Latest Articles

By Jonathan Owen on 10/8/2015 10:36 PM

Hunting Washington StateThree weeks ago in Spokane, hunters, business leaders, conservation organizations, retailers, tourism experts and chambers of commerce all came together to cut the ribbon on the newest state chapter of the award-winning Hunting Works For America program.

Make no mistake, Washington hunters are truly blessed in terms of the varied ecosystems in which they can hunt game, and they are equally fortunate to have big tracts of country filled with such an incredibly diverse number of species to pursue.   The list of game species reads something like this: deer (3 species), elk, bear, moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat. The small game list is equally impressive, with pheasants, turkeys, grouse, chukar, quail and waterfowl attracting hunters’ attention.

By gonzalesKelsy4 on 10/6/2015 6:09 PM

Maven Binocular ReviewAs a professional hunting guide I spend an average of 260 days in the field. That will test anyone. Beyond being in sound physical shape and mindset, I believe good quality gear is one of the most important factors in a successful hunt or outdoor adventure.  Because you can’t kill what you can’t see, serious optics are at the top of my gear list. When I am hunting or scouting my binoculars never leave my side. Given their price point, you can't blame anyone for wondering just how good Maven binoculars are. The Maven 10x24 B.1s I picked up in 2014 have impressed me thoroughly. I'll tell you why.

By Jonathan Owen on 10/1/2015 4:07 PM

Daniel Defense DD5V1Big news of the big bore type from a big player in the AR platform rifle world - Daniel Defense is releasing their DD5V1 7.62 Rifle October 23rd. From the looks of it, they've done some serious engineering on their .308 AR-10 pattern rifle. How's this for starters? No barrel nut! That can be a hefty part and it's gone! More on that in a minute, but let's start here: Like you, I've owned and passed along my share of guns and have had a couple of Daniel Defense rifles in 5.56 and 6.8 SPC come and go. They were solid guns, but something else flashy caught my eye so away they went. With this entry into the 7.62 x 51mm NATO (.308) platform, I think there's something to be excited about. Naturally, so does Daniel Defense CEO Marty Daniel.

By saunders4Dylan on 10/1/2015 12:31 PM

AR15 Forward AssistThe forward assist on M16s and AR-15s resulted from the initial trouble that soldiers experienced with early M16 rifles in Vietnam. Non-chrome-lined bores and chambers, incorrect propellants in the ammunition, and lack of cleaning supplies led to rampant jamming. The government requested a forward assist.

Soon the early problems were a thing of the past, and the AR-15 platform evolved into one of the most reliable weapon systems of the modern era. Along with that increase in reliability has been a remarkable proliferation of the platform. Customization of the rifles has led to countless possibilities and a number of manufacturers eliminating the forward assist to save money and/or create AR-15 “slick side” upper receivers.

All that raises the question: Is the forward assist just a vestigial structure left over from the early evolution of the rifle? Does anyone seriously use the thing? Is it still a useful feature, or is time for it to go extinct?

By Brian McCombie on 9/29/2015 10:35 AM

Remington 783 for huntingThe last couple years have seen most of the major gun makers add a bargain-priced bolt-action rifle or two to their hunting line up. I have to admit, I’ve viewed these rifles with some hesitation. Oh, I like the prices--$400 or less for a hunting bolt, when $700 and up and has been the norm for a long while. But my “education” as an All-American Consumer has been that a lower cost usually equals lower quality, especially where it matters most. 

So a bargain-basement retail price would mean a marginal rifle, I figured, one that could throw some lead but not your first choice for a hunt.

Well, my consumer “education” was wrong, certainly when it comes to the Remington 783, Big Green’s price-friendly bolt action for hunters.

By Jonathan Owen on 9/24/2015 1:58 PM

Review Bushnell Rubicon T250R rechargeable flashlightWhen you think of Bushnell, flashlights probably aren't what immediately come to mind. Riflescopes? Yes. Binoculars? Sure. You might not think flashlights would be a good fit in that mix, but they did a great job on these. They are not the standard tactical fare or rifle mountable, at least in my opinion. But they are solid lights at good price points and - not surprisingly - good optics. Good optics collimate the flashlight beam extremely well. This is part three of my series on the Bushnell Rubicon Lighting rechargeable flashlights. We're taking a look at model T250R.

By Jonathan Owen on 9/22/2015 10:08 AM

Gorilla Ammo 300BLK Hog huntingIt’s about midnight Friday, Labor Day weekend in West Texas and I’m about to blow a great shot. My buddy Jared and I are in a huge 190 acre field of dry hay stubble parched after the harvest. Using thermal optics, we are looking at multiple groups of hogs making their way across, enjoying their crunchy evening fare. The half moon has barely started its traverse of the sky and Jared and I have stalked to within fifty yards of a big old sentry hog leading the group’s dinner outing. The hog is oblivious to our presence and heading directly for us. When it’s thirty-five yards out, we decide to take it. Knowing I’m testing the 208 grain Hornady A-MAX 300 Blackout Subsonic load from Gorilla Ammo, Jared volunteers to hold his shot but remains at the ready. I pull the ALG trigger on my Tactical Solutions TSR AR-15. Nothing but a very loud “click.” “Take it!” I whisper with urgency. Watching through an IR Patrol from IR Defense I observed what may be the best hog shot I’ve ever seen as the subsonic Gorilla Ammo load did it’s job perfectly. 

By Jonathan Owen on 9/16/2015 3:55 PM

Silencerco Maxim 9In its second annual lets-set-the-world-on-fire product launch SilencerCo has launched four new products including the Radius Rangefinder, Maxim 9 Integrally Suppressed Pistol, Osprey Micro and Hybrid. If expect the unexpected is the SilencerCo’s mantra, they’ve certainly succeeded here. The Micro Osprey is essentially a .22 version of the Salvo 12 Shotgun Silencer. The Hybrid is a multipurpose can, the Maxim 9 is video game worthy design of a integrally suppressed pistol. The rifle mountable Radius Rangefinder is the first offering from SWR, SilencerCo Weapons Research. Keep reading for more details.

By Jonathan Owen on 9/14/2015 4:47 PM

Bushnell T500RMaybe its because I live off the beaten tech path, but the Bushnell Rubicon Lighting T500R Rechargeable Flashlight strikes me as really cool, not to mention useful. Yes, it’s a one trick pony, but it’s a patented super practical one! 

Ever had this happen? Your flashlight is great at reaching out and lighting something at a distance but point it at something close and you’re blinded by the light’s reflection. You end up partially coving the lens with your hand to get the up close reflected light down to a manageable level. On some tactical lights you can tap the tail cap repeatedly to find the right light output level, while on others you can rack the flashlight head back and forth to find a suitable lighting level. All those ways work, but the T500R is a 500 Lumen rechargeable flashlight that auto dims when pointed at something close! Gimmick, probably. That’s exactly what I thought at first, but then I used it!

By Jonathan Owen on 9/11/2015 11:22 AM

Trijicon MRO MountThe launch of the Trijicon MRO red dot optic has lit up the firearms world. With thousands of units headed for new owners the need for a top tier MRO mount is urgent. As it turns out, our friends at Alamo Four Star already have that mount built and ready to ship - the DLOC-MRO. Like all their other DLOC mounts, this new mount for the Trijicon MRO features Alamo's quick detach, quick connect, return to zero mount. I like these mounts because they do what they say they will do, and without damaging the host rail. Read more for details.

By Jonathan Owen on 9/8/2015 9:55 PM

300 Blackout Bear HuntI wasn’t the first to jump on the 300 Blackout bandwagon. And bear hunting was just something on my list to do when I met Brett Throckmorton. I asked him about his experience using 300 Blackout on hogs. “We should set up something to test out your new loads on hogs,” said I. Brett’s response went something like this: “Hogs would be good. Lot’s of people are doing that. But how about we go bear hunting with 300 Blackout in the mountains of Idaho?” Brett is the Public Relations man at Barnes Bullets and the almost mischievous look in his eyes when he put it that way made my next question easy. “When?”

300 Blackout wasn’t created for bear hunting. It was created for man hunting. Hunters have been split between enthusiastic and skeptical about it when it comes to big game like bear. After our successful Idaho bear hunt with Table Mountain Outfitters I wanted to know more about the 300 Blackout for bear hunting and set up an interview with Brett accordingly.

By Jonathan Owen on 9/3/2015 9:56 AM

LaRue TranquiloClearly 2015 is the year of the silencer, aka "suppressor" or "can." Now famed Texas gun maker LaRue has entered the game with the TranQuilo priced at a mere $699. No disrespect meant to LaRue or their many fans, but does the LaRue Tranquilo look like a stainless steel pepper grinder? 

From what LaRue says, the priority here was reduced back pressure on AR platform rifles. If it works as advertised, that would be great. I used to think such concerns were overrated, but really, doing suppressed mag dumps might just make your cry.

The release video is embedded. Check it out.

By Jonathan Owen on 9/1/2015 11:42 AM

Bushnell Rubicon H125R headlampIt never fails – you’re out scouting for the bull, the buck, the trophy or just some meat on the hoof and the daylight expires. Or you’re out hunting as the sun goes down and you score. Now you need a flashlight to follow blood trails, work your way back through a mile of brush or find the radio you dropped in the dirt in heat of the moment. Maybe you keep a flashlight by your bed or a headlamp to exit the high rise in case of an emergency. Murphy’s law takes effect and your batteries are dead. Bummer. One way to address this is through rechargeable flashlights. In three parts I’ll review three Bushnell Rubicon Lighting options in their rechargeable configurations. Lastly, I’ll share my thoughts on an optics company selling lighting.

Everyone ought to have a headlamp so we'll start Part 1 reviewing the Bushnell Rubicon H125R Rechargeable Headlamp.

By gonzalesKelsy4 on 8/27/2015 7:08 PM

300 Blackout Elk HuntFollowing the successful antelope hunt a few weeks earlier, my long time friend and business partner Brian chose to step up the challenge for my custom 300 Blackout chambered AR15, aka “Broadsword.” Brian had an elk tag burning a hole in his pocket and I just so happened to know of a great late season area where bulls liked to hole up after the rut. Two days before his arrival I managed to scout, locate and pattern a small group of 6 mature bachelors. Two were five plus years old. The hard part of locating them had been accomplished. It was now time to plan the assault.

By Jonathan Owen on 8/26/2015 11:59 PM

Blitzkrieg Components Front Sight PostFor a variety of reasons lots of hunters and shooters like to have back up iron sights (BUIS) on their rifles. Plenty of people like them as primaries. In any event Magpul keeps many pretty happy with their MBUS Pro sights. Want those sights to work better in the day and be perfectly useful in the dark? Then this is for you!

By Jonathan Owen on 8/21/2015 1:53 PM

Replay XD Prime X on GunWe all love video, and we love video of shooting! There are lots of ways to get video from a gun and I’ve been doing it for a long time. Just take a look at the picture of my old camcorder mounted to an FNH PS90. One look at that rig and you’ll know why I’ve been on a mission to find a better gun mountable camera since! Today there are lots of better options than what I had back then and I’ve tried several of them. I have to say, I’m most excited about the Replay XD system. I’ve spent most of a month using the Prime X camera where I needed an action camera. I’ve mounted it to guns, my jeep and even run it at triathlon. Hands down, I’m convinced this is best thing going now for gun owners. Let me tell you why.

By gonzalesKelsy4 on 8/11/2015 1:47 PM

300 Blackout Antelope HuntIt’s Fall, 2013 and I’m graciously given a rare AAC 300 Blackout lower. It’s a new caliber, little known in many circles. On paper it looks like a solid hunting round for small to medium sized game, two legged and four legged. Designed in response to Special Operations Forces (SOF) troops requiring a hard hitting, close combat weapon, the 300 Blackout can be effectively suppressed and provide more terminal performance than the standard issue 5.56 while still utilizing the AR-15 platform.

Thanks to my four year vacation in the Marine Corps, I have a particular affinity for that platform. A life long hunter in the Rocky Mountains, I also have a particular affinity for antelope hunting. What follows is the story of my rifle build and its first hunt. Sometimes things look good on paper. Sometimes they pan out nicely in the field. Sometimes you just have to change plans in mid stream due to things beyond your control...

By Erik Alexander on 7/30/2015 10:44 AM

LanTac EBCGDo you remember your first AR15 Rifle? Does it look the same today as the day you bought it? Chances are, your first AR is now one of several and it has been modified for your specific style of shooting and/or hunting. As an avid deer and wild boar hunter, I’m always looking for ways to increase my tactical advantage in the field by adding additional tools to my arsenal. Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to be introduced to LanTac-USA. The company is primarily known for its flagship product, the LanTac Dragon Muzzle Brake DGN556B for AR15, M16 and M4 Rifles. Since the Dragon Brake’s introduction, LanTac-USA has continued to introduce revolutionary and innovative AR accessories. The LanTac-USA Enhanced Bolt Carrier Group (E-BCG) is one of these products. The E-BCG is a beautiful and innovative piece of engineering. It’s visually impressive and provides many upgrades to the standard mil-spec design. LanTac-USA’s E-BCG is the next must have tactical upgrade for your AR style rifle.

By Jonathan Owen on 7/24/2015 1:44 PM

Desert Tech SRS-A1 CovertSome days bring bigger smiles than others. The day a Desert Tech SRS-A1 Covert came my way I was excited, and you’re about to find out why. There are a lot of reasons, but if the proof is in the pudding, I was shooting sub .5 MOA groups repeatedly, and with an audience of 38 police chiefs from around the Dallas/Fort Worth area. No pressure. When I was done with the rifle I’d shot it in .308 and .338 Lapua Magnum at a hundred yards and out past 600 yards. In my opinion, the SRS Covert is without a doubt a long range and tactical hunter’s dream come true. 

By saunders4Dylan on 7/15/2015 2:30 PM

Hunt with red dot sightI was recently at the range helping a shooter get started with his new AR-15. He was using inexpensive backup sights, but talking about optics so I handed him a rifle with a reflex sight mounted. He immediately closed one eye, squinting through the sight as if he were using a magnified scope.Very few shooters understand the correct use of a red dot sight. I found this to be true in the military when Aimpoint sights became widely used, and I find it especially true among today’s hunters. For general hunting, a red dot or reflex sight can be an excellent choice. In some hunting situations, it is the ideal optic. To top that off, military sights are built tough, and are usually reliable and have a cool factor for lots of enthusiasts. In the paragraphs that follow I'll cover a lot of ground including how these work, how to zero, address accuracy questions and more.