Hard Decisions- Choosing Your First Long Gun by Jay Chambers

The Basic Differences

For long time gun owners, this will be a short overview. For people trying to decide on their first firearm however, this information will be necessary to understanding the rest of the analysis.

Shotguns are generally smooth barreled guns that fire shells containing small pellets that scatter as they leave the barrel. The scatter is not as ridiculous as it is often portrayed in video games, but it is significant.

Rifles fire bullets through rifled barrels. The rifling, or spiraling, in the barrel catches on to the bullet and causes it to spin which increases range and accuracy. They are useful from medium to long ranges and come in many forms from slow and precise bolt action rifles to rapid firing semi-automatic rifles.

Hunting

People use shotguns and rifles to hunt various animals.

Shotguns are used to hunt fast moving targets like quail and rabbits. They also pack a punch which can be used to go after physically intimidating animals such as black bears and grizzly bears. Due to the smooth barrels and the spread of the shots, they are mostly useful for short range hunting. There are rounds called slugs which fire a single projectile. This can increase the effective range, but not beyond that of a rifle.

Rifles are better for hunting targets at long range. Deer, moose, and other large animals need a precise shot to go down. Various calibers allow rifles to be useful against all kinds of animals. A .223 from an AR-15 can be used to take down a deer. However, big game hunting requires big bored rifles. There are rifles designed for precise shots at the longest of ranges and others designed to take multiple shots at a time. Rifles are also better for young hunters. .22s and pellet rifles do not pack more heat than a child can handle, and pellet rifles lack the stopping power for them to seriously injure themselves or anyone else. Quality pellet rifles that are accurate, easy to handle, and will never misfire can be purchased for young hunters to hunt their first squirrels and small birds. This means there is a rifle for most situations.

So, what’s better? In my opinion, rifles get the nomination for the best at hunting. There are definitely times when a shotgun is the best choice, but if we’re picking a winner, it has to be rifles for the wider array of situations where they are better suited than shotguns.

Self-Defense

The second amendment is crucial to the American ideal of liberty and being able to protect yourself and those you love is part of that.

When people need to defend themselves with a firearm, there are two broad situations they find themselves in. They may be somewhere public, but pistols are generally the best option for daily carry unless you want to lug your long gun around the town square.

Let’s consider how a shotgun and a rifle would fare while defending your home.

The type of rifle would matter. A bolt action rifle is not ideal for home defense. You would want something easy to handle and with the ability for rapid fire. A semi-automatic rifle or a lever action rifle would be better choices. However, even with the ability to fire shots in quick succession, rifles are best when you are carefully picking your shots. If your home has been invaded, you may not be in a situation to carefully pick your shots. You will likely be stressed and lack proper vision. The spread out shot of a shotgun will fare better here. You still have to aim at the target, but precision is not as key.

Also, rifle rounds can travel through the walls of a house and land on unintended targets. A shotgun blast will be safer for people in other rooms or nearby houses. In general, shotguns would be preferred for home defense.

Firearms as a Hobby

Two of the main purposes for owning guns are defending oneself and hunting. However, there is no denying that another benefit to owning guns is having fun.

While guns are tools, are they really no different than a screwdriver laying on a workbench? Firearms are also part of a hobby. People are going to gravitate towards different firearms, so there is a lot of personal preference involved. However, one way to differentiate the two is by the options they provide.

Shotguns come in two basic forms: pump-action and semi-automatic. The different types of rounds, from buckshot to birdshot, do not drastically change the shooting experience. Skeet shooting competitions are a great way to liven up the action, but that’s about it.

There are a ton of different rifles to choose from. Semi-automatic rifles offer precision and the fun of a 30-round magazine. The AR-15 on its own offers its own hobby, as shooting enthusiasts take pride in building their custom ARs in any variety of ways. Lever action rifles offer a very tactile shooting experience that harkens back to the days of outlaws. Bolt-action rifles offer shooting over incredibly long distances which requires significant amounts of skill.

While there are a handful of types of rifles, the differences extend into the individual rifles in each category. An AK-47 offers a different experience to an AR-15. A .22 lever action for plinking offers a different experience to a big bored one.

When it come to firearms as a hobby, rifles win due to the diverse range of experiences they offer.

So which is it, Rifles or Shotguns?

Rifles were determined to be better for hunting and to offer more to the hobby of shooting. Shotguns did win in the “self-defense” category.

Regardless of the scoring here, different guns are perfect for different people and different uses. Overall though, rifles have come out on top.

Factors to Consider When Shopping for Aftermarket Sights by Gen Artis

The first thing to consider upgrading on your handgun besides grips… are the sights. Because truth be told, very few gun owners want to deal with the lackluster quality of stock gun sights. And here is where aftermarket gun sights come in handy.

Aftermarket sights are easy to find, are affordable, and there is a ton of options for you to choose from. But before you make your choice, are there any factors you should consider? As with any other product, there are several things to consider.

So what are some of these things you need to consider before settling on an aftermarket sight? Let’s find out.

Material 

The problem with plastic stock sights is they end up breaking due to repetitive recoils. The best materials for making gun sights are aluminum and steel. They are tough, lightweight, and can take a beating.

It is for this reason that the best sights for Glock 43 are usually made of either aluminum or steel. Both metals are lightweight, with aluminum being the lighter of the two. As such, they do not add significant weight to your handgun.

Tritium vs. fiber optic sights

Tritium is perhaps the most common ingredient used in the making of aftermarket sights. It is a radioactive element that is radioluminescence. Without getting technical, this simply means that it can create fluorescent light without electricity.

Today, however, some manufacturers are turning to the use of fiber optic. This material glows brightly, even in average daylight. And since the glow is concentrated and doesn’t magnify, it makes target acquisition easy.

To understand the significant differences between the two, we must first understand how each work. Fiber optic technology relies on ambient light. Tritium, on the other hand, is luminescent in nature and does not require ambient light.

So, which between the two should you go for? Due to their reliance on ambient light fiber optic sights do well in daylight. However, it is worth noting that they can still be used at night.

Tritium sights, on the other hand, do well at night since they do not require any ambient light. Basically, in low light situations, tritium sights perform better.

Type of sight

Aftermarket sights come in four different types. These are three-dot sights, two-dot sights, 1-dot sight, and u-shaped rear sight.

Three dot sights are the most common and feature two small dots at the rear and one big one at the front. They feature either tritium or fiber-optic inserts. And in some models, you get a mixture of both.

Two dot sights feature a small dot at the rear and a bigger one at the front. Similar to three-dot sights, they can have tritium, fiber optic, or a mixture of both.

I-dot sights have a large dot at the front and feature a painted line on the gun’s notch.  When aiming, you have to alight the “I” with the center of the dot.

U-shaped sights are perfect for long-distance and competitive shooting. Thus if you want aftermarket sights for an upcoming competition, go for u-shaped sights.

Three-dot and two-dot sights are easy to use and are readily available. For general purpose use, they are ideal.

Price

Aftermarket sights vary in price. Some are cheap while are others are expensive. Obviously, the expensive models have more to offer. The money you spend on a sight will depend on what you want to use it for.

If you are looking for sights for your nightstand gun or EDC handgun, there is no need to go all out. Most standard sights will offer what you need. However, for a bedside handgun, you will be looking to buy one that can be used at night.

For competitive shooting where accuracy and fast target acquisitions are necessary, you may have to spend a little bit more.

As a rule of thumb when it comes to buying aftermarket sights, avoid cheap plastic models. These are incapable of withstanding repetitive recoil. Also, some cheap models from China are a nightmare to install.

Size of the front sight

The front sight is made up of a large dot that you use to aim at the target. In any sight, it is arguably the most crucial part. The front sight needs to be large enough to be visible. However, too large a front sight is not recommended.

An overly wide front sight may obscure your aim and make it challenging to acquire targets at longer distances. As such, the front sight should be larger than the rear sight but not too big as to obscure your aim.

The rear sight

You can have either one or two rear sights depending on the type of sight you have. In the case of one sight, it needs to be smaller than the front. The same applies where you have two rear sights.

The rear sight has a softer glow compared to the front. The idea is to emphasize the glow of the front sight.

The brand

The brand name behind an aftermarket sight also matters. Some of the common brand names include Trijicon, Truglo, Ameriglow, and XS sights. Of the four, Trijicon is perhaps the most famous.

Trijicon products are known for their quality and price. However, when it comes to aftermarket sights, the price difference is not all that big.

All the same Truglo sights tend to be cheaper than Trijicon ones. Ameriglo sights are also quite affordable and are generally of good quality.

On the other side of the spectrum are XS sights, which do not come cheap. The company offers traditional-style sights. XS sights and Trijicon sights are more high-end than Truglo and Ameriglo.

Conclusion

There are plenty of aftermarket sights to choose from. Your decision will largely depend on your preferences as well as your needs. For daytime use, fiber optic sights are sufficient. But for night time use tritium sights are recommended.

Also, the type of sight you select matters. As mentioned, competitive shooters prefer u-shaped sights. 2-dot sights, on the other hand, tend to be easier to align, especially for shooters who use the flash sight shooting technique.

Ultimately no matter your preferences, it is always wise to shop around for the different options available in the market.

 

TALON Grips vs Stippling

Which one is right for you?  TALON Grips vs. Stippling.

We can all get along! A M&P Full Size with TALON Grip and stippled backstrap.

Nobody is going to debate that every shooter out there benefits from having a better grip. I mean it is simple math right?  More traction = better grip = better shooting. The question becomes how do you improve your grip? There are a number of techniques that you can use to improve your grip.  In Step 5 of this Free eBook, we talk about accuracy as it relates to the way that we grip the handgun.  The article explains the High Grip with Thumbs Forward technique. The article goes on discussing Tightness, One-Handed shooting and Breathe.  These are all crucial things that can be improved with practice.

Practice alone, cannot fix a slippery grip.  So what are your options?

TALON Grips are a stick-on gun grip that changes the texture of your gun improving your grip.   Benefits of TALON Grips include:

  • They are quick and easy to install (5-10 minutes)
  • They allow you to reposition the grip several times without affecting the grip, so if you make a mistake, you can correct it.
  • They can be removed at any time returning the pistol to factory condition.
  • They are affordable at $19.99 each.
  • They do not affect the gun manufacturer’s warranty.
  • They can easily be changed/replaced when the time comes.
  • They are made in the USA
  • They provide maximum coverage giving extra traction to most of your firearm
  • The thin material (only .5mm thick) does not change the overall size of the grip
A Canik TP9SF wearing TALON rubber grips

Stippling is an alternative to TALON Grips. It’s another popular way to improve the slippery factor of your gun.   First, here are some considerations with stippling:

  1. A good stipple job will cost anywhere from $85-150+
  2. Time, yes, you can buy a soldering iron for $15 and stipple multiple guns, but doing a great job takes practice, patience, and hours.
  3. Stippling has little room for error.  If you make a mistake with an unsteady hand, it will be there for the life of the frame.
  4. You will probably void your manufacturer’s warranty
  5. It can be gross to find all of the dead skin stuck in the stippling, but a quick brush and a bit of elbow grease can fix that.
  6. The texturing can wear down over time and you have to re-stipple to bring back the aggressiveness.
Glock 17 Gen4 with finger grooves removed and stippled

Stippling can be great!  It is an effective way to get more texture on your gun so you can shoot better.  It is a great way to customize your handgun (if you have the skills and time). Stipple jobs can look super cool and provide great traction.

So if you think through the considerations above and have the skills and time, stipple your gun!  If you want a cheaper, quicker and easier alternative buy TALON Grips. Either way, a better grip is going to help improve your performance.  

eBook Chapter 1: Dry Fire by Josh Gillem

How To Dry Fire:

One of the best things you can do to up your shooting proficiency can take place in the comfort of your own home. And, while there are tools that you can purchase to help you out in your endeavor, you certainly don’t have to buy anything.

In fact, all you really need is some time and your EDC gun. Dry firing is a great idea because you can take all the other aspects about shooting accurately and apply them to your dry fire practice everyday without leaving your home.

Even better, you can practice things your range may not allow you to, like drawing from the holster, presenting to your target, and pressing the trigger. Many gun ranges around the country don’t allow their members to draw and shoot due to safety concerns during live fire, and this may be the only time you can actually practice like this.

If you have any fears about dry firing your gun, please know that all modern, center fire handguns can be safely dry fired without causing damage. If you’re still worried, consult your gun’s manual or the manufacturer to ask if dry firing is safe.

Finally, if you still have concerns about it, you can purchase dummy rounds and use them while dry firing.

One thing dry fire practice is great for is keeping your fundamental skills going even when you’re not at the range doing live fire practice.

How Do You Do Dry Fire Practice?

The most important thing to remember, is that this is called dry fire practice because there is no ammo in the gun. In fact, it’s a good idea to check the status of your gun each time you pick it up.

Even when you know it’s unloaded, check it. It can’t hurt and only takes a second.

Many of today’s instructors recommend dry firing for at least 10 minutes per day, several times per week.

Make sure the gun is unloaded, point it at a spot on the wall or a target (in a safe direction), utilize all of your shooting fundamentals: proper trigger manipulation, proper grip, sight picture, etc., and press the trigger.

You can then reset the trigger and do it all over again. If you’re doing holster exercises, re-holster the gun and start over. Do it repetitively.
And, because there is no ammunition, recoil, muzzle blast, etc., it really helps you focus on what, if anything, you may be doing wrong.

For example …

Did the front sight move at all? If so, what went wrong?

Some of the most common problems are a bad grip, pressing the trigger in a way that causes the muzzle to drift, flinching, or tightening the grip to the point where the front sight moves as you’re pressing the trigger.

Some folks will place an empty shell or a coin on the muzzle of the gun. If that thing, whatever it may be, falls off then you’re clearly in need of some diagnostics. And, if it doesn’t, you’re good to go.

The only problem with that, is sometimes the thing you placed on your front sight may actually stay on because you didn’t flinch hard, but it could still be a less than ideal shot because you did something else wrong.

Remember, even an eighth of an inch at the front sight/muzzle equates to inches on the target. When you’re dry firing, you can see if your sight moves. Did your eyes see the front sight slip to the left or right as you pressed the trigger?

Watching your front sight during dry fire can tell you a lot. If it moves as you press the trigger, there is something wrong. If it continues for a few repetitions of dry fire, you need to figure out what is going on because you’re also likely doing it while live firing.

Dry fire practice allows you to dissect your fundamentals to see just what you’re doing wrong. You’ll get to the point where you’ll know what you did wrong based on how the gun moved.

READ MORE

TALON Talk February 5, 2020

TALON Talk For February 5th, 2020 Vol 128
 

Best Sellers

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm/.40 Glock 43
    
Featured Products

Sig Sauer P365 TALON Grips Hats Springfield Hellcat
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Put the same grip on your controller as you can on your gun in Call of Duty

Is the IWI Masada the New Glock?

IWI Masada with Rubber-Black TALON Grips

Whenever a new striker-fired pistol is released, it’s forced to live in Glock’s world. However, that’s not to say that a new striker-fired gun—like the IWI Masada—will never be as good as a Glock.

New guns often are just as good as Glocks, and frequently better in certain ways.

But, and this is a spoiler, none of the new striker-fired handguns (including the Masada) will be the new Glock. At least, not for a long time.

We’ll explain why shortly.

For now, let’s talk about why the IWI Masada is actually better than a Glock in many ways.

One thing to note before we start: the Masada is not as easily upgradeable as a Glock because there’s not as much aftermarket support, yet. But that’s not really a fair comparison point, since the Masada is far newer. So we’re not going to hold that against the Masada.

Onto the discussion.

Grip

It’s no secret: Glocks have a very particular grip shape. People typically either love it or hate it.

The Masada grip shape isn’t quite as unique as a Glock grip. But it will probably be more comfortable for more people, on average. Those who find the Glock grip to be the most comfortable thing ever will probably label the Masada as slightly less comfortable than a Glock.

However, the rest of us might prefer the Masada grip. The palm swell is fairly subtle and well placed. And the grip texture offers good traction without being too aggressive.

Also, the grip is a couple degrees more upright than a Glock. That’s not a bad thing. It’s a more natural angle, which is nice for those who want a plug-and-play type of gun. Also, the Masada is more versatile for those who shoot multiple handguns, since the grip angle is more consistent with other models.

Trigger

There’s no way we’d get away with comparing anything to a Glock without mentioning the trigger.

Here’s the juice: the Masada’s trigger is better than a Glock trigger in almost every way.

The break is cleaner. The pull weight is more consistent with IWI’s stated weight. And it feels like there’s slightly less travel in the trigger press.

So where is the Glock trigger better? The reset, of course. Very few triggers reset as positively as a Glock trigger.

But the Masada’s trigger has a nice tactile and audible reset. It’s just that the reset is a bit long. It takes a bit of finesse to get really clean strings of rapid fire.

For accuracy, though, the Masada trigger is a step up from many striker-fired pistols, including Glocks.

Standard features

The Masada comes with more creature comforts and practical upgrades than a bone stock Glock.

The most obvious is steel sights. Glock basically loses every stock sight comparison because they use plastic sights, which are a known issue during one-handed weapon manipulations.

But there’s more.

The Masada also comes with front cocking serrations.

It also comes standard with an RMR cut.

There’s a Picatinny rail.

And the grip is cut so that you can grab and strip magazines for malfunction clearance. It’s a subtle cut. But it’s better than the notch on the front of the Gen 5 Glocks or none at all.

One thing to consider

The Masada does have one fairly unique drawback that’s worth mentioning, even though we’re not here to bash on the Masada: the slide heats up fairly quickly.

If you’re wearing gloves, it’s not a huge issue until you’ve fired five or six magazines in quick succession.

But if you’re not wearing gloves, the slide can be a bit hot to handle after two or three magazines. It’s not dangerous. You’re not going to burn your flesh off or anything. However, the slide gets hot faster than most other handguns.

The Masada is a duty-sized gun. So they may have designed it with a lighter slide to enhance the performance, assuming that the ideal consumer would be armed professionals who usually wear gloves when they shoot.

It’s not a deal breaker. But it’s something to be aware of when you pick this gun up.

Answer: no, the IWI Masada is not the new Glock

Overall, the IWI Masada is a great gun. It’s very comfortable. It shoots well. It seems reliable based on what we’ve seen so far. And it retails for about $400, which is an excellent price.

If you purchased a Masada instead of a Glock, you’d be making a fine choice.

But here’s why the Masada is not the new Glock:

First, it only comes in one frame size. It’s similar to the Glock 19x. It’s impossible for a single, duty-sized gun to replace an entire line of guns that includes smaller, concealed carry options.

Could the Masada be the new Glock 19x? Maybe someday. But that’s not the question we asked.

Glock 19X with TALON Rubber-Black Grips

However, the real reason the IWI Masada is not the new Glock is because it’s better than a Glock in several ways. So it doesn’t really compete directly with Glock pistols.

Glock has become the baseline handgun. If a new gun does anything worse than a Glock—if it’s less reliable, if the trigger is worse, if it’s less comfortable, or anything else—that gun will probably be viewed pretty critically by the firearms market.

Being as good as a Glock is the minimum standard these days, not the gold standard.

The Masada is better than a Glock on multiple fronts. Given enough time, maybe the Masada will become the new measuring stick.

But right now, the Masada is an affordable handgun that’s a bit better than a Glock in a handful of aspects. And you’re wise if you’re considering buying the IWI Masada.

TALON Talk January 15, 2020

TALON Talk For January 15th, 2020 Vol 127
 
VISIT US AT SHOT SHOW BOOTH 6603
 
Best Sellers
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm/.40 Glock 43
    
Featured Products
Glock 43X/48 Sig Sauer P365 Smith & Wesson Shield 380/9mm EZ
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Put the same grip material on your controller as you  have on your gun
 

More Ways to Earn TALON Grips Rewards Points!

100 Points = $1 off at TalonGunGrips.com

We’ve added 2 more ways for you to earn rewards points that can be used to get a discount on your orders.

We covered the new TALON Grips rewards system in an earlier blog post which you can read here to get caught up.

The process of earning rewards points through social media is simple. First, make sure you are logged into your account at TalonGunGrips.com then select the Rewards icon in the lower right of your screen.

When the popup opens select Ways to earn.

You will then see Follow on Instagram and Like on Facebook. Like and Follow us and you will get 100 points each.

That’s it! That’s pretty easy way to get 200 points which is equal to $2 dollars off your next order.

 

TALON Talk December 16, 2019

 

TALON Talk For December 16th, 2019 Vol 125
 
 

Best Sellers 

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm/.40 Glock 43
    
Featured Products 

LCP II Glock 43X/48 Sig Sauer P365
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Put the same grip material on your controller as you can on your gun in the new Call of Duty
 


 

 

TALON Grips Rewards Program

Loyal customers are a big part of our business so we developed a rewards program that will provide you credit based on the dollars spent at TalonGunGrips.com. The nuts and bolts of the program follow:

  1. You will get automatically signed up for the rewards program when you place an order.
  2. You get 4 points for every $1 spent. For instance, if you spend $25 you will accrue 100 points.
  3. For every 100 points you receive $1 off your order.

If you cannot sign into your account reset your password.

Redeeming Your Rewards Points

  1. Go to TalonGunGrips.com
  2. Make sure you are signed into your account. If you don’t remember your password Click Forgot Password, enter your email address and click RESET PASSWORD and an email will be sent to you to enter a new password.
  3. Add the products you want to purchase to the cart.
  4. Once done shopping click the Rewards Icon which is a crown in the lower right of your screen. See Here
  5. You are now in the rewards section. See Here
    1. Rewards Points Available
    2. Ways to earn
    3. All Rewards– Click to redeem points See Here
  6. Slide the ball over to the desired amount of rewards points and discount you want to use and click Redeem. See Here
  7. A code will be generated. Simply click Apply now or copy the code and paste into the coupon code section at Checkout. See Here

If you have any questions about the program please contact us at info@talongrips.com.

Thank you loyal TALON Grips customers.