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Howa Mini 6mm ARC


The Howa Mini Action rifle offers a compact rifle for hunting or sporting purposes, the very short action is designed to run only the shortest center-fire rifle cartridges. The short action of the Mini is designed for cartridges like the .223 Remington and 300 Blackout, as well as newer cartridges like the 6mm ARC model we are looking at today. The Model 1500 Mini is a push-feed two-lug bolt action, it is fed from a detachable box-fed magazine. 

Howa has long been known as a very affordable and reliable rifle manufacturer, their products have typically been marketed toward the hunting public. But in recent years they have also moved into the precision shooting competitive world as well. 

My purpose for the Mini was along the same lines, I bought the rifle for my wife who is also quite petite. She needed a good rifle that shot well for all of our shooting adventures, and the Mini fit that niche quite well. Its lightweight and soft recoil made it the perfect choice for someone like my wife. And since I already was quite familiar with the 6mm ARC, and had a great deal of components to load it, I figured it would be a great choice. I’m excited for this fall to see just how well it functions for her on the deer and pronghorn antelope hunts that we plan to do.  After having spent a short time with the rifle, I expect we are going to enjoy it very much. 

Howa Mini 6mm ARC Review

When I purchased the Howa Mini, it came with the option of an included riflescope from Howa’s sister company Nikko Stirling. I figured I’d give it a try, and see how the package performed. 

As I lifted the package from the box I was immediately pleased with the weight, sure it would have been even better had it weighed less, but it was certainly not heavy at 7.4 lbs for the whole package. I lifted the bolt and ran it back and forth a few times, followed by pulling the trigger. I love two-stage triggers, and to be honest I’d forgotten the Mini came with one. It felt great, though I think I might lighten up the pull weight in the future.

The synthetic stock was another surprise to me. Typically the inexpensive polymer blend stocks that come with economy grade firearms are pretty flimsy, and they flex far more than you’d want them to. I was genuinely surprised by the Mini’s stock, it actually felt quite rigid. Far better than most every other comparably priced rifle stock I’ve played with in the recent past. This would hopefully translate into better accuracy for us in the field.

I looked through the little 4-12×40 scope, and to my surprise it had a milling type reticle and an exposed target turret with MOA markings. It looked pretty good, and made me even more anxious to get it in the field. 

The Howa Mini looks to be a perfect little rifle for someone looking for a compact and inexpensive rifle in a small caliber, but one they could use in the deer woods.



Caliber 6mm ARC
Capacity 5 or 10 round box magazine
Barrel length 20 inches
Weight 7.4 lbs as tested
Stock Pillar bedded glass filled nylon
Safety Three position
Trigger Adjustable two stage
Calibers 6 ARC, 223 Rem, 6.5 Grendel, 7.62×39, 350 Legend

Pros & Cons


  • Lightweight ultra short action
  • Two-stage adjustable trigger
  • Pillar bedded glass-filled nylon stock
  • Detachable 5 or ten round magazine
  • Threaded twenty-inch barrel
  • M16 style extractor
  • Compatible with Remington 700 two-piece scope bases


  • Detachable box magazine is a little weak.

First Impressions of the Howa Mini 6ARC

My first trip to the range with the Howa Mini was pretty easy going. I had a great selection of ammo from Hornady; which consisted of the match 108 ELDM, the Black 105 BTHP, and Precision Hunter 103 ELDX. I was sure one of these would shoot well in the rifle. Upon arriving at the range I sat down with the little Howa at my bench and started stuffing cartridges into the magazine. That’s when I noticed more about the magazine design, it was a bit flimsy. I mean it works fine, and I’ve shot quite a few rounds through it without issue, but it’s awfully thin. And I feel like if I was to smack it hard into a tree-trunk or rock it would surely split apart and send my ammo all over. I also wish they made a flush magazine option that didn’t hang down out of the stock. Neither of these things are deal breakers for me, just something I’d point out.  I’d boresighted the rifle prior to arriving, so I immediately set to zeroing the rifle at the hundred yard target. In just a few shots I had a solid zero, so I fired a five shot group using the 103 ELDX load. The group measured just barely over 1 MOA, which isn’t bad but not as good as I’d hoped. Later shots would prove to group much better.

I then tried shooting the other two ammunition types I’d brought along, they averaged slightly smaller but not enough to matter much. I spent the afternoon shooting a few more targets and feeling out the rifle. I was actually quite liking the feel of the little Howa, the trigger felt great, the bolt was smooth and easy to run quickly. And despite my complaints about the magazine, it ran flawlessly. My next trip was a shooting hike into the snowy springtime Rocky Mountains. I’d brought my daughter along for company and to get her out of the house, and of course to try shooting the little Mini 6 ARC. I’d taken the liberty of swapping out to a different scope and mounting system mainly because it was so easy to do so. After removing the Nikko Stirling scope and mounts, I dropped a two-piece Remington 700 base on the action, followed by some Warne steel rings to hold my US Optics TS25X. I felt a little bit more confident with this setup, even though it did add a little bit more weight I felt it was a good trade up. Again I had the rifle zeroed in just a few shots, and in no time we were smacking targets all over the mountain. I was running my Yankee Hill Machine Nitro N20 Titanium suppressor on the rifle, which made it even more pleasant to shoot.Both my daughter and I had a great deal of fun shooting the Mini, picking out little specks of snow on the opposing side of the canyon for targets.

A typical group made from my 105 BTHP handloads

It was a great confidence builder everytime the snow would splatter leaving a dark spot in the moist mountain soil. I stretched the little rifle out as far as six-hundred and twenty yards, and it was still hammering with  acceptable accuracy to hit a deer. After a few hours playing in the mountains I was very satisfied with the rifle, knowing that we could have easily taken a deer in these same hills where we hunt every fall. Everything about the Howa Mini fit well into my activities, the size of the rifle is perfect for doing lots of hiking. Everything worked great on the rifle, and it was very effective at putting hits on target. I feel like adding the better scope and mounting system surely helped the rifle shoot better, and though I’m quite happy with it, I may do some additional tinkering yet to see if I can squeeze any more accuracy out of it.


The Howa Mini functioned flawlessly during my testing, no malfunctions or issues.


Accuracy from factory ammo wasn’t bad, whereas my handloads turned out to shoot excellent.  Typical groups with handloads were 1/2 MOA.  For what it is and what it costs, I am quite happy with the Howa Mini.

Overall Feel

The Mini feels better than its price point in my opinion, I spent more money on rifles that didn’t feel this good. It’s comfortable to handle and functions great.


Mini Action-

The ultra-short Mini action is lighter and smaller than most rifle actions, it looks like a Model 70 that someone put in the dryer too long. This smaller action shortens the bolt-stroke, allowing you to repeat faster. The icing on the cake is the ability to use Remington 700 scope bases on the rifle.

Two-stage Trigger

I love the two-stage trigger of the Mini, and after lightening up the pull weight a little bit it felt even better. It’s not a Jewel or Trigger Tech, but it feels great for a factory rifle two-stage. The safety is a three position that locks the bolt closed in the 3rd position.

Threaded barrel

Thank goodness the folks at Howa live in this century, and provide most rifles from the factory with threaded barrels. Suppressors are more popular than ever so this should be the norm. I ran my suppressor as well as a good muzzle brake on the rifle, and was quite happy with either option. Both greatly reduced recoil making it possible to spot my own impacts.

Detachable Magazine

This is the one weak spot for me on this rifle, but I’ll admit I may be looking a bit hard at it. I wasn’t surprised to see a plastic magazine and floor-plate based on the price of the rifle but I was hoping for a little bit better one. Regardless, I will happily run this mag until it falls apart, and then buy another for the $30 or so that they cost.

Synthetic Stock

I was very pleased with the glass filled nylon stock of the Mini, not because I like nylon stocks but because it is one of the better ones I’ve ever used. And the fact that Howa included a pillar bedding system gives them extra points. The stock was very rigid and tough. 

How We Tested

I intend on keeping this rifle, so I gave it a good wringing out to ensure there was nothing I couldn’t live with. I spent a great deal of time tinkering with the rifle, and even took it apart on several occasions to see what makes it tick. I ran the bolt just like every other rifle I own, only to find out that I didn’t need to. The smooth bolt fed and extracted cartridges with ease, and it has a good strong ejection pattern to get spent cases out of the way. Shooting the Howa Mini from every different position, loading and reloading it all the while was great. Obviously supported from a bipod was where it shot best but that is pretty standard. It shot all the different types of ammo I brought just fine, including my 6 ARC reloads. As I write this I just ordered some additional varmint bullets for it to see how they shoot for varmints here this spring. With either scope and mounting system the rifle functioned great, I may end up shooting this thing myself come hunting season, provided my wife will let me. 

Ammo Used

I used all ammunition from Hornady, all three of Hornady’s lines of ammunition worked great in the rifle and only made me love the ARC even more. 

Score Card

Reliability (10/10)  The Howa Mini worked perfectly during my testing. I see no reason to anticipate that to change.

Ergonomics (8/10) I would like a more vertical grip, but I get that this is a pretty entry level rifle so I cant expect too much.

 Customization (7/10) The Mini is a bit of an anomaly so there aren’t many things that will work with it. Most unfortunately a different magazine system. It’s great that it works with Remington 700 scope bases though. There are a few aftermarket stocks and such for it, which is great.

Appearance (7/10) It’s a generally good looking little rifle, I wish there was a flush mounted magazine option. There are other camo pattern finishes available, I think I’ll end up doing a custom Cerakote job on mine.

Value (9/10) I absolutely think this is an excellent value, for the few flaws I’ve mentioned I would 100% buy this rifle again. I’m already considering another in perhaps a 6.5 Grendel, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. The scope that comes with it is nothing fancy, but to get a rifle and scope like this for the street price as little as 550 dollars is a good deal in my opinion. 

Continue reading here


Putting Together a Battle Belt

Depending on your profession, you might call it a battle belt, gun belt, or some other belt variation. Today we are going into the detail of putting a gun belt together, something I recently finished.
As I navigated through all the different options, I figured this might be something others would do, so I documented the process in the hopes of saving you time and money.

Shooting has become part of my profession. While you may or may not need a gun belt for your daily work, I hope that by the time I’m done sharing my experience, you will have a good idea of how you would do it yourself.
Unless you do any professional soldiering, law enforcement, or security, a gun belt will likely be recreational for the most part. It will likely be another part of your equipment when shooting at the range or in competitive events like two or three-gun matches.

I am by no means a competition pistol shooter, but I do enjoy practicing the skill. A proper gun belt is extremely useful for becoming proficient in shooting pistols and any kind of tactical discipline.


Battle belts are designed to help carry the weight and force of waist-bound shooting equipment. Not only do they carry the weight, but they also help distribute it with a degree of comfort.
A good belt also helps keep vital and life-saving equipment where you want it to be. Besides just your pistol, battle belts also have room for extra ammunition, knives, and other tools you may need depending on the task before you.
A good belt is customizable to fit the accessories and tools you need in the places that best fit your practice. With practice and time, you will likely change and adjust it until it perfectly fits your needs.


Find a quality holster that properly fits your pistol. There are many good options from companies like Safariland or Blackhawk.

Remember, these are not CCW holsters; they are for retaining your pistol under heavy movement and activity.
Good retention holsters are not exactly cheap, nor are they particularly compact. But they are well worth their cost and come in various styles and retention designs to keep your pistol safely at your side.


There are a great many good choices to be had for a gun belt. Safariland and Blackhawk make belts for their holsters, but there are plenty of others like Blue Force Gear or Crye Precision.

With so many options, you may want to handle a couple before choosing one. After looking around, I decided to go with a 1.75-inch belt from the guys at Lead Devil.

There are two-layered and single-layered belts. I went with a two layered belt. They work by using a velcro under the belt that goes through your belt loops on your pants. The outer belt then attaches outside your belt loops by velcro to the inner belt and buckle in the front. It is a very robust system.

The outer belt has molle loops around the circumference to install whatever accessories or gear to the belt and the inner belt keeps your pants up and serves as a foundation for the load-bearing outer belt.

When selecting a belt, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on measuring yourself. A proper fit is vital to both function and comfort. Remember the size of your belt when selecting accessories. You can’t put 1.5-inch accessories on a 1.75-inch belt. The belt should fit fairly snug to keep your pistol and other gear from flopping around as you move.

Note: wearing a gun belt properly may be all the inspiration you need to get in better shape. They fit and work better when your “middle area” is trimmed.

Continue reading here

Century’s WASR 10: an AK-47 for the streets…

Few firearms are more recognizable than the Kalashnikov family; in this article will be looking at a descendant of that family, the WASR 10. It is a Romanian-made AK-47 imported by Century Arms for the American market.
The formidable AK-47 design is the blueprint for the WASR 10; Century Arms manufactures them from Romanian parts kits. The post-Warsaw Pact production of rifles in Romania created a vast number of highly sought-after imports that are still coming into the US distribution circuit.

Much like its Kalashnikov cousin, the WASR 10 uses an extremely simple and robust construction. The receiver is made from stamped steel, folded neatly into the proper shape, and fitted with the barrel and trunnion. The bolt carrier and piston assembly ride on two rails fit into the receiver, with a captured operating spring assembly fit into the rear of the bolt carrier and secured into a blind slot at the rear of the receiver. The gas tube is secured between the gas block and the trunnion with a cam pin.

The barrel is chambered in the 7.62×39 Soviet cartridge, the hitherto low cost and proliferate supply of this ammunition is also an attractive aspect of the rifle.
Wooden furniture is used in both the foregrip area and buttstock, though the pistol grip is a polymer blend. To be honest, the whole thing gives the feeling of an infantry weapon in post cold war Soviet states, which makes a lot of sense…

The finish is almost non-existent, particularly on the wood, and you can tell that the original manufacture of these guns wasn’t exactly focused on luxurious looks. I’ve seen a great many of these types of rifles, and there is quite a variation in the grading of quality, at least from an aesthetic perspective.

All that aside, these rifles and their extended family are famous for being incredibly reliable, like a lead pump that knows no defeat. All over the world, they can be found in terrible conditions and disrepair yet still functioning.

The availability, low cost, and that incredibly seasoned service record make these rifles very popular and favorable to American gun owners. For all the pitiful parlance I’ve mentioned regarding the WASR 10 so far, this is the part I love the most about gun reviews. The WASR 10 is exactly what I expected it to be, a lightweight, fast-moving mag siphon.

And just like every other similar AK variant I have shot, this one is an absolute blast to shoot. Low recoil, easily aimed, and way too easy to use up all your ammunition.

The 16.5-inch barrel makes the overall length of the gun quite short and easy to maneuver. The iron sights are straight out of Moscow with no frills, just the traditional adjustable ramp sight hilariously incremented out to a thousand meters. That said, while I have always found it relatively easy to get hits on target with these sights, I really wish I had an optics mount to try using a small scope on the rifle.

Reloads are not as simple as AR-type rifles; perhaps the only flaw in Mikhail’s design was the lack of a lock-back mag catch. This requires you to remove the magazine and insert the new one, followed by drawing back the bolt to chamber the first round of the new magazine. It’s not a huge deal to me, and if you look on Instagram you can see a whole bunch of tier-zero dudes running the drill faster than I can spill my coffee.

The magazines themselves are another great part of the design. Seated properly in the rifle, they feel almost like a solid piece of the receiver; you can hold the gun by the mag and shake it violently with no concern for failures of any kind. The WASR 10 now comes with polymer magazines, nothing wrong with that, but I do prefer the old steel stamped ones that I used to be able to buy for $7.00 each back in the 90s. Continue Reading Here…

Twice the Experience: Pronghorn Antelope Hunting with the Next Generation

Perhaps one of the greatest experiences I’ve been able to accomplish in my life has been to introduce new hunters to the adventure of the hunting lifestyle. Taking a person on their first hunt is not something I take lightly, everything from ethics to shooting skills are things that I enjoy teaching to anyone willing to learn. My oldest son’s first hunt was quite a milestone for me, as was introducing my wife to deer hunting. Her very first successful hunt was everything I could have hoped for, and ended up giving her a bit of her own excitement for fall. And good friends alike have come along with me for their first hunt. Would the persistent experience of taking new hunters continue to enrich my own experience? Or would every new hunt be a little less rewarding, and more repetitious than the past?

This year again I was given the opportunity to take a special young man on his very first hunt. My wife’s oldest son Leo had expressed a great deal of interest in coming along with us hunting this year. Perhaps due to listening to his mother’s experience from last season. Leo had recently enlisted in the Army when the time was drawing near to apply for hunts in our state, but in the very short holiday break while he was home, he pushed through the hunter safety program online and managed to squeeze into the only class available before he had to report back for a few more months.
With his hunter safety completed and armed with his information, I added him to the same list of hunts that we all apply for every year. One of the many applications was for two doe antelope tags in the great state of Wyoming. This hunt in particular is one of my favorites for new hunters, not because it is easy, but because of many opportunities. New hunters frequently make mistakes, even seasoned hunters do it often. The rolling rugged mountains of southwestern Wyoming are filled with antelope, so many in fact that a guy could screw up over and over and still find another opportunity for a stalk.

Alpha Munitions 6GT brass loaded with 100 gr. Cayuga solid copper bullets make a wicked combo

Leo was excited to go, I’m not sure if he was as excited as I was though. But as the time drew near for the hunt, we prepared for the task I was sure we would be successful in. Plenty of practice was in order before we actually pointed a gun at an Antelope, several guns in fact. We were unsure which rifle was the best fit for him, as he unfortunately identifies as left-handed, and yet preferred to shoot a right-handed gun. We practiced with several rifles, but in the end we decided to go with the SRS M2 chambered in 6 GT. I feel no guilt about spoiling my apprentices with exceptional equipment, and the SRS M2 is certainly that. The 6MM GT cartridges were loaded with Cayuga 100 grain copper solid bullets from Patriot Valley Arms. I have used these bullets in several rifles including this one with excellent results, so I was quite confident it would work well for Leo as well.

Day One
As the sun began to rise that first morning, we were already in place. Overlooking an incredible view of brush-colored valleys and flats, the occasional trail cutting through the brush as well as prairie dog mounds scattered about. Antelope could be seen meandering through different shallow drainages, everything felt right.
We decided to move into some slightly rougher terrain, as the barren flats would offer fewer options to stalk into a shooting position. We searched instead for something with a little more topography and brush, giving us a better opportunity to sneak in.
We passed a large herd of animals, mainly because I knew they had already seen us, and with that many eyes on us we never stood a chance. So we continued searching for a smaller more secluded group, which we found about a half hour later. We sat behind a cedar tree, hiding in its shade while we devised a plan to work down a ridge where we could get a closer shot.
With our best plans made, we grabbed our gear and snuck quietly down the tree line. As we closed the distance we kept checking in with the small group of six or so animals, several of them still lay bedded confirming that they were unaware of our approach. As we reached the point we had planned on shooting from, we made one of the classic hunting blunders. Passing into the open between two trees regardless of how slow and quiet was not the move to make, and before we could get setup to shoot, the antelope leapt from their beds and ran for better than half a mile before looking back.
As we watched them off in the distance, I did the old guy thing where you remind the new guy that it cant be that easy. You gotta work for it, and put in your time and learn your lessons before you win. As we hiked back towards the truck, we discussed our next plan. But before we had gotten to the area we had planned on hunting next, we spotted a couple small groups of animals out grazing on a wide flat near a rainwater accumulation. We talked it over, and decided it was certainly worth a try. So we made our way around a rise that lie between us and the herd. We knew that we were going to be crawling for quite a ways, as the ground was too flat to even duck-walk without presenting a significant profile. We grabbed only the essential gear we would need, and began crawling across the dry dirt and prickly ground. Every few yards I’d pop up just enough to see if they were still there.

When we finally reached a spot where Leo could lay proned out behind the rifle and see the herd, we did some preparation. It turned out there was two groups of antelope, a close group of about five animals and a larger group of seven or so further out. There wasn’t enough brush to conceal us if we moved any closer, so the call was made to shoot from right there. After we’d both given the group a thorough good looking, we determined that there was only one mature doe in the group. Keeping our eyes on her to avoid any mistakes, we watched them move along waiting for the right shot.

Leo loaded the rifle, and dialed the elevation correction. We had practiced shooting this far with no issues, so we both had confidence in his ability to make the shot. But for several minutes they moved along a distant brush line, stopping only with her white rump pointed directly at us. They were working away, after checking the distance again we corrected the elevation. It was shortly thereafter that she stopped, Leo whispered that the next time she stops he would dispatch the chambered round. I watched through my own optic as she slowed to a stop and looked around the arid country beyond. Just as anticipated the suppressed gasp from the rifle came, and I watched the trace travel across the six-hundred yard gap between us. The hundred grain Cayuga found its mark, pushing its way through the unsuspecting doe sending her straight to the ground.

We both erupted into a celebratory cheer as the rest of the antelope nearby slowly scattered. We continued watching to ensure that she had expired completely, but a curious development occurred as we watched. The other group of antelope that had been feeding further away seemed to have also been spooked by the excitement, and they moved closer to us as we lay waiting. After just a few minutes they had closed the distance over two hundred yards and they were now slightly closer than the first group had been when we started. Leo and I still laid in the low spot we had chosen for a hide, still concealed and in our shooting position. “Should we take another one?” he asked, and not being one for complicating things that don’t need complication I told him it was his hunt and his call to make. We both inspected this new group of antelope, and again found only a single mature doe mingling among a few juvenile bucks and this years fawn.
We kept track of her, and reset the elevation on the rifle for their location. Again we waited as she slowly walked through the brush, waiting for a shot opportunity where she stood still with her side to us and apart from the other animals. When the time came, we were ready. Again the GT released a burst of gas as the next bullet hastily made it across the five-hundred and fifty yards, and we watched the doe drop to the ground.
Our plan had put us in the right place for a perfect double. We again reveled in our success and shared a hug, no longer concerned with concealment or making noise. We gathered our gear up, and made our way down the drainage towards our prize, the two animals laid only a hundred yards or so from each other.

The 24″ ES-Tactical 6GT barrel pushes the 100 gr. Cayugas at just under 3,000 FPS and 1/4MOA groups are the norm

We gathered them up, and took some pictures. For Leo it was the first time handling a large animal that he killed himself, I watched as he curiously inspected them occasionally pointing out some of the puzzling characteristics of these unique animals.

It was time to give a lesson in gutting though, so with knives in hand we started whittling away. Dark storm clouds rumbled in the distance so I didn’t want to take too long. We made short work of the two animals, and into the truck they went where we had bags of ice waiting for them. We also brought along the hearts and livers to use as much as we could.

Incredibly heavy rain began to pour over the prairie as we rode out, washing blood and dirt from the bed of the truck. But as we rolled down the highway I thought about the fun we’d had and our shared experience that no amount of washing would rinse away. Our clothes on the other hand could use a good torrent and rinsing rain, but we still had work to do. Once home, we hung the two antelope in my skinning tree and skinned them out. A quick wash with cold water to get as much blood and other contaminants from the carcasses before putting them into the cooler on ice for a weeks worth of aging was all that remained.

Once again I was lucky to share the spoils of a new hunter’s prize, we had antelope for dinner the next day and it was good. Not just because of the flavor, but also because of the adventure and satisfaction we shared in getting it. I don’t think I’ll tire of helping new hunters anytime soon, and I cant wait for the next opportunity.

Perfectly rare antelope tenderloins were delicious

Browning X-Bolt Hells Canyon 6.5 Creedmoor

When I first saw the Browning X-bolt Hell’s Canyon at SHOT Show, I remember thinking to myself that many folks were going to eat it up. And as years have passed it surely has become one of the most talked about hunting rifles out there. So when I finally got a chance to check it out myself, I was eager to see if all the hype was well founded. I had already been playing with a different X-bolt model, so I was pretty familiar with it before I even opened the box. What I didn’t realize was just how deep into Hell’s Canyon I would descend.

First Impression
My very first impression of the rifle was not unlike my feeling when I saw it at SHOT Show, it was just a plain handsome rifle. A bronze colored Cerakote job and similar A-TACS camo pattern clearly sets this rifle apart on the rifle rack. The fluted barrel and it’s inconspicuous muzzle brake flow seamlessly into the receiver, all of which is set nicely into the camouflaged composite stock. A nice soft recoil pad at the back was a welcome feature, as was the detachable box magazine. And like other X-bolts I’ve shot, it was just smooth. The sixty-degree bolt design makes shorter and faster operation, and the gold-plated trigger breaks as clean as most any hunting rifle I’ve ever pulled from a shelf. The X Bolt action features a bolt release button to unlock the bolt when the safety is on, a very cunning and intuitive design. If this rifle shot as good as it looked, I was going be hard pressed to let go of it.

I wanted to get straight to the range with this rifle, but first I had to get a scope mounted. I went with a one-piece scope base that uses eight screws to hold it down to the top of the receiver. I found this to be a superior mounting system than the traditional four screws that most manufacturers use to mount scope bases.

I tried a couple different mounting systems and riflescopes, first a Nikon 4-16 scope which worked great, but was too high. I ended up with the system that seemed to work the best, a Crimson Trace 3-12 mounted in Warne rings and bases.
I had a small amount of Hornady American Gunner 6.5CM ammo that I could test in the rifle, but I wanted to try more than one thing just in case the rifle didn’t care for it. So I sat at my loading bench to crank out another couple options hoping at least one of them would provide me with the exceptional accuracy I was hoping for. After that, I installed a Harris bipod so I could get this rifle into the field and shooting.

Continue Reading Here…

More Guns, or Multi-caliber Guns?

We can all agree that firearms are as addicting as any hobby, the only part we might argue with is how long it takes for the newness to wear off from our latest new toy. And as soon as it does, we find ourselves again seeking to justify reasons for another. I often draw a parallel to women’s shoes; sure, any pair of shoes will cover your feet, but ladies often have a different pair for jogging, walking, the gym, fancy walking or walking the dog. And those of us with a firearm addiction might have a similar situation with our guns, we might have three different rifles for deer hunting depending on how we plan to hunt any particular day.

One rifle chassis, untold options

This may be a luxury for some, and a dream for others. But today we are going to talk about how multi-caliber rifles can make that dream a luxurious reality.

Most of us could probably get by with a handful of firearms, for example; a deer rifle, a shotgun, a .22 and maybe a varmint rifle like an AR of some sort. But let’s be honest, none of us would be completely satisfied with a humble collection like that. Most firearm aficionados have many more than a few in similar categories, and others have piles of rifles of every kind.
But today we are talking about multi-caliber rifles, a rifle that can switch from one caliber to another. Multi-caliber rifles have been around for some time, but they have become extremely popular over the last decade or so.

But how can a multi-caliber rifle make your life better? Continue Reading Here…

Beretta Silver Pigeon

If your lucky enough and work hard you can become one of those financially secure adults that we all imagined becoming as children. And its about that time in a firearm enthusiasts life that he or she decides to start buying up guns that they want more than they need. While that statement could describe nearly any firearm, today we are discussing one in particular. Beretta is well known for making excellent shotguns, many of which I’ve been lucky enough to play with on the range. The Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon is yet another fine example of Beretta’s prime production, but this one brought up some interesting reflection. Continue Reading Here…

What is a Revolver and why do some gun owners love them?

Many years ago the original Equalizer that Samuel Colt brought to market changed the way people lived their lives. As the saying goes, Sam made men equal. But more than a hundred-eighty years later, has the revolver lost its place in American defense?

Pistols of all kinds seem to be coming out of the woodwork, new manufacturers and old are constantly improving and modernizing their design. All this is great for us consumers, we are definitely spoiled for choice. The first proliferate repeating pistols were not incredibly different from revolvers we shoot today, but what makes a revolver a revolver?

What is a revolver?
A revolver is a firearm that uses a cylinder with multiple chambers. The mechanics of the revolver vary, but they all share the cylinder that is rotated to fire the chambers individually. Each chamber is aligned with the breach of the barrel, the hammer is cocked, readying the pistol for the next shot. Its a fairly simple cycle, but in the early nineteenth century, it revolutionized the way people could confront dangerous threats.
Some revolvers have a fixed cylinder with a loading door, this requires loading each chamber one at a time. Others have a cylinder that opens out to the side of the frame, allowing access to all chambers at once. Some designs even break open hinging the entire barrel /cylinder assembly forward and down to give loading access to the cylinder.
The trigger and/or hammer engages with the cylinder rotation mechanism, ensuring that all are in line when the trigger is pulled.

Single action or double
Most modern revolvers are double action, that means they can be fired by either cocking the hammer manually, and pulling the trigger, or by simply pulling the trigger. A double-action revolver will mechanically cock the hammer and release it, while at the same time rotating the cylinder to the next chamber.
Single action revolvers require that the hammer be cocked to the rear manually, the cylinder is mechanically rotated to a live chamber at the same time. The trigger set during this same action, and ready to pull.
Single action revolvers were the standard back in those early days, and many still use them today. Part of the revolver attraction and the single-action revolver attraction, in particular, is derived from that cowboy western enchantment that many of us suffer from. Hopefully, they never find a cure🙂.

What makes revolvers useful?
Despite what some would call ancient technology, gun enthusiasts still find the revolver design very useful today. Much like the very first Colts, they still provide equalizing power against threats, handy taking of game, or all-day fun engaging with targets.
Revolvers typically have more room for larger caliber cartridges, which makes them a great companion for situations that might require heavy-hitting shots.
They also have the length of the cylinder for those longer magnum cartridges and even some shotshells. This may give the revolver and edge for some shooters, when they need significant power in a small package they can easily carry.
A few other advantages to the revolver that some might find useful; revolvers operate by input from the shooter. That means it’s your finger that cycles the next round into the firing position. So should you be in a sticky situation and a round fails to fire, a simple press of the trigger finger brings the next round into the firing position without having to break your hold or aim.
The simplicity of a revolver’s design also makes them generally less likely to experience malfunctions.

Choosing the right revolver
As previously mentioned, we are spoiled with choices today. You can get revolvers in nearly any caliber, and frame size. You can get five, six or more rounds into the cylinders of many modern revolvers. There are lightweight options made from titanium or composite materials, as well as hammerless designs that won’t hang up on clothing when drawn. You can get extra cylinders to shoot different cartridges if you want to, so many options make it hard to not like at least one or two.
When choosing a revolver, buyers should evaluate several options, and see which best fits their hand, purpose, and their budget.
There are plenty of new production pistols that have the historical look of the original Colts, like the Cimarron Mod P in 45LC available here on GDC for very affordable prices. And a moderate caliber like 45LC won’t overwhelm you with recoil or sink you wallet either.

If a more modern revolver is what you’re looking for, the Ruger GP-100 is available in a great variety of calibers, and a stainless steel frame for less than ideal weather.

If affordable ammunition is on your radar, you’d love shooting a 22 caliber revolver like the Smith and Wesson Model 17 available here on GDC

In my opinion, the revolver has only increased its value to shooters today. Its time-proven design has been maximized to squeeze impressive performance from wheel guns that my Great Great Grandfather would still find familiar. As with all firearms, I’m excited to see what the future holds for the revolver since I don’t think they are going away anytime soon.