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Inland M37 Ithaca Trench Shotgun Replica: A Blast from the Past

September 25, 2016 Leave a comment

Although AR-15s are all the rage in gun circles right now, this hasn’t always been the case.  It wasn’t long ago that the tactical pump shotgun was the mainstay of law enforcement throughout the country and was still being used fairly often by the military. Yet even with the popularity of the AR-15s, the shotgun still has legions of fans and one in particular is so popular that Inland Manufacturing made the decision to manufacture a replica of it — the famed M37 Ithaca Trench Shotgun.dude-with-ithaca

Inland teamed with Ithaca Gun Company to create the 12-Gauge recreation of a weapon the U.S. Navy Seals depended on in Vietnam. The point man of the SEAL team would carry the Ithaca M37 because of the formidable 12-gauge caliber rounds it could unleash at point blank range in the dense jungle.

Ithaca uses their 18-inch barreled Defense Gun with its standard bottom feeding and ejection port as the foundation for the M37 Trench Shotgun. Then by using Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling, the shotgun undergoes three modifications.

The first change is the replacement of the Defense Gun’s 18-inch barrel with a 20-inch version of the original, complete with beaded sight. The next modification is a bayonet mount, which also acts as a heat shield. Although no bayonet is included, the addition of the mount/shield provides a definite boost to the Inland M37 Shotgun’s cool factor. The final modification is the replacement of the Defense Gun’s rubber recoil pad with a military-style grooved buttplate.

The M37 Trench Shotgun is very sharp-looking with rich oil-finished walnut stocks that could match up to many of today’s most expensive guns. The modifications not only provide an aggressive tactical look, but help increase the accuracy of the shotgun.

Author Scott W. Wagner explains how the modernized M37 Trench Shotgun improves overall efficiency for the shooter in his article “Inland Manufacturing 12-Gauge M37 Trench Shotgun: A Historic Reproduction Ready for Duty” at USConcealedCarry.com:

“The extra two inches of barrel and the weight of the heat shield and bayonet mount impart more weight up front, which helps keep the muzzle locked on target for rapid-fire shooting. “ (Read more at USConcealedCarry)

During range testing, the Inland M37 proved itself combat ready. Using a variety of ammo, the Trench Shotgun was consistently true to the point of aim and at a distance of 30 feet, four-inch groupings of eight pellets were the norm.

If this weapon has piqued your interest and you would like to purchase a working recreation of one of the workhorses of Vietnam ground forces, be prepared for sticker shock. The MSRP on the Inland M37 Trench Shotgun is $1259. However, you can rest easy knowing that you are the proud owner of not only a great shotgun from a historic standpoint, but an excellent modern home defense weapon.

Church Defense Should Not Be an Afterthought

July 31, 2016 Leave a comment

Twenty years ago, the notion that someone would carefully devise a plan to enter a church fully armed with intent to gun down the innocents within would have been practically unthinkable.  It’s only in the post-911 age of terrorism that places of worship have become fair game.church

Historically, the church has been viewed as a safe place or sanctuary dating back to ancient times.

By the 4th century, the right to sanctuary had been formalized by the early Christians. The churches offered sanctuary mostly to criminals for hundreds of years until being abolished during 1540 as part of the Reformation. The Catholic Church was the lone exception, keeping the sanctuary option as part of its Code of Canon Law until 1983.

It’s a sad commentary on modern times when churches can no longer be considered a safe haven, but it doesn’t mean that pastors and their congregations are powerless to protect themselves.  Author and United States Concealed Carry Association Magazine editor Kevin Michalowski explains the mentality that is taking hold in the nation’s churches in his article “Carry Your Gun in Church? Hell Yes!” at USConcealedCarry.com:

“I cannot tell you the number of church groups that have reached out to the USCCA for help and guidance defending their congregations and ensuring those who would defend the flock are also protected from the legal system.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)

By its very nature, carrying concealed in church requires due diligence beyond what permit holders practice every day.  The pistol must remain absolutely concealed at all times. Becoming the center of attention for all the wrong reasons at church will undoubtedly bring down more restrictions for everyone, but may make for a different kind of sermon the following Sunday.

As most permit holders are aware, having a home defense plan is an integral part of anyone’s overall defensive preparations. Your expertise and training could prove invaluable to your congregation. If you are comfortable enough to talk to any of the congregation members or clergy, you can approach them about discussing some security options.

Even without the assistance of the congregation or clergy, there are steps you can take to better protect yourself and your family. Do not sit near the rear of the church, as this is most likely where any attacker would enter, and stay away from the seats closest to the center aisle to give yourself time to react. Be aware of other entrances/exits that could be used as an escape route.

Whatever action you decide to take, remember that the shooter will most likely be dead or gone by the time first responders arrive.

Inland Manufacturing M1 1945 Carbine Packs Old-School Punch

July 17, 2016 Leave a comment

In simple terms, it would seem that infantry combat could be divided into two main categories — long-range and short-range. Naturally, the best weapons for these scenarios would be the long-range rifle and the short-range pistol.  These beliefs were the foundation for decades of modern warfare and were basically the only options up until World War I.carbine

Since war is neither black nor white, it was soon discovered that mid-range weapons were useful for troops that weren’t necessarily engaged on the front lines. These included artillery units and certain other support personnel.

The Winchester M1 Carbine was developed to fill this void and it did so in a spectacular manner. Its combat prowess soon earned it a legendary status as possibly the best handling short rifle ever made. Even in the modern world, there is still a place for a specialized weapon like the M1 Carbine, as author Scott W. Wagner points out in his article “Inland Manufacturing M1 1945 Carbine: Handy Property Defender” at USConcealedCarry.com:

“I know it is an AR world, but there is still room for competing designs that offer some advantages over an M4 AR-15 in terms of weight and controllability. The 1945 M1 Carbine from Inland offers those advantages.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)

Getting your hands on one of the original M1 Carbines will cost you a pretty penny, probably upwards of $2,000. Luckily, Inland Manufacturing Company in Dayton, Ohio is now producing excellent replicas of the historic M1; their 1945 M1 Carbine. Inland Manufacturing was a subsidiary of General Motors during the war and was actually part of the home front effort, producing the original M1’s up until 1945. The replica is modeled after the last rifles shipped overseas as the war was ending.

Inland’s version of the M1 is so realistic that the front of the barrel behind the sight is stamped with the company name to avoid confusing it with an original. It features a walnut “GI-style” stock, a high-quality Parkerized finish, and a fully adjustable rear sight that accommodates tweaks in both windage and elevation. A blued 15-round magazine is also included.

During range testing with two types of .30 caliber ammo, results were mixed. Using Hornady 110-grain FMJ ball ammo, the 1945 M1 would only allow about 10 percent of the bullets to feed. Further examination revealed that the rounds were longer than the length needed for proper feeding. However, the similar Remington FMJ ammo cycled without a hitch. Accuracy was superb with 4-inch groupings attained at 100 yards.

The Inland Manufacturing 1945 M1 Carbine is an outstanding mid-range rifle that can still compete with automatic weapons because of its weight and maneuverability. If you want to accessorize the rifle with modern conventions, Inland now markets a Scout model with a Picatinny rail for mounting scopes, lights, and other add-ons.  If you are interested in picking up a replica of a historic rifle at a price significantly lower than the original, Inland can set you up for about $1079.

ATI Brings the WWII German Blitzkrieg Into Your Living Room

July 3, 2016 Leave a comment

One of the most legendary guns of WWII was the STG-44. Manufactured as the Sturmgewehr 44, the rifle was innovative in that it allowed selective fire and is widely considered to be the first modern assault rifle and forerunner of the AK-47.  the gsg

The STG did not make it to the front until late in the war, primarily due to Nazi infighting, but immediately proved its combat worthiness on the Eastern Front against the Russians.

The STG-44 gave line soldiers increased volume of fire compared to standard issue rifles and a wider range than submachine guns. Luckily for the Allies, the STG-44 never made it to the Western Front in any significant numbers or the outcome of the war may have been quite different.

Today, even if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one, the cost of an original STG-44 is prohibitive. A gun brokerage recently posted one online for sale at $6000.  Realizing that most working people don’t have an extra 6K under the mattress, American Tactical Imports (ATI) has contracted with GSG, a German company specializing in firearm replicas, to import their facsimile of the famous rifle. The replica can be yours for a tenth the cost of an original, listing at $624.95 and comes in a custom made wooden case just like the original.

The GSG replica not only looks just like the original STG-44, but feels like it. It’s so similar that GSG felt the need to add a new name, calling it the Schmeisser.  The replica functions in either automatic or semi-automatic mode. There is also a protective heat shield on the barrel to protect it during extended fire in automatic mode.

All of the controls on the STG-44 replica follow the original design. The thumb safety is on the left side, along with the charging handle, which is situated on the receiver. The magazine release button is also on the left side. Magazines are made from polymer and hold about 25 rounds.

At the range, the STG-44 replica loaded with a variety of .22LR ammo easily equaled or bettered any .22 rifle on the market. Accuracy is aided by excellent sights. The rear sight allows for windage adjustment with a small control knob on the side which is spring-loaded. The gun hit point of aim at 50 yards using the 400-yard elevation mark on the rear sight.

The STG-44 Schmeisser can be an effective home or property defense weapon, as author Scott W. Wagner points out in his article “American Tactical GSG STG-44 .22 LR Carbine” at USConcealedCarry.com:

“With the weight, it is a serious gun and not for younger or smaller shooters. If used as a home defense arm, its appearance alone is sure to deter any intruder! First bad guy thought – ‘What the heck is that?!’ Second thought—‘Run!’” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)

While the caliber is a .22, keep in mind that there are 25 at your disposal, which is probably enough to stop even the most persistent intruder. Or you could make the WWll armament buff in your family really happy this Christmas when he unwraps a replicated piece of history.

Carry Options When Baby (And Gun) Are on Board

June 26, 2016 Leave a comment

Concealed Carry permit holders seem to be the only people unsurprised by the rapid and explosive growth of the market. Not only has the number of applicants continued to grow exponentially, but the industry has also spawned a growing number of related products, ranging from holsters to dedicated magazines such as the United States Concealed Carry Association publications.  dad with a gun

Yet one niche market that has been largely ignored by mainstream media is the “packing parent.” Very little has been written on how to carry a tyke while carrying a handgun at the same time.

While there’s some controversy regarding whether carrying a gun around small children makes one a more or less responsible parent, most concealed carry permit holders agree that having children increases the need for being armed. Marko Kloos discusses the rationale in his article “The Packing Parent: The Fine Points of Carrying a Gun While Toting a Toddler” at USConcealedCarry.com:

“Not only are you entrusted with the protection of more lives than your own, but you’re also in a position that [doesn’t usually] allow you to flee from danger easily. When you have small children in your charge, your handgun is no longer a self-defense tool, but a family-defense device.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)

Maneuvering children through a day of errands, shopping, and ice cream is a herculean task on its own. Trying to keep a firearm hidden beneath your clothes or out of sight while emptying your purse looking for lip balm or napkins only adds to the misery.

As if that weren’t enough, most parents carry their toddler on the strong side, resting the child on their hip in the exact spot where their handgun would normally rest snugly in its holster. Some even use slings or harness-type products that are great for carrying the little ones, but unfortunately limit access to the belt or front pockets. Carrying a child on the strong side also increases the risk of weapon exposure, which has a high degree of causing a major scene in places like playgrounds, picnics, or public libraries.

For those reasons, it’s vitally important that a parent toting both a child and a gun be extremely vigilant about concealment, but retain easy access to said gun at the same time. Fortunately, there are two options that will allow one to safely carry both.

The fanny pack’s day as an acceptable fashion accessory is long past, but if you’re carrying a kid on your hip all day, nobody is going to raise any eyebrows at your fanny pack. You can easily conceal a mid-sized pistol in there along with a wallet and keys as well as have easy access to your firearm in the event of an incident at the same time.

Shoulder holsters are another carry option for parents with small children. A shoulder holster on the weak side offers the advantage of easy access for draw while at the same time keeping the strong side hip free for tiny hitchhikers. Unfortunately, the shoulder holster cannot be worn in the open in most states, so it’s likely not a viable option during the summer.

Being a parent means being a jack of all trades, including having the ability to protect someone who cannot protect themselves. Finding a way to carry a child and gun safely increases the odds of everyone surviving an attack, which is the philosophy of the concealed carry movement in a nutshell.

When Concealed Carry Isn’t Enough: Deep Concealment Options

March 6, 2016 Leave a comment

As more citizens obtain concealed carry permits, their power as a group entity has also burgeoned. Many states are currently in the process of relaxing firearm carry laws, thanks in part to lobbying efforts by concealed carry partisans.guns

Yet in spite of this progress, there are still many venues which view the Second Amendment from a different perspective and choose to either ban guns altogether or impose negative consequences on those who choose to exercise their constitutional rights.

These gun-free environments aren’t those mandated by law to be without weapons, but rather the job, restaurant, or family member whose obstinance forces those who carry daily into a dilemma.

People are forced to relinquish a right guaranteed by the constitution or take a chance and hope not to be discovered. Carrying a weapon in these situations won’t get you arrested, but it may get your fired, banned, or disowned.

Assuming you’re going to press forward and exercise your rights, what’s the best method for deep concealed carry? In his article “Deep Cover: Extreme Concealment When You Need It” at USConcealedCarry.com, author Rich Grassi explains why there is no one preferred deep concealed carry method:

“My usual methods of carry included ankle holsters, pocket holsters, a belly band-style holster, and shoulder holsters. I found the pocket the easiest from which to draw, followed by the belly band and the ankle holster.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)

The pocket holster is the easiest to access from deep concealment. However if you are going to be seated or driving for any length of time, the ankle holster actually becomes very accessible by simply bringing the knee up. The type of weapon you choose for your deep concealment carry will naturally affect your holster options.

One traditional firearm that has been carried for decades as a deep concealment option is the five-shot snub-nosed revolver. These guns are lightweight, dependable, and powerful, but they’re a handful to shoot accurately.

The advent of the micro semi-automatic handguns gave concealed carry permit holders another alternative for deep concealment. These tiny pistols are now manufactured by virtually every firearms producer and give shooters an added advantage for deep concealment by essentially eliminating printing issues with weapons that are generally less than an inch thick.

Another method uncommonly used methods in deep concealment situations is the neck holster, designed for miniscule guns like the Kel-Tec P-32, which chambers 7 .32 ACP rounds. Basically, the neck holster is a tiny holster attached to a necklace chain that rests under your shirt and is easily accessible.

When carrying in deep concealment, it’s important to know that your gun will be reliable if you need it. Use the best ammo you can afford for these pocket rockets to avoid misfires and jams in critical situations.

Making the decision to carry or not carry in certain environments is never easy. But carrying in deep concealment mode is one way to continue to exercise your Second Amendment rights.

A “Get Home” Bag Could Save Your Life

January 31, 2016 Leave a comment

When the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, 2000, it signaled not only the beginning of a new century, but the dawn of a new millennium. A generation known as the “Millennials” were to be the harbingers of exciting new horizons for mankind. Yet on September 11, 2001, that vision of the future was forever changed when terrorists commandeered four commercial airlines and flew three of them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.get home bag

Since that day, the American military has brought the war on terrorism into the terrorists’ own backyards.

One particularly effective tactic was the use of U.S.  Special Forces to eliminate high profile targets, which culminated in the assassination of Osama Bin-Laden during a midnight raid on his Pakistan compound by SEAL Team 6 on May 2, 2011.

The exploits of SEAL Team 6 and other elite units have been documented and romanticized in countless movies, television specials and video games. Members of these units often refer to a “go bag,” or a duffel containing all essential gear needed for a mission anywhere in the world that can be grabbed on the way out the door.

While the concept of a go bag isn’t a bad idea, it’s unlikely that you’re going to face a situation where you have to bug out and head to the high ground. As Kevin Michalowski points out in his article “What is in Your ‘Get Home’ Bag?” at USConcealedCarry.com, life for most people is much more mundane:

“But since most of us are a little bit more ‘Meal Team Six’ than we are SEAL Team Six, our needs are different. A big bag of survival gear is great if you are headed to the hills to escape societal breakdown, but the reality is much different.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)

Your objective is to protect your family above all else.  It would make sense to create a “Get Home” bag rather than a go bag, consisting of items designed to expedite the process of reuniting you with your loved ones.

The Get Home bag is a backup to the concealed carry kit and should only be considered as a last resort.  If you look out the window and it looks like a scene from “The Walking Dead” or “Independence Day,” then it is time to rip open the Get Home bag.  Some of the items you might seriously consider including are listed here:

  • A powerful handgun, loaded with extra magazines
  • Personal trauma kit
  • Spare keys for home and each vehicle
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Knife
  • Spare eyeglasses
  • Medication
  • Enough cash to get through potential bank closures
  • Multi-tool
  • Dependable lighter
  • 50 feet of paracord
  • 20-ounce bottle of water
  • Rain poncho
  • Survival blanket
  • Compass

If you are at the point where you’re using your Get Home bag, you are most likely encountering potential threats.  The first matter at hand is to attempt to extricate yourself from the hostile environment.  At that point, you can begin to use your bag of tools to maneuver your way back to friendly territory.  Carry your bag where its contents are easily reached and store the bag where it’s secure, but accessible. A locked file cabinet is perfect while working and a corner of your trunk will provide ample security while driving.