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Ballistic June/July 2019

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BALLISTIC is a magazine devoted to the modern firearms enthusiast.

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United States
Athlon Media Group
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
toughest man alive

→ Blown up, severely burned and nearly dead with bilateral femur fractures, Sergeant Omar “Crispy” Avila kept on fighting to help his teammates survive. Courage under fire? Try courage while on fire! Tank tough? This guy is simply a tank. As I type this, it’s exactly 12 years to the day that Avila arrived home in Texas from the battlefield in Iraq. Shortly after touching American soil, doctors put him into a medically induced coma for three months while he underwent dozens of surgeries. Then he woke to fight again. That’s a recurring theme with this remarkable man. In my nearly 25 years as a tactical, hunting and outdoors magazine editor, I’ve worked with a great team of colleagues to produce more than 1,000 issues. And yet I have never met or…

7 min.
brew ha ha

WOULD YOU RATHER… Have your spouse leave you or lose your entire gun collection to theft? Well, to be fair, a lawyer might say the former equals the latter. But romantics say true love comes but once in a lifetime. Unless of course true love is chasing down a herd of Texas hogs with night vision and a belt-fed 7.62mm mounted on a side-by-side. In that case, money can buy true love. The people have spoken, and 63-percent of respondents for our online poll said they would prefer to lose their spouses to their guns. Ouch. NOTABLE QUOTES INCLUDE: • “I don’t have this problem. Never have been, nor will I ever be, married. That’s because I’m too damn ugly.” • “I can replace the wife quicker, more affordably and without a background check.” • “You…

4 min.

1> BLACKHAWK T-SERIES HOLSTERS Balancing security with draw speed, the new L2D and L3D T-Series holsters from BlackHawk offer Level 2 and Level 3 retention, respectively. These duty rigs will hold your handgun securely until you activate the release with your thumb, following the “master grip” principle. Each holster is durable enough for rough handling, and the low-friction internal material ensures a quiet, smooth draw. Several fits are currently available. (blackhawk.com) 2> BUSHNELL NITRO 1800 The new 6x24mm Nitro 1800 takes all of the latest advances in laser rangefinders and packs them into a high-performance optic perfectly suited to long-range hunting or competition. With an Applied Ballistics engine, the Nitro 1800 can crunch bullet load and range data and effortlessly provide a perfect firing solution—while also communicating near-instantaneously through Bluetooth connectivity to the…

3 min.
roaring tommys

→ Developed by General John T. Thompson during the last years of World War I to fulfill the need for an “auto rifle” to replace the bolt-action rifles then in service without the complexity or cost of a recoil or gas system, the Thompson submachine gun was designed to act as a “trench broom” for clearing enemy trenches on the front lines before being introduced to the public in the early 1920s. It has been said that the Thompson is the gun that “made the ’20s roar,” but costing around the modern equivalent of $3,000, the weapon was definitely limited to those who had the means. The M1921 achieved most of its early notoriety in the hands of Prohibition-era gangsters like John Dillinger, George “Machine Gun” Kelly and Al Capone. So…

13 min.
purple heart of steel

→ September 11, 2001, forever changed the lives of most Americans. Almost everyone can tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when the first plane plowed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. That morning, I was working in my Dallas office, and my pager went off: America was under attack, and my team was being deployed. I had just finished my training for one of FEMA’s Urban Search & Rescue teams. Working through the rubble of the aftermath would forever impact my life. Fast-forward 15 years and you begin to see how intricate our world truly is. I received a photography assignment from the editors of Ballistic magazine. Capturing a helicopter hog hunt that was organized by a group of North Texans for wounded veterans…

5 min.
street smarts

→ I had a job in Eastern Europe during the Cold War that, in a nutshell, consisted of emplacing spy networks for would-be double agents. It was in a spy hotbed—high-speed ’80s stuff in a low-tech ’80s world. Practicing “good demeanor” was a constant mantra. Good demeanor was flavor-of-the-day jargon, so we even had demeanor classes. This cracked me up a bit. When it comes to deportment, you’ve either got it or you don’t. Stevie Wonder could’ve picked out some spec-ops knuckle dragger trying to pass as Eurotrash. Anyway, in order to blend in, one had to walk a line between truly not giving a shit and being completely switched on at the same time. And if you think a true spy walks around all nonchalant, unprepared for the worst, you’ve…