December 22nd, 2016 by jhines

BUT MOST DIDN’T CATCH THE DRIFT

Matt Walsh’s sarcastic video rant about his shopping experience and the toy gun he saw generated a lot of social media attention. Apparently, most people didn’t catch the sarcasm.
Guns, guns, and more guns. Seems to be a big topic of conversation these days. With two sides of the parties that see stuff very differently, debates get heated. Social media feeds the monster, and people join the controversial conversation and often say whatever they feel when hiding behind a keyboard.

Walsh takes a ridiculously sarcastic approach with a video that is quite humorous. But at points, he is so sarcastic it is almost hard to tell where he is going with it.

Or maybe it isn’t sarcasm at all? Watch this video and tell us what you think.

Here’s what they’re all saying.










Source: Matt Walsh Facebook, Colton Bailey


Posted in Fun Tagged with: , ,

May 9th, 2016 by Sam Morstan

SIG SAUER Announces Relocation of Ammunition Manufacturing to Arkansas

SIG SAUER, Inc. today announced it has finalized plans to relocate its ammunition manufacturing operation from Eubank, Kentucky to a permanent site in Jacksonville, Arkansas. Documents were finalized with the state of Arkansas the last week of April following a preliminary announcement by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson at the 2016 Las Vegas SHOT Show.

SIG SAUER will relocate its Elite Performance Ammunition manufacturing operation to an existing, and soon-to-be renovated, building in Jacksonville and anticipates employing 50 people in the initial relocation phase, with additional jobs planned for the future. The new site provides significant room for expansion, a key factor in the company’s decision to relocate to Jacksonville.

 The fact that a world-class company like SIG SAUER is choosing to do business in the state adds to our momentum in manufacturing, and we appreciate this significant commitment they are making to locate in Arkansas.

“We have been searching for a permanent relocation site for our ammunition division for several years and now, coupled with an excellent physical location and exceptional economic incentives provided by the State of Arkansas, we have found the ideal site,” said Dan Powers, president of the SIG SAUER Ammunition Division. “The new location in Jacksonville gives us the room we need to expand as we continue to grow and is also beneficial from a shipping and logistical standpoint.  SIG SAUER is committed to becoming a major player in the world-wide ammunition markets. Our advanced technology will allow SIG SAUER to design and develop world-class, precision-performance ammunition, and our new facility will ensure room for even more state-of-the-art equipment, and a much larger ballistics test lab to facilitate our manufacturing and R&D processes.”

“SIG SAUER was one of the first calls I made as Governor, and I am delighted they chose our state when making the decision to expand,” said Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. “The fact that a world-class company like SIG SAUER is choosing to do business in the state adds to our momentum in manufacturing, and we appreciate this significant commitment they are making to locate in Arkansas.”

SIG SAUER anticipates being up and running in the new Jacksonville ammunition facility by the end of the year.  This move marks another milestone in the company’s commitment to become a total solutions provider in the shooting and hunting industry.  In addition to designing and manufacturing the world’s most reliable firearms and ammunition, SIG SAUER is also a growing force in the silencers, optics, airguns and accessories sectors.

Posted in Media Releases Tagged with: , , , , , ,

September 16th, 2015 by Danielle Breteau

Miss America 2016 Is A Huntress

Betty-Cantrell-Miss-Georgia-2015-152x190Miss Betty Cantrell, from Georgia, is the reigning 2016 Miss America champion, but to us, she might unexpectedly be the next spokesperson for hunters/huntresses at large.

Talented and a great shot, she says “I always went hunting with him [father] when I was little, so I learned to skin a rabbit, clean a deer, all those great things that every girl should know.”

Yes, all those things girls should know! We concur. For the full article by Wayne Crenshaw, read here.

Photographs by Reuters

 

 

 

Posted in Industry Tagged with: , , , , , ,

June 15th, 2015 by Danielle Breteau

John Johnston (4)

Story by Danielle Breteau • Photographs by John Johnston

When I first heard about something called Ballistic Radio, which doesn’t sound like two words that go together, I did what anyone would do: I Googled it! One of the first websites I landed on was for the Ballistic Radio Youtube Channel. The description? “A channel that is dedicated to making the Internet cry by destroying popular gun and shooting myths.” I immediately needed to know more.

“I don’t want there to be any stupid gun owners.”

PHOTO 1 John Johnston (3)John M. Johnston is the owner and host of Ballistic Radio. Johnston may not be what you would think when you visualize a guy in a radio station, sitting behind a DJ’s microphone. Johnston is a 6-foot, 2-inch, 250-pound man, with lots of tattoos and a shaggy beard that conjure up images of a cave man crossed with an ornate Aztec warrior. Maybe that is what he is going for, but my interview with him proved to be something more than a discussion with only grunts and sign language. Johnston is actually quite brilliant and has a diverse background in psychology, real estate office management and fashion photography, to name a few. Ballistic Radio seems to allow Johnston to express his deep-seated passion for bringing gun-industry news, tactics and concepts to the world in a very intelligent and sometimes humorous manner.

PHOTO 3 John Johnston (1)Ballistic Radio is a syndicated weekly radio show that covers topics about self-defense, firearms and training without politicizing it. “Stereotypes of gun owners have nothing to do with politics, and how you feel about guns is not a point to be made when someone is kicking down your door,” Johnston threw out during our conversation, making a very poignant point. After listening to multiple podcasts of the show to get a feel of the conversations, subject matter and demeanor, I found that they refreshingly incorporate industry experts with intelligent conversation and a good dose of humor to top off the content. I think this is great, since the average age of his audience is younger than you might expect, around 32 years old. It seems to be doing well so far, and as of this issue’s press deadline, they are on their 101st episode, with plenty more content yet to cover.

PHOTO 6 John at the radio

While dodging occasional death threats, which Johnston honestly gets from time to time, he tries to be a mediator between the folks who speak “gun” and those who may only attempt to understand the attraction.

I asked Johnston what he was trying to do with his radio show. He said, “I don’t want there to be any stupid gun owners. I would like to see people understand that there is more to self defense than just having the gun. It is not a magic talisman that wards off evil just by existing. You’ve got to have the knowledge of how, when and why to use it, as well as familiarity with local laws, which can make a huge difference in how a gun owner can react in a bad situation. I feel like there are lots of different sides to this vast topic, and I am able to help breach the language barrier between them. I love being able to talk to people from all walks of life, and have even received an email from a couple who fall into at least six minority/specialty groups combined and are professed liberals. They own guns and said they felt like I wasn’t alienating them by talking about things outside of the self-defense topic, and that is why they love the show.” Johnston went on to say that he felt that we as a community are fighting against the Dunning-Kruger effect, a psychological phenomenon where people without knowledge, experience or expertise pass along bad information as fact, while ignoring and arguing against accurate information. He feels he runs into this quite often, and almost seemed defeated when he said it.

“I do product torture tests, not dumb ones like shoving a ham sandwich into the action and seeing if it will fire, but realistic ones”

PHOTO 7 John at the radio5

John Johnston welcomes conversations from all facets of the gun industry.

The start of this radio show was a combination of luck and good timing. After a rough divorce, Johnston found himself working in a gun store. Johnston said he often heard gun store clerks say things around him that he simply couldn’t believe. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a clerk at a store suggest something like a Smith and Wesson J-frame .357 magnum (subcompact revolver) as the perfect self-defense gun for a woman because it’s small. The problem, of course, being that they’re incredibly uncomfortable to shoot and almost impossible for a new shooter to shoot well. Can you imagine trying to train with that if you have never shot before?” Johnston went on to explain that there are everyday questions that inspire him to want to help the industry. “I’m probably strange for enjoying this, but I like having conversations with people who say things like, ‘I don’t need to have a flashlight handy because I have night sights on my gun.’ Having to explain the importance of knowing what you are shooting at before you shoot pushes me to try and help educate gun owners.”

The gun store where Johnston was working was given an opportunity to have a radio show on a local station. He ended up running it and tailored it with his personal ideas and topics. That show subsequently became very popular locally and online, according to Johnston. “After some time I offered to buy the show from my boss and he agreed to sell it,” Johnston said, and that is how Ballistic Radio started.

PHOTO 5 Ballistic Radio (6)

Wilson Combat 9mm 1911 put to the torture test.

Among Johnston’s hobbies, and much to the entertainment of many, he spends a great deal of time destroying guns through hard use, then  documents his efforts. “I do product torture tests, not dumb ones like shoving a ham sandwich into the action and seeing if it will fire, but realistic ones,” he emphatically states. As an example of what he calls a test, he took a Salient Arms International MK25 Tier 1 Prototype and shot 25,000 rounds through it in 18 days in the middle of winter, a test which he himself barely survived physically.

PHOTO 4 Ballistic Radio (1)

Salient Arms International MK25 Tier 1 Prototype suffering from abuse.

Another of Johnston’s gun-torture tests involved practically submerging a Wilson Combat 9mm 1911 in the mud, and immediately after rescuing
it, demonstrating a successful firing sequence. You can see videos of some of his torture tests like this at  ballisticradio.com. His next victim will be the LWRC Tricon MK6 with a SilencerCo suppressor. Johnston says this will be the first public high-roundcount test of a suppressor ever done.

compensators

You can find Ballistic Radio on multiple radio stations to include: 1100 KFNX in Phoenix, 55KRC in Cincinnati, 820 WWBA in Tampa, among several others, with 20 to 30 more on the way. If you are more of a podcast person or mobile-app type, there is a Ballistic Radio podcast and you can listen via iTunes, or you can catch the live stream Sundays at 7 p.m. EST on iHeart Radio (55KRC channel). You can also check out Ballistic Radio at ballisticradio.com to keep up with all the latest action in the gun industry, as well as gun and shooting experiments, AKA “torture tests,” that are quite entertaining. ASJ

Editor’s note: When I explained to Ballistic Radio show host John Johnston that I would need some photos to share with our readers, even though he is a former fashion photographer, he couldn’t imagine what I wanted. I flippantly suggested a photo of him geared up in camouflage, covered in mud, holding a gun and radio microphone would be a good start. Well, you get what you asked for, and this is just another glimpse into Johnston’s level of effort and humor, which we applaud.

PHOTO 2 John Johnston (5)

 

 

Posted in Editor's Blog Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

June 15th, 2015 by Danielle Breteau

Clear Skies Ahead

Story by Larry Case
Photographs courtesy of The Women Of Weatherby

All right, it may be true confession time, but for quite a while the whole concept of the female hunter may have been a little lost on me. Outdoor TV, the source of much good and much bad, is to blame. Something about young women who look like models shooting whitetail bucks in a class that the average hunter will never see – much less get the chance to hunt – is somehow perplexing to me. Now, before you get out the tar and feathers, just remember that maybe I come from a time when this was not the norm.

“I am a serious hunter and all I’ve ever wanted was a gun truly made for me.

Try not to be too hard on an old ex-game warden shotgunner who might not be used to this. Hope springs eternal, however, and recently I came upon a bright spot in this journey. I met Haley Heath in the Weatherby booth at the NRA convention in Nashville this year. Heath has been a veteran of the outdoor and shooting industry for many years, and through her I saw things in a new light. Heath is the real deal: a hunter and a shooter. She was kind enough to talk to me for a bit and tell me her story.

PHOTO 2 HALEY HEATH FAMILY PIC

Haley Heath – Here with daughter Dakota, husband Kemp and son Gunner Heath – believes women can feel confident and comfortable as hunters or shooters, thanks to the support of companies like Weatherby.

“Since I was a little girl, sharing the outdoors with more females and children has been my mission. As a wife and mother of two, I have loved working in an industry that not only supports and encourages families in the outdoors, but now more than ever supports me as a woman,” she said.

Heath told me that when she started in the outdoor industry, over nine years ago, she owned two restaurants and worked a full time job at Bass Pro Shops. The problem was that she still had a desire for a career that provided more time doing what she loved, as well as time to be with her children. After almost a decade of doing just that, she is very proud to pass on her passion to her 10-year-old son Gunner, and daughter Dakota, who is 8. She was quick to say that she had the support of her husband Kemp, who also works with Weatherby.

“The girls found our fort, guys…

“At the beginning of my outdoor career there were a few female hunters and shooters, but the numbers have skyrocketed over the past few years. Trade shows rarely had well-known female hunters and shooters signing autographs at their booths like we have today. Instead, the only women you’d see were paid models to help attract visitors to company booths.”

Heath noted that as the number of females getting into hunting and shooting started to grow, companies thought shrinking their products and coloring it pink was the way to go, or simply trying to place a youth firearm in our hands. Fast forward to the present and she thinks women can feel confident and comfortable being a hunter or shooter, thanks to the support of companies like Weatherby and programs like The Women Of Weatherby.

The Women of Weatherby is a platform where novice to expert female hunters and shooters can seek and share information, tips and product recommendations. Weatherby is also seeking input to design a rifle made for women, by women.

“Being part of the Women Of Weatherby is what I have spent my whole career trying to achieve for women like myself,” Heath said. “I am a serious hunter and all I’ve ever wanted was a gun truly made for me. I don’t want a pink gun or a youth model. I am a woman and I am a hunter!”

PHOTO 1 HALEY HEATH WITH WEATHERBY RIFLE

Heath holds her Weatherby Vanguard chambered in .257 Weatherby Magnum. A wife, mother, huntress and TV host, she says she’s proud to call herself one of the Women Of Weatherby.

As I said, a rifle made for women by women. The women of Weatherby are: Rachel Ahtila, a Canadian hunting guide; Karissa Pfantz, a college student and outdoorswoman who is new to the outdoor industry; Jessie Duff, who is a world champion shooter on Team Weatherby; and Heath, wife, mother, huntress and TV host. All of these ladies will be doing weekly blogs and responding to women’s questions, thoughts and opinions.

The girls found our fort, guys, we may as well get used to it. Heath and The Women of Weatherby are one of the groups that will blaze the trail for all women in shooting. ASJ

Posted in Shooters Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

June 11th, 2015 by Danielle Breteau
PHOTO 1

You only have to look at Bianchi Cup competitors to see that after an athlete invests in extensive training, scientifically tested gender inclinations are meaningless down range. Author Tatiana Whitlock observes while Zachary Howard fires.


Story and photographs by Tatiana Whitlock

When it comes to who is the better shooter and why, men or women, the iconic Irving Berlin duet from Annie Get Your Gun immediately springs to mind. “Anything you can do I can do better! I can do anything better than you” is sung while Annie Oakley and Frank Butler prepare for the climactic sharpshooting contest in the classic Broadway musical. For an object as functionally gender-neutral as a gun, why is it that each of the sexes assumes they are better adept at mastering it? Any quality instructor will tell you the real weapon is not the gun. The educated mind that controls the gun possesses the real power. Therefore, do men and women learn and process information differently especially with a gun in hand?

“men are quick to act and apply aggression in a dynamic self-defense scenario”

PHOTO 3

Thanks to advances in neuroscience we now know that there are actual differences between the male and female brain. Studies have shown that men have more front-to-back connectivity within the brain’s hemispheres, suggesting they are more optimized for fine motor skills and compartmentalized learning. Women’s brains have more left-to-right connections between the hemispheres, leading scientists to believe they are more optimized for analytical and intuitive thinking. These brain patterns are not exclusive to men or women, but the average findings over the population as a whole. The author with Laura Duffy and Cynthia Wood (right).

There is still much uncharted territory when it comes to the human mind. The scientific community offers studies of both children and adults that prove more similarities between the sexes than there are differences at the biological level. Painting with a wide brush can lead dangerously down a path that reinforces gender-specific stereotypes and hinders learning down range. That being said, touching on some of the salient points that make men and women unique is worth investigating.

From an instructor’s perspective, new male shooters tend to learn better when introduced to a concept or technique by presenting the mechanics of the skill first and then putting that activity into context. Women tend to learn the same skill best when introduced to the context of when and why that particular skill is important and then taught the mechanics of putting it to use. The result is the same: the student learns both the action and the application, though from opposite perspectives. Both are fully capable of executing the skill set with precise fine and gross motor skills, regardless of gender, and put it to use when and where appropriate in the real world.

Processing Information

Male and female brains have a number of well-documented structural differences that illustrate how men and women process information. One major difference is in the grey and white matter of the brain and how the sexes use it all to process information. The female brain utilizes more white matter (the connective network that links the information and action processing centers of the brain) by a multiple of 10, and that may be why women are considered better at making social connections, observational connections and are better at multi-tasking than men. By contrast, men utilize seven times more gray matter (the information and action centers that are localized in different regions of the brain), which is largely why men are attributed with being good at task-focused activities, having tunnel vision or a “one-track mind.”

“Women often need to be taught how to tap into that aggressive and competitive part of themselves”

DSC01416
New firearm students offer the best opportunity to see these differences in action, especially in a high-stress environment like their first force-on-force class. Students often break down into two categories that display these brain behaviors without prejudice. Women can be observed as seeing and processing a wide range of critical information, yet they often hesitate to take specific action, while in a first-time force-on-force scenario men can be observed to identify one specific problem and focus intently on it missing other threats entirely. This isn’t to say that both aren’t guilty of making the same beginner mistakes, nor does it mean that these mistakes can’t be corrected with proper instruction.

PHOTO 2

Whitlock works with Chuck Whitlock

Flipping the Chemical Switch

The male and female brain differ at a chemical level as well. Women produce more oxitocin and seratonin than men. These two chemicals are associated with an ability to be calmer and have more relationship and bonding behaviors. Men, on the other hand, produce more testosterone that is associated with varied levels of aggression and impulsiveness. Both men and women produce these neurochemicals, but to varying levels. The very nature of self- and home defense require a realistic preparation for an uncomfortable level of violence. Women are the largest growing demographic in the firearms community largely because of an interest in being able to protect themselves and the ones they love. The fact that they are taking ownership and personal responsibility for their safety rather than deferring to their male counterparts for protection proves that they are capable of flipping the chemical switch to face violence head on. Not only are women making the retail investment of the gun and the gear, but they’re also investing in their continued education on how to use them in context with their lives.

“Mankind has proven time and again that such defining traits are not exclusive to either sex”

Joining a firing line with a dozen bearded, molle-covered, tactical hipsters is out of the question for most women new to shooting. Women generally prefer to begin their journey into the world of firearms by training with other women. This birds-of-a-feather model is successful in part because it appeals to a woman’s inclination towards social interaction and community.

PHOTO 4

Left: The author and Seth Balliet

Men represent the predominant student population of run-and-gun, tactical-ninja, and gun-camp courses. These courses are generally physically intense, mentally taxing, and speak directly to understanding violence and how to counter it in kind. This isn’t to say that women don’t also enjoy the athleticism and aggressive nature of shoot house, force-on-force or vehicle close-quarter battle training, but it is typically not their initial launching point for learning. While men are quick to act and apply aggression in a dynamic self-defense scenario, they often need to be taught how to slow down and take in the details so they can take appropriate action. Women, by contrast, often need to be taught how to tap into that aggressive and competitive part of themselves to apply that same action.

Overview

Mankind has proven time and again that such defining traits are not exclusive to either sex. We didn’t attain apex-predator status without a brain that made us adaptable problem-solvers. For all of the differences that have been observed between the male and female brain there is no evidence that one is more optimized for firearms use than the other. Having an understanding of these types of gender-specific tendencies helps instructors build curriculums and better communicate with students. A desire to learn and a commitment to personal development down range is the only differentiating factor between the Annie Oakleys, Frank Butlers and everyone else in the shooting world. The gun allows us a unique opportunity to meet at the firing line, cast off societal stereotypes and engage in friendly competition to prove just how alike we really are. ASJ

PHOTO 5

Women produce more oxitocin and seratonin – two chemicals associated with the ability to be calmer and have more bonding behaviors – than men, while men produce more testosterone – which is associated with varied levels of aggression and impulsiveness – than women. Women generally prefer social groups and training with other women. National women’s groups have sprung up over the past decade such as The Well Armed Woman and A Girl With A Gun. Whitlock, Jody Chase, Christi Hissong, Lisa Kendrick and Joy Corrant.

Posted in Women and guns Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,