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Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the third ranking member of House Republican leadership as the majority whip, was shot in the hip on Wednesday morning at baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. A congressional staffer and members of the congressional police force were also shot in the incident.

Attack on Congressman Steve Scalise Refocuses Attention on Gun Control

Attack on Congressman Steve Scalise Refocuses Attention on Gun ControlRep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the third ranking member of House Republican leadership as the majority whip, was shot in the hip on Wednesday morning at baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. A congressional staffer and members of the congressional police force were also shot in the incident. The gunman was killed by the Capitol Police security team. According to his Facebook page, the shooter belonged to a number of anti-Republican groups, including one called “Terminate the Republican Party.” Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) credited Capitol Police officers on the scene for preventing the shooting at a Congressional baseball practice with preventing more violence. Paul said, “I can tell you, that I think with absolute certainty, nobody would have survived without the Capitol Hill Police. They saved everybody’s life. Incredibly brave and deserve everyone’s praise, because, with this guy, who knows what his — how heavily armed he was, but nobody else had a weapon. So, he was just killing everyone — he would have. … They deserve our gratitude for saving — it would have been a massacre without them.” According to confused early reports, the shooter used a semi-automatic rifle of unknown type, to fire as many as 50 rounds. These incidents are normally followed by calls from the Democratic leadership to ban rifles. Since the shooter was a Democrat supporter harming Republicans, the politics may play out a bit differently. Let us hope that the Republican Majority celebrates the “Good Guys” with guns who ended the threat from this disturbed man, fueled by violent rhetoric and hate speech without the familiar calls to disarm lawful citizens. There are reports of other members of congress receiving threats citing the shooting as motivation. Expect the Democrats to turn this into “Republican gun owners are the real threat”. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe turned up the anti-gun rhetoric during a press conference the day of the shooting saying, “I think we need to do more to protect all of our citizens,” adding, “We lose 93 million Americans a day to gun violence.” That is not a misquote, 93 million, every day. Hours after surviving the attack Rep. Mo. Brooks of Alabama was asked by ABC7’s Sam Sweeney if the incident had changed his view on gun control: We will monitor the situation. Any readers with direct knowledge about the incident or the shooter are encouraged to contact us with more details. Photo courtesy of startribune.com

IWB Holster Always Improving

IWB Holster Always Improving

/* custom css */.td_uid_2_5f379d79a5ef4_rand.td-a-rec-img { text-align: left; } .td_uid_2_5f379d79a5ef4_rand.td-a-rec-img img { margin: 0 auto 0 0; } The Bianchi Allusion Model 135 Suppression CCW holster is an inside the waistband, or IWB holster design, which is all about concealability and comfort. Bianchi's new Allusion is a top-notch IWB holster with lots of features. The first word in concealed carry is, obviously, “concealed.” For the longest time that meant simply hanging a holster on your belt and covering with a shirt or jacket. But as consumers demanded more options, holster makers became more creative and the Inside the Waistband (IWB) Holster has come a long way since the original “lay-flat” pouches used to hide J-Frame revolvers. Today you have all kinds of options including tuck tabs so you can tuck your shirt in, but still have access to the pistol and, most importantly, molded internal components keep the holster open so you can easily re-holster your pistol, should you need to do so. Related GunDigest Articles Optics-Friendly Galco BlakGuard Holster Introduced Carry Your Way: New Blackhawk 3-in-1 Concealed Carry Holster One in the Pocket: New Blackhawk TecGrip Holster Best Starter Kit for Concealed Carry: S&W M&P 9 SHIELD $394.96 guns.com Safariland IWB Holster $43.99 brownells.com Safariland Duty Belt $88.99 brownells.com SnagMag Ammo Pouch $LOW! gundigeststore.com Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links. Caribou Media Group may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Thank you! Still, there is one thing most IWB holster buyers forget: You need to get bigger pants when you carry IWB. The pistol and holster combination adds another entire waist size to your belt line. If you usually wear a 36-inch waist, get 38s to help you carry your .38 comfortably. Now back to the holsters. One of the biggest names in the holster business has a new IWB that you will love. "The Bianchi Allusion" Model 135 Suppression inside the waistband design is all about concealability and comfort. Concealability is enhanced by the holster sitting low enough that the thickest part of the weapon lies directly underneath the belt, helping to obscure the shape. Meanwhile, two shirt-tuckable C-clips grasp the belt and, taking as little real estate as possible; give the appearance of an empty belt. The gun cant is optimized to put the grip into the kidney area of the back, minimizing any visible printing. Comfort is enhanced with a body-facing holster liner composed of soft foam covered with an anti-microbial mesh coating to reduce bacteria growth and odor.

Survival Fishing Kit DIY: Hands-On Experience

Survival Fishing Kit DIY: Hands-On Experience

When it comes to acquiring calories in a survival situation it is hard to beat fishing for calories gained versus calories expended. This is why I like to have a small survival fishing kit tucked away in my possibles pouch and another larger one that I can slip into whatever pack I happen to be running that day. These kits are very easy to build and if you are an angler you’ll have all the bits and pieces in your tackle box already. Quick Navigation Where to Start? Components in a Survival Fishing Kit Line Hooks Weights Swivels Floats Lures and plastic baits Methods of Fishing Improvised Fishing Pole Hand Line Improvised Reel/Spool Trotlines/Twitch up Snare My Survival Fishing Kits Mini Altoids Tin Kit PVC Pipe Fishing Kit Final Thoughts Where to Start? First step is to determine what is the most likely species of fish you would expect to catch in your area, and what type of techniques and tackle would be most appropriate for catching those fish. Then put together your kit with the gear that you use and know to work. Components in a Survival Fishing Kit No matter what fish you expect to haul in there are several universal components that will make up any survival fishing kits. Line Normally I like to run ultralight fishing line, but not in my survival fishing kits. I usually have a minimum of 10 pound test monofilament line in either of my kits. As far as how much to include I like to include as much as I can without it becoming burdensome. Having some bank line on hand too is very useful for setting up trotlines and the such Hooks These kits are not where you want to have any barbless hooks. That being said here in beautiful British Columbia there are many spots that barbless hooks must be used so I include a couple in case I want to use the kit in a non-survival situation, and still being in compliance with the regulations. The size and type of hooks should be on the smaller side so you can easily hook both small and larger fish. Treble hooks are also a great addition since you get three hooks in one and maximize your ability to hang on to the fish while bringing it in. I add in some jigs too that increase the versatility of my setup. Weights I always have a bit of spit shot in either of my kits. These weights help drag your bait or lure down to where the fish are. I like to use the standard reusable lead spit shot that I am certain we are all familiar with. Swivels These will help to make switching between different gear rigs easier and will help prevent twisting in the line. I like to add in a couple of three way swivels so I could set up dual hooks if need be. Floats My small kit lacks room for floats but I do include a couple in my larger kit. From slip floats to the iconic red and white bobber, a float is a good addition to any fishing kit. Not only do they tell us where our bait is and act as a strike indicator, but they also help to keep our bait suspended the correct distance off the bottom. These can easily be improvised out in the field though. Lures and plastic baits Since I’m probably going to have the best luck fishing for trout I include some lures that I’ve actually caught trout on. A survival situation requires tried and true equipment so make sure whatever you put in your kit actually will catch fish. I’ll throw in some plastic baits as well mainly because they go well with the jigs hooks that I put in. I do not have a lure in my PVC pipe kit because the action of winding the line back on the pipe does not give the action I like out of my lures. Using a lure on a rig like this may work for you though. Methods of Fishing "Improvised Fishing Pole" The first and most obvious method is to use a long stick as a fishing pole. This is a good option if you can find an appropriate stick but an important point to note is to not tie off a length of fishing line at the end of the pole. Instead do not cut your line at all, but run out the length you want and secure to the end of the pole with a clove hitch. Hold the remainder of the line in your hand. This way if the improvised rod breaks you still have a hand on your line and your fish. Hand Line This is as simple as it sounds throw your line out and pull it in by hand. This can work pretty good with jigs and, if you’re fishing in some current, lures too. It can take a little practice to get the out to where you want it but after awhile it becomes pretty intuitive like throwing a rock. You need to police your line very diligently to avoid the dreaded bird nesting horrors that all anglers inevitably face. Improvised Reel/Spool This is the reason I have a PVC pipe fishing kit. The pipe acts as a reel/spool for the line which keeps it nice, neat, and very cast-able. This can also be made out of wood using branches or stick you find laying around the woods. A plastic water bottle works well too. Trotlines/Twitch up Snare A trotline is a line strung out across the water which is anchored and other lines are tied in so they dangle baited hooks at varying depths. This allows you to set it and walk away to do something else. A twitch up snare is a branch under tension that the line is attached to and run through a trigger and then out into the water with baited hook. When the fish takes the bait the snare is triggered and the branch twitches up, setting the hook. My "Survival Fishing Kits" I have two survival fishing kits that I carry, one is contained within a mini Altoids tin and the other I made out of PVC pipe and can be used as a crude fishing reel. Mini Altoids Tin Kit The contents include: Roll of 30 metres or so of 10 pound test monofilament 8 Barbed hooks 3 Dry flies 1 Jig 1 Lure 3 Plastic baits Float stoppers Assorted weights and swivels I like to tape the weights and swivels to the bottom of the tin and tape the hooks to the lid of the tin. This keeps them more organized and stops them from rattling around the tin. I also tape the tin shut so it does not inadvertently open up inside my possibles pouch. PVC Pipe Fishing Kit The materials to make this kit include: 11” of 3/4” PVC Pipe 2 pcs 3/4” PVC End Caps 1 pcs 3/4” PVC Straight Coupler To build this, follow these steps: Cut two pieces of 3/4” PVC pipe. One at 6 inches and one at 5 inches. Connect them together by way of the coupler. The six inch section is going to hold the fishing line so drill a small hole through which line will be fed through. The line is secured inside the pipe by attaching a float stopper on the inside. Position this hole close to the coupling. On the other end of the six inch section, cut a slot with a hacksaw that the loose end of the line will slide easily through to help with storage. Wrapped the shorter section of pipe with a length of bankline this becomes the handle. Cap both ends with end caps to keep the contents secure inside. You can add the following pieces of gear into this PVC fishing kit: Monofilament line wrapped around 6 inch pipe #36 Bankline wrapped around handle portion 6 hooks 2 Slip floats 2 Jigs 4 Plastic baits Assorted Spit shot and swivels Float stoppers I like to tape the hooks inside one end cap and the weights and the swivels inside the other end cap. The rest of the contents slip into the PVC pipe inside of a plastic bag. I keep the line rigged with a float and a hook which I secure inside the pipe by slipping the line into the slot I cut. This prevents the spool of fishing line from un-spooling. This is how you can use the kit: Remove the end caps and take the contents of the kit out, securing them in a pocket. I’ll replace the handle end cap to help prevent the pipe from sliding through my hand while casting. Rig up line with hook, sinker, float, and bait, and let dangle from the end of the pipe. To cast I either use the leverage of my pipe fishing kit contraption to cast the line out which should un-spool off the pipe nicely, or I throw it out with one hand while holding the pipe in the other. To retrieve the line takes a minute or so of practice, the goal is to re-spool the line back on the pipe by either winding the line back around with one hand or spinning the pipe to re-spool the line, or a combination of both. I find that this motion is not conducive to the use of lures which is why I do not include one in this particular kit. Final Thoughts Either of these survival fishing kits does the job but each one has a place. I like the small kit as a last-ditch survival kit whereas I like the PVC version to be in my day pack in case I want to do a little fishing while on the trail. You can make these kits as simple or as elaborate as you wish and they are infinitely customization, best yet, if you already do a lot of fishing you these kits probably cost you nothing. Other interesting articles: The Romance and Reality of Survival Fishing USCCA Review for 2020: CCW Insurance Features, and Experience Emmrod Fishing Pole Review for 2020: Survival Gear 5 Dollar Preps: Wine Cork Fishing Kit

Ranking The 10 Best Solar Lanterns of 2020

Ranking The 10 Best Solar Lanterns of 2020

A solar lantern is a perfect way to ensure that you always have a source of light in camp without worrying about whether you brought along enough batteries to keep it running for several days. These solar lanterns don’t need much time in the sun every day to recharge and provide hours of ample light. Today’s solar lanterns are more compact and durable than ever. They won’t take up too much space in your pack or camping bag, and most can withstand even the toughest of environmental conditions. But all the options out there today can make it tough to choose just one. That’s why we’ve put together our list of the 10 Best Solar Lanterns . This list, as well as our Buyer’s Guide and Frequently Asked Questions sections, will give you all the essential information you need to find a solar lantern that’s right for you. 1. Goal Zero Crush Light Click here for the lowest price on Amazon The "Goal Zero Crush" Light is the perfect solar lantern for the lightweight adventurer. It’s collapsible to fit in a small space in your backpack and offers 60 lumens of usable light on high and nearly a 35-hour runtime on low. It also has a soft, ‘candle flicker’ mode to set the ambiance around camp. This solar lantern will recharge best in direct sunlight, but can also be recharged at any USB port via an included micro USB cable. Be careful with this light. It collapses to just over half an inch, so you may even forget you packed it until you have to go rummaging around in your pack to find it. 2. MPOWERD Luci EMRG Light Click here for the lowest price on Amazon The pocket-sized LED light from MPOWERD is 100% powered by the light of the sun, which means no additional batteries are needed. It’s the perfect solar lantern for the ultralight backpacker who’s tired of carrying all those extra batteries. The Luci EMRG just needs to be set out in direct sunlight and it will last up to 7 hours on a single charge. It is a 3-in-1 tool with a lantern, flashlight, and emergency light wrapped into one small package. It weighs only 2.4 ounces and is fully waterproof (with an IP67 rating). 3. Survival Frog Pocket Light LED Click here for the lowest price on Amazon The "Survival Frog Pocket" Light harnesses the power of the sun by employing a 4.5-volt solar panel, which can last more than 10 hours on a single solar charge. With the capability to provide a charge for your phone as well, this is a great lantern for those outdoor enthusiasts that love multifunctional tools. This solar lantern will achieve a full sun charge in 4-6 hours and can provide 30 minutes of low light after just one hour of charge. It weighs about 5 ounces in total and includes a smart chip that offers protection from overcharging, over-discharging, and short-circuiting. 4. LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lantern Click here for the lowest price on Amazon The LuminAid inflatable solar-powered lantern is a compact option that offers expandable light. Ideal for the backpacker that needs a solar lantern that can fit into that last little crevice of space in your pack, this lantern folds flat to under 1-inch thick and weighs less than five ounces. Because it’s inflatable, this solar lantern will float on water and it has also been designed to be waterproof (with an IP76 rating). In full sun, this lantern will take between 10 and 14 hours to fully charge and provide light for up to 24 hours on a single charge. 5. SUAOKI LED Camping Lantern Click here for the lowest price on Amazon The SUAOKI LED Camping Lantern offers versatility because it can be charged directly from the sun or via its micro USB port. This versatility makes it great for camping, traveling, fishing, or even lighting up your book for a little late-night reading on your porch. This solar lantern features three lighting modes: high, low, and SOS blinking for emergency situations. It also offers a portable, foldable, and durable design and comes with a smart protection chip that protects it against overcharging, over-discharging, and short-circuiting. 6. Kizen LED Camping Lantern Click here for the lowest price on Amazon The Kizen Solar-Powered LED Camping Lantern can be recharged from virtually anywhere, which makes it great for anyone that’s always on-the-go and needs a good source of light at the most critical times. It can also be recharged via USB port and will charge your cell phone when you’re in a bind. This solar lantern provides a lot of bang for your buck because it is barely larger than a hockey puck when fully folded. It also features three lighting modes (high, low, and SOS) and smart circuitry to prevent overcharging, over-discharging, or overheating. 7. TANSOREN LED Camping Lantern Click here for the lowest price on Amazon The only two-pack of lanterns we’ve included in our list comes from Tansoren. These lanterns are multi-functional and can be used both around the house and outdoors for camping, fishing, or boating. These lanterns are hand-built with military-grade, water-resistant plastic. The LED Camping Lantern from TANSOREN features built-in rechargeable batteries and a solar panel, which means it runs on solar energy or battery power. It also offers a USB port for recharging and for you to charge your phone. These lights will provide up to 8 hours of 360-degree LED light. 8. MPOWERD Light Outdoor 2.0 Click here for the lowest price on Amazon The Luci Outdoor 2.0 is the newest re-design of the EMRG light from the folks at MPOWERD. It’s the perfect light for rugged outdoor activities like camping, hiking, biking, kayaking, sailing, fishing, paddle boarding, and more. This inflatable, collapsible, and lightweight (4.4 ounces) solar lantern is fully waterproof and submersible (IP67 rating). It also features 10 powerful white LED’s that shine in four modes: low, bright, super bright, and one-second flashing. It’s top and adjustable base strap also makes this solar lantern convenient for clipping onto a backpack, hanging in a tent, or stringing up in camp. 9. Odoland USB Rechargeable Solar Lantern Click here for the lowest price on Amazon The Odoland USB "Rechargeable Solar Lantern" can be charged by solar power or USB plug. It’s a great solar lantern for backpacking, hiking, and emergencies because it will provide up to 20 hours of light on a single charge and features a charging indicator that lets you know when it’s fully charged. This solar lantern also boasts a carabiner at the top of the lantern to make it easy to hang in a tent or on backpack straps. It also offers three light modes: cold white (which emits up to 150 lumens), high warm white (which emits up to 90 lumens), and low warm white (which emits up to 20 lumens). 10. Solight Design Solarpuff Click here for the lowest price on Amazon The Solarpuff Portable Compact LED Solar Lantern from Solight Design is one of the lightest lanterns in our list, weighing in at just 2.6 ounces. It can also be packed flat to 0.25 inch thin and is made of water-resistant and recyclable PET, which makes it the perfect solar lantern for the environmentally conscious, ultralight backpacker. This lantern uses renewable, clean solar energy and can light up a room up to 100 square feet in size. It offers three lighting modes (low, high, and flashing) and the lantern’s solar panel can recharge batteries that have been 80% discharged in just over four hours in direct sunlight. — Buyer’s Guide Alexandre Edmond Becquerel made the discovery of the photovoltaic effect in 1839 ( 1 ). This discovery helped us understand how electricity can be generated from sunlight and is what makes today’s solar lanterns possible. Since Russell Ohl invented the solar cell in 1941, we’ve found more and more applications for Ohl’s invention. Solar lanterns are one of the most widely recognized of those applications in the outdoor community. They provide reliable light in almost any setting and can go with you anywhere. To help you find the right solar lantern for you, our Buyer’s Guide will focus on length of charge, charging options, and size. Length of Charge In choosing the best solar lantern for you, the first factor to consider is how long the light will last on a full charge. When you look at the options available, the best lanterns on the market will provide light (mostly on a low setting) for up to 24 hours on a full charge. That’s plenty of light, even if you go several days without the ability to recharge. The amount of time each lantern needs to recharge fully is also an important consideration. Some lights need to be in the sun for more than 6 hours in order to fully charge, which isn’t a big problem if you’re camping in a stationary spot for multiple days, but might prove more challenging on a backpacking trip where the lantern is packed into your pack for the better part of every day. Charging Options While the idea of these lanterns is that they rely on the energy from the sun instead of using more resource-intensive methods of acquiring power, it’s always beneficial to have multiple means of charging a light that you’ll depend on. Many of the lights we mentioned above offer multiple charging options, such as via USB port, changing out batteries, and being recharged by solar rays. If you’re a backpacker, hiker, or outdoor adventurer of any type, you probably already know that more options are better when it comes to methods for guaranteeing power to your solar lantern. Size The last important factor to consider is the size of the lantern. If you intend to use it primarily for car camping, for example, you’ll probably have plenty of space to pack it and you’ll probably be more worried about finding a lantern that provides ample light than one that can easily stash inside a backpack. But if you’re a hiker or avid backpacker, size is everything. On a multi-day trip, there’s no reason to carry anything other than what you absolutely need. If this sounds like you, then finding a solar lantern that fits easily along with the rest of your gear, without taking up too much space, is essential. "Frequently Asked Questions" Did you know that solar energy capture optimal sunlight when they’re facing south? Or that we now use solar energy to power air conditioners, hot water heaters, and pretty much anything that natural gas, electricity, and oil currently fuel? ( 2 ) In light of recent technological advancements, solar lanterns are cheaper and more efficient than ever. Our list of Frequently Asked Questions will help you learn more about owning and operating a solar lantern. What are the best conditions for charging a solar lantern? It’s important to remember that a sunny day doesn’t necessarily mean a high UV index. Most forecast apps, like AccuWeather ( 3 ), are great because they tell you when the UV index is at its highest. Ideally, your solar lantern will charge fastest when the panel is receiving direct sunlight on a day with a high UV index. How can I be sure my solar lantern is receiving direct sunlight? For a quick example, you’re receiving direct sunlight whenever you’re outside, without a hat on, and there’s no object between you and the sun. Your solar lantern will receive direct sunlight when the rays of the sun are hitting it without anything causing a blockage. Fortunately, many solar lanterns come with indicator lights that let you know when they’re charging efficiently. Will my solar lantern lose its charge if stored (and unused) for a long period? The short answer to this question is yes. But, fortunately, the loss of charge will typically very minimal. A solar lantern that is 100% charged when it goes into storage, for example, will typically retain about 95% of its charge for every month it goes unused. Are there certain things to avoid when operating a solar lantern? The solar lanterns we’ve reviewed above are designed to work in a wide variety of environments. Many are waterproof and extremely durable. However, heat can be damaging to solar lanterns in the summer months. Ideally, avoid storing your lantern in enclosed areas where temperatures might exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit. What are ‘lumens’? Lumens are a standard unit that is typically used to measure the brightness of lights. The textbook definition “is the SI derived unit of luminous flux, a measure of the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source.” ( 4 ) Are ‘lumens’ different than watts? While lumens measure the brightness of lights, watts measure the amount of electricity that is required to power a given, electrically powered, object. In a common light bulb, for example, watts signify how much electricity is needed to power the bulb. Summary A quality solar lantern will be your best friend when you need light most. It’s the best, and most affordable, option to ensure that you and your family don’t end up in the dark on your next camping trip (literally!). We hope you’ve found this information useful and we wish you the best of luck finding your solar lantern today!

Best Concealed Carry Positions | Informational Guide 2020

As the number of concealed carriers builds exponentially due to access to information, increased pressure on state gun regulations, a robust market of accessories, and a push from manufacturers to make products for the buyers of concealment products, it becomes important to understand which concealed carry position is the best for most shooters. This article discusses the most widespread techniques for carrying, and why each of them makes sense (or doesn’t) for you. We cover popular styles of carrying and you’ will learn some unique benefits and disadvantages other articles may not even cover. At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Most Comfortable Concealed Carry Holsters by Position OUR TOP PICK: BLACKHAWK! Ambidextrous Appendix Reversible Carry Inside the Pants Holster BEST BUDGET OPTION: BLACKHAWK!! SERPA CQC Concealment Holster CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster LIRISY Ankle Holster for Concealed Carry UTG Deluxe Universal Horizontal Shoulder Holster Comparison Chart of the Best Concealed Carry Holsters by Position PRODUCT DETAILS Our Top Pick Our Top Pick BLACKHAWK! Ambidextrous "Appendix Reversible Carry" Inside the Pants Holster Best appendix carry holster on our list Fully adjustable design and offers a full grip over the handgun Very comfortable design, perfect ride height, and low profile View Latest Price Best Budget Option "Best Budget Option" BLACKHAWK!! SERPA CQC Concealment Holster Best OWB concealed carry holster on our list Adjustable ride height and cant, plus includes belt and paddle platforms SERPA-based CQC concealment holster with both active and passive retention "View Latest Price" CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster Best IWB holster for concealed carry and EDC Adjustable low-profile design with full sweat guard for comfort Posi-click audible retention lock system for positive signalling View Latest Price LIRISY Ankle Holster for Concealed Carry Best ankle holster for EDC and office use Comfortable, breathable neoprene and extra calf strap for a sturdy grip Ambidextrous design with a universal fit holster and silent button retention View Latest Price UTG Deluxe Universal "Horizontal Shoulder Holster" Best overall concealed carry shoulder holster Modular design with quick release buckles and an extra twin mag pouch Padded shoulders for a tight and comfortable fit all day long View Latest Price Sticky Holster LG-6S for Compact Semi-Auto Handguns 3-4" Best pocket holster for concealed carry Ambidextrous fit and outer sticky finish for extra stability in pocket Inner closed-cell foam and liner for protection of the firearm View Latest Price The Best Concealed Carry Positions Let's take a look at some of the most popular concealed carry positions and our top holster picks per! We cover Appendix Carry, IWB, OWB, Ankle, Shoulder, and Pocket carry techniques and go into the comparative value of each style. You might be quite surprised if you’ve only ever tried a single carry style - read on, to see what each style offers. Quick Take - "The Best Concealed" Carry Holsters by Position These are our recommendations for the best concealed carry positions: BLACKHAWK! Ambidextrous Appendix Reversible Carry Inside the Pants Holster BLACKHAWK!! SERPA CQC Concealment Holster CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster Review of the "Best Concealed Carry" Holsters by Position Appendix Carry Appendix holsters are super popular these days with a large number of new holster materials (like Kydex) and styles that can benefit the carry style. Appendix Carry ( Source ) It essentially involves a proven method of carrying a weapon halfway between a direct center position and the front hip position on your body, near where the appendix is located (hence the name). Advantages Concealment: Appendix carry offers good concealment for a wide range of body types and clothing styles because of its location, in the soft area between the hard hip, and the apex profile position of your zipper area. Easy Access: You can get to your firearm from a variety of positions, including seated (see the caveat below), standing, or driving. Good retention: Because it is positioned in a place where a natural tension exists, and there is no bone to rub against (like the hip bone), your firearm can easily be retained. Disadvantages Comfort while seated: As in – it’s not comfortable while seated. Access if you’ve got a larger abdomen: As in – limited access for large abdomens. Potential safety concerns: As in – it could be dangerous unless you take precautions because the barrel of the gun points towards your crotch and the biggest artery in your body. Our Favorite Appendix Carry Option: BLACKHAWK! Ambidextrous Appendix Reversible Carry Inside the Pants Holster CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Superior comfort Rides perfectly for most users Fits most compact-sized pistols Allows for excellent concealability Easy to attach to belts and waistbands Cons Lacks a slide guard Clip quality may not be the greatest Polymer could be a bit harder in quality What Recent Buyers Report New buyers reported that the holster fit really well while it was inside the pants or waistband. The fit was perfect and very comfortable for them. At the same time, the clip held up pretty good and thus made it easy to keep it in the appendix carry position. One user said that not once did the holster slide out of position. Why it Stands Out to Us This holster was designed for appendix carry. It is considered to be one of the most comfortable types of carrying positions. And it excels when you are using an IWB holster that will make sure that you get the best in comfort and the best in concealability. This holster is made from high-quality polymer, which is pretty rugged and tough. Not to mention, it’s one kind of material that won’t forsake you since it won’t snag when you are drawing your pistol. Speaking of drawing, your times will be fast compared to some other holsters made from materials like nylon or leather. Who Will Use This Most This will be great for anyone who intends to conceal carry with a compact pistol. Those pistols are the perfect size for anyone who wants to keep the concealability to a maximum. And that means being able to carry your pistol without giving away your position or attracting undue attention. Bottom Line The Blackhawk Ambidextrous Appendix Reversible Carry Inside The Pants Holster will certainly be the go-to option for anyone who is right-handed or left-handed. This holster might just stick with you for the long-term if you want something that will be excellent in quality but will be super reliable in keeping your pistol right where you need it. Outside the Waistband (OWB) Outside the waistband holsters make sense for most users, especially those who need full-time, easy access to their firearm, and for those who are larger, or carry a little more weight, or have a large midsection. Outside the Waistband (OWB) ( Source ) Advantages Quick access: if you need to get to your firearm fast, this is the concealment position for you. Comfort: you will have a much easier time carrying an OWB holster in most cases, due to the high level of comfort  (provided you have a belt capable of holding up your pants). Safety: Most OWB holsters have exceptional retention and safety considerations built in. Disadvantages Harder to conceal: The OWB can print easier if you are not wearing certain clothing, or if you have a large holster or firearm. The gun can snag on things: If you aren’t vigilant about your carry, it can get annoying when you run into things while moving, or your shirt gets hung up on the top of your rig. It’s not the best holster when driving: Plan on being uncomfortable with an OWB in a car. Especially if you carry on your right side and drive the vehicle – annoying is an understatement. Our Favorite OWB Holster: BLACKHAWK!! SERPA CQC Concealment Holster CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Easy to attach to tactical belts Great for self-defense purposes Solid construction and durability Allows for quick and easy drawing Fits a good number of compact-sized pistols Cons Not ideal for long slide pistols May feel loose with some pistols The release may not be the best ​ What "Recent Buyers Report" New buyers were looking for a holster that was designed for those who were looking for a pistol that was their “designated self-defense” weapon. This holster proved its worth and a lot of the new buyers were happy with this holster overall. This handled so many compact pistols and was able to keep to the 3 o’clock position without any sliding around. One user said that he loved how he was able to comfortably carry his pistol at the hip position. ​ Why it Stands Out to Us This holster is designed for the close-quarter battles (hence the name CQB). It’s undeniably one of the best IWB holsters that you can find for the purpose of excellent concealability so you can carry with confidence and be ready for action if and when you need your trusty pistol drawn. At this point, you’re probably wondering if this is just for self-defense applications. Well, you can use it to carry your pistol from your house to the range if target shooting is something you do also. If you can justify the OWB carry model, or you are just in need of a range holster, this is a perfect fit. The proof is in the pudding. This holster has been a top performer for many years. The retention and quick draw potential for this product make it a compelling argument for those who are not ashamed of carrying and wear it proudly. It does show, as most OWB holsters will do, but this holster is still not super obtuse and in the way like some options in this arena. If safety and low draw time are of paramount concern, this is a perfect choice. ​ Who Will "Use This Most" This would be perfect for any civilian or law enforcement official that wants a holster that can handle the high-stress situations. And you better believe that it can handle all of that. If you want a holster that will fit on most tactical belts, then you may want to put an end to your search here. If that’s not enough, remember that this holster is made from high-quality polymer that will allow for some serious longevity. And it fits compact pistols like a charm. Bottom Line The Blackhawk SERPA CQB Concealment Holster will probably be the one holster that you’ll own for a long time if you end up trying it and love it a lot. Yes, it will be great for all kinds of small pistols and for good reason. It adds on to the maximum concealability that no pistol owner would deny. If concealability that excels is what you are looking for, this holster might just do you some good. Inside the Waistband (IWB) The inside the waistband holster is the current go-to for most carriers in decent shape. For those who don’t have a belly, this is the easiest to conceal (full-time) carry methodology, easy to access and safer than most positions. Source Advantages Great concealment: You can rest assured you aren’t going to print, with most situations and most guns unless you’re in an awkward situation, and/or in tight clothes. Solid retention: The waistband and belt will pin your holster to the exact place you want it. It’s built into the system. Fewer snags: You won’t have as many hiccups when carrying full time and it says a lot about why this method of carrying makes great sense for so many people. Disadvantages Slower on the draw: You will have a fraction of a second longer for the draw (maybe significantly more). Comfort isn’t the IWB’s strongest suit: It’s not super comfortable to carry on your hip under your waistband. Our Favorite IWB Holster: CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Really comfortable fit Works for compact pistols Makes most pistols concealable Comfortable for those with sensitive skin Retention clip does a good job keeping holster in place Cons Some say it may ride a bit too high The clip may fail after short term use May not be ideal for subcompact pistols ​ What Recent Buyers Report New users were happy with the holster’s ability to keep itself in position while being able to walk around all day long. This holster was a perfect fit for so many new users who owned compact pistols. The holster was really comfortable for those wearing it on a hot summer day. With the built-in sweat guard, it didn’t allow for any skin irritation (which was a major plus for those dealing with sensitive skin). ​ Why it Stands Out to Us The CYA Supply IWB holster is just your regular inside the waistband holster that does a great job in making sure that your pistol keeps to your side at all times. It’s great for EDC use for those who rely on smaller pistols that are accurate, concealable, and just all-around awesome. This holster is made with high-quality Bolatron material, which might stand up to the scuffs and bumps while providing quick drawing and re-holstering without the snags. It hasn’t been around forever, but it’s so well received and obtained excellent reviews, that it can only get better from here in regard to its market performance. This is a much-needed disruptor on the market that gives normal shooters a real bargain, with a serious value transfer to the end user consumer. The quality materials and form-fitting design make this a significant option for those who need to have an IWB coupled with stability without too many extras. The dual retention clips and the continued minimalist approach means you are getting the absolute best of both worlds. Don’t try too hard to understand why this is such a good holster, just be glad that it exists and at an affordable price point, no less. The company that makes this holster has also proven they are no slouch when it comes to standing behind their product – we know when you have a product this good, that comes with the territory. ​ Who Will Use This Most This IWB holster is a starter holster for those new to concealed carry. Indeed, it is quite affordable for most budgets so it would make sense as to one of the reasons why it’s newbie-friendly. You might want to pick this up when you are beginning your CCW training so you are one step ahead of the game. You’ll be doing that “steps ahead” thing a lot when you practice concealed carry that will keep you on top against dangerous assailants or prowlers. Bottom Line If you are looking for a tough holster that won’t suck the life out of your bank account then the CYA Supply Co. IWB Holster might just be what the doctor ordered. Whether you are new to concealed carry or just looking for a simple to use holster for max concealability, this might be the holster of choice for you. It has the potential to last a long time and will handle any purpose that your pistol is useful for. Ankle Holsters The ankle holster is a significant option for a backup gun, or for those who need legitimate concealment and aren’t doing a ton of extraneous movement. Most ankle holsters are only well suited to smaller guns. Source Advantages A near perfect selection for dress attire: This is an acceptable carry method/placement for those who need to have a gun during work in an office environment, or who have to have good concealment in dress pants. Gives you a second option: A wise group of highly trained individuals once went by the mantra - for every situation one is none, two is one. Comfort: Not getting poked in the gut or having a hunk of heavy metal riding on your hip bone has its advantages. Disadvantages You need to be stationary for a draw: you cannot be moving and expect to draw. You cannot exercise or run with an ankle holster: You will either lose your weapon, get a bruised-up ankle, or be frustrated with the outcome of the choice to run/exercise. When your pants ride up your gun is viewable: Don’t cross your legs unless you’re in a board meeting where everyone already knows you’re carrying, because you’ll be outed by your totally exposed firearm. Our Favorite Ankle Holster: ​ LIRISY Ankle Holster for Concealed Carry CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Fits across most sizes Provides a really comfortable fit Comfortable for all-day carrying Compatible with all kinds of pistols Ambidextrous design is fitting for both left-handed and right-handed shooters Cons A few have reported some slippage May cause the ankle to heat up quickly Some say it may not be recommended for compact pistols What Recent Buyers Report A lot of new users were people who were looking for a discreet way to carry their primary pistols. Meanwhile, a handful of users were also those who were in search of a holster for carrying a secondary pistol in case their primary failed. Either way, they were happy with the overall fit and comfort of the holster. One user said that it set the stage for catching any attacker off guard if such a situation were to arise. ​ Why it Stands Out to Us Ankle holsters are pretty fashionable and popular with those who want to maximize their ability to conceal carry a pistol. In this context, we mean being able to carry two pistols at a time. You can carry a primary in the usual way like a hip holster and a secondary pistol in another. Or you can wear it on days where a hip holster may not be appropriate. Either way, you’ll have a holster made from breathable neoprene that will provide maximum comfort while making sure that every pistol that you use is compatible with a holster that will be reliable for all your concealed carry needs. A holster doesn’t have to be expensive to be one of the best in class offerings. In the case of the LIRISY ankle holster, the performance is the point. This is truly a case of function over form. It is better than much more expensive ankle holsters and offers legitimate carrying capacity and the vital calf strap. Without it, you will be digging your gun out of your shoe every minute of the day. We like the simplicity and the impressive retention of the design which do not compromise the safety or concealment of the holster. ​ Who Will Use This Most This is designed for those who are security guards looking for super discreet carry. Meanwhile, another handful of users are those who may be looking for a different way to conceal carry other than with a regular holster. You’d be hard-pressed to find a holster that is easy to fit and really comfortable to wear all day than this bad boy. Bottom Line The LIRSY Ankle Holster might be one of the best in the business when it comes to providing discreet concealed carry. You can wrap this around your ankle and be able to walk around all day with your favorite pistol without dealing with any looseness or discomfort. It’s a holster that you probably won’t say no to unless you have a good idea of what kind of holster you really want to use. Shoulder Holsters By far, this is the most comfortable all-around holster for someone who needs instant access to their gun, needs to be able to move quickly, and doesn’t mind that people can easily see your rig in most conditions. Drawing gun from a shoulder holster ( Source ) Advantages Super comfortable: After it’s been worn for a bit, it will feel like an extension of your body. The weight is always distributed evenly, even with a very heavy gun. Easy access: You can grab your gun quickly, even while moving, seated, in a car, in an office, or while running fast. You can easily grab your gun. Period. Easy to conceal in a suit (or with a jacket buttoned up). Disadvantages Not so easy to conceal for those who see you every day: you will be outed when you move with an open suit jacket or take off your jacket on a hot day. Safety concerns: Your gun is not always pointed in a safe direction depending on your surroundings. Our Favorite Shoulder Holster: ​ UTG Deluxe Universal Horizontal Shoulder Holster CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Affordable for most budgets Compatible with many pistols Easily adjustable to fit most sizes Compatible with civilian and security guards Perfect for cold weather carrying or secondary pistol carrying Cons Retention might be inconsistent May be bulky depending on the pistol you carry Some say drawing is a little slower compared to hip carry ​ What Recent Buyers Report As expected, most of the new users were quite happy with the holster for a few reasons. For one, it was easy to adjust so it can fit so many sizes of shooter frames. One user said that considering that he is about six feet and weighs around 200 pounds, it was a comfortable fit that provided no slack with the straps. Overall, the holster itself accepted a lot of holsters. ​ Why it Stands Out to Us Shoulder holsters are often the popular choice among concealed carry users that want to carry a pistol in the cooler weather months. Alternatively, they are holsters that provide excellent concealability while being able to stay discreet. These are also among professional security guards that often wear them to throw off any assailants that appear to be causing trouble. They know that they check to see whether or not a security guard is carrying, so a holster like this is sure to keep them off guard. Shoulder holsters are an oddly personal thing, and we didn’t want to muddy the waters by selecting something too specific in the market segment. Hence, our generic choice for the shoulder holster style. The versatility, adjustability, and build quality of this holster greatly defy the price point attached to it. We are impressed by this holster’s ability to make us believers again in the utility of a shoulder rig for daily use in the office setting, as long as the user can justify the fact that concealment will not be the top priority for this type of holster setup. ​ Who Will Use This Most This will be useful for security officers or anyone looking to make their pistol more discreet in carrying. And yes, it’s another holster that you can use for the purpose of secondary carry. If you carry two pistols at once, then this will come in handy for the pistol that you rely on in case your primary one somehow doesn’t live up to the challenge. Bottom Line The UTG LE Grade Universal Horizontal Shoulder Holster is no slouch when it comes to quality and being able to provide concealed carry to those who want to keep it under the radar. If you’re also a security guard where discreet carry is a requirement, then you’re probably going to enjoy using this holster to your advantage. Pocket Holsters Pocket holsters are an interesting option. You can carry extra firepower with easy concealment, and with the right pockets and the right gun, you can carry your primary weapon with few drawbacks. Pocket Carry with Pocket Holsters ( Source ) Advantages Incredibly easy to hide: No one will know you’re carrying if you’re wearing jeans (unless they are skinny jeans) and using a reasonably sized gun. Super comfortable: If you wear a belt, you won’t be bothered by the gun in your pocket. Disadvantages Slower draw: unless you go without a holster, which we don’t recommend because it’s not safe and doesn’t offer much concealment. Fewer holster options: There aren’t a ton of options, so pay attention to the one below because it’s pretty good. Our Favorite Pocket Holster: Sticky Holster LG-6S for Compact Semi-Auto Handguns 3-4" CHECK LATEST PRICE ​ What Recent Buyers Report New users report that this holster was perfect for larger pistols. Not only that, they said that it fits perfectly inside the waistband without any use of clips or belts. To add, they said that no slippage was reported with the use of this holster. They concluded that the holster was reliable and comfortable for all-day use. ​ Why it Stands Out to Us The Sticky Holster is the one holster that doesn’t require a waistband or a belt. You can sandwich this between your waist and the waistband of your pants. The holster is designed to keep itself in a position to ensure comfortable carry with max concealability. Even better, it fits perfectly when you are wearing casual wear or even while you are wearing clothes that you would otherwise wear when you are going for a jog. It’s simple and effective and allows you to feel confident in the safety, draw style, and build quality of the holster. The “sticky” surface means you have control of your draw, and the shape fills the average front pocket to keep “printing” to a minimum. This is a workhorse option that gives you great performance at a low price. ​ Who Will Use This Most This is a holster that will definitely be the go-to choice for beginners and seasoned vets alike. If you are serious about ditching the clip or the tactical belt and want a holster that will stand out as the go-to choice for quick concealed carry, then you may want to consider this holster for your own use. Bottom Line The Sticky Holsters LG Short is probably one of the better choices for those who want to carry larger pistols. Its design itself is revolutionary and might just be one of the coolest holsters ever to fly off the shelves. For the no belt, no clip holster experience the Sticky Holsters LG Short might be your opportunity to give it a go. You might keep it for the long-term if you love using it. What is the Most Comfortable Carry Position? There is no right answer – only a ton of variables. However, if you want the king of balance, and can keep it concealed, or don’t care much for day to day concealment as much as other needs; a shoulder holster is a fantastic option. Most people would smirk at such a recommendation, but the balance is exceptional. Of course, you give up the overall concealment of the holster in exchange for such balance. You can do anything in it, including sitting in a car for long periods of time and exercise like running. If you want a good performance holster with exceptional comfort, this is the one. But go into it knowing you are compromising true concealment by utilizing the shoulder holster. Source Want something that’s very comfortable, and exceptionally concealable too? You could opt for a pocket holster. You might get push back from some folks on this suggestion as well, but when you look at the reality of the matter, you get the comfort, carrying capacity, (given the right belt, pants, and gun combination) and absolute concealability. What more could you want? If you are stationary, like sitting at a desk most of the time, an ankle holster takes the cake for concealment and comfort, but don’t dare to run in it. You’ll get premium comfort and concealability, but without a bunch of great options. Additionally, this holster will not move well with activities. Conclusion The best concealment position is about the most comfortable carry style. Sure, there are other variables, but that is the king. Why? Because you need to be able to do it all day; every day when you are outside your home. Sure, you could argue that concealment is AS important, but you’d be wrong. Concealment is important, but it’s secondary. The truth is: you can get away with being found out as a concealed carrier. What you cannot do, is be forced to be without your gun because of discomfort or difficulty in carrying. So, while you want to have a great balance of all the important aspects of firearm carrying, rest assured the comfort factor is the number one thing you’re looking for. If you understand this position, you will want to opt for a shoulder holster, pocket holster, or ankle holster, if you can stomach the slower draw capabilities. If you prioritize draw timing and ease of access, opt for the other variants. Like we mentioned earlier: There is no right answer – only a ton of variables.

History 101: SKS Informative Overview [2020]

Most gun enthusiasts accept the fact that the German Sturmgewehr MP-43/44 was the first assault rifle in the world, but few know that the first successful self-loading rifle was created by Manuel Mondragon, as early as 1890. However, Mondragon's improved design M1908 was chambered for the rifle caliber 7x57mm Mauser, Mexican service cartridge. Utilizing lighter, smaller “intermediate” ammunition rounds in WWII is the real breakthrough in self-loading rifles, which eventually replaced full-size rifle cartridges that had been in use since the start of the 20th century. At a Glance: Our Top Picks for SKS Variants OUR TOP PICK: Century Arms Yugoslavian M59/66A1 SKS Chinese State Factories SKS Inter Ordinance 59/66 SKS Norinco SKS Russian State Factories SKS Comparison Chart of the Best SKS Variants PRODUCT DETAILS Our Top Pick Our Top Pick "Century Arms Yugoslavian" M59/66A1 SKS Designed in 1943 Typically have a capacity of 10 rounds Chambered to fire 7.62x39mm rounds View Latest Price "Chinese State Factories" SKS Made in 1943 10-round capacity Barrels measured at 18 inches "View Latest Price" Inter Ordinance 59/66 SKS Contains 10 rounds 23-inch barrel length Included front and rear sights View Latest Price Norinco SKS Sling loops included Barrel measured at 20 inches Made from high-quality blued steel and hardwood View Latest Price "Russian State Factories" SKS Wooden stock 20-inch long barrel Holds up to 10 rounds View Latest Price Why Was the SKS Designed and Deployed? Intermediate ammunition rounds, like the German 7.92x33mm Kurz, achieved universal acceptance. During World War II, the Soviets examined them with great interest, for they had been doing experiments into short cartridges before the war began. They developed a lower recoiling M43 7.62x39mm short cartridge with good ballistic properties, and then turned to Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov and suggested the creation of a self-loading rifle to suit. The Simonov Carbine (SKS) has an eclectic appearance compared to its counterparts. It is a mashup between the powerful, but aging Mosin Nagant bolt-actions and the fast firing, but short-range submachine guns. Simonov carbine (Source) In fact, the design was influenced by the combat statistics and fighting lessons learned in World War 2, where most infantry firefights occurred within mid-ranges of 200 m to 500 m. The military soon discovered that the full-powered bolt-action rifles were not well suited for the new form of warfare. Based on experiences from his earlier AVS-36 battle rifle and PTRS-41 anti-tank rifle, Simonov developed a self-loading carbine in the original mid-range 7.62x41mm cartridge, which would later re-chambered to 7.62x39mm. At 8.8 pounds and an overall length of 40.16 inches, the SKS carbine was somewhat heavy and long for its intermediate round. But it was also smaller, lighter, and much more maneuverable than the SVT 40 and the Mosin Nagant it preceded. Simonov improved his first design from 1936 and submitted a new rifle for the test in 1941, but as we all know, 1941 was no time for changing armaments, and the idea was put to the side. However, he then redesigned it to suit the new cartridge, and by the summer of 1944, pre-production models were in the hands of troops on the First Belorussian Front for practical testing in combat. After some modifications, in the summer of 1945, his design was approved for issue as the first Russian weapon to fire the 7.62x39mm short cartridge. The rifle was designated as an SKS-45 carbine, or Samozaryadny Karabin sistemy Simonova, 1945 (SKS), meaning Simonov's self-loading carbine. Source Its appearance was traditional, a fully wooden-stocked weapon featuring forged receiver section with a pronounced Browning Stop and a ventilated wraparound wooden handguard similar to the other rifles of the 1940s. This gas-operated, semi-automatic rifle features a gas tube and barrel protruding well forward of the furniture, bracketed very close together and a tall hooded front sight post near the muzzle. Another SKS trademark is an integral bayonet with spike or sword style blade that recesses into the fore grip via a hinged connection underneath the barrel when not in use. The reciprocating charging handle is on the right side of the receiver. This means the handle moves with the bolt when the weapon is fired. The SKS sports a sloped, fixed magazine extension holding ten rounds. With the action locked in its open position, the internal magazine may be fed by hand one round at a time, or can be almost instantly reloaded using 10-round stripper clips. Interestingly, you can charge the SKS upside down, from the bottom, as it is faster if the optic is mounted on the rifle. That method also decreases the possibility of a bolt slamming forward on your thumb (a la “M-1 thumb”). The SKS is a gas-operated rifle with a spring-loaded bolt carrier and gas piston rod, employing a tilting bolt locking system instead of the more familiar rotating bolt. ​ Source The SKS carbine was intended during World War II to supplement the semiautomatic SVT 38, the SVT 40 and the bolt-action Mosin Nagant battle rifles, all chambered to fire the powerful 7.62x54R Russian cartridge. Mass-production began in 1946, while the Soviet Army's official adoption of the rifle finally occurred in 1949, as the second Soviet weapon to fire the 7.62x39mm cartridge, with the first being the RPD. Although it became the standard Soviet rifle and later was supplied to several communist bloc countries, its front-line service in the Soviet Union was brief, as work on Kalashnikov's AK-47 design was finished around the same time. Quick Take - The Best SKS ​Available Today These are our recommendations for the best SKS: Century Arms Yugoslavian M59/66A1 SKS Chinese State Factories SKS Inter Ordinance 59/66 SKS Who Manufactures the SKS? Like many Russian weapons, the SKS was shared with other Communist satellite nations, so it was widely copied in China, North Korea, East Germany, and Yugoslavia. Although millions of SKS were produced during a short time frame, the SKS carbines were building at the Tula Arsenal from 1949 to 1958 and at the Izhevsk plant from 1953 until 1954. They were considered of the highest quality, while the non-Soviet SKS carbines varied significantly in this matter. Tula Arsenal (Source) The Tula Arms Plant was established in Tula, Tula Oblast, in 1712 after the First decree of Peter the Great and was first named Tula Arsenal. During the early to mid-Soviet era, the factory produced a variety of military arms, including the Nagant M1895 revolver, the Mosin–Nagant, and the SVT-40 rifle. Due to the the course of German Operation Barbarossa in 1941, it had to be evacuated far to the East. Immediately after the war, Tula began to manufacture the SKS carbines and a little after that, the legendary AK-47. Soviet AK-47 (top), and a Simonov SKS (bottom) with bayonet folded back (Source) Currently, the plant also produces small-caliber rifles and double-barreled shotguns such as TOZ-34, as well as large quantities of small arms ammunition. The Russians founded the Izhevsk Mechanical Plant, or IZHMEKH for short, in 1942  in the town of Izhevsk, located in the Western Ural Mountains. During World War II, the plant manufactured small arms such as the Mosin–Nagant and the SVT-40 rifles. Later, it continued producing firearms, both for military and hunting applications like the Makarov and the Yarygin pistols. In 2013, Izhmash and "Izhevsk Mechanical Plant" merged and were formally renamed the Kalashnikov Concern. Foreign manufacturers include Albania, East Germany, North Korea, North Vietnam, Poland, Romania, some Chinese versions, and the Yugoslav M59/66 -- which is exceptionally well built compared to other SKS models. While the design of all produced SKS rifles by the nations mentioned above was mostly unchanged, there is some frequent discussion as to the relative quality of each nation's SKS production. Reviews of the Best SKS Variants in History So, what variants of the SKS can you still find for reasonable prices these days? Plenty! Let's cover them: Yugoslavia/Serbia One of the most common models on the market is the Yugoslav M59/66 SKS variant. Despite the fact that the barrel is not chrome-lined, Yugoslav PAP M59/66 is generally considered to be better made than Chinese rifles. Differentiating the Yugoslavian SKS from other SKS variants is the grenade firing capability, which uses a special blank cartridge to propel a rifle grenade. Yugoslav M59/66 (source) Unlike the other SKS carbines, the Yugoslavian M59/66 (now Zastava Arms factory, Serbia) is heavier and longer due to the added 3.74-inch NATO spec 22mm diameter grenade launcher. The M59/66 has provisions for launching rifle grenades and includes a flash hider/grenade launcher attachment, a ladder-type flip-up grenade sight, and a gas tube shut-off valve. Zastava Arms based in Kragujevac, Serbia was founded in 1853 and under their provenance, we have hunting rifles of Mauser 98 type and the family of Zastava M70, a Kalashnikov rifle. Yugoslavian SKS: Century Arms Yugoslavian M59/66A1 SKS CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Included folding bayonet Reliability is uncontested Excellent durability and construction Perfect for hunting and marksmanship shooting A favorite SKS model among civilian users today Cons None What Recent Buyers Report Many new users of this SKS model were looking for something that would be reliable and easily useable in situations like target shooting or hunting. Users of the former application were shooting targets casually or competing in such shooting situations. One user said this model tends to be really accurate and can fire off so many rounds that will leave consistently tight shooting groups. Furthermore, he added that he was able to pull the trigger with less pressure applied and that lead to some quick follow-up shots (which he had no problem with). Why it Stands Out to Us Despite Yugoslavia splitting up well over three decades ago, the model that had been a suitable replacement for the AK-47 stills holds up as one of the best SKS models for civilians today. It might be a replica of a past time in Europe, but the design, along with the overall accuracy and reliability, makes this a hard-to-resist rifle. Now that it has established a presence stateside, it’s become one of the best semi-automatic rifles on the market that does not bear the name of AR-15 or the like. Who Will Use This Most If you love hunting big game, varmints, or just want to shoot off targets for fun or competition, this is the go-to choice for rifles. It’s no secret that you want something reliable, powerful, and that has long been appreciated for well over 75 years. This rifle might be one of the best you’ll ever own if you want smooth shooting and some serious power behind every shot. It’s no secret you’ll want something that will last you quite a while whether out in the field or at the range. Bottom Line The Century Arms Yugoslavian SKS Rifles have been pretty solid and reliable over the years. It’s a pretty dang good rifle that will get the job done when it comes to hitting bullseyes or knocking down deer. So, if you’re looking for something that has long been trusted for decades and still comes through the clutch like a champ, then the Century Arms Yugoslavian SKS Rifles might be right up your alley. Inter Ordinance SKS: Inter Ordinance 59/66 SKS CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Excellent overall quality Solid and durable construction Great when used for target shooting Front and rear sights are easy to deploy and use Accurate, precise shooting across various distances Cons None "What Recent Buyers" Report New users say one of the most impressive things they got out of this model of rifles was the consistently tight shooting groups. It didn’t matter what kind of rounds they used, they were able to get these consistent results across various distances at the range. One user said his shooting groups were tight between distances of 100 to 200 yards (with some being a little closer to each other the farther it went out). Why it Stands Out to Us The Inter Ordinance brand rifles are probably some of the best SKS rifles out there for those who want to work on their marksmanship at a higher level. Yes, this thing can reach out and touch something at various distances. It is also great for fun or competition. No matter which route you take, there’s a good chance this rifle might be useful at the range to many users. The front and rear sights on this rifle are easy to deploy, easy to adjust, and will make sure your shooting is on the straight and narrow each and every time. Who Will "Use This Most" These rifles were at one point relied on by most military members around the world (mostly in Europe and some parts of Asia). But now, it’s a perfect rifle for target shooters who like to shoot rounds for fun or who need a rifle to give them an edge over the competition. If you want reliability, excellent accuracy across various distances, and solid construction that is hard to match, this SKS rifle might be exactly what you are looking for. Bottom Line The Inter Ordnance 59/66 SKS rifle might just be a marksman’s dream rifle. And for as long as these models have been around, you don't have to wonder why many have relied upon them for all their sharpshooting needs for so long. Just load up a magazine of your favorite SKS shots and go to town with all your targets. You won’t be disappointed with how much shooting power you put to good use with this rifle. China Although relatively close to the SKS, the Chinese carbines also pop up frequently on the civilian market, due to the enormous production. Although these variants have some shortcomings, we should point out several Chinese SKS models such as the Types 56, 63, 68, 81, and 84. The licensed copy of the SKS Type 56 carbines from the Jianshe Arsenal, has remained in production longer than in any other country. You can recognize them by the 26 inside of a triangle on the left side of the receiver. Type 63 Chinese Rifle (source) The NORINCO Type 63 is a hybrid of the SKS and the several East-bloc rifles, using the AK-47 style rotary bolt and detachable magazine, as well as a selective-fire rifle. The Chinese Type 63 is the only SKS variant capable of automatic fire that led to the development of a series of new rifles with many design variations between them. Some variants feature a stamped sheet-steel receiver, three-round burst capability, or a shorter 16" paratrooper barrel. Chinese SKS: Chinese State Factories SKS CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Reliable and dependable shooting Wood stocks are hard and smooth Great for hunting and target shooting Front and rear sights are easy to adjust Accurate and precise shots almost every time Cons None What Recent Buyers Report A lot of recent buyers say that this rifle was quite useful to them either in the range or out in the field. Regardless, they enjoyed being able to hit their shots with such accuracy and precision that before they pulled the trigger, they knew exactly where the shots were going to go. The trigger pull on these rifles was pretty solid and allowed for quick and timely shooting. One user even said he managed to quickly get a shot off and nailed a whitetail deer on his last hunting trip. Why it Stands Out to Us The Chinese SKS rifles are quite similar to the original Soviet Union designs. The only difference with these rifles was the sights being more adjustable and easier to deploy instead of being fixed. Not only that, but it also has a feature where you can attach a bayonet and quickly deploy it in self-defense or tactical situations. The rifles are constructed pretty solidly and the wood stock is probably one of the most hardcore stocks of them all. They can absorb a good amount of shock and recoil while still giving you reliable, accurate shooting. Who Will Use This Most This is a great hunting rifle, but we can expect a good number of SKS users to try this puppy on for size at the range. Once they have plowed through so many shots, they’ll find it more fun just using this as a target practice rifle. If you want something that is solid in construction, super easy to use, and can stand out as one of the best multi-purpose semi-automatic rifles out there, you may be hard-pressed to find an SKS rifle quite like this. Bottom Line The Chinese State Factories SKS might just be one of the best rifles to come out of China. Yes, we know all too well about the cheap and flimsy accessories or rifles that come from there. But the performance and overall durability are some things you really don’t want to miss if you want to know more about these SKS rifles, in particular. If you are able to snag one, you won’t be disappointed in how well it can do in target shooting or hunting settings. Norinco SKS Variant: Norinco SKS CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros No malfunctions to report Magazines are easy to load Shoots with razor-sharp accuracy Allows for the fitting of many slings Perfect for hunting and competition shooting Cons Trigger pull might be a little heavy Oils and solvents may damage the wood stock What Recent Buyers Report A lot of the new buyers had nothing but great things to say about this rifle. Most used this for hunting purposes, while some others have used it for competitive shooting. Either way, they were seriously impressed with the accuracy and reliability of this rifle. One user said the sights were excellent in allowing his shots to go exactly where he wanted them to go. And, as a result, it netted him top honors (and the win) at a recent shooting competition. Why it Stands Out to Us The Norinco rifles have been known for being some of the most accurate SKS rifles on the market. Yes, durability and reliability are just a couple of things you can get out of a Norinco rifle. But this rifle is known for making some pretty excellent shots (and accurate ones at that). Pick any kind of ammo that will fit an SKS rifle and load them into a magazine. The shooting groups will be tight for sure. But you will know exactly where each shot will go long before you ever pull the trigger. If you really want to gain the upper hand on your competition in the next shooting contest, this might be the rifle that could be your sidekick. Who Will Use This Most Norinco rifles will excel better than most in a competition setting. You know for a fact that once you try this out, this is the kind of rifle built for the marksman (beginner or seasoned). If you are in search of a rifle that can make target shooting twice as fun, this might be the rifle you’ll end up having in your arsenal. It’s proven to be reliable and solid, so you can bet that this will end up lasting you years down the road. Bottom Line The Norinco SKS rifles might be the best rifle for competitive shooters on the market. Even if you don’t want to take part in competitions and want to shoot targets for fun, this is the rifle that will be an excellent choice. If you have the rounds and the targets, you’re pretty much all set and good to go. No other rifle can excel at the range better than a Norinco. If you are inclined to agree, then you know that the choice is a no-brainer. North Korea Another model that should not be confused with the NORINCO Type 63 is the North Korean variant of the SKS also called Type 63, and it is scarce. North Korea Type 63 (source) Its sub-variants may feature a unique side-swinging bayonet or a grenade launching system similar to that on the Yugo M59/66. North Vietnam North Vietnam Model Type 1 (source) One of the rarest SKS variants is the North Vietnam model Type 1. It is similar in configuration to late Soviet SKS, but is identified by a small star with a one inside of it. The star is located on the left side of the receiver and is a well-known marker. Albania As Albanians changed sides and allies, they got different military hardware, including Chinese assistance in producing a copy of their Type 56 SKS rifles. The Albanian "July 10 Rifle" differs slightly from its original counterpart by having a long three vent handguards that extend out to the gas block. With this, there's a slightly different shape of magazine compared to other SKS carbines. However, the most apparent difference from other SKS carbines is its hook-type, AK-47 style charging handle. Top: Romanian M56 - Bottom: Chinese Type 56 (source) Romania The Romanian SKS carbines, designated as Model 56, were produced in the venerable Cugir plant and their arsenal stamp is similar to the Izhevsk Arsenal of Russia. These relatively uncommon SKS versions have no other differences from the original SKS, except the M56 sword-type bayonet that is finished in dull chrome plating. Located in Transylvania, the Uzina Mecanica Cugir plant started metal production in 1799. Cugir's more popular products were the Orița 9mm submachine gun, a Mosin Nagant M-44, the Romanian TT-33 Tokarev pistol, the PSL-54c, and many commercial and military grade AK variants, like the md.63 or WASR. East Germany Another rare model by SKS standards is the East German rifle called the Karabiner-S, with a specific groove cut into the buttstock for the sling and swivel. Karabiner-S (source) Unlike Soviet's SKS, Karabiner-S has no provisions for carrying a cleaning kit in the stock and there is no cleaning rod. Czechoslovakia The period immediately after the end of WWII brought many similar self-loading rifles, but the Czechoslovak Vz.52 service rifle manufactured by Ceska Zbrojovka was similar in design to the competing SKS. Initially, the Vz.52 semi-automatic carbine was adopted in the 7.5x45mm, to be later changed into the 7.62x39 Soviet cartridge. It become known as the "vz. 52/57". While it may bear some cosmetic resemblance to the SKS, the interior was entirely different for the Russian carbine. It featured an operating system based on the tilting block action, with an annular gas-piston in the form of a sleeve surrounding part of the barrel and action on the bolt carrier. When this version of the SKS was introduced in post-war years, many nations were struggling with the concept of going from battle rifle to the select-fire, detachable-magazine assault rifle. Czechoslovak Vz.52 Service Rifle (source) New rifle designs featured a cheap stamped sheet-steel receiver, while the receiver on the SKS was forged, which is another reason why the SKS production was phased-out. However, the Simonov semi-automatics remained in use by second line troops and reserve forces long after the AK-47 entered into service. In any case, the venerable Simonov SKS has served with distinction and survived as a beautifully balanced weapon on ceremonial duties. Generally, Honor Guards boast all-chrome metal parts, with a lighter-colored wood stock. Is the SKS Still In Use Today? There are many others variants available on the commercial market disguised as sport hunting versions usually featuring a thumb hole or one-piece stock, a redesigned front sight, a receiver- mounted scope mount , or a modified trigger such as the Serbian LKP 66, with a "Monte Carlo" style stock. While the hinged sword bayonet was making several generations of conscripts very wary, carbines marked for sale on the civilian market shouldn't have attached blades or grenade launchers. Accordingly, the bayonet mount is sometimes deleted from rifles, but influenced the operation of the weapon, as it is susceptible to its overall longitudinal balance, which ultimately may affect accuracy. Molot VPO-208 Source One exciting project is the VPO Molot that comes from a small arms manufacturer and ammo maker, the Techkrim LTD. Designed for the Russian civilian market, this is a version of the old Simonov SKS carbine with a smooth-bored barrel equipped with Paradox rifling at the muzzle. Dubbed the VPO-208, this semi-automatic rifle is chambered for newly developed .336 TKM ammunition with a 7.62x39 M43 case, necked up to 9.55mm (.336") and loaded with FMJ, soft-point bullets or shotshell with shots encapsulated inside a bullet-shaped plastic container. Russian SKS: Russian State Factories SKS CHECK LATEST PRICE Pros Great jam-free reliability Excellent build and durability Easy to load, takes a few minutes Perfect for hunting and target shooting Trigger pull is great - not gritty or over traveling Cons None What Recent Buyers Report As expected, a lot of new users were not disappointed with this rifle in the slightest. Not only did it make shooting targets like big game, small game, or paper targets as fun as possible, it was a great rifle that was reliable and had no malfunctions to report. One user even said that of all the semi-automatic rifles he has used in the past, this SKS rifle was probably the best one he has used. Why it Stands Out to Us This is the original model made back in the Soviet era. This rifle might bear a striking resemblance to the Chinese model (after all, it was this design that inspired the Chinese State Factories to design their SKS rifles). Other than that, the design is straightforward and low profile. Meanwhile, the inner workings are a sight to behold. They are excellent in quality and will certainly make the rifle run like a well-oiled machine. It’s easy to clean, easy to load, and a whole lot of fun putting to good use. While the Soviet era is long gone, the model rifles that have originated from that time still go on. Who Will Use This Most This would be an excellent rifle that would serve a purpose for target shooters and hunters. One of the major reasons why is reliability. This can go straight to work whenever you need to use it the most. You won’t experience any jamming or malfunctions and you can get quick shots off with no problem. If you need a rifle that has long been appreciated by many around the world, this SKS rifle might just be your cup of coffee. Bottom Line The Russian State Factories SKS rifle is truly one of the best models out there. And if you need something reliable and accurate for just about any application imaginable, this rifle won’t steer you wrong. It’s solid in construction, accurate in shooting, and leaves many of its users happy. How Does the SKS Shoot? The SKS is not a cheap plinking rifle. In fact, it is an improvement in firing accuracy over the AK-47 and the AKM. Service Rifle competitions were always popular, and today you can see veterans like M-1 Garand, SVT-40, M14 or SKS on ranges shoulder to shoulder with modern assault guns. Unlike IPSC style run-and-gun matches, Service Rifle competitions focus on practical marksmanship from a variety of shooting stances. The SKS average accuracy is four to five- inch groups at 100 yards with military surplus ammo and three-inch groups with hand loads. Of course, an SKS trigger has to be set down to three-and-a-half pounds, and the carbine has to be manually charged to cool. It happens if the free-floating firing pin on the SKS is not cleaned properly or if it is installed upside-down during assembly. The match usually occurs in three positions like prone, kneeling, and standing, shooting from 200 all the way to 500 meters, depending on the range. As far as precision is concerned, for the SKS, it is not a problem to hit anything up to 200 meters if the rifle is leaning against the sandbag. However, it is very cumbersome and unbalanced for shooting from a standing position. The balance of the rifle is moved all the way forward and the buttstock is too short, so it always tends to get out of balance on the shoulder. Conclusion Among many gun experts, the prevailing opinion is that the Simonov carbine is probably one of the most underrated rifles in military surplus wish lists. Regardless of everything, with well over 15 million items manufactured, the SKS ensured itself a place in firearms history in many parts of the world. The number of nations that have operated the SKS is estimated at more than 60, while it appears more popular in the United States, where it is classified as an antique relic and can be sold with most of the military accessories intact.

Summary

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the third ranking member of House Republican leadership as the majority whip, was shot in the hip on Wednesday morning at baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. A congressional staffer and members of the congressional police force were also shot in the incident.