First Shots with Handloading: How Hard Can It Be?

I have studied ballistics for a while, my middle-school science fair project on bullet weight and trajectory during the Reagan Administration as an example. But until a few months ago I had never reloaded a single cartridge. I’ve been on the taxpayer subsidized skills development and ammo program for a long time, and it was

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Step Aside, J-Frame: Make Way for the Smith & Wesson Shield

Shooters may have noticed that the Smith & Wesson Shield is making serious inroads into the market lately. Since the nationwide explosion in concealed carry began, the .38 Special five-shot revolver—best represented by the S&W 642 Airweight—has been the lead offering from the firm for backup and concealment. The small “J” frame designation is nearly

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Star Pupil: Get the Most Out of Firearms Training

The last couple of years have seen truckloads of new shooters of all ages and backgrounds join the community. Whatever the motivation, these shooters—as well as many established gun owners—are at a point where they are considering attending training. This is outstanding and matches well with the veritable explosion of trainers and schools. Bottom line:

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Shoot House All-Stars: CQB With Instructor Dream Team

EAG Tactical has recently shifted a large chunk of its annual training calendar to shoot house classes and has struggled to accommodate all interested and qualified students. The course is designed as a short dive into the subject built on a two-man team live-fire format. Military units typically deal with “Close Quarters Battle” conducted in,

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Hitting the Sweet Spot: Smith & Wesson Model 69 .44 Magnum

At the 2014 SHOT Show, Smith & Wesson introduced a new revolver—the Model 69. The 69 is an L-Frame five-shot stainless steel .44 Magnum. Did you catch that? An L-Frame .44 Magnum five-shooter? Those three things do not seem to go naturally together. With all the fanfare over better-publicized releases from SHOT, most shooters didn’t

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Twist for the Close Fight: SureFire Rapid Transition Sights

The fielding of the ACOG/Rifle Combat Optic (RCO) a decade ago was a game changer. For the first time in U.S. military history, our troops had ready issue to a magnified optic that allowed identification and interdiction of targets that would have challenged the proven M16A2-series iron sights. This played to significant advantage in the

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Slugging it Out: Getting Hits With the 12

The defensive 12-gauge shotgun is unique in the armory for its versatility. The slug, the typically one-ounce hunk of lead that converts the “shot” gun into an “unrifled” bullet launcher, allows the shooter to stretch out the effective range and connect with targets beyond shot or handgun range. In other scenarios, the slug can give

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Crank it Up!: Shooting With Glass

Optics have come a long, long way since Y2K. The advances in combat optics have been so fast and furious they can be hard to keep up with. Today’s shooter is faced with such a staggering variety of choices in power, reticle, features and mission applications that it can lead to “paralysis by analysis.” Unfortunately

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Passing the Buck: Managing Pistol Recoil

The pistol is really a weapons system that encompasses the carriage platform that gets the weapon to the fight, the “launcher” (handgun), and the missile that does the work. For best effect, all three have to be tailored to the man, the mission, and the environment. Aside from a few oddball weapons out there, service

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