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Introduced in Fall 2019, the Hellcat caught the attention of the industry with its small stature but impressive capacity. Boasting 13+1 rounds with an extended mag and 11+1 with the flush fit mag, the Hellcat aimed to offer concealed carriers the ability to flawlessly conceal without sacrificing much in the way of capacity.

The base model Hellcat retails for $569 while the OSP version comes in slightly more at $599. It is available at www.guns.com.

If you're looking to buy a pistol-caliber carbine, the Kel-Tec SUB-2000 is a handy, reliable, and affordable option, available in either 9mm or .40 S&W. They're available at www.guns.com.

Introduced in 2001, the SUB-2000 has proven itself a popular firearm for plinking, backpacking, and bug-out bags. One of its signature traits is the unique ability to fold in half. When folded, the overall is reduced from 30.5-inches to 16.25-inches, making it extremely compact and lightweight. Unloaded, it weighs in at just 4.25-pounds.

Folding the gun is simple, as the trigger guard acts as a release lever. Pulling on the trigger guard unlocks it, and the barrel folds upwards and locks into place on the stock. To return the gun to its firing mode, a latch at the top rear of the stock releases the gun from this position and it snaps back into place. There are no tools necessary and is a major selling point of the firearm.

The SUB-2000 is semi-automatic blowback operated firearm, meaning the recoil of the discharged round compresses a spring located in the tubular stock. The spent shell casing is ejected from the side of the gun and the spring pushes the bolt forward, picking up a fresh round from the magazine and chambering it. The simplicity of the action makes the gun easy to clean and maintain.

The barrel measures 16.25-inches and comes threaded for suppressors, with the 9mm version featuring a 1/2×28 thread and the .40S&W version offering a 9/16×24 thread. A thread protector comes standard. The SUB-2000's trigger breaks at 9.5-pounds with a nice audible click.

The length of pull and front sight are adjustable, with LOP offering three settings. The charging handle is located on the tube about halfway up and Picatinny rails line both the top and bottom of the barrel, allowing for mounting lights, lasers, and optics. It should be noted that if you do add hardware to the top, the gun will no longer lock into place when folded. The sides of the barrel shroud feature M-LOK slots.

Magazines are inserted into the grip much like a pistol, and magazines vary based on the SUB-2000 model. So, if you already own a pistol, you will likely be able to use your existing mags in the SUB-2000 -- another selling point to this platform. Ammunition capacity varies according to magazines and, of course, state laws

The advantages of a carbine in a pistol caliber are plenty but the two biggest are the increased sight radius, which aids accuracy, and the longer barrel, which increases projectile velocity. A carbine also allows more points of contact between the shooter and weapon increasing stability.

Shooting a pistol-caliber carbine is a ton of fun. Being able to throw it in a backpack is a nice touch. The Kel-Tec SUB-2000 comes in black, flat dark earth and gray.

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Since 1860, Arlington National Cemetery has served as a final resting place for Veterans from the U.S. and 11 other countries with over 420,000 buried within its confines. Nearly 5,000 unknown Soldiers are buried throughout the cemetery and approximately 29 funerals take place every week. More than 3 million people visit Arlington National Cemetery each year to pay their respects.

In 1921, an unidentified American serviceman from World War I was brought back from France and interred at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; however, there was no monument at the time — it was just a stone that covered the opening of the tomb. In 1931, the marble monument that exists today was placed.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, or Tomb of the Unknowns, contains the remains of Soldiers from wars in which the U.S. has fought. More recent DNA testing has enabled the identification of remains and in some cases, these have been returned to families for burial in their plots.

See more at www.guns.com.

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Field stripping and cleaning a Glock can seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and a little know-how, the process takes less than 15 minutes. Digging through the owner’s manual is a little on the dull side and sometimes doesn’t get you where you need to go, which is why Guns.com is here to help. We’ve broken the process down step-by-step to ensure you get the cleanest Glock on the block.

Luckily, all Glocks break down the same way so no matter which model you’re sporting you can follow along with these procedures. First thing’s first, we need to lay out our tools to get the job done. See more at www.guns.com

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Century Arms, exclusive distributor of Canik firearms in the U.S., released an enhanced version of the popular TP9SA – the TP9SA Mod.2 handgun – using customer feedback from military, police and civilian shooters.

See more at www.guns.com.

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Looking for an open gun ideal for someone just dipping their toes in USPSA/IPSC open class, I was on the hunt for a handgun primed for entry-level performance. The Guns.com Vault revealed a pistol ready to take up this task -- the STI Grand Master.

Chambered in .38 Super, the Grand Master sports a 5-inch Trubor compensated barrel. A Trubor barrel is manufactured from a single piece of rifle-grade steel. It’s then fitted to the compensator to improve accuracy and reduce muzzle flip. To really work that compensator, the .38 Super round allows for more powder and, for that reason, is a popular open caliber for reloaders.

Weighing in at 44.6-ounces the gun is hefty but manageable. As I shot it felt balanced and didn’t impede my transitions from target to target.

The Grand Master is a factory-standard model that offers a few upgrades, chosen at the time of purchase, but otherwise is standard among its series. If you compare this gun to other factory models, it’s quite competitive; however, it shouldn’t be compared to a custom open gun. That’s like comparing apples to oranges or a Chevy to a Ferrari.

The pistol offers rear cocking serrations, STI’s steel magwell, an ambitious magazine release, and an installed C-More optic. For an open gun, it has what you need to get to the range and stretch your legs in Open Class. That being said it is lacking features like slide cuts and barrel ports, but, again, this isn’t a true custom gun. For a factory model, it gets the job done at a more affordable price point.

In taking it to the range the Grand Master shot flat. The trigger brought very little creep and even less take-up, which one would expect from an open gun. I felt the Grand Master had much more punch than other open guns which affected the shooting experience but certainly did not impact accuracy.

Some feeding issues are due to the neutered 10-round magazines. With some tuning, I believe they would run flawlessly. Otherwise, there were no issues and it ran consistently.

The magazine release was easy to grasp and the magwell made reloads sweet. My main gripe would be the lack of a slide racker, but the rear serrations do help. This was a very fun gun for practice and I feel on a stage it would really shine.

Though STI halted production of its open guns in 2019 — to focus on other product lines — the open series will most likely reappear after 2020. This particular Grand Master is from the pre-DVC line, which makes it a tad older. With that being said this Grand Master looks practically new and hardly used. In a world where open guns tend to see insanely high round counts and abuse, this one is a gem.

Overall if an entry open gun is your desire- this one fulfills that! See more at www.guns.com.

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Sometimes individuals who have earned military decorations such as the Medal of Honor are described as having "won" the award. This is fundamentally incorrect.

While attending this year's SHOT Show, we came across Sergeant First Class Sammy Lee Davis, U.S. Army, Retired.

Now 73, as a young 21-year-old cannoneer in a howitzer battery in Vietnam in 1967, Davis was wounded in a pre-dawn attack on Support Base Cudgel by a Viet Cong battalion. Despite his wounds, he manned a machine gun to help suppress attackers inching towards his gun crew in the dark, then manned the burning howitzer alone after it had been hit by a recoilless rifle round, using it in direct-fire mode against the enemy position.

Each time he fired the big gun, he was violently injured by its recoil, but he would stand up, reload it, and fire another round. Remaining at the flaming gun, he continued to work it while mortars rained around him.

Although wounded, he refused medical attention, rescued other wounded men, and later joined another howitzer crew, fighting until the Viet Cong withdrew.

Davis received the Medal of Honor from President Johnson in 1968 for his actions during the Vietnamese attack and also received the Silver Star and the Purple Heart. He remained in the service until 1984.

Davis breaks down why there are no Medal of Honor "winners" in the above short video.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, SFC Davis.

His inspiring true-life story, You Don't Lose 'Til You Quit Trying: Lessons on Adversity and Victory from a Vietnam Veteran and Medal of Honor Recipient, is available where ever books are sold.

See more at www.guns.com

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For a brand that has only been available in the U.S. for about four years, Canik has made quite a name for itself. Imported by the Florida-based Century Arms, Canik handguns are offered at a low price and in seven variations, including the Canik TP9DA.

Probably the most notable feature on Canik handguns are the triggers. They are some of the best out-of-the-box triggers available for polymer-framed striker-fired pistols. They have smooth take up and without the grit or sloppy feeling that people associate with other pistol brands. They break crisply and reset cleanly with a solid easy-to-feel click.

But the trigger is where the Canik TP9DA separates from the rest of the series. As implied by the name, the handgun is equipped with a Double Action/Single Action trigger. In double-action mode the initial trigger pull is longer and the pull weight is much heavier. Whereas, the single-action mode has a shorter take up and a much lighter pull weight. Traditionally, the double-action trigger has been used as a precaution against accidental discharges, but passive trigger safeties have since replaced it.

For more info, check out www.guns.com.

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Shadow Systems burst onto the scene in 2019 with its own concealed carry-esque pistol, the MR918. Looking straight into the eyes of Glock perfection, the MR918 looks to upend the stalwart pistol and become the go-to for users looking for custom-like concealed carry. Check out www.guns.com for more info.

As a concealed carry fan, I took on the task of testing the new MR918 platform to see if it lives up to its hype.

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A few months ago, I took a look at the Sig Sauer P238 and since then I’ve been inundated with requests to take a look at another Sig sibling – the P938. Chambered in 9mm, the P938 is yet another entry into the micro compact Sig lineup but I was curious how it stacked up next to the .380 ACP Sig P238.

Luckily, we here at Guns.com happened to have a used Sig P938 in our Vault ready to be tested.

The P938 adopts a micro look and feel, measuring just 5.9-inches in length with a 3-inch barrel. Weighing in at 16-ounces, this handgun sports a capacity of 6+1. This particular model, found on Guns.com, came decked out in a nice FDE/black aesthetic featuring a black metal slide and controls with FDE frame.

Similar to the P238, the P938 opts for SigLite night sites and a manual safety. The SigLite night sights offered a brighter approach to traditional irons. Easy to acquire, the SigLite sights draw your attention to that ever-important front post so it’s easier to get shots on target.

If you’ve followed my reviews for any length of time you know that my usual gripe is that I can’t stand manual safeties. This gun hasn’t changed my opinion. The manual safety added an extra step to my shooting process and as someone who routinely carries without one, it took some time to retrain my brain. That being said, if you are a manual safety fan – rock on. This gun has a functioning one and it’s located in a good spot, easy to flick on and off with the thumb. If you’re like me, however, and prefer your guns without manual safeties, you might want to pass on this particular model.

This gun featured a few upgrades such as a rubberized grip for a more comfortable shooting experience and a Sig branded laser attached to the trigger guard. Lasers are great tools for those learning to aim as well as gun owners looking for bedside guns; however, in the daytime, the laser proved less useful. Shooting at an

average of 7-yards, the laser was nearly impossible to see with the sun overhead. During twilight hours and at night, I had better luck seeing it.

The first thing I noticed was the size of the gun. Offering an extremely small stature, the Sig P938 definitely works for concealment. Primed as a backup gun, the Sig P938 seems comfortable nestled in a deep concealment holster or ankle rig; but the trade-off to a super small gun is in its recoil. After shooting the P238, I knew that the larger 9mm round would bring a little more oomph to the table and I was right.

Over the course of shooting, I routinely adjusted my grip as the recoil impacted the placement of my hands. I found myself tightening down more and more to compensate which led to some fatigue. This isn’t much of a surprise as most compact guns chambered in 9mm or above tend to kick a little more due to their smaller stature.

Let’s be honest here, though, this gun isn’t made for long days at the range or repetitive shooting in gun courses. It’s better suited as a backup gun that you break out once a month, throw a few magazines worth of ammo in, and call it a day.

Speaking of ammo, the Sig did well in terms of reliability. I loaded my mags with Hornady Critical Defense, Federal Train + Protect, Winchester White Box and Remington UMC with no hiccups. I even mixed some ammo up to see if that would trip a malfunction and it did not. The P938, by all accounts, functions as intended.

In comparison to the Sig P238, the P238 is a smoother shooter by far but that’s like comparing apples and oranges. The small frame of the P238 paired with the .380 ACP cartridge is, of course, going to feel better to shoot than the similar framed P938 with a bigger bullet; but where this gun excels is in that 9mm chambering. For those specifically searching for a 9mm round in a super-compact gun, the P938 is a winner.

With a bevy of models to choose, the Sig P938 makes for a decent backup or deep concealment gun. The Sig P938 is priced around $700 but street prices and, even better, used prices tend to hover below that. Also, don’t forget the benefit of going used is the gun often comes with extras like spare mags and a nice, hard-sided case.

Check out www.guns.com for more info.

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Nearly a decade ago, I strolled into the gun range nearest my house, tested a few pistols and walked out with my first handgun. A Walther P22. In the year’s since, however, my taste in handguns has evolved. For carry, I swapped it out for the 9mm Glock 19, but I saw a Walther P22 available inside the Guns.com warehouse and it piqued my interest. So, I thought it was time to take a trip down memory lane, revisit the beginning of my gun journey, and see if my fond memories of the P22 hold up to reality.

Measuring 6.3-inches in overall length, the Walther P22 features a 3.42-inch barrel length with a 4.5-inch height making it a compact semi-auto model. The hammer equipped P22, is a double-action/single action pistol with a hearty 10-round capacity. Weighing in at 17-ounces, the P22 is light enough that it doesn’t weigh arms down while shooting but also solid enough to take a beating at the range.

The P22 sports a manual safety, custom accessory rail for added accessories like lights and lasers, slide serrations for easier gripping and slide manipulation as well as removable backstraps to better customize the grip area. The grip itself features a unique texture designed to prevent hands from slipping when sweaty or wet. The texture itself isn’t overly aggressive, though, so those with sensitive palms should have no issues firing the P22 over the long-term. The P22 also employs a chamber viewport that allows shooters to quickly identify the status of the firearm – whether it is in fact loaded or unloaded.

As I look back, the Walther P22 was exactly what I needed early on. The compact .22 was easy to use, comfortable to shoot and had little to no recoil. And, picking it up again, the pistol performed largely as I remembered. With practically no recoil, I could plink for endless hours. Then, with .22 LR ammo to boot, I could reasonably do that without breaking the bank.

The P22’s controls are laid out in a manner that make it easy to operate. However, something I noted about its construction now gave me pause. Back when I first picked up the Walther P22, its magazine release nestled into the trigger guard didn’t seem or feel odd. After several years of carrying a Glock, though, this lever-style release is cumbersome and had me tripping up during reloads at the range. It’s not what I would term a deal breaker — certainly not for new gun owners who don’t know anything different — but having been around guns for a more than minute, it felt odd.

The P22 also sports a manual safety, another feature that feels foreign as a Glock owner. The safety is a lever style and quickly moves between functions with a flick of the button.

Controls aside, the Walther is a fun little gun to shoot — when it does actually shoot. The pistol sometimes has small temper tantrums depending on the quality of ammo. In my experience, both years ago and even today, CCI .22LR seems to work about the best. Once the ammo equation has been solved, the Walther plugs away at targets providing the opportunity to plink, have fun or train without the usual rigors of larger caliber guns.

The Walther P22 proves to be a decent plinker for those just entering into the gun world or those that want to train on the cheap. The Walther P22 was a nice trip into my gun owning past and a pleasant reminder of why the .22 LR round is such a fun one to plink with. The Walther Arms pistol retails for around $220.

Check out the Walther P22 and other handguns inside the www.guns.com Vault and collection of Certified Used Guns.

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Texas Range Day brought together influencers, content creators and sponsors together for a fun day at Extreme Tactics and Training Solutions in Waxahachie, Texas.

Sponsored by FN America, Vortex Optics, Maxim Defense, STI, Nemo Arms, and Guns.com, to name a few, the event saw 25 content creators from all over the country testing guns, gear, and their own skills alongside one another.

From a competition bay that challenged handgun skills to a long-range shooting set-up courtesy of Nemo Arms and Vortex, Texas Range Day let shooters try their hands at something new.

“I came out today to basically test out some of the baddest products on the market right now,” Austin of TampaEliteGuns told Guns.com.

In addition to putting shooters through their paces, Texas Range Day also gave participants the ability to network face-to-face with other creators as well as 14 total sponsors.

“The main advantage to coming out here is the fact that you get to shoot some guns that you may not have locally. You have the representatives of these companies out here with you,” Chris of Realdirtyharry fame said.

Organizer Jack Callahan, otherwise known as whiskey.savage on Instagram, told Guns.com that the event was meant as a way for influencers and content creators to produce organic content with firearms and shooting resources they may not have available otherwise. The event took many hours to prep, but Callahan said the time is well worth the investment to provide a content-rich environment.

“I’ve probably put in about 300 hours on this event. Everything from buses, food to the range. The range is the easy part, honestly. It’s everything else, logistically, that goes into it. It’s been a labor of love for about the last six months,” he commented. “I started Texas Range Day to bring an opportunity for the community to come together and have a good time with great sponsors.”

Though Texas Range Day took tremendous planning, Callahan said the industry can expect to see it back next year as the shooting event will be an annual occurrence.

“We will have a Texas Range Day website (in the future). We will be doing events like this, smaller regional ones, in Arizona, Utah, and Florida and then we’ll do a big one in Texas every year,” Callahan said. “The big thing for next year is Texas Range Day will be a customer-facing event so we will be able to sell passes for folks to come out and watch the social media shoot but also train with the best trainers in the world.”

Check out www.guns.com for more info.

Aerial camera footage was filmed by Jack Callahan.

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The single stack pistol genre brings subcompact, concealable styles to gun owners looking to easily stash their weapon on the go. With a stockpile full of great concealed carry options, we pulled four solid single stack options out of the www.guns.com Vault to take a closer look at what these models offer concealed carriers.

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Known as the people’s pistol the Heckler & Koch VP9 is the German company’s answer to the Glock 19 craze. In an already crowded concealed carry market, though, I was curious how the striker fired pistol actually measured up. Spending some time on and off the range with HK’s pistol, I got an intimate look into the VP9 design. They can be found on our site www.guns.com.

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Jared LaMarche, of Windsor Arms Co., showcased their AR-10 machine gun at the Green Mountain Boys machine gun shoot in Eden, Vermont.

Windsor Arms Co. is a Class 3 manufacturer that takes good guns, and makes them better. In this case, they took a semi-automatic Palmetto State Armory PA-10 and turned it into a select-fire machine gun capable of firing approximately 800 rounds per minute. 'You don't want a higher rates of fire out of a box fed magazine because it will out-run the magazine.' says LaMarche.

They gun ran flawlessly at the shoot. If you watch it in slow motion in the video, it's extremely solid as it it throws 150 grain bullets at 2,820 fps. A very efficient muzzle break allows the rifle to be extremely controllable.

Windsor Arms added some Magpul furniture and shortened the barrel. It got a lot of attention at the machine gun shoot that took place on July 14 and 15, 2017. 'It's one of our crowd pleasers.' says LaMarche of the AR-10. 'This thing is really loud and has a lot of concussion. Everyone stops what they're doing when we start shooting.

Windsor Arms Co. is located in Windsor, Vermont. They manufacture, fix and modify guns. Check out www.guns.com.

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The venerable Glock is synonymous with reliability and ruggedness, proving itself over the years as a worthy contender in the self-defense and personal protection realms. With five total iterations to its name, Gaston’s children each come with their own quirks and attributes making them unique in their own right. I snagged three generations of Glock 19 pistols from the Guns.com warehouse – the Gen. 3, Gen. 4 and Gen. 5 -- to evaluate the similarities and differences among these series.

See the full article on Guns.com:
https://www.guns.com/news/2019/05/08/glock-gen-3-4-or-5-whats-right-for-me-video

When heading out into the wild for some hiking, it’s important to pack some security just in case wild animals look to interrupt your outdoor fun. It can be confusing attempting to choose a good gun for hiking but that’s why Guns.com is here. We’ve pulled a selection of handguns from our Vault to help make that decision a little easier.

The Smith & Wesson Shield is a concealed carry staple. Chambered in 9mm, this single stack polymer pistol packs neatly into a holster for ultimate concealment on the trails. Featuring a magazine capacity of 7+1 with the standard magazine and 8+1 extended magazine, the Shield marries a stainless-steel slide with polymer frame topping it with a matte black finish.

The G20 boasts that familiar Glock profile, a plus for current Glock owners looking for a little more oomph to their favorite polymer pistol. Taking a step up in caliber, the Glock 20 runs 10mm ammunition through its Austrian build. The 10mm bump means a little more oomph with heavier bullets perfect for tackling animals you might encounter on the trails.

The Ruger GP100 is a giant leap in terms of size. Measuring 9.50-inches in overall length with a 4.20-inch barrel, the revolver weighs in at 40-ounces. It’s a heftier choice for hikers but that weight lends itself to better recoil management. The GP100 comes chambered in both .38 Special and .357 Magnum, though both rounds are easily managed due to that heavier frame. Granted the versatility of multiple chamberings, hikers also have that option of choosing a caliber more suited to the animals in their area. For me, I tended to opt for the .38 Special.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include the venerable Taurus Judge in a list of hiking guns. A fan favorite, the Taurus Raging Judge Ultralight packs quite the punch chambering both .410 shotshell and .45 Long Colt. Don’t let the “Ultralight” moniker fool you, this is one meaty gun. For someone petite like me, it was a struggle at times to keep it on target and prep that heavier trigger. Measuring 10.2-inches in length with a weight at 41.4-ounces, this handgun doesn’t mess around.

See the full article on Guns.com:
https://www.guns.com/news/2019/06/24/four-great-handguns-for-your-hiking-needs-video

Every once in a while, I like to take a trip to the https://www.guns.com Vault and grab a pistol that may be a tad older and feeling a little less loved. For this review, I snagged CZ’s first full-size polymer pistol, the CZ P-09, to take it for a test drive.

Based on the CZ 75, the P-09 ditched a metal frame in favor of a polymer one, becoming the company’s first full-size polymer pistol offering. The addition of polymer to the CZ pistol lineup brought the company into a more modern era, also pulling double duty delivering more rounds than other standard pistols.

Chambered in 9mm, the CZ P-09 packs a whopping 19+1 with a flush fit magazine providing plenty of rounds to accomplish training, range, or self-defense goals. Want even more lead? Grab an extended mag for 21+1. Be prepared, however, to drop some coin on those magazines as they don’t come cheap — $40 to $50 is about the going rate for a single mag.

Measuring 8.1-inches in total length, the P-09 ships with a 4.54-inch barrel. The pistol boasts an Omega DA/SA trigger system and ships with a de-cocker installed but those can be converted to a manual safety with some additional parts — if you’re into that sort of thing. No surprise, I left the gun as is because I am not a huge fan of manual safeties. The de-cocker and firing pin block work together to allow shooters to safely lower the hammer on the P-09.

The P-09 offers some versatility to shooters by way of interchangeable backstraps — shipping in small, medium, and large. I opted for the smaller size because, well I am micro after all. Rounding out the features, the CZ pistol brings a 1913 Picatinny rail for lights, lasers, or any other compatible accessory.

The CZ P-09’s full-size design gave me plenty to grab onto at the range — though, as someone with small hands it sometimes proved tough to situate my grip on the first grab. Again, this system does come with backstraps but even with the smallest installed, I still found myself adjusting my grip. Some guns are just not meant for tiny people and this might be one of them.

Despite some gripping issues, the P-09 shot well with no issues. After a day of plinking through tons of different brands of ammo including Hornady, Federal, and Winchester, the CZ performed well. Even better, having such a large capacity of 19+1 meant I spent more time shooting and less time changing mags — which was really nice.

The only major issue I encountered came down to the rather heavy slide. I found it slightly difficult to manipulate but worked through it. If you’re someone with arthritis or an injury that leaves you with little hand strength, however, you might want to forgo the P-09 as you’ll likely find it frustrating.

Slide aside, the CZ P-09 offered a pleasant shooting experience and manageable recoil.

Where does the CZ P-09 fit on the scale of use? While some might be able to carry the full-sized gun, it was too big for me to pull off; but I could easily integrate this pistol into a home defense plan. With 19+1 rounds, it’s a no-brainer to keep this bad boy in a quick-access safe by the bed.

Retailing for around $499, the CZ P-09 is a nice polymer upgrade, holding to the CZ name. If this one catches your fancy, check out our full inventory of P-09 pistols as well as other CZ offerings on Guns.com by clicking the button below.

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Concealed carry the enthusiasts looking to merge their workout wear into the concealed carry lifestyle may find the road to getting ripped a little daunting; but it doesn’t have to be. The holster and gear market caters to athletes in need of safety and protection while working out with a bevy of options to aid in your mission to get fit. With so many options, though, which one should you choose?

No worries, Guns.com has done the heavy lifting, creating a sampling of five concealed carry holsters designed for healthier fit lifestyle.

See full article on Guns.com:
https://www.guns.com/news/2019/06/12/5-concealed-carry-holsters-for-exercising-video

Less than one month after the tragic Las Vegas shooting, the two biggest machine gun shoots in the world took place in America. One at the Knob Creek range in Kentucky. The other at the Big Sandy range near Wikieup, Arizona.

Approximately two million rounds were fired at the events by hundreds of fully automatic machine guns and a few dozen artillery guns. Dynamite, diesel and fireworks were ignited by tracer rounds, filling the sky with smoke and thunder.

Despite all of this intense firepower, not a single person was hurt or injured. Spectators come from all over the world to attend the events. They rent a machine guns and blow stuff up.

There are few countries on earth that lawfully allow its citizens to own machine guns and artillery. It is uniquely American.
I spoke to a few spectators and organizers at both events about this unique right.

Jakob Lefevre, a spectator from Belgium attending the Big Sandy shoot, told me: "There's a few countries in Europe where people still actually have the right to keep and bear arms. Where I live in Belgium, it's more like a priviledge. You gotta jump through a lot of hoops before you're actually allowed to own any type of firearm."

Mal Gregg, a spectator from Australia, who included the Big Sandy shoot on a road trip across the US with his two sons, said: "The rules are way more strict in Australia. They want to get rid of all of our guns. And I say to you guys in the US, you know like, if you can keep this, just go for your life. Don't let them take your guns."

At the Knob Creek shoot, a spectator named Olaf from the Netherlands, responded to me asking him if there are machine gun shoots in his country. "No, we cannot do that at home. It's not allowed. There are no automatic guns allowed. Government regulations."

Kenton Tucker, one of the organizers of the Big Sandy shoot, who is an American, told me: "The anti-gunners and what have you, will always come after guns, no matter what you do. When you lose a right to own something, you will never get it back. Ever. So, if anybody out there thinks that, oh, let's pass another gun control law, it's for the best. It doesn't work that way. They always add something to bill, or whatever they're trying to get through congress. Then you end up with nothing. Your guns go away."

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One of the highlights at this fall's Big Sandy Shoot was a vintage WW2 ball turret with twin .50 cals that spectators could shoot.

Although it's not uncommon to see unique and rare guns and military vehicles at the event, the fully functioning ball turret garnered a lot of attention.

Taigh Ramey, president of Vintage Aircraft, towed the Sperry A2 ball turret all the way from Stockton, California to the shoot, which takes place every April and October just outside of the town of Wikieup, Arizona.

Sperry A2 ball turrets were commonly mounted underneath either a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress or the Consolidated B-24 Liberator. They were used to defend the bomber against aircraft attacking from below.

Ramey found the turret in a surplus shop many years ago. It took him 15 years to convince the owner to sell it, and he's sure glad he did. Ramey fixes up and maintains vintage aircraft for the Stockton Field Aviation Museum. The ball turret has proven to be very popular with visitors.

The turret was new 'old stock' from the 1940's, so it never saw service. Despite having sat on a storage skid for half a century, Ramey says he brought it back to his shop, put hydraulic fluid, fired it up, and the turret ran like a charm.

Rumored to have inspired the inside of the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon from the Star Wars films, the Sperry turret was operated by the gunner inside using two hand controls that operated two Vickers hydraulic units. It could rotate 360 degrees and tilt up up and down. Atop two control handles were fire buttons that engaged two .50 caliber light-barrel Browning AN/M2 machine guns. The guns fired 850 rounds per minute, and each gun was fed by a 500 round box of ammunition. The guns could not be reloaded in flight, so gunners had to be careful.

Contrary to popular myth, ball turrets were not always manned by tiny people. People up to six foot could fit inside comfortably. Gunners sat in a fetal-type position, and aimed the guns using a Reflector sight in front of a small circular window between their legs.

Statistically, the ball turret was one of the safest crew positions during WWII as ball turret gunners had the lowest loss rate.

Ramey was at the Big Sandy Shoot not only to live fire the turret, something he'd never done before, but also to promote Bomber Camp. It is a two-day event held on May 29 and 30 of every year at the Stockton Metropolitan Airport in California. Participants get a chance to step back in time to train for a bombing mission, and then to fly it for real.

Participants learn how to use original bomber sights and compensate for height, distance and wind. Gunnery classes familiarize them with the ball turret and other aircrafts mounted guns, all of which can be fired in flight using airsoft propane 'blanks'.

The grande finale is a flying mission in which dummy cement bombs are dropped from high altitudes on targets from a B-24 or B17 aircraft. Bomber Camp offers a once in a lifetime experience to gain a greater appreciation for the men and women of the "greatest generation". Enrollment is tax deductible.

Video by Ben Philippi

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Battlefield Vegas blew people's minds with their M60A1 tank firing it's 105mm main gun at the Big Sandy Shoot.

Twice a year, the Big Sandy Shoot attracts a lot of guns, including many large caliber guns. One of the highlights of October 2018's shoot was Battlefield Vegas's M60A1 tank firing her 105mm M68 main gun.

The M60 tank, and it's variants, was the US main battle tank from 1960 to 1980, when it was replaced by the M1 Abrams tank. It features a Royal Ordnance L7 105mm main gun.

Big gun expert Robert Bigando, who was responsible for prepping rounds fired from the tank at Big Sandy, told Guns.com that the projectiles being fired weighed roughly 23-pounds and were traveling approximately 2650 feet per second. To do this, he packed nine pounds of gun powder into each enormous 105mm brass shell. According to Bigando, the tank is the only live-firing M60A1 in the country.

Battlefield Vegas is located in Las Vegas, Nevada behind the Circus Circus resort. It features over 500 machine guns that can be fired in their air conditioned indoor range. In the facility's parking lot is a military vehicle museum that is free to the public.

Ron Cheney, the owner of Battlefield, has been collecting military vehicles and large caliber guns for years. Battlefield is currently in the process of opening an outdoor experience 25 minutes south of Las Vegas where tourists will be able to drive and fire tanks, shoot artillery guns, and even fire machine guns out of a helicopter gunship at targets in the desert.

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The Williams Machine Gun Mafia like the kind of guns that you can run really hard without having any issues. The boss Andy Williams, tells us which of his guns these are.

Williams, a Class 3 dealer from Maine, is a regular attendee at the Green Mountain Boys Machine Gun Shoot in Eden, Vermont. I caught up with him in 2014. He showed up, as usual, with his crew that consisted of his son and a few close family friends. In tow, was a small arsenal of select-fire weapons and a lot ammo.

Although Williams enjoys dealing guns, he prefers to shoot them. “There’s a couple different kind of dealers,” he said. “There’s the kind of dealers that want to make money off of everything. And there’s the kind of dealers that love guns like me.”

Williams and his gang shoot hard – probably harder than anyone else at the gun shoot. “We don’t worry about the gun. We fix it after,” Williams said with a grin.

“We like the guns that run time after time and you don’t have to mess with them. The AK is one example of that,” Willams said. He had about a dozen different variations of AKs in his lineup. “I’ll tell ya, the accuracy sucks on an AK, but the reliability is unbelievable,” he said.

Williams is also a big fan of Glock pistols. He had three select-fire G19 pistols at the shoot. “They’re really fast. I mean, they’re like, probably at least around 1,500 rounds a minute,” he said.

The Williams style of shooting their select-fire Glocks was unique. A shooter advanced to the firing line with two unloaded Glocks, one in each hand, held aloft in a safe direction. From behind, a loader inserted 33-round magazines in each of the G19s and released the slide. Checking the range to be clear, the shooter unleashed both guns in unison, spraying bullets everywhere. He then held the empty pistols, slides locked back for the loader to reload and repeat.

They fired the Glocks all day in this manner. They must have put a few thousand rounds through each G19, firing at roughly 1,500 round per minute, and I did not see a single jam. I don’t recall them cleaning them either the whole day. Talk about a testament to the Glock’s legendary reliability.

The third and perhaps most admired guns in William’s arsenal were his Heckler & Kochs. On his right shoulder is a giant tattoo of an HK MP5. (see below) He loves all things HK; MP5s, G36s, all HK pistols and of course the gun he had on hand at the shoot, the apple of his eye, his HK 21E. It’s a belt-fed general-purpose machine gun chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO. “It really roars. It has a three-round burst capability. It’s got a nice sight system. When this thing fires, you’ll see an arc of brass,” Williams said.

He then demonstrated it. And, true to his word, a freedom rainbow of hot brass filled the air. He claimed to have one of the few transferable HK 21E’s that was worth in the ballpark of $30,000. “I’ll never sell that gun,” he said with a smile. “HK is high quality. I just think it’s top end tactical stuff,” he said.

Williams also gave shout-outs to his other guns – AR-15s, M14s and an FN M240 machine gun. You can bet there’s other guns that Williams really loves but these are the ones he happened to have that day.

What guns do you absolutely love? Let us know in the comments.

Sixty years on, Mossberg 500 series of shotguns are going strong. They’re well built, reliable and an excellent bang for your buck.

I bought my Mossberg 500 SPX Tactical shotgun seven years ago for $550. Prices are similar today. After putting thousands of rounds through it, it has worked flawlessly. The pump action allows me to feed it pretty much anything.

O.F. Mossberg & Sons has been around since 1919. That’s over 100 years of making superb firearms. My 500 series shotgun is no exception. It went into production in 1960. Not long after that, the US military adopted it. Although the Marines switched to the Benelli M4 semi automatic shotgun in 1999, many branches of the U.S. military still use the 500.

Mossberg claims that the 500 model is the only shotgun to pass the U.S. Army’s Mil-Spec 3443E test. This includes firing 3,000 rounds of full power 12-gauge buckshot in unforgiving conditions.

Mossberg offers the 500 series shotgun in a variety of models. Mine is the SPX Tactical model. It weighs 6.75 pounds empty and comes with a bunch of great features.

It’s got an adjustable ghost ring rear sight and high visibility front sight. A six position adjustable synthetic stock allows for the perfect length of pull. A five round saddle allows me to keep extra rounds handy. A Picatinny rail supports the adjustable rear sight which is removable, so you can add your own optic if you choose.

The pistol grip feels good in the hand. The 18.5 inch barrel is short enough to make it maneuverable and the ported barrel reduces recoil and makes it comfortable to shoot even the most heavy duty rounds. I can fit five 3-inch shells in the tube and one in the chamber. That’s a lot of firepower.

There’s a saying about shotguns that if someone has broken into your place and they hear the sound of a pump action shotgun chambering a round, it’s enough to give them a heart attack. Chances are, you’ll never even have to fire a round.

I highly recommend the Mossberg 500 SPX Tactical, or any Mossberg 500 series shotguns for that matter. They’re solid, last a long time and shoot well. I wouldn’t hesitate buying a used one either. Guns.com has lots of them for sale new and used.

Battlefield Vegas nicknamed their M61 20mm Vulcan Cannon “The Hand of God” because it can lay great vengeance and furious anger upon its target. They brought the M61 Vulcan mounted on a British FV432 APC to the Big Sandy Shoot in October 2018. It pretty much stole the show. Every time it fired, there was a huge crowd cheering it on.

It’s not every day you get to see an M61 Vulcan in action. They’re normally found on F-18 and F-16 fighter jets. That’s where Battlefield got theirs — an F-16. It was de-milled, but their talented gunsmith were able to put it back together and get it working again.

Vulcans fire the electrically primed 20mm round at a rate of 6,000 rounds per minute. Battlefield was able to slow down the rate of fire to about 3,500 RPM by replacing the hydraulic motor with an electric one. This is beneficial because ed them to reduce the rate of fire to around 3,500 RPM which is good in a way because at 6,000 RPM, if you blink your eye, you can miss the burst. A slower rate of fire actually allows the burst to be appreciated.

The 20mm projectiles fired at Big Sandy weighed 1,500 grains and left the muzzle at around 3,500 feet per second. According to Robert Bigando, the big gun expert who loaded all the rounds and tended to the gun, the 20mm round is extremely hot and produces very high pressures. “It’s a ripper downrange,” he said.

One of Vulcan’s biggest disadvantages stems from the fact that it was designed as an airborne weapon system. 20mm rounds feed out of its large 511 round ammo drum, and then back into it once fired. (This is so spent shells don’t get get sucked into jet engines, or fall on people’s heads.) This makes it a complicated gun to shoot and maintain. It also makes it extremely rare.

As far as Bigando is aware, there’s only two firing Vulcans in civilian hands in the USA and despite it’s finicky nature, “It’s one of the meanest guns out there,” said Bigando.

If you’re interested in firing the Vulcan, you can do that at Battlefield Vegas. Besides having an indoor range located just off the strip, they just opened an outdoor range a few miles outside Las Vegas where civilians can fire a variety of large caliber weapons like an M60A1 tank, miniguns, and artillery guns.

Video by Ben Philippi.

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