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Episode Guide

Season: 2014

AR178 NRA National Defense Match Jan. 1

The NRA National Defense Match, held at Peacemaker National Training Center in West Virginia, is a new concept match that gets semi-automatic rifle owners off the couch and out to the range, where they shooting from different positions, including prone kneeling, standing and around barricades. There are three levels, Basic, Advanced and National Championship, depending on skill level. Mark Keefe and the Rifleman crew where there for this challenging and fun new shooting sport. Also this week, Associate Editor Joe Kurtenbach tests the Walther PPQ pistol, and we look at the history of the selective-fire Ruger AC556, which was based on Bill Ruger’s Mini-14.

AR 179 Don't Fear The Night, Part I, Jan. 8

Most defensive encounters occur at night, so how do you know what equipment to use? And even then, does it make you more effective? Field Editor Adam Heggenstaller heads to Oregon for the Crimson Trace Midnight 3-Gun Invitational, where competitors use lights and lasers on rifles, pistols and shotguns in a challenging match fired completely in the dark. Speaking of 3-gun, Joe Kurtenbach evaluates the Stag Arms 3G rifle, built to be ready for completion right out of the box. For “I Have This Old Gun,” we bring you the recoil-operated Remington Model 11-48, one of the first new shotguns of the post-World War II era.

AR180 Don't Fear The Night, Part II, Jan. 15

Does having a light and/or a laser on your personal protection firearm make a difference in low-light conditions? How about no-light conditions? That’s a lesson you’ll learn from Adam Heggenstaller as he runs lights and lasers at Crimson Trace’s Midnight 3-Gun Invitational. The latest concealed carry pistol from Springfield Armory is the small, thin XD(S), which is now offered in 9 mm Luger, and we evaluate it this week as our “Rifleman Review.” The Walther PPK/S is a gun that was created in response the Gun Control Act of 1968, and we look at it as this week’s “I Have This Old Gun.”

AR181 Melvin Forbes & His Rifles, Jan. 22

West Virginia gunmaker Melvin Forbes has changed the way shooters and hunters look at lightweight hunting rifles. We caught up with Forbes at his shop, and found his ideas on how to build Ultra Light Arms rifles go far beyond the number of rifles he has sold. Cowboy guns are fun to shoot, even if they really weren’t around back then. One such gun is the .22 Long Rifle Uberti Silver Boy, a new design with Old West flavor. We also look at the Sten Machine Carbine, the simple gun that armed British and Commonwealth troops during World War II and armed resistance fighters standing up to Nazi tyranny.

AR182 Lost Brigade Project, Jan. 29

For wounded veterans, there are many challenges to adjusting to civilian life. One of the things they miss is the comradeship of being with others who know what they are going through. The Lost Brigade Project brings wounded warriors and their families together for a weekend of marskmanship competition, fun and comradery at the Peacemaker National Training Center in West Virginia. The Kimber Master Carry Pro combines a Commander-size M1911 with Crimson Trace Master Series Lasergrips into a package the editors of American Rifleman named 2014 “Handgun of the Year,” and this week we head to the range with it. The Italian Carcano rifle seems to not get a lot of respect, but it served the Italian military for a half a century, and was actually a pretty good rifle, as we show you in “I Have This Old Gun.”

AR 183 NRA National Sporting Arms Museum: The Grand Tour, Feb. 5

Can’t get the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia? How about Springfield, Missouri? At the Bass Pro Shops flagship store, the new NRA National Sporting Arms Museum has more than 1,000 firearms on display, including guns from NRA’s collection, the Remington Arms collection, the National Trapshooting Hall of Fame, the Pachmayr collection and more. This week we give you the grand tour of this impressive new facility—and you don’t even need to leave your couch. For our "Rifleman Review," Mark Keefe heads to the range with the Weatherby SA-08 chambered in 28 gauge. This lightweight semi-automatic points like a magic wand. We also look at the Swedish military Mausers, accurate collectible bolt-actions that once guaranteed Sweden’s neutrality.

AR 184 NRA National Sporting Arms Museum: “Top Guns”, Feb. 12

Where’s a tour guide when you need one? This week National Firearms Museum Senior Curator—and American RiflemanTelevision Field Editor—Philip Schreier gives you an exclusive look at the “top guns” at the new NRA National Sporting Arms Museum. Ike’s Model 21? Yeah, we have it. Napoleon’s Boutet? We have that too. Benelli launched a new shotgun this year, the Ethos, and Mark Keefe evaluates this soft-kicking semi-automatic 12 gauge for this week’s “Rifleman Review.” Ever heard of the Johnson .22 Spitfire Carbine? Well, it’s this week “I Have This Old Gun.” Like many of Melvin Maynard Johnson’s inventions, it was a great idea that just did not catch on with the public.

AR 185 Going Big And Going Quiet: J.D. Jones, Feb. 19

You may have never heard of J.D. Jones, but he has had a huge impact on handgun hunting and the firearm industry. Ever heard of .300 Whisper? That was him. This week, Managing Editor Aaron Carter catches up with and heads to the range with J.D. Jones. Optics on a defensive handgun? It’s a coming trend, one represented by the Smith & Wesson M&P C.O.R.E. pistol, which comes ready for a red-dot right out of the box. Ever heard of a Winchester Model 24? It’s a budget side-by-side Winchester came up with to compete with brands such as Stevens. This week in “I Have This Old Gun,” we look back at this clubby Winchester double gun.

AR186 1914: The Guns Of August, Part I, Feb. 26

A century ago, the world was engulfed in a conflict greater than was even imaginable. This week we start our look at the standard bolt-action battle rifles of the Great Powers at the outbreak of the “War to end all Wars.” Affordable, accurate .22 Long Rifle bolt-actions have a new bar to meet—one that is set by the Ruger American .22 Rifle, which we evaluate this week. The Thompson Submachine Gun is one of the greatest designs of all time, but with the need to produce them faster in the darkest days of World War II, they needed to speed up production. The result was the M1A1 Thompson.

AR 187 1914: The Guns Of August, Part I, March 5

August 1914 proved to be a bloody month for the armies of the Great Powers because infantry tactics had not caught up with technology—including the firepower of bolt-action rifles. We continue our look at the main rifles of the opening days of World War I with range work and commentary from American Rifleman’s panel of firearm historians. Ruger suspended production of its over-under Red Label to make some improvements—and bring the price down. Its back and better than ever, and Mark Keefe takes you through the Red Label. The Avtomat Kalashnikov is, hand down, the most produced firearm in history. Made all over the world, one of the most plentiful variations is the Chinese Type 56, which is this week’s “I Have This Old Gun.”

Season: 2013

Ammo Testing At Federal

Managing Editor Aaron Carter heads to Federal Premium to show the latest in defensive ammunition from the Minnesota maker—Guard Dog and HST. Watch as both rounds are fired into ballistic gelatin and run through barriers ranging from bare gelatin to automobile glass in the rigorous FBI protocol. Mark Keefe evaluates the new, affordable Remington Model 783 bolt-action rifle in this week’s Rifleman Review. Finally, Rifleman Staffers and contributors look at one of the greatest and longest serving belt-fed machine guns of all time, the Browning Model 1919.

Behind the Scenes AT DPMS

DPMS—Defense Procurement Manufacturing Services—is one of the leading makers of AR rifles in the country today. Managing Editor Aaron Carter takes you to the factory and gives you an overview and insight into how this leading company produces its rifles. The Walther PPk/S is once again made in Germany, but this time in .22 Long Rifle, and Editor in Chief Mark Keefe heads to the range with the PPK/S .22. The semi-automatic ArmaLite AR-180 was based upon Gene Stoner’s design principles, but was made by ArmaLite in Costa Mesa, Calif., Sterling in England and Howa in Japan. The gun, and its full-automatic counterpart—the AR-18—were never really ready for prime time.

Making Shotshells

We buy them buy the pallet load, but how are shotshells really made? Managing Editor Aaron Carter heads to Federal Premium to show you how they make and load shotshells. The .22 WMR cartridge has new defensive loads from Hornady and others, and the Ruger LCR-22MAG revolver is designed for just such loads. This week, Associate Editor Joe Kurtenbach tests the Rugers LCR-22MAG. South Korea’s Daewoo makes everything from TVs, to toasters, to that nation’s service rifle, the K2. Some semi-automatic-only versions of the rifle were imported into the United States, and we look at those guns this week.

The Stag Arms Story

Connecticut’s Stag Arms has been in the news recently as company owner Mark Malkowski is courted by states that want the maker to pull up stakes and move to a friendlier business and legislative locale. This week, Senior Associate Editor Brian Sheetz shows you how Stag Arms builds it guns and how it has become one of the pre-eminent AR makers in the country. Sheetz also evaluates the Leupold Mark AR Mod 1 riflescope designed specifically to mount on AR-style rifles. Lastly, our staff and contributors looks the Luger Parabellum pistol as adopted by the Imperial Germany Army on 1908.

Exclusive: SIG Sauer's MPX

Senior Executive Editor Brian Sheetz gives you an exclusive look at an entirely new firearm--really a completely different shooting platform--SIG Sauer’s MPX. Sturm, Ruger & Co. has expanded its M1911 pistol line, and this week we shoot the SR M1911 Commander. Before Remington introduced the legendary Model 870 shotgun, there was a series of pump-actions that included the Model 17A, and this week we shoot the vintage Remington 20 gauge.

Making Mossbergs… Rifles

O.F. Mossberg & Sons is the nation’s leading producer of shotguns, but Mossberg is about a lot more than the Model 500 pump. This week, Senior Executive Editor Brian Sheetz shows you how Mossberg makes its bolt-action and semi-automatic center-fire rifles. Missed any clay birds lately? Winchester Ammunition might be able to help with its new TrAAcker shotshells that actually show you exactly where your payload actually went. For more than 50 years semi-automatic shotguns were the Browning A5 and its variants and then everything else. One of Winchester’s first semi-autos was the Model 50, and this week we show it to you on “I Have This Old Gun.”

Seeing Red and Going Green: Crimson Trace

Managing Editor Aaron Carter heads to Crimson Trace to show how the Oregon company builds its Lasergrips, as well as showing the new line of green lasers from a company that is best known for painting targets red. Colt was the first make of the U.S. military M1911 pistol. Although replaced by the Beretta M9, the U.S. Marine Corps operators just adopted a version of the Colt Rail Gun for special missions. Called the Colt Marine, we take it to the range this week in our “Rifleman Review.” Ruger’s red label made its debut in 1977 in 20 gauge, and a host of other models have followed. This week we look back at the history of the only over-under made here in the United States by one of America’s largest gunmakers.

Nosler: Making the Trophy Grade

Nosler is best known for its bullets, but now the company offers complete loaded cartridges as well as its own rifles—both ballot-action and semi-automatic. This week, Managing Editor Aaron Carter takes you through exactly how the company builds its bolt-action Trophy Grade Rifles. When to comes to pump-action shotguns, Winchester has led the way since the introduction of the Model ’97, Now Winchester offers the SXP, dubbed the “world’s fastest pump,” and Associate Editor Joe Kurtenbach heads to the clays range to wring it out. The first semi-automatic Colt AR-15s offered to civilians are called the SP1s, and this week we look at this more than half-century-old design in “I Have This Old Gun.”

Leupold: Made Right, Made Here

Leupold is the largest maker of riflescopes in the United States, offering everything from affordable scopes for plinking to the riflescopes for U.S. military snipers. This week, Managing Editor Aaron Carter is on the production floor at Leupold showing how Leupold makes its scopes, including the new VX-6 series. SIG Sauer has updated the compact 9 mm P290 with an “RS” version that stands for “restrike,” and we head to the range with it in our Rifleman review. Also, this week, we take a look at the history and development of the “Devil’s Paintbrush,” the Maxim MG.08 belt-fed machine gun that changed the nature of warfare during World War I.

The Guns of Market Garden

In September 1944, the Allies unleashed a bold plan to end the war against Hitler’s Germany by Christmas. Called Operation Market Garden, it involved British and American paratroopers forming an airborne carpet all the way across the Rhine River. This week we look at the guns used in this pivotal battle, and the men who used them. Senior Executive Editor Brian Sheetz evaluates the IWI Tavor bullpup, a semi-automatic-only version of the 5.56 Israeli service rifle. In “I Have This Old Gun,” our experts describe—and shoot—the Hotchkiss Portative, Model of 1914, Mark I, a light machine gun used during World War I that employed metal feed strips. 

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