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Scott Huntington

Have Gun, Will Travel: How to Get a Start in Biathlon

By | Shooting Sports | No Comments

Nothing goes together better than skiing up to 20 kilometers and intermittently shooting a rifle at a tiny target 50 meters away…right?

It may not sound like the peanut butter and jelly of combinations, but biathlon is a unique sport that deserves more love.

The amount of endurance, control and stamina this sport requires is enough to scare most people away from it — but that’s what makes these athletes even more epic.

If skiing long treks, followed by immediately lowering your blood pressure to hit targets, so you don’t have to ski more, excites you — you should probably give biathlon a shot.

Whose Idea Was This, Anyway?

If you follow the Winter Olympics, you’ve probably seen some of the best biathletes in the world compete on the course, alongside coverage of more conventional winter sports, like skiing. So, who decided strapping a rifle on your back was probably a better way to do it?

It may come as no surprise, as they’re usually on the podium getting medals, but Scandinavians did!

And it makes sense, too, once you know the history of the sport.

It turns out Scandinavian hunters would use skiing as a way to get around, since snow is a pretty common condition to deal with that far north.

To hunt more efficiently, they would strap their guns onto their backs so when they found prey, they could shoot it, then make the trek back on their trusty skis.

You may not be dealing with living conditions quite like that, so you may not have the right training, yet — but that doesn’t mean you can’t! Biathlon training is available in a lot of different locations, and most offer rifle rentals, as well!

Nowhere to Go but Uphill

One of the best ways to get started is to join a club that offers tracks, rentals and training. From there, you can get safety certification and try out the sport. Don’t worry about buying gear yet —  call before you head over and ask if they offer rentals. If you try it and love it, you can start going to events!

If you live in a location that doesn’t offer training, you may need to travel a bit to get proper training, especially with the rifle. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be proactive while you’re at home!

There’s plenty of ways to build up stamina and cardio capacity. Boxing and bag-work are fun ways to get your heart pumping. If you have a yard or open space available, you can build a personal track where you can run, ski or even roller skate until you hit the distance you want. You can also set up targets and use a BB gun to practice your focus after your rounds.

Make Your Motherland Proud

Biathlon is a growing sport that is becoming more and more accessible. You’ve got everything you need to get started — so get involved, give Norway a run for their money and have fun!

How to Teach Your Kids to Shoot

By | Guns | No Comments

Children and guns is a tricky topic. One side of the argument believes that guns should be kept away from children at all costs, while others think that children should be taught gun safety and how to shoot from an early age.

We’re of the latter camp, and if you’re of a similar mind, you know it can be hard to find resources to help you learn how to teach your children to shoot. Here are some tips and tricks that we’ve learned over the years — with safety in mind — to help you prepare your kids to shoot safely.

Start With Gun Safety

Before your children ever pick up a gun, it’s important to teach them about gun safety. Reinforce four main rules:

  • Never pick up a firearm without a parent or adult supervisor present.
  • Treat a gun like it’s loaded at all times, even if you know it’s not.
  • Never point any gun at someone — ever — whether it’s loaded or not.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot — or in more amusing, kid-friendly terms, keep your booger hook off the bang switch.

Start young, especially if you keep guns in the house. The trick is to reinforce that guns are not toys. Everyone should treat guns like the powerful weapons that they are, no matter how young or old they are.

Start Small

You really don’t want to start your children with a .50 caliber rifle — unless your plan is to knock them across the range, that is. The first time you take them out to shoot, start small — a .22 caliber long rifle or even a BB gun just to get a feel for shooting before you start breaking out the larger caliber rifles or handguns.

This is a great opportunity to reinforce those rules you already started teaching them. Teach them to keep their barrel pointed downrange, and then reinforce the rules of the range. If you’ve got a kid-friendly range — many will let children shoot as long as they’re properly supervised and shooting only .22 caliber rifles — have your children talk to the range master to learn the rules. Sometimes having the regulations reinforced by someone other than a parent can help them stick.

Don’t Skip the Chores

Shooting isn’t all about putting holes in paper targets, and if your children are shooting with you, they should be part of cleaning up and maintaining the weapons after you’re done using them. Make sure you use proper safety equipment, including masks, gloves and eye protection. In addition, clean your guns in a well-ventilated area. Teach your kids good gun cleaning habits, and they’ll carry those behaviors with them throughout their lives.

Shooting should be a fun activity that you can do with your children, but gun safety should start early. Begin teaching your children how to be safe around guns before they’re ever allowed to pick one up. Teaching our children how to be safe around firearms, how to use them properly and how to respect them will make both the guns and the children safer.

How to Choose the Perfect Crossbow

By | Archery, Shooting Sports | No Comments

Going bow hunting can be an amazing experience, but it takes a lot of practice to learn how to shoot a bow accurately. A crossbow can be a great way to get into the world of bow hunting without having to take a ton of time to learn how to shoot a bow.

If you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few tips and tricks to help you find the perfect crossbow for your next hunting trip or target shooting expedition.

Safety First

If you’re new to the world of crossbow shooting, safety should be your first priority. Swing by your local hunting or sporting goods store and start asking some questions. They’ll be happy to answer — the last thing anyone wants to do is to is sell you a crossbow that you’re going to hurt yourself with. Ask questions and pay attention to the answers.

One thing you’ll absolutely want to avoid is dry-firing your crossbow — pulling the trigger when there isn’t a bolt loaded. When there is a bolt loaded into the bow, it allows the pressure to be released steadily. Without the bolt, all the resistance is released at once, which can damage the arms of the crossbow. Many newer models come with a switch that won’t allow you to fire the bow unless a bolt is in place to prevent this sort of damage.

Splurge

It’s tempting to buy a cheap crossbow if you’re just starting out, but cheap doesn’t always mean safety, and you want to make sure you’re as safe as possible when you’re just starting out. Choose the best crossbow you can afford, and don’t be afraid to splurge on the best model you can find.

Bows you invest more in will end up being safer and lasting you longer, which will save you a lot of money in the long run. A decent crossbow will run you between $300 and $1,000 — and getting all the equipment to go with it will add another few hundred dollars to your total.

Pick a Good Draw Weight

Your draw weight will depend on what you want to do with your bow. Target shooting doesn’t need a lot of power, but if you’re planning on going hunting, you’ll need more power. Most crossbows will have a draw weight of between 75 and 125 pounds, which is usually sufficient to kill a white-tailed deer. Some crossbows have draw weights up to 200 pounds, but that’s usually the maximum you’ll be able to find. Sometimes it’s the maximum that you can own — legally.

Get a Sight

An optical scope can help make shooting easier, especially if you’re planning on taking your crossbow hunting. A good optical sight can help you keep your eyes on your target, which is great if you’re just starting out. Pick a good sight that can be adjusted as needed, and make sure you test it at the range to make sure it’s sighted properly before you head out into the woods.

A crossbow is an amazing tool if you learn to use it properly. Make sure you do your research before you buy your first crossbow, and don’t be afraid to splurge a little bit.

Mossberg International Silver Reserve II Over/Under Shotgun Review

By | Guns, News | No Comments

Over/under break-action shotguns are not cheap. Traditionally, these have had trouble in the market for exactly that reason: Hunters love the look of them, but the cost of producing their barrels drives the price higher than most are willing to pay. This has led to the perception of good break-actions as a luxury item, inaccessible to the average hunter.

However, the Turkish-made Mossberg International Silver Reserve II shatters all these expectations, offering an excellent gun at an affordable price.

Image: The Truth About Guns

Specifications

When it comes to the barrel, Mossberg has a fine-looking blued steel it usually uses on its guns, and the over/under model comes in two lengths: 12/20 and 20/28. Both feature an aluminum boxlock receiver with old-school engraving for a more authentic feel. Mossberg’s guns all come with extractors, and the Silver Reserve is no exception — you’ll be able to peel your empties instead of searching through the grass.

Another feature that sets this model apart is the safety. Most shotguns today include automatic safety features that engage whenever the barrel is opened, and stay safe until thumbed back. For the Silver Reserve, the safety is wholly manual. The shooter is entirely responsible for thumbing his or her safety, further stepping up the old-school feel of this shotgun.

The join between the metal box lock and the wood is reasonably high quality, considering the affordability of the gun. It doesn’t look like the trigger and butt are hanging on by a thread, but the transition is clear and even. The wood is itself a beautiful black walnut color, with some checkering for texture and grip. The quality of the wood is questionable, but that is a necessary drawback for an affordable shotgun from any company, and the shooter’s experience does not suffer as a result.

The butt comes equipped with some nonaggressive rubber for your comfort, again riding that line between an everyman shotgun and something that feels luxurious. The rubber doesn’t get in the way of enjoying this gun, and shouldn’t snag on the shoulder when firing.

Price Range

MSRP for this gun is a little over $770, though many can be found online for under $700. Given the quality of this gun, even a $700 price tag is an excellent deal. You will feel like an old-school hunter whenever you go to the range or the woods, and it’s hard to put a price on that. However, Mossberg has put a price on its gun, and it’s a pretty good one. For the style and quality of the gun — in addition to its excellent usability and utility — this model is a great deal.

When evaluating the price, it’s essential to do so in relation to other similar models. The cost of an over/under falls anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, with some costly luxury models landing well over that range. Having an extra barrel will always boost the cost of a gun, and while some prices still seem exorbitant, it is an accepted truth that most over/unders come with a hefty price tag. The Silver Reserve is an excellent exception and seems to offer high quality and a great shooting experience in the process.

Have Gun, Will Travel: How to Get a Start in Biathlon

By | Guns, Shooting Sports | No Comments

Nothing goes together better than skiing up to 20 kilometers and intermittently shooting a rifle at a tiny target 50 meters away…right?

It may not sound like the peanut butter and jelly of combinations, but biathlon is a unique sport that deserves more love.

The amount of endurance, control and stamina this sport requires is enough to scare most people away from it — but that’s what makes these athletes even more epic.

If skiing long treks, followed by immediately lowering your blood pressure to hit targets, so you don’t have to ski more, excites you — you should probably give biathlon a shot.

Whose Idea Was This, Anyway?

If you follow the Winter Olympics, you’ve probably seen some of the best biathletes in the world compete on the course, alongside coverage of more conventional winter sports, like skiing. So, who decided strapping a rifle on your back was probably a better way to do it?

It may come as no surprise, as they’re usually on the podium getting medals, but Scandinavians did!

And it makes sense, too, once you know the history of the sport.

It turns out Scandinavian hunters would use skiing as a way to get around, since snow is a pretty common condition to deal with that far north.

To hunt more efficiently, they would strap their guns onto their backs so when they found prey, they could shoot it, then make the trek back on their trusty skis.

You may not be dealing with living conditions quite like that, so you may not have the right training, yet — but that doesn’t mean you can’t! Biathlon training is available in a lot of different locations, and most offer rifle rentals, as well!

Nowhere to Go but Uphill

One of the best ways to get started is to join a club that offers tracks, rentals and training. From there, you can get safety certification and try out the sport. Don’t worry about buying gear yet —  call before you head over and ask if they offer rentals. If you try it and love it, you can start going to events!

If you live in a location that doesn’t offer training, you may need to travel a bit to get proper training, especially with the rifle. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be proactive while you’re at home!

There’s plenty of ways to build up stamina and cardio capacity. Boxing and bag-work are fun ways to get your heart pumping. If you have a yard or open space available, you can build a personal track where you can run, ski or even roller skate until you hit the distance you want. You can also set up targets and use a BB gun to practice your focus after your rounds.

Make Your Motherland Proud

Biathlon is a growing sport that is becoming more and more accessible. You’ve got everything you need to get started — so get involved, give Norway a run for their money and have fun!

Friends With Firearms: How to Break Into Competitive Shooting

By | Guns, Shooting Sports | No Comments

Whether you’re a pistol person or a shotgun specialist, there’s a competition out there that can help you hone your skills, or even learn something new!

Shooting competitions have a reputation for being solely for experts in the field. However, this stereotype is false. If you’re thinking about getting involved in competitions, but are unsure if you’re good enough, don’t let the goals you haven’t hit yet hold you back.

Instead, hit your goals by hitting your targets in competitive shooting!

Ready?

A significant detriment for most people when it comes to competitive shooting is believing they aren’t ready, need to spend more time on the range or need to improve one thing or another before they start competing with other shooters.

These thoughts, however, can hold you back from doing the improving you keep talking about.

Most people who attend competitions are passionate about guns, bows and shooting in general. They’re not there to make fun of people who are just starting out — they want to make friends and better themselves, too!

You can meet friends and mentors who can offer you helpful tips. If you can’t seem to figure out why your shots always veer right, chances are someone there will — and would probably help you correct it if you asked nicely.

All you need to get started are the guns you want to use, a holster for smaller firearms and a belt, pouch or some way to hold your ammo and magazines.

If you want to meet like-minded people and have fun bettering yourself, grab your guns and get out to a competition.

Aim

There are a lot of different competitions out there. Aim for a competition you think you’ll enjoy, or will get the most out of.

Are you really into rifles? Giddy about Glocks? You can enter in competitions that focus on only one gun, or you can get into three-gun competitions!

As its name suggests, three-gun is a quickly growing competition style that — you guessed it — tests shooters’ abilities with three different types of guns. Instead of using one type throughout, you’ll use a rifle, pistol and a shotgun.

If you’re into American history, especially the Civil War or cowboy eras, you can join clubs that focus on using era-appropriate guns during their competitions.

The Single Action Shooting Society is a unique club that hosts events and competitions that only allow guns such as a pair of Colt single-action revolvers, or a Winchester Model 1892 rifle. Along with these historically accurate guns, you also get to sport Old West-style clothing and get to pick a new cowboy or cowgirl name.

If you ever got into the video game Red Dead Redemption and pictured yourself as John Marston, here’s the next best thing.

Fire!

Whether you want to perfect your skills with your go-to gun or try out something new, there are plenty of options and opportunities out there for you.

No matter what club, competition or gun you want to get involved with, the most important thing is to get out there and have fun!

These Are the Best Firearms to Keep in Your Car

By | Guns | No Comments

There are many ways to carry or conceal a firearm. Aside from the most obvious — being in your home or on your person — there’s also the option to keep one inside your car. Of course, there are pros and cons to doing this, but it does allow you to keep a weapon nearby at all times, especially since it’s not always possible to carry one in your pocket or purse.

The most significant caveat is that a vehicle isn’t exactly the safest or most secure place to store a gun. Having said that, there are ways around this — like storing the weapon in a secure case and hiding it beneath a seat.

Due to the potential risks, it’s also a good idea to leave your most expensive weapons at home and instead go with something a little more disposable. Let’s explore that idea a little further, and talk about what makes a good car gun.

What Guns Are Best for Auto Storage?

For starters, you’ll want to choose something that is less valuable both in monetary terms and sentimental terms. That will help cut down on the overall loss if someone ever steals the weapon from your vehicle.

You’ll also want to ensure it is both reliable and low-maintenance. Not that you never want to check or clean the weapon — it’s just you don’t want to be doing it often. More importantly, when you need it most, you don’t want it jamming or petering out on you. Revolvers, for example, tend to be ideal for something like this.

It’s also worth noting a vehicle gun, albeit still in a portable form, can be larger than something you’d carry on you, since you won’t have to conceal it in the same way. That means you can store something like a full-sized .357 revolver, or a pistol with an extended magazine, without having to worry about the bulkiness.

The Best Guns to Keep in Your Car

Now, let’s look at some firearm models that would be ideal for auto storage.

  • Glocks, particularly the Glock 19 or the Glock 23
  • Full-size revolver, like the Enfield No. 2, .357 EAA or Rossi models
  • Compact pistols — Makarov being the prime example — but also the Bersa Thunder or CZ82
  • 45ACP models like the Hi-Point 45, Kahr CT45, Springfield XD45, Sig Sauer P250 Compact or the Ruger P345
  • 9mm, such as the Kel-Tec P-11, Taurus 709, Ruger LC9 or Remington R51

In the end, however, it’s up to you what you decide to keep or store inside your vehicle. If you’re perfectly fine tucking a more expensive and powerful firearm between your seats or inside a gun safe, go for it!

One element most people forget when it comes to auto theft is that your insurance will often cover some of the costs for damage, stolen goods and the vehicle — if the police weren’t successful at recovering it. You might consider getting third-party gun ownership and liability insurance, as well.

Whatever the case, we hope this helps you decide if you’re looking to acquire a firearm for auto storage — or if you just want to decide between some of the guns you already do have!