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You’ve probably seen it mentioned elsewhere but the GUNS Magazine Podcast is rolling merrily along! We’ve been talking to a great list of guests and there are more big-name surprises in store.

In spite of great reviews and a growing audience, we’ve found the number one reason folks don’t listen is because they’re not familiar with how to use a podcast — therefore, I’ll walk you through it.

A podcast is essentially a radio show contained inside a computer file. You download the file and listen on your cell phone, tablet or home computer, just like listening to digital music. Most folks listen to podcasts while driving, working out or working around the house, just like the radio. The big advantage is you can listen anyplace, while stopping and starting whenever you need to. It’s like a VCR for your radio (anybody remember VCRs?).

The easiest way to listen is by visiting GunsMagazine.com, go to the “Podcast” tab and click on the episode. An audio player will appear and you just hit “play.” Most smartphones also have a podcast application already on the phone or you can download one such as Apple Podcast or Spotify. You then search for the GUNS Magazine Podcast, click “subscribe” and start listening!

This Is Cool

Billed as “The All-American Handgun for All-American Handgunners,” it certainly is — especially if you’re a fan of our sister publication, American Handgunner! I’m pleased (and under no obligation whatsoever, honestly) to announce the Les Baer “American Handgunner Special Edition 1911.”

Starting this month you can purchase one of these special guns from the venerable Iowa pistol builder which specializes in high-end 1911s. The new gun was built in consultation with our own handgun guru, Roy Huntington. As many of our readers also subscribe to Handgunner, they already know His Majesty Roy is both editor and publisher of the venerable publication (which, for the record, is almost as good as GUNS). Roy is also a retired cop and former competitor who knows a thing or two about quality 1911s. As I hear it, Les and Roy conspired over spirituous beverages to bring out the commemorative pistol incorporating features Roy likes on his own guns.

The handgun is a Government-sized 1911 with a brushed hard-chrome lower and blued top end, featuring Rolo adjustable sights and tritium night sight inserts. It also has great-looking double-diamond VZ black and blue grips and is guaranteed to shoot 3″ groups at 50 yards. For more info, check out www.lesbaer.com. If you’re feeling extra generous, please have one sent to the destitute but kindly editor of this fine publication which doesn’t have its own commemorative gun — yet.

SAAMI Approves Two

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer’s Institute has recently approved two new cartridges: the 1-3/4″ shotshell and the 6.5-284 Norma rifle cartridge
The 6.5-284 Norma has actually been around for a while even though most shooters probably haven’t heard of the round. A modification of the .284 Winchester, it was internationally standardized in 1999 and has seen extensive usage in the long-range benchrest competition community. It pushes a 130-gr. bullet around 2,900 fps and is known best for its long-range accuracy at 1,000 yards. It remains to be seen if it becomes popular compared to the newer 6.5 PRC round which is actually a tad bit better in most categories, including cost.

The other announcement is the official codification of the shorty shotshell. There has been tremendous interest in these rounds from competitive and self-defense shooters, effectively adding shell capacity to a shotgun with little ballistic penalty. Unfortunately, they don’t feed well in most shotguns without minor modifications but we have it on good authority at least one major gun maker is currently looking at the problem.

“Hell Yes, I Can Walk Up There!”

If this doesn’t inspire you to get up off the couch, I’m not sure anything will.

Honored American Veterans Afield (HAVA) recently hosted the 8th Annual HAVA/Monroe Schuler Foundation (MSF) hunt at Vermejo Park Ranch near Raton, NM. The goal of the event was to “test the resolve of seriously injured veterans,” in a hunt at 9,000 feet in temperatures dipping to zero degrees. The 10 veterans overcame the serious environmental obstacles despite significant disabilities with eight of the 10 bagging an elk.

During the hunt, one participant, a severely injured marine who was a double leg amputee in January 2019, was just beginning to learn to walk with his prosthetic limbs. Despite his mind-numbing challenges, the marine wouldn’t accept help from volunteers or guides and was eventually seen walking up the mountain by himself, “yelling for all to hear, ‘Hell yes, I can walk up there!’”

And he did.

HAVA Chairman Tom Taylor said later, “Our goal is to put disabled veterans in challenging situations and encourage them to face the realities of various outdoor activities. It’s wonderful to watch these American treasures test their resolve, and to see the joy when they overcome tremendous odds.”

It’s a great story from a great organization founded by shooting and outdoor industry companies. FMG (parent company of GUNS and American Handgunner) is a sustaining sponsor of HAVA, along with partners Smith & Wesson, NSSF, SIG SAUER, Crimson Trace, GLOCK, Hornady, Leupold, Mossberg, Ruger, Savage, SureFire, Taurus, Vista Outdoors/Federal, XS Sights and several others. For more information, visit www.honoredveterens.org

Winchester Serial 1

We get press releases approximately every 10 minutes but this one was a doozy: How would you like to own the two Winchester Model 70 rifles with serial numbers 1 and 2?

If you have some cash — starting with a cool $1,750,000 — you can own them both. As of this writing, the rifles are being offered by sportsmanslegacy.com to the first person who can write a non-bouncing check for the above amount.

Most of us would probably assume the first dozen or two Winchester Model 70s were held by the factory or sent to dignitaries. As it turns out, it wasn’t the case — Winchester put the guns into shipping boxes and out the door they went!

Rifle #1 was built January 20, 1936. Shipping records have been lost but the history suggests the current owner’s uncle purchased the rifle from a hardware store in Durango, Colorado during the 1937 hunting season. If you haven’t been to Durango, it ain’t easy to get there and we can only imagine how it was in 1937! Apparently the rifle spent 50 years in the field until the owner realized he was sitting on a literal gold mine.

Rifle #2 has a murkier history but was acquired by the owner of rifle #1 sometime after 1980 for an undisclosed sum.

Both .30-06 rifles are in good shape in approximately 80 percent condition. The price is firm and the pair will not be separated. If you buy them, call me at the office because we’d certainly love to write a story about it!

Not Just A Toy

Most of us consider airsoft weapons as the province of play-acting youngsters, even though airsoft recreational leagues are huge worldwide, especially in areas where real guns are frowned upon. Yet, to most of us lead-n-powder folks here in the U.S., airsoft is generally considered one step below BB guns in the grand scheme of shooting.

However, if you’ve spent any time as part of an armed organization, you’ve likely used an airsoft weapon in training. The guns are a valuable tactical training tool, safe to use against (properly outfitted) people to provide a decent approximation of live fire for the shooter and a mild pain stimulus for operational failures by the target. They’re also great because they don’t generally hurt the surroundings after a missed shot, making them great for active shooter training and room-entry practice in “regular” buildings.

To this end, I just got my grimy mitts on the new semi-auto SIG AIR Pro Force P226 Airsoft gun. It looks, feels and operates just like the real P226 (minus the red barrel tip) and would be a great training accessory if you are so-armed in real life. In fact, the U.S. Coast Guard recently selected the SIG piece as their standard training pistol to mimic their issue P226s. SIG also offers an M17 replica of the U.S. Military service sidearm.

The P229 has a list price of $159, making it a very reasonably-priced, serious training tool — and just plain fun for those of us who are hopelessly maturity-challenged!

Purchase A PDF Download Of The GUNS Magazine March 2020 Issue Now!