TODAY! LIVE stream Wayne LaPierre’s speech at CPAC 2014

PARTNERS_CPAC_SOCIAL_V2[1][24]It has been quite a while since the last major speech by NRA’s President, Wayne LaPierre. He will speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC 2014) TODAY, March 6, beginning at 2:30 p.m. EST.  The coming year will bring great political change and as gun owners and 2nd Amendment supporters, we need to keep abreast of the political landscape and what the NRA’s perspective is moving forward. You will find his speech here and will be able to stream it live below, please bookmark this link and set a reminder. Our gun rights are in jeopardy, and we will only prevail if we remain united!

New Energy Sponsored by Remington: The Women of BLACKHAWK!

NRAW_SocialMedia_NE_Blackhawk_FinalDarcie Neville and Darnetha Elmore both served in the military prior to their careers at BLACKHAWK!. Their active-duty experiences have made their work producing supplies for military and law enforcement even more meaningful.

NRA Women New Energy: Nikki Turpeaux

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NRA Women Presented by Smith and Wesson is proud to present the latest New Energy Profile sponsored by Remington Arms Company, featuring Nikki Turpeaux. “Just because you feel safe doesn’t mean you are,” says Nikki. The founder of Archangel Tactical LLC and “Get a G.R.I.P. Ladies” challenges her students to take personal safety into their own hands.

Optics, Optics, Optics — SHOT Show 2014

I am processing all the footage and information I covered this week, and if you are interested in Long Range Optics — I have a LOT of information for you that I will get up here as fast as I can. I just want to write this post to give you a taste of what I saw.
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I have “First Look” video and photos with key features on all of the following scopes (in no particular order):

1. Tangent Theta (Mod TT525P)
2. Nightforce B.E.A.S.T
3. Leupold Mk 8
4. 2014 Vortex Razor
5. March-F 3-24×52
6. Steiner Military 5-25×56 mm
7. Schmidt & Bender PMII PSR
8. Bushnell ERS 3.5-21x 50mm
9. Kahles K 624i

It was really interesting being able to compare these scopes within a day or two of each other, having the feel of the turrets, the ergonomics, the look of the glass and reticles so fresh in mind. A couple of the companies have already agreed to send me T&E products and I will be working on requests for more so that I can get full blown reviews on all these scopes published for you.

Also, I have so much other long range info to discuss, Surgeon Rifles, Ashbury Precision Ordnance’s ASW 338 Lapua, Accuracy International’s new AT and AX, among others.  So, please check back in the coming days!

Women’s Industry Dinner – SHOT Show 2014

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Empowering is the key word for the dinner I attended last evening, celebrating women in the firearms industry.  I had the opportunity to assist Nikki Turpeaux from Archangel Tactical in conducting interviews of all the sponsors of the event for the Firearms Radio Network.  I met so many amazing, smart, beautiful, second amendment supporting women.  Among the ladies I had a chance to talk to were Natalie Foster from Girls Guide to Guns and Athena from Gun Goddess, I have been a fan of both of them for a very long time.  The event was hosted by Jacquelyn Kelly, owner of Armed in Heels and Britney Starr, owner of Starr & Bodill African Safaris

These ladies were a slice of each piece of the industry, instructors, competitors, bloggers and commentators, CEOs, you name it – they were there.  Women are laced throughout the history of firearms, they are powerful here in the present, and they are THE FUTURE of the industry as a whole. They are the key to maintaining our Second Amendment rights.

A big thank you to Britney and Jacquelyn for hosting such a fabulous event!

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Isn’t this blog called “HEELS” and handguns?

My 2014 SHOT Show® Media Plan!

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 9.31.21 PMI head out before the crack of dawn in the morning to Las Vegas to the 2014 SHOT Show! I have been anticipating this week for nearly 7 months. I have all the booths mapped out that I plan on visiting, and I am sure I will get distracted on my path by many other vendors and people. I am excited about just seeing the event – the sheer enormity of it, and I am excited about seeing the new products all the companies are bringing to show.  Most of all, I am excited to meet all the new YouTubers, bloggers, podcasters, and friends I have made over the last few years.

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My week will start out at Media Range day, where I will have the opportunity to actually try out a few new rifles, pistols, and other new and improved accessories. Tuesday morning is when the actual SHOT Show begins and I plan on heading straight to the Long Range areas to see the new Accuracy International Rifle, the Night Force B.E.A.S.T, the newest Vortex scope, and many other items for precision long range. I am also going to find new and innovative items geared toward ladies or items that are perfect for a lady shooter in general. The fastest way to see my videos will be via FacebookTwitterInstagram, YouTube, or Google+.  As I get an opportunity, probably in the evening I will take some time to write my thoughts here on the blog.  The footage I post to all the Social media will be raw, but after I get home in the next few weeks I will be doing proper reviews on everything I see.

I have a very busy day ahead of me, and better get to it!  Feel free to leave me a comment about what you would like to see be cover below and I will see what I can do!

Viva Las Vegas!

What’s in My Range Bag? [VIDEO]

Screen Shot 2014-01-01 at 1.09.59 PMI was blessed to receive many great gifts this Christmas season, including two new range bags! I have been using one rather large bag for all my range purposes. I decided that I could now have the luxury of have a rifle range bag and a pistol range bag. As I was cleaning out my old bag, the same rugged bag I have had for five years, I decided it was still in near perfect condition and would become my rifle range bag in the future. The new bags I received for Christmas are a lot smaller, and would serve very well when I head out to the pistol range near my home.

Since I was going to take everything out of my bag and reorganize it, I thought you would like to see what I take to the range.  I would love to hear what you take to the range, and if you have any suggestions on other items I should include in the future!  The video below will show you everything I had in my old range bag.

Navy Names First Female Four Star Admiral

Congratulations Vice Admiral Howard! You are blazing a path that all women in the US Navy might follow. President Obama nominated Vice Admiral Michelle Howard for a fourth star Friday, becoming the first woman in Navy history to attain the rank—assuming Senate approval—of full Admiral.She currently serves as deputy chief of naval operations for operations, plans, and strategy. She has been tapped to serve as vice chief of naval operations, the Navy’s second-ranking officer, and a single step below the chief of naval operations, the service’s top officer.“Someday, sure, there’ll be a woman CNO,” she presciently told Time nearly 14 years ago, when she was commanding the USS Rushmore, an amphibious dock landing ship, out of San Diego. “It will happen of its own accord.”Howard steps up during a demanding time for the Navy, trying to pivot to the Pacific amid a funding crunch that has the service scrambling. “The best ambassador,” she likes to say, “is a warship.”Her promotion comes in the wake of the Army’s decision to tap Ann Dunwoody for four stars in 2008, and the Air Force move to promote Janet Wolfenbarger to its highest rank in 2012. Time interviewed them together last year, shortly before Dunwoody retired.According to the Pentagon’s latest demographic report, 14.5% of active-duty military personnel are women. They represent 13.5% of the Army, 16.4% of the Navy and 19% of the Air Force. Women account for only 6.8% of the Marine Corps, whose highest-ranking woman achieved three stars before retiring earlier this year.

Read more via Navy names first woman to four-star admiral post | TIME.com.

How to test the tracking of a rifle scope

I haven’t discussed my new Accuracy International (AI) rifle, chambered in 6.5 Creedmore, too much yet.  (Unless you have been listening to our “We Like Shooting” Podcast, you probably haven’t heard anything about it.)  While I have been waiting for my custom 6XC rifle to be built, I came across a deal on a used AI that I could not pass up, and I had to take the deal!  This meant that I needed a scope.  This rifle is going to be my fun; tactical, long-range gun that I won’t mind getting beat up when I’m playing hard.  AI rifles are extremely rugged and known for accuracy and reliability, and with a few specialized tools, changing my own barrels has proven to be fun and easy!  (More on that later.)  But it’s not all roses, along with all that rugged reliability comes a bit more weight than I would prefer in a rifle I’ll be lugging around all the time, so when I started picking components for this gun, weight savings were at the top of my list. For starters I chose a Leupold Mark 6 3-18x for my optic, it is lightweight (only 23 ounces) compact, front focal plane (good for the type of shooting I plan to do), and I love the TMR reticle.  I’ve had some dealings with Leupold in the past that always turned out good so this scope seemed like a no brainer based on my needs.

The first time out with my new rifle and scope out, we didn’t have a chronograph with us, so after zeroing at 100yds, we walked out shots on some known distance targets and made notes of the necessary elevation required.  Using this data I was able to extrapolate the velocity of my hand loads and enter the data into my ballistic calculator.  Using the published G1 BC of the 142gn sierra I was shooting and my newly acquired velocity I began running into some inaccuracies as the distances increased which happens from time to time, but normally not to the extent I was experiencing.  I had a few variables that were hard to account for in just one day of shooting;

  1. New rifle
  2. New scope
  3. Hand loads

The rifle wasn’t a big deal as it functioned perfectly the entire day, so I suspected the loads or the scope.

We hadn’t had a chance to check the Leupold scope tracking before the first time I shot it because it had arrived via a rush order from CS Tactical (Thanks Mike!) on one of my trips to Indiana. I was only going to be in town for a few days, and wanted to shoot my AI and use my Leupold while I was in town. I mounted the scope with Nightforce aluminium rings (more weight savings) that evening, and the next morning we were shooting!

Here is a video demonstration of the test:

We normally always take the time to accurately test the tracking of our scopes for several reasons:

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Following is how we set up our test:

  1. Strap the rifle down to a concrete shooting bench using ratchet straps, on a mechanical rest in the front, so that micro adjustments can be made, and a very full sand bag on the rear for maximum stability of the rifle. [Caution: do NOT put the straps over the top of your scope.]
  2. Measure from the objective lens of the scope out 300 feet (100 yards) with a metal tape measure. (Tape measures this long made out of other material can stretch and throw you measurement off).
  3. Mount a of 4’x8‘piece of plywood.  We built a stand to assist in mounting the board. Place this plywood at exactly 300 feet.
  4. Once the board is standing, use a 4 foot level and make a perfectly level horizontal line very close to the top of the board.  This is your zero mil line.
  5. Measure down exactly18” and make another perfectly level horizontal line, this is your 5 mil line. (At 100 yards, one mil is equal to 3.6 inches and 3.6 times 5 equal 18 inches.)
  6. Repeat step 5. to create 10 mil and 15 mil horizontal lines. (Add additional lines as desired, 20 mil, etc.)
  7. Find the center of the board, and then make a perfectly plumb vertical line down the center of the board, crossing all horizontal lines previously made.
  8. Measure exactly 18” to the left of center, and make another perfectly plumb vertical line, this is your left windage marker.
  9. Repeat step 8. 18” to the right of center. This will be your right windage line.
  10.  Place one inch target stickers on each intersection of the horizontal and vertical lines.

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Once you have the test set up, dial your scope to your rifle 100 yard zero. Ensure the center is precisely on the zero mil target dot at the center-top of your board (magnification is your friend here). Adjust and secure the rifle and ratchet straps as required so it will not move for the remainder of the test.

At this point, dial the elevation turret to 5 mil, and verify the center of the reticle is on the 5 mil target dot indicated on the board. If it is not, note the difference.  Continue by:

  • Dialing 10 mil, note discrepancies
  • Dialing 15 mil, note discrepancies
  • (And continue in 5mil increments if desired – just add extra lines on the board.)

Following this test, return to the rifle zero to ensure you are right back where you started. This will ensure the rifle did not move and the scope returns to zero. Do this test several times to ensure the rifle did not move. You are looking for several consistent, repeatable results.

To check the wind, the test is the same as above, only you dial the wind turret to 5 mil (right and left) and back to zero at each elevation. Note any error discovered.

This test takes a little effort, and a lot of care to set it up properly, but it will give you peace of mind if you take the time to do it.  You will know that your scope is properly aligned, the accuracy of your turrets, validate your ballistic calculator values, and verify your scope returns to zero. I know that most companies probably have an acceptable tolerance of error they factor in, and those values are probably small enough that a human couldn’t shoot the difference. Still, there is a chance that if you do this test, you will find that your scope has a large enough error that it does matter.  This is what happened with my Leupold Mark 6.  When we put it through this test, we discovered that it was off by a little over .2 mil at 10 mil and it was off by .45 mil at 15 mil.  For my 6.5CM, I figured out that I would need to dial 8.3 mil if I were shooting out to 1,000 yards.  The error at this distance could be as much as 7.2”.  Considering there are enough other variables that need to be managed for accuracy, I do not need my scope to add another variable.

We called Leupold and they were really terrific. They listened as we explained the problem, and then agreed that we should send it in.  Leupold does have great customer service. We have already sent it in and Leupold already sent it back (they only kept it for three days!) We will retest it and let you know how it is tracking after the corrections.

Gun Guy Radio: A Moving Tribute to Veterans

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 4.26.30 PMI drove out to the range today, thinking about how thankful I am to have had the opportunity to serve this country for decades of my life. How thankful I am for the many friends, family, and fellow countrymen who have dedicated the best years of their life in direct service to the United States of America. How far too many gave the ultimate sacrifice. I traveled out past the beautiful countryside an hour east of San Diego, the morning sun rising in the sky. My rifle and range bag ready for some fun.  I decided to listen to an Episode of Gun Guy Radio, this one was titled “Survival 22LR RimFire Rifles“. The military is never far from my mind, but even I can become complacent. You know, how I might think, “Yea! I have a day off, I have time to go to the rifle range!” Well, Jake Challand finished his opening discussion about upcoming events and then mentioned it was Veteran’s Day, and how proud he is that so many of the personalities on the Firearms Radio network are veterans. In fact, on our “We Like Shootingpodcast and review site, we have four veterans alone.  Jake then gave me pause and pulled me back to Veterans Day and the real reason for the holiday.

I heard somber military music playing in the background and Jake began to tell a story from Gettysburg during the Civil War, and how the out come of that battle, according to historians, may have changed the outcome of numerous wars since then. His telling was heartfelt, the production was beautiful, and the result of that story (and the lessons to be learned from it) simply extraordinary.

Please, listed to this episode of Gun Guy Radio. He did get to the discussion on 22LR Rifles and you’ll learn a lot from that as well, but the lesson of the Butterfly Effect during the Civil War is a greater lesson we sometimes forget – YOU can make a difference, we all can. You just have to do something!

You can listen HERE or download HERE.