SILENCER SHOP’S “BIG NOISE” FOR SUPPRESSOR PURCHASERS!

Like many firearms enthusiasts, I have been waiting hopefully for the Hearing Protection Act to work its way through Congress. This bill would reduce or eliminate the current restrictions on firearms suppressors – so called silencers. In parts of Europe, suppressors are encouraged – even required – for many shooting sports, because while they do not make a “gun” as quiet as in the movies, they can eliminate the need for bulky hearing protection for both shooters and others nearby by “muffling” the sound of the muzzle blast. For hunters, less shooting noise also means game will be less skittish, and neighbors close by will not be disturbed.

Unfortunately, at this point it does not look good for the HPA getting passed – however, the type of American business ingenuity often praised (and practiced) by President Trump has resulted in some changes to existing law that DO ease the suppressor approval process.

In the recent past, using an NFA firearms trust could make suppressor ownership less painful, by eliminating the need for photos, fingerprints, local LEO approval, and background checks, but then came Amendment 41F, which gummed up the works by requiring that the Trust owner and each “trustee” listed not only had to have their signature notarized, but now would also have to undergo fingerprinting, photos, and background checks equal to those demanded of the owner of a non-trust NFA item. Reports are that this has slowed down sales of suppressors considerably, by making the rules more, instead of less, restrictive.

In a move that reminds me of when a certain man named Knight pioneered In-line Muzzle Loading rifles that brought the range and accuracy of a modern centerfire rifle to “Muzzle Loader Only” seasons for deer hunting – The Silencer Shop in Austin, Texas, discovered that while the BAFT had regulatory authority over NFA items such as suppressors, machine guns, and short barreled rifles or shotguns – they do NOT have anything to say about US Trust laws. The result of this is the Single Shot Trust – which has to be the very best thing for suppressor purchasers short of complete de-regulation.

Personally, I had been waiting/hoping for HPA to pass to purchase my second suppressor, having already mounted a threaded barrel on my Ruger Standard .22 LR. When the bill did not sail through, I reminded myself of a personal decision to hold off on buying additional firearms until I got that suppressor! To this end I contacted The Silencer Shop and ordered a Tacsol Axium suppressor, using a Single Shot Trust.

So how does the SS Trust work? As the name might suggest, this is a trust for a single NFA item. The cost is a very reasonable $25, so if you should decide later to buy additional items, you just get an additional trust for each one. OR, if you know in advance you will be buying multiple suppressors in the future, there is the “Unlimited Single Shot Trust”. With this option, additional items can be added to the existing trust at any time, and since the original paperwork is already done, the process is VERY easy. Of course, unless you plan to have several NFA items, the “regular” Single Shot Trust might be less expensive than the $130 unlimited option (which is the cost of setting up a “regular” trust).

One good part of 41F was that it changed the requirement for approval (and signature) of the top law enforcement official in you local area to only a need to notify that office.

Also with the Single Shot Trust, “trustees” can be added after the BATF Tax Stamp has been received, actually, at any time. These trustees will NOT have to submit pictures or prints, and their signatures do not require notarization. No background check for them, either, yet they have the same rights as Trustees in a “regular” NFA trust, in that they can possess and/or use the item without the trust owner being present. Silencer Shop has BATF approval for the Single Shot Trust, and it is deemed valid in all US states except Iowa and Vermont.

Another possible benefit (not sure this has been tested yet) would be that since such a Trust only affects a single NFA item, it should be reasonable to expect that such item could be sold by selling the entire trust, thus requiring no new tax stamp or transfer fee, and no wait time for approval. This, in itself, could be a H-U-G-E change!

Although I already had an NFA trust, I chose to buy my new suppressor with a Singe Shot Trust, to see for myself how the experience was. It would be a small compliment to say that this is currently by far the best way to go! Most of the process can be handled online, and SS even has a cell phone app for taking your own passport type photos. Their network dealers also have fingerprint “kiosks”, where a machine resembling one selling lottery tickets allows your fingerprints to be “taken” digitally, on site. Once taken they are automatically transmitted to your account at Silencer Shop. I went through this at the closest dealer to me – DSG Gunworks in Baytown, Texas, and even though I stupidly forgot my paperwork – The Silencer Shop emails a code and scanner image to get you into their system, and if you are buying the item from that dealer, the cost is included in the total price – everything was able to be straightened out over the phone, and went went fairly smooth. In addition, I got to visit with DSG owner Dan Slaven about the collection of fully automatic weapons they had on site.

OK, now I wait 6 – 9 months before I can get my new “toy”, right? Well, hopefully not. Reports are that suppressor sales, and thus applications for tax stamps are down considerably since 41F went through, instead of the HPA. Feeling seems to be that once the “glut” of applications received immediately before 41F is processed, wait times COULD drop to 2 months – or even less. Not sure if it will still be valid, but the original “promise” was that if HPA passed, tax refunds for suppressors purchased between the time it was filed and ultimately passed would be refunded!

Things may be getting a lot quieter around here!

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Let There Be (New) Lights!

My wife and I were thinking our 12v lights in the camp trailer – that we use more for “camp” than “trailer” were getting a bit dim. Several of the overheads needed new bulbs, and the “dome light” over the dining table needed a new switch. Because we had recently began replacing lights in both our home and cabin with LED units for both economy and brightness, we wondered if their were LED alternatives for RV use?

The LED replacement is brighter, will last longer, and has about the same footprint as the original equipment light.

The LED replacement is brighter, will last longer, and has about the same footprint as the original equipment light.

Well, there WERE! First one we replaced was the dining table overhead, with a whole new LED unit. It was so much brighter than our old 12v lights, we decided to now explore new LED overhead units. The Kohree units we bought were great replacements for the original lights, but much brighter, and rated to last 60,000 hours – with no bulbs to EVER change!

The original lighting was a bit yellow, required changing bulbs occasionally, and the bulbs did not come out easily.

The original lighting was a bit yellow, required changing bulbs occasionally, and the bulbs did not come out easily.

Light Emitting Diode (LED) fixtures are a definite upgrade. With no bulbs to "burn out" and an expected life of 60,000 hours, they are a no-brainer!

Light Emitting Diode (LED) fixtures are a definite upgrade. With no bulbs to “burn out” and an expected life of 60,000 hours, they are a no-brainer!

Installation was also easy – I installed the 6 overheads we originally bought in a single morning, and the dome light was even simpler!

Amazing things, these LED lights!

Amazing things, these LED lights!

I originally bought enough LED fixtures to replace 6 of the 9 units in our RV. I now have enough on order to finish the job!

I originally bought enough LED fixtures to replace 6 of the 9 units in our RV. I now have enough on order to finish the job!

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H.R. 1382 – “Go Fish” (For Red Snapper) Bill Introduced by Randy Weber of Texas

115th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 1382

To establish requirements and restrictions for the commercial, charter, and recreational red snapper fishing seasons in the Gulf of Mexico for the 2017 and 2018 fishing seasons, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 7, 2017
Mr. Weber of Texas (for himself, Mr. Austin Scott of Georgia, and Mr. Byrne) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources

A BILL
To establish requirements and restrictions for the commercial, charter, and recreational red snapper fishing seasons in the Gulf of Mexico for the 2017 and 2018 fishing seasons, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Give Our Fishermen Immediate Snapper Help Act” or the “GOFISH Act”.

SEC. 2. RED SNAPPER FISHING SEASONS IN THE GULF OF MEXICO.

(a) In General.—Notwithstanding any provision of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), any fishery management plan under that Act, or any other Federal law, for each of the 2017 fishing season and 2018 fishing season—

(1) the red snapper fishing season for the recreational fishing sector in the Gulf of Mexico—

(A) shall be 62 consecutive days in duration; and

(B) shall begin on July 1;

(2) the allocation of red snapper, and the duration of the red snapper fishing season, for the commercial fishing sector in the Gulf of Mexico shall be the same as the allocation and duration, respectively, that applied to such sector for the 2016 fishing season;

(3) the allocation of red snapper, and the duration of the red snapper fishing season, for the charter fishing sector in the Gulf of Mexico may not be less than the allocation and duration that applied to such sector for the 2016 fishing season; and

(4) the red snapper catch limit and size limit for each such sector shall be no less than the catch limit and size limit, respectively, that applied to such sector for the 2016 fishing season.

(b) Proposed Rule.—The Secretary of Commerce shall issue a proposed rule to implement subsection (a) for the 2017 fishing season and 2018 fishing season, respectively.

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Ankle Concealment Holster for small semi-auto pistols

My AMT Backup .380 is a small enough semi-auto pistol to be properly termed a “pocket gun”, and the pocket holster I use with it is usually great for carrying it VERY concealed. As light as is is, however, there are sometimes when I wear “exercise pants”, or lounge type wear with no belt that will not support the weight sufficiently. When I walk out to get my morning paper, it is usually still dark, there is a lot of traffic on the road,of who knows what all types, and we often have wandering skunks between me and the mailbox – and at least once a big rattlesnake – so I would like to be able to “carry” the small pistol in warmer months when I won’t be wearing a jacket with big pockets. By the way, when I told the story about the rattler to our city manager and told him I almost had to ask “forgiveness” for violating the city ordinance against discharging a firearm, he told me he considered killing a rattlesnake to fall under the Texas “Castle Law” that gives homeowners the right to use deadly force to defend themselves or their property!

This ankle holster offers reasonable concealment for small semi-auto pistols, like my AMT .380 Backup

This ankle holster offers reasonable concealment for small semi-auto pistols, like my AMT .380 Backup

The latest option I am trying is an ankle holster that attaches with a wide velcro strap. It is designed for small autos, and holds the .380 Backup well – even has a retention strap. While not especially designed for it, and a bit heavier, my .45 ACP DAO Backup can also be carried in the same holster.

Attachment is via a wide velcro strap, which is comfortable and secure.

Attachment is via a wide velcro strap, which is comfortable and secure.

So far, this seems like the solution I was looking for, and I carried the .380 in this holster on my last woods trip, instead of in a front pocket.

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The Gun Digest Book Of Hunting Revolvers – by Max Prasac

Max Prasac's latest - Gun Digest Book of Hunting Revolvers - is a must have for handgun hunting enthusiasts!

Max Prasac’s latest – Gun Digest Book of Hunting Revolvers – is a must have for handgun hunting enthusiasts!

Max Prasac is a well known expert on handgun hunting and the revolvers to do it with. He is respected enough to receive both custom and pre-release factory revolvers for “evaluation”, and also has owned many fine custom revolvers in the largest calibers made. Max’s newest book in the Gun Digest series is “The Gun Digest Book of Hunting Revolvers”, in which he covers the “basics” of hunting with revolvers, holsters, ammo, sighting systems, and big game revolver calibers from .35’s to the big .50’s. He also includes some brief “bio’s” of other well known handgun hunters.

Even the back cover of this book is worthwhile reading!

Even the back cover of this book is worthwhile reading!

Aimed (pardon the pun) at the big game hunter, he does not deal with small game hunting or the revolvers used for that pursuit, but that is information that can be found elsewhere.

The photography of revolvers and game taken with revolvers is excellent, and probably worth the cost of the book.

I own all of Max’s books, and had been anxiously awaiting this one since he first told me it was coming, several months ago. Take my word for it – this one was more than worth the wait!

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Texas Legacy Revolver

The new "Texas Legacy" Revolver, offered by American Legacy Firearms

The new “Texas Legacy” Revolver, offered by American Legacy Firearms

There was a flyer “insert” in my local morning paper one day last week that caught my interest immediately. It was illustrated with photos of a beautiful revolver – The “Texas Legacy Revolver” issued by American Legacy Firearms, of Fort Collins, Colorado. This revolver is the latest of a series of commemorative guns the company produces to “honor” various states, and sometimes even cities. Company rep Todd Ray told me on the phone that to go with the sentiment that “Everything is bigger in Texas!”, they chose to “build” this gun on a BFR revolver by Magnum Research with a plated stainless steel finish, 10″ barrel, and chambered in .30-30 Winchester.

Drawing of the cylinder engraving.

Drawing of the cylinder engraving.

The company does it’s own plating and engraving, and this revolver has Texas-themes engraving on the cylinder, barrel, frame back strap, and grips. The grips on the one pictured are Rosewood, and configured like grips for a Ruger Super Blackhawk with the squared trigger guard, and marked with the note that each gun is a numbered in the series of only 100 to be issued. When I talked to Todd, he had just returned from participating in the Rattlesnake Roundup, in SweetWater, Texas, where the Texas Legacy Revolver was photoed with a couple of the star rattlesnakes’

"God Bless Texas" is engraved ob the frame back strap!

“God Bless Texas” is engraved on the frame back strap!

When I suggested Zane Thompson of LoneStarCustomGrips as a great guy to make “Texas Legacy” grips for these guns, Todd said that should I buy one and want Zane to make grips for it, I could send them to American Legacy and they would have them appropriately engraved.

The Texas Legacy BFR Revolver - stainless plated frame, 10" barrel, Texas-themed engraving, and chambered in .30-30 Winchester!

The Texas Legacy BFR Revolver – stainless plated frame, 10″ barrel, Texas-themed engraving, and chambered in .30-30 Winchester!

While these handguns are meant as collectibles, it would be a shame to own a BFR and NOT shoot it! Since these revolvers are chambered in .500 Linebaugh and other “stout” calibers, the .30-30 should be relatively calm in a gun of this weight and barrel length. I have a Thompson Contender with a 14″ barrel in .30-30, and it is pretty pleasant to shoot.

The price for these handguns is $2,500 (each), and there is a payment plan offered, of $200 down and $200 a month. For more info, go to www.AmericanLegacyFirearms.com, or call 1-877-887-4867.

Beautiful as well as practical handguns are a part of Texas history and “legacy”, and the .30-30 cartridge also contributed a lot to “building” Texas – although mostly in the Winchester 94 carbine. Personally, I like this idea, and might suggest another slogan for the Texas Legacy Revolver – actually carrying and shooting an expensive, engraved, collectible .30-30 revolver –

“Nowhere But Texas!”

Right side of barrel, engraved with "republic of Texas"

Right side of barrel, engraved with “republic of Texas”[/caption

[caption id="attachment_3611" align="alignleft" width="120"]Left side of the barrel is engraved, "Established 1836". Left side of the barrel is engraved, “Established 1836”.

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Galco IWB Holster for AMT Backup .45 ACP, DAO

After finding my AMT Backup .45 ACP, I of course needed a proper holster for it.The Galco model designed for this pistol is of the Inside The Waistband type for concealment, yet may also be simply clipped to the belt and used outside the waistband. The fit was snug – took a bit of stretching before the hold-down strap would fit – but after that was accomplished, the fit is near perfect – and the quality is Galco!

This Galco IWB holster may be used IWB or OWB.

This Galco IWB holster may be used IWB or OWB.

The exterior of the holster is "rough side out" to keep it from slipping.

The exterior of the holster is “rough side out” to keep it from slipping.

The Galco holster has a good hold down strap for pistol security.

The Galco holster has a good hold down strap for pistol security.

Evidently, I ordered the “wrong” holster – for me – on my first try. I like to carry on my left, pistol butt forward for a cross-draw, but ordered a left hand holster – which doesn’t work for that, and obviously is not correct for regular right hand draw. To correct this I ordered another holster in right hand mode, and this one in brown or “natural” color to make them easier to tell apart – as I am keeping the first in case a situation arises where I would need to carry with it. Such a situation is using it as a belt clip OWB holster that is easily attached to my belt and gives me my preferred cross-draw. I have also purchased an ankle holster which will carry either of my Backup pistols, and will review it as soon as I have given it a good shake down.

Same holster, in a right hand model, different color.

Same holster, in a right hand model, different color.

I wore this one several hours recently while mowing, and it was comfortable and out of sight!

I wore this one several hours recently while mowing, and it was comfortable and out of sight!

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First Place Award for MikesTexasHunt-Fish.com

At this weekend’s Texas Outdoor Writers Association Conference held at La Torretta Resort on Lake Conroe, in the Excellence in Craft competition, MikesTexasHunt-Fish.com won 1st Place in the category “Best Original Internet Story” for the post, “Another Blast From The Past: George Herter’s Revolver/Cartridge, posted here on September 28, 2016.

MikesTexasHunt-Fish received the 1st place award for Original Internet Story for a post about Herter's Revolvers.

MikesTexasHunt-Fish received the 1st place award for Original Internet Story for a post about Herter’s Revolvers.

Other notable award winners were my friends John Jefferson of Austin – who was voted a Lifetime Member, Marty Malin of Larado – who received the prestigious “L.A. Wilke Award”, and Chester Moore, Editor of Texas Fish & Game – who was given the Mossey Oak Writer’s Award.

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RE-OPEN THE MOUTH OF THE SAN BERNARD – AGAIN?

Just heard from Roy Edwards down in Rivers End near the mouth of the San Bernard that Brazoria Count Commissioner “Dude” Payne informed him that State Representative Dennis Bonnan reports the project to re-open the mouth of the San Bernard River is approved using restoration funds from the BP oil spill settlement, and could begin in the next 6 – 9 months.

Posted in Conservation/The Environment | 2 Comments

BACKUP TO A BACKUP? THE AMT BACKUP .45 ACP DAO

The story of my first exposure to the AMT Backup .380 semi-auto “pocket pistol” is documented in an earlier post here. To briefly recap, I found the gun in an old RV I was wrecking out for parts. It was lodged under the propane stove, and must have been there longer than the 12 years I had owned the camper. It was loaded, and in pretty good condition, all things considered. I spent some time and a little money getting it in like new condition again, and have shot it enough that it it now my bedside gun, and also goes with me on trips to my woods property. It is accurate enough at “belly gun” ranges to certainly be better than no gun at all, and I like the all-stainless steel construction, plus the slide safety and grip safety much better than a “modern” striker fired plastic pistol.

In researching the AMT pistols, I found that the Backup line was chambered in several calibers, from .22 LR to .45 ACP. My .380 is a double action/single action design, with no visible hammer. The later version that was chambered for 9 mm, .40 S&W, .38 Super, and .45 ACP was a Double Action Only (DAO) model which had NO safety – instead relying on a stiff trigger pull to keep the gun from firing except when it was wanted to fire. The .380 Backup is heavy for it’s size, but is a blow-back design, and recoils more than a .380 might be expected to. When I got a chance to pick up a .45 ACP Backup, I was a little hesitant, suspecting recoil might be a bit “sporty”!

Well, last week I found one for sale for a price I could not resist. It looks brand new, and did not appear to have been fired before today. It actually is close to the same size as my Para Expert 1911 .45, with it’s 3″ barrel – except that the Para has a full sized 1911 grip section, while the AMT grip is much shorter. The .45 model Backup is, however, both larger and heavier than the .380 version – while still being small enough to be very easily concealed.

The .45 AMT Backup is - thankfully - a bit larger and heavier than the same company's .380 version.

The .45 AMT Backup is – thankfully – a bit larger and heavier than the same company’s .380 version.

I must confess here that I was a little confused by the double action, single action terminology as applied to semi-auto pistols. Well, it really isn’t that complicated. You still must “rack” the slide to load the first round from magazine to chamber. After that, you merely pull the tigger for each shot, exactly as with a single action only semi-auto. The difference seems to be that with a single action, the hammer must be cocked by the slide being racked manually, or during a shot. Well, hmmm, the same logic applies to a DAO gun! With a single action/double action (which also exists), the first shot requires the trigger pull to both cock the hammer and release it to fire the gun, but following shots need only release the trigger. This results in a different trigger pull from the first to successive shots. In a DAO gun, the trigger pull is designed to be just as difficult for the second (and third) shots as the first, making the trigger pull a least consistent – much like with a double action revolver when fired in double action mode only.

The trigger pull of my .45 Backup is stronger than my 8# trigger pull gauge can register – but still not that difficult to shoot. It is not likely to go off in a pocket, however.

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