Shortly before the most recent national election, I received an alert on my iPhone suggesting that I follow Hillary Clinton on Twitter. Clearly, despite all the time we spend together, my smartphone isn’t too smart. But besides being wrong on so many levels, this automatic, sponsored message from an ap also reminded me how convoluted things can become in this age of technological dependence and information collection.
If you shop online, you know how easy it is to confuse (to use one example) Amazon’s purchase history tracker. Like many of you, I regularly buy gifts for a variety of friends and family members. But to Amazon, all of these purchases go into one big “Craig” bucket, meaning that their online tracker has me ﬁgured for a fan of Simplicity dress patterns, Terry and the Pirates comic collections, 1960s jazz and folk music, ﬁgure skating, Minecraft strategy guides, LEGO construction sets, and hydroponic gardening.
Some of those purchases were for me (I’ll let you guess which), but now, and probably for time immemorial, my Amazon page will feature targeted advertisements for items in which I am not personally interested. If their ad metrics are designed to create or increase purchase intent on my part, the results often just make me laugh.
And yet, the Internet remains a wonderful resource for seeking information, especially in the initial stages of a search, as long as we exercise our due diligence and have a good vetting process to help us determine what is true and what is, as my father used to say, “a lot of hooey.” The old adage “don’t believe everything you read” may be doubly true of online content, as the barriers of entry to “publishing” are rarely barriers at all.
But there is a wealth of outstanding content online, including that produced by the four individuals highlighted in our feature on current Internet video channel personalities. And although they are each riding a new wave of outdoor storytelling, it is worth noting that at least two of these channels frequently feature historical or classic ﬁrearms, along with the latest and greatest from today’s top companies.
I love it when the new and the old come together. Maybe I’ll tweet about it, and see who gets “suggested” to follow me. -Craig Hodgkins
Welcome to our expanded April issue, chock-full of insightful and engaging articles and a passel of products, many of which will be featured at the National Rifle Association’s 2017 Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Atlanta from April 27-30 at the Georgia World Congress Center. If you are a member of the NRA (and we suspect many of you are) and plan to be in A-Town for the firearms-focused festivities, please stop by the American Shooting Journal booth (#402) for a visit. We’d love to meet you, but if that is not motivation enough, here’s an additional inducement. Every new or renewing subscriber who visits the booth will receive a free gift and will automatically be entered in our daily raffle featuring great prizes donated by many of our top advertisers. See page 23 of this issue for more information. This year’s annual meetings ﬁgure to be a most interesting get-together. Last year’s edition attracted crowds of more than 80,000 enthusiastic firearms owners, and this year promises to be no different, with the World Congress Center’s 450,000 square feet filled to the doorways with your favorite outdoor industry manufacturers and service providers. Special events include the annual National NRA Foundation banquet, a Women’s Leadership Forum luncheon, the NRA/ILA (Institute for Legislative Action) dinner and auction, and a Saturday night concert headlined by Hank Williams, Jr. We hope to see you there! -Craig Hodgkins
If you haven’t figured out by now that the American Shooting Journal is very supportive of and respects our boys and girls in blue, then where have you been? Each month we dedicate a special section of the magazine to tell their stories, trials and tribulations, and remind readers what funny and tragic events these protectors deal with every day.
Among this issue’s stories, the International Association of Chiefs of Police has come out with their much-anticipated report on body cameras and how they should be used. This is something the public should find very interesting. You can also ride along to help sack a poacher, deal with bad guys’ crazy attack pets, meet a living legend of search and rescue and his bloodhound and solve a bank robbery.
Spring hunting is here, or almost here for some. Can you hear the gobbling of the big toms as they woo their hens? Or maybe that’s just a fellow hunter hidden in the brush!
In any case, things are fluffing up, and turkey hunters are in the thick of it. The season has come, and we encourage you to read about the latest high-tech ammo designed for that perfect shot or learn the value of calling for your prize to bring him even closer. Everything you need to get ready for this spring’s hunt is here.
We also have a very special story that focuses (pun intended) on the latest gun-trust legislation, called Rule 41F. Second Amendment guru and attorney Alex Kincaid walks us through the changes, minor as they are, to help ensure we stay within our legal limits. The best part? She does it plain language, not legalese, so that it’s easy for those of us who aren’t lawyers to understand. Thanks, Alex!
If you know someone who is unique in the gun industry, email me at Dani@AmericanShootingJournal.com. I would love to hear their story.
We’ve settled into 2016 and have a variety of great content planned. This month focuses on historical guns and the people behind them. Next month will feature law enforcement and spring hunting, just in time for turkeys. The women’s annual in April is always highly anticipated, and July’s features dogs with jobs. No matter your shooting passion, we try to cover it in detail at some point during the year.
This month, take a trip down memory lane and meet Tom Threepersons, one of the most famous lawmen of the previous century; learn the deep history of the famous German Karabiner 98 kurz, or K98k, rifle; and look back at the guns of the bygone era of market hunting, which decimated wildlife. Also in this issue, we have packed interview after interview from precision rifle industry leaders who share their tips, tactics and – shhh! – trade secrets.
Now get ready to participate, because it’s time to start looking at targets, holsters and blades. Each year, we reach out to you readers and ask for your best of the best in each of these categories. Our May issue will announce who you have chosen for the Top 10 targets of the year. We are looking for fun, diverse, challenging and original concepts. If you have a brand that you feel deserves this recognition, let us know who they are, which target deserves attention and why. You determine who makes the Top 10, so get to work!
If you are new to the American Shooting Journal, thank you for joining our readership and family. Our family is important to us: We scour the nation for people who are amazing, make a difference in our industry, drive it, inspire others and who are excellent role models and stewards. Are you one of those people? Do you know one? Send me an email and tell me all about this mover and shaker so we can share them with the nation. Email me at: Dani@AmericanShootingJournal.com.
If you are reading this then you have made it safely to the other side, but what do we have to look forward to in 2016? Well, just in case you couldn’t think of anything, the US National Park Service will turn 100 years old this year, the Olympic Games will be held in Rio, the American Shooting Journal will officially celebrate one full year in publication and Star Trek will have first aired 50 years ago. Also, let’s not forget that we will elect a new commander in chief.
One of the first things on every shooter’s mind at the beginning of each year is finding out what will be unveiled at the annual NSSF SHOT Show, the largest gun-industry show in the world. Well, [brushing my fingers across my shirt with an air of all-knowing insight] I can tell you that this issue will give you the downright, all-out breakdown of all that is new this year. Some items are so new that photos have not yet been unveiled, but we were still able to scope out the specs.
If you are attending, you must come by the American Shooting Journal booth #408. We are featuring an enormous raffle wheel that simply won’t stop spinning from day one. Crazy prizes such as .308 ARs (two), one from RTD Mfg./Arms and one from Layke Tactical, a 1911 Government-model pistol from Inland Mfg., an MXB Sniper Lite Crossbow, Hogue hatchets, Spyderco/Coast/Cold Steel knives, a chronograph from Shooting Chrony, KICK-EEZ recoil pads, N82 Tactical holsters, cleaning tools, patches – the list is ridiculous, and every spin wins! All you have to do is bring your Golden Ticket.
“How do I get a Golden Ticket?” you must be thinking to yourself. Well, there are a few ways. The best way is to go to your computer right now and download your very own Golden Ticket from our website at AmericanShootingJournal.com. Just click the link and VOILA! Bring that ticket to the booth and spin. The spin is not for a chance to win; it decides what you win. Remember, every spin wins! I think I said that already.
Another way to get your Golden Ticket is to visit any of the following booths during the show and say, “I want my Golden Ticket.” They may measure you up for worthiness though. Just strong-arm them into compliance. The prizes are worth it! Happy New Year – It’s going to be epic!
Triple K Manufacturing Co. Booth #1710
Tannerite Sports, LLC Booth #2118
Shepherd Enterprises, Inc. Booth #2646
Rio Grande Custom Grips Booth #15754
Duracoat Firearm Finishes Booth #20243
Liberty Safes & Security Booth # 13623
MKS Supply/Hi-Point Firearms/Inland Manufacturing Booth #16144
Warne Scope Mounts Booth #16344
Sierra Bullets Booth #16334
Lantac-USA Booth #20652
Galati Gear Booth #20014
FrogLube Booth #20405
SKB Corp. Booth #14305
PEET Shoe Dryer Inc. Booth #1025
Techna Clip Booth #2029
Shooting Chrony Inc. Booth #2617
Western Powders Inc. Booth #3227
Kakadu Traders Australia/Gunn Worn Booth #10035
Robar Companies, Inc. Booth #4443
ARMASPEC Inc. Booth #3348
Handi-Racker Booth #3761
KICK-EEZ Booth #3263
Paragon Tactical, Inc. Booth #2051
Some people feel accomplished when five o’clock rolls around and they have not perished. For others, it may be the success of braving the elements for a week camping or hunting in the wild outdoors and not succumbing to the elements, bears or spiders. Some fight wars in far-off lands surrounded by 42 shades of tan, and rate their success on having lived through each meal amongst the barrage of rockets, while still others, after having answered 911 calls all day, feel they’ve survived by simply making it home.
I cannot seem to make it through the day without being barraged with hundreds of Nerf projectiles fired by my workmates, but manage to survive using my ninja skills. Whichever category you fall into, as humans, we all have some very basic survival needs. Which brings me to …
Welcome to the survival Guide! In this issue we have focused our sights (gun-magazine pun intended) on what it takes to be prepared, think ahead and survive whether you are camping, lost in the woods, a snowpacolypse has come, or worse, a tornado, hurricane or EMP blast from space has rendered every electronic device moot. Simply stated, this is all about how not to die! So, cozy up in your bunker and learn what it takes to make a difference for you and your family when you need it most.
Also in this issue, and how appropriate – as if it were on purpose – we are featuring the annual Kentucky Rifle Building Seminar, where people go to learn the master-craftsman trade of building a rifle from bare wood and steel, using handmade tools, fire, anvils, sweat and determination coupled with finesse and attention to detail. Meet the teachers, who should have been born 300 years ago, and Nathan Blauch, a Kentucky rifle builder, who is featured on our cover – and a descendant of Grizzly Adams, I’m certain.
Next month is our Veterans issue, in which we salute the men and women of the Armed Forces. No matter what branch of the military – yes, including the Coast Guard, Chris Costa – the American Shooting Journal salutes you everyday!
We have pulled together some great preseason hunting tips this issue, including how to lighten your day pack and adjusting to warmer-than-expected weather during the current Western drought. We also focus on great optics (get it, focus … optics?) and how to choose, maintain and use the best glass for your style of hunting, and for added motivation, Scott Haugen shares his epic seven-deer year.
No matter what critter you plan to hunt this year, most of all, be safe and respectful. Not just of other hunters, private lands and laws, but of the animals themselves. A wounded and lost animal doesn’t do anyone any good. Be sure that when you take that shot, your mind is clear, your gun is zeroed and your aim is true. The American Shooting Journal will be with you (true … you … get it … anyone?).
Among our featured stories – and one of my favorites – we put a microscope on the master craftsmen who make the tiniest of firearms. How small can a real-life, bullet-firing gun be? You may be surprised to learn that you can fit them between your thumb and index finger. These creations and the jeweler’s patience needed to manufacture these amazing miniatures is truly awe inspiring.
We also detail the people behind SilencerCo and their vision for the future. If you know of someone in the shooting industry who you feel is exceptional, email me at Dani@AmericanShootingJournal.
Going forward, we have dedicated August to a dual theme of long-range shooting and working dogs in America.
In the long-range corner, renowned Caylin Wojcik, former Marine Corps sniper, gives us insight into what it takes to make the perfect shot every time. We also interviewed movers and shakers in the Precision Rifle Series competition to help us understand just what it takes to make it through their grueling challenges. If you want to know how to make your rifle more accurate without breaking the bank, we’ve got that too.
In the other corner, everybody loves dogs! We feature bomb dogs, patrol and narcotics dogs, search-and-rescue dogs and hunting dogs. We have so many dogs, we had to buy a bigger vacuum for the office!
Also in this issue, Alan Normandy of Battle Comp Enterprises, LLC, gives us an exclusive interview on the people behind the brand and the epic story of humble beginnings.
For folks interested in traveling to the hot springs areas of West Virginia, our own Larry Case visited The Greenbrier resort’s gun club, where posh meets Appalachian hospitality – and you don’t have to raise your pinky finger to shoot on their beautiful trap and skeet fields.
Our next issue will focus on prepping for hunting season, as well as an in-depth look at optics for every type of shooter.
Meanwhile, if you feel there are great people out there in the shooting industry and think we should know about them, send me a note at Dani@americanshootingjournal.
I really hope you enjoy the variety in our Women’s Annual June 2015 issue. We are featuring extraordinary women from all facets of the shooting world, and I’m sorry that I don’t have a thousand-page magazine to highlight more amazing stories.
Hailing from multiple shooting arenas to include top huntresses, SWAT chicks, mounted-shooting champions, girls in practical shooting competitions and sporting-clay trailblazers, these ladies are seriously bad to the bone!
Among our feature stories, we had an exclusive opportunity to interview and see inside the home and workshops of Frank and Lally House, creators of fine contemporary long rifles and Native American-inspired porcupine-quill embroidered gun straps and slings. No matter where in the gun industry you plant your passion, the work of these two Kentucky artists is not lost on anyone. Our team is proud to bring this story and images of the Houses’ amazing works to you.
Our cover feature should inspire some questions. Why in the world is that guy holding a gun to a microphone?!? My thoughts exactly, but our interview with John Johnston of Ballistic Radio on his sadistic tendencies towards guns and sharing the results with his listeners is quite revealing.
Looking ahead to our summer issues, next month is our patriotic and beginner’s guide, followed by the long-range shooting and working dogs issue in August.
For July, I am reaching out to you, our readers, to ask, “What does freedom mean to you?”
We plan on compiling some of the best phrases and comments from around the nation and will share them with you in that star-spangled issue. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Please share them with me at