Silencers

Silencers

If you live in a state that allows the legal purchase and use of silencers, then it might be time to pay a tax that will bring you far more enjoyment than your April 15 taxes. In spite of Hollywood’s depiction of silencer usage, they are yet one more tool to help prevent hearing loss while enjoying shooting. If you don’t already know a good deal about silencers (and even if you do), continue reading to find out where your hard earned money will be going in the future. 

Personal Experience: My first hands on experience with a silencer was a few range trips back when I had the pleasure to try out my friend’s Ruger Mark III with sub-sonic ammo and a silencer (sadly I don’t recall the brand and model). Before this trip I had always been interested in silencers, but until recently they were illegal to use in Washington State. Silencers in movies are depicted as being “whisper” quiet, and I knew that was not the reality of shooting with a silencer. With my hearing protection on, standing in our lane station, the only sounds I heard were those coming from the slide as the gun ejected and chambered a new round as well as the sound of the casings hitting the concrete floor. It was one of the rare few occasions that my extensive movie viewing pastime didn’t set me up for disappointment.

It’s one thing to say that shooting with a silencer is quiet, but it doesn’t really bring it home like a video does. I did a little digging around YouTube and found this video of a guy shooting a Ruger Mark III with a silencer attached. I don’t know if he’s using sub-sonic ammo or not, but it gives you a pretty good idea of how quiet shooting can be.

 

Need to Know: After shooting with my friend’s silencer, my interest in owning my own went up a good deal. I knew that in addition to the actual cost of a silencer I would have to pay a $200 tax stamp, but I didn’t really know much past that. When you look into buying a silencer there will be two things you need to know (besides state legalities): The caliber and the thread size. Caliber is easy enough since it will be the same as the gun you’re buying it for. The thread size varies, but it’s easy to find out and you can always ask your local shop guy/gal for assistance with that. I found this next video (brought to you by the folks at silencershop.com) to be very helpful and informative relating to silencer attachment.

 

 If you happen to have a silencer or have used one, how was your experience with it? Was it everything you had hoped it would be or were you let down by it?

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FNH Ballista Bolt Action Rifle

FNH Ballista Bolt Action Rifle

FNH Ballista

One of the finest looking rifles at SHOT SHOW 2012 I’ve seen so far has to be the FNH Ballista.  The Ballista is FNH’s submission to SOCOM’s PSR solicitation and lucky for us, they’ll be offering it on the civilian market as well.  There’s one common theme amongst all the new bolt action rifles I’ve seen at SHOT this year–modularity.  FNH’s new flag ship bolt action follows suit.

Using a few tools (stored on board) and losing a few bolts, an operator can change out the caliber of the new FNH Ballista in about 2-3 minutes and FNH claims that each barrel remains true to the receiver’s centerline.  The Ballista can be configured in 3 calibers:  338 Lapua Mag, .300 Win Mag, and .308 Winchester.  It has a fully adjustable trigger that can be set between 2 and 5 pounds.

FNH Ballista

FNH’s Ballista has a barrel length of 26 inches (with the .338 Lapua Magnum barrel installed), an overall length of 49 inches with the stock fully extended (47.75 collapsed), and the length when the stock is folded is only 37 inches.  It weighs 15.8 pounds with a fully loaded magazine.  The Ballista rifle system will retail around $8,000 and will come with all three caliber kits (I believe, inferring from the video below).  I got a chance to shoot the Ballista at the SHOT SHOW Media Day Range Event, and I have to say I completely loved the 5 or 6 rounds I got to send down range with it.  I tagged a 60″ steel plate at 900+ yards a couple of times, so needless to say I was happy.  Check the video below to see it.

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Sig Sauer P224

Sig Sauer P224

Sig P224 Banner

The concealed carry movement isn’t slowing down, and neither is SIG Sauer’s Exeter, NH plant–they’re pumping out a new concealed carry pistol for 2012, the SIG P224.  In a nutshell, Sig pretty much cut off an inch from the front and the grip of their P226; in fact, that’s exactly what they did to prototype the idea.  The result is a sub-compact pistol that’s in between the size of a P226 and a P290.

Sig P224 Stainless

Any SIG owner, or frequent shooter of SIG’s P226 or P229 will be instantly familiar with the operation and features of the SIG P224.  The P224 will accept newer P229 magazines which will allow owners to carry a full capacity magazine as a spare, which a lot of concealed carry practitioners like to do. Sig’s new sub-compact will also feature full size SIGLITE night sights and a Double-Action-Only trigger.  Other common features include an overall length of 6.7″, overall height of 4.5″, overall width of 1.3″, a 3.5″ barrel length, and it weighs 24.5 ounces.  The SIG SAUER P224 will be available in 9mm, .40, and .357 SIG.  Suggested retail of the P224 is between $1,100-$1,200 depending on the model.

SIG will be putting out 4 different versions of the P224:

  • The SIG Anti-Snag (SAS) model features a de-horned slide and frame, and the new
    ergonomically enhanced one-piece grip. SIGLITE Night Sights will be standard in the Nitron®
    coated slide. The short-reset trigger (SRT) will be available in the DA/SA version.
  • A Nickel model will sport a black hard coat anodize frame as a contrast to the nickel slide and
    controls. Custom Hogue® G-10 grips and SIGLITE Night Sights round out this package.
  • As part of the Extreme family of handguns, the P224 will feature the distinctive black and grey
    Hogue Piranha grips, SIGLITE Night Sights and the SRT (in the DA/SA version).
  • The P224 Equinox® features the same two-tone accented Nitron slide treatment as the rest of the
    popular Equinox series. A Tru-Glo® fiber optic front sight is paired with a SIGLITE Night Sight in
    the rear. Nickel controls and Hogue black diamondwood grips make the P224 Equinox as striking
    as it is reliable.

See the video below for a quick look at the P224 at SHOT SHOW, along with some footage of me shooting it at the Media Day Range.

 Sig P224 SAS

P224 Equinox

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Make Ready with Travis Haley Adaptive Kalash

Travis Haley’s second Panteao production video after leaving Magpul Dynamics will be featuring the AK-47; so all of those who were wishing for a Magpul Ak-47 video, this is the closest your going to get.  From the trailer below, it looks great.  It seems that Haley applies his no-nonsense logic to firearms manipulation as he always does with his instruction.  I’ll definitely be picking up a copy to review.

Here’s how Panteao Productions describes the video:

The Kalashnikov Rifle – misunderstood and underestimated by the media, often portrayed as inaccurate and unwieldy – is so widely adopted across the world it deserves fairer treatment by end users. The Adaptive Kalash training video introduces the viewer to the proper handling and usage of this rifle.

Special Operations Veteran Travis Haley guides you through the different types of AK rifle you may come across. Modifications and caliber choices are reviewed and discussed, so that you can find the best platform for your particular needs. Key points reviewed include correct loading techniques, safety manipulation, and dealing with malfunction. The common misconceptions surrounding the use of the AK platform at long ranges are addressed, along with establishing a zero that works for your situation.

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