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Violent Crime Spikes At Christmas: Are You Ready?


The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness. However, it can also be a time of tragedy. There’s an uptick in violent crime rates around the Christmas season. If you’re not prepared, you could spend the season mourning instead of celebrating. So here’s how you can take extra precautions to protect your castle during the Christmas season.

The Holiday Season Security Conundrum

During the holiday season, our homes often become the epicenter of gatherings, filled with valuable gifts and loved ones. However, this increased social and economic activity can also make homes tempting targets for criminals. As responsible gun owners, it’s our duty to protect what matters most – our lives and those of our families. Here are some key considerations:

  • Situational Awareness: The first step in any home defense strategy is awareness. Stay alert and vigilant, especially during the holiday hustle and bustle. Know who is entering your property and be cautious of unexpected visitors.
  • Safe Storage: Ensure your firearms are securely stored when not in use. Keep them in a quality gun-safe or secure storage cabinet. You want to maintain easy access for yourself while preventing unauthorized access.
  • Access Control: Secure entrances and windows. Reinforce locks, consider installing a peephole, and keep windows covered when needed. Deadbolts, window bars, and security film can be valuable additions.
  • Training and Practice: Regularly practice firearm use in a controlled environment to ensure you’re proficient and confident in your abilities. Consider defensive firearms training to prepare for home defense scenarios.

Holiday Firearm Home Defense Strategies:

Now, let’s dive into some specific strategies and tips to ensure your home defense is primed for the festive season:

Plan Ahead

Before the holiday festivities kick off, create a home defense plan. Discuss it with your family and ensure everyone knows their roles and what to do in case of an emergency. Having a well-thought-out plan in place can prevent panic and confusion.

Firearm Accessibility

While safe storage is paramount, you also need quick access to your defensive firearms. Consider a rapid access safe or storage solution specifically designed for this purpose. These safes provide quick and secure access while preventing unauthorized use.

Ammo and Magazines

Have an ample supply of self-defense ammunition readily available. Ensure your magazines are loaded and accessible. You don’t want to be caught unprepared during an emergency.

Practice Dry Fire Drills

Dry fire drills involve practicing firearm manipulation and target acquisition without live ammunition. This is an excellent way to reinforce your home defense skills without the risks associated with live fire.

Secure Your Perimeter

Thoroughly inspect your home’s security measures. Reinforce doors and windows, and consider motion sensor lighting for the exterior. Outdoor security cameras can also be a deterrent and provide valuable evidence in case of an incident.

Intruder Deterrents

Visible signs of a security system or a “Beware of Dog” sign can deter potential intruders. These psychological deterrents can make criminals think twice before targeting your home.

Firearm Proficiency

Mastery of your defensive firearm is essential. Take the time to practice shooting from various positions, such as from behind the cover or in low-light conditions. These skills can prove invaluable in a home defense situation.

Stay Informed

Stay updated on local crime trends and neighborhood safety. Participate in community watch programs and connect with your neighbors. Sharing information and looking out for each other can be an effective strategy.

Develop a Safe Room

Consider designating a safe room in your home where your family can retreat in case of a home invasion. Equip it with communication devices, provisions, and, of course, your defensive firearms.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Familiarize yourself with the legal and ethical aspects of home defense. People tend to be far too cavalier about these aspects of home defense. Know your state’s laws regarding the use of deadly force in self-defense situations. Understanding the boundaries is essential.

The holiday season should be a time of joy, not anxiety. By implementing these firearm home defense strategies, you can ensure the safety and security of your loved ones and your property during this festive period. Remember, preparation and vigilance are your greatest assets when it comes to home defense. Stay safe, stay responsible, and enjoy the holidays with peace of mind.

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Protect Your Second Amendment Rights: Oppose SB 1160 and SB 1253 in California


On Tuesday, April 2nd at 8:30am, the California Senate Public Safety Committee is slated to review two concerning bills that threaten the rights of firearm owners across the Golden State. As staunch advocates for the Second Amendment, it’s imperative for NRA Members and supporters of gun rights to take action. Senate Bill 1160 and Senate Bill 1253 pose significant threats, and it’s crucial to voice opposition to these proposed measures.

Senate Bill 1160: Annual Firearm Registration Requirement


Senate Bill 1160 represents a direct assault on the rights of law-abiding gun owners in California. This bill seeks to mandate an annual re-registration process for all firearms with the Department of Justice. If enacted, firearm owners would be compelled to navigate bureaucratic hurdles each year and pay undisclosed fees to maintain their registration status.

This onerous requirement not only burdens responsible gun owners with unnecessary red tape but also sets a dangerous precedent for government overreach into the fundamental rights protected by the Second Amendment. Under SB 1160, failure to comply with the annual registration mandate could result in severe penalties, including fines of up to $1000 and the potential confiscation of unregistered firearms.

Upholding Second Amendment Freedoms: Take Action Against SB 1160

It’s imperative for Second Amendment supporters to stand united against Senate Bill 1160. This legislation threatens the core principles of individual liberty and firearm ownership rights. We urge all concerned citizens to contact members of the Senate Public Safety Committee and vehemently oppose SB 1160.

Senate Bill 1253: Restricting Firearm Possession without Firearm Safety Card

Another concerning proposal slated for review is Senate Bill 1253, which seeks to further restrict firearm ownership rights in California. Under existing law, individuals are required to obtain a Firearm Safety Card to purchase or receive a firearm. However, SB 1253 aims to extend this requirement to possession, effectively prohibiting law-abiding citizens from possessing firearms without a valid Firearm Safety Card.

This additional hurdle not only imposes unnecessary burdens on responsible gun owners but also fails to address the root causes of crime and violence. Criminals, by definition, do not adhere to firearm laws, rendering such measures ineffective at curbing illicit gun activities. Instead, SB 1253 unfairly penalizes law-abiding citizens and undermines their ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Defending Second Amendment Liberties: Oppose SB 1253

Senate Bill 1253 represents yet another attempt to erode the Second Amendment freedoms of Californians. By imposing stringent requirements for firearm possession, this bill unfairly targets responsible gun owners while doing little to enhance public safety. It’s essential for proponents of gun rights to take a stand against SB 1253 and advocate for the preservation of constitutional liberties.

Take Action: Protect Second Amendment Rights in California


As the Senate Public Safety Committee prepares to review SB 1160 and SB 1253, it’s paramount for NRA Members and supporters of the Second Amendment to make their voices heard. Use the Take Action button below to contact committee members and urge them to oppose these egregious bills. Together, we can defend our cherished freedoms and safeguard the right to keep and bear arms in California.

Do you live in California? What do you do to oppose greater encroachment on your right to keep and bear arms? Leave your thoughts in the comments

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The AR-15: A Versatile Platform for Every Shooter


The AR pattern rifle, affectionately known as the “AR-15,” has become a staple in the firearms community, offering unparalleled versatility and customization options. From budget-friendly builds to high-end boutique rifles, there seems to be a configuration for every shooter’s preferences and needs. But with so many parts available, is there truly a rifle for everyone? And is there even a wrong answer to the AR question?

Diverse Builders, Diverse Builds

The AR-15 has evolved beyond just a firearm; it’s now a sport in itself, with enthusiasts eagerly assembling rifles tailored to their specific desires. Whether someone is aiming for the cheapest build, the most boutique setup, or a specialized rifle for a particular purpose like suppressor use, the AR platform offers endless possibilities. This diversity among builders reflects the platform’s adaptability and appeal to a wide range of shooters.

Navigating Budget Builds: A Personal Journey

Recently, there’s been a surge in interest in building affordable AR-style rifles, prompting many to explore budget-friendly options. One such endeavor involved sourcing parts directly from Bear Creek Arsenal (BCA), a company with a reputation for offering budget-friendly components. Despite initial reservations due to past controversies and quality concerns, the experience of assembling a rifle from BCA parts proved surprisingly positive.

Unboxing and Initial Impressions

Upon receiving the parts from BCA, there was a mix of anticipation and skepticism. However, upon inspection, there was a notable nod of approval for the quality of finish work, packaging, and overall presentation. While some parts lacked robust packaging, none arrived damaged, showcasing BCA’s attention to detail. Despite some vagueness regarding product specs, BCA’s use of 4150 CM-V and 416 Stainless barrels instilled confidence in the build.

Assembly Practices: Attention to Detail

Building the lower receiver proved relatively straightforward, but attention to detail was paramount. Proper torqueing of the castle nut, staking the end plate, and meticulous lubrication ensured adherence to factory specifications and optimal performance. The importance of using proper tools, lubricants, and assembly techniques cannot be overstated, particularly for critical components like the trigger and gas system.

Navigating Upper Receiver Assembly

While assembling the lower receiver was relatively straightforward, the upper receiver presented more complexity and significance. Attention to detail during barrel installation, gas system alignment, and muzzle device timing were crucial for ensuring accuracy, reliability, and safety. Thermal fitting techniques and proper torqueing procedures were employed to optimize barrel-to-receiver fit and gas system performance.

Range Testing and Final Thoughts

After meticulous assembly and function testing, the rifle was taken to the range for reliability and accuracy testing. Using a variety of ammunition types and optics configurations, the rifle performed admirably, showcasing respectable accuracy and reliability. While there were minor issues such as an over-gassed barrel, these were addressed with aftermarket solutions. Overall, Bear Creek Arsenal’s components proved to offer excellent value for budget-conscious builders, demonstrating that affordability doesn’t necessarily mean compromising on quality.

The AR-15 is a highly adaptable platform allowing builds for a wide array of preferences for all kinds of shooters. Whether building a budget-friendly rifle or investing in high-end components, the AR platform offers endless customization possibilities. While each builder may have their own priorities and preferences, the beauty of the AR-15 lies in its ability to accommodate them all, ensuring that there truly is a rifle for every shooter.

Do you own an AR-15? Have you ever built one? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Mack W. Gwinn Jr.: A Tribute to a Firearms Pioneer


Mack W. Gwinn Jr., a visionary in the firearms industry, passed away on March 11, 2024, leaving behind a legacy of innovation and dedication to his craft. Born in Florida, Gwinn’s journey into the world of firearms began with his service in the U.S. Army Special Forces, where he earned several Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star during seven deployments to Vietnam.

From Military Service to Firearms Innovation

Following his military service, Gwinn transitioned into the firearms industry, where he made significant contributions. One of his notable achievements was acquiring the rights to the Colt IMP-221, a stockless, gas-operated bullpup pistol initially developed for aircrew survival in the U.S. Air Force. Redesigning the concept to accept the 5.56 NATO caliber and standard AR magazines, Gwinn founded Gwinn Arms and introduced the Bushmaster Arm Pistol in the early 1970s.

Pioneering Personal Defense Weapons

The Bushmaster Arm Pistol, an innovative pistol-sized firearm utilizing an intermediate round, predated the concept of personal defense weapons (PDWs) by a generation. Although not a commercial blockbuster, the Arm Pistol laid the foundation for Bushmaster Firearms and left an indelible mark on the industry.

Legacy of Innovation

Beyond the Bushmaster Arm Pistol, Gwinn’s influence extended to various other firearms projects and inventions. He held patents for extended capacity magazines and developed concepts for firearms applications ranging from target pistols to recoil reduction systems. His ingenuity and curiosity led him to explore diverse projects, including vehicle design and accessory development.

Remembering a Trailblazer

Mack W. Gwinn Jr.’s passing marks the end of an era in the firearms community. His contributions to the industry will be remembered for years to come, serving as inspiration for future generations of innovators. In honoring his memory, donations can be made to the Maine Veterans Project, and condolences may be expressed to his family at BrookingsSmith.

Mack W. Gwinn Jr. leaves behind a legacy of excellence, marked by his unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of firearms design and technology. His impact on the industry will continue to resonate, ensuring his place among the pantheon of firearms pioneers.

Do you know Mack W. Gwinn Jr? How about his famous firearms? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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