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Semi-automatic shotguns tend to outperform others because they can fire quicker and require less shooter movement for follow-up shots. The fact that they rely on as or recoil operating action also helps to reduce recoil. Other shotgun varieties can also be more prone to malfunction due to fouling.

Ranking The 10 Best Semi Automatic Shotguns of 2020

Ranking The 10 Best Semi Automatic Shotguns of 2020Semi-automatic shotguns tend to outperform others because they can fire quicker and require less shooter movement for follow-up shots. The fact that they rely on as or recoil operating action also helps to reduce recoil. Other shotgun varieties can also be more prone to malfunction due to fouling. If you’re searching for a new shotgun, our list of the 10 Best Semi-Automatic Shotguns will help you narrow down your options so you can make the best choice for your needs. Also, be sure to read through our Buyer’s Guide and Frequently Asked Questions sections for all the information you need to make an educated decision. 1. Benelli M2 Tactical Click Here for Best Price This is an excellent lightweight semi-automatic shotgun designed for fast-handling and rugged performance. It is built around the reliable Inertia Driven system, which allows 12-gauge and 20-gauge M2s to cycle nearly any cartridge, from target loads to heavy 3-inch magnums. The Benelli M2 Tactical includes the trademarked ComforTech recoil-reduction system with gel recoil and combo pads. This system significantly dampens recoil by up to 48 percent, as well as decreasing muzzle jump. This semi-automatic shotgun also includes a fiber optic red-bar front sight, a set of shims to customize the gun’s drop and cast, and C, IC, M, IM, and F Crio choke tubes. It doesn’t get much better than Benelli. 2. Beretta A300 Outlander Click Here for Best Price The "Beretta A300 Outlander" is a showcase of Beretta’s legendary performance and sleek design capability. It features only four major components, which means it can be disassembled quickly in the field or at the range. The gun’s compensating gas valve and self-cleaning piston guarantee smooth, reliable operation. This semi-automatic shotgun boasts a lightweight, Mallard Green anodized aluminum-alloy receiver that handles 2.75-inch and 3-inch shells. It comes with a matte-black synthetic stock with an adjustable length-of-pull and adjustable shim system designed to withstand rain, snow, dust, and mud. It also features a fitted rubber recoil pad, cross-bolt safety, and mobile choke system with three choke tubes. 3. Remington Versa Max Click Here for Best Price This semi-automatic shotgun features Remington’s revolutionary VersaPort gas system to ensure reliable cycling for any load, anywhere, at any time. It’s built to last with the receiver, barrel, and internal components all being nickel-plated for extreme corrosion resistance. The Remington Versa Max Competition disassembles easily for rapid cleaning. It offers an enlarged feeding port, bolt-closure button, cocking handle, trigger-guard opening, and cross-bolt safety for ease of use. It also boasts an adjustable XS rear rifle sight, HiViz interchangeable sights, and length-of-pull kit, as well as a fully adjustable stock. 4. Mossberg 930 JM Pro Click Here for Best Price The Mossberg 930 JM Pro is built to the exact specifications or world-renowned competitive and speed shooter Jerry Miculek (JM) ( 1 ). It is equipped with a high-capacity, nine-round extended magazine tube that’ll keep you in action longer and a beveled loading gate and shorter forend to help you load faster than the competition. This semi-automatic shotgun also includes a barrel clamp to yield maximum stabilization and a dual gas system that reduces felt recoil and increases ease of cycling. Finally, it features an over sized bolt handle and bolt release, logo-engraved receiver, front fiber-optic sight, and extended charging handle 5. Stoeger 3500 Click Here for Best Price The well-known Stoeger 3500 semi-automatic shotgun offers magnum performance and reliability at a value-driven price. This shotgun features Stoeger’s Inertia Driven operating system, which assuredly cycles through 2.75-inch, 3-inch, and 3.5-inch shells for maximum versatility in the field or at the range. This semi-automatic shotgun comes with a red-bar fiber-optic sight to help you quickly and easily acquire targets, even in low light conditions. It also included a stock-integrated recoil reducer, a receiver drilled and tapped for Weaver-style scope bases, three choke tubes, and a choke tube wrench. 6. Browning A5 Hunter Click Here for Best Price This 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun boasts the iconic humpback profile. It is designed to be the most reliable, fastest cycling, best performing, and softest shooting recoil operated autoloader available. It is balanced from buttpad to muzzle to feel light in your hands and make target acquisition fast and easy. The Browning A5 Hunter features the A5 receiver, which seamlessly melds into the rib to extend your sight plane and aid in target alignment for more accurate shooting. It also features a comfortable grip and a compact and narrow forearm that places your front hand closer to the bore line for superior hand-eye coordination. 7. Winchester SX4 Field CMPT Click Here for Best Price The Winchester SX4 Field semi-automatic shotgun features a satin oil-finished walnut stock with classic-cut checkering. It is designed for a more controlled feel and perfect balance, with a slimmer and lighter pistol grip and forearm. It boasts a super light alloy magazine tube and recoil spring system that serve to further reduce its overall weight. This semi-automatic shotgun is equipped with a new lightweight barrel that provides a narrower profile and a machined vent rib. It also boasts back-bored technology that provides optimum shot patterns and a hard chrome-plated chamber and bore that are both highly resistant to wear and corrosion. Finally, this gun offers a larger bolt handle and bolt release button, a lightweight aluminum-alloy receiver, and a removable drop-out trigger for easy cleaning. 8. Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 Click Here for Best Price Like the M2 Tactical, this semi-automatic shotgun is equipped with the proven Inertia Driven system that shoots 2.75-inch, 3-inch, and 3.5-inch shells without adjustment. Material improvements in this model have resulted in one of the most lightweight semi-automatics on the market. In fact, it weighs between 13 and 15 percent less than similar shotguns. The "Benelli Super Black" Eagle 3 includes a third-generation ComforTech 3 stock and recoil pad with extra-soft cheek pad that reduces recoil by as much 48% and muzzle climb by 15%. It accomplishes this without any additional moving parts or added weight. It also comes with a funneled loading port, two-piece shell latch, easy drop lever, ergonomic magazine cap, and a host of additional features. 9. FN SLP Mark I Click Here for Best Price The FN SLP Mark I is a gas-operated 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun with a 22-inch barrel and an 8+1 capacity. It is equipped with an alloy 3-inch magnum receiver and the barrel comes with the Standard Invector choke tube system to deliver optimum performance with any payload. The metal work on this semi-automatic shotgun is protected by matte black manganese phosphate or anodizing to improve durability and reduce reflectivity. The gun’s matte black, checkered synthetic stock includes a premium recoil pad and steel sling swivel studs. Finally, this semi-automatic shotgun boasts an adjustable folding rear sight, red fiber-optic front sight element, and Weaver-pattern cantilever optics rail. 10. Pointer 3.5″ Max 5 Camo Click Here for Best Price The Pointer 3.5″ Max 5 Camo is a great versatile shotgun. It’s a Semi-Auto 12-guage shotgun that has a 3.5 inch chamber. The barrel comes in at 28 inches and has 5 different choke tubes for custom shot patterns. This allows for a variety of hunting and shooting uses. The shotgun comes covered in the Realtree Max-5 camo makes this a sweet setup. This shotgun is a great option for a semi auto shotgun at a great price. — Buyer’s Guide While some of the earliest shotguns (called ‘breechloaders’) were employed by England’s King Henry VIII more than 450 years ago ( 2 ), today’s tactical semi-automatic shotguns hardly resemble their early ancestors, both in form and function. Materials have vastly improved and demands for increased functionality have led to some incredible breakthroughs. As a buyer, the new technologies available in some of today’s best semi-automatic shotguns can be quite attractive. It’s important to remember what’s truly important when buying a new semi-automatic shotgun. To aid in your decision, this Buyer’s Guide will focus on several major factors you should consider before you buy. Understanding the Action With any shotgun, the spent shell must be ejected after firing before a second shot can be taken. In a pump-action shotgun, the user has to manual cock the gun to eject the spent shell and load up a new one. In semi-automatic shotguns, this action takes place automatically, greatly reducing the amount of time spent between shots. Most semi-automatic shotguns use either a gas-driven system or an inertia-driven system to automatically eject a spent shell and load up a new one. In some cases, inertia systems are also referred to as ‘recoil-operated’ systems. While both systems use energy to start the action and reload the gun, there are some important differences between how they operate. After ample experience with both, many shotgun owners come to prefer one or the other, but their ultimate choice largely comes down to personal preference and desired performance. In a gas-driven system, the shotgun takes high-pressure gas that is released after firing and utilizes that to cycle the ammo. In an inertia-(or recoil) driven system, the shotgun utilizes kinetic energy from the recoil to perform the same operation. Although gas-driven systems tend to be more popular today, recent history suggests that the two systems have been widely employed for a variety of purposes. Choosing the Gauge Understanding gauge and what that means for functionality is an important part of choosing the right semi-automatic shotgun. You’ll find shotguns on the market today with a range of gauges falling between 10 and 28. For all intents and purposes, the most common shotguns available are 12, 20, and .410 gauges. The perfect balance between power and accuracy that you’ll find with a 12-gauge shotgun is responsible for them being the most popular type of shotgun available today. Ammunition for 12-gauge shotguns is also the most readily accessible ammo out there. The 20-gauge shotgun is the second most popular type on the market. A 20-gauge shotgun will perform very similarly to a 12-gauge, but it will offer a greatly reduced recoil level. For this reason, 20-gauge shotguns are increasingly popular amongst younger and smaller shooters. The newbie on the scene is the .410-gauge shotgun. It features an even further reduced recoil level when compared with most 20-gauge shotguns. However, what you improve from a recoil standpoint comes with a caveat. It’s much more difficult to get the best shot with a .410-gauge because its ammo contains fewer pellets per shot. The translation means that the .410 is considerably less powerful. Best Barrel Length Choosing the best barrel length depends on your exact intended purpose for buying a semi-automatic shotgun. In general, longer barrels are better for long-range shooting and shorter barrels are more effective in close quarters. If you’ll primarily be using your semi-automatic shotgun for long-range purposes, you’ll want a barrel length somewhere in the range of 24 to 36 inches. While a longer barrel means better accuracy and precision over long distances, keep in mind that it also means decreased maneuverability in a dense forest and increased overall gun weight. If you intend to use your semi-automatic shotgun in close quarters or for home defense, you’ll want a barrel in the 18 to 21-inch range. These barrels will still be accurate enough for your intended purpose, but not so big that they’re too heavy or cumbersome to operate. Selecting Stock The type of stock you choose for your semi-automatic shotgun will play a large role in your comfort with the gun. As such, it largely impacts whether or not you’re actually able to use the gun effectively to fire accurate shots. In short, you need a shotgun to feel good in your hands and in the shooting position if you want it to work for you. Most shotguns today offer a “classic grip” stock or a “pistol grip” stock. Most classic grip stocks are made of wood and contain a curved grip that helps you keep the gun steady as you take aim. In contrast, pistol grip stocks are usually made from some type of durable plastic polymer. This material keeps the gun lightweight, and the pistol grip is better designed for holding with a single hand when not shooting. When selecting the right stock for you, there is also a variety of features to consider, including the length of pull, comb, drop, pitch, and the material used to construct the stock. Ideally, you’re looking for a stock that is both lightweight and extremely durable. Types of Cartridges Considering the types of cartridges you’ll use is also important before you buy a new semi-automatic shotgun. Some guns will only work with a certain type of cartridge and if those cartridges are tough to find, you won’t be able to use the gun as much as you’d hope. As we mentioned earlier, 12-gauge ammunition is the most common today, so you really can’t go wrong there. That being said, there are three distinct types of cartridges that are best used in varying scenarios. They are birdshot, buckshot, and slugs. As you might imagine, birdshot is utilized for hunting birds and other small game. Shell size can vary from small to large, as can the number of pellets contained within each shell, but these cartridges are excellent for hunting waterfowl. Buckshot is much like birdshot in that each shell contains a number of smaller pellets. In this case, however, the pellets themselves are much larger. Inversely, buckshot shells tend to contain fewer pellets overall. However, because of their size, these pellets are more powerful and capable of inflicting greater damage. This makes them a great choice for hunting deer and other large game. Lastly, we have slugs. Unlike buckshot and birdshot, where shells contain multiple pellets, a slug is a single large projectile. Slugs pack a devastating punch and are the most powerful of the three. For this reason, they are a preferred choice for hunting large game in populated areas. When it comes to the length of cartridges, many of these semi-automatic shotguns are compatible with a number of lengths from 2.75 inches to 3.5 inches. The main benefit of a longer shell is that they hold more shot for cleaner long-range kills. The downside, however, is that longer shells tend to be considerably more expensive than shorter versions of the same model. Types of Choke Tubes A choke tube works to constrict a shotgun’s shot charge in order to hold it together longer before the shot spreads. This functions to provide a denser shot pattern at a longer range. Choke tubes also play a role in determining a shotgun’s effective range. In general, more constriction means a greater range. There are six common types of choke tubes: super-full (or extra-full), full, modified, improved cylinder, cylinder, and skeet. Super-full (or extra-full) choke tubes are ideally suited for the headshots that you’ll need when turkey hunting. As such, they are commonly referred to as “gobbler getters.” They provide extra-tight constriction and the densest shot patterns. Full choke tubes also have a tight constriction and dense pattern. They are capable of delivering about 70 percent of a shell’s total pellets in a 30-inch circle from 40 yards out. This makes them a great choice for trap shooting, waterfowl pass shooting, turkey hunting, and buckshot loads. Modified choke tubes have less constriction than a full choke, but are still capable of delivering about 60 percent of a shell’s total pellets in a 30-inch circle from 40 yards. The best uses for modified choke tubes are in hunting distant-flushing upland birds and small game animals like pheasants and rabbits. Improved cylinder choke tubes are even less constricted than modified tubes. They will deliver about half of a shell’s total pellets in a 30-inch circle at 40 yards distance. They are the preferred choice of hunters shooting waterfowl close over decoys or in pursuits of close-quarters upland birds like quail and grouse. Improved cylinder choke tubes also perform well with rifled slugs. Cylinder choke tubes offer no constriction. They can deliver approximately 40 percent of a shell’s total pellets in a 30-inch circle at 40 yards. These types of choke tubes are most commonly used by law enforcement for service shotguns. Lastly, we have skeet choke tubes. These tubes deliver about 50 percent of a shell’s total pellets in a 30-inch circle at a distance of 25 yards. As their name suggests, these tubes are optimized for the tight patterns necessary for close-range skeet shooting. "Frequently Asked Questions" John Browning and his brothers built the first testing models of the semi-automatic shotgun in 1898 ( 3 ). Although an avid gunman well before the invention of the A5, Browning would later admit that it was “the most difficult gun to design of his career.” Today’s guns feature even more complex and intricate systems than Browning’s earliest designs. Keeping that in mind, we’ve designed this Frequently Asked Questions section to help you better understand the inner workings of today’s best semi-automatic shotguns. What is ‘length-of-pull’? Length-of-pull refers to the distance between the center of the trigger and the center of the recoil pad on the butt of the stock where it contacts your shoulder. What is ‘comb’? The comb of a shotgun is the widest part of the stock that is encompassed by your cheek and shoulder. What is ‘drop’? Drop is defined as the distance between the top of the comb to the center point of the butt that helps determine the elevation of your eye in relation to the barrel. Too much drop will cause the user to shoot low and too little drop will cause you to shoot high. What is ‘pitch’? Pitch refers to the angle that the butt has against your shoulder when mounted. It is a very important factor because too much pitch will cause the butt to dig into your shoulder, which will make recoil feel worse than it actually is. On the other hand, too little pitch will allow the gun to slide up and down with every shot. What is a ‘back-bored barrel’? A back-bored barrel is a shotgun barrel with an internal diameter great than nominal for the gauge, but still less than the SAAMI ( 4 ) maximum. This is done to reduce felt recoil, improve patterning, or change the balance of the gun. What is a gun’s ‘receiver’? The receiver is the part of the shotgun that houses all of its critical operating parts. What is ‘fouling’? Fouling refers to the accumulation of unwanted material on solid surfaces. The fouling material can consist of powder, lubrication residue, or bullet materials, such as lead or copper. What is a ‘charging handle’? This term defines a device on a shotgun (or another firearm) that, when operated, results in the hammer or striker being cocked or moved to the ready position. Summary The right semi-automatic shotgun will improve your hunting accuracy or help you defend your property against unwanted intruders. We hope you’ve found this review of the best semi-automatic shotguns useful and we wish you the best of luck in choosing the one that’s right for you!

.380 ACP, a Manstopper?

.380 ACP, a Manstopper?

There exists a continuing debate about the effectiveness of the .380 ACP cartridge in self defense scenarios. Because I possess, and exercise, my concealed carry permit, I’ve also put a great deal of thought into the caliber of pistol I  choose for CCW. My limitations to what I can effectively carry vary depending on my location and dress. As such, I have adopted more than one option for carry. There are occasions where it simply isn’t feasible to carry anything larger than a slim subcompact. While there are exceptions, it is generally easier to find small, highly concealable options in .380 ACP. In my decision of whether or not to include a .380 pistol as a concealed carry option, I considered elements of shooting in self defense scenarios, such as shot placement and “stopping power.” I don’t have a background in ballistics, however, as a student of human biology and a tutor in anatomy and physiology, I do have a background in how the human body functions from what my professors have taught me. From that standpoint, “stopping power” has two definitions: 1. Disabled nervous system. As the central nervous system directly controls a person’s ability to command their muscles, disabling it would effectively “stop” an attack. The application in self defense is that shots to an attacker’s brain, brain stem, or spinal cord would render the assailant physically incapable of continuing their attack. 2. Catastrophic blood pressure loss. In the event of a catastrophic blood pressure drop, the vital blood supply to the brain is decreased so significantly that it causes unconsciousness. Rendering an attacker unconscious “stops” their ability to continue an attack. Shots to the aorta, the heart itself, the thoracic or abdominal aorta, or the femoral artery could cause a blood pressure drop considerable enough to incapacitate an assailant. With these principals of human anatomy and physiology in mind, I took to the range to see how effective, if at all, my shots would be with a .380 pistol. I affixed an anatomical overlay over a silhouette target and fired my first shots through the Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380 and evaluated the target afterward. You can see how the range experience turned out by watching the video with this post. After 6 shots, three grouped at the head (the goal being stopping an attacker through ceasing the central nervous system’s communication with the assailant’s body) and three grouped near the heart (the goal being stopping the attacker through causing a catastrophic loss in blood pressure), I came to a conclusion. While I am not implying that .380 (or any caliber, for that matter) is the best caliber for self defense, I do think it can be used effectively. However, as .380 ACP is not regarded for its penetration, I would want to put as many rounds as possible at my attacker, targeting the heart and major arteries in the area to maximize my odds of disabling their assault. It was less challenging to place shots effectively in the chest cavity, and the concern of under-penetrating the target was lessened when not attempting to cause catastrophic blood pressure loss rather than CNS deactivation. This exercise was to closer simulate shooting in a self defense scenario and does not constitute a training exercise for my self defense shooting practice. I am also not recommending a caliber for self defense. However, as a result of this shooting “experiment,” I determined that if I feel my choice is either no firearm, or a pocket pistol like the S&W Bodyguard, I’d rather have that than nothing.

Most Popular Police Handguns 1900-1999

Most Popular Police Handguns 1900-1999

/* custom css */.td_uid_2_5f377cdc02aa8_rand.td-a-rec-img { text-align: left; } .td_uid_2_5f377cdc02aa8_rand.td-a-rec-img img { margin: 0 auto 0 0; } After the war, both Colt and Smith & Wesson resumed production of commercial-grade guns for the police and civilian market. As it had been before 1941, the O.P. proved a bigger seller – but the situation was about to change. During the war years, Colt had concentrated on building 1911 pistols and other weaponry, letting their revolver line languish. S&W, on the other hand, had upgraded their manufacturing processes and had a large pool of trained workers. With the war’s end, Colt was stuck with outdated equipment and a shortage of skilled labor. Additionally, Colt revolvers required more hand-fitting and detail work, which significantly increased their price compared to the competition. Lastly, while S&W embarked on a long-term R&D program to improve their revolvers, Colt’s management seemed content to live off their reputation and did little to improve equipment, efficiency, their labor force and, most significantly, the product. This recipe for disaster led to S&W’s capturing an ever-increasing share of the police and military market. 1948 saw the venerable M&P’s designation changed to the Model 10. Seven years later, S&W introduced a K-frame revolver chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge: the Model 19 Combat Magnum. Police agencies seeking more powerful weapons bought them as fast as they could be produced. Colt attempted to play catchup by re-chambering the O.P. for the .357 cartridge and adding a heavy barrel, adjustable sights and larger grips. Known as the Colt 357 Magnum, sales were disappointing. Related GunDigest Articles Gallery: Ruger Single Action Revolvers First Look: Colt Competition 1911 Pistol The popularity of S&W K-frame revolvers, however, continued to grow as such prestigious agencies as the New York State Police, FBI and Royal Canadian Mounted Police adopted them. S&W also sold large numbers of them to police and military forces in Europe, Latin America and Asia. Instruction manual for a S&W .357 Magnum Model 13 revolver. This model, with a 3″ barrel, was adopted by the FBI. (Courtesy of Michael Jon Littman) Best Starter Kit for Concealed Carry: S&W M&P 9 SHIELD $394.96 guns.com Safariland IWB Holster $43.99 brownells.com Safariland Duty Belt $88.99 brownells.com SnagMag Ammo Pouch $LOW! gundigeststore.com Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links. Caribou Media Group may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Thank you! The handwriting was now on the wall. Colt went through a series of new owners, none of whom seemed interested in innovation; the product line remained stagnant; and quality control took a hit while a series of labor disputes adversely affected production and the company’s reputation. As is evident from a 1976 survey taken by the "New York State" Criminal Justice Services, by that time, the police market was S&W’s private preserve The sidearms used by the 45 state police agencies responding to the survey broke down as follows: In an attempt to stay solvent, Colt began dropping models and 1969 found the O.P. missing from the catalog. The name was briefly revived with the Mark III Official Police revolver, but sales were so disappointing that production ceased after only three years. Many shooters and collectors found it disturbing that Colt’s product line, reputation and popularity had sunk to such low levels. The S&W Model 10 continued to be the firm’s bread and butter product, although with the advent of the troublesome – and more violent – 1970s, .357 K-frame revolvers soon became their most popular law enforcement product. Beginning in the late 1980s, the 9mm (and later .40-caliber) semi-auto pistol became the police sidearm of choice, and today it is rare to see an American police officer with a holstered revolver at his side. Opinions regarding this change of equipment are varied, with both sides making many good points in favor of their preferred weapon but such discussions – which always threaten to become heated – is beyond the scope of this article. Which Is the Better-Shooting Revolver? You knew we were going to get around to burning gunpowder sooner or later, didn’t you? Accordingly I obtained samples of each revolver: my brother Vincent provided a very nice M&P made around 1940 while my fellow collector of oddities, John Rasalov, was able to supply an O.P. Despite its being of 1930 vintage, the latter was in very good condition and as mechanically sound as the day it left the factory.

Criterion 18 Hybrid Barrel Full Review: Ongoing accuracy Testing!

Criterion 18 Hybrid Barrel Full Review: Ongoing accuracy Testing!

***If you already read the first article, jump down to Session 2: Ongoing Accuracy Testing . I have changed this article from a first look, to a full review.*** When I was researching stainless steel barrels for my “SPR” style rifle project, I was poking around many forums looking for a solid product for my build. I ran across a name I hadn’t heard before, that company being Criterion Barrels Inc . I shot off an email to the company for a product suggestion and was pointed to the Hybrid line. I told Criterion the barrel would be getting a workout in both competition and in rifle practice. My intended use is for 2 gun / 3 gun and High Power Open Optics classification. 18 inch Hybrid Features: Chrome Lined bore and chamber Tapered Countour .750 Gas Block with set screw dimple Button Rifled and Hand Lapped .223 wylde chamber M4 Feed Ramps 2.23 Lbs Parkerized .093 gas port Retail was $269 at Brownells. I won’t lie, I am not a fan of $400-500 dollar boutique barrels , and the price point of the Criterion was more my speed. I am not at a point at my shooting career where I need to sweat competitors over 1/4 an inch groupings. I cannot wring out the accuracy of those products, and… frankly I do not believe most readers need to spend close to $500 on a barrel. The CBI barrel’s taper from breech to the step is .850 to .690. The gas block diameter is .750. The Hybrid is dimpled from the factory for a gas block. Properly choosing the right ammunition is a key factor in barrel performance and many chrome lined barrels will out-shoot their owners capability with the right ammo… yet many perfectly serviceable barrels are tossed to the parts bin because the owner believes his rifle needs an expensive accuracy upgrade. I am a fan of chrome lined barrels and I know very well that a good chrome lined barrel will offer great service life and be accurate as 99% of most shooters will *ever need* . Criterion claims their barrel is both match grade *and* chrome lined. Bingo. Range Session 1: Heading out to the range was welcome respite from cabin fever. The range had been frozen shut for two weeks and several matches were canceled due to shooters getting stuck in the range ice. I decided to chance it and park on the side of the road if I had to so I could run this barrel. Luckily, the drive was thawed. Initial sight in was at 25 yards with a waterproof Right In The Rain M16A2 zeroing target and the TA31F. Working with the rifle at 25 gave me a feel for its recoil characteristics. I noted that the setup of .093 gas port, 18 inch barrel, and the Griffin compensator resulted in mild recoil. The recoil characteristics put it at the control-ability of my full size heavy A2 rifles while having the advantage of lower weight and shorter length. Recoil impulse was very flat on the vertical plane with little horizontal movement. The taper profile was a bonus to handling; balance was right at the barrel nut assembly. The M4E1 played well with the barrel as well. Zero malfunctions for my initial range session. One of my initial promising loadings from range session 1 I felt that I was limiting the barrel with the ACOG and my shivering butt, so I wrapped up the ice cold range session and decided to work on a few of the promising loadings at home. No malfunctions. A good first sign of a proper chamber and adequate port pressure to cycle the weapon in cold weather. After I ran the gun at 100 yards, I took the gun out to the long course to play with the steel targets. My Ta31F BDC was close with the 69 grain SMK. A lower third hold with the 500 meter marking yielded frequent hits on the steel silhouette. Once the service road thaws, I will be checking my groupings on a B27 with the rifle at 500 yards. Round Count is 75 Rounds of mixed loadings and some XM193. Session 2: "Ongoing Accuracy Testing" I originally tested the barrel with a 4x ACOG, but I found it limited my shooting due to a few factors, so I stepped up and purchased a Vortex Razor HD II for this seasons shooting. The change from the 4x ACOG to the 6x HDII was a good change for a number of reasons, including the change from a chevron to a traditional cross-hair style reticle. So I had to start over with new glass and a new range session. The first time I tested the barrel, range conditions were miserable . I had some promising loadings that I explored further. The second test day was a much better day and the fact that I wasn’t shivering with numb hands *probably* helped my shooting. Hornady 55 grain FMJ with 23.5 A 2230 reloaded with lake city brass and a CCI #400 primer. Even with the flyer, this 5 shot group was under 1 MOA. Typically FMJ bullets aren’t known for accuracy, but the Hornady 55 grain FMJs have a good reputation. I shot the above group squeaking in at under 1 inch at 100 yards. I am going to try some Hornady Varminters with my next order from Midway. I would like to explore the 55 grain stuff further with this barrel. 60 grain Sierra Varminter with 23.8 grains of accurate 2230 on lake city brass and a CCI #400 primer. Another promising loading from last range session was with the sierra 60 grain varminter. I ran 23.8 grains of 2230 to get this group which was actually supposed to be a five shot group, but I miss counted and shot a sixth. Group size was 1.1 inches skipping the 6th flyer. Stepping this one back to 23.5 grains might we a wise experiment based on my first range session. Round count this session was 150 rounds with some reloads, but allot of Federal 233J as I was shooting the steel targets for a blog video. No malfunctions. Still cold, but not as bad as last time! 6/10/15 More Accuracy Testing: In order to prepare for the re-opening of my rifle ranges 0-700 yard line, I took the barrel with me for some more testing. After reading the article MOLON on AR15.com wrote about smaller group sizes, I decided to shoot a 10 round group with a 69 SMK and 25 grains of Varget. I switched to VARGET for accuracy testing as I wanted to take advantage of the powders temperature stability and sure enough, it tightened up groups further. I believe two rounds went through the same hole in the main body of the group. I discounted the left most shot as a true flyer. I accounted for all 10 brass cases so this was ten shots. Impressive. Very tight group and the amount of rounds fired eliminates the statistical problems of 3 shot groups. In summary, this chrome lined barrel can do amazing things. This is from bipod prone with the Vortex Razor HD II. With the Criterion Barrel, you will have a barrel well suited for a SPR and yet have the longevity of a chrome lined barrel. Wrapping Up: I believe this barrel does justice to my idea of a modern rifle. I wanted to build a rifle that breaks from traditional builds of the HBAR SPR style builds vs the M16A4 clones or the like. Both of those are fine to build, but I was set on building something lighter, better handling, and just as accurate from a practical perspective. The Criterion Hybrid really fits well with the spirit of the build by offering me a balance between the weight of a HBAR and a Government Profile yet giving my do all rifle plenty of accuracy for any event. Overall, this barrel should be suitable for any task you could throw at it . For 3 gun builds, you have an chrome lined, accurate platform that should give you a long service life. For shooters looking for an SPR barrel, the barrel is lighter than full HBAR profiles and has plenty of accuracy for precision shooting. I will continue to update this review with range sessions and accuracy tests linking it to the blogs main feed. Share: Google Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit More Tumblr LinkedIn Pocket Email Print

Top 4 Best Tactical Tomahawk for Survival Reviews for 2020

I grew up watching cowboy movies.  The images on the big screen came alive with American Indians wielding tomahawks as they attacked the westward-moving wagon trains.  I was enamored with the idea of carrying a tactical tomahawk.  The problem was the closest thing my local outdoors store had was a hatchet that really didn’t fit what I wanted. Fast forward 50 plus years and suddenly, everything I always wanted in a tomahawk is available almost everywhere.  Even in the big box stores, you can find at least a few tomahawks hanging on the display with the other edged tools.  Once I couldn’t find anything that closely resembled what I envisioned as a tomahawk, now it is easy to be overwhelmed with the choices. At a quick glance, here are out top choices: TOMAHAWKS DETAILS #1 Pick #1 Pick Off Grid Tools Survival Axe Nail claw and pry bar. Replaceable 6-inch saw blade. Hex sockets. Check Price on Amazon.com SOG Tomahawk Throwing Axe Handle is glass-reinforced nylon for strength and durability Very lightweight Quick to swing, strong, and durable Check Price on Amazon.com S&W SW671 Tomahawk Handle is long enough to add to the momentum of a swing yet Steel design for durability Check Price on Amazon.com Quick Navigation Picking the Best Tactical Tomahawk: Buying Guide What Would I Carry? "Best Tactical Tomahawk" – My Top 5 Picks 1. Best Bushcraft TomahawkGerber Downrange Tomahawk Review 2. Best Bug Out Bag Tomahawk – SOG Fasthawk Tomahawk Review 3. Best Defensive Tomahawk – S&W SW671 Tomahawk Review 4. General Use Tomahawk – "Off Grid Tools" Survival Axe Review What Do I carry? Picking the Best Tactical Tomahawk: Buying Guide Functionality must be the deciding factor in choosing a tomahawk.  Having some idea of how you will use a tomahawk is the key factor.   There are some considerations I suggest. What will be the primary function of your tomahawk? – Are you going to use it while camping or bushcrafting as a tool?  Are you employing it as a rescue tool?  Is self-defense the reason you are considering carrying a tomahawk? What configuration of tomahawk best fits your needs? – Do you need a straight cutting edge or a curved edge? Is a full tank or through head handle the right choice?  What other uses should my tomahawk fill?  How long should the handle be? What kind of handle is best? Handles come in many options.  You can find tomahawks with wood, fiberglass, polycarbonate, and even carbon fiber handles. What size tomahawk do I want to carry? – This depends on a lot on how you intend to use your hawk.  Longer handles give more leverage.  Shorter handles are easier to carry and maneuver in tight spaces. There are rational and arguments pro and con for every variation and combination of these features of tactical tomahawks.  Finding the right combination to suit your needs is the challenge, and in today’s market, deciding from the wide array of tomahawks can be daunting. What Would I Carry? The answer to this question depends a lot on what I expect to encounter.  A tomahawk is, more than anything, a tool.  I have always advocated that the right tool makes any job easier.  Finding the right tomahawk for the job you are expecting is the key. Tomahawks are intended to be versatile tools that can do a variety of jobs.  Most tactical tomahawks can be used for a multitude of tasks, and many have features built into them to make doing specialized tasks easier.  That is why I always try to tailor my choice to the expected jobs I may encounter. Best Tactical Tomahawk – My Top 5 Picks I break down the uses I have for a tomahawk into four basic categories.  These define the way I expect to use and carry the tomahawk, which, in turn, defines the ways that I expect to use the tomahawk and the tasks I expect to encounter.  The four basic categories I use in selecting a tomahawk are: Bushcraft or Camping – A bushcraft tomahawk needs to be versatile enough to chop firewood or cut a trail through heavy brush.  Because it is typically used around a camp, it should be able to drive and pull tent stakes or shave a point on a spear. Bug out bag, get-home bag, or survival pack – Light, durable, and fast are the watchwords for selecting a tactical tomahawk for your survival bags.  Breaching, rescue, and self-defense are just a few of the roles a tactical tomahawk may need to fill on your bug-out bag. Self-defense General Use 1. "Best Bushcraft Tomahawk" – "Gerber Downrange Tomahawk" Review See Price on Amazon Bushcrafting calls for some compromises in certain tools.  Weight is always a factor and is versatility.  A tomahawk to take bushcrafting must fill many roles.  It isn’t possible to pack in an ax for chopping wood, a pry bark for moving heavy objects, and a hammer to drive tent stakes. The Gerber Downrange Tomahawk is my choice for a bushcrafting or camping tomahawk for several reasons. Solid functional construction Longer Handle for leverage Wider curved cutting edge Unique head design for functionality 420HC Steel body Weighs 36oz. What Makes the Gerber Downrange the Choice for a Bushcraft Tomahawk? Gerber has made all the right choices and compromises with the Downrange tomahawk to make it the best bushcraft tomahawk, in my opinion. The solid one-piece metal construction ensures longevity and durability.  No loose or splintered handles to compound your problems. The overall length of nearly 20 inches is long enough to provide leverage to chop wood, pry open doors or move heavier objects, yet it is short enough to pack easily into a bushcraft backpack. The slightly curved cutting edge is long enough to make the Downrange tomahawk an effective too for ax work.  The length provides enough cutting area to handle moderate-sized logs.  However, the curve is slight enough that the edge can also be used as a cutting tool.  It might take some time but, with the edge properly dressed, you could skin an animal with this tomahawk. The head of the downrange features a unique cut out.  There are several reasons I find this feature attractive.  First, it lightens the overall weight of the tomahawk without compromising strength.  Second, when using the tomahawk handle as a pry bar, it provided a convenient grip that keeps your arms and hands away from the cutting edge. The backside functions as a hammerhead when the need to drive tent stakes. The choice of steel, 420HC, is a good compromise.  420HC is stainless steel that resists corrosion.  Edge retention may not be as good as some harder steels, but it is easy to sharpen and resilient to hard use. Weight in a tomahawk is always a point of concern.  I want enough weight in a bushcraft tomahawk to make the heavier chores like chopping wood as easy as possible.  I also want to minimize the weight that I must carry.  AT 36pz, the Gerber Downrange Tomahawk is a good compromise in weight. These features make the Gerber Downrange tomahawk my pick for the best bushcraft tomahawk.  It fills the needs I want in a camp tool and brings much more to the table in a pinch. Tomahawk, Downrange, Bevel, 19-1/4 in, 30 oz See Price on Amazon Last update on 2020-08-14 at 09:08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API 2. Best Bug Out Bag Tomahawk – SOG Fasthawk Tomahawk Review

How-To: Customizing the Remington 870

/* custom css */.td_uid_2_5f37932df05f4_rand.td-a-rec-img { text-align: left; } .td_uid_2_5f37932df05f4_rand.td-a-rec-img img { margin: 0 auto 0 0; } The Remington 870 pump action has been used as a standard police model for decades. But as good as this gun is, it can always be improved by the application of aftermarket parts and the ingenuity of a custom gunsmith. Setting up a Remington 870 shotgun for defense is easier than you may think. Keep in mind that this gun can also be used in 3-Gun competition in the Heavy Metal Division, where the only firearms allowed are 12-gauge pump shotguns, .308 rifles and .45 ACP handguns. For the project shotgun, I selected the Scattergun Technologies ghost ring sights with tritium inserts, a sidesaddle shell carrier, Timney sear, Vang systems oversized safety button, Magpul buttstock with spacer system and raised cheekpiece and a Surefire 6V tactical forend light. I also selected a Trulock tactical breacher combination muzzle brake and stand-off, an extended magazine tube, Kick-Eez recoil pad and opted to Mag-na-port the barrel and add a Blackhawk! sling. Since the rear sight on this gun has to be precisely located, I sent the gun off to Accurate Plating to have them drill and tap the rear sight holes on their milling machine. This could be performed on a drill press, but it can get a little tricky, especially with a small bench drill press. Upgrading The Trigger Group Once the receiver came back, I turned to the trigger group. I wanted to install the excellent Timney sear unit, which comes with three sear springs to set the trigger pull to the weight desired. I chose the mid-weight spring for a trigger pull of about 3 pounds. To install the trigger, drive out the two trigger group retaining pins, and lift out the trigger group. Compress and lift out the sear spring, and remove the shell lifter by disengaging the c-clip and pushing out the lifter retaining pin. Be careful to retain the carrier dog and spring. Then drive out the sear retaining pin. Replace the sear with the Timney unit, and press in the sear retaining pin. Then, using the Silver Bullet, press in the large carrier retaining pin, and replace the c-clip. Replacing the safety is a simple matter of pushing out the retaining pin and safety, inserting the new safety and replacing the retaining pin. Be careful not to lose the spring and detent. Note that the Timney sear has a set screw that allows for small adjustment in the trigger pull weight once installed. The sidesaddle shell carrier, ghost ring rear sight and Magpul sling attachment are essential Model 870 upgrades. Barrel and Front Sight Modifications To modify the barrel, I opted to lengthen the forcing cone, and install a Rem Choke system so I could install the breacher muzzle brake. I first installed the Scattergun Technologies front sight, which is accomplished by mixing the included epoxy, degreasing the front sight and front sight base on the barrel after removing the front sight bead. Apply the epoxy, wipe off the excess, and secure with a rubber band. Let it set overnight and you’re done. Related GunDigest Articles Gun Review: Remington 870 DM Shotgun Gun Review: Remington 870 Tac-14 Video: The Short and Stout Remington 870 Tac-14 Next ream the choke for the choke tube, and lengthen the forcing cone. Lengthening the forcing cone is a very common modification among shotgun competitors to reduce recoil. Factory forcing cones have a fairly sharp angle from the chamber to the bore, which makes the shot column slam into the forcing cone when the gun is fired. The shot column slows down when it hits this sharp angle, increasing recoil force against the shooter. Lengthening the forcing cone allows the shot column to transition from the chamber to the bore gradually. This operation can be performed by hand with a spiral flute forcing cone reamer and a tap handle, with a little cutting oil. The job should only take about 30 minutes. Flush out the chips and oil and you’re done. Installing the Rem Choke is a little more difficult. This operation should really be done with a lathe or a floor-mounted drill press. Since this book is about projects for the home hobbyist, I reamed the choke by hand and it took about 13 hours, whereas if I would have reamed it on a lathe, it should only take about an hour. Ream the barrel until the rear shoulder of the reamer butts up against the face of the barrel. There are calculations that need to be performed in older barrels or barrels of questionable thickness prior to any choke reaming. Be absolutely certain the barrel has sufficient wall thickness before you do any type of choke work. The Timney sear is a great addition. The Silver Bullet is used to replace the carrier retaining pin. Don’t lose the c-clips or the carrier dog spring. When performing an installation of screw-in choke tubes on shotguns, and machining the barrel to accept screw-in chokes, measure the outside diameter (O.D.) with a micrometer to determine if there will be sufficient wall thickness after machining. Measure the O.D. of the barrel and the O.D. of the tap for the particular gauge. Subtract the O.D. of the tap from that of the barrel, divide by 2, and this will give the wall thickness after machining, providing the O.D. of the barrel is concentric with the inside diameter (I.D.). A sample calculation appears below. Barrel O.D. (12 Gauge) Tap O.D. (12 Gauge) Win-Choke™ .850-.814=.036 / 2 = .018 Wall Thickness – Anything thinner than .015 wall thickness is not a candidate for screw-in chokes. Since this is a new Remington 870 shotgun barrel, I knew it was of sufficient thickness for screw-in Rem chokes, but always measure just to be sure before proceeding. Without sufficient wall thickness the end of the barrel could blow out when the gun is fired, causing injury or death. Before you start to ream the barrel, install the pilot onto the reamer. There are different sizes of pilots, so pick the one that gives the best fit. Ream the muzzle until the rear shoulder of the reamer just touches the face of the barrel, then — using the same pilot — tap the threads for the breacher. The reamer has two steps, so make sure you understand that the shoulder of the reamer is the rear, or second shoulder, and ream all the way to the rear of the reamer. Carefully follow the instructions provided by the reamer manufacturer. If performed incorrectly, the barrel muzzle can burst on the first shot due to the choke serving as an obstruction in the bore.

Summary

Semi-automatic shotguns tend to outperform others because they can fire quicker and require less shooter movement for follow-up shots. The fact that they rely on as or recoil operating action also helps to reduce recoil. Other shotgun varieties can also be more prone to malfunction due to fouling.