Caliber: A Gun Store with ‘No Ceiling’ (VIDEO)

If you’re an aficionado of high-end guns and catch yourself in the Birmingham-area you should stop by Caliber. Located just a stone’s throw from the Magic City in Homewood the gun store is instantly recognizable. It’s a striking balance of concrete and wood, inviting you in to check out some of the most iconic and sought-after guns in the country.

“What’s really interesting about the opportunity to set this store up is that we were able to have a floor but no ceiling,” said Joe Speer, the gunsmith at Caliber. Inside the gallery, there’s everything from practical Winchester .22s to the exclusive 2 millionth commemorative Browning to the unattainable Izumi Beretta shotgun valued at a cool $250,000.

Don’t worry if you don’t have hundreds or tens of thousands of dollars to drop on your next firearm, they got the everyman covered too. Neatly tucked away in the store you’ll find a plethora of guns ranging from AR’s to Glocks the average Joe can afford. It truly is a store that anyone can walk into with any budget and walk out happy.

In addition to the guns, Caliber caters to the hunter and outdoorsman who wants to look fashionable afield. “We are a gun gallery of course, but we are so much more,” said Cameron Iversen, Caliber’s assistant manager. She showed off the vast selection of shooting shirts, watches, sunglasses, belts, and of particular interest knives and tomahawks.

Iversen explained Caliber features a number of knives in their collection. Everything from the big names like CRKT to local Alabama knife makers range the gamut. Of particular interest in the bladed weapons was the McCoun Tomahawks they had for sale. “Believe or not, we cannot keep these in stock. They are all handcrafted and hand-forged and make for excellent gifts,” she said.

Caliber is a gun store like no other I’ve ever come across. It’s like walking into a car store where you could buy a Bugatti and a Ford Escape all in the same place. If you ever find yourself in Homewood, I highly suggest stopping by. Even if it’s for nothing more than to take in some beautiful guns and friendly conversation.

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Ruger: New Magpul-enhanced American Rifle Hunter in 6.5, .308

Ruger American Hunter Magpul

The new Ruger American Rifle Hunter features Magpul’s fully-adjustable American Hunter stock with enhanced ergonomics. (Photos: Ruger)

Ruger is now offering a version of their ever-expanding Ruger American rifle line to include one with a factory-installed Magpul Hunter stock.

Chambered initially in .308 Win and 6.5 Creedmoor, both models of the new Ruger American Rifle Hunter series use Magpul’s new short action Hunter American stocks. Introduced by the Texas-based accessory company as a $300 aftermarket stock last year, the Hunter American has a cast aluminum bedding block and is fully adjustable across length of pull and comb height. The stocks incorporate a Magpul PMAG 5-round 7.62 AC detachable magazine.

Ruger American Rifle Hunter

Ruger bills the model as having “minute-of-angle accuracy that can make every hunt a success.”

The rifles come standard with a 20-inch five-groove heavy-contour that ends with 5/8x24TPI threads and a Ruger Precision Rifle hybrid muzzle brake similar to those used on the Ruger American Ranch series. Other features include a factory-installed, one-piece Picatinny scope base and Ruger’s Marksman adjustable trigger that can be tuned by the user from between 3 and 5 pounds. Overall length is 43.25-inches with all of the stock inserts installed and weight is 9.2-pounds without optics.

MSRP on the Ruger American Rifle Hunter is $799. Check out Rugers and more inside Guns.com collection and Certified Used Guns.

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How the 429 DE Stacks up Against 44 Mag and 50 AE (VIDEO)

Magnum Research‘s new .429 DE cartridge shows potential but how does it compare to the legacy .44 Magnum and .50 AE rounds? To find out, Scott with Kentucky Ballistics managed to get his hands all three and pits them against each other on a pine board test while running a chrono.

The new .429 DE is essentially a .50 AE necked down to accept a .44 slug with a sharp 30-degree shoulder and a neck long enough to hold a 240-grain bullet without setback under recoil. Capable of producing velocities in the 1,600 fps range with 240-grain bullets (and 1,750 fps with 210s), Magnum Research says the resulting cartridge has a 25 percent uptick in velocity and 45 percent increase in energy over a .44 Mag from a 6-inch barrel.

Also, you gotta love a Deagle in any flavor. Check out these at more inside the Guns.com collection of Certified Used Guns and other available inventory.

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LMT Opens New Plant, Confirms Large Military Contract

LMT AR MARS rifle

LMT, founded in Illinois in 1980, in now an Iowa-based company. (Photo: LMT)

LMT Defense this week announced they have successfully relocated their manufacturing plant and headquarters from Illinois to Iowa and are busy filling a huge new military contract.

The company, formerly known as Lewis Machine & Tool, moved from their Milan, Illinois home of four decades to nearby Eldridge, Iowa. The new facility, reportedly more than twice the size of their older one, will better allow for company growth as it consolidates three separate operations under a single roof, which should yield a more streamlined process.

“We are tremendously excited by the opportunities provided by room to grow, expand, and improve our manufacturing processes and capabilities,” said the company in a statement. “LMT Defense was able to quickly and efficiently perform a move, of dozens of class-leading CNC machines, over 120 employees, and nearly 40 years of experience in just a matter of a few weeks.”

While the shift is only about 25 miles south as the crow-flies, LMT president Karl Lewis told local media earlier this year that the atmosphere was more welcoming in the Hawkeye State than in the Land of Lincoln, with a succession of Iowa governors assisting in laying the groundwork for the move.

“For us, Iowa has a better climate,” Lewis said. “The people are more receptive to the needs of business and Eldridge is still part of the Quad-Cities.”

The company last week also confirmed that the Estonian Defense Forces have selected LMT Defense from a field of 12 companies to provide as many as 16,000 rifles to that NATO country’s military. The rifle will be from LMT’s MARS series, including the AR-15 type and AR-10 type rifles, in addition to LMT-produced 40mm grenade launchers. The contract with Estonia, set to run through 2021, includes an option for the purchase of additional weapons through 2026.

The Estonian award is not the first large overseas small arms contract for LMT, as the company is fresh off supplying the New Zealand military with over 9,000 of that country’s new MARS-L rifles. This came after a $30 million deal for DMR rifles with the United Kingdom in 2009.

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5 Best Handgun Options for Concealed Carry

When planning to buy a concealed carry handgun people tend to conflate “best” with “small,” but small relates to different people in different ways. Six-foot-two Bert weighing 240 pounds may see a compact pistol as small in his ever expanding waistband whereas 5-foot-4 Ernie weighing 120 pounds finds the same gun too big for his skinny jeans. Therefore, “practical” might be the preferred definition. The best concealed carry handgun is what’s most practical for you.

As the term implies, a concealed carry handgun is one you could carry without alerting others to the gun’s presence. The goal when selecting a concealed carry handgun is finding one that gives you a sense of security, but also holsters comfortably and remains hidden until you access it. While this list will mention brands and specific models, their use will illustrate attributes of handguns as they relate to concealed carry. Here are the five best handgun options for concealed carry.

1. Compact Handguns

Beretta PX4 Storm Compact

Beretta PX4 Storm Compact

Gun manufacturers tend to scale down their full-size handguns to fit the compact size as a way to offer another option. That way, the gun itself includes many of the same features as its full-size counterpart but in a smaller package. Features like an accessory rail or adjustable sights and a larger magazine capacity make compact pistols a desirable option for carry. But how practical is it to conceal a compact handgun?

When making a compact pistol, gun makers typically cut down both the barrel and grip by about an inch. What remains is a balanced pistol that allows almost all shooters to utilize a full three-finger grip. While the size reduction does make the gun more practical to conceal, in many cases a compact handgun is comparable to a full-size handgun and maybe still too big to conceal for anyone with a medium to small frame.   

The Beretta PX4 Storm Compact is a good example. The Italian gun maker took the full-size pistol and reduced the barrel from 4 inches to 3.27 and the grip from 5.51 inches to 5. The changes make the capable duty weapon still large enough for service yet convenient to carry either open or discreetly.   

2. Snub-nosed Revolvers

Smith & Wesson Model 36

Smith & Wesson Model 36

The term “snub-nosed” applies to a revolver with a frame of any size but with a barrel length of 3 inches or less. That description makes it notably different than semi-automatic handguns (besides the cylinder, obviously). Instead of a shortened barrel and grip, a snubby is determined only by how short the barrel is.

Snub-nosed revolvers became popular as concealed carry took on a more mainstream appeal. The benefit to a snub-nosed revolver is simplicity. No matter the quality of the gun or ammunition, the cylinder will rotate with every pull of the trigger.

When people think snub-nosed revolver, they typically envision a Smith & Wesson J-Frame, an indicator that applies to a range of Smith & Wesson revolvers. Although traditionally known to be chambered in .38, there are actually a variety of calibers. On top of that, many economical brands like Charter Arms and Taurus Firearms produce models that closely resemble the Smith & Wesson design.

3. Subcompact Handguns

Kahr CM9

Kahr Arms CM9

Much like compact handguns, gun makers tend to smush their full-size pistols even more to make their subcompacts. While the smaller dimensions make them much easier to carry, they tend to be harder to shoot. You’re controlling the same caliber on a much smaller platform. None is more demonstrative than Glock pistols.

The Glock 26 is noticeably smaller than the standard Glock 17, yet, still a 9mm Glock pistol with Glock action, superb capabilities and a relatively high round count for its size (10 rounds) thanks to its double-stack magazine. It’s just the grip now only allows for a two-finger hold on a rather bulky handle.

However, other manufacturers start their designs as subcompacts. Kahr Arms, for example, specializes in concealed carry pistols. These are usually smaller, slimmer and more intuitive than the subcompact in a series. A slim subcompact is attributable to the magazine design, what’s called a single-stack in which cartridges fill in one top of one the other.

4. Slimline Handguns

Glock 43

Glock 43

A slimline pistol is a subcompact, but we’re identifying it as a category on its own because multiple reputable brands have altered duty-pistol designs to fit the bill. Glock, for instance, has the Glock 4343x and 48 — and Smith & Wesson has the M&P Shield. The effort was to create a smaller gun with the familiarity of their popular base models.

While slim pistol designs are comparable to subcompacts, the identifying factor is that they measure in at about an inch in width. The slimness makes them easier to conceal and the functionality more intuitive. These designs are possible, again, because the manufacturer redesigned the gun around a single-stack magazine.

5. Pocket Pistols

 

Diamondback DB9

Diamondback DB9

Some call these “get off me guns” since they’re designed to be used in a sudden, reactionary way. Like when a robber tries to ambush you as you try to enter your car.  In that scenario, things like sights and trigger pull matter very little as you pump lead into the attacker from an arm’s length away.

The best way to identify a pocket gun is when it fits in your pant’s pocket with ease. For such uber concealability the tradeoff is often limited caliber options and reduced magazine capacity. It’s a delicate balance. Gun makers want the gun to hold as many rounds as possible but of a caliber large enough for you to successfully defend yourself.

Traditionally, derringers are seen as the ultimate pocket pistol, but advancements in technology have changed that. Diamondback Firearms, for example, started making handguns ideal for life in balmy Florida, where summer lasts a mere 11 months out of the year. With a Diamondback pistol your options are .380 or 9mm and whatever color matches your cargo shorts that day.

Conceal and Carry On

No doubt, smaller is certainly easier to conceal and carry, but smaller isn’t always practical. The best concealed carry handgun should strike the right balance for you. What’s easy to handle and what’s easy to carry.

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This Elusive Saiga 12 is Tricked Out for Enjoyment (VIDEO)

Originally manufactured in Izhevsk, Russia, the Saiga 12 shotgun has its roots deeply planted in the birthplace of its brethren, the iconic AK rifle. The Saiga’s obvious appeal to AK aficionados, combined with its ability to accept a detachable magazine, helped make it an extremely popular shotgun.

Saiga 12 shotguns are patterned after the time tested and reliable AK action, but chambered to accept both 2.75- and 3-inch 12-gauge shells. They also have an adjustable gas system adjust the operation for different types of shells. When Saiga 12s import into the U.S., they arrive no frills, which make them perfect for customization.

Saiga 12

Still shot of Meadows modified Saiga 12. (Photo: Don Summers/Guns.com)

Oklahoma-based Tromix customized this Saiga 12. Their gunsmiths moved the trigger configuration in order to add a folding skeleton stock, added a full rail system equipped with a red dot, fore-grip and handle, and a door-breaching muzzle brake.

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New 8x22mm Nambu Ammo Headed to Market

New 8x22mm Nambu Ammo Headed to Market

An estimated 475,000 Japanese Type 14 and Type 94 Nambu pistols were made, with many coming back to the U.S. after WWII as war trophies. Steinel Ammo is now making new cartridges for these relics. (Photos: Chris Eger/Guns.com- pistol, Steinel- ammo)

Ohio-based Steinel Ammunition announced this week they are making new factory ammo for Japanese Nambu pistols. The rimless, bottleneck 8x22mm cartridge was developed in 1904 by Kijiro Nambu, a firearms designer often referred to as the “Japanese John Browning.”

Used in Nambu’s Type 14 and Type 94 pistols as well as his Type 100 submachine gun in World War II, the low-powered cartridge had a reputation in military service as being on the anemic side, especially when compared to .45 ACP rounds. While no guns chambered for the round have been made since 1945, officials with Steinel feel there is a desire among potentially thousands of Nambu enthusiasts in the States for the round.

“Unless you are adept at loading your own ammunition, we find many classic firearms owners are just keeping these unique historical pieces in the safe,” said Andy Steinel, president of Steinel Ammunition. “So many Marines who served in the Pacific theater during World War II either captured or picked up one of these Type 14 or 94 Nambu pistols. They are incredibly fun to shoot, offer light recoil and their unique design is still copied by firearm designers today.”

Steinel noted that no less a firearms designer than Bill Ruger is believed to have used the Nambu handgun series as inspiration for his own Standard .22LR pistol in 1949.

Using an 83-grain full metal jacketed bullet, Steinel is marketing the new production Nambu cartridges in 25-round boxes for $26.99.

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