First Time Duck Hunter: Five Steps to Successful Duck Hunting

After Benelli sent me a Super Black Eagle II to test out in anticipation of my first duck hunt, I’ve been trying to consume everything I can about the process of seeing a duck flying through the air and transforming it into confit. Thankfully, my hunting buddy Will does a bunch of duck hunting so I’m leaning on him pretty hard to show me the ropes. But I realize that the average TTAG reader may not be as lucky to have a “guy” in the know . . .

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Gear Review: Bushnell SMRS 1-8.5x 24mm


Spend enough time reading about optics on the internet and you might get the feeling that the perfect optic scales from a true 1X up to \inftyX, weighs less than a feather, and can give you a clear, crisp picture in the dark. It should also cost less than $100, be able to withstand a free fall from space, and have a reticle that reads the wind. Okay, that last part might be a bit much, but I don’t think I’m far off the mark. In the world of running and gunning — 2-gunning, 3-gunning, or otherwise — there are always sacrifices to be made. Sometimes, quality means added weight. Other times, shedding ounces means shedding features. The SMRS from Bushnell certainly provides amazing optical clarity and the ability to jump from a nearly perfect 1X to 8.5X. But it does all that by sacrificing light weight on the altar of compromise . . .

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Teaching (and Learning From) Fran


By Chris B.

A friend of mine named Fran recently passed away. In addition to being a friend, she was one of my first students. Her daughter and son-in-law had recently deployed. She was a petite lady who found herself living alone in the country. She knew I was a pistol instructor and asked me to show her how to use her Smith and Wesson SW380 pistol to defend herself. She broached the subject by talking about the apprehension she had of being by herself in a rural area. I think she also wanted to give me the opportunity to teach . . .

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Texas International Firearms Festival Exhibitor of the Day: Beretta


(Sponsored content)

The first annual Texas International Firearms Festival – November 8 & 9 at Best of the West Shooting Sports – is just weeks away! You need to buy a day pass today – your chance to sample (and buy) firearms from over two dozen major gun makers. Click here for the full list. Click here to buy a $59 one-day pass or a $95 weekend pass. Ammo included! Beretta will be there. Have you ever wanted to bust some clays with a finely crafted Italian shotgun? One that mounts smoothly and points naturally? Then you’ll want to give a Beretta A400 semi-auto or maybe a 690 Field III over-under a try. Track that orange disk as it takes flight, get a bead on it and then pepper it with one of Beretta’s best. Come and shoot it!


Protecting Women from Gun Control Nonsense



The left-leaning Center for American Progress is pushing a “fact” sheet on Protecting Women from Gun Violence and, unusually enough, they appear to have hardly fudged the data at all. On the other hand they really don’t provide any context to go with their raw numbers which can be misleading without any actual deceit. I recall from my high school history text that when doing some pre-war strategizing, Hitler assured Mussolini that Germany would be safe from an Allied blockade (a tactic used in The Great War) because they had more than 130 million tins of food stockpiled. Il Duce was reportedly quite impressed by that number, not realizing that since Germany had a population of over 65 million, that meant two tins of food per person. So we’ll provide the context ourselves . . .

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New from MG Industries: 9mm MARCK-15 AR “Hydra” for GLOCK Mags

Marck-15 LEG-9

Attention, pistol-caliber carbine wonks. Maine-based MG Industries has brought back their MARCK-15 “Hydra” platform 9mm rifle. This time it’s been redesigned to take GLOCK mags. So along with choices like the quirky SUB-2000, Lone Wolf’s GLOCK-friendly lower, the Just Right carbine and a few others, you now have another option in GLOCK mag-compatible parabellum power. Press release after the jump . . .

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Panama, Dr. Smythe, and a Grizzly Attack


I spent nearly five years in Panama working for the Army. It was a formative experience that forever shaped my life. I intend to visit Panama again someday. While I was there, I met and became friends with Dr. Nickolas D. Smythe. We had a number of conversations about science, biology, and research. I always have appreciated being around exceptionally smart people, and Dr. Smythe was one. I have lost track of him, and I hope that he is doing well. His research was centered around the domestication of the agouti (think tail-less squirrel). It was a very ambitious project as the number of truly domesticated animals is quite small. Agoutis are considered delicious . . .

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National Review on the Violence and Threats at the Moms Demand Action Facebook Page

It’s nice to see that more people are noticing the threats of violence against peaceful people that are a regular feature of the Moms Demand Action Facebook page. Charles C. W. Cooke at has noted them, too. I would have been happy to have him use  my photograph (with attribution), but perhaps because MDA misappropriated it, he never contacted me. He does a good job of covering the issue, including threats to “SWAT” open carriers, but I would have been happy to give him more background . . .

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Call of Duty Director: Station Soldiers in Schools

Call of Duty dude (courtesy

There’s a simple way to defend against school shooters and terrorists: repeal Bush the Elder’s federal Gun-Free School Zone Act (and state bans on legal carry in schools) and encourage on-site personnel to train and carry. Or just carry, if training’s not available. Depending on a single, identifiable school resource officer to protect a school from an armed killer is strategically inadvisable (even though it has happened). A truly determined killer or killers could defeat the guard and what then? Beslanl. So when I read that ex-Call of Duty director Dave Anthony called for the feds to station plainclothes soldiers in American schools  . . .

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Benelli Ethos Embarks On a 50-State Tour

We’re big fans of Benelli scatterguns. Who wouldn’t be? RF goes practically gaga when discussing his M2. And don’t even get him started on his M4. Kirsten obviously had no trouble effectively wielding it when she got the chance to shred some Charmin last year. So while an Ethos currently resides in his gun safe, sadly, life has intervened and prevented him from doing it justice with a full frontal review. Good things come to those who wait, though. In the mean time, to promote the new-for-2014 gun, Benelli’s sending an Ethos on a 50-state tour to be shot by all kinds of shooters, everyone from schlubs to competition shooters and documenting the experience for all to see. Press release after the jump . . .

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Iraqi Air Force Air Drops Food, Water and Guns to ISIS Forces


We’ve heard tell that the Iraqi Army aren’t the cowards the mainstream media would have us believe. Their recent rout at the hands of ISIS forces may be more a case of non-existent logistics than a lack of nerve. Check this representative story from “Ahmed Khalaf al-Dulaimi, the governor of Iraq’s Anbar province, also said that the Iraqi forces have been trapped on a road near Albu Etha in the western part of Ramadi. He further noted that the soldiers were trapped after they ran out of ammunition and food.” We’ve also noticed that nearly a dozen European countries (e.g., Germany and Hungary) have been rushing ammunition to Iraqi and Kurish forces, indicating that ISIS forces captured enormous stocks of U.S. ammo in their ongoing, nearly successful march on Baghdad. And now this . . .

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SIG SAUER Begins Production of Civilian MPX


Word comes via SIG SAUER’s new(ish) Instagram account that the civilian production run of MPX pistols has begun. A couple of TTAG writers have had their hands on the pre-production versions of the gun, and our first impressions of the MPX were incredibly positive. Not only is the MPX an agile and accurate gun perfect for everything from plinking on the range to home defense, but it’s really cool looking to boot. And that’s a HUGE benefit in a world where everyone and their brother has an AR-15, as standing out on the range and looking cool seems to be half the battle these days . . .

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