Hantke first shot some distances from his backyard to test device’s 1,500-yard claim.

SMALL SIZE, BIG PERFORMANCE: ATN LaserBallistics Rangefinder

I’ve been fascinated with laser rangefinders since the first work I did with one back in 1969 when I was in the Marine Corps. That was a laser pulse-firing device that was one component of an Integrated Observation Device (IOD), which also incorporated a 10-20X80mm set of ship’s binoculars and a 10X Starlight night-vision device,…

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Practice makes perfect. Are you practicing good weapons maintenance?

WEAPONS MAINTENANCE: Knowing When To Do What and Stay Sane

I respect guys who know a lot about cars. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them. I know where the gas goes, what the long pedal on the right side of the floorboard does, and (unlike many people) how to operate my turn signals. I rely on mechanics to keep my truck running. Every 3,000 miles…

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REPORTING FOR DUTY: Atlas Titan Operator

Photos by Straight 8 Custom Photography Awhile back, I was asked to evaluate a new pistol called the Titan Operator from Atlas Gunworks. The Titan Operator (TO) is billed as being suitable for duty and tactical applications. My first thought as I picked up the pistol was, “This thing’s massive!” TITAN OPERATOR DETAILS Overall length…

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Magnification dial is visible on left side of Trijicon 1-8X28 Accupower.

OFFBEAT: Trijicon 1-8X28 Accupower

Photos by Jessie Indracusin Low-power variable scopes with illuminated reticles have grown in popularity in recent years. With the magnification turned down to the lowest setting, which is typically between 1 and 1.5X, and the illumination on, they can be used to quickly engage close-in targets. With the magnification turned up, they can be used…

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Thompson shoots SSG 08 .300 Win Mag from the bench.

LONG GUNS: Steyr SSG 08 in .300 Win Mag

I became a fan of the Steyr SSG rifle almost 40 years ago when I got my SSG 69 rifle. At the time, it was generally rated the best sniping rifle in the world, though soon Accuracy International would challenge Steyr for that honor. U.S. Remington and Winchester sniping rifles tuned by military armorers were…

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TOPS Mini Pry Knife was designed at the request of law enforcement officers who needed a compact, easily carried, low-profile breaching tool.

THE CUTTING EDGE: TOPS Knives Mini Pry Knife

TOPS Knives Mini Pry Knife (MPK-01) is a hardcore tool for hardcore tasks. It was designed at the request of a group of law enforcement officers, many of whom were involved in high-risk warrant service and fugitive recovery. They weren’t looking for a team tool but a smaller pry knife for individual carry that could…

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Vertx trousers come in a variety of colors. Belt line is designed to accommodate IWB/OWB holsters from 1 to 3 o'clock. Situation may dictate unusual and extreme shooting positions. Vertx stretch fabric facilitates these requirements, as well as defensive moves such as kicks.

VERTX TACTICAL TROUSERS: Unique and Fashionably Rugged

I started wearing 5.11 trousers (my DI told me strongly that women wear pants and men wear trousers) back in the 1980s when FBI HRT adopted a “soft uniform” to wear while at the FBI Academy. Eventually, they were adopted by New Agents Training and it was said that FBI candidates looked like Lands’ End…

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Writer Rob Curtis fires drill with his customized tactical lever gun.

THE CRAFT OF THE LEVER GUN John Wayne Would Be Proud

If you’re lucky, once in a while you get to live a dream. For an Eastern gun writer who still harbors fantasies of helping John Wayne clean up a dusty old cowtown, it was a dream: spending three days in the Arizona high desert shooting lever-action rifles with some of the best gun- and word-slingers…

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Third handicap is to offset the hands by platform. Strong hand gets the back-up gun, like this vintage Colt Detective Special. Support side gets the full-size piece. Splatters on Noner target show impacts from Black Hills wadcutters from single shots at distance under time pressure.


From the earliest days of the handgun, the weapon was primarily fired with a single hand. In retrospect, it is downright curious how little emphasis was placed on two-handed shooting as anything other than a last-resort contingency if the target were galloping away over the next ridgeline. Training manuals from as late as the muscle-car…

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There are obvious clues to the subject of this photograph. Hint: It’s not the big pointy thing.


I’m just back from a marvelous month-long vacation in Paris, France. Despite the increased security across the board, the intrusions were reasonable, the crowds cooperative, and the sites wonderful. But as part of my pre-trip planning, I did a risk assessment and performed risk mitigation. Here is how it goes in a place where wits…

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