Reviews & articles for shooting sport enthusiasts.

Firearms

SHOT Show 2017

Warning: This is a LONG entry, with numerous images.

The week of January 16th once again saw the Sands Convention Centre in Las Vegas, Nevada; host the the 39th annual Sporting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show; also known as the SHOT Show. For those who do not know what SHOT Show is or what it consists of, TPF will give you a quote direct from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) whom organizes the event.

The 39th Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show opened its doors this morning at the Sands Expo Center with industry expectations running high in response to the energized market in America for firearms, ammunition and accessories.

Over the next four days, the show will attract nearly 65,000 industry professionals from the firearms and outdoor industry, including 2,500 members of the outdoor press-the largest gathering of outdoor media in the world-and showcase new, innovative products used for target shooting, hunting, outdoor recreation and law enforcement purposes.

Owned and sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, the SHOT Show is the largest trade show of its kind in the world. The show is open to trade members only and not to the public; consumers will see the products unveiled at the SHOT Show on retailers’ shelves during the course of the year.

You read that correctly, not open to members of the public. We at TPF can already hear our readers rolling their eyes and thinking to themselves, “But we are the consumers!” Which is true, except that the consumers that are mentioned the service companies and persons who are directly related to the industry. Not the end user, otherwise known as the public, but those whom supply the products to the end users such as retailers, trainers, ranges, organizations, etc… That being said, there are ways that the public can attend, and do attend as is evident to many who have attended SHOT know. TPF-Online will not go into details or methods for the public to get into SHOT Show. We apologize, and suggest that you utilize your favourite search engine or firearms forum (for Canadians, we recommend Gun Owners of Canada or Canadian Gun Nutz).

So let us delve into the timeline of SHOT Show.
(more…)

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Bill C-42, Royal Assent and Coming Into Force

Another late story from TPF Online and a continuation from a previous entry!

Bill C-42
An Act to amend the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code and to make a related amendment and a consequential amendment to other Acts
AKA: The Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act or CSFL Act

CSFL_Act-Royal_Assent

Slow to start, but a mad dash to the finish….

The First Reading of this bill was introduced back on the 7th of October, 2014. And the bill itself generated much controversy even among the firearms community and we at TPF gave our opinion on the Bill way back then in October 2014, soon after it’s first reading in the House of Commons. Second reading was originally supposed to be done on October 22nd, 2014. However that morning Parliament hill was assaulted by a gunman armed with a hunting rifle and Bill C-42 sat in hiatus. That is until April 20th 2015, nearly 6 months after the first reading. What followed was a political whirlwind in terms of speed with which this bill made it’s way through the legal system.

House of Commons

  1. First Reading   2014-10-07
  2. Second Reading   2015-04-20
  3. Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security
    Committee Reporting the Bill with an Amendment   2015-05-06
  4. Report Stage   2015-05-25
  5. Third Reading   2015-05-29

Senate

  1. First Reading   2015-06-02
  2. Second Reading   2015-06-04
  3. Referral to Committee   2015-06-04
  4. Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs
    Committee Report Presented without Amendment   2015-06-15
  5. Third Reading   2015-06-16

Royal Assent   2015-06-18

WOW. Two months from 2nd reading in the HoC until receiving Royal Assent. That is faster than the speed of light in Political terms… Some portions of the act were to be effective immediately and others were to be enacted in the several months after the bill was passed.

IMMEDIATE PROVISIONS: (as of June 18, 2015)

  1. Mandatory classroom participation in firearms safety courses for first time applicants (aka no more test challenges for new people whom have never had a POL/PAL)
  2. Chief Firearms Officer’s authority is subject to regulations (of which there are no regulations at this time, so no allowed changes)
  3. Increasing penalties for convictions of domestic violence (firearms prohibitions)
  4. Provide the Governor in Council the ability to classify a firearm as non-restricted (Previously only able to classify as restricted and prohibited)

The first point of these is one of the most contentious as it is a technical increase in “gun control” legislation by removing a method of which to enable individuals to acquire a firearms license. This is wholly true, but from a familiarity standpoint, it also means that every single new firearms applicant will be familiarized with a common knowledge set regarding firearm ownership and utilization. From a numbers game, 95+% of all new licensees took the full Canadian Firearms Safety Course , aka CFSC (and restricted version, CRFSC) versus those that challenged the test. The numbers of those who challenged the test has been continuously dwindling over the last decade.

The CFSC supposedly includes information regarding the following topics (The CRFSC is focused towards restricted firearms):

  • the evolution of firearms, major parts, types and actions;
  • basic firearms safety practices;
  • ammunition;
  • operating firearm actions;
  • safe handling and carry procedures;
  • firing techniques and procedures;
  • care of non-restricted firearms;
  • responsibilities of the firearms owner/user; and,
  • safe storage, display, transportation and handling of non-restricted firearms.

The second point is a good thing as it ensures that CFO’s cannot just make up stuff on the fly and force conditions on firearms owners regarding licensing and authorizations to transport.
Point three is a good thing in theory, but to be given a possible lifetime prohibition would hopefully be dependent on the severity of domestic abuse charges. No the author is not being soft on domestic abuse, but take this example; A yelling match regarding finances by a couple that is reported by neighbours and police arrive amid the yelling with no physical violence involved. Police Charge someone with domestic violence as yelling at another is a form of abuse/violence. In that scenario is a lifetime firearms prohibition warranted?

Allowing the government to reclassify firearms as non-restricted, and the fourth and final immediate provision enacted by C-42. Two words, Hot Damned! Since the introduction of C-68 back twenty years ago, the only direction available to government bodies was to be able to classify firearms to Restricted and/or Prohibited classification. This was used extensively back then to make sure that the scary black guns back then were not easily available to firearms owners. Twenty years later, the ability to classify to non-restricted is now an option. If only there was a couple firearms that they could start using this with….

SA_and_CZ858

Classified back from prohibited!

WHAT FOLLOWED! (as of July 31, 2015)
The next activity that occurred was the re-classification of the CZ858’s and Swiss Arms rifles from prohibited status to their original status. The FIRST time that any firearm has been reclassified to a “lesser” classification in over 20 years. The models that were targeted?

  1. Ceská Zbrojovka (CZ) Model CZ858 Tactical-2P rifle
  2. Ceská Zbrojovka (CZ) Model CZ858 Tactical-2V rifle
  3. Ceská Zbrojovka (CZ) Model CZ858 Tactical-4P rifle
  4. Ceská Zbrojovka (CZ) Model CZ858 Tactical-4V rifle
  5. SAN Swiss Arms Model Classic Green rifle
  6. SAN Swiss Arms Model Classic Green carbine
  7. SAN Swiss Arms Model Classic Green CQB rifle
  8. SAN Swiss Arms Model Black Special rifle
  9. SAN Swiss Arms Model Black Special carbine
  10. SAN Swiss Arms Model Black Special CQB rifle
  11. SAN Swiss Arms Model Black Special Target rifle
  12. SAN Swiss Arms Model Blue Star rifle
  13. SAN Swiss Arms Model Heavy Metal rifle
  14. SAN Swiss Arms Model Red Devil rifle
  15. SAN Swiss Arms Model Swiss Arms Edition rifle

These fifteen rifle models had been re-designated as converted automatics back in Spring of 2014, and affected roughly 12,500 firearms owned by Canadians to a retail value of over $13,000,000. These rifles were previously classified as non-restricted and restricted due to their barrel length according to the standard classification system enshrined in law. These rifles, on July 31, were reclassified back to their former statuses, yet they are still technically converted automatics. Huh? A WTF!? may spring to our reader’s mind. The FRT, Firearms Reference Table, currently lists the above firearms as converted automatics whose classification is set as non-restricted or restricted by an Order in Council. They are now Prohibited devices that have been government granted non-prohibited status. Not quite the same as being fully reclassified, but it is a start, and since that also means they can be used fully and wholly akin to over 2 years prior, it is a very good start!

Bill C-42. It is here and being implemented in steps…

The next part to the evolution and implementation of Bill C-42 will soon follow!

P.S. Images stolen from the internet as the crew of TPF does not own either of these fine rifles. Thank you Firearms Blog!


The Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act. More good than bad? Or the opposite?

You don’t even have to be a firearms owner to be even remotely interested in the laws regarding firearms ownership and usage in Canada, but it cannot hurt to be counted as one. There are roughly two million (2,000,000) adult citizens of Canada who have a firearm license of some sort. Most are likely the hunters and long distance shooters having a Possession and Acquisition License, aka PAL, for non-restricted firearms. Those who practice action shooting, whom are more tactical firearms enthusiasts and handgun owners, have a PAL for both restricted and non-restricted firearms, affectionately known as an RPAL. There are also PALs which are for firearms designated for one or more of the several prohibited classes that exist. Currently however there are Possession Only versions of the aforementioned licenses as well, and these are short formed to POL holders.

Now some of you may have heard about the introduction of the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act.  The new agencies were very tight lipped it seemed about the proposed legislation tabled by the current government as very little news made it into the mainstream media. Perhaps there was too much bad news for firearms owners as good news in the bill to make it unable to bash the CPC government with? The Minister of Public Safety, Mr. Steven Blaney, made the announcement on October 7th, 2014, in the House Of Commons. It has been given the Bill number of C-42 and has passed first reading.

On October 7th, Minister Blaney announced the CSFL Act

On October 7th, Minister Blaney announced the CSFL Act

The bill in itself has many sections and covers a fair range of sections and we at TPF will go into the nitty, gritty summations for both good and bad for those who do not want to wade through legalese of a bill. TPF will discuss each of the points and rate them appropriately, but obviously it is the opinion of the author and please feel free to agree and, or, disagree; aka comment. Please recall that this is the first iteration and the bill itself may change during subsequent readings and from committee recommendations. Also note that the intent of the bill cannot be changed over it’s travels through the procedural system, otherwise the bill becomes null and void.

The following are the main points that are contained in the current iteration of Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code and to make a related amendment and a consequential amendment to other Acts; whose short title is the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act.

  1. Create a six-month grace period at the end of the five-year license period to stop people from immediately becoming criminalized for paperwork delays around license renewals;
  2. Streamline the licensing system by eliminating the Possession Only License (POL) and converting all existing POLs to Possession and Acquisition Licenses (PALs);
  3. Make classroom participation in firearms safety training mandatory for first-time license applicants;
  4. Amend the Criminal Code to strengthen the provisions relating to orders prohibiting the possession of firearms where a person is convicted of an offense involving domestic violence;
  5. End needless paperwork around Authorizations to Transport by making them a condition of a license for certain routine and lawful activities;
  6. Provide for the discretionary authority of Chief Firearms Officers to be subject to limit by regulation;
  7. Authorize firearms import information sharing when restricted and prohibited firearms are imported into Canada by businesses; and,
  8. Allow the Government to have the final say on classification decisions, following the receipt of independent expert advice.

Truthseeker Section:

Lets start with #1. Currently the instant your license expires, all you are in illegal possession of every single firearm you own. ALL OF THEM. This also means that for those with a prohibited class firearm license will instantly lose that status and not be able to renew them as one of the conditions is to have a continuous ownership status. Expired license means a break in that requirement. By including a 6 month grace period, it gives those forgetful individuals time to renew and not be caught by any sudden changes. This is a good thing. No real downsides to this. 3 of 5 stars

#2 is converting the existing POLs into PALs. Back in the original legislation which introduced the possession only aspect of firearms, only those who already had a firearm were able to get a POL. The idea is that for nearly 20 years, these POL holders have not had any sort of notable record of criminal activity or misuse of firearms. Plus it only makes sense to reduce the number of license types and cutting the license types in half is a good way to reduce bureaucratic exercises. There are nearly six hundred thousand (600,000) POL holders in the system. This is a huge added benefit to the firearms industry as it opens up an additional 40% more consumer market for firearms sales. That is a huge step forward. 5 of 5 stars

Mandatory safety training is the third point and is a contentious one.  Removing the ability to challenge the Canadian Firearms Safety Course, aka CFSC, is not making it easier to own a firearm. For urban areas and nearby rural areas the ability to schedule and attend a CFSC is not a difficult task… And for extremely remote locations such as those found in the Territories, instructors are flown into those areas just as they do today. The problem is that you are now forced to take safety training which has never been a means to eliminate irresponsible and accidental misuse of a firearm. The biggest complaint would be that prospective individuals now need to pay more money and more time dedicated to firearms safety training. Where a CFSC challenge was merely $50 and roughly an hour of your time,  the course is 8-12 hours and now also has to pay for books and instructor times which elevate the costs to $75 or more. More of an inconvenience than a negative, but still… 3 of 5 stars

Domestic violence is one of those nasty occurrences that many people to not care to mention. Point four introduces the option for a lifetime firearms ban for those who commit domestic violence on spouses, kin, parents and other household residents. On the surface this sounds like a good addition, but recall that these prohibition can occur to any individual charged with an indictable offense but has not been cleared of wrongdoing. An unconditional discharge will still net you a possible firearms/weapons prohibition order! So don’t be one of those idiots who would intentionally cause grief and damage to others, let alone to family and children. The issue in this case is the duration, as a lifetime sentence for incarceration may still allow the individual to leave prison on parole, which is never ending with a life sentence. It is obviously situational however, an example being if a drunken, stupid nineteen year old and his father have a fight; the teenager subsequently receives an assault charge and an unconditional pardon to it, is it reasonable to punish him for life with some form of restriction, be it a firearm or whatnot, forever? Either make it lifetime ban upon a conviction, or a sensible number that works with our current laws. 1 of 5 stars

Combining ATT’s for common purposes instead of having several individual requests on a recurring basis sounds like pretty common sense. With this portion of the bill, your long term ATT will now be good for border crossings, guns smiths, gun stores, and gun shows and all approved ranges in the license holder’s province or territory. They are also must issue instead of shall issue. That’s a pretty big change for the better. However it is tempered with some changes that have negative effects on some firearms owners. Some provinces already have multi-province long term Authorizations to Transport to various ranges, this bill in it’s current form would curtail the ability of those firearms owners to participate in events and competitions  in neighboring regions. So far this is good in scope but limits others. The biggest hurdle is the fact that non-handgun prohibited firearms will NOT be issued any authorizations to transport to approved ranges. Despite CFOs not issuing a Special Authority to Possess, aka SAP, for the last decade; which means all prohibited rifles have been safe queens for that duration. Bill C-42 states clearly that prohibited rifles will remain safe queens. Great for restricted rifles and hand-gunners in general, but imposes definite territorial limitations and misses two important issues. For transport to and from a post office, plus how it deals with people who travel across a provincial boundary to shoot at their primary range. 4 of 5 stars

Point six is simple yet confusing in nature. Provide for the discretionary authority of Chief Firearms Officers to be subject to limit by regulation. What this means is that the Chief Firearms Officer may only impose any additional requirements on a license/ATT/etc… that are specifically allowed in legislation. This means that the CFO cannot attach a condition to an ATT or license such as requiring an invitation in order to attend an compete in matches hosted by another club. Anything that restricts arbitrarily imposed conditions is a good thing. Again however, many provinces have decent CFO. 4 of 5 stars

The data sharing mentioned in the seventh point is a very interesting one and has zero effect on the average firearms owner.  The current problem is that the RCMP and the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) are not authorize to communicate with other for the purposes of data sharing. When CBSA gets firearms imports it needs to ask the RCMP for clarification and data through convoluted channels and the formatting of the information is less than “easily manipulated” to perform customs work. This section is to create a frame work of communication that is easily accessed by customs to expedite information required to process restricted and prohibited firearms. There has been mention of a new undefined form being utilized, which has not been created, nor determined if it replaces the existing customs form. This proposal is both good and bad as anything that helps get firearms through customs faster is good, but additional paperwork is not fun for businesses. 3 of 5 stars

The final point, number 8, is one that is the least explained and the most feared for some reason. If you read all the changes in the proposed bill, the definition of non-restricted is defined and introduced throughout the bill and also creates the ability of a government to reclassify restricted and prohibited firearms into non-restricted classifications. That is HUGE! This becomes the means with which firearms like the newly prohibited Swiss Arms series of rifles can be classified as non-restricted.  This is the first step towards reclassifying firearms which should be non-restricted by the current definition of firearms as set out in law. This is a huge plus. 5 of 5 stars

Total rating out of 40 possible points? 28 out of 40. It is a passing grade but only a C overall regarding the proposed changes contained in the Bill.

CSFLAct_950x390

“Is the CSFL Act a good bill in it’s own? That is for you to decide!

Naysayer section:

There are still issues with the CSFL act in that it does not address the multitude of other issues that are significantly deeper and more fundamentally wrong with the firearms act and it’s associated regulations. These are the more commonly stated naysayer lines that are floating around the online Canadian firearm forums CGN and GoC being the two largest.

  • It is still a criminal offense to possess a firearm, in that firearms are illegal to possess UNLESS you have a POL or PAL of the appropriate class.
  • ATTs should be worded to cover any and all legal purposes.
  • Licenses should be lifetime in duration.
  • Classifications should not exist!
  • CFOs should be abolished entirely or made to assist shooters/businesses
  • It is small little tweaks instead of wholesale change

Unfortunately as the old quote states,

“It’s easier to take than to give.”

Expecting politics to not be about compromise is pretty foolhardy. If there was no such thing as compromise, C-68 would have ended all civilian gun ownership. An additional tidbit of information is as follows.

As part of Mr. Peter VanLoan’s, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons,  statement recently:

“Starting on Wednesday, October 22, the House will consider Bill C-42, the common sense firearms licensing act at second reading. This bill would cut red tape for law-abiding firearms owners and provide safe and simple firearms policies. I would note that this legislation has already been endorsed by a number of key groups, such as the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, the New Brunswick Wildlife Federation, the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, la Fédération québécoise des chasseurs et pêcheurs, the Manitoba Wildlife Federation, and the Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters, among others.”

That is extremely fast paced for a Bill in the House of Commons. Remember that this write-up is about the legislation as written itself, not as a grand overall status of the Firearms Act and the infamous Bill C-68/etc…

As this is a political review of a newly introduced bill, it is hard to give definite evaluations as the bill’s content may indeed change. We can hope that some wording and content will be improved in the future…So, instead of the usual TPF options, we ask if you the reader believe the contents of the bill are beneficial, superficial, or detrimental to firearms owners in the context of the bill.


What is a Lightweight Modern Sporting Rifle? TPF takes a look!

The origins of the much enjoyed AR-15 platform started back in the mid-1950’s with Eugene Stoner’s 7.62mm semi-automatic rifle design, the Armalite Rifle Model 10, also known as the AR-10. In 1957, Mr. Stoner and two engineers, Jim Sullivan, and Bob Fremont, were tasked to design a scaled down version of the AR-10 to use a .22 calibre cartridge and the result was the Armalite Rifle Model 15. Due to poor marketing of the AR-15 design, Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation, the parent company of Armalite, sold the AR-10 & AR-15 designs to Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company in 1959. Starting in 1962, the AR-15 design was utilized and adopted by the military of the United States in both the original and a fully automatic version, the M-16; and saw the design’s first true widespread usage during the war of Vietnam. There were many issues, which were found during those years of abuse and extreme environmental usage. You may have seen the movies and videos of soldiers of that era equipped with an AR-15/M-16 who religiously cleaned their rifles in every moment outside of actual combat. There is a bit of truth in that, hence why those scenes were so common.

Fast forward, a half a century and the AR-15 platform has become the measuring stick for determining what construes the Modern Sporting Rifle. The widespread definition of a Modern Sporting Rifle, to be called MSR henceforth, came about in 2009, as Mr. Randy Luth, then retiring President and Founder of DPMS firearms, continued to promote the AR-15 platform as a viable firearm to the hunting market in the United States. A MSR is one of which has most, if not all, of the following features:

  • Semi-automatic in operation. The redirection of a portion of generated energy to enable self-reloading allows for lower recoil, and thereby faster recovery and follow-up shots.
  • Mounts a pistol grip. This allows for more comfortable hold as well as having more ergonomic access to operating controls of the firearm (safety, bolt release, etc…)
  • Utilizes a detachable magazine as a means of reloading the firearm both simply and easily.
  • Has an adjustable stock which enable the ability to allow for personalized “fit-up” for individual users.
  • Incorporates accessory mounts that allow the installation of optics as well as possibly multitude of other accessories that are customized to the individual’s requirements.

With over 50 years of history and production of a wide variety of AR styled rifle platforms, it has become such a popular design that a seemingly endless number of manufacturers offer their own versions. With prices of a few of these ranging up to several thousand dollars before even buying a magazine, the AR runs the gambit for value for the consumer’s ability and desire to purchase quality and performance. The balance point for the individual user is the issue, but stereotypically firearms owners in Canada are somewhat frugal in nature. The old saying of “Knowing is half the battle”, applies to O’Dell Engineering, a Canadian distributor of firearms and accessories has taken that to heart with their recently launched Lightweight Modern Sporting Rifle, or LMSR. It incorporates modern polymers and proven designs to bring a quality AR platform rifle to the firearms community of Canada.

Here at Tactical, Practical & Fantastical; were delighted to acquire one of the original entry level LMSR’s offered by O’Dell Engineering and have brought it to you, our readers.. So without further delay let’s take a look at the intro level LMSR available in Canada.

LMSR-Intro

The Lightweight Modern Sporting Rifle, aka The LMSR, has a polymer lower receiver and a selection of uppers. This is the LMSR – Intro package (Optics not included)

Recessed Crown

With a recessed crown, the muzzle is protected from damage

The LMSR is an AR-15 platform rifle, which incorporates all the features mentioned about for defining a Modern Sporting Rifle, and like a typical AR-15 has three primary components. A lower receiver, an upper receiver and the bolt carrier group. The lower receiver in this case is manufactured by American Tactical and is comprised of injection-molded polymer and is machined to exacting specifications. The standard AR15/M4, six position polymer stock is mounted on the commercial diameter buffer tube and factory trigger comes set between four to five pounds of force. The controls are the standard common versions found on most basic AR platforms.

The upper receiver is an anodized black, A3 flattop profile, that is machined from cast 7075-T6 aluminum which is roughly 50% stronger than 6061-T6 aluminum for superior wear, stress resistance and fatigue levels. The barrel of the reviewed LMSR is hammer forged and 406mm (16.0″) in length. The barrel itself has a surface treatment known as Melonite Nitrocarburizing Process, which not only adds surface hardness, but also improves corrosion and wear resistance as well. Chambered in 5.56x45mm and sporting a 1 in 7″ rate of twist, the barrel also has a protected crown, also known as a recessed crown; and a bolt-on low profile, picatinny railed gas block located at the carbine positioned gas port. The receiver rail and the gas block rail are not co-linear in height however, so prospective users should be aware of this fact.

LMSR-Intro Gas Block

Bolt-on railed gas block on the Intro’s barrel

The furniture is basic and black, with a standard A2 grip and two-piece, carbine length, hand guards. With the rear take down pin movement being extremely snug to insert and remove; the upper and lower fit together so securely that there is absolutely no need for an accu-wedge or shimming to have a solid, rattle-free, assembly.

LMSR-Intro fire controls

The LMSR’s polymer lower has all the typical AR-15 controls in the standard places

The Specifications of the LMSR – Intro level (as reviewed)
Classification: Restricted firearm
Action: Semi-automatic, direct impingement gas system
Calibre: 5.56x45mm/.223 Remington
Lower: Black polymer, 6 position M4 style collapsing buttstock, commercial diameter buffer tube, 4-5 lb trigger
Upper: Anodized black 7075-T6, A3 picatinny rail flat-top profile
Barrel: 16″ black melonite finish, carbine length 2-pc hand guard, picatinny gas block, recessed crown, 1:7 twist
Mass: 2.6kg (5.73lbs) w/o magazine & optics

LMSR-Intro Staking

The bolt carrier key is heavily staked to prevent loosening over time

As this specific rifle is to become the test rifle for many future accessories to be reviewed here at TPF, it was only fair for the author to put this rifle through it’s paces and season it. So over the course of the last year this rifle has had several hundred rounds fed through it, both to test accuracy and durability of what is a value priced, entry level AR platform for the Canadian marketplace. For our labour of love the author mounted an Eotech 512.A65 far forward on the upper’s picatinny rail to ensure that there was minimal possible distortion. Once dialed in, the rifle spit 45-55 grain projectiles downrange and consistently was able to shoot 20 cm (8″) diameter steel plates from offhand shooting positions @ 91m (100y) and engage all forms of targets in local 3-Gun scenarios. TPF’s LMSR in the factory configuration has been tried with a variety of magazines, several hundred factory and reloaded rounds of ammunition and has suffered zero failures to fire and eject at the time of this TPF installment.

LMSR-Intro-06

Running the LMSR extremely wet for the first few hundred rounds. The bolt carrier group after a short bit of range work

The LSMR (Intro Level) comes with a 16″ barrel length, which has an MSRP of $899.99 CDN and is assembled and distributed throughout Canada by O’Dell Engineering Limited. To find a retailer near you access their Dealer page. There is a premium version available that is outfitted with a High Standard, chrome lined barrel in 16″, 14.5″ or 10.5″ length options; all of which have a 1/2″-28 threaded A2 flash-hider “birdcage” mounted and sport an bayonet lugged A2 gas block with a fixed front sight for true co-witness ability. The question is whether you the reader feel that the LMSR is Practical, Tactical, or Fantastical.

P.S.: The LMSR has, as of mid-2014, been upgraded with a second generation lower with added features and manufacturing advancements. The new rifle designation is the LMSR2. If you want to ask the Distributor questions you can reach them on facebook HERE.

LMSR-Intro lower guts

The LMSR Gen 1 polymer lower showing the standard internal components after several hundred rounds


Designed over 125 years ago, this bit of history made modern once again…

While beat out in the origins of lever actions by nearly 20 years, one of the grandfathers of lever actions, the Winchester 1886, was designed by the legendary John Moses Browning. Seeing a trend towards bigger and heavier ammunition trends, Winchester commissioned for a newer design and in 1884, the conceptual action for the “future” 1886 was adopted and put into reality. The rifle was built to handle the larger cartridges available in that time period, which included the venerable Government 45-70. For nearly half a century the Winchester 1886 was produced in numbers that exceeded 150,000 units. By the end of it’s run in 1935, this workhorse of a rifle had been chambered in several different calibres and had proven its worth to firearms owners across North America.

Chiappa's Model 1886 Rifle

The Venerable Winchester 1886. Still suggested by many to be the best lever action design to this day.

U.S. Patent 306,577, was granted October 14th, 1884. The design in very simple terms added a set of moving locking lugs which ensured the solid lock-up of the breech block, and thereby allowed higher pressure cartridges to be utilized in a lever action design. Previous actions were locked up via toggle links which were insufficient to withstand the more powerful cartridges that were appearing and desired by the firearms enthusiasts of that era.  When the first production of the 1886 rifle was started there were only three calibres available for it. These were the .45-70 Government (1873), .40-82 WCF (1885), and .45-90 WCF (1886).

A lesser known fact is that in 1886, the first smokeless powder cartridge was created for military use by the French in the form of the 8mm Lebel, but this would take time to filter over into the North American market.

In 1887 several more cartridges were introduced specifically due to the 1886’s popularity, and those were the .38-55 WCF, .40-65 WCF and the .38-70 WCF. The large .50-110 Winchester was added in 1899, and a few short years later, after the turn of the century, the first cartridge without a black powder history, the .33 WCF, was added into the lineup of calibres.

Chiappa-Title

Created in 1958, Chiappa manufactures everything from Cowboy Western Shooting, Hunting, and Reproductions/replicas of classic firearms

Chiappa-ArmiSport-1886

Made in Italy by Armi Sport, a branch of Chiappa

So now that TPF has gone down a but of history of the classic Winchester 1886 lever action rifle, it is time to fast forward nearly one and a quarter centuries later and Italian gun manufacturer, Chiappa Firearms, has endeavoured to produce a reproduction of the venerable Winchester 1886 with modern craftsmanship and quality materials. That means that parts will be 100% interchangeable between the original 1886’s which were all hand fitted for each firearm manufactured. What fit perfectly in one 1886, could just as likely be too loose, or very tight on another 1886 which meant a lot of labour and “fiddling” was required to ensure a perfectly smooth action and precise lock up. The rifle being looked at is a full length 1886 reproduction with a full octagonal barrel chambered in .45-70 Government.

Specifications of the Chiappa 1886 Lever Action Rifle

  • Calibre: .45-70 Government (Modern loads)
  • Barrel: 26″ (66cm) Full Octagon, 1-18″ twist rate
  • Receiver: Case coloured frame
  • Capacity: 8+1 (Shipped with internal plug to 5 as per Italian law)
  • Mass: Approximately 9lbs (4.1kg)
  • Overall Length: 45″ (115cm)

What is case colouring? In the past when firearms were manufactured from softer iron, they needed to harden the outer surfaces of receivers to improve the wear and toughness of the components. Hardness of a metal is usually determined by the amount of carbon that makes up the metallurgy of the metal. In the distant past, to surface harden iron products, was accomplished by packing the iron in a mixture of ground bone and charcoal or a combination of leather, hooves, salt and urine, all inside a well-sealed box. This package is heated to a high temperature, below the iron’s melting point, for a sufficient time to have the carbon infuse/permeate the iron surface. The longer this carbonizing process, the harder the surface becomes due to greater levels of carbon penetrating into the surface.  The resulting case hardened part, due to the impurities in the packing mixtures, created an oxide surface which had patterns of colours and hues ranging from orange to dark blue. This surface was harder and showed better wear and corrosion resistance which was usually the sign of a higher quality firearm in that bygone era. That was known as “Case Hardened Colouration”, yet in modern manufacturing steel, an iron and carbon alloy, is used which has inherent hardness levels and much better resistive properties than the old school materials utilized. What this means is that while the components are no longer case hardened the old fashioned way, the colouration, as if the parts had been produced as such, creates a very attractive decoration.

Alsmost everything is case coloured

Even the butt-stock plate is case coloured

The modern day 1886 manufactured by Chiappa obviously falls into the latter category and has applied case colouration to nearly every major external metal component except for the barrel, magazine tube, breech block and feed gate. That is correct; the butt-stock plate, the lever arm, trigger, hammer, and even the fore-stock cap are all case coloured. The nearly black bluing on the barrel and magazine tube and the wonderfully vibrant walnut wood stock and forearm make for a wonderful visual piece of eye candy. Necessary? No. Beautiful? Yes.

It is a nice looking rifle

Sandwiched between the nice walnut wood, the case coloured receiver and action parts are very distinct and attractive

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The .45-70 Government. At over It is still a big cartridge

The firearms itself is pleasant to shoot, TPF took the 1886 to a local range and proceeded to lob small ashtrays down range. In all seriousness, many thanks to The Gun Centre, located in Kitchener, Ontario; for providing TPF-Online some ammunition to perform actual field tests on this rifle. Winchester Ballistic Silvertip 300gr, Remington Express Rifle 405gr SP, and Hornady Leverevolution 325gr FTX were all used, sixty (60) rounds were fired with no issues and acceptable out of the box accuracy. Using 15cm (6″) steel targets at 45m (50yd), the author was able to hit several runs of five consecutive shots, at least until a flinch started to develop. While quite enjoyable to shoot offhand, the author of this piece will likely not shoot 405gr rounds. or anything similar, from the bench ever again.

Chiappa’s Model 1886 lever action rifle, is a modern day reproduction of the classic Winchester 1886 design chambered in .45-70 Government. With an MSRP of about $1,500.00 USD it is not for the cheap and frugal, nor those who penny pinch on ammunition. Chiappa firearms are distributed through Canada by North Sylva, so if you are interested, retailers akin to Barton’s Big Country Outdoors, located in Grande Prairie, Alberta, should be able to order them for you.

It is a serious rifle in a beautiful package. However if you were looking at this rifle and debating to purchase it or even look at one; ask yourself this, is it Practical, Tactical, or Fantastical! Then go buy one anyways, because more guns = more fun!

The best design?

A close up view showing the beautiful case colouring and the locking bars

NOTE: The basic 1886 rifle featured in this installment of TPF is scarcely available nowadays. The trend has been the Chiappa Kodiak which has a synthetic stock, and a stainless steel constructions, with a shorter barrel.

 


Warfare against your hated enemies will never be the same…

You are trapped in your home and you are not alone. You can hear the intruder moving around as though they own the place. This time however you will be defending your self and taking the life from the defiler of your castle. You load up with the salt because you have heard it hurts more. You rack the slide and roughly aim down the sights. Holding your breath, you await the perfect moment to squeeze the trigger. Seconds later you are standing over the carcass of the intruder, grinning from ear to ear, knowing that there is one less piece of vermin to harass other innocents. Hearing more from others in the other room, you rack the slide again and become the hunter in your home, With the yellow and black gun in hand, you go forth to give the scum of the universe a lesson in Castle Law. Now before all of you readers start to A) Scream YES to self-defence, or B) Chastise the author for such fear mongering; please note that there are perhaps millions of these god-forsaken pests that deserve to be eradicated and that could just be those in your own backyard.

You read that correctly, TPF-Online has gotten to review one of the most sought after guns in the last couple years. You may have seen the videos online and you might have dreamed about owning one to complete your arsenal of weapons for removing unwanted guests from your home; but this gun is all about filling the target full of holes. Holes made by salt. Huh?!? That is correct, TPF-Online is pleased to be able to bring our readers a review on the Bug-A-Salt.

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When you absolutely want to send those wretched pests into an early grave… Bug-A-Salt may be just the right tool for the job

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The logo of Bug-A-Salt’s parent company is displayed on the lid of the salt “Ammunition” storage

Conceived in 2010 by the mind of artist (and surfer) Lorenzo Maggiore, the Bug-A-Salt took several years of conceptual work and testing until it was locked into it’s current design form. It was in late 2012 that Bug-A-Salt became reality, starting with a pre-sale effort on Indiegogo, a crowd-funding website, Mr. Maggiore created a conceptual video and created a goal of a $15,000 to be able to ship the first container of Bug-A-Salt guns from China to California. The response was staggering. Sixty six (66) days after launch, with a viral video, his fund-raising efforts caught the wallets of over ten thousand people across seventy countries, and raised in excess of a half million dollars when the fundraiser closed on September 11th, 2012.

Now it is the author’s belief that nearly everyone has at some point become seriously annoyed with house flies or other insects and bugs in their home. The Bug-A-Salt is a modern version of the fly-swatter. It does cost more and is far heavier, but it very rarely misses the target if used properly, unlike the swinging hands/papers/books/etc… The fact that it is in effect a miniaturized, air powered shotgun, is just an added bonus. Moulded in black and yellow plastic with numerous fly images embossed in the surface, the Bug-A-Salt measures approximately 550mm (21.6″) in length and masses 635.0 grams (22.40 oz) unloaded.

Loading the Bug-A-Salt is very simple. Open the flip-up cap, allowing the “Ammo Hopper” to be accessed. Fill the hopper with ordinary table salt. Close the hopper’s lid. Done! The Bug-A-Salt is now ready for assaulting the forces of the evil empire of insects. Racking the charging handle like a pump action shotgun actually performs multiple internal actions. Not only does it set-up the spring-powered air-piston for the blast of salt, it engages the manual trigger safety and extends the rear sights. The visibility of the orange plastic rear sights is the indicator that the Bug-A-Salt is charged and ready to shoot. With a theoretical bug-lethal range of just under 0.9m (3 ft), the wielder of this weapon does not even need to come near the offensive multi-legged pests as previously required by fly-swatters and flip-flops.

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Showing the trigger and safety along the grip. The safety must be flipped back every time the Bug-A-Salt is cocked in order to pull the trigger

Actual mechanics of the Bug-A-Salt are quite interesting. Upon racking the slide back, a small tower with a cross-drilled hole in it extends inside the salt hopper. This hole is in the same direction as the barrel axis. Gravity causes the salt in the hopper to fill the cavity in this tower. Due to this, it is likely that insufficient salt may be used if held on angles and with lower levels of “ammunition” in the hopper. The racking of the slide backwards is against a spring which powers the pneumatic system, and it also engages the safety level and the rear pop-up sights. In order to fire, the rack must first be pulled back forwards as it is not a spring returned system; then the manual safety must be disengaged. Pull the trigger and the aforementioned tower springs back down in line with the steel barrel tube and the spring loaded piston is released. This causes literally a pinch worth of salt to be expelled from the barrel at sufficient velocities to perforate the targets with at several dozen grains of salt at least.

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An actual metal barrel means that there is minimal wear from shooting the salt-shots repeatedly.

Fully loaded, the Bug-A-Salt has approximately a 50 shot capacity. If you need to use up the whole hopper on bugs and flies indoors, you may have a more serious problem. TPF-Online asked about the “ammunition” for the Bug-A-Salt and inquired about alternative load-outs. Pepper? Sugar? Flour?  The answers a resounding no… Pepper is too thin and gets caught in seams and edges of the internals, sugar is actually too large and has sharp corners which quickly wear down the internals. Flour just gums up everything. So while the Bug-A-Salt is multi-munition capable, the consequences are reduced reliability and a voided warranty. Another helpful tip was to prevent issues with moisture causing issues with function; unloading the Bug-A-Salt between warfare sessions will remove possibilities of clumping salt and failure to feed and fire. Obviously with this product being evaluated during the height of the Winter season, valid targets are scarce for exterminating, but supposedly the corpses of Bug-A-Salt’d flies and insects are pretty much desiccated, meaning dried up therefore an easy cleanup.

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The orange protrusion only enters the salt storage once cocked, the small opening at the base loads the actual volume of “shot” to be.. well… shot!

FEATURES (As per product description)

  • Non-Toxic
  • No batteries
  • Extremely inexpensive to use
  • Excellent for flies on windows
  • Excellent for bugs on ceilings and in corners
  • Fun—Say goodbye to insect intruders

Of course the whole idea of this product is to eliminate flies and other insects, arachnids, and arthropods. For the reader’s information, arthropods in this context are basically millipedes and centipedes. Being wintertime, TPF was unable to target live specimens to determine actual kinetic effects on actual bugs, and resorted to alternative impact measuring methods. To use a quote from anti-gun Joe Biden; TPF unleashed two “Blasts” from this plastic, salt-loaded, pump-action, miniature shotgun at a sheet of aluminum foil from both 30 cm & 60 cm (11.8″ & 23.6″) distance. At 30cm the salt pattern measured roughly 43mm (1.7″) in diameter, with a few pieces of salt penetrating the aluminum foil target. At the longer range of 60cm away, the salt pattern opened up to roughly 71mm (2.8″) in diameter. While none of the salt particles went through the foil target, there was sufficient cratering to make TPF believe that the odds of an insect’s survival at that distance are non-existent.

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The pattern of the Bug-A-Salt at approximately 12″ against aluminum foil. Some grains even went through the target…

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Double the distance and the impact results, while not as impressive as close range, are sure to perforate your pest problems…

Colourful and satisfying to use, the Bug-A-Salt has an MSRP of $34.95 USD. It is available directly from Bug-A-Salt or from Canada’s online source, Fly Shooter, which is the Canadian distributor for the Bug-A-Salt gun. As always, it truly is your opinion if you, the reader, believe this product to be Tactical, Practical or Fantastical.


The heart and soul of a 10/22, the skin of G-36.

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The Ruger 10-22 is the most widely sold rifle in North America

The Ruger 10/22 is perhaps the most popular .22 LR calibre rifle ever invented. Yes, Canada happens to have scads of no longer produced Canadian manufactured Cooey .22 rifles, but overall with sales volumes and sheer commonness, Ruger Firearms’ nearly iconic 10/22 has sold more units, spawned off more accessories, and has been the mainstay of nearly all shooters with a .22 rifle. In today’s instalment of Tactical, Practical and Fantastical, we take a look a one of the myriad of aftermarket accessories for the 10/22. TPF will cover the Nomad stock, manufactured by Pro-Mag Industries under the Archangel line of stock replacements. For those readers who are unaware of Pro-Mag Industries, the company initially started as an aftermarket magazine supplier for numerous makes and models of firearms. Pro-Mag has since evolved into one of the leading aftermarket stock and firearm accessory manufacturers in North America. The Archangel product-line is the newest addition to Pro-Mag’s repertoire and encompasses a variety of rifle makes and models with these alternate stock chassis’. In this specific case this aftermarket stock transforms any 10/22 into a near clone, visually, of the Heckler & Koch G-36K Carbine.

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ProMag Industries has created a very interesting stock kit for the 10-22

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Sights are not optional and must be removed to install the kit properly

Due to the widespread availability and popularity of the iconic Ruger 10/22, it is the focus of multitudes of aftermarket accessories and gear. The Archangel Nomad conversion kit is just one of the many offered for 10/22’s but this kit does completely change the silhouette and physical size of the firearm by fully encapsulating the 10/22 in a shroud manufacturered from reinforced polymer. In order to mount the kit you do need to do some alterations to the standard 10/22 rifle. These include the following steps:

  1. Removal of the original stock from the action (retain the screw). This includes barrel bands.
  2. Removal of the rear dovetail sight (With muzzle pointed away from you drift punch right to left).
  3. Removal of the front dovetail sight (With muzzle pointed away from you drift punch right to left).
  4. Removal of the scope mounting rail
  5. Replacing trigger assembly components (Magazine release and bolt hold-open lever)
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Other than the main Nomad chassis/stock, there are several additional pieces that are required for a complete build

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With the new magazine release and bolt hold-open lever installed in the trigger group, assembly is ready to commence

TPF would like to recommend that if you do decide to install this kit, that you take some time prior to installation to thoroughly clean every nook and cranny of your 10-22 rifle. The installation of the Archangel Nomad stock is pretty straight forwards other than the trigger assembly rework. The barrelled receiver is installed into the lower stock portion with the cross-bolt safety put into a middle position. The fit may require some inner material removal to accomodate larger barrel blocks used on some 10/22’s. but once installed, the receiver is secured via the original stock retaining screw.

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The 10/22 receiver is held into place by the standard retaining screw just in front of the magazine well.

The upper portion of the stock kit has three attachment points which consist of seven (7) socket head cap screws. A single large button head screw secures the rear portion to the top of the lower Pro-Mag stock component with a pair of screws securing at the front of the lower component. Four small bolts are then used to secure the upper stock portion to the 10/22 recieiver (in place of the previously removed scope rail). That was the difficult installation areas, which is telling as it is very straight forward to assemble. Slide on and secure the forearm and the upper rail with the remaining bolts and associated hardware provided and the your 10/22 now has the facade of a Heckler & Koch G-36K Carbine, with a slightly extended barrel.

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The secondary piece uses four small bolts (via the receiver’s scope rail mounting holes) and a trio of larger bolts to affix the top half of the G-36K shell

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Drift punch the sights to the left (away in the image) to remove

The final component for mounting onto the 10/22 is the barrel attachment. Pro-Mag includes two options for the Nomad, both which require the removal of the front sight as mentioned earlier. The first option is an aluminum four prong flash hider for the more aggressive look and the second option is the fake silencer sleeve. Both are a tight fit over the barrel and corresponding front sight, but the included roll pin firmly secures the respective sight into position with nary a wobble or wiggle. This is the ONLY true issue that TPF had however with this installation. The four prong flashhider has a blind hole for the retaining roll pin, which means that removal is impossible without some form of metalworking involved.

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Snugly fitted over the front sight mount and kept in place with a roll pin, this flash hider is one of the two included options for the barrel aesthetics

The completed installation of the Nomad does indeed make a 10/22 into a formidable looking G-36K clone, and the included 25 round magazines have a full sized shroud which makes them complete the appearance. There are some additional included features which are most likely overlooked on cursory glances. The attached upper picatinny mount, while primarily manufactured from polymer has an integral aluminum stiffener moulded inside for very good rigidity and minimal flexing. The included iron sites are surprisingly robust and working with the rear sight being adjustable for both windage and elevation, and incorporating two aperatures of different sizes and a shrouded fixed front post. Both front and rear sights are removable but should not interfere with most optics. The front underside picatinny rail is much the same as the upper one and comes with an aluminum sling clip mount which is removable/adjustable. The stock itself masses only 1.4kg (3.0 lbs) and has numerous quick detach sling swivel mounting points on both left and right sides.

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The G-36 skin completely installed. Note the pair of Pro-Mag 25 round magazines, one which has the shroud to complete the G-36 imagery

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Just like the original it copies, the Nomad includes a folding stock

What kind of G-36K would be complete without a folding stock, and this conversion kit does just that. The completed Nomad 10/22 is fully functional with the stock in extended or collapsed position. The Pro-Mag Nomad magazines, with and without the shrouds, functioned very well with no feed issues that were not ammunition releated (misfires). Original Ruger ten (10) round capacity magazines feed and were removed from the gun without issues and some aftermarket 25 round magazines were successfully tested as well. With that being said it is unlikely, due to the G-36K magwell shape that any teardrop shaped magazines or drum magazines for the 10/22 will have enough clearance to be installed fully, however TPF did not have the opportunity to test these hypotheses.

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Hidden compartments in the body and in the handle

Like the old TV commercials, there is more! The Nomad does not waste any unused space as it incorporates a pair of storage areas in the lower half of the reciever. The compartment in the grip is accessible all the time and is typical in size for an optic’s batteries or a small cleaning kit. The larger compartment is only accessible when the stock is folded and has nearly enough room to hold a small container of .22LR ammunition (nearly 50 rounds). The entire process of taking your existing Ruger 10/22 and fully installing this kit will take less than two hours if you have the proper tools onhand.

The Archangel Nomad Conversion Stock Kit by Pro-Mag Industries, Model # AAM1022, as reviewed has an MSRP of $204.00 USD, and is available from the fine Canadian establishment,  High Caliber Services Corp. which is located in Mission, British Columbia. The kit contains the stock, one 25 round shrouded magazine and the pair of barrel end attachments. As always however it is a question of if you, the reader, feel this product is Tactical, Practical, or Fantastical.
 
 
P.S.: in the next day or two TPF will be adding video of an installed Archangel Nomad and checking functionality. Thanks for reading and enjoying TPF-Online!