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As 2014 comes to a close, TSRA would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and Happy Holiday Season! As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of the TSRA Weekly NewsBrief a look at the most accessed articles from 2014. Our regular publication will resume Thursday, Jan. 8.

1. Competing open carry bills could lead to fireworks in 2015
From Nov. 20: Teaching class inside his Austin gun store, Central Texas Gun Works owner and instructor Michael Cargill regularly walks applicants through the process of becoming licensed to carry a concealed handgun. "The current law in the state of Texas, you have to take a class," Cargill explained. "It's four to six hours. You also have to pass a background check. You can have no felony convictions, no class A or B misdemeanor convictions in the last five years."
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2. 10 greatest lever-action rifles of all time
Rifle Shooter
From Sept. 18: If numbers excite you, you probably aren’t into lever guns. Bolt-action rifles are generally more accurate than lever actions, and lever actions will never match the rate of fire achieved by a semiauto. That said, if you appreciate history and nostalgia, you probably have a soft spot for the beleaguered lever gun. Your more practical friends will note the gun’s weak points, but if you grew up watching John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn or held your breath when Augustus McRae made a stand against an armed posse with only his Henry rifle and a dead horse for cover in Lonesome Dove, you probably own a lever gun. Maybe two.
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The new Umarex Octane pellet rifle shoots .22 caliber pellets at rimfire speeds with the ReAxis gas piston. These air rifles use the SilencAir system to reduce muzzle noise. Rimfire costs 4x as much as pellets and rimfire availability is still problematic.

See if the Octane is right for you.

3. 10 most common reloading mistakes
Shooting Times
From Dec. 4: The old warning, “Don’t ever shoot ammo reloaded by anybody but yourself” has saved shooters a lot of grief over the years. Another should exist: “Be afraid of your own sloppy reloading habits.” Poor reloading habits seem to commonly fly under the safety radar. Most of the newer firearms available today are very strong, allowing small reloading mistakes to go undetected.
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4. Why are the sales for firearm silencers, suppressors on the rise?
From July 24: A few years ago, Josh Waldron started up a company that makes silencers or suppressors for guns and rifles. This year, he expects around $20 million in sales. "This is nothing new to the world, and we have a lot of history of these being safety products and not the contrary," Waldron said. Why are sales for silencers on the rise? Waldron says gun owners want to protect their hearing. Why not just wear earmuffs or earplugs?
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5. Why the US military made the right decision ditching the M1911
From July 3: When the United States military chose the Beretta Model 92 to replace the all-American M1911 as the standard sidearm, people lost their minds. It was as if society forgot about the M16′s failure in Vietnam and all the men who died as a result, did so for nothing. Once again the military bought into some gun company’s marketing hype and ditched a successful design for a smaller-caliber weapon with no perceivable gains.
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6. So, really, where is the .22 rimfire ammo?
American Rifleman
From Aug. 14: The major domestic ammunition makers have been producing more ammunition than ever. They are all up in terms of total production — double, and in some areas, triple-digit increases. They are all running three shifts. And when it comes to center-fire cartridges, at least of three of the big makers are caught up and beginning to load either new products, line extensions or specialty loads.
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7. Fact or fiction: Gunpowder temperature sensitivity
From Aug. 21: Some gunpowder has the reputation of being particularly susceptible to variations in temperature. Alliant’s Reloder line is one, for example. Others, such as Hodgdon’s Extreme line, are purposely designed to be stable in extremes of heat and cold. The trouble is, many propellants with a reputation for instability in extreme temperatures are very good powders that make assembling accurate hand loads easy.
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8. Target's no-gun request won't affect Open Carry Texas, spokesman says
From July 10: Target has joined the growing list of stores asking customers to leave their guns at home. The retailer’s move comes after pictures circulated online of gun rights supporters bringing semiautomatic rifles into stores in North Texas and elsewhere. Tov Henderson, a spokesman with Open Carry Texas, says he doesn’t think the Target ban will affect his group that much. That’s because several months ago, Open Carry Texas told its members to stop bringing rifles into businesses.
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9. Teaching kids respect for guns doesn't infringe on gun rights
The Boston Globe
From Sept. 11: Susan Hamilton is a native Texan, and she has been around guns all her life. For Hamilton's family and neighbors, guns and hunting are deeply woven into the fabric of our lives. Neither, however, is treated as something to be taken lightly. Hamilton has a daughter whom she is willing — even eager — to teach how to handle a gun. But I’m not willing for her to die doing so.
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10. The gun-rental loophole
From Aug. 7: In the easternmost outskirts of Austin, Texas, there’s a gun club where Matt Valentine used to shoot skeet. Families came on weekends and made a day of it — there were picnic tables, vending machines and barbecue grills. A dog slept on the floor of the clubhouse. The adjacent property was a runway for radio-controlled airplanes, which we could see buzzing around beyond the range of the light target ammo in our shotguns. The outdoor skeet fields were neither as thunderous nor as claustrophobic as the indoor firing range in town. Valentine felt safe there.
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Keep the information flowing! Go to or call 512-615-4200 and join, renew or upgrade your TSRA membership. TSRA is the NRA state affiliate, since 1919. Keep the faith and share this email!

Alice Tripp
Legislative Director
Texas State Rifle Association

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TSRA Weekly NewsBrief
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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