Sep 22 2015

How to Handle Squib Loads and Hangfires

In our last discussion about handguns doing the unexpected, we discussed what some call the “loudest sound you’ll ever hear,” the dreaded “CLICK” when you’re expecting a “BANG.” But what about when your handgun goes “…bang…sort of?”  When something didn’t quite sound, or feel, right? If you hear a lighter-than-normal “bang,” and/or feel lighter-than-normal recoil, it’s possible that a “squib load” may have entered your ammo supply.

Though it’s extremely rare, a squib load/round is one whose propelling energy is less than necessary to push the projectile out of the firearm. This results in your handgun bullet being lodged somewhere between the chamber and the muzzle-a condition that could cause you major problems if you keep shooting. That’s because firing another round behind the squib might result in that following round- and the gases propelling it-getting stuck behind the lodged bullet. Consequences range from a mortally damaged handgun to a very seriously injured shooter.

Visit NRA Family for the entirety of How to Handle Squib Loads and Hangfires


Aug 3 2015

Choosing a Home Defense Shotgun

choosing a home defense shotgun Il ling newIt’s been a few years, but shotguns for home defense seem to be making a comeback. It’s not that rifles and handguns won’t work well for home defense, it’s just that shotguns have so much going for them in that realm.

With the array of ammunition available, shotguns can shoot everything from “less-lethal” loads (think rubber bullets, bean bags and others) to snake shot, to buckshot (.30+ caliber projectiles!) to 400-plus grain slugs. While most of us who aren’t in law enforcement or the military will negotiate shorter distances with our defensive shotguns, the scattergun’s versatility does offer the ability to shoot ammo that can address targets at much longer ranges. On the flipside, there is shotgun ammunition that will travel and/or penetrate less, and that might be appropriate for your circumstance. When we add to this the array of accessories also available for them (which isn’t always necessarily a good thing; we’ll touch more on this later), shotguns might be the most versatile home defense firearms you can get.

Visit NRA Family for the entirety of Choosing a Home Defense Shotgun.


May 7 2015

How to Properly Fit a Shotgun

As a shooter and an instructor, nothing pains me more than watching someone get thrown around by his shotgun.  Except, perhaps, being beaten up by my own shotgun.

Why? First, it doesn’t have to happen. Second, it’ll have a negative effect on the shooter’s learning and performance. Third, that just might cause him to walk away from the sport altogether.

The most common reason for this abuse is a poorly fitting shotgun, especially among shooters who are smaller in stature. And by that, I mean pretty much anyone who doesn’t fit the standard or average measurement of a male shooter: approximately 5’10”, 185 pounds. It’s not their fault, and it’s not our fault. Manufacturers have to have some sort of standard to work to–and fortunately for us smaller folk, several are addressing our problem and are creating scaled-down versions of their various firearms.

Visit NRA Family for the entirety of How to Properly Fit a Shotgun.