Monthly Archives: February 2015

Cheap But Practical Shotguns

There is little doubt that the most popular types of firearms today are semi-auto pistols and semi-auto military-style rifles. I think many shooters tend to overlook the humble shotgun. The shotgun has been around since the mid-1500s as a hunting arm and a self defense tool. It is still very effective in those roles today, as well as being a great sporting gun for Trap and Skeet matches. It is the single most versatile type of firearm.

The gun gets its name from the many small lead pellets or shot that it typically fires for hunting small game such as birds and rabbits. However, loaded with several much larger pellets, known as buckshot, it has served as an effective weapon for sheriffs, police officers, soldiers and homeowners since the 1800s. In addition, shotguns loaded with a single lead “slug” weighing around ¾ to one ounce, are successfully used every hunting season to hunt deer.

Shotguns range in price from a couple of hundred bucks to many thousands of dollars. Here’s a link to Field&Stream’s roundup of Ten Best Cheap Shotguns for Hunting Turkeys:


Permitless Concealed Carry Bill passes Second Reading in the Colorado Senate

CO Senate Bill SB 32, permitless carry legislation, passed its second reading in the Senate.  SB 32 is expected to receive its third and final reading by the end of the week. The Bill was introduced by state Senator Vicki Marble (R-23) and if it becomes law, SB 32 would allow all law-abiding Colorado residents to legally carry concealed without having to possess a concealed carry permit.


More 2015 Pro Gun Bills in Colorado legislature

Here’s an update from the Firearms Coalition of Colorado. These are Pro-gun bills not yet voted on in committee:

SB 15-175, by Senators Holbert (R-30) and Cooke (R-13): would repeal HB 13-1224, the onerous and badly-written magazine ban rammed through by the Democrats. SB 15- 175 has some Democrat support.

HB 15-1138 by Rep. Ransom (R-44): would allow a concealed carry permit to substitute for a background check during the transfer of a firearm subject to HB 13-1229.

HB 15-1168 by Rep. Neville, P. (R-45): would allow concealed carry permit holders to carry concealed on public elementary and secondary school properties.

Please contact your state senator and representative in support of the bills that are still alive in the legislature. There will most probably be many additional bills this year.



Parallax in Rifle Scopes

Rifle shooter Number One is a pretty good shot and decides to add a scope to his rifle. He buys a good quality red dot scope, some pretty good factory ammunition and he heads out to the range to sight in the rifle at 100 yards. To improve his accuracy, he rests the rifle on a shooting bench so that there will be virtually no movement of the gun during the firing sequence. He then spends some time firing a round, checking the impact on the target and then adjusting the scope until the bullets hit the target where the red dot is superimposed. Finally, he has a small group in the middle of the target. Success!

At this point, his buddy shows up and shooter number one invites him to shoot the rifle. Shooter number Two is also a pretty good shot and he shoots a tight group, but all his shots are off to one side of the target. Shooter number One then shoots another group, which, like his first group is in the center of the target. How can two shooters with good quality rifle, ammunition and scope put tight groups on different places on the target? It could be that parallax in the scope is the answer.

Parallax causes the apparent displacement of an observed object due to the lenses and the distance to the target. In other words, the light from the target that causes an image of the target to register in the shooter’s eye is bent. The light is not straight. This means that that an object (the target) being observed through the scope is not exactly where you see it. The degree of displacement, through the same optic can vary from one shooter to the next. In this example, both shooters saw through the scope the same image of the dot in the center of the target, but in reality, they were aiming the gun at two slightly different places on the target. Distance to the target increases the problem. At 200 yards, shooter number two might see his group on the target even farther off to one side than it was at 100 yards.



My Pistol Won’t Fire: Part 2

Sometimes semi-auto pistols have a failure to feed a cartridge from the magazine into the chamber. The reason for the failure to feed may be that the magazine is not seated all the way into the pistol. The shooter, not knowing that the chamber is empty, presses the trigger and gets a click instead of a bang. There is a simple solution to this. It’s commonly called “Tap, Rack, Bang.”

Tap: With the pistol pointed at the target and finger OFF the trigger, use the palm of the support hand to slap the base of the magazine to ensure it is seated correctly.

Rack: Grasp the rear portion of the slide with the support hand and pull it smartly to the rear and let it go. A fresh cartridge should now be loaded into the chamber and the pistol is ready to fire.

Bang: Sights on target; Finger on trigger; shoot!

If Tap, Rack, Bang does not work, remove the magazine and lock the slide to the rear.

1) Examine the chamber to see if a previously fired (empty) cartridge case is lodged in the chamber. Do NOT look down the muzzle (front end of the barrel)!

2) Examine the magazine to see if it has ammunition present and that the cartridges are not jammed in there.

If in doubt about the condition or safety of your pistol, lay it down on the shooting bench, muzzle pointed downrange and call a range officer to assist you.