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  • February 29, 2012

    Shotgun Tip: The Right Way to Shoot a Double

    by Phil Bourjaily

    This video shows the right and wrong way to shoot a double. As I say in the narration, the best way to shoot a double is to choose your first target wisely. Pick a bird to shoot that leaves you in the right place to take the second shot. 

  • February 29, 2012

    Good Gun Gear: DryFire Simulator

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Our high school trap club recently bought a DryFire laser shooting simulator and already I am a believer. A device that eliminates the noise, recoil and expense of live fire makes huge sense as a teaching aid.

    For instance, we took a senior who had never shot a gun and taught him the basics with the DryFire. He shot two rounds of laser trap a few days before his first trip to the range.

  • February 28, 2012

    Meopta: A Reality Czech on Scope Values

    By David E. Petzal

    As many of you requested, I walked the hallowed (and semi-ventilated) halls of the 2012 SHOT Show with your requests for inexpensive stuff ringing in my ears, instead of just the usual ringing. Riflescope-wise, the standout is Meopta, which I originally thought was an Asian firm, but turns out to be Czech. Meopta has been around for over 70 years and makes rifle scopes, spotting scopes, and binoculars. I’ve used only the rifle scopes, of which there are two lines. MeoStar (pictured here) is the more expensive, made and assembled in the Czech Republic, while MeoPro scopes have their components made abroad and assembled here. Cabela’s sells both MeoPro instruments and its own Euro brand, which is made by Meopta.

    The first time I used a Meopta rifle scope I guessed its price was $300 higher than what it actually cost. Think of it this way: A MeoStar that goes for $650 is a $1,000 scope on which you’re getting a $350 discount. A MeoPro scope that sells for $450 is a $750 scope, ditto ditto. Don’t let the modest prices fool you; these are very, very high-grade instruments.

  • February 27, 2012

    What Would Happen if You Fired a Gun in Outer Space?

    By Phil Bourjaily

    The triple barreled TP 82 pistol -- twin 12.5x70mm smoothbore barrels over a 5.45x39 (the Russian 5.56 Nato equivalent) -- went into space and back many times from 1986 to 2006 as part of the Russian Soyuz program. The stock-handle also served as a machete. The gun was packed in survival kits and intended for use here on Earth in the event the Soyuz capsule landed off-course and couldn’t be recovered. But, could it have been fired in space? Suppose the cosmonauts were attacked by aliens, or they wanted to do a fly-by strafing of some target on Earth?

    We never got to find out. According to media reports, the ammo for this gun had become unusable by 2007 and it was determined that a more conventional semi-automatic pistol would be used on future missions.

  • February 23, 2012

    Good Gun Gear: Remington Bore Squeeg-E

    By Phil Bourjaily

    To segue from my previous post about movies back to shotguns via paraphrase: “Patches? We don’t need no patches!”*

    That would be the motto of Remington’s new Bore Squeeg-E. As you can see in the picture, it’s a rubber bore cleaner that attaches to a pull-through cable. According to Remington’s claims for it, the Squeeg-E does in one pass what it used to take several cloth patches to accomplish and it cuts down on the need for brushes, too.

    I am all for anything that lets me clean guns less so I gave my Browning Cynergy and a couple of revolvers the one-pull Squeeg-E test. They came out literally (thing makes a squealing noise as it goes through the bore) squeaky clean. They Cynergy had been fairly dirty, the revolvers were not, but as far as I could tell the Squee-G got down into the rifling as advertised and left it shiny. The shotgun's bores were very clean, too.

  • February 22, 2012

    Rifle Review: Weatherby Vanguard Series 2

    By David E. Petzal

    Because of a calamitous case of human error, I did not get to review the Weatherby Series 2 Vanguard when it came out last year. So, making up for lost time, I can say that I’ve shot one in .308 at some length, and can state without fear of contradiction that it’s one of the best hunting rifles around at any price.

    The Series 2 barreled action is made in Japan by Howa, as it always has been, but the stock is now made in the United States, and the rifles are assembled here. There’s a blued and a stainless version; the MSRP for the former is $489, and for the latter $200 more.

    There are two principle changes to the rifle. First is the stock. Weatherby has scrapped the old, clubby stock for a new one that follows the lines of the original Mark V stock very closely, including the wonderful, slim pistol grip. Second is the trigger, which is now a true two-stage mechanism that is virtually perfect. No creep, no drag, dead-clean release, 3 ½ pounds every time, and if you even think of messing with it you’re nuts.

  • February 21, 2012

    George Lucas Says Greedo Always Shot First

    By Phil Bourjaily

    George Lucas isn’t content to tarnish the magic of the original Star Wars by making three boring, witless prequels (not to mention ruining the end of the original trilogy by filling it with Ewoks). Now he has to keep trying to ruin the first movie, too, with his weird insistence that Greedo shot first.

    You remember the scene: we meet smuggler Han Solo in a dark bar full of aliens, one of whom, a bounty hunter who looks like the child of a pig and a green blowfish, stops him at blaster-point demanding the money Solo owes to crime boss Jabba the Hut. Solo, who knows Greedo is going to kill him, sneaks his blaster out its holster and shoots first. The scene perfectly establishes Solo as a cool, crafty survivor and a scoundrel.

    Since then, Lucas has twice digitally altered the original. For the first rerelease, he made Greedo shoot first, missing wildly, before Han shot him. Since that raised the question, “why would a professional bounty hunter miss at three feet?” the second time Lucas digitally altered the move, he actually moved Solo’s head sideways to make him dodge the blast before shooting back. Why?

    "We like to think of [Han Solo] as a murderer because that's hip -- I don't think that's a good thing for people. I mean, I don't see how you could redeem somebody who kills people in cold blood," said Lucas in one interview, defending the change.

    His new line is, Greedo always shot first. Recently he said:

  • February 17, 2012

    Firearms As A Fashion Accessory?

    By Dave Maccar

    OK, I admit, I didn’t watch the Grammy Awards. Never do, and probably never will. But, if I had, I probably would have noticed this...um...outfit.

    Apparently this singer, Sasha Gradiva, is Russia’s answer to Lady Gaga and this bizarre amalgamation of firearms that looks like something out of an Iron Man comic is a statement. What’s it saying?

    According to the stylist who designed it: “The concept behind the weapon accessory was to take ALL the weapons and firearms of the world and use them for artistic purposes only. Not for killing. Make couture—not war.”

    That’s sweet. So did the “accessory” accomplish its goal of summing up the world’s firearms?

    Here’s a little Friday challenge for you. Whoever thinks they can name all the firearms that make up this monstrosity AND gives the best suggestion for what would have made this statement more complete gets a pair of camo Mechanix gloves (size large). I'll be doing the judging.

    Fire away. And here are a few more photos so you can get a good look.

    You can read the full story here if you like.

  • February 17, 2012

    Talking African Dangerous Game Hunting with Tony Sanchez-Arino

    By David E. Petzal

    The other night I had the pleasure of listening to a talk by Tony Sanchez-Arino who, at age 82, is about to begin his 60th season as an African professional hunter. In addition to countless safaris, he was also an ivory hunter and, I would guess, a game-control shooter. His numbers of animals taken are staggering: just under 1,300 elephant, 2,044 Cape buffalo, and 322 lion. His talk dealt with the three questions he is most often asked.

    Which is better, a double rifle or a bolt action?

    Answer: "They’re both good. You go with whatever is most familiar to you. Don’t go to Africa with a rifle that’s new and strange."

    What’s the most dangerous animal?

    "That’s impossible to answer, because a lot of it depends on the country in which you hunt them. For example, Cape buffalo in open country are as easy to kill as cattle, but in heavy cover they’re something else. I can tell you what is most likely to kill you if it gets hold of you, and those animals are, in order, elephant, Cape buffalo, and lion."

  • February 16, 2012

    Contest: Win a Tactical Pen from Tuff Writer

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Those of you old enough to remember TV in the 60s may recall a series of Bic commercials in which the ballpoints were tortured in various ways, including being shot out a gun and fastened to the heel of a flamenco dancer.

    The people who make the Tuff Writer, a tactical pen, have come up with a sales gimmick in the grand tradition of the Bic ads. It’s silly, but we liked it so much we contacted Tuff Writer and got a pen--an $80 pen, I might add--to give away so we can play along.

    Tuff Writer has challenged Blend Tec to blend one of their pens. If you are not already aware of the Blend Tec, it’s a high-end blender that generates uncommon amounts of torque and power. If you wanted to make a coconut milk daiquiri without bothering to crack the coconuts first, you could throw them in the Blendtec whole. In a series of “Will it Blend?” internet spots, the Blendtec grinds up all kinds of things, including an iPad (see below). Tuff Writer wants their turn in the blades.

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