Author Archive

3 people shooting a pistol

Getting Started in 3 Gun

Some like golf; I prefer filling a page with words. Others like baseball, and I like the shooting sports. While IPSC and IDPA are interesting, 3 Gun is the one discipline that challenges shooters with all three firearms—the rifle, shotgun, and pistol. Shooters are good folks to spend time with, and keeping sharp with your shooting skills is important. If you want to win, you have to start somewhere. If you have shooting experience and good quality (but standard type) firearms, then you are good to go for 3 gun. If you have tactical firearms with optics then you are ready as well.

CZ 75 pistol with a Ziplock bag of handloaded bullets

The General Purpose Handload

I get many calls, emails, and letters asking about the ‘best’ handgun load. Unfortunately, many correspondents fail to share the intended mission of the load. This has an influence on the desired bullet weight, velocity, and penetration. As an example, I am perfectly happy to run the .44 Special or .45 Colt with a 255-grain SWC at 700 fps for cowboy action or target practice. If hiking in country in which the big cats or bears may be more than a nuisance, I will run the same bullet up to 1,000 fps.

Hornady ammunition with car windshield with bullet hole

Hornady Critical Duty/Critical Defense

There are few subjects as prone to create an argument as personal defense handguns and calibers. Some have a “devil may care” attitude and deploy anything, stating most are the same, while others go into great, even minute detail, in their testing and choices. I think that everyone should master the personal defense handgun of their choice.

The pistol features good workmanship and proved reliable.

Review: Phoenix HP25A — Useful or Useless?

The pistol reviewed invites cliché. As long as it begins with “four” has been a strong motto for most of my handgunning life, but then I am a great believer in the .357 Magnum. The .22 LR is a fine recreational caliber, but the .25 ACP was designed purely for personal defense. The jacketed bullet and centerfire case are more reliable than the .22 rimfire with its heel-based bullet. A 50-grain FMJ bullet at 650 fps isn’t an impressive loading. But then, the best gun is the one you have with you,

Model 15 revolver right

Going Old School

I am not a collector but an accumulator. A collector owns a collection of firearms with the many models carefully cataloged. Some are more common and others, and the key pieces are often quite rare. My firearms are what interests me. The only ones represented in numbers are Colt 1911 pistols and Smith and Wesson revolvers.

Shotgun with several shotshells

The Shotgun for Home Defense

Not long ago, the conversation turned to shotguns at the gun shop. While even the folks that are not the ones we call “gunny” know the merits of a shotgun for home defense, there are many opinions on the proper load and the best shotgun. The shotgun is primarily a projectile launcher and it is best to use what you are comfortable and familiar with.

NOVX Engagement Extreme ammunition

Review: NovX Ammunition

There has been a tremendous amount of development in ammunition during the past few years. Among the most interesting of these has been the advances in nonexpanding ammunition. These loads are intended to produce good wound potential for personal defense without the problems of jacketed hollow point manufacture and performance.

Three rifle cartridges styles

Developing a Consistent Reloading Procedure

You have to understand the reason you want to reload to determine the best procedures, and level of detail, you want to put in each load. Economy is always one reason, but that does not mean the goal of producing accurate ammunition is in any way lessoned. This means a consistent procedure is required. If you are ready to start reloading, or potentially up your reloading game, here’s how.

Pile of NRA Stand and Fight hats

NRA Board Member Duane Liptak: An Open Letter

Duane Liptak is a NRA board member and Executive Vice President of Magpul. Recently, he penned an open letter on the importance of the midterm elections and the potential affect the outcome may have on the fight for our gun rights. It is not only worth a read, it is worthy of being read and shared. Although Liptak is a board member of the NRA, his message is pro gun, period. The Second Amendment is not a red or blue issue. However, the difference of whether we expand our rights to include the true meaning of the Second Amendment or continue to fight as the anti-gunners chip away at our rights hangs in the balance.

12 and 20 gauge shotshells

Tactical Talk: The 20 Gauge for Defense

I’ve had several experiences during the past few months that have impacted my ideas about shotguns. One was the research and shooting tests involved in firing more than two dozen shotguns while writing “The Preppers Guide to Shotguns” for Skyhorse Publishing. Another was seeing my oldest granddaughter embrace the shooting sports. At 14, she is slightly built but serious about shooting. A 12 gauge shotgun would beat her up and get her off to a bad start in shotgunning.

Bob Campbell shooting the Wilson Combat Super Sniper AR-15

A Hard Look at the .224 Valkyrie

The AR platform is the Mr. Potato Head of rifles. From the .22 rimfire to the .458 SOCOM, the AR-15 is available in a host of different calibers. The newest and brightest addition to the AR-15 family is a 5.56mm diameter cartridge with more punch and long-range potential than the .223 Remington.

Bob Campbell shooting an Ar-15 rifle with a rifle scope

How to Choose a Rifle Scope

I am asked about rifle scopes and red dot sights often. Which one should I buy, is just under who should I marry in the overall importance, and very hard to answer for another person. When you add that the student doesn’t know exactly what they are going to do with the rifle scope, the answer is even more elusive. The bottom line is the budget.

FNS 40 pistol atop a Syntech ammunition box

FNS 40: An Overlooked Champion

Among the oldest and most respected firearms manufacturers is Fabrique Nationale de Armes de Guerre. FN is a company that has housed some of the most innovative firearms of the age and great inventors including John Browning and Dieudonne Saive. Thousands of FN firearms are in use worldwide with our military. Many of them are manufactured in South Carolina, USA. FN produces police, military, and sporting rifles. With the bonafides out of the way, how it performs at the range still has to be answered?

Lyman 50th reloading manual

Reloading: Load Density

The load density formula has provided excellent results for handloaders for many years. The main reason is simply that the load density formula works without fail. Eighty-five percent density is just about ideal, but let’s look at how reloaders have come to that number.