The White House has said recently that banning “armor piercing” ammunition like the wildly popular M855 round is “common sense” and would make our police officers safer, which is a bold claim. Given the quality of journalism on display among the major networks these days, its no surprise that the facts of the matter have been muddled and obfuscated to the point where the details being presented bear little to no resemblance to the actual facts. Some hyperbole is expected, but in an age when the talking heads on TV start claiming that common rifles can shoot down airplanes and blow up railroads you know that fact checking isn’t high on the priority list. I wanted to take a minute and discuss the truth about the M855 round, what it is, what it does, and why it is being targeted.
Matt Cox over at Military Times’ KitUp blog apparently has the inside scoop on Beretta’s attempt to get the Army to choose their new M9A3 handgun as the service pistol of the future. Like a last-ditch promise to your girlfriend that stinks of desperation, Beretta’s proposed new handgun has been rejected outright and the breakup between the star-crossed lovers now appears all but official. For those who aren’t in the know about the current state of affairs in military handguns, let me bring you up to speed . . .
This morning, TrackingPoint released a short presser trumpeting the appointment of a new CEO. The company had been headed by Jason Schauble, former Remington Defense employee who now is the man in charge at SilencerCo, but that relationship abruptly evaporated in the weeks leading up to SHOT Show last year. Now, with a new man in charge, TrackingPoint is trumpeting its company growth — but also hinting at some possible issues behind the scenes.
FedEx is a common carrier. They ship just about everything from prescription medications to firearms and silencers. In fact, I’ve used them before to send guns across state lines, and all they wanted to know was whether the gun was unloaded — no further questions asked. But when Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed fame wanted to use FedEx to ship his cheap his CNC machines, they refused. Why? Because — gasp! — they might be used to make guns . . .
One of the things that makes guns like the Steyr AUG and Beretta’s new ARX-100 nifty is the fact that you can swap which side the gun ejects spent cartridges. For those who are left-handed, that’s a huge deal since you’ll no longer have to put up with hot brass being launching inches from your nose. Faxon Firearms has been developing a different take on the AR-15 rifle called the ARAK-21 for a while now that already sports some interesting features (piston-powered, forward charging handle, easily swapped barrels). Their latest iteration will feature the option to choose where your casings spit out of the gun. Make the jump for the presser . . .
VLTOR is a company known for their line of firearms accessories and aftermarket parts, but not many people seem to realize they also make a variety of ready-made firearms as well. Naturally the rifles use VLTOR’s parts where possible, but they don’t skimp on the details and seem to use other brands when they make a superior product. After reviewing their RE-SCAR adapter for the SCAR rifle, the folks at VLTOR asked me if I wanted to review one of their rifles, the XVI Warrior Carbine, as well. Who am I to turn down some quality time with a sleek black beauty? . . .
I’ve watched over the last couple years as more and more competition shooters have started wearing and using “action cameras” to record their runs in competitions. It’s a smart practice, since not only can you later dissect your every move and find ways to improve but you can throw that video up on YouTube and make your sponsors happy — not to mention promoting the competition shooting sports. 3-gun is one of those sports where it’s a whole lot more fun and exciting watching from a first person view, and just having a camera following you doesn’t provide the same kind of heart-pumping video. Everywhere you look in firearms the same thing is happening, from hunters recording their kills to average Joes filming their range sessions. Finding the perfect camera for every situation is tough, but Replay XD might have hit the nail on the head with the Prime X Camera System.
It looks like the ATF is once again trying to make it as difficult as possible for hunters and target shooters to enjoy their Constitutionally protected activities. Last week the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives posted a white paper on their website which attempted to do some very shady wordsmithing, the end result of which would be a ban on some of the most commonly available 5.56 NATO ammunition in the United States — ammunition used regularly for bona fide “sporting purposes.” Yet the ATF doesn’t seem to give a damn about that. Which is worrying, since the law they’re trying to apply specifically exempts projectiles which have a legitimate “sporting purpose” . . .
We’ve already pointed out the hypocrisy on display by Moms Demand Action, the Bloomberg-funded group who demands that all Americans be disarmed and guns be banned yet hides behind their own paid armed guards. Apparently at the open carry and campus carry hearing yesterday, CJ Grisham (President of Open Carry Texas) was quietly and unobtrusively filming an interview with one of Moms Demand Action’s employees when their armed bodyguard pushed him out of the way and attempted to grab his phone (presumably to delete the video or stop him from recording). The man, pictured above in a plaid shirt being detained by Texas police (photo from OCT’s Facebook), was not arrested, but as Grisham points out it is ironic that the only violence on display at the hearing came from a paid member of Michael Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action group, not the Open Carry Texas members. Video after the jump.
In a ruling issued today, a Federal judge has declared that the longstanding ban on gun dealers selling handguns to residents in different states is not only unconstitutional under the Second Amendment, but also violates other fair trade provisions of the United States Constitution. The full decision is available here, but from what I can tell this looks to be a major win for the Citizen’s Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Louis Bonham, one of TTAG’s consulting lawyers, wrote the following analysis of the ruling:
In California right now, a “concerned family member” can call the police and claim that a law abiding gun owner is really a psychotic murderer bent on taking out a bus load of children. They they can watch gleefully as the police bust down that gun owner’s door and confiscate their firearms. The gun owner has no recourse available — there’s no contesting a “gun violence restraining order” until after the firearms have already been confiscated. Involved in a contentious divorce? There’s not much to stop your spouse from falsely claiming you’re a wannabe Elliot Rodger as filing a false report is only a misdemeanor, roughly the same as a parking ticket. It’s a nightmare inducing situation, one that a Republican senator is trying to fix . . .
It seems the branding death march continues at Freedom Group, as more and more of the smaller brands under the Remington umbrella are killed off and merged with Big Green proper. The latest casualty is Para USA, a 1911 handgun manufacturer known for competition handguns and good quality products. In a press release this morning, Remington announced that Para USA will no longer exist as a separate brand, and their products will be sold under the amalgamated Remington branding instead. Make the jump for the presser . . .