Justin Opinion – STI Hex Tactical, To Attend Sig Sauer Academy, National Reciprocity & More! #Xmas2016

Okay, let’s be honest – most all of us got what we really wanted, or perhaps what we really needed, on November 9. But if you’re anything like me, your wish list never stops growing when it comes to guns and gear. When thinking about what would be awesome to see under the tree on Christmas Day, my thoughts wander from the best firearms, to the gear that will make me more efficient or productive (or cool), to loftier wishes – like ways to improve my knowledge and skill set. I’m sure that you have your own list. Every enthusiast does. I’ll share my list with you, just for fun – or in case you’re looking for ideas of your own to begin hinting at – or maybe because there is an enthusiast on your list and you need ideas. Whatever the interest, here are the top five that come to mind for me this season.

SIG Sauer P220 chambered in 10mm

The classic Sig Sauer P220 is now being offered in the powerhouse 10mm round.

The classic Sig Sauer P220 is now being offered in the powerhouse 10mm round.

The legendary Sig P220 is one of SIG Sauer’s most recognized pistols, and had a lot to do with establishing SIG as a world class gun maker. First offered in 9mm and then really making its name in .45 ACP, it became a widely used duty pistol around the globe and found a successful following among civilian shooters. So, when I learned that this iconic pistol was being offered in 10mm – I ran around the house like a Boston terrier on cappuccino. Using my vast powers of persuasion and calling in every favor (in other words, begging and pleading) I was given the editorial nod to obtain and review this gun.

That was almost a year and a half ago. Since then, I’ve stood like Dan Aykroyd in the rain in my stolen Santa suit, watching all the other gun writers, You Tubers, enthusiasts, and anyone with a passing interest sit inside near the fire and laugh together and enjoy their copies of the P220 10mm. Perhaps my day will come, perhaps not. But it remains the top gun on my Christmas list. Just in case Santa is reading, and knows people in New Hampshire. MSRP: $1,467. To purchase a 10mm Sig Sauer P220 on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=10mm%20220.

Attend the SIG Sauer Academy

Sig Sauer Academy offers training courses as well as armorer's courses.

Sig Sauer Academy offers training courses as well as armorer’s courses.

Speaking of SIG Sauer, they have a pretty elaborate facility for training – or so I understand. It is the Sig Sauer Academy. I’ve never been there, but I’ve long wanted to go. Now, if you’re familiar with the Sig Academy you may be wondering which shooting course I’d want to take. The answer is none. I want to take their armorer’s class for the classic pistols (P220, P226, etc.).

I consider myself fairly adept with firearms – especially handguns; I’m even a certified Glock Armorer – but my lower lip starts to quiver whenever I consider a detail strip of a SIG P-series gun. God forbid I ever have to try to fix one or just change an internal part! So, a trip up to New Hampshire for two days of classroom training by factory experts is something that I tell myself I need to do every year. I’d love for Santa to help make that happen! Oh, and if he put a little something in the stocking for the Pro Shop, that’d be okay too!

Polymer-Coated Ammo

Polymer-coated ammo like the American Eagle Syntech line are offering exciting new capabilities.

Polymer-coated ammo like the American Eagle Syntech line are offering exciting new capabilities.

You’d think someone that shoots as much as I do would have tried every kind of ammo on the market, but I have to admit to being a little behind the times when it comes to the new trend in polymer-coated ammo.

Why it exists, how it’s made, and how it compares to traditional jacketed and plated ammunition is a subject for another time – but I am hoping that my stocking will be at least partly stuffed with some of this new and very interesting product, like the Federal Syntech or Ruger Polycase ARX. I’d love to find out if it’s fad or future. MSRP: Pricing varies.

STI Hex Tactical

The STI Hex Tactical offers amazing performance in an advanced 1911-style platform.

The STI Hex Tactical offers amazing performance in an advanced 1911-style platform.

Recently reviewed by me for a future blog posting comes the most incredible 9mm handgun I’ve shot in recent memory – the STI Hex Tactical. I was able to do extensive testing with this pistol, and while I expected it to be a very nice gun, I was beyond impressed with the overall experience. It’s a 2011, which means it is a double-stack version of the legendary 1911 design. This gives you the form-factor of the age old John Browning design with high capacity and a fuller grip.

Available in a full 5” and commander length 4.15” and all decked out for the match, it is a speed machine. I’m not sure I would even trust Santa to bring this one – he might keep it for himself! MSRP: $2,599. To purchase on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=STI%20Hex.

Ruger Precision Rifle, and the skills use it!

The Ruger Precision rifle is a great way for beginning precision shooters to get into the sport without breaking the bank.

The Ruger Precision rifle is a great way for beginning precision shooters to get into the sport without breaking the bank.

I keep wanting to introduce myself to the apparent pleasures and rewards of long-range rifle. I see the guys and gals (more of the latter than you might think) at the matches, all decked out with funny looking straight jackets or mounting systems that look like NASA built them. If I squint hard I can make out what appear to be targets on the horizon. So yes, it’s an intimidating sport to get involved in – in more ways than one. Which is why I wave and drive on… to the handgun range – my little comfort zone.

But I want to take on and meet this challenge. Worst thing that can happen is that I’ll learn something and have an even deeper respect for those whose idea of a fun day at the range is watching paint dry… I mean, shooting long – slow – shots. Perhaps most intimidating of all is what rifle to bring. From all I’ve heard and seen, the Ruger Precision Rifle could be the very best option. Dear Santa, if you leave one under the tree, I promise I will acquire the skills to use it! MSRP: $1,599. To purchase on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=ruger%20precision%20rifle.

National Reciprocity

The author would like to see a national reciprocity law to ensure uniformity of our rights across the country.

The author would like to see a national reciprocity law to ensure uniformity of our rights across the country.

Okay, one more item for the wish list, but clearly not for this Christmas – and that is a new Federal Law requiring all 50 states to honor the concealed carry permits of the other states. If you’re not familiar with this often discussed topic, understand that every state that issues some form of permit for the concealed carry of a firearm does so under its own jurisdiction, and that privilege stops at the state border. Some states have reciprocal agreements with other states, whereby they honor each other’s permits – but this is a very fluid arrangement that can be changed often times by attorney’s general or even law enforcement agencies, and can also be conditional. The oft-proposed Federal mandate would essentially treat a concealed carry permit like a driver’s license. Or a license plate, for that matter. Imagine if each time you crossed state borders you had to remove your license plate and put on a “local” one – if available – for a fee. Unless of course your state had an agreement with that state, etc. What if Idaho didn’t trust your state’s requirements for a license to drive, and simply said “no, you can’t drive here.”

But just because we have a new President entering office that we hope and trust will be interested in preserving the rights of gun owners, and a majority in Congress that should be able to agree on such a bill, don’t for one minute think that this would be a slam dunk. There will be much opposition from strong states that are very anti-gun. The Judicial Branch of our government has stated that each state must have some provision for allowing civilians to carry a concealed firearm, per the Bill of Rights. This is why people in Chicago, NYC, and even DC can now attempt to get a permit. I say “attempt” because those anti-gun states, counties, and cities make it extremely difficult to actually get one. But enter National Reciprocity – a law that mandates that any valid permit from any state must be honored by every state, and this undermines their infringing practices. Also, such a law would defer to the state’s statutes on concealed carry and all the potential pitfalls of where and when you may carry, etc. All that said, it would be a wonderful piece of legislation, so it’s on the wish list – maybe for next Christmas!

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  • Jeff December 2, 2016, 12:23 pm

    I understand the wants for a national CCW law, I want one too, however I cringe at the thought of the federal government writing this law. Who knows what else could make its way into it, or how it could be amended down the road. I would only support such legislation if it originated in the states. Therefore, it should be the individual states that write this into law (reciprocity for licenses from other states). So push your state governments to do this! Don’t let the feds touch it!

  • Eric November 28, 2016, 2:38 pm

    A national reciprocity law sounds better than a new gun, to me! The challenge would certainly be met with vehement resistance by the people in certain states. Re-education/reprogramming of the brains of those opposed to our constitutional rights would be a smart prerequisite.
    Nevertheless, there may be some potential negatives with such a law…. First of all, how good of an idea would it be to get the federal government involved in making gun laws for its civilians? I can see a great potential for addendum laws to follow…. laws under the guise of “public safety” or “fairness”, etc. Before you know it, we might have federal laws becoming more strict over time, and why not? Those who would love to control the nation (I’m not at all pointing to our government as a whole, mind you…. merely certain people in it) would probably not be very attracted to the idea of having a whole country armed to the T and free to roam about the country. Obviously, if we have a license, this makes perfect sense to the good-hearted individual. Those individuals who see themselves as above the law might be on a continual search for ways to corrode the freedom of abiders of the law.

    • Palerider November 28, 2016, 6:49 pm

      I agree with you, attempting to get a concealed reciprocity is a land mine. What does the writer think will happen when a gun grabber gets in the White House? It will not always be Republicans in power, you are taking a States Right away and leaving our carry permits to a dice roll.

      I also enjoyed the way your last couple of sentences played off knowing the specifics of when and where you can carry in each state. I can only imagine the BS regulations CA, NY, IL, NJ etc have drawn up. Unless you had an Attorney check it out, it sounds like a fine way to get a felony collar; because you misread something, missed the comma etc. No thanks, I will pass on this seriously misguided idea.

  • Larry November 28, 2016, 11:58 am

    It never ceases to amaze me how a few states can keep nearly everyone of their citizens from concealed carry &, therefore, the ability to protect themselves from deadly force when this restricting is in direct conflict with the Second Amendment of our premiere law of the land, the US Constitution & their citizens’ GOD GIVEN right of self defense.

  • Justin Opinion November 28, 2016, 11:10 am

    Yes, indeed. That is the very nice Blackhawk QCQ holster, Size 01 for 1911 Gov’t and Commander sizes. It’s a favorite. Rides tight and high and top quality leather and stitching. Will not accept any squared trigger guard or rail-equipped pistols though.

  • AJM November 28, 2016, 8:44 am

    Could you name the manufacturer and style of the holster used in the last photo under National Reciprocity?


    • Peter November 28, 2016, 10:38 am

      @AJM, using Google Image search, this looks like a DeSantis quick snap leather holster.

      Cabela’s has one for about $40, but doesn’t show a 1911 like this photo. Item IK-230218

    • Geoff November 29, 2016, 12:03 am

      Galco was the first thing that came to mind. But it’s a forward-canted, thumb-break, outside the waistband (OWB) leather holster. Those few keywords should get you started.

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