we decided to do something about it! Our team scoured the Internet and looked for the most popular articles published during September 2016, so that you do not have to!

How Did You Come Up With This List?

Simply, we used an algorythmic tool to find articles that were specifically publisher during the month and then looked at the articles that were shared the most on social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

The Top 10 Most Popular Articles – September 2016

Below we organised the most popular articles related to firearms according to the number of shares it has received on social media networks. To read the article, simply click on the link and you will be taken to the website where the article was published.

Please note that the numbers contained are a snapshot of the social shares at the time of this article being written. It can happen that the number of social shares could change over time.

ArticleLinkSocial Shares
Sniper takes out ISIS executioner from a mile awaynypost.com98.5K
Naked Mike Rowe Pulls Shotgun on Drone That Invades His Propertycontroversialtimes.com73.1K
FBI: Twice as Many Killed with Bare Hands than Rifles in 2015breitbart.com33.6K
Shotgun Maker Mossberg Moving Operations Out Of Connecticutgunsleague.com26K
This gigantic sniper rifle can hit a kill shot from almost two miles awayfaves.com20K
Underwater Glock Fishing For Lionfish. You’ve Got To See This!saltstrong.com18K
What to Consider When Buying a Rifle Scopeluckygunner.com13.1K
The Story Behind the M-1 Garand Rifle and the story of John C. Garandwarhistoryonline.com13K
Tested: Mossberg MVP-LC Bolt-Action Rifleamericanrifleman.org8.9K
The Top 12 Most Famous Shotgunsfieldandstream.com1.2K

Snippets Of The Top 10 Most Popular Articles

Below we provide a snippet of each of the articles for you to get a feel of what the article is about. If you like it, just click on the read more here link and it will take you to the article to be able to read it in full.

Sniper takes out ISIS executioner from a mile away

A sharpshooter killed a top ISIS executioner and three other jihadists with a single bullet from nearly a mile away — just seconds before the fiend was set to burn 12 hostages alive with a flamethrower, according to a new report.

The British Special Air Service marksman turned one of the most hated terrorists in Syria into a fireball by using a Barrett .50-caliber rifle to strike a fuel tank affixed to the jihadi’s back…read more here

Naked Mike Rowe Pulls Shotgun on Drone That Invades His Property

Mike Rowe, the TV host, writer, narrator, producer, spokesman for the working class, and all around great guy woke from sleep and rolled out of bed only to come face to face with a drone hovering overhead and recording.

Mike did the first thing that came to mind – he grabbed his 12 gauge shotgun to blast the drone from the skies…read more here

FBI: Twice as Many Killed with Bare Hands than Rifles in 2015

The FBI’s 2015 Uniform Crime Report shows approximately twice as many people were killed with hands and fists in 2015 than were killed with rifles of any kind…read more here

Shotgun Maker Mossberg Moving Operations Out Of Connecticut

America’s largest shotgun manufacturer, O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc., decided not to expand in Connecticut. Sure it was founded there 1919 and still has its corporate headquarters in North Haven. But in 2013 Connecticut rushed through legislation to ban some of Mossberg’s popular products.

As a result, Mossberg CEO, Iver Mossberg, says, “Investing in Texas was an easy decision. It’s a state that is not only committed to economic growth but also honors and respects the Second Amendment and the firearm freedoms it guarantees for our customers.”...read more here

This gigantic sniper rifle can hit a kill shot from almost two miles away

Standing 6 feet 8 inches tall, this is by far the biggest rifle I’ve ever seen. Anzio Ironworks developed the 20x102mm Ultra Long Range Sniper System to increase the limit of precision firing from 2,000 yards to 3,500 yards (almost two miles), according to Tactical-Life…read more here

Underwater Glock Fishing For Lionfish. You’ve Got To See This!

Take that lionfish!!! I thought I had seen some creative ways to kill the invasive lionfish, but this video trumped it all. Our friend Courtland Hunt (his son is the 4-year old fishing teacher that went viral in this video) teamed up with Airborne Arms to see if they could turn a Glock 9mm handgun into a lionfish killing machine in 100 feet of water. Did it work?…read more here

What to Consider When Buying a Rifle Scope

One thing that always amazes me when I walk into a gun store is just how many rifles lack any sort of iron sights.

Metallic sights have been an integral part of rifles since rifling was invented, and yet in the last few decades we’ve seen fewer and fewer factory rifles equipped with iron sights. For me, this is perhaps the most powerful illustration of the effectiveness of riflescopes. Having spent innumerable hours behind riflescopes as a recreational shooter and as a Marine, I can confidently say that the modern riflescope is an excellent addition to almost any rifle, whether it is a dedicated paper-puncher, a seasonal hunting tool, or a military weapon…read more here

The Story Behind the M-1 Garand Rifle and the story of John C. Garand

“THE sharp crack of a rifle rang out, and another enemy bit the dust.”

It was, if you remember your dime novels, none other than Dead-shot Dick, the intrepid frontiersman. Surrounded and assailed on all sides by savages, renegades, and assorted varmints, he stood at bay. Again and again, he fired until the bodies of his enemies were heaped high about him.Then he strode off, lovingly patting the still warm barrel of his trusty long rifle which, though a flintlock, had performed like a machine gun…read more here 

Tested: Mossberg MVP-LC Bolt-Action Rifle

The ability to place rounds on distant targets with precision has always been appealing to me. Apparently I am not alone, as PRS and other long-range competitions are growing at rapid rates. The hardware developed for this sport is an amazing evolution of shooting technology. Mossberg is among several companies now offering a production bolt gun suitable for long-range shooting and competitions…read more here

The Top 12 Most Famous Shotguns

Writer Nash Buckingham’s “Bo Whoop”—named for the sound of its report—is an HE-grade Super Fox, made specifically for long-range shooting. Built in 1927, it weighs 9½ pounds and has 32-inch full-and-full barrels, specially bored to shoot 3-inch, 4-shot loads. Buckingham, a regular F&S contributor, used the gun for more than 20 years. On Dec. 1, 1948, however, he and friend had their licenses checked by a warden following a duck hunt…read more here

This Is Great! I Want More!

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What Do You Think?

Obviously the Internet is immense and there are great articles that were published in September that we did not find during our process. So if there is an article that you think is amazing and deserves a mention, please share it in the comments section below (SPAM will not be allowed of course)

What’s The Best Gun Oil To Keep Your Gun Lubed?

What is the best gun oil? If you are a responsible gun owner, then you keep your gun clean and well maintained. This will not only result in your gun lasting long, but also help prevent jamming or misfiring.

An important tool in keeping your gun well maintained is to use gun oil on a regular basis. The reason is pretty simple. The gun oil helps keep all the moving parts from wearing out quickly due to grinding/friction. It of course also helps to prevent rust from forming on the metal parts of the gun. So if you are going to be storing your gun, it is a good idea to give it a good clean and then oil it well before you put it away in a dry place.

The video below is not the most exciting video ever, but it does show in an easy to understand way how to oil your gun:

5 Top Gun Oil Choices

Below we look at 5 gun oil choices that we like and that we think are great gun oil options. However, other folks might have different views on which gun oil they think is the best gun oil out there. That is reasonable, as we all have different likes and requirements.

So if you have some thoughts on what the best gun oil is, please share them with us in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

Hoppe's No. 9 Lubricating Oil, 14.9 ml Precision Bottle

Click on image to go to Amazon

The best gun oil is one that lubricates effectively with minimal application, doesn't attract dirt to lubricated areas, has an easy to use applicator, and as an added bonus, is an effective lubricant for other mechanisms.

This Hobbes product has been discovered to be a great all purpose lubricant from everything from milling equipment to pocket watches. But since ours is a search for the best gun oil, how does it work on firearms themselves? The answer is very well, provided that this product is used correctly. Pieces should be cleaned thoroughly before application.

Because the protection of a firearm lubricated with Hobbes can last indefinitely, after the initial application, more sparing use of the product is indicated with future applications. Hoppe's No. 9 Lubricating oil neither evaporates or gums up in the package, or after application. The bottle's applicator design also works well for sending oil to hard to reach places. It is appropriate for the lubrication of a number of other outdoor items, including fishing reels and knives, making this a great product to take along on camping trips or on other outdoor situations.

The only complaint about this product, and it is a frequent one, is that the oil bottle leaks badly during shipping, wasting much of the product. Until the company resolves this mail-order problem, buyers might want to consider purchasing it from a brick and mortar store.

M-Pro 7 Gun Oil LPX, 4 Ounce Bottle

Click on image to go to Amazon

In our quest for the best gun oil, one should consider the benefits of the product beyond lubrication. Some oils (such as mineral ones) do only that, where more sophisticated synthetic blends can act as a cleaner or coating as well. This M-Pro product does all three.

In addition to providing lubrication, it acts as a dirt inhibitor and protectant for a firearm's internal parts. If applied to the exterior of a firearm, it can provide external rust protection as well. However, given that this product is intended as and functions primarily as a lubricant, extreme caution should be used when applying this to the exterior of a firearm because of potential slipping issues.

This M-Pro product is especially effective in combatting corrosion, both on the interior and exterior of pieces, even after prolonged exposure to salt water. The only real complaint about this best gun oil candidate is its package, which lacks an effective applicator.

Ballistol Multi-Purpose Aerosol Can Lubricant Cleaner Protectant

Click on image to go to Amazon

While its manufacturer markets and sells this product as a general all purpose lubricant, its wide use and high marks as a gun lubricant put it in the running for our best gun oil contest. Its alkaline content helps this product to reduce the corrosive effects of salt residue produced by human sweat. In addition to metal, this lubricant/cleaner protects wood, rubber, and leather.

Product comes with a straw to aid in reaching hard to reach places in firearms and other complex mechanisms like locks. But not all users would anoint this Klever product as the best gun oil. Some users have complained of "gumming" after application. Others don't feel that it's particularly effective in removing powder and residue from firearms. And regardless of users' feelings about this product's effectiveness as a lubricant/coating/cleaner, there is a universal dislike of its strong odor. Fortunately, this product is biodegradable, so if users feel forced to use it out of doors, it's environmentally friendly.

Other problems have occurred with shipping. When ordering from certain online companies, only a single (large) sized can is shown. If purchasers are not attentive to their multiple purchasing options, they may be automatically sent the smallest (6 oz.) can.

Pro-Shot 1-Ounce Zero Friction Needle Oiler

Click on image to go to Amazon

While many users are so enthusiastic about this product that it's earned a place in our best gun oil contest, its big attraction is its container. Made of a sturdy plastic with a needle sized applicator, the package guarantees minimal waste both with user use and in shipping transit.

Many users clean the bottle out and reuse it with other lubricants, and it seems to cause no issues. Oil itself is a unremarkable synthetic blend, although it performs well in sub-zero temperatures.

Lucas Oil 10006 Gun Oil - 2 oz.

Click on image to go to Amazon

This company produces a number of lubricants that would fit the best gun oil category, but this lighter grade synthetic oil fits the bill as it works very well with a number of firearm makes, such as .45 STI, Kimber, Glock, and .22 Browning pistols, in addition to shotguns and rifles. It is not recommended for air rifle use.

This product is long lasting upon application, and repells dirt well, including that introduced by ammunition. This product also appears to lack "gumming", smoking, and burning issues when used.

Some users have complained of "price gouging" when ordering in bulk from some online shippers. But the only true complaint about this product appears to be its built-in applicator, which is too thick to reach some recessed areas in firearms and other complex mechanisms with working parts.

Which Gun Oil Is The Best Gun Oil?

Before awarding the best gun oil winner, a few observations about lubrication fluids used on firearms, as they can have a significant impact on not only the protection, but the performance of a piece.

Most lubricating fluids are now synthetic petroleum blends. Lubricating fluids made from mineral oil (which is usually distilled from petroleum) can also be an effective gun oil. But it's important to note that these two lubricants can't be used interchangeably with any firearm. Air rifles, for example, should never use a synthetic blend for lubrication, because of the risk of fire damage. Mineral oil generally doesn't cause this problem, but as it's a "lighter" oil, it needs to be applied more frequently that a more "modern" lubricant.

And firearms used in areas where there are high humidity or salt levels may do best with very specific blend lubricants. Many longtime gun enthusiasts often like to prepare their own special blends, but in the interests of user safety and preserving the firearm, manufacturer recommendations as to at lest the general type of lubricant should be followed.

It should be noted that the products reviewed here were considered for their effectiveness as a lubricant/cleaner/protectant in terms of the inner mechanisms of firearms. Some users of these lubricants apply them to the exterior of their pieces as well. While there are several products on the market that are designed to do both, many of these gun oils are intended for internal use only. Applying them to the exterior of the piece may cause a gripping and safety hazard, and owners are again encouraged to defer to manufacturers' recommendations.

In summarizing these products, it should be noted that users reported largely equal satisfaction with them in terms of lubrication use. To make a more unbiased determination, we looked at:

  • Long lasting lubrication effectiveness under all condition
  • Packaging
  • Number of product's uses
  • Price

Hoppe's No. 9 Lubricating Oil, the only mineral oil reviewed here, is a fine lubricant that doesn't have the gumming issues of some other products, either in the gun or container. The container's design works well for application, as well. But this oil must be re-applied more frequently than other brands, and there have been leaking issues with the package when shipped. Given its steep price, there may be cheaper ways to get a "needler". Similarly, the more reasonably priced Pro-Shot 1-Ounce Zero Friction Needle has a nifty container, but the actual lubrication fluid is nothing special. The M-Pro and Lucas oils are within the same five dollar price range, and provide reliable cleaning and lubricating protection. And Ballistol offers an all-around excellent product in terms of lubrication, cleaning, and as a protectant. It does have an undeniably unfortunate odor, so outdoor or ventilated use is recommended.

Which gun oil would we choose?

For the best gun oil on the lower end of the price scale, the winner is M-Pro 7 Gun Oil LPX for its durability in various climate conditions for a wide range of firearms.

And on the upper end of the price scale, the best gun oil award goes to Ballistol for its product environmental safety and effective lubricant and protectant use, both internally and externally on firearms.

What Do You Think - What Is The Best Gun Oil?

As always we want to hear from you what you think the best gun oil is! If you have some thoughts on the subject, please feel free to post in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

What Is The Best Rifle Bipod? We Look At 5 Top Contenders

What is the best rifle bipod? There are a few points you need to keep in mind when looking at a bipod. For us, what we like to keep in mind include ease of use, how much effort is needed to deploy the bipod, effectiveness in various environments in stabilising a rifle and overall build quality. Of course a big part of the best rifle bipod for you will also depend on your specific intended use for the bipod, e.g. tactical use, hunting, target shooting/practise.

Using A Bipod Properly

Before jumping into which bipod we think is the best rifle bipod, it might be worth also having a look at how to use a bipod properly. This video shows practically how to use a bipod effectively when shooting.

5 Contenders For The Best Rifle Bipod

Below we look at 5 rifle bipods that we really like and believe are the best rifle bipod options. Of course this is just our opinion. We know some folks will have their own opinion on what the best rifle bipod is. If you want to share your thoughts with us, please feel free to post in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

OHUHU 6-INCH TO 9-INCH

Click on image to go to Amazon

The first bipod we looked at was the Ohuhu 6-inch to 9-inch Adjustable Handy Spring Return Sniper Hunting Tactical Rifle Bipod. It’s heavy-duty and made of hardened aluminum and steel with an anodized non-rusting finish. This is definitely a plus considering intense outdoor use. Despite its durability, it is surprisingly light-weight. Thanks to an easy-to-assemble body there’s no need to lug a bulky bipod on hunting trips.

The height of the Ohuhu is adjustable from 6- to 9-inches. This is a great feature because it helps you adjust for your target. It actually has 5 different settings for the legs that adjust using return springs. The total weight is 327-grams and its dimensions are 7.4-inches by 3.4-inches by 2.5-inches. The dimensions and weight play to an easily transportable bipod. When looking for the best rifle bipod make sure that it is easy to carry. Older models were known to be sturdy but hard to maneuver.

The best things about the Ohuhu are that it’s sturdy and portable. It can attach easily to your rifle and the legs are adjustable autonomously—that means if you’re on uneven ground you easily can adjust for level. Each of the two legs has a rubber end for added stability.

UTG TACTICAL OP BIPOD, RUBBER FEET, CENTER HEIGHT 8.3-INCHES TO 12.7-INCHES

Click on image to go to Amazon

The second bipod we reviewed looking for the best rifle bipod was the UTG Tactical OP Bipod 8.3-inch to 12.7-inch. This was another bipod with a lot of value to it. It is made of durable aluminum and the top platform is steel. This is a necessity with bipods because it makes them durable and sturdy but still light-weight for transport.

The arms of this bipod are foldable with spring tension. That makes it convenient if you need to extend them and folding them back up is no problem. Each arm has a posi-lock wheel and a button for quick retraction. Again-if you’re on the go with your hunting this plays well to being able to close up shop at one area and rush over to another for your game hunt.

When trying to find the best rifle bipod be sure that the weight is appropriate. This one definitely is. The UTG weighs just 13.3-ounces. It’s a little heavier than our Ohuhu but still well within the range of being portable and convenient. The dimensions for this one are 7.7-inches by 6.3-inches by 3.5-inches.

LEDSNIPER ACTION BIPOD HANDLE HIGH QULITY POLYMER BIPOD HOLDING SYSTEM WITH SIDE PICTINNY SYSTEM FOR MOUNTING LASER OR SLASHLIGHT WITH STEEL INSERT PUSH OUT LEGS

Click on image to go to Amazon

The Ledsniper Action Bipod was next on our list of reviews for the best rifle bipod. This one was a little different in construction. Rather than having the two legs jut out from just underneath the rifle, this one has a post and the legs extend out from that. It actually made it a little less sturdy, but still worth a look.

First of all, this one is made from high-quality polymer with steel inserts in the legs. It weighs 8-ounces which makes it one of the lightest bipods we reviewed. We did question the construction because it’s about half as heavy as some of our other options, but the performance stood up well. For its price its cost-to-value is still high. Its dimensions are 2.3-inches by 6.9-inches by 2.7-inches.

The Ledsniper also has a push-button control on the back of the assembly for the legs. This allows them to jut out quickly. To close them, you can just push them together. It wasn’t as convenient as the UTG Tactical, but it still got the job done.

What makes this bipod unique is that its handle and the bipod are one piece. Whether or not that makes it a true benefit is dependent on the user’s preference. It may be convenient to add value, or it may be difficult to get used to. We found it to be the former. The best rifle bipod is made for user convenience and this one is definitely in that category.

CALDWELL XLA PIVOT MODEL BIPOD

Click on image to go to Amazon

In our search for the best rifle bipod we next looked at the Caldwell XLA pivot model bipod. This one is made from aluminum, which makes it very lightweight. Like the first two reviews, this one has two legs jetting out with rubber feet for stability. They are notched for adjusting to different heights. This model comes in various heights: 6-inches to 9-inches, 9-inches to 13-inches, 13-inches to 23-inches, and 13.5-inches to 27-inches. We liked the option of getting the right height, however there may be more value in just having a single adjusting unit. Still, if you have a preferred height and know what it is, this may be a customizable option you like.

The legs are spring-loaded which means they can be popped out immediately. They also are notched so you can easily adjust to the height you need. What we liked about this model the most was its ability to pivot. That allows the shooter to use it on unleveled ground. It says it works well up to 20-degrees, but it seems to be adjustable to more than that. It definitely will serve the user well on rough rugged terrain. The pivot is usable during adjustment to target also, which proved to be a welcomed convenience.

The 6-inch to 9-inch Caldwell weighs 8.8 ounces and its dimensions are 11.9-inches by 5.8-inches by 2.4-inches. The 9-inch to 13-inch weighs 1-pound and its dimensions are 18.2-inches by 5.8-inches by 2.5-inches. The 13-inch to 23-inch weighs 1.3-pounds the 13.5-inch to 27-inch Caldwell weighs 1.5-pounds. Both of the larger models have the same dimensions as the 9-inch to 13-inch model.

UTG SHOOTER’S SWAT BIPOD, RUBBER FEET HEIGHT 6.2-6.7-INCHES

Click on image to go to Amazon

The UTG Shooters Swat Bipod is another model we reviewed when trying to find the best rifle bipod. This one is made from high-tech aluminum, which makes portability great. It weighs 12.8-ounces and its dimensions are 7.1-inches by 3.2-inches by 2.2-inches. What we liked about this model was its transportability. It seemed very sturdy for its size.

It has two foldable legs that are adjustable from 6.2-inches to 6.7-inches in height. It also has a swivel stud mount that allows for easy adjustment for precision shooting. It comes with rubber feet and a unique posi-lock feature that helps to keep it from tipping—particularly helpful when you are on rough terrain and need a stable bipod.

It also has a dual attachment feature—a weaver rail or a bipod adapter with a sling mount. The best thing about the UTG Shooter’s Swat is that it is quiet. You won’t have a problem with scaring away game when hunting. You can easily take it down and move to a different location and set it up, completely stealth. When looking for the best rifle bipods you want to have something that is durable but also convenient to use. The UTG is definitely in both categories.

COMPARING THE BIPODS

There are quite a few options in the search for the best rifle bipod so taking your time to find the perfect one for you is recommended. Here are the five we looked at:

1. Ohuhu 6-inch to 9-inch Adjustable Sniper Bipod

2. UTG Tactical OP Bipod

3. Ledsniper Action Bipod

4. Caldwell XLA Pivot Model Bipod

5. UTG Shooter’s SWAT Bipod

We liked the Ohuhu but what wasn’t so great was its lack of a pivot or swivel top. If your target is a few feet to either side, you have to readjust the entire bipod rather than just using a slight movement. The UTG Tactical OP, the Caldwell XLS and the UTG Shooter’s SWAT all have pivot action to them. This is a more than convenient feature. If you’re on the go with your game hunting, this is a must. These three definitely made the cut of best rifle bipod thanks to added features like this one.

The Ledsniper also lagged a bit for us. While it was unique in design because of its handle-bipod one-piece feature, we weren’t sure this would play well to its purpose. We get that it was added for “convenience”, but there’s reason why other models have their legs coming out from the base and not the handle. It seems to work better that way because it offers more stability. The Ledsniper just didn’t hold up.

Our search for the best rifle bipod came down to the UTG Tactical OP, the Caldwell XLA and the UTG Shooter’s SWAT.

Which option do we think is the best rifle bipod?

After vetting these five options to find the best rifle bipod we decided that the Caldwell XLA Pivot Model Bipod came out on top. What we liked most about it was its lightweight design that that was durably made. We also liked the fact that the manufacturer chose to offer it in varying heights. There are four different ones to choose from. Although initially we thought that having one model that adjusted more would be beneficial, we decided that each model Caldwell offers has a good span of inches. That span allows each model to fit every need. If a hunter knows he or she needs a higher model for different terrain, or for their preference, they can easily order that one.

We also liked the fact that this model had a special pivot for uneven terrain. Overall it seemed like it was built with the best adjustable features we found. It also comes in both black and camo options. No this doesn’t help the performance, but it sure is a nice feature to be able to customize your bipod!

There you have it. The best rifle bipod we found is the Caldwell XLA Pivot Model Bipod.

What Do You Think - What Is The Best Rifle Bipod?

Above we listed 5 rifle bipods that we really like, but we realize there will be folks out there with differing opinions to ours. And that is fine! Everyone has their own likes, dislikes and requirements. So if you have some thoughts on what the best rifle bipod is, please share them in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

Leupold VX-2 3-9×40 mm Scope Review

When it comes to choosing a scope for a gun, we enter a very big world of optics. Today, there are so many choices and variables to consider, it can often make your head spin. It’s a blessing in the fact that we can get whatever we want, and it’s also a curse because it’s a lot to think about.

In this article, I’m going to give a detailed review of the infamous Leupold VX-2 3-9×40 mm scope. It is a fantastic performer, and one of my favorite all around scopes.

1

Here’s the thing:

Because there are so many scope choices, when we go to buy, most of us take shortcuts based on what we think we already know. However, things in the industry often change faster than we can keep up.

Let me explain…

Most of us simply resort to past brand names that we are familiar with, just because it helps narrow down the selection quite a bit. That works a lot of the time. For example, Leupold has been around for a long time, and they typically make great scopes.

Another thing is we have to decide what sort of shooting we plan on doing with the scope, which can determine many of the specifications. We often go with familiar magnifications that are comfortable to us.

For people coming in new to shooting, it’s wise to ask around and read a lot of reviews like this one to try to piece all of the information together.  There are many guides out there.

I happen to love keeping up with the industry and helping people find the right scope, which is why I put together a really great guide over at Trek Warrior  to help experienced people refresh their knowledge or also help folks that are newer to get their bearings. The guide has a great glossary of scope terms and lingo to help explain what is what.

With that guide in mind, I won’t waste much time explaining any of the normal scope terms I use in this review. If you see a term that is new to you, please check out the guide for reference.

Let’s get right into our Leupold VX-2 review.

2

Specifications

Here are the specifications of the Leupold VX-2 3-9×40 mm scope.

Length: 12.6″
Zoom Range: 3-9x
Objective Lens: 40 mm

Tube Diameter: 1 inch

Adjustment Range: 52 MOA windage and elevation

Adjustments: 1/4 MOA windage and elevation

Reticle: Long Range (LR) Duplex
Weight: 11.2 oz
MSRP: $455 (For LR Duplex + Matte)

The adjustment turrets for elevation and windage are screw cap covered and coin turn operated. You can typically use a small coin or flat screwdriver to adjust these type of turrets.

A great pro tip is to take a dime and place it on top of the upper turret before putting the screw cap back on. For most scopes, a dime will fit in there fine and then you will always have an adjustment tool handy.

The style of turrets on this scope is ideally used for sighting in at your desired distance, and then using the reticle to adjust your shots. It’s a good idea to think through your shooting and hunting preferences to decide which distance you need to sight your rifle in at and which reticle is appropriate for you.

3

For me, 200 yards was perfect for my long term needs, and I opted for the LR Duplex reticle to give me more extended range since it has tick marks for 300, 400, and 500 yards. Your situation might be different. For a complete explanation about Leupold reticles and what they are designed for, check out Leupold’s ballistic aiming system document.

Installation

The installation for the VX-2 was very easy. I bought this scope for my Remington 700, chambered in .308, which is a very popular choice. From a review on this site as well as article research I did at Trek Warrior, it turns out this scope is one of the most popular choices for the .308 from many sources. What most people do for this rifle is go for a picatinny rail system, which is what I got too.

You always want to get the right high quality rings in order to avoid trouble. Leupold makes some decent rings for their scopes. The key is you want to match the rings with your tube diameter, and try to get the least height rings as possible for your lens diameters so that you will be able to use as much of the adjustment in the scope as possible.

I went with decent quality medium rings on mine to make sure I had enough clearance for the 40 mm objective lens.

I did a standard basic boresight at home by removing the bolt and aligning an object a certain distance away with what I could view through the scope. Then it was time to visit the range to zero it in.

At The Range

I had a lot of fun at the range. I started with a 50 yard paper target and the first few shots were on paper so I only had to make a little adjustment to center everything up.

I then moved the paper target out to 100 yards and within 6 shots got the scope zero’ed in perfectly. The rest of the time was spent practicing and having a blast.

One thing I noticed with this scope is the excellent optical clarity. The weather was mostly sunny with a little overcast, but everything looked really bright and crisp through the glass.

The long range duplex reticle has very sharp lines and really works well. While I didn’t sight in at 200 yards in order to take advantage of the elevation markings, the LR Duplex reticle has that capability for me to shoot longer distances in the future when I want to.

The eye box is pretty awesome with the eye relief at around 4 inches.

Overall, the scope was a breeze to setup and sight in. It is a lot of fun shooting it as well and has held its zero over the past year just fine. It is a great scope for deer hunting.

Recommendation

Based on my experience with the Leupold VX-2 3-9×40 mm scope, I would highly recommend it. You get a high quality scope at a low to mid range price.

The key selling feature is the high quality optics and the great durability of the design. You can pick many different types of reticles depending on your needs, and there are cheaper versions of this scope with more basic reticles.

Another selling point is this scope is water and fog proof, so no worrying about not being able to take the shot when you need to due to annoying environmental problems.

The scope also comes in matte, gloss, or silver options, if you want something a little more snazzy looking. Mine of course is matte black.

About the Author

Mark Wright is an avid shooting enthusiast. His day trade is in the optics industry and he spends his fun time playing around with awesome gear. He is passionate about being outdoors and often writes articles and guides at Trek Warrior.

Centerfire vs Rimfire – What Is The Difference And Which Is Best?

What is the difference between centerfire vs rimfire?

Basically, when we talk about centerfire vs rimfire, we are talking about types of ammo. More specifically we are referring to the two categories of ignition systems for ammo cartridges. Centerfire vs rimfire is all in the name – with centerfire the firing pin strikes a center primer, while with rimfire the firing pin strikes the rim of the cartridge base to ignite the primer.

Centerfire_&_rimfire_ignition

Source: wikipedia.org

The video below gives a nice overview of centerfire vs rimfire ammo, plus some interesting history too!

The big difference between centerfire vs rimfire ammo is the way in which the firing pin strikes the primer. With centerfire a center primer is struck, while with rimfire the rim of the cartridge is struck. So it is pretty obvious why each are name how it is named!

Rimfire ammo is typically smaller caliber ammo with thin cartridge walls, which make them cheap ammo that is perfect for beginners or for practising shooting. The most common type of ammo that falls in the rimfire family of cartridges is the .22 LR (Long Rifle). Of course, as rimfire ammo is typically smaller calibers, it is not ideal for self-defense or hunting bigger game.

Centerfire ammo is larger ammo with thicker cartridge walls, which make it more expensive to manufacture but also more reliable and possible to reuse cartridges. So you will probably notice your bigger calibers are centerfire ammo. Centerfire cartridges will be your cartridge of choice for long range sharp shooting, big game hunting and if you want a caliber with serious stopping power for self-defence.

So on whether you should use centerfire vs rimfire ammo comes down to what your needs are. If you just want to do some casual shooting that wont cost you much, or you are still just learning to shoot, you probably want a rimfire cartridge such as the .22 LR. But if you are a more serious shooter with more developed shooting needs, such as serious target shooting or hunting, you will want to go with a cartridge in the centerfire family.

What Is The Best Reloading Kit? We Investigate 5 Top Options

Selecting a best reloading kit is a bit trickier than making selections among other kinds of firearm accessories. Some users might prefer holster WX to YZ, but at the end of the day, that product serves one function, no matter how many brands are offered. While reloading kits ostensibly serve just one purpose as well, "self-rolled" ammunition, because of all of the tricks, techniques, secrets, and "science" reloaders employ in using these kits, many of them bring personal biases to their evaluation of them.

Therefore, to produce as fair a comparison as possible of these products and their merits, we looked at four things:

  • The price of the product
  • What purchasers got for that price
  • Clarity of instructions provided
  • Results of using product*

*It should be noted that the last criteria is only concerned with whether or not purchasers could produce live ammunition using a kit, not the ammunition amount or quality.

With all of that in mind:

While there is some debate about what a "complete" reloading kit should include, there are some essential items all should contain, and veteran reloaders put the cost of such a kit at around $400. While a cheaper kit is not necessarily a bad one, a purchaser should expect that in purchasing such a kit, multiple items will have to be acquired separately.

While such kits might not be worth an experienced reloader's time, for a newer one, these less expensive and moderately priced ones can be a cost effective way to see if reloading is an endeavor they truly wish to pursue.


Our Choice - 5 Top Reloading Kits

Lee Precision Breech Lock Challenger Kit

The best reloading kit is the most complete one. When one does one's own ammo reloading, "less is more" is not necessarily the best mantra to follow. On the other hand, "you get what you pay for", and some dedicated reloaders have complained that this economically priced kit may lack the quality to produce optimally packed ammunition.

Users who have been dissatisfied with this product point to the kit's plastic powder dispenser, which some feel do not dispense powder accurately, and has numbers which quickly wear off, in addition to a scale that has to be reset with every use and is difficult to calibrate. Users looking for the best reloading kit should also be aware that its press and hand priming tool are made of aluminum as opposed to iron, however, there have been few complaints concerning the quality of these components regarding the lightness of the metal.

The single largest complaint is that the press's arm disengages from the press without warning, although the press works well once this design "quirk" is compensated for. Most users feel that this is the best reloading kit for novice users wanting to save money and just starting out.

This kit is suitable for reloading both pistols and rifles. While a good starter kit, this particular model is not recommended for those shooting hundreds of rounds of ammunition a week.

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit

Another best reloading kit candidate, this package comes with all essential kit components, but lacks a tumbler and a pair of calipers. While not essential, if preparing large amounts of ammunition, such accessories are suggested, to avoid fatigue and insure accuracy.

Users should be aware that this kit does not come with a stand for the powder measure, meaning that unless a stand is ordered from RCBS optionally, the powder stand must be placed at the very edge of a shelf or work table. This is certainly an acceptable option, but doing so incurs an increased risk of spills.

The press is a well-made, highly accurate one, but a number of purchasers have complained about "bait-and-switch" tactics concerning this kit. In addition to tumblers and calipers, many users have found that this kit lacks essential tools such as brushes, though the company certainly carries these "missing" accessories, forcing buyers in some cases to purchase them for an additional $100.

There have also been complaints about kits lacking the supposedly enclosed instructional DVD, and a difficult to understand written manual. The Rock Chucker is limited to handgun and rifle ammunition production. However, given this price, and all of the components that it is lacking, this may not be the best reloading kit for your money.

Hornady Lock N Load Classic Deluxe Reloading Kit

Widely considered the best reloading kit for its price among reloaders, this Hornady is lacking a few items that regular and dedicated reloaders will want in their kits. These items consist of such accessories as brushes and the like, and can wait until individuals get deeper into reloading practices and are better able to determine their long term needs.

In the interim, this best reloading kit nominee certainly fits the bill. While users have been pleased with the sturdiness and reliability of this kit's components, there have been complaints about its scale (digital but small, with an adapter not compatible with all outlets) and its calipers (dial, not digital).

Some purchasers have also complained that items shown online are actually not included with the actual kit, but there is some question as to whether or not purchasers understood what was offered with it. Components are easy to install and use, and this Hornady model provides ammunition for a wide range of calibers. This kit retails on the higher end of the spectrum.

Lee Precision Classic Turret Press Kit

Reloaders looking for the best reloading kit in terms of a complete, reliable kit that produces ammunition for a range of calibers and firearm makes, could do worse than this Lee model. Purchasers should be warned that a mounting system prominently featured in advertising actually has to be purchased separately.

Dies also must be purchased separately from Lee. Otherwise, this is a very complete kit in terms of components. Unlike other kits described here, unless it's a matter of personal preference, reloaders seem to feel it contains everything needed for their purposes. The single biggest issue with this reloading kit concerns the primer, and its tendency to "drop".

This may have more to do with reloaders' expertise as opposed to a design problem however, as even those complaining about this issue had fewer priming problems the more that they used this kit. This Lee model is priced in the middle range.

Lyman T-Mag Expert Kit Deluxe with 1500 Micro-Touch Scale

Another of the more expensive best reloading kit nominees, this Lyman product might not actually win our best reloading kit award if we were basing it simply on what it lacks, given its price. For example, this kit lacks a mounting system, tumblers, shell holders, dies, and calipers.

There have also been multiple complaints about its scale and primer, specifically the primer measure. However, this is an extremely easy kit to use, especially for beginners, and comes with one of the better and more complete instructional manuals that we have seen in comparing these products.

Overall quality of the kit is sturdy and durable. Its turret is well-machined, though users should be cautioned that turret plates can loosen with use. This should be rechecked and adjusted as needed before each use. The T-Mag retails on the upper end of the kit scale.

Our Choice For Best Reloading Kit

Keeping the criteria for selecting the best reloading kit we specified at the start of this article in mind, the Lee Precision Breech Lock Challenger Kit is a good beginner's kit for getting one's feet wet in reloading. Given equipment durability and powder measuring and weighing issues, it's not a good kit for producing large amounts of consistently firing ammunition. Still reasonably priced and much more durable, is the company's Lee Precision Classic Turret Press Kit. There have been calibration complaints from some users, but there is some question as to whether this is a product or operator issue. Results seem to be much better with this product than the Lee Challenger, so the extra hundred or so dollars may well be worth spending.

On the higher end of the cost scale, while RCBS has a good industry reputation, there have been a number of complaints about missing or misleading components with its RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit. The kit itself produces several types of perfectly functional ammunition. Users will have to decide if its price and brand name justify the extra shopping. The similarly priced Lyman T-Mag Expert Kit Deluxe with 1500 Micro-Touch Scale also offers disappointingly few components given its price. But it is also the easiest of all the reviewed kits to set up and use, and also boasts the best user's manual. And while it is the most expensive of all of the reviewed models, the Hornady Lock N Load Classic Deluxe Reloading Kit is probably also the most complete of them, especially for those just getting started with reloading. This kit has a well-earned reputation for durability as well.

Which reloading kit would we buy?

If looking for a relatively inexpensive kit to get started with reloading, than a user would do well to select the Lee Precision Classic Turret Press Kit. However, the best reloading kit in terms of our criteria stated above is the Hornady Lock N Load Classic Deluxe Reloading Kit. It offers equipment that will reliably produce functional and accurate ammunition over many years.

What Do You Think - What Is The Best Reloading Kit?

Different folks will have an opinion on what they think the best reloading kit is. That is because we all have different needs and different tastes. So if you have some thoughts on the topic, please share them on the comments section below and tell us which reloading kit you believe is in fact the best reloading kit. We would love to hear from you!

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