By Jonathan Owen on 11/28/2016 9:36 AM

F1 Firearms Custom build

There’s a time honored tradition among hunters and shooters of all stripes linking generation to generation: The passing of firearms to the up and coming in the family. I’m not exactly old enough for that just yet, but I do have a son whom I love and whom I wanted to vest with a rifle he would love for a long, long time. The problem? Due to my work here at SHWAT™, he’s seen a lot of really amazing gear come and go. He’s also a millennial and newly minted hog hunter, so the gun would have to be completely customized to his liking to really hit the sweet spot I was after. Lastly, I wanted to do something more than present a gun, I wanted to create memories that will last. This is the story and video of how and why we built a super sweet F1 Firearms based custom rifle that shoots .65 MOA for him. We hope it inspires you!

By Sponsored on 11/14/2016 8:49 AM

What if every time you purchased a product you were helping a Veteran? With many patriotic Americans who avidly support our military and first responder veterans, it is an exciting possibility. The Veterans Family of Brands (VFOB) is making this idea a reality. The VFOB brings together existing companies who have built in a culture and heart for supporting veterans and their families using the profits of their businesses. How the VFOB came together so quickly is a remarkable story started by two vets and a Gold Star brother. However, they'd rather you get excited about your ability to support veterans through purchasing ammo, guns, targets, accessories, apparel, optics and so much more. If that sounds promising to you, keep reading.

By Special Guest Contributor on 11/7/2016 4:48 PM

Silencerco SWR Radius test

Like a lot of others, I’m not much of a big game hunter but enjoy the 365 days a year open season on out of state hogs and coyotes here in Utah. There are a lot of coyotes here and my usual SOP is to throw my Seekins 6.5 Creedmoor semi or Desert Tech SRSA1 in a pack and head out. I’ll go to an area where previous sign has been present and I can get some longer range shots past 300 yards. Precise ranging is critical to first round hits. Speed of use, accuracy and other factors matter here. A few rifle mounted range finders are available today, but most are way out of my budget. Fortunately, Silencerco Weapons Research (SWR) built the Radius. Priced at a grand it is reachable and should provide some advantage for those who hunt or shoot like me. Here's everything you need to know from my extensive testing of the Radius Range Finder.

By Jonathan Owen on 10/26/2016 9:18 PM
Silynx Clarus Pro Review

I like gear that is versatile and capable in more than one environment. I think most of us do. And as someone whose ears have rung without relief for years I take hearing protection very seriously. When I first reviewed the Silynx Clarus Pro I was very pleased with it for hunting and range time, pretty standard venues for me.

But sometimes its fun to go outside the box on gear reviews. Since I do reviews all the time, I thought I’d do something a bit different: I’d take Silynx Clarus Pros to some top Sporting Clay shooters and see what they thought. It might just be the first time a military style ear pro has shown up in that kind of venue.

By Dylan Saunders on 10/20/2016 12:50 PM

New Zealand Goat Hunting

What do you get when you cross deer hunting with hog hunting and throw in a Kiwi accent? You get Taranaki wild goat hunting in wild New Zealand! 

Wild goats in New Zealand are considered invasive and damaging to the native environment, so hunting is largely unrestricted and encouraged, as is the case in most areas with wild pigs, deer, and stag. You’ll want the right combination of gun, optic and ammunition, along with your spirit of adventure a decent level of physical stamina.

By Special Guest Contributor on 10/14/2016 1:03 PM
David Tubb DTR Reticle Review

While controversial, David Tubb is one of the winningest competitive rifleman around and an accomplished worldwide hunter. He has won 11 NRA High Power Championships along with 30 NRA Silhouette Rifle titles. He has another 6 Long Range Rifle National Championships and two Wimbledon Cups. His competitive and hunting resume is impressive and his contribution to the precision rifle industry more so. He has brought numerous rifles, parts, and accessories to market that have changed the industry. His rifles have won numerous competitions and titles. David is always thinking outside the box. One of those innovations is his DTR reticle. Designed to facilitate first rounds hits without (or with) the use of electronic assistance the reticle is simple and precise. People seem to love or hate it; time to see for myself. Join me. - David Bahde

By Jonathan Owen on 10/5/2016 1:28 PM

XTECH HK VP9 Mag Extender

So what’s a pistol magazine extension review doing here? Simple, the XTech MTX +5 magazine extension is freaking cool! Why should Glock owners have all the fun? Now HK VP9, VP40 and P30 owners have a solid magazine extension option. But wait, there’s more! Let’s say like me you love hunting hogs and often carry a sidearm as a backup or just something to run in the event things get super close. Well, as previously told here at SHWAT™, 9mm can do the job but you’d probably like to have a big magazine of bullets. I tested the XTech MTX to see how it would perform and hold up...

By Jonathan Owen on 9/26/2016 9:30 PM

In actual fact, I’m not the best reviewer for the Elite Survival Systems Marathon GunPack. Don’t tune out just yet, though… Sure, I can check the objective boxes like, is it well built, priced competitively, and so on.  But for a truly credible review, a distance runner like marathoner or triathlete needs to be involved. So I recruited my favorite such athlete for this project, my wife. Now we have something worth reading – or more importantly, watching! If you’re a runner, this is for you. If you are like me, and running is just something you just tolerate, this might still be for you if concealed carry is important to you. If none of the above, you know someone who needs to take a look at this so pass it along. With that in mind, let’s jump in!

By Erik Alexander on 9/20/2016 9:39 AM
Wilson combat 6.8 barrel

Over the years I’ve built some great AR style hunting rifles. The styles vary by size, caliber, color and most importantly their intended use. On many hunts I’ve taken multiple rifles due to unknown distance and terrain. It’s fun to have choices, but I’d really like to have that one platform, that versatile firearm system which will serve all my tactical training, home defense and hunting needs. My imagination took off and shortly after I realized that the answer has been hanging on my gun rack all along. My 6.8SPC is that one platform and it’s successfully harvested numerous wild hogs in the Florida swamps and participated on a few deer hunts too. Until now, I’d not considered it as trainer or for self-defense, but after doing some research and speaking to Wilson Combat’s product development team, apparently many others in the firearm industry share my thoughts. My next step was obvious and Wilson Combat offered their support. A complete upgrade was now officially in the works to transform my 6.8 to 6.great. You might say it's time to make 6.8 great again!

By Special Guest Contributor on 9/13/2016 10:43 AM
Timney trigger RPR review

I was privileged to attend the first media event announcing the Ruger Precision Rifle. It was several months before the rifle’s public debut and I was skeptical until the first trigger press. The Ruger Precision Rifle impressed immediately. Not only did it shoot well, it was incredibly well thought out. In a sea of precision rifles requiring a second mortgage, Ruger made one that works at half the cost of my current scope.

I've since logged a lot of time behind the RPR and enjoyed it quite a bit. I have only two complaints at this point and both are easily remedied: weight and the trigger. I'll tell you how I solved the weight problem and then jump into the installation "how to" and results of switching to a Timney Trigger. 

By Jonathan Owen on 9/6/2016 9:17 PM

Wild Boar

This simple post to LinkedIn revealed again that when it comes to dealing with wild hogs, we’re not educating people well: “Never bought gear to hunt at night? Rent it! Here's the @trijicon @irdefense Hunter MK2 from @ultimatenightvision and the results. Paired to @tacticalsol 300Blk AR15 running @silencerco Harvester Subsonics, we dropped some poundage in pigs!”

First comment popped up quickly from a gentleman named Barry: “Was all the meat used to feed someone or were they just piled up please reply it will take a load off of your post I promise!!”

I started answering Barry, but I ran out of room. So if you’re reading this Barry, this is for you…

By Dylan Saunders on 8/25/2016 10:17 PM
Teaching kids to shoot

"I can't shoot this!" She moved her left hand to the grip and wrapped her tiny left index finger around her right finger as she struggled with the trigger. The short rifle struggled with the trigger as well, the unsuppressed .300 Blackout failing to build enough pressure to reliably cycle the bolt against the increased pressure required to cock the aftermarket two-stage hammer.

She could make the rifle fire; what she was saying was that she could not shoot it well. Several weeks later I was tightening the set screws on a new Timney two-stage trigger. 

"Come outside," I told her, "I want you to try something." Conventional wisdom was about to unravel.

By Special Guest Contributor on 8/15/2016 2:57 PM

Learning to Shoot Red Dot Sight Pistol

Every expert and his nearest relative has an opinion on adding a Red Dot Sight (RDS) to a pistol. Dogma is prevalent if not rampant. It will either make you the best shooter on earth, or kill you in a “real” gunfight. Like anything dogmatic, each side has prophets, most are best ignored or archived as “possibly useful minus the preaching”. Reality sits somewhere in the middle, a place I decided to find on my own – this time. Shooter? Hunter? EDC practitioner? This story is for you...

By Jonathan Owen on 8/4/2016 10:17 AM

How ammo is made

If you’re like the vast majority of hunters and shooters, you probably don’t give the process of manufacturing the ammo you use a lot of thought. Reloaders, don’t tune out just yet…

Not long ago I was invited to tour Remington’s ammunition plant outside Little Rock, Arkansas. At 1200 acres and roughly an employee per acre, it’s kind of a big deal. Looking at it another way, this Remington ammo plant cranks out a staggering 7,000,000+ rounds every day! That, and more than a quarter million component parts a day, too! I found the processes mesmerizing and created a video to take you there.

By Sponsored on 7/28/2016 11:32 AM
Prepper Guns Bryce M. Towsley

I was very much aware of the prepper movement and I suppose I participated to some extent as I keep food and other supplies on hand. I have lived rural much of my life so the concept of prepping was easy. I have always been self-sufficient. I can fix or build most things and I am a hunter, fisherman and trapper. We have raised and butchered livestock, planted gardens and foraged in the woods for edibles. Growing up, I thought we were poor but it turns out we were preppers. I guess we were ahead of the curve.

So I wrote Prepper Guns to kill the myths and set the record straight about the guns that will best serve to keep you and your family alive. This is not a book about strategy, battle tactics or how to build a remote wilderness compound. This is a gun book, a book about the tools to defend yourselves, your loved ones and your property. It looks at the diversity of firearms, ammunition and accessories currently available to United States citizens and explores the pros and cons of each. This SHWAT™ entry is an exclusive look under the hood at my newest book, Prepper Guns.
By Jonathan Owen on 7/21/2016 6:40 PM
Dead Air Wolverine Review

The choice of communists and dictators worldwide, the AK47 and AK74 are simultaneously lauded, hated or just overlooked, but almost never are they suppressed in the West. Until now, that is. I’ve just returned from a trip to the Dead Air Armament Utah headquarters where I visited with Komandir Mike Pappas and Comrade Gary Hughes. I shot with several of their final prototype Wolverine AK suppressors. Dead Air is different, and while I knew that already, I was about to find out a lot more.

By Jonathan Owen on 7/13/2016 6:40 AM

X95 Tavor Hog Hunting rifle

I wonder how many “best hog hunting rifle” stories have been told? Seriously, four years ago we ran a top ten hog hunting rifles story that still has traction on Google. But it’s not 2012 anymore and after spending the night hog hunting with the newest offering from IWI US, the Tavor X95 I am compelled to share this story with you. I loved the Tavor, and the X95 takes it to a whole new level! 


I’m not going to get super technical here, but instead take you along for a night of tactical hog hunting with the X95. Along the way, you’ll discover why I think it may be the best hog hunting rifle, yet. 

By Kevin Reese on 7/6/2016 4:29 PM

Mossberg MMR Review

Where has the time gone? When I look back over my life, I see a series of mountains and valleys, each navigated, some carelessly, yet none left without my footprints… and occasional claw marks – I’ve never been a quitter. For most of us blue-collared patriots, a buck is often still hard to come by. While it would be nice to lock and load a new Seekins 6.5 Creedmoor, not every red, white and blue blooded patriot can step into one anytime soon. Fortunately, there are some great high-value alternatives for shooting and hunting enthusiasts. One of them is the amazing, high-performance, low-cost Mossberg MMR and Firefield riflescope and laser combo I put together recently.

As I sat to piece together my new Mossberg MMR AR-15 and Firefield optics I was reminded of my younger days as a Marine long ago. With a salary of just $620 per month and net paychecks every two weeks of just over $200, every dollar mattered. At the end of my eight-year Marine Corps service, as a sergeant, I still only grossed approximately $1,200 monthly before taxes. To be honest, like most hardworking Americans, every dollar I’ve ever made has been hard-fought and important – I’ve never been accused of having too much money although, like Joe Diffie once crooned, “I’d like to have a problem like that.” Happily, this kit - the MMR and Firefiled optic - doesn't require that problem...

By Brian McCombie on 6/20/2016 12:50 PM

Handgun Hunting Deer

I started handgun hunting about two years ago when the 10MM Auto caliber caught my attention. My first handgun hunts were with 1911 semi-autos chambered in 10MM, and I loved the challenge of hunting up close and personal that the pistols required.

Ever since then, I’ve taken every chance possible to try out new handguns for hunting, and last December I used what quickly became one of my favorite hunting handguns, the Thompson/Center (T/C) G2 Contender Pistol chambered in .44 Rem Mag.

Chasing game with 240 grains from the scoped kit proved exhilarating...

By Jonathan Owen on 6/13/2016 11:47 AM

Trijicon MRO Review

Much has been written about the Trijicon MRO already. One forum has no less than 52 pages of arguments, many of which seem to be written by people who don’t actually USE their optics beyond their couch or local range. I think many people are looking at this Trijicon the wrong way. I waited, timing my MRO review to point out one really big thing and all the associated benefits that many have ignored or glossed over. And I made a video unlike any other for you. 

By Jonathan Owen on 6/2/2016 12:07 PM
Forward Controls Design Review

Are you a quality or quantity kind of gun owner?

Of course, you could be both and AR-15 parts maker Forward Controls Design really makes it easy. Started by the co-founder of Battle Arms Development, Roger Wang is also the co-inventor of the game changing Ambidextrous Safety Selector (BAD ASS). If you're familiar with that innovation, you'll immediately understand the quality equation we're about to discuss. Ultimately, we're talking about enhancing the AR-15 user experience. No big deal, you say? Would you want to return to a computer mouse with no right click? Neither would I, and once you've used these parts you may appreciate using your AR-15 for hunting, shooting and training in a new light. Our friend Nate (NSZ85 on YouTube) does a great job showing you why you'll love these parts.  

By Jonathan Owen on 5/26/2016 11:03 AM

IWI Tavor X95 Bullpup

It’s 2016, the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting (or NRA Show) is now history, and the bullpup rifle genre is bigger than it was. American shooters and hunters now have bullpup rifle options in calibers from the always fun .22 long rifle all the way up to the .50 BMG big boy toy. Bullpup rifles are mainstream, no long oddities. How did that happen and why it matters to you are questions I’ll answer here.

By Jonathan Owen on 5/19/2016 1:04 PM

Multitasker Twist tool

Gadgets. Who doesn't love a good gadget, especially one that make other things you enjoy work better? Or in this case, makes cleaning your AR-15 or other guns a task less daunting for those of us who dread those days. Our friend Nate put together this video overview I thought you might find interesting. 

By Stephen Owen on 5/17/2016 7:52 AM

Fenix-HL60R review

Want to see in the dark?  Don’t we all… Whether you are hunting pigs at night, camping in the snow on an elk hunt, or simply moving child car seats from one car to another at night, a good headlamp goes a long way.  I started using headlamps when I was working as a mountaineering guide in Colorado. That first headlamp’s little halogen bulb seemed to have an output similar to a Ford Model T headlight.  It looked like a classic Wyllis Jeep headlight sitting on my forehead.  Thank God technology has come a long way since then. Case in point, I’ve been using the Fenix HL60R recently. Here’s what I’ve discovered...

By Jonathan Owen on 5/9/2016 5:47 PM

ARES Defense-FightLite® Industries STEP-22™ Silenced Pistol

Here at SHWAT™ we rarely publish anything off a generic press release, usually we try to be more in depth. I’m making an exception given the nature of the announcement. I think this is something a lot of us would be interested in: a monolithic integrally suppressed .22 pistol receiver for the Ruger Mk-I, Mk-II, Mk-III and 22/45 pistols. FightLite® Industries, a special products division of ARES Defense Systems, Inc., is responsible for the STEP-22 concept. Based on what I've gathered so far, I want one of these FightLite STEPLS receivers and I think you might, too! Read more to find out why.

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