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Sunjack Solar Panel Photos

Photos of the SunJack solar panel unit and battery pack to accompany the SunJack 14W Portable Solar Charger and 8000 mAh Battery Pack review.

Shooting Illustrated to Join NRA Publications Available to Members

ShootingIllustratedThe family of magazines (publications, not the things that people in Rio Linda call “clips”) available to National Rifle Association members is growing this May.

Starting on May 1st, in addition to the current lineup of American Rifleman, American Hunter, and America’s 1st Freedom, members will be able to choose Shooting Illustrated as the publication that is included with their membership.  Shooting Illustrated features new product previews, tests and analysis from the top writers in the industry, offering their expert insight into all facets of shooting.

GunLink has confirmed that existing members will be able to change their current subscription to Shooting Illustrated if they desire at any time after May 1 by to emailing membership@nrahq.org or by calling the membership hotline at 800-672-3888.

Don’t forget that May 1st is also the start of increased membership dues rates through recruiters.  As you should have heard by now, general membership dues have gone up, but recruiters were given an extension to continue offering the old discounted rates until April 30.  After that, even those rates will go up, so there is still time to save money by joining or renewing here – just in time to attend the NRA Show.

SHOT Show is Just Around the Corner

Stay with the GunLink Team for Complete SHOT Show 2016 Coverage

shotshow-logoThe National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) SHOT Show 2016 is just two short weeks away, and the GunLink team will be there from the opening shots of the pre-show Industry Day at the Range until after the show ends to bring you complete coverage of the latest and greatest guns, gear, and more that is coming soon in the shooting, hunting, and outdoor fields.

Watch the GunLink Blog for detailed coverage of SHOT Show 2016 and participate by joining the discussion in the NSSF SHOT Show boards on the GunLink Forums.  For more frequent up-to-the-minute updates throughout the show, be sure to follow GunLink on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

SHOT Show crowd

The  38th annual Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show – SHOT Show – runs from Tuesday, January 19 through Friday, January 22 at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas.  This is the largest show of its kind, drawing tens of thousands of attendees.  The 2015 show drew approximately 64,000 attendees – second only to the 2014 show’s 67,000.  The heart of the show that brings such a massive crowd?  The 1,600 exhibitors who cover more than 13 acres of exhibit space to showcase their wares.

SHOT Show Media DayAt Industry Day at the Range on January 18 in Boulder City, we will have the opportunity to visit with manufacturers and see the latest firearms in action with some live-fire trigger time – which is always a “blast”.  Featuring over 170 manufacturers exhibiting, and over 500,000 rounds of ammunition shot, Industry Day is the premier shooting event in the industry, giving outdoor media and buyers the opportunity to shoot and test new products for the upcoming year.  This year’s exhibiting companies include firearms, ATV and truck demos, knife throwing, archery and more.

SHOT Mobile AppFor those of you lucky enough to be going to the SHOT Show to see it for yourself, there are a number of tools to make your visit easier.  Plan meet-ups, talk about what you’ve seen, get pointers, and more in the SHOT Show thread on the GunLink forums.  Find exhibitors, schedule meetings with vendors, take notes, and plan your show with SHOT Show mobile, available as an app for Android and iOS devices and as a mobile site for Windows and Blackberry devices.  This will, no doubt, make it easier to navigate the 630,000 square feet and 12.5 miles of aisles on the show floor!

Of course, all of this great coverage of the best new products that shooters care about wouldn’t be possible without our valuable partners.10713594-1424378571838

Brownells, and Pete Brownell in particular, has been among the earliest and biggest supporters of new media in the firearms industry – going so far as to host the New Media Meetup Lunch at previous SHOT Shows – in addition to offering an enormous selection of firearm parts and accessories.  Brownells has been Serious About Firearms for over 75 years – since 1939!

If you are seeking information about the latest and greatest advancements in the firearms industry, then chances are that you are an ardent supporter of our Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  What better way to make sure that those advancements continue by protecting that market and helping to ensure that we keep those rights strong than joining the National Rifle Association – one of the oldest and largest civil rights organizations in the United States.

Northwood Components offers a full line of aftermarket triggers that can turn an ordinary KelTec pistol into a sweet shooting little carry gun.  The machined aluminum triggers virtually eliminate finger pinch and provide a lighter perceived trigger pull although the actual trigger pull weight and safety of the firearm are not effected.  Pops’s trigger upgrade has been featured on the GunLink Blog and in our P11 Improvement Project.

Concealed carry and open carry practitioners from all over the United States, and gun owners in general, will find the Gun Laws by State guide invaluable.  The guide, written by a prominent gun law author and nationally recognized gun law attorney, covers reciprocity, constitutional & federal law, use of force, civil & criminal liability, preemption, and more in its 360 pages, which include over 1,000 updates for 2016.

Not a CCW permit holder yet?  If the time requirements of the class are holding you back, The Carry Academy has the solution:  take your CCW class online in under an hour for less than $50 to satisfy the training requirements needed in order to obtain your concealed carry permit in over 20 states.  The majority of these states allow you to carry a concealed weapon by obtaining a Virginia nonresident permit.  The course also satisfies training requirements for resident permits in Iowa, Oregon and Virginia.

If your 2016 New Years resolutions include being more prepared for natural or man-made disasters, you can hope for the best but prepare for the worst with shelf-stable food from Wise Food Storage.  Great tasting meals with the ease of just-add-water, the peace of mind of 25-year shelf life, and the pride of being Made in the USA.

Is Pretending to Open Carry a Viable Self Defense Option?

Talking the Talk, Not Walking The Walk

Fobus SG-21An interesting new product idea was recently brought to our attention.  The goal of Perceived Carry Decoys (PCD) is to give the perception that the person wearing it is openly carrying a firearm “without the stigma or concerns associated with owning a gun.

The device itself is essentially a fake pistol molded into a paddle holster.  Although the product photos appear to be stock photos of the SG21 and WP22 holsters directly from the Fobus website, it does sound like there are prototypes out there and the website claims that the product will be unveiled at the 2015 Miami Small Business Expo starting tomorrow and the idea taken before the Shark Tank folks.

But let’s back up a minute.  Is this product even a good idea?  First off, what kind of adult (and the website does say that you must be 18 to order) wants to pretend to open carry a gun?  If you want to protect yourself or your family but a firearm isn’t for you, you are probably better off with a baton, a can of Fox Labs spray, or the more politically-correct cell phone and rape whistle.

I am not adverse to open carry and I have done so in several states both before and after getting a concealed carry license – although, for the most part, I find the benefits of carrying concealed to far outweigh those of open carry.  OC serves a purpose, but that purpose isn’t to make a scene and draw attention to yourself.  There are valid arguments for and against open carry which do not need to be hashed out again here.  However, I think that there is a fundamental flaw in some of the reasoning presented on the PCD website:

The whole purpose of open carry is to give off the “don’t mess with me” persona. The whole purpose of Perceived Carry Decoys is to give off the appearance that you too are ready for anyone, anywhere.

No.  That isn’t the whole purpose of open carry.  Maybe that is a small side effect of open carry but the generally agreed upon benefits include faster access to the weapon, less likelihood of snagging on a garment, more comfortable carry, not having to buy bigger pants, ability to carry without the time and money investment of a getting a license (in some states), etc.

There are a number of downsides to open carry as well, as any OC opponent will be quick to point out.  It has the potential to put a bullseye on you for the bad guys (like the so-called shoot me first vests) and, in many places, it will get you lots of unwanted attention from law enforcement, security guards, store clerks, zealous anti-gunners, and other busy bodies.  How does it go when something goes south and the cops tell you to slowly put your gun on the ground?

And what about when Joe Street-Thug decides that you are next in line for his mischief making?  News flash:  bad guys, especially the particularly dangerous ones – are often not afraid of some schmo with a gun.  If they don’t just shoot you immediately to remove you as a threat, how does it play out when they try to take the gun or force you to give it to them?  How do you use a piece of gun-and-holster shaped rubber to protect your family from real world evil?A03-PECWPB

Maybe the PCD is something that you have to get your hands on to see how good it is.  Maybe there is some big upside to it that I am just missing.  Or maybe I just don’t understand the mindset of someone so worried about “the stigma or concerns associated with owning a gun.”  It just seems like very little good but a lot of bad could come from pretending to have a gun when you don’t.

Although the site claims that they are only taking pre-orders at this time and no price is listed, perhaps a better make-believe “I have a gun” routine would be to flash a concealed carry badge on your belt or a chain around your neck.  Imagine the epic crime-deterrent power of a CCW badge and a fake gun!

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