AR-15s, the progenitor of the longest serving service rifle in United States history as well as the so-called “Modern Sporting Rifle”, all share a common design feature. The barrel extension where the lugs of the bolt lock up, often called the “star chamber”, is a bit of a pain to get into for cleaning. While legions of drill sergeants/instructors have wrongly and ignorantly forced generations of troops to clean small arms to the point of their premature demise, proper maintenance does necessitate keeping areas where moving parts mate (such as locking lugs) free from excess fouling and debris.
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Vedder LightTuck IWB

Self defense is an increasingly popular reason for gun ownership. With some legal provision for concealed carry in every State, having the effective means of carrying is an important part of the process. Vedder’s LightTuck IWB is a kydex holster providing a sound option. Weighing in at 2.8 ounces without the clip for full-size handguns such as the Beretta 92, this adjustable Kydex holster adds minimal weight and bulk to a carry gun.
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Smart Armor Cube

Smart Armor in partnership with Arrow Electronics has developed their Smart Cube, a Bluetooth-enabled smart lock monitored and controlled via iOS or Android app for securing and monitoring access. Easily installable, the 1.25” cube includes an app that tracks and monitors access to any number of locked locations.

The Smart Armor Cube can be accessed from any smartphone, computer or tablet using the included software. The device can be accessed via Bluetooth so long as you have your access code. The Cube’s CR2 battery lasts over a year if accessed ten times daily and the app shows remaining battery life in real time so you’ll know when to replace it.

Once installed on a door, drawer, cabinet, tool box, or other container you want secured, the Smart Armor Cube lock is controlled by an app via Bluetooth connection. The Cube can be set to automatically unlock whenever your smart device is in range or set to require an additional access code determined by you. Other users, such as your shop employees, family members, etc., can also be granted access to any or all of the Cube locks as you dictate. Every time a lock is accessed, the entry is logged and timestamped with that user’s ID.

Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communication protocol, a single app can act as a universal key for any number of locks. Other users using the same app on their iOS or Android device can be granted access to any or all of these locks as you see fit. For simple and less secure applications, the lock can be mounted with double-sided 3M tape resistant to up to 100 pounds of force. For additional rigidity, the Cube lock can be bolted in place. Synced with the app, the Cube opens and closes the lock. Locate your valuables, share customized access with others, and track activation history. If someone tries to tamper with the device, it will send out an alert. In the case of a lost or dead phone, the Smart Cube can be accessed from any device with the free software installed after entering your ID and unique access code.

Pre-orders shipped summer 2017. MSRP is $89 or $225 for three. For more information, visit SmartArmorTech.com/product/smart-cube.

Read more in the August 2017 issue.

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Special Ops

Osprey Rifle Books

The Industrial Revolution provided the technological means to mass produce sufficient quantities of reliable, rifled firearms to make formal, massed marksmanship a worthy pursuit for militaries. No longer considered a bayonet handle capable of a few volleys before the inevitable infantry charge, long guns required rewriting established tactical doctrine. Of course, since then technology and tactics have continued to evolve.
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Competitive Pistol

Gun Digest Shooter’s Guide to Competitive Pistol Shooting by Steve Sieberts

Gun owners in general, and gunsmiths in particular, should embrace any form of formally-organized shooting activity, including those they don’t personally partake. All organized shooting events help showcase all the positive attributes of gun ownership. They are the embodiment of skillful, safe, and responsible shooters and the antithesis of every negative gun owner stereotype. Informal shooting (“plinking”) is all well and fine. My definition of a good gun owner is anyone capable of keeping and bearing arms without causing vandalism or undue injury. But this rarely leads to skill beyond casual, novice familiarity and cannot counter negative stereotypes. A hundred safe but casual plinkers can’t improve the damaged impression of gun owners given by one shot-up public road sign.

Taken as a percentage of total number of gun owners, competitive shooting has declined over the years. In the 1960s, when the National Rifle Association had just over 400,000 total members and three primary competitive disciplines, almost a third of the general membership held current classifications. Today, that ratio is about two percent. Even with a ten-fold increase in card-carrying membership and seven primary disciplines with multiple classifications available in each, raw number of classified competitors has waned.

Learning about the options is good first step. Gun Digest Shooter’s Guide to Competitive Pistol Shooting by Steve Sieberts is such a guide. Sieberts is a former member of the Army Marksmanship Unit and has competed in various disciplines up through the national level for decades. Every author describing a given shooting sport seems to use “fastest growing” as a descriptor. In truth, popularity of specific disciplines ebbs and flows. Conventional disciplines in various forms ruled the roost for decades. Even with the growth of other events, Camp Perry still sees more competitors at annual the National Rifle Association and Civilian Marksmanship Program National Matches than any other single event in the United States and there are still more classified bullseye shooters than others. Silhouette enjoyed dedicated regular columns in a number of periodicals through the 1970s and early ’80s and still attracts a dedicated, if smaller, following today. Practical events started with the Leatherslap contests organized at Big Bear by Jeff Cooper and friends have spawned a number of new disciplines attracting shooters around the country.

Occasionally you’ll hear a few competitors bemoan some “other” event they don’t partake. I suppose it’s natural to wish for everyone else to also enjoy what we like and not understand interest in that which we don’t, but participation in anything is a potential win. A well-organized and promoted contest makes every gun owners look a little better. For gunsmiths, this is even more beneficial. Competitive shooters shoot. A lot. That means they’ll need repairs more often and will want modifications to chase better scores. More participation in more and divergent events means more and different types of guns needing work. Gunsmiths with national reputations earned them by becoming the go-to shop for champions. Being aware of and catering to these shooters is great way to build business.

Read more in the May 2017 issue.

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Are you a gun owner? Know the law and your rights.

Alexandria Kincaid is a firearms law attorney and owns a full-service law firm (AlexKincaid.com, 208/345-6308) with offices in Boise, Idaho and Lake Oswego, Oregon emphasizing estate and business asset protection, constitutional and criminal law, and firearms law. The firm is affiliated with the Fraternal Order of Police and accredited with the Veterans Administration.
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