FRI | APRIL 3, 2020

Remington Arms Company received an NRA Golden Bullseye Award for the 2020 Tactical Gun of the Year from the NRA American Rifleman. The gun named was the Remington V3 Tac-13 12 gauge.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program has announced the cancellation of all activities at its Alabama and Ohio armories, offices, stores, worksites, marksmanship centers and the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park until Monday, May 4, 2020, due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic.
Citing “growing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic,” Outdoor Retailer announces the cancellation of their Summer Market 2020, which had been scheduled for June 23-25, 2020 in Denver.

Brownells is calling on its fans to beat those bored-in-the-house, social-distancing blues and earn a chance to win a $10,000 Brownells shopping spree by competing in the Brownells Boredom Buster $10K Challenge.
Trijicon Inc. announced that it has licensed DLOC Solutions’ full mounting and accessory portfolio and underlying technologies. The first of this family of products to be produced by Trijicon will be quick-detach mounts for the Trijicon RMR and MRO.
Heckler & Koch Defense Inc. is pleased to announce the first shipment of M110A1 Squad Designated Marksman Rifles to the US Army. This shipment is the first of many that will eventually total between 5,000 and 6,000 complete weapon systems.

After 50 years of manufacturing outdoor gear, The Allen Company has transitioned their manufacturing capabilities to help in the desperate fight against COVID-19 by making much-needed personal protection equipment.
This position is responsible for implementing Smith & Wesson's channel marketing strategy. The successful candidate will manage our existing Channel Marketing programs. The individual will work closely the sales team help identify potential opportunities.
Following the direction of the Trump Administration to ease tax burdens on American businesses during the COVID-19 virus pandemic, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau announced it is providing firearm and ammunition manufacturers and importers a 90-day delay period from the required filing and payment dates of Pittman Robertson excise tax payments.

The Second Amendment Foundation responded to a memorandum issued by ‘Everytown Law,’ an arm of Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety infringement lobbying group, calling the document “totally biased” and written solely to support the emergency closure of American gun stores, using the COVID-19 crisis as an excuse.
Legions of Americans have rushed to gun stores to purchase firearms and ammunition for the first time in their lives in reaction to the coronavirus scare, and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms encourages them to be safe, stay informed and protect their re-discovered rights.
Blackhawk announced that it has expanded its line of Appendix Reversible Carry Inside the Waistband holsters to fit popular concealed carry pistols. The new A.R.C. IWB holsters are now available for use with the SIG P365, SIG P356XL, Glock 48 and Smith & Wesson EZ 9/380 pistols.
Galco introduces the QuickTuk Cloud inside the waistband holster for the popular Springfield Armory XD Subcompact series. It includes Galco’s patent-pending, tuckable polymer UniClip for excellent concealment.
Axeon Optics announced the Axeon NightVue, a binocular mounted green laser illuminator that transforms the standard binocular from a daylight only tool into an optic that can be used around the clock.
DeSantis Gunhide introduces the #137 Slim-Tuk holster for the Taurus G3. It’s a minimalist ambidextrous IWB holster of Kydex.

Leading Edge Archery hosted the 2020 Texas Indoor State Championship in Boerne.
Oklahoma S3DA held its first Indoor State Championship at The Arrow Shop in Dewey, Oklahoma in conjunction with the National Field Archery Association’s Oklahoma State Archery Association (OSAA) championships .
Athlon Outdoors is committed to helping new gun owners get access to valuable information for safe gun ownership. With that in mind, we've made their Gun Primer magazine available as a free download.

While many shooting sports athletes find themselves in a period of downtime, the SCTP and SASP turn to social media to help inspire and keep their athletes focused and ready to compete once restrictions are lifted.

Knife Rights has once again assembled an incredible array of prizes for this year's Ultimate Steel™ Spectacular including custom, limited edition and production knives, celebrity signed knives, firearms, an African safari and more.
Shooting Industry’s SHOT Show Review Issue presents a thorough examination of the 2020 event — with a special emphasis on identifying potential new sellers and how dealers can successfully carry them in-store.
Gun Digest Media announces the release of Cartridges of the AR-15, authored by noted AR-15 expert Patrick Sweeney. Sweeney covers details on more than 50 cartridges that are available in dozens of calibers, from .22LR on up to the .450 Bushmaster and everything in between.
It’s state and federal representatives who continue to push forward with pro-gun legislation, the new Sig Sauer Legion in 10mm, a new lawsuit in California, and more, this week on Tom Gresham's Gun Talk Radio.
Industry giant Magpul has continued their support of the Scholastic Action Shooting Program for the 2020 season.

Federal Premium is proud to announce its continued support of Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever, the nation’s leading upland habitat conservation organization.
Federal Ammunition announces a new partnership with the popular television series “Crush with Lee & Tiffany.” Federal will become the official ammunition of The Lakoskys, a popular hunting couple, who have been winning awards and leading ratings since the series launched on Outdoor Channel in 2008.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources’ two public shooting ranges will be closed beginning Friday, April 3, until further notice, in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Yesterday, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee issued Executive Order No. 23 requiring Tennesseans to stay home unless they are participating in “essential activities.” In effect through April 14, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. “Essential Businesses” include firearms manufacturers, distributors, retailers and ranges.
The recent inclusion of "workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges" in the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency's (CISA) Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce highlighted the challenges facing some knife manufacturers, retailers, importers and distributors in keeping their doors open in these challenging times. Now, Knife Rights is working with associates and network in Washington to add knife retailers, manufacturers, importers, and distributors to the list of essential businesses.
 

As the world around us changes, almost on a daily basis, we’re all learning lessons. They can be anything from appreciating all those “prepper sounding” things we quietly did before coronavirus made us even more appreciative of our outdoor training, to the quiet regrets of wishing we’d paid a lot more attention to the family budget and savings accounts when it seemed nothing out of the ordinary could impact our economy.

In the still-accurate words of Heraclitus, “change is the only constant in life.”

Today, we find ourselves actually missing things we assiduously avoided only a few weeks ago. Our collective perspective has shifted about boring staff meetings, educational seminars and boring church services. When people in New York City go on their balconies to clap their appreciation for first responders and grocery workers, things have changed.

Talking with Rich Grassi on the phone yesterday, he told me what was happening reminded him of the days immediately after 911. “I’m at the range,” he told me, “it’s totally empty and there’s not a jet contrail anywhere in the sky.”

The absence of people on a shooting range and jets criss-crossing the skies really are pretty solid reminders that things are different. So, too, are the sounds of birds in our backyard. The birds are nothing new, but the absence of the background noises that normally mask their songs is part of the new situation.

It’s also become obvious that we’re going to be responsible for keeping ourselves current in some things where we normally rely on others for at least a part of our keeping our perishable skills sharp.

For me, one of the areas where I need the discipline of regular practice is shooting. At one point, not terribly long ago, I practiced several times every week. To the tune of thousands of rounds a year. Not the same quantities as the pros, but far more than most amateurs.

A combination of a lack of practice facilities, physical issues and time constraints cut that time back- drastically- a couple of years ago. I rationalized it away as being part of the natural progression of maturity. You know, get older, do some things less frequently.

This latest national emergency has again brought the realization that I’m my family’s front-line of defense into sharp focus.

Unfortunately, that sharp focus hasn’t extended to my front sight. It’s blurry to the point I realized it was time to stop cleaning and prepping my defensive tools and to get some solid practice time in.

Hard to do in a subdivision. Standing around outside doing dry fire drills would get a quick visit by the local PD. Live rounds would get the SWAT team.

That would be, as they say, no bueno.

Standing at my work bench yesterday, I was struck by the realization that I had several feet of potential shooting lane to either side of my bench. Pulling out the trusty measuring tape, I realized I had seven yards to one side, and just over five to the other. Plenty of room for precision shooting drills with a handgun…especially if said handgun was CO2 powered and pushing .177 caliber BBs, not 140 grains of lead.

It’s not a range in-a-box because the box is the range. If you have a CO2-powered pistol, a bunch of Amazon, FedEx and UPS padded shipping packages and a decent-sized shipping box, you have the makings of your own practice facility.

Today, I’m the proud assembler of what has to be the most pulled-together practice facility ever. And it’s compact. The entire target area to either side is only 10 1/4 x 20 inches. In case you’re wondering, that’s the size of the bottom of the Walmart home delivery boxes that had previously been cluttering up the free space in the garage.

I collected a pair of shipping boxes that had similar bottom dimensions, stuffed a couple of old catalogs in the bottom, then filled the rest of the space with loosely packed, padded shipping pouches from Amazon, FedEx and UPS. Then I taped the top up, turned the box on its side, and realized that I had more space the A-zone on most targets.

If I shot precisely, it would be more than adequate to allow me to practice.

My goal wasn’t to hammer out quick splits, make fast draws from a holster or run any of the drills I enjoy. In fact it was the exact opposite: bring the pistol up to a solid shooting position, carefully establish a sight picture and squeeze a controlled shot as closely to the center of my chosen target as possible.

Old school practice. The kind of practice that quickly points out the fact that many of us use speed as a substitute for accurate. The kind of practice that told me that maybe I’d stayed away from slow-fire a bit too-long.

I have several CO2 pistols, but only one that doesn’t fire pellets. And the goal was to practice, not blow the end out of my “range” and wind up repairing walls or water heaters afterwards.

So I found myself shooting an older model semiautomatic with a very long, sloppy trigger, hard-to-see sights, and a point of aim that meant I really had to pay attention.

The perfect gun to identify problems and force me to pay attention to every shot.

At first, my shots were exhibiting social distancing (above) but continuing to focus on the basics tightened up the groups and even enabled me to make hits on little 3/4” stars on the box.
 

I couldn’t adjust the sights, so I began aiming at the centers of my targets and shot for solid groups. If the groups were tight, I reasoned, the sights were the issue, not my mechanics, right?

At first, it was infuriating. My shots were adhering to social distancing, stringing vertically and horizontally (sometimes, both). When the CO2 cartridges got low, they looked like a badly-patterning shotgun.

But I kept every one of them inside the little “range boxes” - at a minimum of 15 feet. A couple of hours later, I had two small boxes full of rattling BBs - and no holes anywhere else.

And I realized that I’d spent more than two hours in serious practice. By the end of the afternoon, I could grab the air pistol off the bench, spin left or right and put a round into the middle of my targets.

Reassuring in several ways. First, I’m again familiar with handling a handgun. No fumbling around to find the trigger and sights. After my air pistol session, I brought out my “real” guns and did dry fire with lasers. The lasers didn’t do the kind of wiggling around that indicated leaky fundamentals.

It was also reassuring to see that I’d come up with a solution using what I had, rather than complaining about what I lacked. That means I’m thinking about solutions.

That’s never a bad thing in fluid situations.

These days, the ability to adapt may mean the ability to overcome.

We’ll keep you posted.

—Jim Shepherd

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