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sandia-razar

Big things are happening in the world of scopes and optics, and a company called Sandia National Labs is behind it. In development for nearly a decade now, the company has been working on a push-button scope, using a series of flexible polymer lenses, to replicate the human eye. This will allow a soldier to change magnification without changing hand position, or looking away from a target.

“The impetus behind the idea of push-button zoom is you can acquire what you’re interested in at low magnification and, without getting lost, zoom in for more clarity,” said Brett Bagwell, an optical engineer who is the project leader at Sandia labs, and former Special Forces in the US Army.

It’s called the Rapid Adaptive Zoom for Assault Rifles, or RAZAR, and its double lenses have two components. The first is a tough membrane that is used to encapsulate the second component, a liquid polymer held within it. Each of the two lenses sits inside of a ring used to compress the polymer, which increases or decreases the curvature of the sight elements, and thus the focus. The rings themselves are operated by ultrasonic piezoelectric motors, which are quite similar to those used in the auto-focus on most cameras.

“The guys picked it up and when they pushed the button and it zoomed, and then instantly it zoomed back out, they were like kids at Christmas. There was this look of astonishment and pleasure,” said the former Green Beret sergeant. “That’s very gratifying. Here’s this grizzled veteran looking at me like I’ve just created magic.”

For much more  information on this game changing technology, go check out the information page at Sandia Labs. Of note, the science behind RAZAR is not only of use in the military, but nearly all optics applications.

Concealed-Carry-Clothing-Suit-Jacket-400

By now we’ve all heard about the tragedy that occurred in Idaho by a mother, Veronica Rutledge, who left her carry pistol in her purse. The incident took place at  local Walmart, and when her two year son old found the weapon zipped away in her purse, a shot was accidentally discharged by the toddler, which took Rutledge’s life.

This is an unfortunate situation all the way around, and my heart goes out to the child and family. And here I’m going to reiterate what many are saying about concealed carry: always keep your gun on you, and/or within your control at all times.

With many concealed classes, students, especially women who carry bags are are often regarded as easier targets by criminals, are warned against purse carry. Purse snatchers are much, much more common than shooting sprees, and when if a robber snatches your purse or bag, he not only has your belongings, but your gun as well.

And that doesn’t even begin to cover what could happen if a child gets into your bag, as happened in Hayden, Idaho. Not only could a child accidentally shoot a parent, but his or herself, or their siblings. And even the most watchful mother or father can’t keep an eye on their kids at all moments.

It’s much safer for yourself and all involved to carry in a holster at your waist, or even a chest or underarm. There are many options for doing so, that are invisible under a loose blouse or shirt, as well as many guns that are designed to be slim and unobtrusive. If you need help choosing what’s best for your needs and style of clothing, come see our sales associates. Even if we don’t have it in stock, we can point you in the right direction. And as always, stay safe out there, guys.

The Problem With Watch List Bans

With all of the renewed cries for Gun Control since this month’s terrible Orlando shooting, the topic of banning citizens who have been named on the Terrorist/No Fly Watch Lists is beginning to dominate the narrative, with both sides considering the benefits and risks of this. While it certainly makes sense that people who are suspected of being terrorists should not be allowed to purchase guns, it’s the lack of transparency around these lists that worry myself and other gun owners, especially considering that the Obama administration continues to equate those with “right-wing” views as extremists and claims that these people, who you may call patriots, pose the same threat as radical Islam.

While the prohibition of firearm ownership of people on Terrorist Watch Lists and No Fly Lists sounds like common sense, here’s a list of some key points to consider:

  1. There is no formal due process when being placed on this list; the person being added to this list is often not notified and cannot appeal and prove his innocence.
  2. The criteria for who should be added to the list is largely unknown and therefore normal American citizens can be arbitrarily added for no reason without further notification or justification.

A good friend of mine is a good, but sad case. This person is on an FBI watchlist, and I couldn’t believe my eyes when he forwarded an email to me a couple of years ago where a Special Agent of the FBI in Miami requested to meet with him at his work. My friend is a young 20-something with a kid, a good job, very well-educated and possibly the least violent, aggressive person I know. Yet, after his interview with two FBI agents outside of a Starbucks in West Palm Beach, he would soon learn that things changed, even though the agents let him know that they didn’t feel like he posed a risk.

He was investigated simply because he asked too many questions – mainly, certain events that occurred around this time, such as the Boston Marathon Bombing, a trip we had scheduled to DC for the 4th of July, and his routine browsing of gun-related websites and magazines had thrown up a red flag.

About a year after his interview, I asked my friend to come with me to Orlando to help out at a gun show; I had way too many tables to manage and my friend, who again, is more of a ‘brains over brawn’ guy, would have made the perfect salesman. He quickly agreed but couldn’t drive up, so he booked a 30 minute flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Orlando. I was on my way to pick him up when he told me he was being questioned and that he would miss his flight. We were both confused.

As a result of my friend’s innocent internet browsing habits, he is on a watch list. Things have changed for him: he can’t check-in to flights ahead of time. He has to go through secondary screening where he is interrogated and thoroughly searched each time. He has to get his boarding pass from the airline counter, and each one of his boarding passes since his interview is stamped with “SSS” on the bottom right – he’s a “Selectee” and subject to additional screening.

Although my friend doesn’t fly often, he does shoot often. He is more of a collector than a tactical shooting guy, and could tell you pretty much anything you’d want to know about a World War II rifle just by looking at a picture on FB. And now, because of a heinous act an actual terrorist committed in Orlando, my friend could potentially lose his Constitutionally-protected right to bear arms because his name appears on a list among real terrorists who hate America and all it stands for.

My friend cannot have his name removed from the list, can’t file an appeal, and has been unsuccessful in his attempts to get more information through Freedom of Information Act requests. Not only has his 4th amendment right to due process been compromised, but he may soon be unable to defend himself against the increasing number of attacks by evildoers.

I’m all for making sure that terrorists, criminals and generally evil people can’t own guns, but we need to do this the right way. It is time for our Republic to make decisions “for the people” and not “against the people”, especially behind the scenes where they can’t prove their innocence and loyalty to America and its values.

The 7.62 round is food for a long and reputable pedigree of robust and dependable rifles. One of the first to fire the round, in fact, is still in wide use today. The SKS is a great rifle, and although its military service was cut short with the development of the AK-47, they can still be found in large numbers, especially in the US civilian market.

When shopping for an SKS, there’s not much to it. You should always try to buy one that has its bayonet intact; although you’ll probably never use it, the presence of the original bayonet affects its resale value.

The quality of the wood is also huge, and you should check for large cracks or dings in the wood; because the bolt thrashes violently into the stock, weak would could mean catastrophic damage to the rifle and can also cause injury to the shooter.

Country of origin is probably the biggest factor when determining which SKS to buy. I’d stick to eastern bloc SKS rifles myself – Russian or Yugoslavian. Albanian and Romanian SKS rifles are great if they’re early, circa 1950’s. Norinco rifles are also great if that’s all that you can find, but I wouldn’t buy any others.

SKS rifles have drastically increased in price in the past few years – you’re lucky to find one for less than $400, depending on condition, accessories included and country of origin.

Unlike its later counterpart, the First World War hasn’t inspired a large number of titles in movies and video games. From Saving Private Ryan to Downfall, World War II has been the subject of some significant media that have become iconic around the world. Imagine, then, that a popular video game maker chose World War I as the stage for its latest video game, which will take the protagonist throughout all theatres of the war equipped in the firearms of the time.

The Thompson Submachine gun and M1 Garand are iconic rifles in America and most gun owners can easily tell you which war their fame was earned in. Can you name some of the most iconic firearms from the First World War though? Don’t feel bad – not many can. And that’s why we compiled this list:

Bergmann MP18

What looks like a cross between the Russian PPSH and a British Stirling, the MP18 was one of the world’s earliest submachine guns chambered in 9x19mm. This design would be repeated in the next World War as shown in the submachine guns I mentioned earlier.

Mondragon Model 1908

Made by the Mexican army at the turn of the century, the Mondragon rifle was one of the first semi-automatic battle rifles ever used. Its clever design was truly ahead of its time and fired the powerful 7x57mm cartridge. This rifle is definitely a collector’s piece and was used in several other historical events including the assasination of Pancho Villa.

Beretta 1918

Beretta has been around for over 550 years, so it’s no surprise that one of their weapons was used during one of the largest wars in history. This submachine gun/rifle hybrid featured a detachable magazine that was also ahead of its time, using the simple force of gravity to feed rounds into the chamber. The Beretta 1918 proved to be a formidable weapon boasting an impressive 25 round capacity of 9mm Glisenti, a lower-pressure version of the 9mm intended for use in blowback firing mechanisms.

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