Concealed Carry Means Carrying Concealed

FLORIDA GUN LAW Armed and Educated 2016 EditionI'd read more than a few articles about carrying a concealed firearm long before I chose to obtain a permit and walk out of the house with a handgun strapped to my hip, and have written a few more since then.  They've dealt with everything from gun and caliber choice to dry-fire practice, holster choice, and hitting the range.  Rarely are outdoorsmen at a loss for words or topics since our everyday lives provide plenty of subject matter and all we have to do is drive around the neighborhood to come up with the next blog or newsletter column.

A few weeks ago I was passed on the interstate by a man aboard a motorcycle who had decided the rest of the traffic was too slow for his liking.  Although this isn’t an abnormal occurrence on the roads of central Florida, the pistol sticking out of his waist band caught my attention.  He must have known that his weapon was continually being revealed because he kept trying to pull down his T-shirt tail to cover it, only to have the wind lift it right back up again.  I watched this show repeated three or four times before he got out of sight.  I couldn’t help wonder what caliber the gun was and what the hell was he thinking with his choice of concealing clothing.

Wondering what the law was in this instance, I picked up a copy “Florida Gun Law Armed and Educated” by David S. Katz and James D. Phillips, Jr. to see what the legal eagles said and to read it in simple terms I could understand.  As it turns out accidental or unintentionally revealing your weapon isn’t necessarily illegal in the state of Florida.

  • Florida Statute 790.10 Improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms.—If any person having or carrying any dirk, sword, sword cane, firearm, electric weapon or device, or other weapon shall, in the presence of one or more persons, exhibit the same in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense, the person so offending shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
  • Florida Statute 790.053 Open carrying of weapons.—(1) Except as otherwise provided by law and in subsection (2), it is unlawful for any person to openly carry on or about his or her person any firearm or electric weapon or device. It is not a violation of this section for a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm as provided in s. 790.06(1), and who is lawfully carrying a firearm in a concealed manner, to briefly and openly display the firearm to the ordinary sight of another person, unless the firearm is intentionally displayed in an angry or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense.

So to put it in simple terms:  It is currently illegal to openly carry a firearm (with some exceptions like hunting and fishing) but accidentally or briefly displaying said weapon isn’t illegal as long as it was not done in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner.  So what about our motorcyclist that repeatedly displayed his weapon?  I have to believe that he made a terrible choice in cover clothing and should have placed his gun in a backpack, waist pack, or saddlebag while riding from point A to point B.  He was knowingly flashing the weapon and walking a very fine line between legal and illegal.  In my book, he was openly carrying the gun because his attempts to conceal it failed miserably.

The point of all this is to stress the idea that we must choose our clothing and our method of carry so they are appropriate for the seasons, activity level, and the size of our firearm.  Many people have summer or dress wardrobes and weapons that differ from their winter or casual choices and they practice and are proficient with each of them.  I’ve chosen to carry the same gun but I’ll change holsters and cover clothing based on the factors I mentioned.  We tend to buy shirts that are one size larger than I normally wear to adequately cover either an inside the waistband or outside the waistband holster, and I always wear a belt designed to support the weight of a handgun.  My wife carries the same gun but has multiple purses by Coronado Leather which fit different wardrobe choices.

“Open” and/or “concealed” are two distinct routes to the same self-protection goal, and each has laws defining what’s legal and acceptable.  Be sure you know the difference and make every effort to remain on the right side of the law.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando




Cleaning Up After Range Time

                               Gun Takedown

Spending time at the range is part a big part of our family weekend plans, so guess what needs to be done once all the shooting is over and the last piece of brass has hit the floor.  Cleaning up all those weapons generally falls on my shoulders and even though my wife will take care of her own, I get the rest.  An AR, two pistols, and one revolver can take a bit of time and a good amount of cleaning materials but it has to be done if we want the guns to perform every time we pull the trigger. 

Being a little obsessive compulsive can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to cleaning guns but everyone reaches a point during the job when they have to say enough is enough.  My father kept his hunting guns spotless when they were put away in the cabinet and I've tried to live up to his expectations after all these years.  Even today, all of our guns get a thorough cleaning ever time they hit the range or the field and get a complete wipe down after being handled.

Watch any military film that includes scenes from Marine Corps or Army boot camp and you'll surely see drill instructors reinforcing (in not so friendly terms) the need for keeping the recruit's weapon spotless, and it's not just idle talk intended to degrade a young person's family lineage.  It could ultimately be a matter of life and death for that young soldier or Marine during a time of intense battle because dirty weapons are more prone to failure than those that have been faithfully maintained. It's no less important for those of us that carry on a daily basis for personal protection or folks that have firearms for home protection.  Here are a couple more reasons for keeping your favorite firearm clean:

  • Clean and properly lubricated weapons function efficiently and as designed.  Conversely, dirty and/or dry working mechanisms slow down and work harder because of added friction.  Firearm springs and other mechanical parts are designed to work within a certain set of tolerances, sometimes with very little room for error, so excessive dirt or grime may cause malfunctions like failures to extract, eject, go into battery, or even worse.  
  • Well cleaned and preserved weapons endure harsh environmental conditions better.  Extreme cold, heat, or humidity can cause dirty mechanisms to become gummy and sticky which could potentially cause them to lock up.
  • Clean and properly lubricated weapons maintain their appearance better and hold more resale value.  Human finger prints and perspiration can cause unprotected steel to rust with exceptional speed, marring the visual appearance and decreasing the guns value.
  • It's easier to spot broken or damaged parts when the gun and its mechanisms are clean and clear of carbon, lead, brass, or copper deposits.

​So, as you can see, there are multiple reasons why you should include a cleaning kit, solvent, lubricants, and rags to your range bag or bugout bag along with your favorite firearm.  Every gun manufacturer has it's own "Best Practices" and you should follow them to the greatest extent possible but you'll soon find out that they're all about the same.  A clean gun will function properly for many years to come and you shouldn't have to worry about preventable malfunctions.

Get out there and shoot as much as possible and enjoy yourself.  Just be sure to take care of your investment once you get home, and remember that a clean gun is a gun that will perform when you need it whether in a defensive situation or I the field.

Brian "Beastman" Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando 




Passing on the Hunt

By Guest Blogger Rod SlingsRod Slings and grandson with grandson's first turkey.
Rod Slings is a retired Iowa Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Supervisor.  He is the CEO/Founder of Hunting and Shooting Related Consultants LLC and the Co-Author of BLOOD ON THE LEAVES – Real Hunting Accident Investigations – And Lessons In Hunter Safety


Spring turkey season is upon us.

“Passing on the hunt” seems to be what generation after generation does in hunting families. We create great memories when we introduce a young family member, or young friend, to the outdoors as a SAFE, responsible, and ethical new hunter. Being a mentor or role model is one of the most rewarding and important things a veteran hunter can do.

I will never forget the early morning of the first turkey hunt with my grandson Cooper. Dressed in his new matching camo, we climbed out of the truck and walked together into the darkness. He reached out to hold my hand, which is etched in my mind forever. Having the blind set up day’s prior, we walked slowly, as quiet as possible, him occasionally stumbling over the rough ground with his short legs. Once we reached the blind we settled in, lighting the heater, breaking out the cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate (which has become a tradition). Shortly before the break of daylight, the first “GOBBLE” broke the morning silence. Cooper immediately began to laugh out loud, which made me laugh at him, understanding that this un-natural sound to him was what we were here for - all part of this amazing outdoors experience. After a short discussion about noise, I must have sounded much like Elmer Fudd, as I whispered to Cooper, “We must be very, very quiet!”

This particular hunt would not produce the success of a harvested turkey. It was, however, a successful hunt simply for the experience we shared, and each time since then has been a treasure. As a mentor, there are several things for you to consider as you pass on the hunt:

Safety is always the first rule when mentoring a young hunter

  • Make sure you have practiced and your hunter is familiar with the firearm.
  • Set up the blind and practice how the shot will be made with an empty firearm.
  • Explain where the focus of the shot must be made for a SAFE, clean, quick harvest.
  • Remember, firearm safety must be the total focus of the mentor and young hunter.
  • Position yourself so you can take control of the firearm, if necessary.
  • It is best to use a hunting blind, to hide movement and for concealment.
  • Place decoys 15 to 20 yards away from the blind with good visibility.
  • Do not stalk turkeys or leave the young hunter alone at anytime.
  • "Under direct supervision" means you are always within arms reach.
  • Safety on, muzzle of the firearm always pointed in a SAFE direction.
  • Never prop a firearm up against an un-safe rest, such as against the blind.
  • Only load the firearm once you are settled and the hunt is ready to begin, unload before you leave the blind.
  • Finger is outside the trigger guard, safety is always on until the shot is ready to be made.
  • You, as the mentor, will whisper when to make the shot.

Comfort considerations for a young hunter are imperative.

  • Warm camouflage clothing - never wear: red, white, blue or black colors.
  • Stay warm on a chilly spring morning by the use of a portable heater, placed in a SAFE location, following all manufacture guidelines.
  • Chairs stay elevated to help see out the blind windows and for comfort.
  • Food, snacks, even a thermos of hot chocolate are all important.
  • I hate to admit it, however, limited use of electronics, on low light and on silent, may help fight their boredom when activity is a little slow.
  • Never overstay the patience of the young hunter. If they become bored, time to pack it in until next time.
  • Take a Hunter Education Course with your young hunter.
  • Remember who you are hunting with, keep in mind…it's about them!
  • Back to the first rule, hunt SAFELY!

“Passing it on” creates memories that last a lifetime, which then pass on to the next generation. Remember the camera! It may just be a camera from your phone or a GoPro to capture each moment to share with others.


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End Of Season Sale!!!





If you have been waiting on winter to get here before you buy new cold weather gear- now is the time! We have clearance in EVERY department of the store right now. Get in and get shopping while selection is best.




We have everything from Men's Clothing, Ladies Clothing, Kid's Clothing, Shoes for the whole family, Compound Bows and today I even saw a few firearms with Clearance signs on them!











Selection is at it's best RIGHT NOW!




Savings from25-50% off STORE-WIDE!














So, hurry up get  to your Bass Pro Shops, Sevierville today! And Don't forget those gift cards!


Back in Action at Bass Pro Shops – Mesa

Well it’s a new year, and it’s about time for a new blog! And what better to talk about then all the good stuff that is coming our way? We ended 2015 with a bang (no that wasn’t a fireworks pun) as Santa’s Wonderland reached a new store high! We are so happy to have had so many friends, families and visitors come out and take part of our most festive event.

But what does 2016 have in-store?! Well, it’s a little early to reveal all the secrets but we do start the year off right.

Our world famous Outdoor Kids Night is getting back up and running. We took a hiatus when the jolly man in the red suit came to town. Every Tuesday night we will be holding this weekly event. Never heard of it? Well take a seat and mark your calendars, because here is the dealio…

Every Tuesday we start up Outdoor Kids Night at 5PM. It is completely free and the more the merrier! We have crafts or some kind of activity for the kids to get hands-on with. The Shootin’ Gallery upstairs is turned to FREE so little sharpshooters can try and beat their best score! At 6PM we feed the Big Ol’ Fish Bowl, which is worth the trip in itself. After the Fish Feeding the Archery Range opens up, but archers under the age of 18 years old will need a parent or legal guardian to fill out a waiver. Don’t have any gear? Don’t need to! We have an array of bows to fit archers of all sizes! Everything ends at 8PM and is subject to while available.

We are also starting back up our NITRO Pro Team Fishing seminars. The second Tuesday of every month, we hold these fun and free seminars upstairs in the Fine Gun Room. Our good ol’ boys will cover an array of topics for local waters, so bring a notebook and something to write with! Space is limited so be sure to be there on time!

And lastly, those interested in taking a Concealed Carry Weapons class need not look any further. One of the best teams of instructors I have ever dealt with host this class at our store. (Mine is looking a little rough around the edges..) This firearms safety training program is the Arizona Department of Public Safety approved curriculum. Course fee includes training in an air conditioned classroom environment using a blend of oral instruction, visual aids, demonstrations, multimedia video, and hands-on experience in the Bass Pro Shops on-site shooting range.

Course Fee: $60
Course Fee does not include the Arizona Department of Public Safety application fee of $60
For more information and to book your seat, please contact: 480-262-3087

For anything else coming up and going on you can always keep up to date by checking out our store webpage, Facebook and following the blogs here! You can also call us at 602-606-5600!

Happy New Year everyone and we can’t wait to see you again this year!



Instant Gun Rebate!

If you are searching for the perfect firearm this holiday season .. right now is the perfect time to buy!!!

It's Instant Gun Rebate time at Bass Pro Shop!!

See any associate in our Hunting or Credit Card Departments for details.


Building Memories & Passing on Traditions - Iowa Firearms Deer Season

By Rod Slings
Retired Iowa Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Supervisor
CEO/ Founder Hunting and Shooting Related Consultants, LLC
Co-Author Blood on the Leaves

A couple of thoughts cross my mind as “Opening Day” approaches for the upcoming firearms deer season

  • First of all, remember the people we choose to hunt with are our family and our friends. These are very important people in our daily lives and coming together for this annual tradition makes SAFETY everyone’s responsibility. 
  • The old “plan your hunt and hunt your plan,” is key to everyone’s safety. Make sure you take time for all the members of your hunting party to know and understand the rules of the hunt. It’s everyone’s responsibility to know when and where a SAFE shot can be made. Understand that shooting at running deer is the number one factor of deer hunting-related shooting incidents.
  • Keep this in mind - before you pull the trigger; know the capabilities of your firearm and your ability. Know what is beyond your target, don’t let “target-fixation” take over, being so focused on your target that all else becomes a blur.

A number of years ago, some of my fellow officers and myself were checking deer hunter compliance on opening day. As we rolled up to an open gate to a field, a line of trucks loaded with blaze orange-clad hunters and harvested deer were coming out to the road. We stepped out to begin checking licenses, and there was a very young hunter that lined up, along with the hunting party. I began checking each hunter and eventually got to this young man. As he removed his deer license from his pocket, his harvest tag had been removed.

I said, “It looks like you had some success. Congratulations!” 

He lowered his head and responded, “Umm, no I didn’t get”…and before he could answer a large older man standing next to him interrupted.

“I had to shoot his deer for him this year. We’re meat hunters and I wanted to make sure we filled his tag!” 

Even though party hunting is legal here, which allows someone else to harvest your deer as long as it is “tagged” within 15 minutes and before it is moved, I could tell, on this day, this young hunter was devastated. My further discussion with the young man indicted that he had just completed his Hunter Education Course and had been practicing his marksmanship skills. He lost the opportunity to become a successful hunter on that day. This was a chance to gain the confidence and gratification of preparing for the hunt and being thankful for the gift of his harvest. The attitude and actions by the older hunter are NOT the kind of memory you want to imprint on a young hunter. It’s your responsibility, as a mentor, to be the best role model you can be, along with providing direct supervision. 

I’m not sure if this young hunter every hunted again after this experience. It’s not always about filling tags and filling the freezer. It’s about building tradition, passing on ethical behaviors and rules of SAFETY, and leaving the peer pressure at home. These are moments of building a lifetime of memories that we, as hunters, can be proud of. Hunting can tell us a lot about who we are and who the people we hunt with are.  Passing on our tradition, our heritage and being a SAFE, ethical, and responsible hunter is what we all need to focus on.

Hunt SAFE!


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My Pick: First Revolver

So far we have covered my choices about what I would choose when purchasing my first rifle and shotgun. Much like with me writing about the shotgun and having a long-time friend come to me with just such a request, I had the same situation happen with the rifle! Last month I went out to the new San Jose, CA store to help with the Grand Opening. (It was awesome!) And sure enough, one of the associates I was help train asked me what I thought about for a good rifle. I quickly sent him the link to my article and that was that! I also ended that last blog to write the next one about one of my favorite firearms, the revolver. So here we go!

A revolver is a kind of handgun that has its rounds chambered by a cylinder. The cylinder “revolves” around moving an empty chamber to the next one while working the action. There are two types of revolvers, single-action and double-action. When people think single-action, they can’t help but imagine the guns used during the Old West. The double-action revolver came out years later and for a long time was the standard issue for military and police forces.

Basically a single-action must be shot by working the hammer back, which engages the firing system. Without that, it won’t fire. A double-action can shoot without the hammer being worked back, and many models come without a hammer. The hammerless models are mostly for concealed carrying purposes. The thought process being that it is one less thing to get caught on when pulling the firearm out. The nice thing about a hammered double-action though is that you can work the hammer back and then when you squeeze the trigger it is a much shorter and easier action. A straight double-action pull can be much longer.

Generally single-actions must be loaded and emptied one at a time. A door will open to the side of the cylinder, which allows you to load or unload (this process usually engages a plunging rod to push the empty case out) the cylinder. A double-action more than likely has its cylinder swing completely out to the side making emptying and loading a much quicker process.

There are not as many calibers of revolvers when compared to pistols. You have basically: .38Special, .357 Magnum, .44 Special and .44 Magnum. Now, the magnum calibers can usually shoot the special calibers (i.e. .357 can shoot .38) but not vice-versa, but always ask whoever is helping you.

Part of the reasons why I love revolvers so much was my childhood. I grew up watching countless old John Wayne western films, which grew my fondness for them at an early age. (I am working on my wife to go for the name “George-Washington McClintock!” for our first born. Boy or girl.) I tend to be more accurate with them as well. And I even enjoy the longer process of loading and unloading these firearms as opposed to the “slap and rack” kind of mentality you may get with a pistol.

Now to be considered for the rank of a “first firearm” we need some criteria. Your first revolver needs to be easy to shoot, accurate, well-built, not break-the-bank expensive to own/shoot, able to be used for defense and safe. My honest first choice would be the: Ruger Blackhawk Convertible in .357Mag/9mm.

I personally own this firearm and absolutely love it. A number of years ago, my best friend and I had an “Arizonan Best Friend Day” where we both got similar firearms. (He snagged the Super Blackhawk in .44Mag.)

What I love about this gun is how it fits all my criteria. It is incredibly easy to shoot and accurate. I used this firearm for the shooting aspect of my concealed-carry-weapons permit class, and wouldn’t you know it, I had one of the best groupings of that group! Many people are turned away from single-actions “because they can go off when the hammer is pulled back” but thanks to the transfer bar with these Rugers, you have to pull the trigger to have a round go off (so it is safe). Also with some single-actions you have to work the hammer back a little in order to open the loading gate, but with this one you can open it up without having to work the hammer. It is extremely well built and has seen probably over a thousand rounds of all sorts of ammo put through it. With the capability to shoot .357Magnum this gun definitely fills the niche of “defense gun” and since it is a revolver you can shoot those “shot-shells” through it, giving you a micro-shotgun like capability (perfect for rattlesnakes out here). But because it is a convertible it means that you can shoot three different calibers through the same gun! With the .357 cylinder in place you can also shoot .38 Special, which is lighter in recoil and cheaper to shoot. Transfer over to the 9mm cylinder though, and the recoil is barely noticeable and the ammo is even cheaper! So there it fulfills the “not break-the-bank expensive to own/shoot” checkbox.

So overall, you could not go wrong choosing this gun for your first revolver. In fact, you wouldn’t go wrong if choosing it for your second, third or fourth! Whenever my wife and I hit the range, we always bring “Mary-Kate” with us. (She was named after Maureen O Hara’s character in the Quiet Man, a Wayne classic.)



RedHead Select Outfitters: Southeast Alaska Guiding

I remember reading an article a number of months back about the two adventure destinations for hunters. Those two places were Alaska and Africa. The writer did an awesome job talking about the destinations, their quarry, pros and cons, costs and more. More often than not a hunter usually only ends up going to one of these two adventures-of-a-lifetime. This got me thinking about what options one would have for taking just such a trip through the amazing services of a RedHead Select Outfitter. And while we currently don’t offer an options for an African safari, we do have the option of an Alaskan Adventure through Southeast Alaska Guiding.

Southeast Alaska Guiding is owned and operated by Hans Baertle, who has been guiding in Alaska since 1978 and opened his own outfit in 1988. You know how they say a hunter learns something new every trip? Well when you take into consideration how many trips this man must have been on in his time, he must be a honey-hole of information!

He operates out of Douglas and utilizes a boat to get hunters to and from their hunting spots in the area. It is a 50 foot boat with a ton on amenities. There are such luxuries as hot showers, electricity and comfortable places to sleep. There are also home cooked meals that his wife prepares!

Southeast Alaska Guiding offers hunts for brown bear, black bear and mountain goats. (I have no reason why I am so fascinated by mountain goats, but the opportunity to hunt one is definitely on my dream-trip list.) Each species offers their own unique and exciting challenges when it comes to the hunt. Many of the animals that his guiding service harvests are impressive and in record books.

For mountain goat, he suggests a rifle chambered in .300 Win Mag. For the bears he suggests something a little bit bigger, either .375H&H or .338 Mag. I would take his suggestions to heart as the man knows what he is doing, and I would never want to be “under-gunned” on a bear hunt. (My buddy’s dad took an Alaskan brown bear trip many years ago and utilized a Weatherby chambered in .375H&H. He said it was the perfect amount of gun for the hunt. He also had his firearm coated in a special product to help protect it from rusting. He made the note that while everyone is camp was busy scrubbing their guns trying to protect them, his showed no signs of issues.)

You can find the full list of gear on both his website and our own. I love it when these are included because there is so much that goes into a hunting trip, that having something to refer to is a life saver. (I also love that he included bringing extra glasses/contacts for those who need them.) His website is also up to date with the hunting seasons, trips and expenses.

So when it comes to considering which of the “two great hunting destinations” you want to go to, I cannot help you there. But, should you choose Alaska… I think it’s quite clear who to go with. Until next time!


Other Adventures:

The Basics Mellon Creek Ducks N Bucks Blue River Whitetails Hampton & Hampton  Timbers at Chama Quail Creek Plantation


My Pick: First Rifle

Last month we took a look at my pick for someone’s very first shotgun. Wouldn’t you know it, a longtime friend and mentor actually came in a week or so later, looking for his very first shotgun. He has hit heart set on a nice over/under, but the price difference and practicality of a pump-action might just win out here. And as I said in last month’s blog, this go around we are going to look at my pick for one’s very first rifle. I will choose it based on the similar parameters I set with the shotgun (affordability, reliability, practicality, etc.). Let’s get started.

Rifles are long-gun firearms designed to be shot from the shoulder. Their barrels are “rifled” to give extra accuracy to your shot. They have been used for a couple centuries now for both survival and warfare. When firearms became more abundant, the whole landscape of warfare changed. Rifles have evolved from the ancient muzzle-loading style to our current automatic configurations. Fully-automatic rifles are limited to military and police use, unless one owns a special permit. Most commonly we civilians will use some form of a bolt-action, lever action or semi-automatic action. This latter one is commonly called an AR-15, which uneducated people will tell you stands for Assault Rifle. It actually stands for Armalite, which was the first company to start making civilian models of the M-16, which the gun is so heavily based on. Nowadays we refer to these firearms as MSRs, or Modern Sporting Rifles. Like any other tool we humans use, our rifles have evolved right along with us.

While a MSR is an excellent firearm, I would not suggest it for one’s first rifle. Likewise, I would refrain from picking up a lever-action model. Don’t get me wrong, the Arizonan inside me lusts for a lever-action but I do strongly believe a bolt-action is the way to go. Bolt actions are a simpler firearm and are much more accurate than either lever-actions or MSRs.


Before we get any further, let’s quickly talk about sights. Sights are what you utilize to acquire your target and then shoot at it. There are numerous kinds, but it generally breaks down to two forms. There are “iron sights” which are built in sights that usually contain no magnification. And then there is “glass” which applies to a whole diverse family of scopes. Common knowledge tells us that you will actually end up paying more for your optics than you will your rifle, because a good scope makes all the difference. But manufacturers have been able to make excellent optics options that will not break the bank.

Bolt action rifles have the capability to hold several rounds, depending on the firearm and the caliber, at a time. One would load their firearm, work the bolt back which feeds a round upwards and when the bolt is worked forward it chambers the round. Once the safety is off and the target is acquired, one would squeeze the trigger to fire the gun. Afterwards the same working of the bolt action is required, but the spend case will be extracted and a new round will be chambered.

Most people get a bolt-action .22 rifle for their first firearm. Unfortunately since .22 ammo has become harder to find, (check out this article) this would not be my choice for a first rifle. And while this caliber is great for dispatching smaller game, it is ineffective against larger game. My thought process is that if it is my first gun (and only rifle for the foreseeable future) I want it to be able to handle big game that I hope to hunt one day (antelope, deer and elk).

Affordability and the ability to acquire rounds of the caliber as well are a major concern. 300 Win Mag is an excellent caliber (and has grown in significant popularity since American Sniper) but the cost (and recoil) may keep people from practicing enough with it. So we take a look at two of the most commonly owned rifle calibers, .270 Win and .30-06 Sprg. These two calibers have been keeping meat in the freezers for almost a century and people who favor one caliber to the other swear by it. I personally own a .30-06Sprg but talk to one of leads at the store and he will proudly tote the ability of his .270 Win all day.

My honest pick for a first-rifle caliber would be .308Win. This is another extremely popular caliber, that makes a good sized hole on a target but not too big of one in your wallet. Go online and you will find dozens of sources that can provide you will ballistic information. This is a well-studied, documented and proven round. It has good knockdown power (would work well on deer, antelope and elk if all in reasonable and ethical shooting points) but not enough recoil to hurt most people after a full day of shooting. You can also pick up ammunition for this caliber in bulk packs, which helps with the affordability.

Now for the big reveal: my pick for one’s first rifle would be a Savage 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP Combo. This is a great firearm that checks all the boxes I am looking for. It is reliable, practical and affordable. Most people will tell you that when you buy a combo rifle, meaning it comes with a scope already on it, the first thing you do is toss the scope and buy a new one. This combo does come with a Nikon scope, which are a good piece of glass. It is a 3-9x40mm, which is one of the most common and utilitarian scope setups and is backed by an excellent warranty. In .308Win this rifle weighs 7.25lbs (unloaded) and can hold four rounds plus one in the chamber. It shares a couple similar characteristics with the Mossberg 500 as reasons why I think it is a perfect first-gun. The safety for it is on the tang of the grip, so switching it on and off is a breeze. It is also large enough that one can easily operate it when using thick gloves and the large red-colored indicator is a nice touch. This gun is also synthetic, which makes it a perfect first-gun.

Wood is beautiful. Wood is great. Wood is art. But… wood swells, wood shrinks, wood absorbs water, wood is affected by altitude and humidity whereas synthetic stocks do not have any of those issues. Like I said with the last blog, you can also buy a nice wood-stock firearm next but for first time go synthetic and last a long time.

Next time we will cover handguns, but first we will look at one of my favorite firearms: the revolver.



Getting Started With a Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR)

Ruger AR-556

Have you ever wanted to build a rifle but don’t have access to a fully outfitted machine shop, nor have the training or money to piece together a functional and SAFE firearm from scratch?  Many people are in the same boat and up until a few years ago, there weren’t a whole lot of options.  Now there are plenty of ways to go about setting up a rifle that will be fun to shoot and serve as a superb firearm for hunting, competition, and self-defense.

“Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR)” is a term used to describe any number of firearm platforms that can be purchased fully assembled or in pieces and then assembled kind of like an erector set.  Many of todays “Black guns” are included in this category because a good portion of their components can be swapped out or tweaked to the sportsman’s needs.  Quite a few of the top manufacturers including Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Mossberg, and Ruger offer fully built models for the folks that aren’t ready to start from scratch while smaller shops like Spikes Tactical, Daniels Defense, Wilson Combat, DPMS, Rock River Arms, and many others offer complete rifles as well as upper/lower assemblies and all the parts in between.  You can create your own just by searching out the components that will meet the budget and performance desires.

Magpul stockI’ve wanted to get into shooting an AR platform for quite a while but was always reluctant to jump in with both feet since it just seemed too darn complicated and way to expensive.  But I finally found a complete rifle that didn’t cost a fortune and which could be modified with off-the-shelf components from a variety of vendors to create a gun to meet my family’s needs perfectly.  The newly released Ruger AR-556 is an entry-level gun that had all the features we were looking for and it’s received pretty good reviews from many of the industry experts, making it a viable option for getting into the semi-auto game.  So yes, I picked one up.

Burris AR-332Putting 100 or so rounds through it on the first outing isn’t enough to really gauge things in the long term, but so far it looks to be a winning choice that will give years of service.  Swapping out a few parts will give it the personal touch and possibly improve upon an already sound piece of equipment.  Magpul offers a wide variety of grips, stocks, and accessories to fit just about any standard platform or individual taste.  Picking a sight option can be another whole can of worms that takes some time to dig though, so whether it's a red dot, illuminated reticle, or laser, you've got more than enough options to choose from.

Not too long ago the MSR was considered inferior when it came to accuracy and reliability, which is why bolt action rifles were more popular in the field, but as more people wanted to create their own “Frankengun,” and accuracy concerns dropped to the wayside, the market exploded.  Now it’s a buyer’s market with just about any imaginable caliber and configuration available as a complete firearm or as pieces the consumer can assemble at their leisure.  They just have to take the plunge.

I’m really looking forward to making some modifications when the budget allows, but for now we’ll just have to be happy shooting it just the way it came from the factory.  That shouldn’t be a problem considering how happy we are already.  Stay tuned for updates as they occur and don’t be afraid to get one of your own.  They’re a blast to shoot and can serve a variety of functions whether you’re looking to shoot paper, steel, critters, or protect your home.

Brian "Beastman" Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando


My Pick: First Shotgun

One of my absolute favorite things to witness is someone’s introduction to firearms and shooting. There is so much to learn and experience, but luckily you have a lifetime to try and check it all out. With my blog series about Finding Your Guns Groove (Part One and Part Two), I have broken down some steps that I believe all firearm owners should go through. But part of the underlying concept of those series has been about choosing a handgun. So I decided to start another series to compliment the other, and we are going to look at what I would pick for certain firearms. And we will start things off with looking at shotguns.

Shotguns might be the most utilitarian firearm out there. They can be used for hunting, target practice and home defense. Many people who only own one firearm have a shotgun. They are pretty simple to operate and extremely fun. The inexpensiveness for the ammunition is also a big help. You have basically three kinds of actions for shotguns: semi-auto, break and pump.

Semi-autos feed one round after the other with no manipulation being required of the shooter. Once the first round is racked, you can start shooting. There is a tubular magazine that stores a certain allotted amount of shells for that firearm.

Break actions come in single-shot, side by side or over-under style shotguns. You break the shotgun open at a hinge where you may then load and fire it. As you open it after shooting, the empty cases will be extracted and you can place in new ones.

Pump-actions, work off the same tubular magazine principle that semi-autos do but require the shooter to “rack” the pump action forward and back each time to chamber a round. If you shoot and don’t rack in another round, nothing will happen.

My choice for a first shotgun would be the Mossberg 500 All-Purpose. This is a good gun at a great price point. I believe that your first shotgun should be a pump-action. It teaches shooters shot-control as they can just through shells downrange like with a semi-auto and the follow up shot takes longer with a pump than say an over-under. I like the Mossberg because they have a good reputation and just a good universal firearm.

One of the things I love most about this firearm is the tang-safety. This means the safety is on the grip on the gun, which makes it very easy to operate and visually check. Most shotguns have their safety on or near the trigger guard which makes one twist the gun to get a visual check on it.

I also make the argument for a pump-action as the first, because it is a great home defense gun. Many will tell you that simply the sound of racking a pump-action shotgun is enough to deter intruders.

My theory on purchasing a firearm, especially if it is your first is go with something that handles multiple tasks with the most room for uses. Like I wouldn’t go with a .410 for your first shotgun, as that gauge (caliber actually) is limited in its use. I would honestly suggest a 20 gauge for one’s first shotgun as it is an effective gauge that one can shoot comfortably all day. If you have shot a shotgun before and know how to handle a 12 gauge, then go with that but otherwise I believe a 20 would do someone just fine.

This shotgun is also synthetic, as opposed to wood. I love the look and feel of wood, but the practicality of synthetic is too much to ignore. (You can always pick up a nice, wood shotgun later in life.)

So congratulations to the Mossberg 500 All-Purpose for being my pick for one’s first shotgun. Next time we will take a look at rifles.



Find Your Gun’s Groove: Part Two

In continuation of last month’s blog about picking out a gun, we are going to take a further look into the process. By now you should have the fundamentals of firearm safety and operation pretty well under hand. (Remember that TAB+1 is a great and simple way to know how to handle a firearm safely.) So now it is time to think about what exactly you are looking for in a handgun. I started this blog-series with the intention of focusing on a handgun used for personal defense and target shooting, so we will keep on with that. Let’s get started.

When it comes to handguns there are two types: pistols and revolvers. I will explain the two in very basic fashions. A pistol is a semi-automatic handgun that is fed rounds via a magazine. When a round is fired, the casing is ejected out and the next round feeds up into the chamber. A revolver is either a single-action or double-action handgun that stores its rounds in a cylinder that cycle around after being fired. These are typically referred to as wheel-guns. Since typically single-action (think cowboy guns) are not used in self-defense applications, we will not focus on that action. (But, some people do prefer one and there is nothing wrong with that. They chose their firearm for a reason.)

When it comes to choosing a handgun, there is no real “right” or “wrong” reason. The only “wrong” reason I could see for choosing one would be buying a cheap one due to cost. This is not a purchase to be stingy about. If you try out a handgun and absolutely love it but are off-put by the price, just save up. And luckily most gun manufacturers make good guns at decent prices! And what is the cost of a several hundred dollar handgun compared to your life?

You will notice that people have preferences towards brands/manufacturers but don’t let that be the deciding factor for your choice. You are the one that has to shoot it. There are numerous calibers out there, each with their own benefit/drawback. Just understand that the larger the caliber, the bigger the kick. The heavier the gun, the more recoil absorption it has. So a medium caliber in a heavy gun would be a delight to shoot all day long and a larger caliber in a small gun would hurt after a while.

The most common caliber for a revolver is .357 Magnum. It is a solid and reliable round that has been around for years. Any revolver chambered in this caliber can also shoot .38 Special, which has significantly less kick to it. It is also cheaper, which makes it a good option because target-shooting can get expensive quick. There are less expensive calibers than that to shoot, such as 9mm. A few manufacturer’s offer a double-action revolver in 9mm which might be a great choice for someone’s first firearm. The heavy weight and lighter recoil of that combination, along with the vast improvements in defense rounds and relative cheapness to shoot that caliber all work in the guns favor. (I am referring to the Smith and Wesson 986, pictured above.) The thing that most people have against revolvers is their lower round-carrying capacity and the time it takes to reload.

Pistols come in a wide variety of options. Some are metal and others polymer. There are several common calibers for them (9mm, 380Auto, 40S&W, 45ACP) and once again each have their benefits/drawbacks. This is where people’s “brand loyalty” and “favorites” can become extremely apparent. Just remember to do your own research and try out the gun if possible. In comparison to revolvers, most handguns have much higher carrying-capacities and reloading becomes a quick, almost-reflex activity. Take your time, search for any recalls/common issues with specific firearms you are looking at. See how readily available after-market products are. So forth and so on.

One thing that many people don’t think about when it comes to finding their gun’s groove is what their firearm prefers. Each handgun has its own personality and preferences in some ways. Some guns will feed certain brand ammunition better than the other. The best way to test this is to get value packs of several different manufacturer’s ammo in the caliber for your gun. Pick a distance and shoot at it consistently. Have a note pad and mark down how well it groups, any misfires or jams and so on. I would personally suggest picking up boxes by Remington, Winchester and the Hornady American Gunner. (Especially the last option, Hornady makes great products.) After you figure out what practice-ammo to use, then you can start looking at what defense rounds to go with. This is a rather expensive proposition, so maybe connect with a family-member or friend who is looking to do the same. (My buddy Joe and I are looking to do all this with the HK VP9.) Just like ammo, your gun might prefer certain after-market magazines as well.

While this all might seem intimidating, there is no reason for it to be. People who have passion for the world of firearms, love to share it and pass it along to others. Lessons can be learned from just about any source.



Free Seminar -Women In Hunting, with Maria Young

According to statistics from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the number of female hunters increased from almost 14% to 16.5% between 2002 and 2009. Increases were across the board in archery, firearms, and muzzleloader, with participation in muzzleloader hunting actually more than doubling.

According to research, 72 percent more women are hunting with firearms today than just five years ago. And 50 percent more women are now target shooting.

So, how does a woman get started in hunting? What are the challenges? What can you expect?

This is YOUR chance to learn at the 2015 Fall Hunting Classic:

Saturday, August 29, 3 p.m. - Maria Young, "Women in Hunting"

Iowan Maria Young does it all and you can, too!

In Maria's own words, she is a Mother, wife, huntress, and  entrepreneur. I have a passion for life and helping others succeed."  She got into hunting as a way to enjoy the outdoors with her husband. She is passing that passion on to her three daughters.

Come meet Maria and learn more about the benefits and rewards of hunting, including more time with your family!

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Choosing a Gun for Personal Protection

Springfield Armory EMPI grew up shooting guns and spending the entire fall hunting season with a firearm of some kind in my hand, so continuing to own them into my adulthood was never actually a question.  Even when kids came along and the household became busier and more crowded, we never considered getting rid of them, instead we made double sure that everything was properly secured and that accidents wouldn’t happen.  We also made a point of working with the girls so they knew the deadly consequences of mishandling weapons.  I didn’t expect them to become true enthusiast but I didn’t want them to be deathly afraid of something that’s incapable of harming anyone or anything without human manipulation.

So how does someone decide to purchase a gun for the first time?  Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to get a gun, whether it’s hunting, protection, target shooting, competition, or just starting a collection for the sake of collecting.  Whatever the reason, eventually they head off to the dealer to make their first purchase.  They walk right up to the counter with a pocket full of money and proudly proclaim to the salesperson “I want to buy a gun!”  Obviously at this point, the salesperson is going to ask “What kind of gun would you like?”  To which the answer (in a disturbing number of cases) is “I don’t know, I just want a gun!”  This person may end up with the right weapon for their needs or they may take home a .300 Win Mag Remington Model 700 with a 14x scope that just isn’t the right weapon for defending a two bedroom/one bath apartment….

If the gun is going to be used for personal defense, consider the following questions:

  • Home defense or in public personal defense?
  • Rifle (Auto-loading, pump, lever, bolt action)?
  • Shotgun (Auto-loading, pump, double/single barrel)?
  • Handgun (Auto-loading pistol, revolver)?
  • Concealability?
  • Reliability?
  • Recoil/controllability?
  • Accuracy at real world distances?
  • Stopping power?
  • Weight?
  • Durability?
  • Difficulty of operation?
  • Who’s the primary user?
  • Ergonomics?
  • State Laws/Limitations

You’ll notice that I didn’t include caliber as one of the primary criteria to be considered during the selection process.  That because you’ll decide on the caliber when other factors like recoil/controllability, stopping power, weight, and identifying the primary user are taken into account.  Take the .45 ACP for example.  It has a great deal of stopping power because of its bullet weight and velocity, but it produces substantial recoil in certain handguns which makes controllability and second shot accuracy difficult for some shooters.  While at the same time, a .22 Magnum has a smaller bullet delivering less energy on target, but because of its lower recoil and better controllability, it allows more rapid follow-on shots and potentially more rounds on target in a short period of time.  It’s all a tradeoff.

Smith & W Lady SmithMy wife also added “Is it pretty?” to the equation, hence the reason she ended up with a two-tone Kimber Aegis Ultra in 9mm.  It fits her perfectly and she’s quite happy with the gun while on the range and while carrying it for protection should she ever need it.  I’ve carried a .40 caliber S&W Shield ever since they first came out on the market and although it may not be pretty, it sure is functional, reliable, and concealable.  We just picked up a S&W Model 642 in .38 Special so I could see how much I liked a wheel gun, and so far it’s turned into a great purchase.  Now I just need to pick a holster for it.

There are a lot of different choices available to the consumer willing to spend a bit of time researching the market.  Evaluate each of the criteria and decide which one is most important to you then you’ll surely make the right choice.  Just be sure to spend money like your life depends on it….  Because it might.

Brian “Beastman” Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando




Teaching Novices to Shoot

Time at the RangeMy wife and I have expended a whole bunch of ammunition over the past couple weeks, as we took some friends to the range for some bonding time and so they would get the chance to try their hand at shooting multiple types and calibers of handguns.  Everyone did quite well and we all made it out of the range alive, but it's hard to get over the feelings of apprehension I get when handing a fully loaded handgun to someone without a lot of experience.  I've been through the drill multiple times and learned a few valuable lessons that some folks might find beneficial if they're thinking of introducing a youngster or adult to the shooting sports.

  • Start your training session at home.  Teach the control features and operation of the firearm in a comfortable environment free of noise, distraction, and live ammunition.  Now is the time to make mistakes and discuss malfunctions, not when your dealing with a loaded weapon and shaky hands.  Snap caps are a great substitute for live ammunition during early training sessions.
  • Stress Safety and control over accuracy.  Hitting the target is great but it's much more important not to get hurt and learn proper technique.  Shooting tight groups at distance will come soon enough if the principles are sound and the training is good.
  • Start simple and small.  Your budding shooter will appreciate starting with a .22 or something loaded with standard target/training loads rather than high-power hunting rounds because the recoil will be quite a bit less and the gun won't jump around as much.  They're less likely to develop a case of the "flinches" with a lighter load.  Don't start someone off with a lightweight platform in a large caliber either since they're easy to carry on long hikes but do nothing to absorb the recoil.
  • One round & one round only.  Load the gun with a single round each time until the shooter is comfortable with its operation.  This is particularly important with semi-automatic firearms that don't require additional manipulation to load subsequent rounds after the initial shot.
  • Stay close.  The teacher or coach shouldn't be more than an arm's length away from the student while they're in the shooting position.  You need to be right on top of matters if something goes wrong and it's your job to prevent a loaded weapon from being pointed in any direction other than down range.
  • Shoot often.  Skill and proficiency increase with each session so it's important to build upon each trip to the range by celebrating the victories and learning from the mistakes.  Everyone has a bad day every once in a while, so less than perfect shot placement is to be expected.  The speed, and accuracy will improve.
  • Right/left eye dominant?  Figuring this out before hitting the range will eliminate a lot of frustration and sighting issues that deter from having a quality experience.  Right or left handed may also be an issue but it's more difficult to address since it's a matter of firearm design and shooter compatibility.  Unfortunately not everyone can afford to have both left and right handed versions of the same gun.
  • Make it fun!  Shoot reactive targets like tin cans, bowling pins, steel plates, clay pigeons, or splatter targets with awesome graphics that give instant feedback on shot placement . 

Twenty shots Head and Torso

Shooting has been part of my families heritage since long before I was walking the earth and I can thank my father for taking the time to teach us pretty darn well.  We started with BB guns, moved on to .22 rifles and 20 gauge shotguns, and ultimately into the big game calibers we used for deer and woodchuck hunting.  A lot of hours were spent at the range and in the field doing what we all loved to do.  He wasn't into the handgun side of things so I've had to do a lot of reading to become confident enough to teach others on a small scale basis but even I have my limits and would refer someone to the professionals if I thought they were going beyond my abilities.  Brantley Corp offers classes that cover a wide range of subjects (some of them right in our own conference room) and many of the local gun shops hold training classes on everything from gun cleaning to advanced techniques and tactics.  It just depends on how serious you are.

Teaching someone to shoot can be quite rewarding for both parties and I think it's a special part of passing along your passion to your own children.  My wife and girls know how much I love to send rounds downrange so there aren't any fights about spending too much money or time shooting as long as I take them along every once in a while. 

Properly teaching someone to handle firearms, even on a limited basis, will ensure that preventable accidents don't happen to someone you love, and maybe you'll discover a new shooting or hunting partner in the process.  I think I've created a few over the past month.  Good Luck and Be Safe.

Brian "Beastman" Eastman

White River Fly Shop

Outdoor World Orlando   







Find Your Gun’s Groove: Part One

Firearm ownership has increased significantly over the past few years. There are several reasons for this. More people are getting interested in hunting and recreational shooting. People are becoming more concerned about personal protection. Others are concerned about the sustainability of the world and are preparing for who-knows-what. No matter what source of inspiration, it is undeniable that we have record numbers of new-shooters/gun owners.

Working here I have had several conversations with people who are about to enter the world of firearms. Let me start off by saying welcome to one of the best and most expensive pastimes in the world, but let me warn you about how overwhelming it all can be. People own firearms for all sorts of reasons. Once you start to figure out why you want one, you can start to narrow down the field.

In this blog series we are going to take a look at what it takes to “find your gun’s groove”, which basically means from the first step of the process to important ideas and concepts. For the main aspect of this development we are going to look at it from the viewpoint of wanting a gun for personal defense and target shooting. (This is after all, one of the largest areas for why people look to buy a firearm.)

First things first, safety. Safety begins and ends with you. Any firearm in your possession is your responsibility. There are several “codes” or “laws” that one should learn when it comes to handling firearms. The one I suggest and go by is TAB+1. (I have mentioned this subject previously numerous times.) TAB+1 is…

T-Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.

A-Always keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction.

B-Be aware of your target and what is beyond it.

+1-Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

Follow those rules and you are doing your diligence on safety.

Second, education. Learn as much as you can about firearms and everything associated with them. That includes ammunition, accessories and especially laws. Knowing the laws surrounding firearms should be a priority for anyone. Each state and sometimes cities can have their own laws, so you need to know what applies to you. And follow up, because laws do change. Learn what the names are for parts of a gun and how they work. Ask yourself the questions below and see how many you can answer.

What are four parts of a firearm? Can you identify if it is a long gun or hand gun?

What are the parts of a round of ammunition? How do they work?

Where do you look to find out what kind of caliber gun you are holding?

Where you find the serial number for a firearm? Why is that important?

What is an external safety? Do you know how to identify one?

These are just a few questions that any responsible firearm owner should know how to answer and therefore teach someone else. Like I said at the beginning, it can be overwhelming but hopefully through this blog series you will become more comfortable, educated and understanding of everything concerning firearms.



Think Camo Ladies!


SHE Outdoors makes a feminine cut clothing that is functional, rugged and durable to last out in the adventure hunt.  The material is made with the proper fit and with the right fabrics to allow comfortable movement to be out in the field. With the proper fit, it allows better movement when drawing a bow, shouldering a firearm, climbing treestands, or all the walking hunters do.  SHE offers a wide range hunting clothes to keep you warm and dry to light weight in the hot summers.

When preparing for your fall and winter needs you want to make sure you layer warm and comfortable as possible. SHE offers an insulated jacket that is waterproof, breathable and warm. The insulation is 150 grams of thermolite insulation in torso and 100 grams in the sleeves, lined hand warmer pockets, detachable hood, and adjustable drawcord hem is side pocket. To match the jacket, there is the insulated pants that are also 150 grams of thermolite insulation and knee-high side-leg zippers with exterior storm flaps.

If you are looking for something a little less, maybe for fall season, SHE offers the insulated jacket and bibs. The jacket is 100 grams of thermolite insulation, 3-pannel draw cord hood and draw cord waist. The bibs are also 100 grams of thermolite insulation, reinforced knees, mid-thigh zips with storm flaps, and adjustable elastic shoulder straps. Perfect outfit for that early spring or late fall hunts.

SHE Outdoors offers so much more for warmer weather hunts or to use as a layering system for your rigorous hunting adventures. You can use a mid-weight out in the early morning or late evening hunts. When using SHE base layer that helps provide AXE anti-odor technology to keep your prey’s nose in the dark and to help keep comfy with-out the binding. SHE has a great line of short-sleeve shirts and long-sleeve light weight shirts to use every day also.

The full-zip vintage hoodie is a perfect fit and look for a comfortable, light-weight and yet breathable design that’s stylish. It has a double-lined hood, 2 hand warmer pockets and raglan sleeves.

No matter the conditions, year or weather SHE Outdoors has you covered. You’ll always be ready and comfortable for any hunt and whatever comes you way.

Check out our awesome selection of ladies hunting clothes at


Cool Calibers: 5.7x28

I don’t know about you, but to me there is one firearm manufacturer that always seems to just come up with the coolest stuff. It is one of the oldest and most recognizable names in the industry as well. That being FN Herstal. (Commonly called FNH or just FN.) They make some of the most recognizable firearms for military, police and civilian shooters. They have also played a major impact on the development of new calibers. And today, we are going to take a look at one of their finest and most controversial creations: the 5.7X28mm.

You know the phrase “One size fits all”? Well it doesn’t. And this is extremely obvious when it comes to the world of firearms. Not everyone likes .45ACP and other rounds leave “more to be wanted”. Whenever an army or agency standardizes something, it is always met with praise or despite. NATO has its standard calibers, and they went with the 9mm for their side arms. Of course, people being people, there are many who dislike this caliber and want something better. NATO put out the request for a replacement cartridge to be created and FNH stepped up with the 5.7.

The 5.7 is a smaller-caliber round that has quite impressive velocities. Testing of the 5.7 started in the early 2000’s and was put up against the 4.6X30mm (which was designed by Heckler and Koch). The 5.7 got much higher marks for superior performance during the testing process. Shortly after it began being adopted by numerous militaries and agencies in close to four dozen different countries.

Originally NATO wanted a caliber that would outperform the 9mm in several aspects. They wanted the new caliber to have better accuracy, range and terminal performance. Just to spice it up, they also requested that the new caliber be able to penetrate body armor, which the 5.7 does along with all other requests by NATO. To fire the round, FN designed two firearms specifically for it. They made the P90 (a shoulder-fired personal defense weapon) and the Five-Seven (a semi-automatic pistol). Because of the smaller nature of the cartridge both of these weapons would be considered “high-capacity” due to the number of rounds they are able to carry.

All of these aspects that make the caliber and its carriers so impressive, also adds to the controversy. It did not take long after the development and revealing of these products to militaries for the public to want the same. And while what civilians get are not nearly as “impactful” as their military counterparts, it has been extremely dramatic. Many anti-gun groups immediately sought to ban these firearms from civilian use. If there are two things we can learn from whenever anti-gun groups make public cries against something they are: sales will immediately increase dramatically and no matter what those who would look to use such products illegally will still be able to get access to them. It is just that simple.

Sales of the Five-Seven has been astronomical, and actually seeing one inside of a store is considered a rarity. All of the things that make them so desirable to militaries are also what a defensive-carrier looks for as well. This firearm does have a “stained history” with it being used in prolific mass-shootings. The P90 has not come under such high scrutiny, but in fact finds itself being used exponentially more and more in film and television. The P90 is a fascinating firearm that probably will get its own blog one day, but later perhaps. And yes that is MacGyver with one below.

For certain users, this caliber may have the perfect application purposes you are looking for. Just know that you will be continually looking for the ammunition or firearm to shoot it with. It is able to be found every now and then, but usually gets wiped off the shelves when it is in-store.


Other Caliber Related Blogs:

7mm-08 Remington - 357 Sig - 16 Gauge - .22’s Catch 22204 Ruger10mm Auto


NRA Freedom Days at Bass Pro Shops- Mesa, AZ

Well it seemed like just last month when we rolled out a brand new event for 2015. Oh wait, that’s cause we did! And while we are this roll of awesome and new events, let’s keep things going with our NRA Freedom Days here at Bass Pro Shops in Mesa, AZ. The NRA Freedom Days will run from July 20th through August 2nd. On the weekends we will be having special activities. I mean the last weekend of July is the last chance to catch our Family Summer Camp, but while that comes to a close things are about to go off with a BANG!

The NRA (National Rifle Association) is one of the oldest organizations in the United States and is focused on protecting and preserving one of our oldest rights. Because of all that they do to help ensure this heritage gets passed down through the generations, we here at Bass Pro Shops are more than happy to do whatever we can to help them! That is what inspired us to create the NRA Freedom Days.

During the NRA Freedom Days we are going to be “fully loaded” with specials, savings, seminars and giveaways! We will have: 2nd Amendment Savings on firearm purchases*, Free Plano Gun Case with purchase of any handgun $300 or greater*, Triple and Quintuple Extra Reward Points on purchases of select products* and on the weekends of July 25th and 26th and August 1st and 2nd we will have some awesome and educational seminars. There will be free handouts for those who attend!*


11AM- 3 Gun Competition Basics

2PM – Accessorizing your MSR

3PM- Women and Self-Defense


2PM- Choosing the Right Home Defense System

3PM- Gun Safety in the Home

On the weekend of July 25th and 26th we will also have our Daisy BB Gun Shooting Range going and seminars focused for the younger generations. Parents/Legal Guardians will have to fill out a waiver for participants of the BB Gun Range that are under the age of 18.

I love that a lot of these seminars are going to focus on subjects that we have not really ever covered at our store. With the trends that are happening in the firearm industry as well, I think that these are spot on! Especially the last two for each day. I strongly believe that everyone should be entitled to the knowledge and know-how to protect themselves and their families.

This is an event that you do not want to miss!


*Restrictions Apply. While Supplies Last. See Store For More Details.