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Rifleman Report: Protecting Our Freedoms

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It seems that in nearly every magazine issue we find ourselves featuring examples of the ways in which firearms both enrich our lives and protect our freedoms—and this one is no exception.

For instance, consider the incredible array of beautifully finished hunting arms from which Americans can choose when going afield after their favorite game animals. One particular example is the subject of Senior Executive Editor Kelly Young’s story, “S&W’s Model 350: The ‘Mild-Mannered’ X-Frame,” in which he examines the most capacious of Smith & Wesson’s oversize revolvers to date. Chambered for no less a cartridge than Winchester’s recent straight-wall rifle sensation, the 350 Legend—and, in this case, holding seven rounds—the nearly four-and-a-half-pound behemoth makes for a hefty handful of power when going out after medium-size game—especially if topped with a quality mount and scope.

Then, in “Return Of The Rifleman: The Next Generation Squad Weapons Program,” Field Editor Jeremiah Knupp takes a deep dive into the U.S. military’s rationale for its recent choice of two SIG Sauer-produced infantry arm platforms and how, along with a new cartridge, an advanced optic and a suppressor, they form a force-multiplier system designed to give U.S. troops the edge on the modern battlefield. The technology on display in each component is a tribute to the know-how and skill of a major firearm maker whose experience in building military-grade arms is only enhanced by its broad slate of well-regarded commercial offerings. Also, take a look at the related table of information titled “U.S. & Near-Peer Small Arms Comparison” in the Opening Shot to see how our country’s rifles and machine guns stack up against those of our adversaries.

In other ammunition coverage, America’s 1st Freedom Editor In Chief Frank Miniter reminds us about the reputation and aspirations of a long-lived and well-known European manufacturer in “Fiocchi: American Ammunition With Italian Flair.” It is a story to which I was able to contribute some personal observations of the company’s inventiveness, success and family ties after having visited its headquarters in Italy—a land where the pursuit of excellence in the details of everyday life is an honored tradition. Also, it is yet another reminder that Americans have an unprecedented wealth of choices when it comes to deciding what kinds of factory loads to shoot in their sporting, competition and defensive firearms.

On that latter segment, there is perhaps no portion of Americans, many of them new gun owners, who have demonstrated greater interest than those committed to personal self-defense with firearms. Written from the perspective of someone who has “been there and done that” when it comes to carrying and using sidearms for several decades, “Notes On Practical Handgun Carry” by Layne Simpson should help the uninitiated navigate the bewildering array of holster options on the market and may even teach old hands a new technique or two.

Back to the theme with which we began, don’t forget to check out this month’s evaluation of two handguns that couldn’t be more different: the Springfield Prodigy, a “2011”-style 9 mm Luger semi-automatic suited for defense and competition and the Savage 110 PCS, a bolt-action for plinking and hunting.

Again, it’s all about choices and the freedom that guarantees them—both of which are assured by the “arms” whose possession and use are highlighted as inherent rights in our uniquely American Constitution. As always, we hope you enjoy these stories and that you consider it a reminder to never take our right to keep and bear such arms for granted.


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