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Winter Shooting Sports: Embracing the Chill for Outdoor Excitement

Unknown competitor in IBU Youth&Junior World Championships Biathlon

Some people like to hibernate like bears all winter long. Shooting sports enthusiasts, however, start lathering at the mouth when there’s a little nip of cold in the air. It’s their time to experience the great outdoors on their own terms. 

Still, the cold season comes with challenges that simply don’t exist during the warmer months – that’s part of what makes winter outdoor sports so rewarding. 

There are a number of winter shooting sports beyond what you might typically think of when we talk about “winter shooting sports.” If you’re the type of person who loves being outdoors and loves shooting, but gets bored quickly with the “same old, same old,” this list of winter shooting sports works as a guide for trying something new and fresh during the winter months. 

Ice Shooting

Ice shooting is a specialized target practice taking place on frozen bodies of water like lakes and ponds. Ice shooting is about precision marksmanship while standing on ice or on specially designed platforms. The challenge lies in maintaining stability and ensuring the ice is safe for shooting.

Note that this can be a very dangerous sport if not done properly for many of the same reasons that ice fishing can go wrong. Remember that falling under cracked lake ice can turn not just dangerously unpleasant, but deadly in the blink of an eye. However, if you’re able to maintain proper safety, this can be an excellent activity for those looking to get a little extra time outdoors during the winter months. 

Biathlon

Unlike most of the “Athlon,” this isn’t a summer track and field event, but rather a winter sport with a strong shooting component. The biathlon combines cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship. It sounds like a weird combination, but it has its roots in the military training of Northern Europe. This is a great challenge for people who like intense cardiovascular activity: Athletes must endure intense physical exertion while maintaining their composure (and thus, their accuracy) on the shooting range.

It’s also a great activity for any shooter looking to increase their stress tolerance and thus their ability to shoot under pressure. In the event that you ever have to defend yourself or your family with a firearm, you are going to be under absolutely enormous amounts of stress. While a biathlon is certainly not the same as defending your family against an armed intruder, it can help you prepare for that scenario by making you shoot under stress.

There are also variations of this sport that you can set up for yourself, such as the snowshoe biathlon and the snowmobile biathlon, both of which are about exactly what they sound like. 

Precision Rifle Shooting

If you’re a big fan of precision rifle shooting, then the colder winter months are going to be a dream come true for you. The dense air of the colder months provides additional stability for fired rounds. On the other hand, the extreme cold conditions can make accuracy a greater challenge for some. 

One of the cool things about precision rifle shooting during the winter months is that you will likely find your skills improved when the warm weather returns. Sure, you’re going to have to deal with the less dense (and thus, less stable) air of the warmer months of the year. However, on the other hand, you’re going to get a crash course in shooting under less than optimal conditions. 

Winter-Specific Equipment For Outdoor Shooting Sports

You will need winter-specific equipment and gear for winter outdoor shooting sports. Don’t assume that what works in October is going to work in January. 

  • Cold-Weather Clothing: Layer your clothing for winter weather, starting with moisture-wicking materials at the base, insulating clothing for a medium layer, and waterproof or water-resistant clothing for the outer layer. Don’t forget insulated gloves. 
  • Firearms: Cold weather has a serious impact on your firearms. You should use firearms specifically designed for the cold weather of winter months, as well as use lubricants designed for cold weather use.
  • Optics: The frigid temperatures of the winter months can fog up your lenses, severely impacting your optics performance. Anti-fog solutions like wipes exist. Lens covers are another way to help maintain clarity of visibility. 
  • Ammunition: If you are participating in cold winter outdoor sports, choose ammunition that is specifically designed for use in the colder months of winter. 

Staying Safe During Winter Shooting Sports

It’s not just that the winter months present special challenges for those practicing shooting during the winter months. It’s also that the cold itself can be dangerous, or cause dangerous situations. So if you want to stay safe, you have to remember the following:

  • Frostbite Prevention: Protecting exposed skin and extremities to avoid frostbite is absolutely necessary. Be aware of the early signs of frostbite, such as numbness or tingling, and take measures to warm up when necessary.
  • Cold-Weather Ailments: Prepare for cold weather problems like hypothermia and dehydration. Layered clothing and protecting your extremities will help with the former, but the latter means making sure you keep drinking while you’re out in the elements. 

Winter shooting sports can be a unique and challenging experience for firearms enthusiasts. What’s more, there can be quite a bit of carry-over to shooting during the warmer months of the year. Learn to love the chill and you can get a sense of achievement from winter shooting sports as well as a closer connection with the great outdoors. 

What’s your favorite shooting sport for the winter months? What’s the most unusual shooting sport for the winter months? Share your craziest winter sports in the comments below.

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Firearms

Biden’s Newest Attempt to Take Your Guns

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The Biden administration finalized a new rule last week, touted by Attorney General Merrick Garland as a “historic step” in combating gun violence. This rule aims to increase background checks on gun sales by broadening the pool of people required to obtain a federal firearms license (FFL). The administration claims this will address the so-called “gun show loophole” and reduce illegal gun sales.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), there’s a “large and growing black market of guns being sold by people without a license.” They argue that this black market is fueling violence because these sellers are not conducting background checks. However, many see this new rule as yet another attempt to infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

Understanding the New Rule

To grasp the impact of this new rule, it’s crucial to understand the existing laws governing gun sales. Federal law mandates that all gun dealers conduct background checks via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) before selling a firearm. However, private sales between individuals who are not in the business of selling guns do not require background checks.

Currently, 20 states have implemented their own laws to require background checks for all gun sales, including private transactions. In the remaining 30 states, private sales can occur without a background check as long as the seller is not engaged in the business of selling firearms.

The new rule seeks to limit the number of legal private sales by expanding the definition of who is considered a “gun dealer.” Previously, a person needed an FFL if they were involved in the “repetitive” buying and selling of firearms with the primary objective of “livelihood and profit.” The new rule changes this to require a license if the goal is to “predominantly earn a profit,” regardless of whether the seller relies on this activity for their livelihood.

Debunking Myths and Clarifying Facts

Myth #1: The New Rule Closes the “Gun Show Loophole”

Despite claims from the White House and mainstream media, there has never been a “gun show loophole.” Gun shows operate under the same legal framework as other venues: dealers must conduct background checks, while private sellers are not required to do so. The new rule does not close any loophole; it simply creates more confusion and potentially drives private sellers away from gun shows, where they are easier for law enforcement to monitor.

Myth #2: The New Rule Provides Clarity

The rule is marketed as providing clarity, yet it is anything but clear. The ATF’s 19-page FAQ document only adds to the confusion. It states that to “predominantly earn a profit” means the primary intent of the sale is financial gain, as opposed to personal reasons like upgrading a collection. However, there is no clear threshold for what constitutes “repetitive” sales or what amount of profit triggers the need for an FFL.

The lack of concrete standards means law-abiding citizens are left in a legal gray area. The rule could easily be interpreted in a way that criminalizes ordinary gun owners who occasionally sell firearms.

Myth #3: The New Rule Is a Major Change

Both proponents and critics of the rule suggest it will have significant impacts, but this may be overstated. The ATF has long maintained that even a single transaction can require a license under certain conditions. The real effect of the new rule is to sow uncertainty among private sellers, potentially discouraging lawful sales and undermining the Second Amendment.

The Real Impact on Gun Owners

The Biden administration’s new rule will likely deter lawful gun owners from selling firearms due to fear of legal repercussions. This does little to address the criminal misuse of firearms and instead burdens responsible citizens. The rule could particularly impact hunters and sports shooters who want to sell old guns to upgrade their equipment.

By creating more obstacles for law-abiding gun owners, the administration risks driving gun sales further underground, making it harder for law enforcement to track illegal activities. The people most affected will not be the high-volume sellers the ATF claims to target but ordinary Americans who cherish their Second Amendment rights.

The new rule from the Biden administration is another step towards greater government control over private gun ownership. It doesn’t close any loopholes or provide meaningful clarity. Instead, it creates a chilling effect on lawful gun sales, turning responsible citizens into potential criminals.

As with many gun control measures, this rule places undue burdens on the law-abiding while doing little to address actual crime. It’s a reminder that vigilance is necessary to protect our constitutional rights from overreach by those who seek to undermine the Second Amendment. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to stand firm against any attempts to erode our fundamental freedoms.

What do you think of the Biden Regime’s latest attempt to take your guns? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Did the ATF Just Turn You Into an Unlicensed Gun Dealer?

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Amidst the world of firearms and gun ownership, scenarios arise where individuals find themselves downsizing their collections or navigating the complexities of buying and selling firearms. For some, it may involve parting ways with budget guns to fund the acquisition of their dream firearm, while for others, it could entail managing the estate of a deceased family member who left behind a substantial gun collection.

However, recent regulatory changes by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) have introduced new considerations and challenges. With the implementation of ATF Rule 2022R-17, the definition of who qualifies as a firearm dealer has been broadened, potentially impacting individuals engaged in occasional sales or private transactions.

Under the revised regulations, the criteria for determining whether someone is “engaged in the business” as a dealer in firearms have been expanded. This includes factors such as the intention to “predominantly earn a profit” from firearm sales, regardless of the medium or method used for transactions. Additionally, the definition of “dealer” now encompasses individuals conducting firearm transactions through various channels, including online platforms and gun shows.

Despite these changes, the regulations provide clarity on exemptions for individuals selling firearms as part of a personal collection or hobby, as long as sales remain occasional and not primarily for profit. However, navigating these distinctions requires careful attention to detail and adherence to legal requirements to avoid unintentionally falling afoul of the law.

The implications of ATF Rule 2022R-17 extend beyond mere technicalities, potentially impacting the everyday activities of gun owners and enthusiasts. From selling off surplus firearms to acquiring new additions to their collections, individuals must now navigate a regulatory landscape that demands heightened awareness and compliance.

Moreover, the rule underscores broader concerns about government overreach and the erosion of Second Amendment rights. By redefining existing regulations without legislative scrutiny, the ATF’s actions raise questions about transparency and accountability in firearms policy-making.

In light of these developments, individuals involved in firearm transactions must stay informed and adapt to evolving regulatory frameworks. Whether buying, selling, or transferring firearms, adherence to legal requirements and diligent record-keeping is paramount to avoid unintended legal consequences.

Ultimately, as gun owners and enthusiasts navigate the changing landscape of firearms regulation, vigilance and advocacy for Second Amendment rights remain crucial. By staying informed, engaging in responsible firearm ownership practices, and advocating for sensible policy reforms, individuals can uphold their rights while ensuring compliance with legal requirements.

Are you concerned about being on the wrong side of the ATF? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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What’s the Difference Between 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington

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For novice gun owners and seasoned enthusiasts alike, understanding the nuances between various ammunition types is crucial for ensuring optimal performance and safety of firearms. One common area of confusion arises when comparing the 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington cartridges, as their differences, though seemingly small, can have a significant impact on weapon function and safety.

The primary difference between the two cartridges lies in their pressure levels. The 5.56 NATO cartridge operates at approximately 58,000 pounds per square inch (psi), whereas the .223 Remington is loaded to around 55,000 psi. While this disparity may appear minor, it plays a critical role in the overall performance of the ammunition.

However, the most important distinction between the two cartridges lies in the chamber dimensions. A 5.56 NATO chamber features a .125-inch longer throat compared to a .223 Remington chamber. This additional space allows for the loading of approximately one more grain of powder in the 5.56 NATO cartridge, resulting in higher performance levels compared to its .223 Remington counterpart.

The potential danger arises when firing a 5.56 NATO cartridge in a rifle chambered for .223 Remington. Due to the longer throat of the NATO chamber, this combination can lead to significantly increased pressure levels, reaching upwards of 65,000 psi or more. Such high pressures pose a severe risk to both the operator and the firearm, potentially causing primers to back out or even resulting in catastrophic failure.

Conversely, firing a .223 Remington cartridge in a 5.56 NATO chambered rifle may lead to suboptimal performance. The lower pressure generated by the .223 Remington cartridge, coupled with the dimensions of the NATO chamber, can result in improper cycling of the firearm, particularly in rifles with barrels shorter than 14.5 inches. While rifles with longer barrels may mitigate some of these issues, it is essential for gun owners to exercise caution when selecting ammunition for their firearms.

In conclusion, while the differences between the 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington cartridges may seem subtle, they can have profound implications for weapon function, safety, and performance. Gun owners must educate themselves on these distinctions to make informed decisions when selecting ammunition and avoid potentially dangerous situations.

Do you want to weigh in on this debate? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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