WED | APRIL 3, 2024

In an annual celebration of excellence and partnership, Krieghoff International is proud to announce the their top three Krieghoff retail dealers worldwide. The Top Dealer Awards spotlight the remarkable success of these dealers based off the 2023 sales year.
Hornady® 243 Win. 80 gr. CX™ Outfitter® ammunition has been named the 2024 Rifle Ammunition of the Year at the Great British Shooting Awards. Edgar Brothers, the Hornady distributor for the UK was honored to accept the award on behalf of Hornady.
Gold Tip® is pleased to announce Team Gold Tip archer Parker Baker won the USA Archery Indoor Nationals Final held in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a petition for a rehearing in the Second Amendment Foundation’s victory in a case challenging Pennsylvania statutes that prohibit law-abiding young adults from carrying firearms for self-defense and prevents them from acquiring a state license to carry (LTCF) because of their age. The case is known as Lara v. Evanchick.
CANiK announces their attendance at the 2024 NRA World Shooting Championship held April 3rd – 6th at Camp Atterbury in beautiful Edinburgh, Indiana.
Don’t miss your chance to hear from some of the nation’s most influential 2A advocates at the 2024 Gun Rights Policy Conference! The 39th annual GRPC is set for Sept. 27 - 29 in San Diego, CA., at the Marriott Mission Valley.

Century Arms and CANiK announce their attendance at the 2024 NRA World Shooting Championship held April 3rd – 6th at Camp Atterbury in beautiful Edinburgh, Indiana.
Now available for 5" 1911's with or without red dot sights, Galco's Triton 3.0 IWB is constructed of durable kydex. It's fast on the draw, slender in profile, and easy to conceal.
Transform any five-gallon bucket into a comfortable dual-purpose dream seat for your outdoor activities. The Spin Seat provides furniture-grade comfort thanks to Comfotek™ foam exclusive to ThermaSeat. Enjoy temperature regulation courtesy of Softek closed-cell foam creating a thermal barrier.

Remington Ammunition continues to help families nationwide by donating a portion of its Gun Club Cure ammunition sales to benefit children’s hospitals and disease research. The company recently presented a check to the inaugural benefitting nonprofit partner, Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
NSSF has awarded The Range St. Louis West its Five-Star rating for range excellence. Five stars is the highest rating in NSSF’s star-rating system, which evaluates shooting facilities based on appearance, management, shooting sports development and amenities.
The March 2024 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,442,061 is a decrease of 7.4 percent compared to the March 2023 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,556,492. For comparison, the unadjusted March 2024 FBI NICS figure 2,497,577 reflects a 15.5 percent decrease from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,954,230 in March 2023.
Primos® Hunting is proud to announce Jason Harris, director of marketing and product management for Primos, has been elected by his peers to the board of the Archery Trade Association.
WATCHTOWER Firearms announces its partnership with Sports South, LLC. This collaboration will see Sports South adding Watchtower's innovative products to its esteemed lineup, catering to the growing demand for top-tier firearms and accessories nationwide.
The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is pleased to announce it has received a generous donation from Brownells as part of their ongoing commitment to upholding Second Amendment freedoms. The donation was made in conjunction with Brownells' successful 2A Day promotion.

Winchester has been awarded a contract for the construction of the Next Generation Squad Weapon – Ammunition (NGSW-A) manufacturing facility at Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP). The project will be the first new manufacturing facility built at LCAAP in decades.
The ATA is looking for a qualified candidate to join the Association as the senior manager of Marketing and Communications. This position supports and executes all day-to-day activities involving marketing and communications efforts for the ATA.
RTS Tactical changed the game for active shooter response protection with the introduction of its Level III+ Rifle Special Threats Mini-Shield. To further expand the function and ease of deployment, RTS Tactical introduces the Rapid Deploy Mini-Shield Carrier System.

G5 Outdoors proudly unveils its latest innovation with the launch of the T2 2-blade Expandable Broadhead. Built in collaboration with John Dudley of Nock On Archery, the T2 Broadhead sets a new standard in toughness, power, and reliability.
Volquartsen Firearms continues to expand its line of precision parts with the addition of the Competition Bolt, designed to enhance the reliability and performance of the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 rifle and 15-22 pistol.
Real Avid expands the Smart-Assist Quick-Connect System with three new docking mounts to accommodate a variety of work areas and needs, the Smart-Assist – Surface Mount 3-Pack, Magnetic Mount, and C-Mount.

Bear Creek Arsenal is launching a full-size duty polymer handgun and upgrading it at an unmatched price. The Grizzly has been designed with perfect ergonomics featuring a 20-degree grip angle and bear fur stippling for grip and control.
Christensen Arms is now shipping their new Modern Carbon Rifle to retailers nationwide. The Modern Carbon Rifle boasts several notable features, including a lightweight and robust FFT™ carbon fiber stock with adjustable components for enhanced comfort and control.
Save 20% and add your favorite Red Dot Sight to your LPVO setup for CQB or Passive Aiming while using Night Vision.

Parker Crum, son of Mike and Marie Crum of Whipple, Ohio, is a senior at Fort Frye High School in Beverly, Ohio, and a member of the Big Reds Archery Team in Parkersburg, West Virginia, under the coaching of Jim Parsons. His dedication to the sport of archery has earned him a place on the Muskingum University Archery Team, where he plans to study Business Administration.
Scholastic 3-D Archery is pleased to announce Gary Parks as the Oklahoma S3DA State Conservation Coordinator. Gary will work alongside Oklahoma S3DA State Coordinator, Andrea Waldridge, to develop and implement conservation initiatives for the Oklahoma S3DA program.
The Grind is helping turkey hunters gear up for spring gobbler season with a limited-time promotion. With the purchase of any pot or box call, customers will receive a free call holder to protect it from water, dust, and damage.
Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks offers an unmatched blend of outdoor entertainment and informative content. With original premieres and new episodes from returning series across all networks, viewers can expect the most original outdoor programming focused on their passions beginning on Monday, April 1.

With the recent introduction of the S&W Models 642/442 UC and 632/432 UC, much has been made of the new stocks by VZ Grips. Looking at images, it’s obvious that the stocks extend to the top of the frame at the rear.


That’s for recoil mitigation. Getting into the “Wayback Machine” (or “WABAC,” with apologies to Mr. Peabody), we find a discussion of revolver stocks from a dean of revolver shooting, Elmer Keith: 

“The old Smith & Wesson grips that did not extend up to the top of the frame were inadequate and the recoil of the gun in heavy calibers pounded the web of the hand. But the Magna grip, which we urged long before it was brought out, is very good for fast double action shooting.” (Sixguns by Keith: The Standard Reference Work by Elmer Keith (Prescott AZ, Wolfe Publishing Co.,  1955),  at page 141.)

This image, from the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, 3rd Edition, Supica & Nahas, shows the evolution of S&W stocks. At the top, the original ‘service stocks’ covered the open part of the frame with the mainspring; the next three are ‘Magna’ stocks, covering the sides of the backstrap up to the top of the frame. These help with recoil mitigation.

Those old S&W “grips” to which he refers are original service stocks. They largely covered the area at either side of the grip frame where the mainspring sits – and that as much to keep the rear of the receiver closed to prevent infiltration of debris as well as keep the hand clear of the old mainspring.

The improvement was labeled the Magna. It extends to the top of the conventional S&W revolver frame at the rear. This widens the area of the rear of the revolver where it contacts the web attaching the thumb to the hand. That greater coverage area helps spread the blow across a wider area. 

When the I frame became the J frame and the tiny S&W was made to use the 38 S&W Special cartridge, that wider area at the top of the frame became critical. 

Then they created the Centennial, it’s said for Rex Applegate. 

This is a pair of images from Tom Schubert. On the left, the original high horn Magnas on an early Centennial. On the right, the lower “hip-hugger” Magnas that give up a main advantage to the Centennial design.

Not a hammerless, as the copy for the earlier “lemon squeezers” alleged, it was a completely enclosed hammer. To make that happen, the frame got “taller.”

Getting ahead of the potential issues – hammering the proximal thumb joint with 38 Special recoil – they made the Magna stocks higher, spreading the impact across the frame as well as a stock panel on either side of the frame … so-called “high horn” Magna stocks. They didn’t fit any other J-frame, just the Centennial. 

The sole downside in timing of the release and production of the Centennial line, as I noted before, is that double action shooting was seen as somewhat of a novelty by too many people in those days. We still have trigger snobs today who prefer a light, short-stroke trigger for the best marksmanship.

It’s okay unless you use the gun for threat management. 

The “hip-hugger” boot-grip style stocks on the M642 above are from Hogue, a credible effort but not the equal to their current “Centennial/Bodyguard” style “Tamers.” Below, VZ Grips did a valiant job in filling the users’ requirements for the S&W UC J-frame line.


The Centennial returned with the Model 640. Sadly the “high horns” didn’t return. The sole maker was Craig Spegel in his line of “Boot Grips.” An individual in a shop, Craig seems to have three years’ worth of work at any particular moment. 

I talked to various stock makers over the years about doing a decent set of stocks for the Centennial revolvers. It seems they all thought the new lines of Centennials – steel, Airweight and then AirLite – were a flash in the pan and their numbers would never equal the numbers of exposed hammer five-shooters. 

I fear that even if they weren’t wrong, they just fell a little short of being right. 

The Hogue clan, along with Kimber, did the K6xs lightweight 6-shot revolver right by the design of these fine, high-riding stocks.

Now we’re here with the UC line and VZ Grips to the rescue – for that product line. 

It’s a very individual thing, the fit of revolver to the hand with a broad range of variables – some obvious and some apparently oblivious. 

The ideal aspect of the Centennial revolver is that you can crowd the top of the backstrap, literally having your hand over the top of the ‘recoil hump,’ giving you better control of recoil and quick accuracy. With the “hip-hugger” stocks, you throw that advantage in the trash.

When I chatted with Pat Hogue, Hogue Inc., we discussed his company’s J-Frame Centennial/Bodyguard “Tamer” stocks. 

He said “It was tough to invest in tooling to make a grip that wouldn’t fit the vast number of hammer spur versions but the Centennials are begging for a taller grip.”

The Hogue family stepped forward and now VZ Grips has stepped up. 

Anyone else?

— Rich Grassi

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