Springfield Armory Provides Behind-the-Scenes Look at the M1A

By: Guy J. Sagi

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Springfield Armory has released a short video that details the history of its M1A series and provides a close look at the craftsmanship and precision required in the creation of this iconic American firearm. An M1A lineup has been offered by Springfield Armory since 1974, and the company is one of only a few manufacturers currently making civilian versions of the M14 rifle.

“The careful hours, scrupulous effort, expert machining and meticulous tool work needed to complete an M1A from start to finish, make it a labor-intensive yet wholly worthwhile process,” says CEO Dennis Reese. “The end result honors the tradition and legacy of the M1A. It is truly an exceptional rifle and a beloved American firearm.”

In 1959, the U.S. Military replaced the World War II-proven M1 Garand with the M14, which is chambered in 7.62 NATO. By 1970 the latter was also retired, but when the long-distance, mountainside engagements with terrorism in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan proved too much for the 5.56 NATO M4s, many of the M14s remaining in armories were retrofitted with modern furniture and pressed back into service.

Civilian enthusiasts can own similar improvements in Springfield Armory’s M1A series, including the Loaded M1A model tested by Shooting Illustrated—with fully adjustable, Archangel Precision synthetic stock. Traditional versions with wood furniture and iconic profile are still offered by the company as well. The M1A National Match remains a popular choice with competitors.

The company is also currently running an M1A Gear Up Promotion that allows new owners who submit a proof of purchase online to receive three, 20-round magazines in addition to the single, 10-round magazine that ships with each rifle. Purchases made between Feb. 1 and May 31 qualify for the special deal. Those consumers who live in restricted states will receive magazines compatible with local laws.

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Beretta Launches Spring 2018 Pistol Promotions

By: Guy J. Sagi

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Purchase a Beretta Nano pistol between March 1 and April 30, and you could qualify to receive a $75 Visa prepaid debit card. Pick up one of the company’s APX handguns during the same period, and you can claim five free magazines—a $165 value.

Eligible guns in the Nano offer include all configurations purchased new at a retail outlet and paid for in full between March 1-April 30, 2018. Rebates are limited to one per gun.

Featuring a smooth, snag-free design and stainless-steel magazines, Nano models are available in Flat Dark Earth, Sniper Grey, Rosa and Robin’s Egg Blue. The three-dot sights are adjustable, it comes with flush and extended magazines and feature a striker deactivator button.

The offer is only available to individuals and certain restrictions apply. Purchasers of a Nano should receive a promotion code from the retailer and be prepared to submit it along with a dated sales receipt (complete with the firearm’s serial number) and/or a copy of the completed 4473. Visit the deal’s website for full details and applicable limitations.

Eligible guns in the APX pistol promotion must be purchased and paid for in full between March 1 and April 30.  The offer is limited to five APX magazines per handgun purchased and does not include any that are considered used, closed-out or discounted.

The APX was designed specifically for military and law enforcement operators and features replaceable grip frame housings and a removable, serialized chassis frame. The striker-fired gun, available in 9 mm and .40 S&W, utilizes full-length slide serrations to ensure easy manipulation under any conditions.

Magazines eligible for the promotion include all 17-, 15- and 10-round models. The 21-round versions are excluded.

The offer is limited to individuals only, and a retailer-provided promotion code is also required as well as sales receipt (with serial number) and/or copy of the 4473. Full details are available on the web page.

First Look: Remington Golden Saber Black Belt Ammo

By: Evan Brune

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Remington expanded its self-defense ammo offerings in 2018 with the company’s all-new Golden Saber Black Belt ammunition. This new load incorporates a novel bullet design that optimizes several components of the round’s ballistic performance, including jacket retention and barrier penetration.

“Historically, Remington brought Golden Saber P&R out to provide superior performance to our competitors at the time,” said David Schluckebier, new product development manager for Remington. “The next evolution in Remington’s premium P&R (pistol & revolver) collection came with the Golden Saber Bonded line. The Golden Saber Black Belt brings the best features and benefits of the previous lines to it, providing best-in-class performance.”

The new round was tailor-made for law-enforcement use, and Remington has submitted the all-new Black Belt load in a bid to win the FBI’s latest ammo-contract solicitation. However, all of the elements that make it a suitable law-enforcement load also provide excellent performance for personal defense.

The bullet features a spiral nosecut, which ensures expansion even at low velocities. The benefit of this particular design element is that users will see adequate expansion when using the rounds in short-barrel personal-defense guns that don’t provide the muzzle velocities of larger, duty-size firearms.

Of course, one of the stand-out elements of the new Remington Golden Saber Black Belt cartridge is the black belt surrounding the middle of the round. After experimenting with plastic belts that didn’t meet performance needs, the company finally settled on a brass band with a black-oxide finish.

“The belt is the key to the superior performance,” Schluckebier said. “The belt is there to displace the jacket toward the center axis of the bullet. It was a way to provide a mechanical core-locking feature more pronounced than the initial driving band we put on the Golden Saber. The existence of the band has a dual purpose as well. It will undoubtedly stop the petal tear at that location.”

With the addition of the black belt surrounding the bullet, the overall design follows more of an hourglass-shape that differs from traditional bullet designs. Remington engineers developed this unique jacket to provide consistent performance, regardless of barriers.

“Specifically, the shape of the formed jacket allows for bonded performance in the harder barriers while providing normal Golden Saber performance in the softer ones,” Schluckebier said. “So, we are getting both expansion and weight retention more consistently across barriers, which makes the bullet performance more barrier-blind. In other words, the most important performance result—penetration distance—becomes more consistent, barrier to barrier, shot to shot.

Shown on the graphic is the cross-section of the Remington Golden Saber Black Belt bullet, which illustrates how the brass band forms part of the bearing surface on the projectile.

What does this mean for home-defense and personal-protection use? Schluckebier said that the round’s consistent performance across all barriers means there’s less chance of over-penetration, thanks to the round’s aggressive expansion. This reduces the chance that exiting rounds will continue to travel through traditional barriers found in urban environments, like drywall, floorboards, doors and more.

In addition to the projectile’s unique design, other elements of the ammo are purpose-built for daily carry and consistent performance. The cartridge case is nickel-plated to reduce the chances of corrosion and enhance lubricity for reliable function. Additionally, the bright nickel also makes it easy to visually see that a firearm is loaded with a brief press check, even in low-light conditions.

Other stand-out components include a waterproof seal around the neck of the case and the inside of the primer pocket, preventing moisture from compromising performance. The round also uses flash-suppressed propellant and an optimized primer that work to reduce muzzle flash that can disorient users in low-light self-defense scenarios.

Remington Golden Saber Black Belt ammunition is available in 124-grain 9 mm, 124-grain 9 mm +P, 180-grain .40 S&W and 230-grain .45 ACP loads. The suggested retail price per box of 20 rounds starts at $24.29.

First Look: Crimson Trace SIG Sauer P320 Laserguard

By: SI Staff

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Crimson Trace’s line of handgun Laserguard laser sights saw an expansion in early 2018, bringing a number of new fits to the company’s collection. One of the latest offerings is the all-new Crimson Trace SIG Sauer P320 Laserguard, designed for use on the commercial P320, M17 and M18 handguns.

Two models of the Laserguard are sized to fit the P320, one with a red laser and the other with a green laser. Each laser-aiming module clamps securely onto the Picatinny accessory rail located on the underside of the pistol frame. Combined with this anchor point is a section of the Laserguard specifically molded to the contour of the P320 handgun’s trigger guard, clamping onto the gun and providing an especially secure mount. One element to note is that the P320 Laserguard model will fit every P320 grip frame except for sub-compact options.

Underneath the trigger guard is the company’s trademarked Instinctive Activation pressure pad, which automatically activates the laser once a secure firing grip is obtained. Each Laserguard model is equipped with a master on/off switch that enables users to control whether or not the laser is automatically activated by the activation pad located on the front strap of the grip. Additionally, windage and elevation adjustments are also provided, allowing users to customize their laser sight’s zero to fit their personal-defense needs.

Each Crimson Trace Laserguard sight is built with a durable polymer housing, and the sides of the P320-specific Laserguard model have a number of angled striations designed to match the serrations found on the slide of the P320. The instinctive-activation pad is constructed from overmolded rubber designed to withstand the daily wear and tear of concealed carry. Each unit is powered by a single 1/3N lithium battery or two 357 silver-oxide batteries, and the P320 Laserguard sight is covered by Crimson Trace’s Free Batteries for Life program. Battery life on this laser lasts for slightly more than two hours.

The Crimson Trace SIG Sauer P320 Laserguard ships with a factory zero of 50 feet, providing a 0.5-inch aiming dot at that distance. The suggested retail price on the LG-420 red Laserguard model starts at $229, while the green-laser model retails at a suggested price of $309.