News Brief – 11/30

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Jul 2023

In this week’s gun news, Bushmaster releases more black rifles, Liberty Ammo comes up short, NSSF breaks down Pittman-Robertson, Shadow Systems has more pistols, and Smith & Wesson keeps adding optics to all the things.

Bushmaster Bravo Zulu

Zulu cover
Zulu cover

Since the Bushmaster brand was acquired by Franklin Armory from the bankrupt ashes of Remington Outdoors, they have been pushing out AR variants like crazy. The newest is called the Bravo Zulu after the Navy term for a job well done. However, there doesn’t seem to be a big Navy tie-in as the five rifles in the BZ series are fairly vanilla gas-impingement guns with aluminum receivers, an M-LOK rail, and the company’s Snake Charmer muzzle brake.

  • Bravo Zulu 5.56 NATO w/ DM2S 2 Stage, MSRP $1,159.99
  • Bravo Zulu BFSIII 5.56 NATO, MSRP $1,389.99
  • Bravo Zulu California Complainant, MSRP $1,169.99
  • Bravo Zulu 450 Bushmaster, MSRP $ 1,299.99
  • Bravo Zulu SBR, MSRP $1,499.99

Liberty Ammo Recall

Liberty Ammunition says they have come across some of their loads that may have faulty primers. This includes their Civil Defense 380 Auto, Ultra-Light 380, Civil Defense 9mm, and Civil Defense 40 S&W series, which they have asked folks not to use or sell if they fall into an identified lot range, the chart below.

If you have any of these, contact Liberty for a replacement.

Liberty Ammo recall
Liberty Ammo recall

Pittman-Robertson 101

A lot of people don’t realize that all guns and ammo sold on the consumer market in the country has a built-in 10 or 11 percent excise tax calculated into the retail cost. That tax, paid by the manufacturer to the federal government up front, comes from the 1937 Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act– better known as the Pittman-Robertson Act.

Collected and doled out by USFWS to state fish and wildlife agencies, it can only be used for the benefit of wildlife conservation, free hunter education, and public shooting ranges. In all, some $14 billion has gone from the gun industry to conservation agencies in the past 80 years because of the program.

As the tax is surely passed on to the customer, it makes everyone that has bought a gun or ammo in the country since the FDR administration a conservationist by default.

To highlight both Pittman-Robertson and how it translates down to the public shooting range angle, the National Shooting Sports Foundation recently released a video highlighting the Ben Avery Shooting Range in Arizona, a state-run facility that would not be possible without excise taxes distributed through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program.

Shadow Systems Crossover

Shadow Systems XR920
Shadow Systems XR920

Texas-based Shadow Systems has a line of polymer-framed striker-fired handguns including the full-size DR920 and the compact MR920.

Now, cutting the difference and blending the two in a “crossover” concept like Glock’s 19X, Shadow has announced the XR920 which uses a compact-length slide/barrel from the MR920 and the full 17+1 capacity frame of the DR920. It has an optic cut, flat-faced aluminum trigger, match-grade spiral-fluted barrel, and front and rear directional slide serrations.

S&W M&P M2.0 models, now optics-friendly

Smith & Wesson recently added 10mm models to its M&P series– which included optics cuts– and doubled down on the move this week by introducing both full and compact-sized 9mm models in the line that also have slides milled for micro red dots.

The new M&P9 M2.0 pistols, besides the seven-plate optics mount system, also come with updated triggers. Price is in the $650 range, which is not a bad range to be in.

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