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Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Guns are inanimate objects with no clue whether you’re male or female. That said, not all guns are created equal. Me with a Ruger SR1911 Lightweight Commander in 9mm So what handguns are a good idea for female shooters? We’ll give you a hint–they probably aren’t pink (though there’s always Cerakote painting, if that’s your jam…).

7 Best Handguns for Women [Hands-On Guide]

7 Best Handguns for Women [Hands-On Guide]Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Guns are inanimate objects with no clue whether you’re male or female. That said, not all guns are created equal. Me with a Ruger SR1911 Lightweight Commander in 9mm So what handguns are a good idea for female shooters? We’ll give you a hint–they probably aren’t pink (though there’s always Cerakote painting, if that’s your jam…). Bunch of Pink Guns Now let’s go over some important things like size, caliber, and necessary skills.  Then of course…my favorite recommendations! Table of Contents Loading... Size Matters If you’re thinking I’m referring to the size of the gun, I’m not. Not yet, anyway. This is about the physical size of the shooter . Although it is not true in my case, many women out there do have smaller hands. That does not mean they cannot shoot full-sized guns it simply means they will probably have a tougher time finding the right gun for them. If a gun does not fit your hands you aren’t going to run it as well. It’s a matter of basic mechanics. World’s Smallest Gun, Washington Times The good news is, fitting a handgun to your hands is a relatively easy task. When you pick up a handgun your palm should have full contact with the backstrap. Glock 19 Grip (Compact) Perhaps more importantly, the bones of your wrist and arm should be in line with the gun’s frame, not canted off to one side or at an upward or downward angle. Keeping the bones of your hand and arm in line with the gun does wonders for mitigating recoil and improving overall control. Handgun Grip Set Wrist, Shannon Smith When it comes to triggers and finger placement you’ll find there are two schools of thought, one that says the center of your finger should be in contact with the trigger and the other saying to use the first crease of your trigger finger. The variety of Glocks out there means that they’re a great place to start looking for your CCW. Personally, I believe you’re better off using the center of your fingerprint . With that in mind, when you try a new gun make sure you can easily and naturally place the center of your trigger fingerprint on the face of the trigger. This helps you apply a direct, rearward trigger press (or pull, or squeeze, or whatever you want to call it). As long as that trigger moves smoothly straight back it’s all good. If your trigger finger has trouble reaching that sweet spot, your gun is probably too big (double-stacks are not for everyone). Conversely, if you’re awkwardly arching your finger back for a good trigger press, it’s too small . How it looks: when fitting a gun there should be a visible space between the finger and the gun’s frame. The trigger finger should not be resting against the frame. Proper trigger technique, as explained above. Finally, you should be able to operate the gun’s controls without significantly adjusting your grip. A good fit means you can reach and run the safety, magazine release, and decocker–if it has one–without shifting your hands around. This goes double for a self-defense gun. Shifting your grip to operate your gun is going to affect your speed, accuracy, and survival. Skills Check Yes, we need to talk about skill. A shooter’s skill absolutely affects their gun choices. In fact, those good old boys saying women should shoot revolvers are making a blatantly fatal error in judgment. Revolvers are not easier to use than semi-autos. They’re also not foolproof. Revolvers do fail. As for the tiny pocket pistols and mouse guns, the recoil sharply and have far more significant muzzle rise than larger guns. Some guns are easier to shoot than others. You can easily learn to shoot any gun you want, but I’d be doing you a disservice if I did not mention the simplicity of guns like Glocks. Variety of Handguns And if you automatically think double-stack when Glocks are mentioned, remember, they do have a number of single-stacks now. Take your skill level into consideration when choosing a gun. It is accurate to say 9mm guns are softer-recoiling than bigger cartridges like 10mm or .45 ACP. 9mm is a good choice and a great starting point for newbies, too. Here is our Guide to Shooting More Accurately which has helped tons of guys and gals alike. No, you don’t need a .380 ACP or a .22 LR, which brings us to our next point. Caliber Let’s keep this brief. Although .22 LR has long been touted as A Good Thing for new shooters it is not necessary for most people. Popular Pistol Calibers It’s great for starting out kids and not a bad idea for a wife, girlfriend, or sister who is noticeably gun-shy. The time I’d pull out a .22 LR for a teenager or adult is when they’re visibly afraid. .22LR (CCI vs Winchester vs Super Colibri) If they’re reasonably gung-ho, just start bigger. Failing to shoot a .22 LR as your first gun does not doom you to firearms failure. Here’s our editor shooting a .22 LR: Don’t limit yourself to the stereotypical tiny calibers frequently recommended for women. Make 9mm your starting point, or hang out with 9mm for a good, long time. 9mm (115gr vs 124gr vs 147 HP) There is usually no reason whatsoever to start smaller especially if you have a good grip and stance. Here he is with his Glock 19 in 9mm.  Don’t worry…video of me coming up next: Best Handguns for Women 1. Glock 17 and Glock 19 , Gen 5 We’ll throw the Glock 17 and 19 into one section since they are fairly interchangeable. The 17 is Glock’s full-size 9mm and the 19 is their compact model. There are a ton of Glocks on the market, each offering different benefits. Try a variety before you choose just one. The Glock 17 is known as a wildly popular and oft-assigned duty gun for law enforcement while the Glock 19 is known for concealed carry use. Here’s me with a G19: They’re both double-stacks so if you have truly small hands they might not work for you. Newst Generation Glock Glock 17, Gen 5 628 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 628 at Brownells Compare prices (2 found) Brownells (See Price) Rainier Arms (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing Glocks are striker-fired guns with basic controls. There is no external safety–Glocks rely on the SAFE Action system, a trio of independently-operating mechanical safeties–which reduces the number of controls you need to operate. With a Glock, you just need to run the magazine release. There’s no grip safety, no decocker, just a straight-forward system. Glock 19, Gen 5 629 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 629 at Brownells Compare prices (2 found) Brownells (See Price) Rainier Arms (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing Here’s the surprise: the majority of you can conceal the 17. You do not have to carry a compact or sub-compact pistol. It’s a matter of making the necessary concessions with your wardrobe and finding the right holster. That’s key. The Glock 17 is the original double-stack 9mm from the Austrian manufacturer. But if you would like a compact gun the polymer Glock 19 is a great choice. It has a 15-round capacity, weighs 21.16 ounces empty, and has an overall length of 7.36 inches. The Glock 19 is the compact version of the Glock 17. (Pictured: Custom Axelson Tactical Axe 19) Glocks are reliable, accurate guns with a well-deserved solid reputation to back them. It might be a cliché but I absolutely recommend Glocks to women looking for a first handgun. What’s your thoughts on the Glock 17/19? Readers' Ratings 4.86/5 (905) Your Rating? 2. Ruger SR1911 Now we’re jumping right into 1911s. It’s a fallacy that women cannot run 1911s or that new female shooters cannot run 1911s. They’re really not that complex. Do they require a bit more finesse and knowledge than striker-fired Glocks? Yes, but it isn’t that difficult. The Ruger SR1911 is a great, classic 1911 that outperforms its price point. The Ruger SR1911 is offered in the classic .45 ACP chambering as well as 9mm and 10mm. I have all three but the Lightweight Commander in 9mm is the focus here. It’s also my teenage daughter’s gun. She is quite petite and her fingers are almost two inches shorter than mine. While she can run every gun I hand her–despite her small hands–the slim single-stack SR1911 in 9mm is the proper fit. For her, it was love at first shot. BEST BANG-FOR-THE-BUCK Ruger SR1911 850 at Cabela's Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 850 at Cabela's Prices accurate at time of writing You do sacrifice capacity with single-stacks. The Ruger Lightweight Commander SR1911 holds 9 rounds–plus one if you keep one chambered–so you should learn to carry a spare magazine. Actually, you should carry a spare mag no matter what, but I digress. This 9mm SR1911 is 7.75 inches long, 5.45 inches tall, and 1.34 inches wide. It’s a Commander, meaning it has a 4.25-inch barrel, and it is fairly light at 29.3 ounces. Heavier than the Glock? At first blush, yes, but not when that Glock is loaded. The Ruger SR1911 Lightweight Commander in 9mm is a solid pistol that fits a variety of hand sizes. Because this is a 1911 it’s hammer-fired and does have both a grip safety and an external thumb safety. If you find the black, rubberized grip panels are too thick it’s easy to switch them out for slimmer panels. That’s the beauty of 1911s, actually: the ease with which you can swap out panels to reduce or add to grip thickness. This is a precise, reliable pistol. I’d recommend it to anyone (obviously, since my daughter has one). 3. SIG Sauer P226 Legion Notice this is the Legion, not the original P226 Nitron. There’s nothing wrong with the Nitron–I have one and it’s a good gun–but the Legion’s performance beats it handily. The SIG P226 Legion is a full-sized gun so although it is possible to conceal it – I’ve done it – it is a bit of a challenge. It’s offered in 9mm, .357 SIG, and .40 Smith & Wesson. Sure, 9mm rocks, but don’t discount the .40 Smith & Wesson. The SIG P226 Legion produced this beautiful ten-round playing card drill the first magazine through the gun. Like to admit it or not the .40 does have a ballistic edge over the 9mm. Whether that edge is worth the increased recoil and expense is a matter of personal opinion. The P226 Legion is an alloy-frame gun with a stainless steel slide. It has an overall length of 8.0 inches, an overall height of 5.5 inches, and a width of 1.5 inches. It weighs 34 ounces empty. Perhaps the best feature of the Legion model is its Grayguns-designed trigger which is truly a thing of beauty. I adore the trigger on my P226 Legion. It has a beautifully smooth pull and crisp break. Basically, it’s one of my favorite double-actions currently on the market. If you’re looking for a hammer-fired pistol and/or a double-action/single-action, check out the SIG P226 Legion. It’s an awesomely precise gun. This is a semi-automatic, double-action/single-action gun. That means you can fire it either single-action (SA) or double-action (DA) and you can choose to fire the first shot DA with follow-up shots SA. It also has a decocker. Aside from its kickass trigger, the Legion has a reduced, contoured beavertail, aggressive front strap checkering, and an X-Five undercut on the trigger guard. The decocker and slide catch lever–that’s what SIG calls it, so don’t complain here–are also low-profile to reduce snags. P226 Perfected Sig Sauer Legion P226 1200 at Rainier Arms Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 1200 at Rainier Arms Prices accurate at time of writing Where the P226 Nitron is designed for reliable performance and accuracy the Legion is enhanced to deliver that same reliability with superior comfort and precision. And does it ever deliver. If you want a gun with additional layers of external safety but you don’t want a 1911, check out the SIG P226 Legion. It’s my favorite SIG handgun for self-defense use. If you want something a bit smaller in hammer-fired, DA-only, try the SIG P250 ; if you want something striker-fired try the P320 . 4. Glock 48 Yes, there are two Glock listings in this article. The aforementioned 17/19 double-stacks are great for shooters with the hand size and preference to run them but this one’s a single-stack. It’s also one of Glock’s latest pistols and it would be a shame to leave it out. The Glock 48 comes in the original Silver Slide two-tone model and the classic Glock black-on-black. As it so happens I have both, because this model rocks. Normally I’m a double-stack fan all the way. I even own a number of double-stack 1911s. So when Glock launched this single-stack I was prepared to dislike it but ended up loving it. I even carried it while driving during my recent cross-country move. The Glock 48 two-tone went along with me on a cross-country move this summer. I’m in love. This model is compact but not exactly tiny. It’s 7.28-inches long, 5.04-inches tall, and 1.10-inches wide. The G48 barrel is just under one inch longer than the G43X barrel; other than that they’re the same gun. So if you’re here wondering about the 43X that’s the difference. Barrel length. Glock 48 480 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 480 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing The G48 is chambered in 9mm, has a 10-round capacity, and is crazy accurate. Despite my larger hands and longer fingers it fits me perfectly and became a preferred pistol of mine thanks to its consistently precise performance. Of course, it’s also reliable. It’s a Glock. Yes, I can conceal the Glock 48 in skinny jeans and a tank top. 5. Walther PPQ First impressions matter, even with guns, and my first impression of the Walther PPQ was along the lines of “wow is that ugly.” The PPQ isn’t just a blocky little pistol, it’s lumpy. Imagine my surprise when I picked it up and discovered it’s comfortable, a fantastic fit for my hands, and fun to run. Even better, it’s an accurate, reliable pistol. This is one of those guns people tend not to think of when shopping for guns but it is an excellent choice. The Walther PPQ might not be pretty but it is an excellent carry gun. This group was nailed slow-fire at a distance of ten yards. The Walther PPQ has a four-inch barrel, an overall length of 7.1-inches, and an overall height of 5.3-inches. It’s 1.3-inches wide, making it slimmer than some and slightly thicker than others, and weighs 21.5 ounces empty. Of course, it’s chambered in 9mm and has a 15-round capacity. One thing that makes this a good choice is its ambidextrous slide stop and reversible magazine release. It isn’t the only gun out there with those options but it is one of the better 9mm carry guns that can be tailored to right or left-handed shooters. Walther PPQM2 634 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 634 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing As it turns out the rather ugly, lumpy, textured grip feels good in my hands. And although I typically hate to say a gun is inherently accurate, this time it fits. Don’t forget Walther when you’re handgun shopping. They make some great guns. Runners Up A few quick shout-outs. If you want a revolver, try the Smith & Wesson Model 66 in .357 Magnum or the Ruger GP100 which is also offered in .357 Magnum and a greater 7-round capacity. Smith & Wesson Model 66 And if you have your heart set on .380 ACP, the Ruger LCP II is a major improvement over the original LCP and a good option for a backup gun (BUG). Check out more in our Best Concealed Carry Revolvers if that’s your thing. For arthritic hands, the Smith & Wesson M&P 380 Shield EZ works nicely because the slide really does rack more easily and it’s an accurate pistol. I’m not a fan of the grip safety on that model but if it works for you, go for it. Smith & Wesson M&P380 Shield EZ Parting Shots Now you’re wondering a few things. Where’s the Smith & Wesson Shield? What about the Mossberg MC1SC or the SIG P365? If you’re in “but muh…” mode, knock it off. There’s limited space here and we’ve already extended it well beyond capacity. Go to the range. Try different handguns. Choose carefully–and choose your own gun. If you want a sub-compact Glock the pictured Glock 27 is always an option. Yes, it’s a .40 Smith & Wesson. Don’t knock it until you try it. Your dad, boyfriend, husband, or brother might mean well but they cannot and should not choose your gun for you. Only you know what does and doesn’t fit your hand. Only you know what gun you will actually train with and carry. A gun living in the safe is no good at all. (Editor: We do love the P365!  Check out the full review of that here ). It’s…perfect. Choose wisely. And if you already own a reliable, accurate carry gun, invest your money in a class instead of another gun. Training matters. Self-defense is a perishable skill. Don’t neglect it. Above all, shoot mindfully and often. What handguns do you like? Did you pick one of the guns on our list, or did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments below. Want more options? Check out the Best CCWs by Caliber .

[Interview] Pro Shooter Evan Tisler of Rainier Arms

[Interview] Pro Shooter Evan Tisler of Rainier Arms

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Can you brag about your background and shooting accomplishments so far? Answer: I’m a husband to my high school sweetheart, father of two little girls, foreman for a commercial electrical contractor and a 3-gun junkie. I’m a co-captain for the Rainier Arms Shooting team . I recently attained a Pro qualification title in the United Multigun League. How did you first get into competitive shooting? Answer: I got started with a Wednesday night bowling pin shoot, my wife actually spotted the flier at a Sportsman’s Warehouse gun counter. A few guys at pins shot an “action pistol” match at another range and got me to come to try it out. I met, my now teammate, Steve Bell there and Steve was my gateway to 3-gun and then the rest of the practical shooting world. Rainier UltraMatch w/ 16″ intermediate gas Mod 2 UltraMatch barrel, Fortis Switch Rail, CMC 2 lb competition trigger, topped with a Vortex Razor 1-6. What % is the gear…and what % is the shooter? Answer: Your gear needs to run 100% and you need to believe in it. The game is almost entirely mental, but your mental game may need better gear. As the great Patrick Kelly says “if you think it helps, it does.” Awesome Pro Shooter Gear But a stock Glock 34 can also win a major 3 gun match, I’ve seen it. What’re some of your go-to guns & gear? Answer: My competition rifle is a custom Rainier UltraMatch build with a new 16″ intermediate gas Mod 2 UltraMatch barrel, "Fortis Switch Rail" , CMC 2 lb competition trigger , topped with a Vortex Razor 1-6x . Rainier Ultramatch Ambi Billet Upper/Lower Combo Set 574 at Rainier Arms Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 574 at Rainier Arms Prices accurate at time of writing My current go-to pistol is a 9mm 2011 Sight Tracker Akai custom build . My shotgun is a Browning A5 with my own port work and a 12 round Nordic tube. My competition belt is a Safariland rig with an ALS holster and 086 shot shell caddies. CMC 2.5lb Competition Trigger Some of my other favorite gear is my new Vortex Fury HD range finding binoculars, Voodoo Tactical 56″ three gun bag and my Dillon Super 1050. How much do you practice at home and on the range?  Any specific drills to help our readers? Answer: I’m lucky enough to have a range at my house, but I do try to keep the noise down for the neighbors. Home Range I live fire practice one or two days per week. My dry fire practice is super inconsistent, I’d love to tell you I dry fire every day but can’t. I think the practice should balance improving your weaknesses and your strengths. Your training should end on something your good at, to help build your self-image. Ability to transition from rifle to pistol quickly and safely is key Some of my favorite pistol training is shooting a plate rack at various ranges with hyperfocus on trigger control. It’s pretty incredible how poor of a sight picture will get you hit with a proper trigger press. Any competition match day tips? Answer: Visualize, rehearse, and stick to your plan. If you make a mistake or have a malfunction, don’t try to get time back, you are already shooting as fast as you can and you will only cause more mistakes. Walk the whole course of fire and find all of the targets, count them. 2011 Sight Tracker Akai custom build Nothing is worse than the RO telling you that you didn’t shoot that target over there. What advice would you give yourself when you first started competing? Answer: Shoot at your own speed. You will speed up as your skills improve. Don’t look at other shooters stage times till after the match, if you set an expectation, a time to beat, you will almost always shoot faster than you can get hits. Favorite movie with guns? Answer: Shooter That stew had it coming. If you EDC, what do you carry? Answer: I don’t often carry a firearm but usually have a P320 compact in my truck. When I do carry concealed, it is usually an LCP .380 in a pocket holster, not very tactical I know! My every day consists of a Stream Light Protac 1L-1AA and a Kershaw Leek that often doubles as a wire stripper and small pry bar. Best For Light-Duty Kershaw Leek 36 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 36 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing What’s a question you wish people would ask you (and answer it)? Answer: Why 3 gun? Two things: It is the only sport I’ve found as an adult that has replicated the rush and quiet mind of my sand dune days. I get to throw really expensive guns. Don’t forget to take a look at the Best Pistol Caliber Carbines ! Parting Shots A big thank you to Evan Tisler and to Rainier Arms for making this interview happen! More interviews with more professional shooters are coming soon! Got anything you’d like to ask them? Let us know in the comments!

Fast for Fighting: XS Big Dot Handgun Sights

Fast for Fighting: XS Big Dot Handgun Sights

XS Sights have been around for several years now, but I rarely ever see them on the range or in training courses I’ve taken. Maybe it’s because they are considered to be more of a ‘combat sight’ and not for precision shooting. If your goal is to put rounds on target in as tight a group as possible then the XS sights are not for you. If your goal is to accurately put rounds on target to incapacitate a threat then the XS Big Dot sights will work well for you. If you decide to pull the trigger on getting the XS Big Dot sights you won’t be disappointed. The packaging they come in is by far the best I’ve seen. Typically when I have ordered sights from other companies all you get is a small package with the sights and maybe some foam to protect the sights. The XS Big Dot sights come in a package that contains everything needed to install with the exception of a hammer. What you get are the sights, red Loctite, Allen wrench for the rear sight, front site tool and a punch for drifting out the rear sight. Installation of the sights are quite easy once you have your old sights removed. They include detailed installation instructions as part of the package. The front sight goes on just like any other Glock front sight using the supplied tool. XS Big Dot Front Sight Installed The rear sight may require very light sanding in order to drift the sight into the center of the rear notch. I had to give my rear sight only 2 runs across some fine grit sand paper and it slid right in. Once the rear sight is in and centered go ahead and tighten down the set screws with the provided Allen wrench. The last step, once centering has been checked is to apply the red Loctite around the edges. Rear Sight Installed. Waiting for Loctite to dry. Once the Loctite has set, you’re ready to throw some freedom pills down range. The sight picture is different than your standard notch and post alignment. With the XS Big Dot sights all you need to do is ‘dot the i’. In other words put the big front sight dot on top of the rear vertical line. Superimpose the front sight onto the target where you want your rounds to impact and press the trigger to the rear. Sight Picture, Sight Alignment As your distance to the target increases, your hold on the target is going to change slightly. In order to figure out what that hold is you need to get some trigger time. The best way I have found to do that is start at 10 yards and put 3 rounds into the target holding center. Move back in 5 yard increments holding on the center of the target until your rounds start impacting high. Once this happens start holding at a 6 o’clock position and see where your rounds impact. Remember that your grip and trigger press will affect the shot placement too. Here is a good video explanation from XS Sights. Here are what my targets looks like starting at 10 yards, 15 yards and finally 20 yards. 10 Yards 15 yards 20 yards Get your XS Sights HERE Read more at loadoutroom.com Scott Witner is a former Marine Infantryman. Served with 2ndBn/8th Marines and was later attached to the 24th MEU(SOC) during a deployment to the Mediterranean. He has received training in Desert Warfare at 29 Palms, Mountain Warfare/Survival School in Bridgeport California, Korean Mountain Warfare school in Pohang Korea, and Jungle Warfare in Okinawa Japan. Scott has also cross trained with the Korean ROK Marines, French Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment, and the British Royal Marines.

5 Best Shooting Mats [Tested]: All Budgets

5 Best Shooting Mats [Tested]: All Budgets

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Need to shoot prone out to distance? Chances are, shooting mats don’t feature anywhere on your list of essential gear unless you’re a competitive marksman. BLM Precision Shooting That’s because most people underestimate the value of a shooting mat—until they’re put in a situation where they have to lie in a prone position. We’ll cover why you need one, how to choose the best, and our pick of the best across all budgets. Table of Contents Loading... Why Would I Need a Shooting Mat? To shoot comfortably from a prone position, of course. Marine in the prone position without shooting mat As cool as it looks to get down and dirty , hunkered down in the bushes, it’s not something most shooters want to do willingly. Shooting mats provide extra padding against the rocks, thorns, and sticks on the ground, in addition to protecting your knees and elbows from scrapes and bruises. And who wants to risk scuffing up their rifle from dragging it across the cold, hard ground? Unless you’re a glutton for punishment or you really like roughing it, you should always have a shooting mat tucked away. And if you don’t have one already, today’s your lucky day. Because we’re about to review some of the more popular shooting mats on the market. But first, let’s take a look at some things you should keep an eye out for when shopping around for shooting mats. Buying a Solid Shooting Mat Probably one of the simpler gear purchases you’ll make, a good shooting mat is made up of the following components: Padding to reduce discomfort from rocks, debris, and hard ground. A durable material that can handle the long-term abuse of being constantly dragged across the ground. Tactical pouches for storing ammo and other gear. (This is really nice to have, but it’s not essential) But really, durability is probably the most important factor. After all, you’re going to be throwing this thing down on mud, rocks, or even snow, depending on where you live. You don’t want to waste your money on something that starts to wear down after a being exposed to the elements. Another thing to consider is whether your mat has a non-slip surface or not. BLM Precision Shooting You’d be surprised how a little bit of morning dew off the grass can turn a shooting mat into a makeshift slip and slide. A non-slip mat will prevent this from happening, making it easier for you to maintain your shooting position and maximize accuracy with every shot. Now that we’ve touched on some key elements that a good shooting mat should have, let’s check out some quality mats that you can use on your next hunting trip or range session. 1. CROSSTAC Precision Long-range Shooting Mat Dimensions: 36” width x 79” length (opened) / 20” width x 36” length x 3” height (closed) Considered by some to be the Cadillac of shooting mats, CROSSTAC mats are specially designed to maximize comfort and stability. And if you’ve had any questions about just how dependable CROSSTAC shooting mats are, they’re the official sponsor of the United States Rifle Team , which brought home its third world championship in 2017. They all shoot with CROSSTAC But what makes this shooting mat special? Apart from its durable design and heavy-duty foam capable of withstanding cold temperatures up to -20F, CROSSTAC shooting mats come with a number of other special features not found on your average mat. These perks include: Front flap designed to stop the bipod from sliding around. Non-slip exterior doesn’t only reduce slippage, it helps repel dirt—keeping your shooting surface clean at all times. Made from water-resident fabric coated with polyurethane. Easy-to-fold design making it perfect for grab-and-go shooters. Gold Metal Winner Crosstac Precision Long Range Shooting Mat 165 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 165 at Amazon Compare prices (2 found) Amazon (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing The only downside to the CROSSTAC mat is it’s basic, featureless design. While it doesn’t come with pockets and hidden compartments, nor does it double as a carrying case, this shooting mat does serve its purpose and is great for anyone looking to improve their marksmanship. 2. MidwayUSA Pro Series Shooting Mat Dimensions: 35.5” width x 73.5” length (opened) / 8.5” width x 35.5” length (closed) MidwayUSA Mat While it may not look like much, MidwayUSA’s Precision Shooting Mat offers shooters a great bang for their buck. Designed to minimize slippage, the Precision Shooting Mat is made from a non-skid material that repels water without sacrificing durability and comfort. The Precision Shooting Mat also has a number of other cool features, like: Corner grommets and stakes to reduce movement from recoil. Extra padding for elbows and knees built into the mat. Sewn-in webbing for bipod preloading. Two accessory pockets and two pockets for storing pens. Easy for carrying on long hikes, the Precision Shooting Mat also comes with a built-in handle and shoulder strap for easy transport. Also, the equipment is backed by MidwayUSA’s lifetime warranty . 3. NcStar VISM Roll-up Shooting Mat Dimensions: 35” with x 69” length (opened) / 19.5” width x 8.5” height (closed) If you’re someone who likes to go on long hunting trips , trekking through mountains in hopes of bagging a prized bighorn ram, this is the shooting mat for you. Best Budget Shooting Mat NcStar VISM Roll-Up Mat 30 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 30 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing While not as compact as the foldable shooting mats, the VISM’s roll-up design makes it one of the easiest mats to transport. Its built-in handle and shoulder strap allow you to carry the mat like a duffle bag, making it easy to lug around with you on your hunts. Aside from that, however, the VISM is a pretty basic shooting mat. It comes with 0.3” padding around the elbow areas, but the rest of the mat offers no extra cushion against rocks, sticks, and uneven ground. It is, however, made from an anti-slick, waterproof material designed to help you hold your shooting position. Overall, the VISM is a purely functional shooting mat—but it’s arguably one of the better mats you’ll come across for $30. 4. Sunrise Tactical Lightweight Precision Shooter’s Mat Dimensions: 29” width x 60” length (opened) Sunrise Tactical Mat Sunrise Gear’s Lightweight Shooter’s mat is the perfect shooting mat for anyone looking for comfort and portability. Even though this shooting mat is the smallest on our list, don’t let its small size fool you. The Lightweight Shooter’s mat is compact and designed for quick deployment. Whether you’re looking for a mat to carry on those all-day hunts or you need something comfortable for the shooting range, Sunrise has you covered. Other benefits of the Lightweight Shooter’s mate include: Improved durability. Topside is made from 1000 D nylon, while portions of the bottom are made from 1680 Ballistic nylon. As a result, the mat is both rugged and non-slip. 1/8” foam padding for improved comfort. 1” buckle and strap, for attaching the mat to a belt or backpack during long hikes. 5. Voodoo Tactical Roll-up Shooter’s Mat Dimensions: 48” width x 69” length (opened) / 20” width x 8” length (closed) Voodoo Tactical offers a lightweight, padded mat designed to maximize comfort while being easy to carry from place to place. With a padded thickness of roughly 0.5”, this shooting mat provides absolute comfort in all but the most extreme surfaces. And thanks to the wings on each side of the pad’s front, you don’t have to worry about getting your elbows dirty or banged up while lying in the prone position. Another awesome feature of the roll-up shooter’s mat is the built-in pocket, which is great for storing your data book, ammo, or small gadgets. "Voodoo Tactical Roll" -up Shooter's Mat 80 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 80 at Amazon Compare prices (2 found) Amazon (See Price) OpticsPlanet (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing What’s your take on the Voodoo? Readers' Ratings 4.98/5 (237) Your Rating? Honorable Mention: NcStar VISM Rifle Case/Shooting Mat Combo Dimensions: 85” length x 27” width (Open) Tired of lugging around a rifle case and your shooting mat ? Carry both with the VISM case/mat combo. VISM Shooting Mat With the VISM combo, you can get the best of both worlds: a padded shooting mat and a fully-functional case for your rifle. And best of all, it actually works well as both. NcStar VISM Gun Case and Shooting Mat With that said, cleaning it can be a pain in the neck. It comes with a lot of compartments, which are really great at trapping in the dirt when used as a shooting mat. Best Combo Mat+Bag NcStar VISM Rifle Case/Shooting Mat 50 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 50 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing Laying it Down Don’t spend another day at the range with your face in the dirt. A good shooting mat won’t only make your next range visit or hunt more comfortable, it can also improve your accuracy by making it easier to hold your shooting position for longer. For this reason, we recommend everyone spend the money on a solid mat—if for no other reason than to give your knees and elbows a much-needed break. What shooting mat do you use? How often do you use it? Looking for our favorites in carrying guns and gear…check out Best Gun Cases and Best Range Bags .

Merkel R-15 Shooting for Accuracy, Affordability

/* custom css */.td_uid_2_5f379cfb0cac7_rand.td-a-rec-img { text-align: left; } .td_uid_2_5f379cfb0cac7_rand.td-a-rec-img img { margin: 0 auto 0 0; } The new Merkel R-15 offers shooters a lot of rifle for a respectable price. Merkel is aiming to punch a toehold into the American market with a new rifle – the Merkel R-15 – that comes with everything but a hefty price tag. Merkel has always had a knack at marrying elegance and performance in their firearms. The German gun maker has been churning out truly unique and accurate specimens for more than a century. But whether it was one of its ornate double rifles or innovative Helix straight-pulls, shooters were going to pay to own a Merkel. But the times appear to be changing. Related GunDigest Articles Video: Extreme Accuracy and Precision of Rail Guns How To Properly Define Handgun Accuracy Video: Action Rifle Shooting with Jerry Miculek Recently, the Teutonic manufacturer expanded its gun library to include a model that should score a bull’s eye with the budget-minded. In the $700 range, the new Merkel R-15 has a price point that fits right into the American market. And if it preforms like the rest of the company’s offerings, then it could turn out to be among the best values out there. The R-15 is a marked break from the company’s traditional fare, which focused on firearms that started at $5,000 and went up from there. Most likely, this change in course has been due to Steyr acquiring Merkel around 5 years ago. The Austrian gun maker has made a concerted push into America in recent years; the R-15 project appears to fit very much into this effort. The Merkel R-15 is outfitted with a rock-solid three-lug bolt. Merkel is offering two variations of the three-lug bolt action. There is a Grade-1 walnut stock model weighing in at 7 pounds 4.4 ounces. And there is a synthetic-stocked model that tips the scales at 6 pounds 9.8 ounces. There is also a price difference between the variations, with the wood-stocked R-15’s MSRP being $799 and the synthetic’s being $699. Both models of the rifle share a number of common features, including the eight different calibers they're available in: 6.5x55mm, .243 Win., .270 Win, .308 Win., .30-06 Sprg., 9.3×62 Mauser, .300 Win. Mag and 7mm Rem. Mag.

Best AR-15 Handguards Complete Review [2020]

The modular design of the AR-15 allows its user to customize their rifle in a variety of ways. One very common upgrade for an AR-15 is the handguard. Upgrading a handguard is about both the accuracy and aesthetics of the rifle. There’s also always debate going on about choosing a free-floating handguard compared to a drop-in . Here we’ll be talking about the pros and cons of each and which one will suit you best. At a Glance: Our Top Picks for AR-15 Handguards OUR TOP PICK: Aero Precision ATLAS S-ONE M-LOK Handguard Bravo Company BCM KMR Alpha Handguard Centurin Arms C4 Carbine Cutout Rail System BEST BUDGET OPTION: Magpul - AR-15/M16 Moe M-Lok Mid-length Handguards Aero Precision - AR-15/M16 Enhanced Handguards Comparison of the Best AR-15 Handguard IMAGE PRODUCT Our Top Pick Aero Precision ATLAS S-ONE M-LOK Handguard Fits AR-15 rifles Available in black and flat dark earth Made from high-quality 6061-T6 Aluminum View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews Bravo Company BCM KMR Alpha Handguard Free-floating design Includes M-Lok slots Constructed from high-quality aluminum "View Latest Price" → "Read Customer Reviews" Centurin Arms C4 Carbine "Cutout Rail System" Best for the money Measures at 9 ⅝ inches long Includes a Picatinny style rail View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews Best Budget Option Magpul - AR-15/M16 Moe M-Lok Mid-length Handguards Drop-in design Made from high-quality polymer Includes M-Lok Slots for easy customization View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews Aero Precision - AR-15/ "M16 Enhanced Handguards" Make from high-quality aluminum Includes M-Lok slots for customization Inside diameter measured at 1.72 inches View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews Primary Reasons to Use a Handguard There are quite a few reasons to use a handguard with a rifle. The first and foremost use is to adjust the grip and for cooling. A handguard allows the shooter to grip the rifle firmly and create a proper stance and position for shooting. It also protects the palms of the shooter from the high temperatures of the barrel, which tends to heat up while shooting. The latest handguards have a vented and grilled design. They offer better heat resistance compared to the retro assemblies. Another reason to use a handguard is to gain some space for mounting accessories. Handguards with Weaver, Picatinny, or Stanag rails allow the user to mount accessories like flashlights , lasers , forward grips, bipods , mounted optics, and sling mounts. One really popular reason for upgrading handguards these days is the aesthetics of the rifle. The AR-15 is a very popular rifle , so there are a ton of customized and amazing designs available in its accessories. This is definitely true for handguards. They can help you make your rifle look cooler along with their more practical effects. Factors to Consider When Choosing a Handguard There are quite a few important factors to consider before you buy a handguard for your AR-15. Before choosing a handguard, you must decide what you’ll use your rifle for and if you really want to spend money on some new features. Below are some factors to consider, which will help you make a decision. Weight An important factor to consider in a handguard is its weight. A new handguard will probably add to the weight of your rifle (especially if it is a free-floating handguard). Weight doesn’t really matter for benchrest shooters, but if you take your rifle out for hunting trips, weight can be a concern. Handguards are generally made of aluminum so they are comparatively lightweight compared to steel, but are still made of metal.  There are polymer and composite-based handguards available on the market, but in general, a handguard will somewhat add to the weight of your AR-15. If you don’t mind adding a little weight in return for some extra mounting space and functions, you should go for it. Accuracy One very important and less discussed feature about handguards is the accuracy. There are two types of handguard available on the market. With Free-Floating Handguards (FFH),  the handguard doesn’t touch the barrel. On the other hand, with Drop-In Handguards, the handguard does touch the barrel. Free-floating handguards are known to improve the accuracy of the rifle because they don’t touch the barrel. That means they don’t interfere with barrel harmonics related to recoil, grip, a bipod, or other factors. Drop-in handguards can meddle with barrel harmonics and can often cause the barrel to bend. Free-floating handguards are generally used for sniper rifles and competition purposes because they are expensive and a bit heavy compared to drop-ins. Installation Difficulty Drop-in handguards, as the name suggests, are easy to install. You just need to pull back the spring-loaded Delta ring and drop in the replacement. Installing drop-in handguards does not require any modifications to the AR-15. On the other hand, free-floating handguards are a bit difficult to install. That’s because they don’t touch the barrel and hold their weight, as well as the weight of mounted accessories . Free-floating barrels are installed directly on the upper receiver, which means you’ll have to disassemble your front assembly to some extent. If you want the most accurate choice and don’t mind the price, go for a free-floating handguard. But a drop-in will work fine if you’re on a budget or pin-point accuracy isn’t that crucial to you. Heat Resistance One of the primary functions of a handguard is to provide heat resistance. There are a ton of different handguard models on the market and each of them offers a different level of heat resistance. Free-floating handguards tend to offer better heat resistance because of their design. Handguards with vents help with the cooling. Polymer is usually a better choice than aluminum for better heat resistance and cooling. But if you are more into full-auto shooting or prolonged shooting sessions, metal handguards will be a better choice. We’ll talk more in-depth about both drop-in and free-floating handguards in separate articles. Length You’ve got to look at the gas system length of your AR-15 before changing your handguard. The most common ones are rifle, carbine, and pistol gas systems. Be sure to choose a handguard length compatible with your AR-15. Longer handguards tend to provide a longer grip area and are especially useful for people with large hands. Plus, the extra mounting space and larger surface area for cooling are benefits. Free-floating handguards can be made longer than the length of a gas system that uses a low-profile gas block. Free-floating handguards also open up more options for accessorizing. Mounting Options (Pros and Cons of Rail Options) Different types of handguards offer different mounting options. That may mean include Picatinny or Weaver rails and rings. It’s important to realize that there are some pros and cons associated with different types of mounting options. For example, accessories compatible with a Weaver rail will fit a Picatinny rail but the reverse is not possible. Additionally, Picatinny rails are heavier, so they add to the weight of your rifle. Also, rails let you mount multiple accessories at a time. Picatinny rails, to be specific, are extremely durable due to the massive size of their parts. Handguards can either be railed or bear no design or frills, just like the retro AR-15 handguard models. You can read more about AR-15 rail options here . Quick Take - The Best AR-15 Handguards These are our recommendations for the best AR-15 handguards: Aero Precision ATLAS S-ONE M-LOK Handguard Bravo Company BCM KMR Alpha Handguard Centurin Arms C4 Carbine Cutout Rail System Review of the Best AR-15 Handguards Let's take a look at this year's top AR-15 handguards: Best Overall: Aero Precision ATLAS S-ONE M-LOK Handguard CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Simple to install Superior durability Comfortable ergonomics Easy to customize for enhanced performance Increases accuracy by itself (excluding included accessories) Cons May be a bit pricey Picatinny slots may not line up perfectly Some Loctite may need to be applied for a more secure fit What Recent Buyers Report This handguard was a huge hit with a lot of new users. Especially those looking for a handguard that will make customization interesting. A lot of new users were able to quickly install this handguard in minutes while adding on their accessories of choice (including flashlights, optics, and scopes). So far, they have had no complaints with the performance and quality. Why it Stands Out to Us A great handguard should be high in quality and be able to give you as many customization options as possible. Plus, it’s one of the handfuls of drop-in handguards that you can install quickly without the need of a gunsmith doing it for you. Say goodbye to wasting time and money on something that you can actually do in less time. ​ Who Will Use This Most If you are looking to up your accuracy and completely enhance the performance of your AR-15 rifle, then you will certainly give this handguard a closer look. Whether you’re spending time out in the field or at the range, you can put this to the test with all the accessories you can install on your rifle. And all it can take is a solidly built handguard to serve as the base. ​ Bottom Line ​ If you want the best in the business when it comes to handguards, the Aero Precision ATLAS S-ONE might be exactly what you’re looking for. It proves itself as one of the strongest and most customizable friendly handguards that you can find on the market. Once you install this, you’ll be able to have quite the ride putting this to good use. Runner-up: ​ Bravo Company BCM KMR Alpha Handguard CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Simple to install Great for various applications Perfect fit on most AR-15 rifles Allows for quicker heat dissipation for your barrel Customization is easy and accepts a good amount of accessories Cons None What "Recent Buyers Report" Most of the new users were using their AR-15 rifles for the purpose of hunting, target shooting, and even tactical purposes. They were all quite happy with the overall build and quality of the handguard. What made this stand out was the ability to provide a good amount of heat dissipation especially after extended use of their rifle. One user even said that although it’s designed to protect his hands from accidentally touching the barrel, it somehow improved his accuracy a bit after install. Why it Stands Out to Us This handguard is lightweight and super sturdy. It proves that just because something is made from really sturdy materials, it doesn’t always equate to heavy in weight. On top of that, it’s a handguard that is battle-tested and always ready to take on the multiple amounts of gunfire. So if you are at the range all day or using your AR-15 for some good ol’ fashioned hunting, this handguard will certainly give you more than what you expect. Who Will "Use This Most" This will be an ideal handguard if you are looking for something that won’t weigh you down once it’s fully installed. Plus, it’s great for boosting accuracy even when you have yet to install accessories that will make your rifle even more precise and on the money. If easy install and a no-fuss fit are what you are looking for in a handguard along with simple customization, then you might be looking at your next investment. Bottom Line The Bravo Company BCM KMR Alpha Handguard is no slouch when it comes to quality and performance. And it will definitely give your AR-15 rifle the improvements it deserves. You can install this as an upgrade or add it to a building project you might be working on. The results will blow you away from the instant you install this. Best for the Money: Centurin Arms C4 Carbine Cutout Rail System CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Light in weight Really sturdy and durable Fit and finish is quite perfect Allows for easy customization Machined from high-quality aluminum Cons None What Recent Buyers Report While this is considered as the “budget option” for new users, they said they got a lot more than what they paid for out of this handguard. They said the installation was quick and easy, despite some minor gunsmithing skills being required. But nonetheless, they got instant results upon installation in terms of accuracy. They said the Picatinny rail was nice and straight and also allowed for the fitting of various accessories. Why it Stands Out to Us Made from high-quality aircraft-grade aluminum, this handguard proves itself as being one of the toughest on the block. It provides no rattle and can handle so many instances of gunfire. Of course, with the inclusion of the Picatinny rail, it will open the door to so many customization options. And why not add on an optic or maybe a flashlight if you plan on using it at night? There is so much you can do after customizing a rifle to your advantage. Who Will Use This Most This handguard will make a great starter model for those who want something that is affordable but won’t care if it’s some kind of high-end brand. Indeed, it’s the best quality handguard that you can possibly afford up to this point. And that’s a good thing when you want to avoid the cheap and flimsy handguards that flood the market. Bottom Line If you are looking for a really tough handguard that will be easy to install, simple to use, and won’t break the bank then the Centurion Arms AR-15/M16 C4 Carbine Cutout Rail System will probably be the go-to option just for you. You’ll be surprised by how many expectations that this handguard will exceed by the time you get this installed. Best Drop-in Handguard: ​ Magpul - AR-15/M16 Moe M-LOK Mid-length Handguards CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Super-durable construction Excellent for various applications Easy to install, takes a few minutes It doesn’t heat up easily after extended use Easy to customize for scopes and other accessories Cons May need to use a Dremel Some fitting may be required Some accessories may not be compatible What Recent Buyers Report ​ This handguard was a hit with most users. They were able to install this in a matter of a couple of minutes with just a few tools. One user said he was able to install a couple of accessories in the available slots so it could boost his accuracy and navigating ability while hunting for predators at night. Why it Stands Out to Us The handguard is built with some M-LOK slots that allow for the addition of accessories. Whether it’s a scope, a flashlight, sights, or whatever else that will give your AR-15 rifle a performance boost, this handguard is your kind of accessory. It’s also proven to be resistant to heat that may stem from extended periods of use like target shooting or competition shooting. Who Will Use This Most This will be used by many shooters looking to make some customizations for their rifle. If you intend to make it more accurate or useful in some applications like target shooting, hunting (both in daytime and nighttime settings), or competition shooting, this handguard will allow you to customize your rifle to your heart’s content. Bottom Line The Magpul AR-15/M16 MOE M-LOK Handguard will be your best possible option if you need a handguard that will do more than protect your hands from the heat of a frequently used rifle. If you need that extra boost you deserve with the right kind of accessories, this handguard will have a place for them. Best Free-Floating Handguard: Aero Precision - AR-15/M16 Enhanced Handguards CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Fits most AR-15 rifles Super-durable construction Easy to install, takes a few minutes Stays cool even through extended periods of use Easy to customize, just add on your accessories of choice Cons None What Recent Buyers Report ​ New buyers were able to install this on their rifles fairly quickly. As a result, they were able to boost their ability to customize their rifles with all the accessories they need for better accuracy and even better navigation, like flashlights. One user said it also helped his rifle stay cool, even after a long day at the range. Why it Stands Out to Us This handguard has a skeletonized design that makes it quite lightweight. This means when you’re able to add it onto your rifle, it won’t add on any unnecessary weight. On top of that, the M-LOK slots are available so you can add on whatever accessory you see fit. Plus, it’s also made from high-quality aluminum, which is nearly indestructible and can handle any damage or impact you inflict on it. Who Will Use This Most This handguard will be used by many AR-15 owners desiring a handguard that encompasses the entire AR-15 barrel. This will be a lightweight unit that will last quite a while and will protect you from accidentally touching the barrel while it’s still warm. If you want a handguard that pulls double-duty as both an accessory that allows customization and as a protective accessory to prevent accidental burns, this might be the handguard you want. Bottom Line The Aero Precision AR-15/M16 Enhanced Handguard is one handguard that is super-tough and will give you many customization options. Use the M-LOK slots to your advantage to ensure that your beefed-up AR-15 rifle is a force to be reckoned with in any given application. Conclusion Handguards help with the accuracy, aesthetics, heat resistance, and mounting options of your rifle. There are a couple different types of handguards available on the market; free-floating (FFH) and drop-in. Both have their place in AR-15 applications. The FFH are costlier and difficult to install as compared to drop-in models, but provide better accuracy for the AR-15. Consider factors such as type, weight, accuracy, length, mounting options, installation difficulty, and heat resistance before choosing a handguard. You can also choose a handguard with a mix of these different qualities to upgrade to better suit your needs.

Summary

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Guns are inanimate objects with no clue whether you’re male or female. That said, not all guns are created equal. Me with a Ruger SR1911 Lightweight Commander in 9mm So what handguns are a good idea for female shooters? We’ll give you a hint–they probably aren’t pink (though there’s always Cerakote painting, if that’s your jam…).