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Kilted to Kick Cancer Kickoff

Dove season and KTKC fundraising coincide every year. Get kilted!

Dove season and KTKC fundraising coincide every year. Get kilted!

Everyone is familiar with the meaning of the pink ribbons worn during breast cancer awareness month. Few know that prostate cancer affects men just as often, and is often lethal because it goes undiagnosed.

Kilted to Kick Cancer encourages men to wear kilts throughout the month of September to promote awareness and prompt conversations encouraging other men to GET CHECKED!

Among The Leaves is helping to promote by donating one of our 72-hour Bug Out Bags, valued at over $400, as part of one of the prize packages being given away to the top fund raisers over at Kelly’s Blog, the Ambulance Driver Files.

Preparedness, the NRA, and You

KatrinaAugust 29th marks the 10-year anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, La. The memory of the devastation wrought by the storm and the resulting chaos is a human tragedy of such a vast scale that it endures to this day; and will well beyond. Further, the measures taken to disarm law-abiding firearm owners in Katrina’s wake should serve as a testament to why gun owners guard our right to bear arms so vigilantly.

The disorder of the storm’s aftermath – and the inability of local law enforcement to contain it – brought into stark realization the importance of the right to keep and bear arms in order to provide for the defense of oneself, loved ones, and community. Stories of looting and violence abounded. A police chief described post-Katrina New Orleans by stating, “it was like Mogadishu.”

Despite their inability to cope with the resulting mayhem, several days after the storm passed New Orleans officials ordered the confiscation of lawfully-owned firearms from city residents. In a September 8, 2005 article, the New York Times described the scene, stating, “Local police officers began confiscating weapons from civilians in preparation for a forced evacuation of the last holdouts still living here… Police officers and federal law enforcement agents scoured the city carrying assault rifles seeking residents who have holed up to avoid forcible eviction.”

As reported by the Washington Post, New Orleans Superintendent P. Edwin Compass made clear, “No one will be able to be armed,” and, “Guns will be taken. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns.” At the time, NRA Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre noted the nature of the seizures, stating, “In many cases, it was from their homes at gunpoint. There were no receipts given or anything else at a time when there was no 911 response and these citizens were out there on their own protecting their families.”

City authorities were selective with their order, discriminating against the most vulnerable. The Times noted that the city’s order “apparently does not apply to the hundreds of security guards whom businesses and some wealthy individuals have hired to protect their property… Mr. Compass said that he was aware of the private guards but that the police had no plans to make them give up their weapons.” In 2005 Ray Nagin served as the mayor of New Orleans. Nagin would go on to become a member of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns, and later federal inmate No. 32751-034, following 2014 convictions for fraud and bribery.

In the years that followed, New Orleans officials were unrepentant. In a 2006 interview with local radio station WWL, New Orleans Superintendent Warren Riley said, “During a circumstance like that, we cannot allow people to walk the street carrying guns…as law enforcement officers we will confiscate the weapon if a person is walking down the street and they may be arrested.”

NRA immediately denounced the confiscations as unlawful under state law and unconstitutional, and set to work rectifying New Orleans’ abuse of power and ensuring that no American would be faced with confiscation under a similar scenario.

NRA promptly filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against New Orleans in order to halt the city’s confiscation efforts. On September 23, Judge Jay Zainey granted a temporary restraining order barring New Orleans and the surrounding communities from further confiscations, and required that the seized guns be returned. NRA also successfully worked to lift a ban on firearm possession for those living in Federal Emergency Management Agency housing as a result of the storm.

The city dragged its feet in returning confiscated firearms to their lawful owners. However, NRA persisted until 2008, when NRA and New Orleans came to a settlement in which the city agreed to carry out an acceptable procedure for returning the firearms. The agreement allowed owners to get back their guns without documented proof of ownership, which many residents were understandably unable to provide.

NRA’s post-Katrina efforts did not stop at the Louisiana border. NRA prompted mayors and police chiefs across America to sign a pledge stating that they will, “never forcibly disarm the law-abiding citizens” of their city. Further, NRA worked to limit the power of state and local governments to regulate firearms in times of emergency, by advocating for emergency powers reform legislation throughout the country. Currently, over half of the states have some form of emergency powers provision protecting gun owners from government abuse during a crisis.

In 2006, moreover, President George W. Bush signed into law the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which contained an NRA-backed amendment sponsored by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.). The amendment prohibits persons acting under color of federal law, receiving federal funds, or acting at the direction of a federal employee from seizing or authorizing the seizure of lawfully-possessed firearms or imposing or enforcing certain restrictions on firearms during a state of emergency.

Having gone through such a horrific ordeal, in the years after Katrina New Orleans residents exhibited a greater appreciation for their right to bear arms. The number of Right-to-Carry permit holders in the city doubled from 2004 to 2006. In reporting the experience of Vivian Westerman, a sixty-four-year-old that stayed in her home during Katrina, the Associated Press noted that, “So terrible was [Katrina] that [Westerman] wanted two things before the next hurricane season arrived: a backup power source and a gun.” Westerman told the AP that after purchasing a .38-revolver, “I’ve never been more confident.” In September 2008, when Hurricane Gustav threatened the city, the New York Post reported that those remaining in the city were “locked & loaded,” and detailed the stories of several armed residents.

As we remember the terrible devastation of Katrina, gun owners should further commit themselves to ensuring that Americans are never again deprived of the ability to defend themselves in their hour of need. A decade later, Wayne LaPierre’s words following Katrina are still as relevant as ever, “The lesson of New Orleans is that citizens must be able to rely on their own ability to survive. The answer once and for all to politicians who say Americans don’t need the Second Amendment, government will protect you, the answer forever more is New Orleans.”

© 2015 National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action. This may be reproduced.

Laser Shot Training Systems: Realistic training in your living room

main_lasershot_logoThere are two things a gun is useless without: ammunition, and the knowledge and training on how to use the firearm effectively. Acquiring ammunition for your firearm is, in most places in the United States, fairly easy to do. Training on the other hand, can be a bit more problematic.

Good training starts with establishing the proper form, techniques, and habits and then drilling on these relentlessly. The problem arises that finding a range that will allow you to do more than stand and fire slowly at paper targets is easier said than done. In most cases you can completely forget about practicing draws from a holster or moving and shooting at a range. What’s more, training on a range requires the expenditure of ammunition, and that can get expensive quickly. Foregoing the expense of buying more ammunition for your firearm makes it, once again, useless with nothing to feed it.

Dry-fire training is a fantastic way to work on some techniques, such as drawing from a holster and reloading. On some guns, such as a double action only (DAO) pistol, or pump-action shotgun or rifle, you can even use snap caps and step up your training another notch. Users of single action (SA) and some striker-fired pistols are limited in the manner in which they can train using dry-fire, as these firearms must be cocked or charged in order for the trigger to function properly.

Training using dry-fire has one other major drawback. It’s boring. Frankly, it’s really boring. When it comes to training it’s really hard to beat the satisfactory “ping” of lead on steel and the immediate feedback that comes with it.

The Dvorak G19 Training Pistol

Dedicated shooters can combine this home training system with advanced firearm simulators such as Dvorak’s CO2-powered tetherless recoil and laser system. Dvorak’s system uses a CO2 cartridge contained in a replacement magazine to activate the bolt and a laser, giving simulated recoil with each shot. In doing so the working of the action charges the striker or resets the hammer, depending on the type of firearm it is used in.

It’s because of all of this that I’ve found myself constantly seeking out better, and more engaging, training systems and regimens. While wandering the aisles at SHOT 2014 I saw a few advances in laser training systems, but none of them really caught my attention at the time. It wasn’t until a few months later while visiting Bill’s Outdoor Sports in Enid Oklahoma that I got into a conversation with company President Brian Lamoreaux. He happened to mention that they had just installed a new range and wondered if I wanted to see it. I agreed and we went outside where he revealed an intermodal shipping container with a ventilation system on top and a single door set into one end. Initially, I was underwhelmed. After all, how good could a shooting range inside of a 40-foot shipping container actually be? I would soon find out.

As we stepped inside I saw a computer system against one wall, a projector mounted to the ceiling, and a large white screen on the opposite end. A small table with a laser firearm trainer sat on the shooting line. This was, Brian explained, a Laser Shot container system designed for both laser-equipped training guns as well as live fire, and he loaded up the system and started a steel plate shooting program to give a demonstration. I was intrigued.

The PSATS - the brains of the Laser Shot system.

The PSATS – the brains of the Laser Shot system.

The Facts
The Laser Shot Container system uses thermal imaging to track the round as it travels down range, picking up the location where hot bullet disappears behind the self-healing polymer screen. The computer correlates this hit location with the location of the target that is being projected and respond accordingly, showing the splash of lead on steel or puff of dirt kicked up by a miss.

My experience on that combination live fire and laser system was enough to get my curiosity piqued, and so when I went back home I dug up some of the literature I’d idly picked up at the Laser Shot booth at SHOT. That’s when I saw it: the Laser Shot Home Theater System. This consumer product utilizes much of the same technology as their live fire systems and is designed specifically for use in the privacy of your own home.

When fully set up, the system consists of a projector, a camera, and a computer which coordinates it all, as well as various software programs. The base level model, the HT-205, includes five different training games of your choice as well as a laser rifle with iron sights, and the tracking camera. You must provide a compatible computer and projector, purchase them separately from Laser Shot, or upgrade to the Portable Home Theater Shooting System (PHTSS) which contains all of the above in a rugged 4U rack-mount case.

Additional training firearms are available to be purchased separately, or through package upgrades. The real beauty of the system is that it is compatible with any red laser equipped training firearm. Other brands of laser training arms such as Next Level Training’s SIRT or Dvorak’s tetherless recoil system also work with the Home Theater system. Laser Shot sells various handgun and rifle caliber laser-cartridge inserts to allow the use of actual firearms (unloaded of course) so that you can train with the same gun you carry.

The SIRT AR rifle laser insert.

The SIRT AR rifle laser insert.

To test out the system I used Dvorak’s tetherless recoil system and the NextLevel Training SIRT-AR Bolt laser system. The SIRT-AR doesn’t work with some ARs without modification (such as my Colt LE6920) but is compatible with most sport model AR-15 style rifles. NextLevel’s SIRT laser replaces the bolt in your upper, and a small adjustable pin magnetically attaches to the trigger pack. When you pull the trigger it activates the laser, firing a beam down and out the barrel. The SIRT-AR has both windage and elevation adjustments so that you can zero it onto your sights or non-magnified optic. This is a great boon when using the Laser Shot Home Theater system since you can virtually eliminate the inherent sight offset that occurs when shooting at a screen that is relatively close.

Government Approved
The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) based in Artesia New Mexico has done a fairly exhaustive study on the effectiveness of non-recoiling laser handguns and found that students using this method as opposed to live-fire achieve test scores nearly has high as those who train exclusively with live ammunition.

Using student volunteers in their Basic Marksmanship Instruction (BMI) they found that when qualifying with live ammunition on the Semiautomatic Pistol Course (SPC) students who trained exclusively with non-recoiling laser handguns scored an average of 257.8 out of a possible 300 points. Students who trained in the traditional manner during BMI scored only marginally higher with an average of 260.4 out of 300. Further studies with a larger test group of students yielded an average score of 275.8 for laser-based training and 278.2 for those training with live ammunition.

This 99% efficiency rate, when combined with the cost savings of thousands of rounds of ammunition, is remarkable. According to the FLETC the difference in performance of both sets of students is statistically insignificant, making laser training as effective as live-fire.

EDC or Every Day Carry: All you have is what’s in your pockets

A "bare-bones" survival kit that can be worn as a part of your EDC (Every Day Carry).

A “bare-bones” survival kit that can be worn as a part of your EDC (Every Day Carry).

We all have an every day carry, or EDC for short. Those of us who have CCW’s (Permits or Licenses to carry a concealed pistol) generally have an EDC that include a few more things than the average person. But have you ever looked at what’s in your pockets with the idea of a survival situation in mind? Guys, generally, have a wallet with cash, maybe coins, a few credit card type cards and maybe business cards in them. We’ll have a watch on our wrist, a phone in a pocket or on a belt holster, car keys in another pocket, etc. Women might have a makeup compact with a mirror or some other things.

Screwed, right? Not totally, really. You will have to science the f*** out of what you have though, to borrow a phrase from The Martian. The credit cards can be sharpened by rubbing on cement or a rock to make a sort of knife you can use cut meat you’ve cooked. Just as they are they can be used as a scraper (who hasn’t done that) or descale a fish or even cut and gut it for cooking. Coins can be turned into impromptu screwdrivers; keys can be used as stabbing tools in a snare, or weights on a fishing line. The phone might work as a signal mirror, if you take the anti-glare screen protector off first. The watch can function as a rough compass during the day as well as work to give you your latitude and longitude position using either the stars or the sun, provided the time set on the watch is right. The pins holding the band to the bezel can be bent into fish hooks.  That t-shirt under your polo or dress shirt, stretched over several poles can serve as a wind break or something to keep at least your fire wood dry enough to burn. With a little imagination and desperation you can figure out a lot of stuff for what you walk out the front door with every morning.

But it doesn’t have to be that bad. And without looking like Adam West’s Batman with his utility belt strapped around you either. You can improve your odds by adding a few simple things that will fit in your pockets.

I keep a credit card survival tool in my wallet. Actually it’s much shorter than a credit card and it fits nicely in a small side pocket in my wallet. We sell them at Among The Leaves and include them in all our pre-equipped kits. It has a can opener, a saw, a knife, a screwdriver, a few small sockets, and a few more useful tools. All in something that’s barely thicker than a credit card. I barely remember it’s in there most times… till I need it.

Stick a flashlight in your pocket. I have a small flashlight, runs on a single CR123 battery and can put out a max of 210 lumens. That is seriously bright. On lower lumen setting it’ll last for several days and has an SOS flash setting. Add in a bit of wire, you can use the battery to start a fire.

Adding a paracord bracelet to your wrist is a low profile yet incredibly useful piece of kit. Just having 6 to 12 feet of paracord can set you up with shelter, fishing line, snares, maybe even a small fishing net. We, here at Among The Leaves, sell a survival paracord bracelet that includes a compass, saw, fishing hooks and line inside, and a fire starter. Paracord comes in every color under the rainbow so you don’t have to look like Tactical Timmy wearing one.

Add a knife to your back pocket. I recommend a nice folder with a frame lock system, but a good liner lock system is just as sturdy.

So, with just little things that fit on you or in your pockets, you’ve, I think, dramatically improved your life in a bug out or survival situation.

An important point here is that they are either worn on you or in your pockets. You can get separated from a purse, lose a back pack; forget a pouch on the ground. Heck, you might even have to abandon them all in your car to get out as fast as possible, but so long as you’ve not lost your pants those things you have on your body are coming with you.

Bug Out Bags 101

Hey everyone, this is the first post in what I hope will be an ongoing series of articles on bug out/survival bags. It’s a big subject that covers a lot of ground from what equipment to carry, to what skills you need to be successful at it. But rather than trying to drink from the firehose, lets break it down into smaller sips. So, how about starting from the beginning. The most basic question being, what is a bug out bag? In its most basic form a bug out bag is something that will get you from where ever you happen to be to where ever you’ve decided you need to be to be safe. Plain and simple, that’s all it is.

But let’s break that down bit by bit.

Something that will get you from where ever you happen to be to where ever you’ve decided you need to be to be safe.


What is that something? Is it a 1000 dollar REI hiking full frame backpack? Is it a storage tub in the trunk of your car? Is it a 10 dollar surplus Alice pack from your local Army/Navy store? Is it whatever you shoved in your pants pockets that morning?

Where ever you happen to be…

Where are you when you decide that it’s no longer safe to be there? Do you go to the same place every day for work? Do you do a lot of travel? Are you collecting the rest of your family before you bug out? Do you commute between place over time?

Where ever you’ve decided…

Have you planned for a safe place. Let me say that again, have you planned for somewhere. If there is more than one of you, have you all agreed on that place? Do all of you know how to get there?

You need to be to be safe.

Do you have a cabin “off grid”? Your grandma’s place in Detroit? A friend’s ranch in Arizona? Your summer home on Cass Lake? A buried cache of supplies and equipment under a rock? How far away is it? Can you just drive there? Will you need pack mules? Can you only get there by helicopter? Is it there year round or only during the summer?

And that’s not all the questions you should be asking when you think about bug out bags. But that fact that you are thinking about it is the first and possible the biggest step towards preparedness. It really does prove the old adage, an ounce of prevention… or in this case preparation.

In future blogs I’ll go in to my ideas on what a bug out bag should be, what should be in it, what shouldn’t, and why I’d pack the things I do. Please, come back for that. I’ll make it worth your time.

Go out and survive among the leaves.

Among The Leaves LLC

Widget1Among The Leaves and is now Among The Leaves LLC. I’ve sold the website and blog to Divine Smite LLC, which together with another partner will be utilizing this blog to create more content on wilderness survival, bushcraft, urban survival, and preparedness in general.

I’ll still be around writing here however.

We’ll also be developing a custom line of bug-out-bags and survival kits and equipment. The focus will be on pre-packed bags outfitted with all the basic gear one would need for 72-hours. Other kits will soon follow, and we will also have a line of completely custom bags as well as a premium line of top quality bespoke kits.

I’m really excited about this new project and can’t wait to start writing more on our philosophy and the products we’re developing.

Changes coming to Among The Leaves

I’ve got some exciting news in the works. I don’t want to say too much about it yet but I’m bringing on a partner to the website to help out.

Why Consider a Red Dot Sight for a Shotgun?

AuthorDoveHuntingFirearms have been in existence in one form or another for hundreds of years. As a technology, the field is well near fully matured. Rare is the occasion that something truly new and revolutionary comes along, and yet occasionally another technology matures just enough to create a new and unique application.

Putting a scope on a shotgun is a well established practice, and one especially favored by deer and turkey hunters. Red dot sights have been around for a few decades and gained traction among law enforcement and military users for use on rifles as well as among competition shooters using pistols, but what about putting a red dot on a shotgun? Here and there it’s possible to find a few shotguns equipped with red dot sights, but they are still far from common.

Should you consider a red dot sight for your shotgun? There are many different types of red dot sights out there, and each has its own advantages and drawbacks depending on the application.

The majority of red dot sights use a partially mirrored lens to reflect light from an LED (light emitting diode) back towards the shooter. Others, such as the EOTech, utilize a laser-driven holographic sight. In this technology a laser is used to illuminate an image, in this case the reticle, that has been previously recorded onto medium such as a film or glass. The result is a 3-dimensional image that appears to hover on the target.

Magnum Shooters Supply, exclusive US importers of the OKO, was kind enough to lend us a red dot sight for the purpose of this article. Having also just recently acquired a Saiga 12 gauge and Mossberg 930, this was the perfect time to head out into the desert for some in-depth testing. We also brought along an EOTech XPS holographic sight in order to compare the two, and a Remington 1100 for additional tests shooting sporting clays.

Magnum Shooters Supply, exclusive US importers of the OKO, was kind enough to lend us a red dot sight for the purpose of this article. Having also just recently acquired a Saiga 12 gauge and Mossberg 930, this was the perfect time to head out into the desert for some in-depth testing. We also brought along an EOTech XPS holographic sight in order to compare the two, and a Remington 1100 for additional tests shooting sporting clays.

This aiming technology first gained appeal among military and law enforcement for CQB (close quarters battle) due to the quick speed with which the dot or reticle can be acquired. They are also very easy to shoot with both eyes open which provides a wider FOV, or field of view. With no parallax out to 50-yards or further, and infinite eye relief, target acquisition is extremely fast from a variety of positions. Once the optic is properly sighted in, a shot taken should hit whatever the dot covers.

Unlike rifles and pistols, a shotgun (when not firing slugs) uses shot, small pellets of lead, which spreads out in a pattern from the muzzle. Contrary to the beliefs of novices, shotguns must still be precisely aimed in order to hit a target. The front bead sight, when used in conjunction with proper cheek weld, has proven itself more than capable in this regard. It is fast, gives the widest possible field of view, and allows the shooter to focus their eyes on the target and not the bead. Red dot sights also provide a single dot as the sight picture, but have the advantage of remaining accurate even when the shooter’s form is less than perfect which potentially provides a speed advantage.

Burris’ FastFire MRDS (miniature red dot sight) was probably one of the first red dot sights to be specifically made for and marketed to wingshooters in the form of the SpeedBead, but there are others that also lend themselves to the task. Sights like the EOTech have a unique reticle that can be useful for establishing leads on moving targets. Other platforms such as the OKO utilize a more open design. This makes the sight slightly larger, but the layout allows a larger lens.

IMG_0120In its most basic form, the EOTech red dot sight has a large 65-MOA circle surrounding a 1-MOA dot in the center, but the middle aiming dot can be harder to pick up quickly due to its small size. By contrast, the Burris and OKO sights have just a single larger dot. For experienced shooters who know the proper lead this may prove more useful. For someone just getting into shooting clays or hunting migratory game birds, the EOTech with its 65-MOA outer ring seems useful in very quickly figuring the proper target lead.

One thing to consider when choosing a red dot sight, particularly one for use on a shotgun, is how much the lens frame blocks peripheral vision. On one extreme, you can have a scope style red dot, such as an Aimpoint, which is not generally considered a good choice for wingshooting. Even unmagnified, a scope-style red dot blocks out quite a bit and narrows the field of view. A step up from that is a reflex sight like the EOTech, where the reticle appears on a single plane and is more visible from more angles. Even when the firearm is not properly mounted it is still possible to see the aiming point and put it on target. The frame of a sight like this may still block out a significant amount of the view of the target area however. Next we have the mini red dots like the FastFire. They’re smaller and have slimmer frames as well, but can still block out some peripheral vision. Finally there are the most open designs such as the OKO and others such as the more well known C-MORE sight. These systems use very slim frames and feature a lens size over 1-inch in diameter in order to afford the shooter with the least obstructed field of view.

What this Mossberg really needs is a rail and a red dot sight.

What this Mossberg really needs is a rail and a red dot sight.

Perched atop a tactical shotgun is where the red dot truly feels at home. After all, that was the role in which it was originally envisioned. We fitted both a Saiga and a Mossberg 930 with an OKO and EOTech, respectively. The OKO was set onto a custom machined side-rail mount. The EOTech rested on a Picatinny rail bolted to the Mossberg’s receiver. During testing we were able to launch slugs and shot down range more quickly and with more accuracy than with traditional iron sights.

Hunters in general, and bird hunters in particular tend to be some of the more traditional sort. The standard front bead shotgun sight remains to this day the most popular aiming system among wing-shooters and trap, skeet, and sporting clay competitors. Even fiber optic front sights are often eschewed as too fragile and thus unsuitable for hunting. Hunters require lightweight firearms that reliably work when needed.

But will it work on doves?

But will it work on doves?

To determine the viability of our sights for wingshooting, the EOTech remained mounted atop the same Mossberg 930 and the OKO moved over to a Remington 1100 that had previously been used as a dove hunting gun. Both sights set higher up on the gun, requiring each shotgun to be mounted differently with the head held up slightly higher than one might normally use when hunting birds or busting clays. An adjustable or aftermarket cheek piece could be used to solidify the stance each required, but none were immediately available at the time of testing. The Burris SpeedBead system wasn’t immediately available to us at the time, but their particular design sets the sight down lower on the gun. This presents a more traditional form to the shooter, and though there are no backup sights built into this MRDS, it is easy to set up so that it will cowitness with the bead.

In this form, the red dot sighting systems really shone. Inexperienced shooters can easily find the dot and put it the proper distance ahead of the target. Proper form was less important we found: My wife, an inexperienced shooter with no shotgun training to speak of was still able to drop clays with ease after figuring out the proper lead. Myself, I found the sights easy to adapt to and, once I got used to holding my head a bit higher, I was very pleased with how fast and easy it was to engage each target.

So, what are the downsides to putting a red dot on your shotgun? Like any electronic device, failure is always an option. Batteries can fail, and water intrusion can fry sensitive electronics. Almost all modern red dot sights are waterproof, or water resistant at the very least. Duck hunters in particular subject their scatter guns to all manner of mud and moisture, and yet every red dot we could identify for sale on the market today is resistant to such things. Even glass and lenses, such as OKO’s large round objective, feature coatings that allow water to roll right off when the gun is mounted.

The height of the sight above the shotgun can also be problematic, even detrimental to proper form. Burris seems to have eliminated this problem to the point that it can cowitness with the front bead using shims included with the mount, and it can be overcome on other sights by raising the stock or cheek piece. The OKO sight also has backup iron sights built in that can be used in the case of a failure by the dot illumination system, a feature that the EOTech lacks.

Perhaps the biggest problem for hunters is constantly changing light levels during the prime hunting times of dawn and dusk. Red dot sights are generally equipped with some form of brightness adjustment. The OKO and EOTech both offer multiple brightness levels, but must be manually adjusted. On the EOTech two buttons on the sight allow the user to adjust up or down in incremental steps. The OKO by comparison has a dial that can be quickly rotated through eleven brightness settings. The one sight that is specifically designed for shotguns, the Burris FastFire III atop a SpeedBead mount, has an automatic adjustment setting that keeps the dot set at a level that is high enough to be readily visible and yet low enough to eliminate glare.

Getting new hunters involved in hunting and shooting is crucial to the future long-term success of the sport. Learning the basics of wingshooting will always be important. Practicing the use of a standard bead sight, along with good form and cheek weld, will remain important. Red dot sights are simply another tool in the box. They are extremely fast and simple to use, with a field of view nearly as open as a traditional shotgun.

Should you consider a red dot sight for you and your shotgun? If you’re looking for an optic for your tactical or defensive scattergun then the answer is a resounding “Yes!” You may very well find, as we did, that the optic is faster, more accurate, and easier to use than conventional bead or iron sights, especially in low-light conditions.

Ruger Announces New Ruger Precision Rifle

After testing the Ruger American Predator, this latest announcement from Ruger has me pretty stoked. If what they did on the RAP is any indication, this new rifle looks to be a nice little tack driver.

MSRP is a bit high at $1399, but the street price should be just under $1,000 if my guess is right. That’s still pricey, but if this gun performs along the same lines as their budget-models I do expect to see sub 0.25 MOA performance with match ammunition.


Ruger is excited to announce the introduction of the all-new Ruger Precision Rifle. An in-line recoil path bolt-action rifle, the Ruger Precision Rifle is highly configurable and offers outstanding accuracy and long-range capability. In production now, the Ruger Precision Rifle is available in .308 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor, and .243 Win.

• Medium contour (.75’’ at the muzzle) barrel features 5/8’’-24 threads. Thread protector installed.

• Highly accurate cold hammer-forged 4140 chrome-moly steel barrel with Ruger 5R Rifling at minimum bore and groove dimensions, minimum-headspace and centralized chamber.

• Supplied with Samson Evolution Keymod Handguard. May be configured with any AR-style handguard.

• 20 MOA Picatinny rail secured with four #8-40 screws for increased long-range elevation capabilities.

• “Upper” receiver and one-piece bolt are precision CNC-machined from pre-hardened 4140 chrome-moly steel to minimize distortion.

• Three-lug bolt with 70° throw features dual cocking cams and a smooth-running, full diameter bolt body.

• In-line recoil path manages recoil directly from the rear of the receiver to the buttstock, not through a traditional bedding system, providing maximum accuracy potential.

• Ruger® Precision MSR stock with QD sling attachment points features a bottom Picatinny rail and soft rubber buttpad. The left-folding stock hinge
is attached to an AR-style buffer tube and accepts any AR-style stock.

• Barrels can be easily replaced by a competent gunsmith using AR-style wrenches and headspace gauges.

• Magazine well front is contoured for a positive grip for bracing against shooting supports.

• Oversized bolt handle for positive bolt manipulation, with 5/16″-24 thread for easy replacement. Bolt disassembly tool stored in the bolt shroud for easy striker channel cleaning.

• “Lower” magazine well halves are precision machined from aerospace-grade 7075-T6 aluminum forging and are Type III hard coat anodized
for maximum durability.

• Multi-Magazine Interface functions interchangeably with M110/SR25/DPMS/Magpul® and AICS magazines; supplied with two 10-round Magpul® PMAGs.

• Ruger Marksman Adjustable™ trigger is externally adjustable with a pull weight range of 2.25 to 5.0 lbs.; wrench of stored in the bolt shroud.

• Extended trigger-reach AR-style grip and 45° reversible safety selector. May be configured with any AR-style grip and selector.

New Steel