NEWTOWN, Conn. — The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today dismissed a lawsuit brought by the radical anti-hunting Center for Biological Diversity and six other groups demanding the Environmental Protection Agency ban traditional ammunition containing lead components.
Traditional ammunition represents 95 percent of the U.S. market and is the staple ammunition for target shooters, hunters and law enforcement, with more than 10 billion rounds sold annually.
NSSF filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit last August. The court today agreed with NSSF that EPA does not have the authority to regulate traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
EPA had already twice denied attempts by CBD to have the agency ban traditional ammunition, and the court had dismissed an earlier case brought by CBD seeking the same relief.
“We are gratified that the court has found this second frivolous lawsuit, which is essentially the same as the one dismissed last year, was equally without merit,” said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry. “This was a waste of taxpayers’ dollars and EPA resources spent in having to defend a baseless lawsuit.”
CBD’s serial petitioning of EPA and its repeated lawsuits were designed to cripple the shooting sports in America by banning the ammunition that millions of hunters and target shooters choose to use safely and responsibly.
“There is quite simply no sound science that shows the use of traditional ammunition has harmed wildlife populations or that it presents a health risk to humans who consume game taken with such ammunition,” said Keane. “Banning traditional ammunition would cost tens of thousands of jobs in America and destroy wildlife conservation that is funded in part by an 11 percent excise tax on the sale of ammunition. The protection and management of wildlife is properly handled by the professional biologists in the state fish and game agencies, as it has been for over a hundred years.
In addition to NSSF, the National Rifle Association, Safari Club International and the Association of Battery Recyclers intervened in the case.
Organizations that joined CBD in its lawsuit were the Cascades Raptor Center of Oregon, the Loon Lake Loon Association of Washington, Preserve Our Wildlife of Florida, Tennessee Ornithological Society, Trumpeter Swan Society and Western Nebraska Resources Council.
NSSF was represented by Roger Martella and Christopher Bell from Sidley Austin.
Grand Island, NE – Hornady®, a worldwide industry leader in bullet and ammunition technology, has received an inaugural Gold Predator Xtreme Readers’ Choice Award for the Superformance® Varmint™ 17 Hornet Rifle Ammunition.
Sponsored by Predator Xtreme magazine, which employs the slogan “Hunt Hard, Shoot Straight, Kill Clean, Apologize to No One,” the Predator Xtreme Readers’ Choice Awards honor cutting-edge gear designed to help predator hunters achieve greater success. Awards are selected by magazine readers, which are based upon shooting products they can rely on in the field. A Gold award is the highest honor bestowed in a number of shooting categories.
Available in 15.5 gr. NTX® and 20 gr. V-MAX™ offerings, the 17 Hornet is built upon Hornady® Superformance® propellant technology, with muzzle velocity increases of 100 to 200 feet per second from EVERY gun. Superformance® Varmint™ ammunition delivers accuracy, increased range, flatter trajectory, less wind drift and devastating terminal results out to 300 yards. An economical price and reduced recoil makes the 17 Hornet a pleasure to shoot.
Founded in 1949, Hornady® Manufacturing Company is a family owned business headquartered in Grand Island, Nebraska. Proudly manufacturing products that are made in the USA, Hornady® Manufacturing is a world leader in bullet, ammunition, reloading tool and accessory design and manufacture.
After a long wait following its announcement, one of the most requested piece of kit from Magpul since the AK magazine, the MOE Fixed Carbine Stock is now shipping to retailers along with a couple of other new products.
The MOE Fixed Carbine Stock follows in the design quality and aesthetics as the rest of the MOE line-up, bringing a lightweight (8.9-ounce) design to the table along with multiple sling and buttpad options.
Although the length of pull is fixed at 12.375 inches, the MOE FCS accepts Magpul PRS buttpads that add a bit to it. The shorter LOP is perfect for use with Magpul’s newish MOE-K pistol grip, which is more vertical than most grips for use with short or collapsed buttstocks. The stock is also compatible with Magpul’s ASAP sling plate.
This is ideal for anyone who likes to shoot facing flat forward and leaning in and is also good for soldiers in body armor. While you sacrifice ease of adjustability you gain in terms of stability and overall sturdiness. And if you have a beard you don’t have to worry about first-round pluck.
The FCS has two quick-detach sling mounts at the rear of the stock, one on either side, as well as a slot for traditional stocks running through the bottom strut of the buttstock.
We really like the Fixed Carbine Stock from what little time we’ve spent with it at SHOT Show and the NRAAM. With a $50 MSRP, we expect these to be extremely popular on carbines and short-barreled rifles.
The FCS in black is shipping now, in both commercial and mil-spec versions, with other colors to follow.
Also launched this year and now available are iPhone 5 covers in black, flat dark earth and olive drab. Modern Service Weapons has this thorough review of the new iPhone covers.
“For those who need extreme protection against dust and immersion in liquid, look to the LifeProof Case,” writes Tim Lau. ”For those who want good protection against everyday bumps, bruises and drops, the MagPul’s iPhone 5 Field Case is a great choice.”
“For those of you with an iPhone, there is hardly any other case that will give you the same combination of protection, functionality, and low profile design at any price. And at about $13 street price, it is a steal.”
Magpul is also shipping hoodies, although they did not supply us with official photos. We’ve seen plenty of softshell hoodies in their promotional materials over the years, hoodies that you could wear to a gunfight, and that would be great. But regular soft sweatshirt hoodies will do just fine.
Magpul is on a tear announcing and launching new products left and right. Last month they announced official Magpul AK magazines, new all-steel backup iron sights and 1911 pistol grips.
Magpul is also busy on the legal side. As a company affected by new Colorado gun control laws, Magpul has joined as a complainant along with more than four out of five of the state’s sheriffs in a lawsuit against Colorado and their new gun laws.
Firearm Industry Rallies to SupportOklahoma Tornado Relief Efforts
H&H Shooting Sports has indicated that a number of companies have joined together to provide donations and needed supplies for the Tornado Relief effort to aid victims throughout central Oklahoma.
Miles Hall, Founder and President of H&H, said, “We are completely humbled at the outpouring of support from the industry. Smith & Wesson was the first to step up and offer whatever they could to help, so we suggested the wonderful folks at the Oklahoma City Salvation Army. From there, we’ve had other companies call us, including Taurus, Sig Sauer, and many fellow Firearm Dealers from all over the country.”
Smith & Wesson has made a $10,000 donation to the Oklahoma City Salvation Army at the request of H&H. Several other manufactures have made donations of cash and merchandise, which the sale of will have all the procedes donated to the relief effort. Many firearm retailer have also decided to help out, Sprague’s Sports in Yuma, Arizona and Black Wing Shooting Center in Delaware, Ohio both announced that they will hold a Benefit Gun Raffle,
Donations from industry efforts will provide much needed relief for survivors and first responders who deal directly with the aftermath of the deadly tornadoes that struck central Oklahoma on Monday, May 19th and 20th. Through the oncoming weeks and months, donations received will be used to fund pivotal activities as residents begin the tedious measures of rebuilding communities and coping with personal loss.
H&H is also conducting what will be called the ‘Second Wave’ food drive, and will be accepting food donations at the 4U Cafe, with the goal being to pack 1000 sack lunches and take them to displaced people and to the volunteers working on the scene both in the Shawnee and Moore areas
At the request of H&H Shooting Sports, donations can be made to the Oklahoma City Salvation Army for the Oklahoma Tornado Relief by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY
A recently-passed law in California requiring most handguns to microstamp ammunition may effectively ban the ownership of newly-made handguns in the state.
A law signed by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007 will finally be seeing the light of day, much to the dismay of the state’s gun owners. According to the Associated Press, the controversial law will require that all new semiautomatic handguns be manufactured or equipped with “microstamping” technology, which imprints a weapon’s specifics and serial number onto cartridges as they are fired. Stamped cartridges would allow police to easily trace evidence left behind at crime scenes. The law is the first of its kind to go into effect and is praised by its supporters as a major step forward in identifying illegal gun use.
“This very important technology will help us as law enforcement in identifying and locating people who improperly and illegally use and discharge firearms,” said Attorney General Kamala Harris, who announced the resolution of lingering patent issues that had kept the law from taking effect.
Back in the 90s, engineer Todd Lizotte played a pivotal role in developing the technology, but later abandoned its patent claims. With language in the law preventing it from being enabled while private patents on the technology were in place, gun rights advocates successfully delayed its enactment by extending the lapsing patent. Calguns Foundation, a California gun owners’ organization, had previously paid a $555 fee to do so. Pro-Second Amendment groups believe that the microstamping requirement will turn away gun makers from California as a buyer’s market.
“The firearms industry in California, in respect to sales, would be limited,” Brandon Combs, Calguns Foundation’s executive director, told OutdoorHub. “Manufacturers simply can’t comply with the laws, therefore Californians will have fewer guns to buy.”
If gun makers find the new strictures too cost-prohibitive, California may see no new semiautomatic handguns in the near future, resulting in an effective ban. Along with the National Rifle Association, Calguns is planning to challenge the law in court as well as conducting their own investigation into the patent hold.
Opponents of microstamping technology also argue that feature is flawed and prone to break or be worn down. The most likely gun part to feature the microstamp, the firing pin, is easily alterable and replaceable. Critics also point to the fact that the technology is early stage, single-source and has not been tested independently.
The new law will not affect the more than 1,200 firearms currently in the state’s official roster.
“The microstamping law is part of a larger collection of laws that are related to handguns,” Combs said. We consider it an outright ban on new firearms [...] there is also an annual re-certification payment that manufacturers have to make in order to maintain firearms on a list of what the state calls the ‘roster’ for handguns certified for sale. Firearms that are on the roster today are grandfathered and will not have to comply with the new law. All firearms moving forward to be placed on the roster will have to included the microstamping technology in addition to a loaded chamber indicator, magazine disconnect, and so forth.”
Youth rifles have been around for centuries, but modern offerings make an ideal way to introduce a youngster to the shooting sports.
Your children have learned the four gun-safety rules by heart. They’ve looked at your guns under close supervision and studied your range pictures. Now they want to try shooting for the first time. What guns can they use?
Adult-size guns are mostly too long and cumbersome, kick too much or have a very loud report. Many require more strength to operate the controls than a pre-teen can muster. Fortunately, several companies produce .22 LR carbines made just for kids.
Child-size firearms date back to the early 16th century. The Holy Roman Emperors had diminutive wheellock arquebuses and even cannons made for their kids’ practice, to go with miniature suits of armor and swords. Such tiny arms remained relatively uncommon until the advent of fixed ammunition (originally BB and CB caps; later .22 Short, Long and eventually Long Rifle) and improvements in cost-effective manufacturing. Low-power, low-noise “gallery” guns became quite popular in the third quarter of the 19th century. Some of them were made smaller for teaching child shooters. By the start of the 20th century, a dedicated “Boy’s Rifle”—a take-down Rolling Block Remington No. 6 in .22 LR—retailed for about $2, a rough equivalent of $200 today. By the 1920s, several youth-size, single-shot, bolt-action rifles made by companies like Winchester were available for even less. Until 1968, any child could order these and other firearms by mail. Several of the models were expressly intended for the use in NRA safety and marksmanship courses, and were manufactured in substantial numbers.
Any new shooter is best served by a firearm fitted to his stature and strength, and that’s even more important for children who may have less patience than adults. A typical kid’s rifle is short, light, has proportionally reduced controls and uses fairly simple sights. Ideally, it should account for left- or right-hand preference and eye dominance. Several companies produce rifles dedicated to 5- to 10-year-old users, and several adult designs can be adjusted to fit teen and late pre-teen learners.
The total length of the gun isn’t as important as the length of pull (the distance from the buttplate to the trigger). The weight should be as light as possible, because smaller kids have much less strength than we would expect. For the same reason, the point of balance cannot be too far forward. Sling attachments are desirable, both for safe carry in the field and for support when firing.
The 3-pound Thompson/Center Hot Shot is the smallest currently manufactured rifle (in a conventional configuration) thanks to its compact, ambidextrous, break-action design. Its trigger guard is so small, the shooter has to cock the hammer before her finger can be put on the trigger. Windage-adjustable peep sights provide a very long sight radius but cannot be adjusted for elevation. The trigger is crisp, and the action is easy for a youngster to operate. The Hot Shot extracts the empties without ejecting them clear of the action, and with the back of the action facing the shooter, it’s very easy to ensure the rifle is clear. For older shooters, the stock can be extended with included spacers. The Hot Shot does not have sling swivel studs, but they may be added. The Hot Shot is available in black, pink and camo finishes.
Chipmunk bolt-actions redefined the kids’ rifle category when they appeared in 1982. Currently, similar Chipmunk and Crickett designs are made by Keystone Sporting Arms. The manually cocked rifles are available in left- and right-hand variants, and in a wide variety of wood finishes or plastic colors. A standard Crickett comes with a peep sight adjustable for windage and elevation, and the front sight may be fitted with a fiber-optic insert. A scope mount may be added for an optional 4×32 mm scope of surprisingly high quality, fitted with a mil-dot reticle. In consideration of its intended use, the parallax of the scope is fixed at 35 yards instead of the more usual 50 or 100 yards. The Crickett weighs only 2.5 pounds, an important consideration for the youngest shooters.
The design of the action found in Henry Repeating Arms’ Mini Bolt Youth is very similar to the Crickett, but it adds a manual safety. The biggest distinction are the three-dot fiber-optic sights, which provide an easy means of teaching new shooters proper sight picture, but limit practical accuracy to hitting stationary sporting clays not much past 15 yards. For longer range shooting, a cantilevered Picatinny rail mount with a low-power scope or a red-dot sight is preferred. Sturdy construction and polymer furniture make the all-stainless Mini Bolt Youth a rugged, weather-resistant design at 3.25 pounds.
Compared to actions with exposed hammers, typical bolt-action rifles are fairly stiff for kids to make ready. Neither the Crickett nor the Mini Bolt Youth can be opened with the striker cocked, so it should be left in the down position until the decision to fire has been made. Manual de-cocking requires dexterity and finger strength, and is probably best left to the supervising adults.
Savage’s Rascal is a cock-on-open bolt-action with a machined, fully adjustable peep sight, and its receiver is grooved for tip-off scope mounts. Like the adult models produced by Savage, the Rascal includes the company’s excellent AccuTrigger, which provides a light, crisp trigger pull—an even more important feature in such lightweight rifles. A manual safety is also present. The action can be cycled for unloading even with the striker cocked. The Rascal is available with a polymer stock in several colors, as well as a high-quality walnut version. The polymer stocks are lighter by .5 pound (3 pounds overall), while the walnut stock is more solid and makes the rifle feel like a miniaturized adult firearm.
Chiappa’s Little Badger is a very unusual rifle for youngsters. With all-metal construction, a quad-rail fore-end and a threaded muzzle, it looks more like a science-fiction prop than a kid’s carbine. But, its ambidextrous, break-open action is simple and easy to use, and its sights—patterned after the M1 Carbine—are placed just low enough for a child to easily see. Adults with larger heads would have to use optics mounted higher than the irons. The threaded muzzle allows for the use of sound suppressors, which are very helpful for teaching new shooters, who are often noise-sensitive. A protected front sight and its generally rugged build make the Little Badger a good rifle to take camping. To that end, the rifle folds around the center pin and fits into a small included pouch.
The Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 and Chiappa mfour-22 are AR-15 lookalikes with polymer lower receivers chambered in .22 LR, ideally suited for smaller shooters. Thanks to their lightweight construction—a full pound lighter than ARs with aluminum receivers—and collapsible stocks, both fit young shooters well. If necessary, the grips can be replaced with abundant smaller variants. At just more than 5 pounds, rimfire ARs are noticeably heavier than the single-shot rifles, and have slightly more complex manuals of arms and maintenance requirements. But, they also offer greater capabilities, including optional magazines holding from 15 to 50 rounds (25 is standard for M&P15-22, 28 for the mfour-22) and are able to accept most readily available AR-15 accessories. Chiappa’s lower receiver may even be used with centerfire uppers once the shooter is ready to make that transition.
Accuracy with all of these rifles depends primarily on the skill of the shooter. The second most important factor is the ammunition: with bulk .22 LR fodder, all of these rifles produce about 4-MOA groups. That’s plenty good to break sporting clays placed on the 100-yard berm. If these are used for marksmanship training and not just for familiarization, higher-grade ammunition would be required. With match ammunition and quality optics, trigger and barrel differences become more important. Savage’s Rascal wins the trigger contest, and Chiappa’s mfour-22 wins on mechanical accuracy—with a trained shooter, match ammunition and high-magnification optic, it’s a sub-MOA performer.
Accuracy is only one factor for a training carbine. The Mini Bolt Youth, Rascal, Hot Shot and Crickett come out about even on the small-size scale, and the Little Badger gets high grades for compatibility with accessories and ruggedness. Depending on your child’s age, stature and level of experience, any one of these little rifles could be a good choice.
Keep in mind, high-magnification scopes so helpful to accurate shooting for adults can be difficult for younger kids to master. A fixed low-power scope would be easier for a beginner to use, while a red-dot sight would be simpler yet and extremely helpful for cross-dominant shooters. Systematic safety and marksmanship training on top of the mere possession of a rifle turns a good choice into an excellent one.
“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.” – Adolph Hitler, Hitler’s Secret Conversations 403 (Norman Cameron and R.H. Stevens trans., 1961)
What the Framers said about our Second Amendment
Rights to Keep and Bear Arms
“I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.” — George Mason, in Debates in Virginia Convention on Ratification of the Constitution, Elliot, Vol. 3, June 16, 1788
“Whereas civil-rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as military forces, which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.” – Tench Coxe,in Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution
“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.” – Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188
If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual State. In a single State, if the persons entrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair. – Alexander Hamilton,Federalist No. 28
“That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms … ” – Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, at 86-87 (Pierce & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850)
“[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation…(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” –James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 46
“To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, countries or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws.” –John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of the United States 475 (1787-1788)
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.” –Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787).
“Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American…[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.” –Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.
“Whereas, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them; nor does it follow from this, that all promiscuously must go into actual service on every occasion. The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle; and when we see many men disposed to practice upon it, whenever they can prevail, no wonder true republicans are for carefully guarding against it.” –Richard Henry Lee, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.
“What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.” – Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787. ME 6:373, Papers 12:356
“No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” – Thomas Jefferson, Proposal Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334,[C.J. Boyd, Ed., 1950]
“The right of the people to keep and bear … arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country …” – James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434, June 8, 1789
“What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty …. Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.” – Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment, I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789
” … to disarm the people – that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” – George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380
” … but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights …” – Alexander Hamilton speaking of standing armies in Federalist 29
“Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?” – Patrick Henry, 3 J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions 45, 2d ed. Philadelphia, 1836
“The great object is, that every man be armed … Every one who is able may have a gun.” – Patrick Henry, Elliot, p.3:386
“O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone …” – Patrick Henry, Elliot p. 3:50-53, in Virginia Ratifying Convention demanding a guarantee of the right to bear arms
“The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them.” – Zacharia Johnson, delegate to Virginia Ratifying Convention, Elliot, 3:645-6
“Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms … The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard, against the tyranny which now appears remote in America but which historically has proven to be always possible.” – Hubert H. Humphrey, Senator, Vice President, 22 October 1959
“The militia is the natural defense of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpation of power by rulers. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of the republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally … enable the people to resist and triumph over them.” – Joseph Story, Supreme Court Justice, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, p. 3:746-7, 1833
” … most attractive to Americans, the possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave, it being the ultimate means by which freedom was to be preserved.” – James Burgh, 18th century English Libertarian writer, Shalhope, The Ideological Origins of the Second Amendment, p.604
“The right [to bear arms] is general. It may be supposed from the phraseology of this provision that the right to keep and bear arms was only guaranteed to the militia; but this would be an interpretation not warranted by the intent. The militia, as has been explained elsewhere, consists of those persons who, under the laws, are liable to the performance of military duty, and are officered and enrolled for service when called upon…. [I]f the right were limited to those enrolled, the purpose of the guarantee might be defeated altogether by the action or the neglect to act of the government it was meant to hold in check. The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is, that the people, from whom the militia must be taken, shall have the right to keep and bear arms, and they need no permission or regulation of law for the purpose. But this enables the government to have a well regulated militia; for to bear arms implies something more than mere keeping; it implies the learning to handle and use them in a way that makes those who keep them ready for their efficient use; in other words, it implies the right to meet for voluntary discipline in arms, observing in so doing the laws of public order.”
-- Thomas M. Cooley, General Principles of Constitutional Law, Third Edition 
“And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress … to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms…. ” –Samuel Adams
As kids, my brother and I had a lot of fun playing with toy guns. We had cap guns, BB guns, pellet guns, and even an air rifle. We challenged each other’s marksmanship at our grandparents’ home in the middle of nowhere, and bonded while saving each other from our imagined foes. These days, though, playing with toy guns, whether plastic, pellet guns, or imagined “firearms” can get a kid into a lot of trouble these days. I’m sure you’ve heard of the boy who started a whole lot of hubbub with his “gun-shaped” breakfast pastry. But his story is one of many examples of children finding themselves in trouble over toy guns. I’ll review some of my favorite “fun guns,” (I’m a huge kid) including a cap gun revolver, the “Hawk” bolt action “nerf” gun, the “Double Shot” “nerf” shotgun, and the “assault nerf rifle” – the “Automatic 20″ and share some of the more interesting stories I’ve read of children getting in trouble over gun toys. And, I’d like to open up the discussion to you. I’d love to hear your feedback on the subject. Did you have any favorite gun toys growing up (or right now)? With the recent gun scares in school, and gun control/gun bans hotly debated in D.C., do you think toy guns are appropriate for children in today’s political climate? Leave me a comment or video response and let me know what you think.
There are a multitude of shooting stances advocated for shooting handguns, but the best one is the one that works for you and your purpose.
There are several two-handed shooting stances or positions that can be used when shooting a handgun. Most shooters use two hands to shoot a handgun because it helps with stability by controlling movement, allows a speedier recover from the recoil, and helps with accuracy. Of the many, the Isosceles, Weaver, and Modified Weaver or Chapman Stances are most known and emphasized, like by the NRA.
Of course, there is a great deal of controversy regarding the “best stance” and really there is no one best stance, but the one that works for you and your purpose. Even one-handed stances and bench rest positions are used for competitions and certain training. Some claim that the Weaver stance is the best “combat-gunfighting” self-defense stance because it offers superior control of the handgun through its push-pull tension and “blading” (or slightly turning your body to the side) to present a smaller target for the bad guys. Others claim that the Isosceles Stance is being used more successfully in actual self-defense situations and by the military and law enforcement at close ranges up to seven yards because it is more natural to assume it, easy to rotate sideways with it, and absorbs recoil better through the arms for more accuracy. Of course, all these claims by the various shooting stance advocates are highly debateable and “it depends.” Application is key for personal success and there are many, different hybrid techniques and applications.
So, there are many variables for one to consider in making their own shooting stance decision. I know I was taught the Isosceles Stance early in my military career about 40 years ago, but since have used the Weaver and now have settled on a hybrid stance. Competitive shooters Rob Leatham and Brian Enos popularized the Modern (or Modified) Isosceles (MI) stance in their shooting matches over the last few years. The Army Special Operations training points out that the MI is the natural position people will adopt when startled by a perceived threat, even when trained in the Weaver or other stances. The MI stance is similar to the “Fighter’s Stance” which aims to keep you in balance and to react quickly and move in any direction easily.
Some shooters favor the Isoceles Stance because it is more natural to assume it.
Just take a boxer’s stance and imagine the boxer-shooter holding a gun in his hands. That is the basis of the MI Stance. It is easy and natural to assume it. Proponents of the MI stance point out that you don’t have to think about it and immediately go into the position… that you can utilize your body’s NATURAL position instincts to defend yourself.
Again, the best stance is highly debatable and all stances have pros and cons to consider for deciding on YOUR stance. There are many variations of even the MI. One should strive to discover the particular stance that works best for themselves and then ingrain that into their training and practice, so muscle memory will automatically resort to that optimum stance for consistency and effectiveness. I have learned myself that Consistency does equal Accuracy when dealing with one’s shooting position.
It is important to understand what the Modern or Modified Isosceles (MI) stance basically consists of. Remember, there are hybrid variations.The shooter keeps the feet apart about shoulder width and positions the SUPPORTING or weak foot AHEAD (about six inches or so) of the other (like with the Weaver or Chapman stances). In the MI the shooter LEANS forward on the balls of his/her feet for better balance and recoil absorption, moreso than in other stances. The center of gravity is shifted forward, towards the balls of the feet. The MI encourages the shooter to put more pressure on the forward areas of the feet to keep from becoming flat-footed and loosing balance. In the MI stance, the shoulders are forward of the hips, and the hips are forward of the knee and lower legs. It is an AGGRESSIVE position–remember, you’re a boxer. Like the regular Isosceles stance, the upper body is generally more SQUARED to the target (but not totally squared) and not excessively bladed (but slightly bladed) or turned to the side like in the Weaver or Chapman stances.
So, the upper body position is similar (but not identical) to the regular Isosceles stance. Both arms are braced STRAIGHT behind the handgun with the elbows at a natural extension and locked or VERY slightly bent like a boxer, depending on personal preference. This also allows two pivot points at both shoulders so you can rotate at the waist and cover the widest area left and right of 12 o’clock, comparable to a tank’s turret that naturally turns side to side. Shoulders are relaxed and down, not hunched upward. Some make this mistake which deviates from a true MI position. Again, find what works best for you. To enhance recoil control, the gun is centered and close to the midline of the body. Recoil is absorbed passively by the body through STRAIGHT alignment of both wrists and through both arms. This is unlike the Weaver and Chapman stances that rely on the dynamic push-pull isometric tension technique to actively control recoil. The MI stance relies instead on a natural, static contraction of the hands, arms, and wrists, passively absorbing recoil through the straightened arms, wrists, and body, rather than with the hands and wrists as in the Weaver. I know for me the recovery time between shots is faster with the Modern Isosceles and muzzle flip is decidedly less, since the arms, wrists, and body weight are actively involved in absorbing recoil, along with an enhanced firm shooting grip.
Recognize that when the upper body is mostly squared to the target, your peripheral vision is better with the MI stance. Note that the Weaver or Chapman positions naturally limit the peripheral vision of your weak, non-firing side, especially for those that tilt their head to the side to align their sights. I notice that since I am right-handed and aim with my head tilted a little to the right, there is a blind spot on my support side (left.) If you are left-handed, there would be a blind spot on your right. So, the MI position itself allows you to have the greatest extent of wide-field, peripheral vision possible. This is one of the reasons, along with better recoil control, that I switched from the Weaver to the MI Stance. Test it by having a fellow shooter walk 180 degrees around you from about 15 feet away to see how well you can see them when you are aiming. So (at least for me and most), the MI position initially allows me to more easily shoot and swivel especially to my weak side when moving and shooting.
With the MI stance, the shooter’s knees are slightly bent and he aggressively leans forward with his upper body towards his target.
With the MI stance, the knees are SLIGHTLY bent and the shooter aggressively LEANS forward with his upper body in an aggressive combat manner toward the target. The MI position primarily varies from the Isosceles because you tilt your upper body forward more with the MI. The muscles and tendons of both forearms, the elbow joints, wrists and hands are set in a medium to firm static contraction, depending on the amount of recoil and gun you’re shooting. The rest of the body is more or less relaxed, based on individual preference. The axis of recoil is roughly through the center line of your body. Stability is achieved by shifting the center of gravity forward and keeping the hands close to the same height as the shoulders in order to keep the arms from pivoting up in recoil. Note that if the shooter is wearing body armor, then the full body armor is mostly exposed to the bad guy with the MI stance enhancing the shooter’s safety, rather than with the Weaver or Chapman that exposes the weaker armpit area of the shooter’s side that is uncovered by the armor when the body is bladed more to the side. Again, there are application variations and hybrids that affect this.
With the MI and its position of the hands, the shooting grip places the heel of the support hand very close to bore line, which decreases the leverage the gun has in recoil as well as placing the tendons of the support hand and wrist in a straight line. This inherent placement in the MI results in a stronger grip in which both wrists are locked and both arms are straight or just slightly bent.
So because of the many advantages and natural nature of the MI Stance, does this mean that the Weaver and Chapman stances are not worth using. Definitely NOT! There are a great number of shooters and competitors who have trained with the Weaver and Chapman and successfully apply them and prefer them for various great reasons and purposes. For several years, I used the Weaver and Isosceles Stances and was moderately successful with them. I changed to the Modern Isosceles and have found I am now comfortable with it and it has helped my accuracy and flexibility. I still must practice regularly and have a way to go for improvement. Recognize that each and every one of the above advantages of the MI stance has counterpoints to consider and that all stances have pros and cons. Try the MI and other stances for yourself to decide which is best for YOU.