Speer Gold Dot Awarded Homeland Security Ammo Contract

By: Guy J. Sagi

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Speer was awarded a contract earlier this month with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) for up to 120 million rounds of 124-grain, 9 mm Gold Dot Duty ammunition. First delivery takes place in 2018, according to the agreement, and it will be supplied to multiple DHS law enforcement components and other federal agencies for up to a five-year period.

The DHS, which was established in 2002, has nearly 240,000 employees. Its 22 departments and agencies include the Coast Guard, Secret Service, ICE,  Federal Emergency Management Agency, Customs and Border Protection, Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and others.

“Speer Gold Dot has along history of providing trusted performance time and time again for our nation’s law enforcement and military,” said Speer Product Director Jason Nash. “We’re very proud to provide Gold Dot to the DHS for their duty ammunition needs.”

The bullet’s lead core is electro-chemically bonded to the jacket—using the company’s exclusive Uni-Core method—minimizing the chances of separation if it passes through an intermediate barrier (windshields, etc.) en route to the target. The process also results in a more uniform jacket thickness that improves accuracy. Gold Dot was the first handgun ammunition with true, bonded-core bullets and the hollow-point cavity is tuned to work in concert with the caliber and weight to optimize penetration and expansion.

A final, rounding and smoothing of the hollow-point profile enhances functioning and reliability. Coupled with nickel-plated brass to smooth chambering and extraction, the load has quickly gained favor in many law enforcement agencies nationwide.

The 9 mm isn’t the only handgun cartridge carried by agents of the various HSA agencies. The list currently includes .357 SIG, .38 Spl. +P, and .40 S&W, as well as 12-gauge and .223 Rem. in long guns.

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First Look: Savage Arms MSR-15 Valkyrie

By: SI Staff

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Savage Arms announced the launch of its new MSR-15 Valkyrie rifle, tailor-made to allow consumers to take advantage of the new .224 Valkyrie round developed by Federal Premium. The new rifle is designed to ensure that users get the full benefits of the new cartridge, thanks to several special features.

Savage Arms’ MSR-15 Valkyrie rifle is based on the company’s earlier MSR-15 Recon platform and is ready-made for competition use and is constructed on the same compact MSR-15 upper and lower used in the company’s popular MSR lineup. One special feature of the receivers used on the new Valkyrie rifle is the inclusion of a special Elite Series Cerakote finish, giving the rifle a durable, rugged finish that can stand up to any harsh environment.

The Cerakote-finished receivers are paired up with an 18-inch barrel featuring a 1:7-inch twist rate, which is optimized for the new .224-caliber projectile. The barrel is machined with the company’s innovative 5R rifling system known to provide enhanced accuracy. This is the same rifling used on the company’s MSR-15 Recon reviewed earlier in 2017 by Shooting Illustrated. Other features of the barrel include a 1/2×28 TPI threaded muzzle complete with a muzzle brake for added recoil reduction.

Allowing users to fine-tune the performance of their rifle is a priority for the company, so the Savage Arms MSR-15 Valkyrie uses a mid-length gas system combined with an adjustable gas block that enables owners to adjust the gas flow for optimum performance for a range of cartridges. The barrel and gas system are surrounded by a Cerakote-finished M-Lok-compatible handguard based on the same slim fore-end design used on the company’s MSR-15 Recon. The handguard provides a continuous Picatinny top rail that ensures flexibility in mounting optics and other accessories.

Other furniture features on the new Valkyrie rifle include a Hogue pistol grip and a MagpulUBR Gen 2 adjustable stock. The gun is equipped with a two-stage improved mil-spec trigger. Spec-wise, the rifle measures 35.5 inches with the stock fully collapsed and weighs in at 7.88 pounds. Due to the larger size of the 6.8 SPC-based .224 Valkyrie case body, magazine capacity tops off at 25 rounds.

Remington Model 870 Now With Detachable Magazine

By: American Rifleman Staff rem_870_dm

 

The best-selling pump-action shotgun of all time—the Remington Model 870—is now offered with a detachable magazine. In service since 1950, more than 11 million 870s have been sold.

The newest iteration, the 870 DM, features three and six-round magazines, allowing for instant alternate loads. As withall 870s, its receiver is milled from a solid block of steel.

Six SKUs are available:

870 DM (81350)

  • 6-round detachable magazine
  • Black synthetic stock with Super Cell recoil pad
  • Tactical “corn cob” fore-end
  • 18.5″ fixed cylinder bore barrel
  • MSRP: $529

870 DM Magpul (81352)

  • 6-round detachable magazine
  • Magpul SGA stock with Super Cell recoil pad
  • Magpul MOE M-LOK fore-end
  • 18.5″ Rem Choke barrel with extended ported tactical choke
  • XS steel front sight, XS tactical rail/ghost ring rear sight
  • MSRP: $799

870 DM Tactical/Predator (81354)

  • 3 and 6-round detachable magazines
  • Overmolded ShurShot thumbhole stock with Super Cell recoil pad
  • Tactical “corn cob” fore-end
  • 18.5″ Rem Choke barrel with two Trulock extended chokes (Boar Blaster and Turkey/Predator)
  • XS steel front sight, XS tactical rail/ghost ring rear sight
  • Kryptek Highlander Camo
  • MSRP: $799

870 DM Tac-14 (81348)

  • 6-round detachable magazine
  • Shockwave grip and Magpul fore-end
  • 14″ cylinder bore barrel
  • Bead sight
  • MSRP: $559

870 DM Hardwood (81351)

  • 6-round detachable magazine
  • Hardwood stock and fore-end
  • 18.5″ cylinder bore barrel
  • Bead sight
  • MSRP: $529

870 DM Tactical (81360)

  • 6-round detachable magazine
  • Pistol grip buttstock and tactical “corn cob” fore-end
  • 18.5″ barrel with extended ported tactical choke
  • XS steel front sight, XS tactical tail/ghost ring rear sight
  • MSRP: $799

First Look At The New Kimber Stainless 1911 Long Slide

By: SI Staff

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Kimber began rolling out its new-for-2018 products late in 2017, and one of the company’s new introductions is the new Kimber Stainless 1911 Long Slide pistol, available in both .45 ACP and 10 mm.

The new Kimber Stainless 1911 Long Slide pistol is constructed with a frame, slide and barrel all machined from stainless steel. In keeping with the classic long-slide 1911 design, the barrel length on the pistol measures 6 inches long and uses a left-hand twist measuring 1:16 inches. Like all Kimber pistols, the barrel and slide are hand-fitted to the frame in order to ensure accuracy and precision. The slide and frame both feature a satin-silver finish, and the ramped barrel is topped off with a match-grade barrel bushing also machined from stainless steel.

The pistol measures 5.25 inches high, 9.7 inches long, and the slide is 1.28 inches wide. The gun uses a standard-length guide rod and features a recoil spring that measures 18.5 pounds. With an empty magazine, the Kimber Stainless 1911 Long Slide pistol weighs in at 42 ounces. In .45 ACP, magazine capacity is a standard seven rounds, while the 10 mm model provides users with an extra cartridge at an overall capacity of eight rounds.

The pistol comes equipped with a number of noticeable features. The frame features a round heel and 24 LPI checkering on the front strap and back strap of the gun. The slide is equipped with angled serrations at the rear, while the front of the slide remains bare. The gun also comes with a bobbed hammer, as well as a standard right-hand thumb safety and magazine release. The trigger comes with a factory setting that measures between 4-5 pounds.

The Kimber Stainless 1911 Long Slide pistol is equipped with target sights designed for quick target acquisition. The rear sight features a serrated face to reduce glare and is fully adjustable. The front sight features a red fiber-optic wire that encourages users to quickly pick up and focus on the sight. Finally, the gun ships with Rosewood grips engraved with the Kimber logo.

The Kimber Stainless 1911 Long Slide pistol retails at an MSRP of $1,055 for the 10 mm model, while the .45 ACP model retails at a suggested price of $1,075.

Review: Springfield Armory Range Officer Elite Compact 1911

By: Jay Grazio

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The Springfield Armory Range Officer Elite Compact 1911, shown above, launched in late 2017 as a new batch of 1911 pistols inspired by the success of Springfield’s Range Officer 1911 lineup.

There’s an old joke about the appellation “Yankee.” To a citizen of the world, a “Yankee” is an American; to your average American, a “Yankee” is someone who lives north of the Mason-Dixon line. To someone above the Mason-Dixon line, a “Yankee” is someone who lives in New England. And to someone who lives in New England, a “Yankee” is someone who still uses an outhouse. It’s very much like that with 1911s. To purists, a true 1911 should be Government-Model length (5-inch barrel) and chambered in .45 ACP (possibly, albeit begrudgingly, .38 Super).

Springfield Armory’s Range Officer series, introduced in 2010, is available in a dizzying array of configurations. The Range Officer itself combines upgraded features borne of the competitive-shooting world, while the Elite line brings fighting touches to the Range Officer family. The Range Office Elite Compact, new this year, goes a step farther and blends competition and combat touches in a package well-suited for concealed carry. Ambidextrous controls, purchase-enhancing stocks and instinctive sights make for a fighting pistol that is easy to control and conceal.

The Springfield Armory Range Officer Elite Compact features a design that combines a shortened grip with a mid-length slide (it’s a 4-inch barrel, placing it between the Commander and Officer’s Model sizes). As the part most-difficult to conceal, the shorter grip means less printing, while still offering a full, three-finger grip—similar to a Glock G19 for size. Your pinkie isn’t going to hang out in space under the grip, nor is it scrambling for the edge of the magazine, which comes in handy under less-than-ideal shooting conditions. The 4-inch barrel and commensurate longer slide translate into greater sight radius, while the red fiber-optic front sight is easy to acquire quickly.

While the 9 mm model might be an affront to the purists, it’s more controllable and offers greater capacity than the .45 ACP model. It’s also worth noting, as our resident 1911 guru reminded me, that the original Commander was launched in the 1950s in 9 mm as a possible candidate for U.S. military use. Don’t worry, though—if you’re a true 1911 purist, there’s also a Range Officer Elite Compact model chambered in .45 ACP.

(l.) Ambidextrous controls, textured G10 scales and other purpose-built features help define the Elite Compact as a fine concealed-carry option. (ctr.) Crisp and clean, the Gen 2 trigger proved heavier than expected, but shot quite well. (r.) Extending the beavertail to prevent hammer bite is one of many thoughtful touches.


One of the first things I noticed when I picked up the Springfield Range Officer Elite Compact was how natural it felt in my hand. That’s always been a huge selling point of the 1911: you pick it up, and as almost of its own volition the pistol is pointing right where you want it. The G10 scales on the Elite ensure it stays firmly in hand, even under rapid-fire situations. I did have to re-acquaint myself with the thumb safety; certainly no fault of the Elite of course, but something to be cognizant of should you pick one up after an extended absence from shooting 1911-style pistols.

I found that the shorter grip and grip safety required a precise grasp of the pistol—always a good thing, of course—to activate the safety mechanisms. When you’re used to a pistol with no external safeties, having two mechanical variants in play means you need even more attention than usual. It’s also a great reason to, as Sheriff Jim Wilson recommends, stick with one operating system for your defensive handgun needs. An imprecise grip that doesn’t engage the grip safety is annoying on the range; used in a defensive situation it could be a costly mistake, indeed. Again, this is by no means whatsoever a knock on the Elite Compact, just a reminder to practice diligently, especially when working with a less-familiar system.

(l. & ctr.) Two white dots adorn the “tactical rack” equipped rear sight, while a red fiber-optic pipe sits up front. Both feature glare-reducing serrations. (r.) Adding a tapered barrel eliminates the need for a traditional barrel bushing.

Once adjusted to the operating system, though, there was little to report in the way of problems. The Springfield Armory Range Officer Elite Compact digested 115-grain FMJ, 124-grain defensive ammo and 147-grain subsonic 9 mm with equal aplomb. The only problem noted in all testing was a failure to lock back on an empty magazine a handful of times—the Elite Compact fed, fired and ejected everything tested. Accuracy was exceptional, as noted in the results, when controlled-fire testing was conducted, and the red fiber-optic front sight provided an immediate sight picture excellent for rapid-fire testing.

I’ve always been a big fan of the 1911, but have crossed over to the dark side (polymer, striker-fired guns) for my daily carry. With its light weight, excellent ergonomics and proven reliability, the Springfield Armory Range Officer Elite Compact is the kind of 1911-style pistol that could bring me back into the fold. For fans of the 1911, certainly, this is one solid option for a daily concealed-carry pistol.