SEPTEMBER 12, 2023

Honored American Veterans Afield recently held its 2nd Annual event at the Tacoma Sportsman’s Club. The 84 attendees enjoyed participating in a variety of shooting events including crossbow, trap shooting, lever action rifles, 9mm semi-automatic pistols and single action revolvers.
Registration has begun for the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s annual Talladega 600. Set for Nov. 6-12, 2023, this year’s event will feature an assortment of rifle and pistol competitions as well as new 800 Rifle Aggregate and Mid-Range 3x600 matches – all held at CMP’s own Talladega Marksmanship Park in Alabama.
The NRA Whittington Center will host the Women's Wilderness Escape, a women-only event for the introduction to the proper and safe use of firearms. Registration for the event is now open.

Bushnell is extending its relationship with I2D Licensed Brands to unveil a new line of portable lighting built to enhance any outdoor experience. Products include tactical flashlights, headlamp/hat lights, and more.
The THROOM 6″ HANGTUFF Series Plate Rack Kit Includes (6) 6″ HANGTUFF Targets and (1) Set of Alpha Stand Brackets all of which require little assembly. Just add standard 2×4’s to build a complete lightweight plate rack that can be used at the indoor range or used and kept outside in any weather condition.
The Galco Switchback is a general-purpose hybrid design that combines the best elements of leather and synthetic. Useful for right- and left-handed users, the holster can be used for strong side carry or cross-draw.

Just in time for cold weather, Vortex is giving you all-new ways to embrace the chill with a Fall/Winter lineup built to make you forget about summer.
Introducing the ultimate tool for champion choppers and competitive enthusiasts alike: the Jimi Slash Competition Chopper, new from Cold Steel. At the heart of the Jimi Slash lies a 10-inch bladecrafted from CPM 3V high-carbon steel.
SOG® has launched the Provider FX—a purpose-built, high-performance fixed-blade knife designed to meet the demands of hunters and outdoor enthusiasts everywhere.

Bushnell announced that its cutting-edge Match Pro ED riflescope has been honored with the “Best Value” award as part of the 2023 Long Range Optics Test conducted by Outdoor Life.
Urge Media, a marketing agency specializing in shooting, hunting, archery and outdoor recreation brands, has added new services to its roster that leverage technology platforms to solve problems faced by its clients in today's digital marketing landscape.
EOTECH has recently been awarded a multi-year contract to fulfill its EXPS3 HWS and G33 Magnifier to the Polish Ministry of Defense for use on the MSBS GROT weapon systems.

The FirstSpear team would like to extend our profound gratitude to all those who, for the last two decades, fought valiantly to bring retribution to the enemies of freedom and by doing so have given America unchallenged safety.
After twelve years in business, Windham Weaponry has announced it will be closing, effective today, September 12, 2023.
HeadHunters NW will host a live question-and-answer session for people seeking careers in the industry. The live session, hosted by Shaylene Keiner, President of HeadHunters NW, is scheduled for Wednesday, September 13, at 11 a.m. Mountain Standard Time.

Orion Wholesale is seeking a Key Account Executive to oversee the management of some of the company’s most important customers. This position will play a major role in ensuring strong relationships with ORION’s key accounts.
In a ruling issued Friday, September 8, Judge Daniel S. Murphy of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles affirmed that the damage claims in a lawsuit filed by Franklin Armory against the California Department of Justice are sufficient to proceed with litigation.
Late Saturday evening, Gun Owners of America (GOA) and the Gun Owners Foundation (GOF) filed a federal lawsuit challenging New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s gross and egregious violation of the U.S. Constitution through her “public health order” to unlawfully ban the carrying of firearms in Albuquerque

NSSF is warning New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to not attempt to enforce her Public Health Order requiring the state’s Regulation and Licensing Division to conduct monthly inspections of licensed firearm retailers to ensure compliance with all sales and storage laws, in addition to unconstitutionally banning the Second Amendment right to bear arms in public spaces.
NEXTORCH announces the 20,000 lumen Saint Torch 31 Searchlight. The Saint Torch 31 was designed specifically for search & rescue use, but is also ideally suited to any situation that requires long runtimes and exceptionally high-outputs, like game recovery after dark or late nights on the water. 
CrossBreed Holsters offers two new products in support of its recently introduced OutRider holster series—the OutRider Accessory Holster in OWB belt carry and modular system configurations.These multi-fit accessory holsters can accommodate a broad range of small items you need to keep conveniently at-the-ready.
American Buffalo Knife and Tool Co. is adding the new Switch Folder to its Elite line of knives. The Switch Folder comes with three different stainless steel blades that can be swapped out, depending on the task at hand.
Telum Tactical announced the debut of its new Tremor Automatic Knife. It features a 3.5-inch S35V satin-finished blade with a full hollow grind and a contoured G10 handle with a stainless steel bolster. It can be fully opened with the simple push of a button to release its coil spring.
Mission First Tactical (MFT) announces the launch of the High Ride Adjustable holster belt loop attachment perfect for every-day carry firearms. The new MFT High Ride Adjustable holster belt loop attachment is compatible to fit the most popular 3-hole pattern holster.
The month of September is a great time to benefit youth shooting sports by taking part in MidwayUSA Foundation’s 2023 Hometown Challenge. This shoot and sweepstakes gives everyone the chance to win over 100 prizes and compete on a national stage, right from their hometown range.
In the Nov. issue of GUNS Magazine, FMG Special Projects Editor Roy Huntington details Freedom Arms’ custom Model 97 chambered in .45 Colt, its superior features and remarkable handling in any application.
What’s a “Fueled M&P?” Think completely standard, except nearly every component in the pistol has been replaced with a high-end custom version. Editor Tom McHale summarizes his experience with the “fueled and ready” Ed Brown pistol in the Nov/Dec issue of American Handgunner.
Nightstick confirmed that their compact handgun lights including TCM-10 (and previous model TCM-550XL), TCM-5B and TCM-365 have all been fit-tested and listed as approved by Safariland for their newest IncogX deep concealment IWB holster.
Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops are the first retailers to make the GOSAFE Mobile Safe and GOSAFE Mobile Mag available to gun owners, delivering the option to secure a firearm while maintaining immediate access to it.

It’s smart to check your gear – gun, ammo, carry gear/carry method – regularly. Matching that with gun maintenance and loading the piece with fresh defense ammo is important too.

Why don’t I do that regularly then?

My excuses are “the job.” All those guns that don’t belong to me need shooting too. But it’s just an excuse. So, while gearing up for a trip recently, I elected to take care of that. The plan was to shoot the gun I’m carrying (1) with the carry ammo I use, (2) drawing from a holster that’s most often used for concealed carry. I’d shoot it from concealment and shoot from distances as far as fifty yards and as close as ten feet.

Immediately following that, I’d shoot some training ammo to work on issues uncovered during the “qual” phase. Then follow that up with a cleaning at the range – clearing out the lint and gunk and placing oil at the lubrication points called for by the manufacturer. Then I’d load with fresh carry ammo before leaving the range.


The gun is the GLOCK 43x. As my normal carry was the G19, it’s not much of a learning curve; the system’s the same. I have lots more trigger time with the service compact gun and that shows on the timer and the target. Still, I’m not terribly far off.

I used a holster I commonly carry around the homestead or on walks, Galco’s Stow-N-Go. An IWB – a format I use more than eleven months of the year – this one is light, comfortable and easily hidden. The vertical presentation is no problem with the sub-3.4” barrel of the pint-sized GLOCK. The reinforced holster mouth helps make it easier to stow the pistol after use.

The ammo I carry in the gun? That’s Hornady Critical Defense. Why?

The G43x (and a few other micro-compact 9mm pistols I use) have barrels that are less than 4” long. I don’t believe in the “bullet expansion fairy,” but I believe in following an ammo-maker’s advice. For the G19 (and larger) guns, I go to the Critical Duty rounds. Hornady specifies the Critical Defense for guns like the G43x.

The first step is to see if we're all within the "9" ring at thirty feet - we are, barely. Below, three rounds from fifty yards, one a "mike." While that's a 'fail,' it's not time to quit but to go to work.

Following my guidelines, defense ammo should be a premium load that provides these aspects: (1) ignition reliability, (2) functional reliability and (3) the round shoots to the sights. If I get good penetration and the bullet expands or otherwise does defense stuff, it’s even better. The big issue is function and shot accountability.

Then we can worry about frills and dressings.

I arrived at the range, set up targets and started with two rounds into a B-8 repair center from ten yards. This gave me an idea where the gun was with that ammo on this day. There was a 4 o’clock hit in the 10-ring and a 7 o’clock in the 9.

Moving back to fifty yards with a TQ-21 silhouette, I shot three rounds; one was in the cellar at 6 o’clock, not good. The other two hit high chest on the left side. Still inside the maximum scoring zone, they were close together. I have no idea the order in which the rounds struck.

At 25 yards, the single head shot was inside the maximum scoring ring in that ‘high percentage’ area at five o’clock.

I’m feeling solid at 25 yards – on the range.

I overlaid the NRA TQ-21 with the target center approximating the old Bakersfield PD/Mike Waidelich target dimensions. The course has been discussed in the wires and around the internet for some time.

In short, it’s a ten-round course, shot from 10 feet, 20 feet, 30 feet and 60 feet. The start for each string is from the draw. The “pre-electronic timer” pars – when it was a stopwatch and a whistle – were 1.5 seconds, 2.0 seconds, 6 seconds (for autopistols) and 3.5 seconds. Each string was a “standard response” (a pair to “high chest”). The long, 10-yard string, is a pair to empty, a slide lock reload, and another pair.

I made the time on the second string. The others cost me points (for each ¼ second over, you lose a point). I dropped a point scored at 20 feet, 30 feet and two at 60 feet. I ended it with 89 points out of 100, 'electronic-timer' scored. In the day with stopwatch and whistle, it could have been a 94.

The only changes on the pistol are the addition of Talon Grips ( and the Striker Control Device (
Still, I’m not complaining. The G43X isn’t a service size pistol. Of course, some of the BPD troops shot it with a revolver …

I followed up with sub-second pairs from guard, stealing (and tightening) the FDLE Handgun Qual Stage 2 and the Werner High Percentage sub-second singles – these were all from ten feet. Using a B-8 repair center where I’d marked previous hits, I shot two five-shot strings, strong-hand only and weak hand only, from fifteen yards. I used the Browning-marked 124 grain FMJ ammo from Academy for this work. I shot a dismal 83/100 – still, nothing about which to complain.

With 1776 90 grain Leadfree ammo, I shot exercises that are strings stolen from various qual courses. These included 10 feet, one-hand “bent elbow” shooting, failure drills, holster drills and strings shot from low ready.

I cleaned the pistol at the range. An item I don’t like being without is the Channel Cleaning Tool from Calbico. Available from Amazon and Wilson Combat, it’s a non-marring, non-metal tool with shaped ends to help get a patch inside the various channels on the modern pistol. After putting a wet patch through the chamber and bore and letting the barrel set, I used the Channel Cleaning Tool, some patches and a GI brush to clean the slide and frame.

After getting the rest of the gun swabbed out, I dry patched the bore until the patch came out clean, then put oil on the lubrication points recommended by the factory. I conducted the safety function check, then went to shoot a 22 pistol for a while.

Before leaving, I loaded with fresh carry ammo – marking the box with the date and the pistol the ammo was placed in.

That may not be the best maintenance plan, but I checked my skills, worked on those skills, saw how my carry ammo performed, cleaned and lubed the pistol and loaded up with fresh ammo. That’s quite a bit for just a few hours.

— Rich Grassi

Tactical Wire - 155 Litchfield Rd., Edgartown, MA 02539
Copyright © 2021, All Rights Reserved.