JUNE 9, 2020

Federal adds the flat-shooting 280 Ackley Improved cartridge with Trophy Copper bullet to the MeatEater line of ammunition. The new 140-grain load delivers the accuracy and expansion the product line is known for, yet produces limited, manageable recoil.
Developed in concert with retired U.S. Army 1st SFOD-Delta combat veteran Larry Vickers of Vickers Tactical, Springfield Armory is proud to present the new Vickers Tactical Master Class 1911, a Lipsey’s Distributor exclusive offering.
Real Avid expands its line of firearm multi-tools with the new GUN TOOL AMP — a compact kit loaded in three platform-specific versions: AR15, Pistol, and 1911. It has a dual-function carry holster that holds a bit set and a folding frame multi-tool and transforms into a sturdy, magnetic bit driver.

Riton Optics continues their growth with the recent inclusion of product at the top-tier distributor, Bangers. Since their inception in 1986, Bangers has rapidly grown into one of the nation's largest distributors of hunting and shooting products.
FN America, LLC is proud to announce support for the #ResponsibleRecreation campaign established by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and other conservation partners.
1791 Gunleather announced the addition of Tim O’Connor to their team as Director of Marketing. O’Connor joins the team with over 25 years of sales and marketing experience in the hunting and shooting industry.

Nightstick announced the selection of H&G Marketing as the new US-focused coast-to-coast marketing agency focused on outdoor and sporting goods.
The Second Amendment Foundation announced the launch of a new effort to remind America that the right to keep and bear arms is all-inclusive, and that all citizens regardless of race, creed or color should never be denied the exercise of their constitutionally-protected rights.
Blackhawk announced that it has expanded its line of T-Series holsters with the introduction of a light bearing Level 2 Compact version engineered specifically for the SIG SAUER P320 pistol with TLR 7/8 light.

N8 Tactical offers the Professional Holster with fits for the Sig Sauer 365 and Springfield Armory Hellcat.  The Professional Holster is designed around N8 Tactical's Original holster concept with a rugged leather backer for comfort.
CMC Triggers announced the release of the CMC Triggers Suppressor Optimized Enhanced Bolt Carrier Group for the New Hornady 6mm ARC. The flared rear of the enhanced bolt carrier is designed to reduce carrier tilt/cant during recoil.
Galco introduces E-Z Loader cartridge strips. Made of flexible Santoprene, E-Z Loaders carry six revolver cartridges ready for quick reloading.

Apex Tactical Specialties is pleased to announce the introduction and immediate availability of optic mounting plates for Sig Sauer P320 pistols. Designed specifically to fit the P320 models such as the M17, M18 and Legion, the new Apex Optic Mounts allow the user to securely mount the Aimpoint® Acro P-1 optic to the slide.
If you are seeking a binocular powerful enough to replace a spotting scope, the new Diamondback HD 15x56 packs all the optical strength you need into a lightweight package that will keep you in the field and on budget.
Honored American Veterans Afield announces the appointment of Smith & Wesson CEO, Mark Smith to its Board of Directors. Mark represents one of the six HAVA founding sponsor companies from 2008, a company which has consistently supported the HAVA program for disabled veterans.

SDS Imports announces the appointment of Dave Biggers as General Manager. Biggers, an firearms industry veteran, will take over daily operations at the SDS Knoxville facility and oversee imports and distribution of the entire SDS product line while leading the effort to scale the organization to meet projected growth.
Leviathan Group has announced three additional prizes to their 'Quarantine 2: Electric Flugaloo' Giveaway, which runs through the middle of June. Four winners will win over $7000 in firearms, gear, apparel, and industry memberships.
Primary Arms has announced its June Rifle Giveaway, which offers two enhanced Ruger 10/22 Takedown rifles to celebrate Father’s Day. This two-rifle set includes many aftermarket parts and accessories, along with range gear and ammunition.
The original design of the Gatling gun dates back to the Civic War and to usher it into the 21st century, Tippman’s modern version accepts GLOCK magazines. Also, the Mossberg MC2c is featured along with much more.
American Handgunner’s 2020 Special Edition of DIY Guns features entry- to mid-level gunsmithing projects to achieve upgrades, refinements and — for those ready to tackle the advanced — complete builds.
Everest is proud to support the efforts of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and other conservation partners in encouraging individuals and families to enjoy the outdoors while practicing #ResponsibleRecreation.
Bring back the performance of lead—without the heavy metal—with new Federal Premium Bismuth, the freezer-filler shotshell ammunition of MeatEater's Steven Rinella.
This new program provides Minnesota with a 5% discount when they design their own Honor Defense pistol online and use the coupon code GopherDefense.
Davidson’s, one of the nation’s top firearms wholesalers, announce they are now carrying complete PFC9 and PFS9 pistols from Polymer 80.

The retirees at my old outfit were due for ‘qualification’ under the federal “Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act” and the state law that makes it more restrictive. The problem was the Werner-named “Beer Plague.”

Everything got postponed except for daily operations.

Now, as the temperature rises in this hemisphere, as well as the humidity, the elderly shooting experience has been advanced. Typical for old people who have trouble sleeping, the crowd arrived early. Except for me.

The holster used for the auto-portion of the retiree-law enforcement qualification; Safariland image.

This year, I elected to do something I should do regularly: shoot the carry ammo out of the primary carry gun so it can get its annual inspection, a cleaning and refilling with fresh ammo. That was the Gen5 GLOCK 19 with Hornady 135 gr. FTX Critical Duty. The holster was the Safariland M578 GLS Pro-Fit Paddle. This holster has the “Grip Locking System.” It secures the gun when it’s placed into the holster with a “click.” To draw, simply grip the handgun and the middle finger pushes the locking mechanism out of the way. It’s not a ‘security holster,’ but the gun won’t come out until you take that grip. Using SafariSeven material in construction, the holster is adjustable to fit different guns in the same general form factor – the ‘compact’ size fits Glock 19-sized guns with a little adjustment. I’ve used this holster with the HK USP Compact and the S&W M&P9 Compact.

While I shot a tight group – one went into the ‘brain’ (intentionally) -- I ended up with 98% with a round trending out at 1 o’clock. That’s what I get for getting lazy and shooting ‘unlocked.’ Otherwise the group was tight. As to the difference between the premium defense ammo and the range ball I usually shoot, I couldn’t discern it; I was too busy trying not to miss.

The 2020 Colt Python with the elderly, poorly-stored ammo used, above. Below, the Safariland Custom Fit holster used with the new Python.

For the revolver session – “type of firearm” in the LEOSA statute is interpreted here as “semi-auto” or “revolver” -- I opted to use the ‘here for T&E’ Colt Python of 2020. Remember, I’d complained about the shallow rear sight and the sharp edges on the trigger when being more concerned with absolute precision and calling the shots myself.

That’s the great thing about shooting a qual course for peace officers. You’re busy enough trying to do the right things at the right time that the minor considerations of the gun really go away.

That happened with the ca. four-inch modern Python. I used some old Winchester “WinClean” 125 grain JSP 38 Special ammo that had been, as they say, “indifferently stored.” There was no concern for climate variation and other environmental issues.

Every round fired and readily ejected – the cases fell free. The rounds felt ‘solid’ on ignition – and the Colt really, really liked that load. The rounds fired from up close to fifteen yards were very tightly clustered in the middle. At seven yards, I got bored and turned a “three hits from the holster” into a failure drill – a pair center with a third driven into the head box. Otherwise three rounds were out of the central cluster, with a score of 100%.

The double action trigger press is smooth and I didn’t notice the edges on the trigger. I also failed to notice the shallow notch in the rear sight as I was more occupied in placing the red ramp where I wanted it on the target and holding the gun still through ignition.

Likewise, the stocks aren’t really made for my hands – but they look very good and, most important, the target couldn’t demonstrate the failure to fit. In fact, I was able to keep a tight hold on the gun and keep it still. The Colt and Winchester did all the rest of the work.

The holster I’d used was the Safariland M568 “Custom Fit” (for revolvers) paddle holster; the use of paddle holsters was convenience as I was changing gear from auto to revolver. Using the Safariland/Bill Rogers paddle design, it’s quick-on and quick-off while remaining stable in the waistband. By “Custom Fit,” Safariland means I could use a K-frame S&W, an L-frame (with a little adjustment) – or a Ruger GP-100, Colt Python or anything in the neighborhood of that class of revolver.

I wasn’t the only one shooting a Colt revolver. Old friend Mike Rafferty shot next to me using an old Colt Official Police 4”, with Pachmayr grip adapter. He had a high ride thumb break holster – a Bianchi, that I’d gifted him. Using Winchester 130 grain flat-point ball, he scored 100%.

Otherwise, it was a healthy time in the sun getting to chat with people from my past. Our numbers change from year to year. Some retirees we won’t see again. “Youngsters” who have more recently retired fill the ranks from the other side.

Me? I’d gotten to shoot my ‘nearly every day, everywhere’ auto and a new revolver, one that justifiably wears the name “Python.”

-- Rich Grassi

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