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ISRA Thursday Bulletin – January 20, 2022

ISRA Thursday Bulletin – January 20, 2022

January 20, 2022

As promised, I am at the SHOT Show.  Attendance is down about 33% and the number of exhibitors is down 25%.  Many of those who are here have cut down on the number of personnel and their displays.  This does not mean that sales are necessarily down.  It was much easier to talk to factory people and they were able to take more time with each person.

One of my missions this year was to talk to major ammunition producers about the ammo shortages, particularly with regard to shot shells.  I talked with Remington, Winchester and Federal.  They are the big players right now.  Smaller boutique ammunition companies are here but they don’t command a lot of market share, although I did talk to a couple of them also. 

The lady from Federal told me that her office is in the ammunition plant and she sees what is going on every day.  Federal is running seven days a week.  They have never made this much ammunition in their history and it is shipped as fast as they can get it on pallets and on to a truck.  Winchester told me the same thing and the young gentleman I talked to grew up not far from East Alton, Illinois, and has worked for them for 10 years.  They too are shipping ammunition as fast as they can make it.  The gentleman from Remington had a little different view point; they have room and equipment to make more ammunition but are having trouble finding enough people who want to work.

Similar situations exist with rifle and pistol cartridges.  All those I talked to estimated at least 24 months to catch up.  One of the topics was primer shortages.  They are making those also.  The problem with primers is they are finicky ornery little guys to deal with.  It takes really experienced people to make them.  Having worked on automatic loading machines myself, primers can be a headache.  I can’t imagine how hard it is to make primers.  

The Illinois State Rifle Association is one of the leading competitive shooting organizations in the United States.  Training marksmen is one of our duties.  We are naturally concerned about very accurate ammunition.  Getting .22 caliber ammunition has also been hard.  To get Olympic grade .22 ammunition is even harder.  I spoke with the importer of SK .22 ammunition.  I have known this gentleman for years.

He told me they get a shipping container of SK .22 ammunition every three to four weeks.  It is dispersed by filling the oldest requests first.  Each container holds a little more than five million rounds.  He told me that to fill the orders, it would take 11 more shipping containers of .22 ammunition.  He also imports Vitha a Vouri power.  This power is highly sought after by target shooters, varmint hunters and long-range shooters.  He is 11 shipping containers behind on powder.  Certainly, the companies I have mentioned are not the only ones who make ammunition and gun powder but they are major players.  Other companies have the same problems.  He also represents Berger Bullets.  Berger can’t make long- range target bullets fast enough.  Remember these companies are known for their high-quality products.  They are not going to make crappy stuff and put their name on it.

The Monday before the SHOT Show begins there is a range day for the press.  There you will find new firearms, new optics and other products.  Shooting new firearms and trying out new optics is my primary reason for going.   Each year I research new stuff and hope it will be there on range day.  One of the companies I have been watching for a couple of years is the Big Horn Armory.  Big Horn Armory is a new company in Cody, Wyoming.  This company has hit on a niche in the firearm market.  The lever action rifle is an American invention.  Most Americans love lever actions.  Cowboy Action Shooting is a prime example.  The great Colonel Jeff Cooper recommended lever action .30-30s as a police firearm.  Some firearm companies like Winchester, Marlin, and a few others, make excellent lever actions.  The cartridges used in these firearms are mostly black powder-based cartridges like .30-30, .30-40 and .45-70.  There were many more calibers in the black powder era.  There have been 308 and .30-06 lever actions produced in the modern era.  The purpose of the article is to point out that the heavy-duty cartridges are or were no longer made in lever action firearms.  The reason is the lever actions made today do not have the strong lock up of the 1886 Winchester.

Big Horn Armory changed all that.  The niche they saw was that we have powerful pistol cartridges for hunting big game.  This pistol cartridge could also be used in an 1886 lever action rifle. These would include .500 S&W, .460 S&W, .454 Casull, .500 Linebaugh and .475 Linebaugh.  How handy would it be to have a rifle and a side arm backup in the same caliber?  Nifty idea.  Those calibers would be great for bear, moose and elk. 

I had the pleasure of firing a Big Horn Armory Model 89 in .500 S&W.  The recoil wasn’t bad if you know how to handle recoil.  At 50 yards I was able to smack a steel plate every time.  Plenty good for “minute of bear”.  By the way, you can get 4600 of muzzle energy out of a .500 S&W round.  My personal choice would be to have a rifle in .460 S&W.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  First, I already have a .460 S&W Revolver.  I love that gun.  It would make sense to get a Big Horn Armory Model 90 in .460 S&W.  The other reason I like the .460 is that it will also shoot .454 Casull and .45 Colt.  That is easy to do in a revolver but it is a bit more difficult in a rifle because the cartridge length inhibits easy feeding.  Still, it gives you an option if ammo is scarce.

While at Range Day, I tested a new optic from Aimpoint known as the CompM5b.  This has a red dot that only weighs 6.3 ounces.  It has a dot size of 2MOA, can be submerged to 150 feet, operates between minus 49 degrees and 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  Battery life is up to 50,000 hours.  This is a tough sight.  The sight was mounted on an AR15 zeroed for 200 yards.  It was right on at 200 yards.  The target was a 4-inch plate which I hit consistently.  This was off the bench.  It has a magnifier behind it.  You are looking at $1000 plus.  For those looking for an Aimpoint ACRO P-2, you will just have to wait.  It seems that the military wants a bunch of them.  Guess who comes first?

Regarding the political situation in the United States: In the last few years more and more Americans have learned you can’t rely on the government to protect you.  In fact, it is more likely you will need protection from the government.  This has caused an estimated 15 million new gun owners in the United States.  These good people have put a strain on the system.  To be honest, I am happy they have joined us.  These are all new Second Amendment supporters.  It is all of our jobs to welcome them.  We will get through this but it will take a while.

Earlier this week, two bills were set to move out of committee and on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives.  They were HB 2541 and HB 4296, both lousy bills.  Your response to the ISRA alert was fantastic.  Those bills are now tabled.  We will see them again.  This legislative session is far from over.  Thank you once again.

What could be the problem here?  The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) reports that about 100 people charged with murder in Chicago have been released on home electronic monitoring device (an ankle bracelet).  This was revealed after one of those people, Lavontay White, was killed in a shootout with police.  With a shocking disregard for the law, White escaped his home monitor.  At the time of his death, White was also wanted on 15 counts of aggravated sexual assault with a firearm.  You can’t make this stuff up.

It has been reported that Governor Pritzker’s campaign is paying petition circulators $5.00 per signature.   If you want to pick up some ammo money, this might be a way to do it.  I actually believe that it is best to get petition signatures in teams of two.  One person to carry the petition and one person with a flash light to read the tombstones.


January 20, 1980 – The Iranian Hostage Crisis ends.  Moments after Ronald Reagan finished his inaugural address, the Iranians announced they would release the hostages.  For 14 months, 52 Americans were held captive.  On November 14, 1979, militant Iranian students seized the U.S Embassy.  President Jimmy Carter was just too weak to deal with the Iranians.  The Iranians understood that Ronald Reagan was not Jimmy Carter.  Seems like history repeats itself doesn’t it. 

January 20, 2020 – The first case of COVID-19 is found in the United States.

January 21, 1980 – Jimmy Carter pardons all the draft dodgers.

January 22, 1973 – Roe v Wade is decided by the United States Supreme Court.

January 23, 1855 – John Browning is born in Ogden, Utah.  His designs are with us today.  Since his death in 1926, other than the striker fired pistol, no fundamental changes have been made in firearms design.

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Upcoming Events: ISRA Calendar

For more information, visit

Saturday, January 22, 2022

ISRA Academy NRA Basic Pistol Class

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Tuesday Night Air Rifle League (5:00-8:00)

Tuesday Afternoon Air Gun League (1:00-5:00)

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Armed Women of America

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Range Work Day

Saturday, February 12, 2022

ISRA Academy NRA Basic Rifle Class

Sunday, February 13, 2022

ISRA Academy NRA Basic Rifle Class

Gun & Trade Shows

Crown Point Gun Show – Crown Point, IN

Lake County Fairgrounds

Dates: January 22 & 23, 2022

Hours: Saturday: 9:00-5:00

            Sunday: 9:00-3:00

Admission: $5.00

Kankakee Gun & Sportsman’s Show – Kankakee, IL

Kankakee County Fairgrounds

Dates: January 22 & 23, 2022

Hours: Saturday: 8:00-3:00

            Sunday: 8:00-2:00

Admission: $6.00

Westville Gun Show – Westville, IL

Direside Event Space

Dates: January 29 & 30, 2022

Hours: Saturday: 9:00-4:00

            Sunday: 8:00-3:00

Admission: Free

Belleville Gun Show – Belleville, IL

Belleville Fairgrounds

Dates: January 29 & 30, 2022

Hours: Saturday: 9:00-5:00

            Sunday: 9:00-3:00

Admission: $6.00

Quad Cities Gun Show – Rock Island, IL

QCCA Expo Center

Dates: February 12 & 13, 2022

Hours: Saturday: 9:00-5:00

            Sunday: 9:00-3:00

Admission: $6.00

Kane County Sportsman’s Show – St Charles, IL

Kane County Fairgrounds

Date: February 13, 2022

Hours: 7:30-1:30

Admission: $7.00

“Ninety-eight percent of the people in this country are decent, hardworking, honest Americans. It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.”

Lily Tomlin

“The people who work against your gun rights are basically saying to you, “The right of the criminal to rip you off, rape and kill you shall not be infringed.” And they wonder why we’re a bit testy”

Editor of KABA LIBERTY ADVOCATE, Friday, July 30, 2001

“I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand.”


“You may find me one day dead in a ditch somewhere. But by God, you’ll find me in a pile of brass.”

Tpr. M. Padgett

“Using inner city kids as your proof that guns and kids don’t mix, is like using an alcoholic to prove all people will abuse alcohol.”

Lori Broadhead

“How dare politicians continue to pass insane laws forcing good, law-abiding people to be defenseless and helpless.”

Ted Nugent

The said Constitution [shall] never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe or to prevent the people of the United States from keeping their own arms.”

Samuel Adams, Massachusetts' U.S. Constitution Ratification Convention, 1788

“One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation.”

Thomas B. Reed (1886)

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”

Thomas Jefferson, Proposed Virginia Constitution (1776)

“Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution are courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the constitution THEY don’t like.”

Alan Dershowitz

“Every 13 seconds in America someone uses a gun to stop a crime.”

Sen. Larry Craig

“The AK-47 is not a device of aggression … I devised this machine-gun for the security of my country,”

Mikhail Kalashnikov, April 1997