Last Minute Gifts and Stocking Stuffers

If any of you are like me you haven’t done your Christmas shopping. Often times this procrastination is due to the fact we don’t always know what to buy. The hard part for me is deciding who should get what thing. Well let me relieve your holiday stress with some ideas that are perfect for gifts or stocking stuffers. Here are some of my favorite things to give and of course to get.

1. Ammunition, you can never have too much.

2. Range gear, specifically eye and ear protection, these things don’t last forever.

3. T-shirts and hats. These are always a hit.

4. Gun cases. You know you’ve seen that guy or gal with a long gun sticking out of a too small case.

5. Magazines. The availability and price are good to outfit all your shooting buddies.

6. Optics. This can be a tricky one. Ask lots of questions about what they want in an optic. For example, red dot versus magnified optic.

7. Gun cleaning kit and supplies.

8. My personal favorite, GIFT CARD!

At Azfirearms we have all of these items and you can shop online at or visit our store in Avondale, AZ. We want to wish yorange gearu a safe and happy holiday season.

Tips to Buying a Used Handgun

used gunI talk with a lot of people who are interested in buying a handgun, but are wary of considering a used firearm. I’m not saying that you don’t need to be cautious, but there are some great deals on quality pistols and revolvers out there if you know what to look for.

First, the appearance of the firearm is important. Check for obvious signs of abuse or neglect by examining the guns finish. Check for rust, scratches, and discoloration. See if the gun has original parts or after market. This is most commonly done with the sights.

Used gun are classified as used once they leave a retailer. Even if they are never fired they are still used. In classifying quality of the used firearm the seller usually assigns a reference term such as “like new” meaning the gun has most likely been fired once or twice. Look for the word “unfired” this means exactly that, pristine condition. It is important to mention that firearms with a lot of added extras do not necessarily add value. Pricing is typically based on the original gun configurations.

A common myth to dispel that a worn handgun has been shot a lot. This is not necessarily true. Take for example the police trade ins. These guns are carried 40+ hours a week for years, however the vast majority of them have only been shot during the range qualifications shoots typically once or twice a year. So in reality these guns have been broken in but not much more and can give you years of shooting. Additionally, many used guns have not been cleaned prior to coming into the gun shop. This is also, not always a sign the gun has been abused or misused.

Ask for a bore light to inspect the barrel. A snap cap to check the action, trigger pull, slide operation for a semi auto or cylinder lock up for a revolver. Maybe ask to field strip the handgun to do a more thorough check.

Finally, the big question what is the price. As with any purchase of hundreds of dollars do your homework. There are many online gun sales and auction sites that can give you a good idea of what a firearm costs on the used market. With used guns most retailers are willing to negotiate on the price, but always be prepared to pay a fair price.

Follow these tips and your purchase of a used handgun can be a less intimidating venture. Also using a reputable retailer is an important element to ensuring you get a quality gun. If you have  further questions on used handguns contact us at our store in Avondale or check out our online inventory at


Choosing Your AR

AR-15The AR rifle is fast becoming the most popular rifle for plinking, hunting and sport shooting. Making a choice to purchase an AR platform rifle might be an easy decision, but picking out the one that best fits your needs can be overwhelming. There are as many types of configurations and calibers for the AR platform as there are people that own them. I know of almost no one that hasn’t added an accessory to their AR, even just a red dot sight. That’s a good thing. Adding one’s personal touches to a firearm increase that ownership pride. The harder question to answer is, “How do I choose the right caliber, with the right stuff, without wasting money?”  The key word here being “right” in regards to caliber and accessories. Well this simply comes down to a personal choice, but certainly some suggested items to consider are merited.

Start first with caliber and what you intend to do. For example, long range shooting, I would consider the .308. Hunters have several caliber choices to fit the game they seek. Then look at the rifle itself. I consider the stock, grip, forend, and don’t forget barrel length. This is typically not a huge issue as the rifle is purchased with the appropriate one. If you do desire a barrel length change, nowadays it is much easier to change the complete upper than to switch out a barrel. The “furniture” are the easy parts to change. I have one old AR that has seen many new looks over the years. If you have a tough time deciding go to your local gun retailer and just shoulder several ARs. This can give you a feel and is a much better evaluation for comfort and balance. Other parts commonly replaced are the charging handle and bolt carrier group, again more choices than you can shake a stick at. Once that decision is made think about the type of optic. Whether you have a carry handle or flat top upper you have a vast amount of choices even after you have weighed the pro con debate on red dot versus magnification. Price is often the decider on the optic.I believe in going to the best I can afford. One caution, there are a lot of cheaply made optics out there and you may find that you are replacing these particular units more often, spending good money for bad.

So while it promises not to be an easy decision it is a whole lot of fun to put together a personalized AR. If you are in the market for an AR visit us at online, or in our store in Avondale, Arizona. We have several manufacturers in stock, like Bushmaster, Colt, Windham Weaponry, Rock River Arms, Adams Arms, and Sig Sauer. In addition to the conventional 5.56/.223 calibers we are well stocked with the large .308 ARs and even the hard hitting .458 SOCOM. We have accessories from Mag Pul and high quality EOTECH optics. Most of all enjoy this amazing rifle platform. Be safe.


Concealed Carry; Lots of Options

ConcealcarryThinking about carrying your firearm concealed? It is by far the most popular form of carry today, thanks to state laws that recognize this important self protection. So now let’s talk about exactly what type of concealed carry option to choose. This is where it can get a bit complicated. I like to use a process for helping me determine what type of concealed device I am going to use. First, let’s see what I have to choose from. I have an ankle holster, a small “EDC” or every day carry bag (no, it’s not a purse), an inside the waist band holster and I still have my old “fanny” pack from the early 90′s. I know that Clint Smith, professes that carrying a firearm should be comforting not comfortable, but I am here to add a caveat that if it is comfortable then one is more likely to carry. Typically the place or places I will be going usually determines the carry option. When I wear khakis or dress pants I prefer the ankle holster. While this method does have some shortcomings I at least know that I have my gun on me. When in casual clothes or shorts I like my EDC carry bag. I can also load up with extra magazines and other items without filling up my pockets.  While women have an easier time with carrying a bag many of the EDC bags designed for men resemble a brief case or small back pack and they will usually have a holster pocket for your firearm. The purse options are a better choice for women as these bags will have a specific slot or pocket for the handgun alleviating digging around inside searching for the gun (If you do plan on carrying in a bag that does not have a designated pouch or pocket for your gun, then I highly recommend that the gun be placed in a sleeve type holster. This can avoid a potential accidental discharge). I will admit that I no longer use my fanny pack, but I just can’t part with it. In my opinion these packs were such a common carry method back in the day that everyone knew that you were carrying a gun. So much for concealed.

If it’s hot out, and it is that a lot in Arizona, then I like the inside the waist band carry. I use the “Sticky Holster” which is genius for its simplicity. This is great for those short trips to the grocery store as I can just slip this into the waistband. The Sticky is made of a material that utilizes compression when holding the gun in place and in drawing the firearm. It has no clips so it can be carried strong side, cross draw, small of the back or in the pocket. These holsters are available at for $24.95.

As with any concealed carry option you must practice accessing and drawing your weapon. Practice, too, reholstering, because if you are in a situation to if you have to defend yourself with your gun you do not want to be standing around holding your gun when the police arrive. To them they are going to a serious call and then pull up and they see you holding a gun you are a threat until otherwise determined not to be.

Carrying concealed comes with a great deal of responsibility. Research the many options that will work for you and make sense for the type of environment you live. Always know the laws associated with carrying concealed firearms and when you can use them. Practice, practice and stay safe.


Record Numbers for Women Buying Guns

women shootingHey all you gun guys have you heard that women are quickly approaching men in gun ownership. Yes, you read that correctly. Since 2009, Gallup Inc. reports on “Gun Owners in America”, that female gun ownership is up 13% and they now account for 35% of gun ownership in the U.S. Of this percentage 49% of females classify themselves a conservative and also, Republican in their politics.

According to the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the National Shooting Sports Federation (NSSF), two of the trusted organizations that track such data confirm that female gun buyers and ownership is rising. So what is the reason for this sharp increase? The main reason cited is in the area of home defense then for self protection followed up by target shooting and hunting respectively. But wait there’s more. The sport of competitive shooting is another arena where women have shown an increased presence, especially in the challenging 3 Gun sport which tests one’s metal in shooting pistol, shotgun and carbine. Many current competions offer a womens class, or open forum so they can go head to head with the guys.

Firearm manufacturers are also taking notice. Of course, this isn’t really new, back in the early 90′s Smith and Wesson came out with their “Lady Smith” line, but the marked increase in purchasing certainly garners the appropriate industry attention. Just look at the colorful furniture options for mounting on an AR, pink and purple accented guns, accessories are more than just black, desert tan, or olive drab, check out the colorful selection of range bags, ear and eye protection and gun cases. Have you seen the custom and after market color selections and patterns for guns? There are literally thousands of combinations and configurations to truly make your gun your own.

So ladies, great work on getting a stronger presence into the shooting sports and gun ownership. If you haven’t taken that step, but are wanting to do so, seek out some quality advice from your local firearms retailer, check credible websites (I recommend NRA and NSSF), or look for some professional training in your area. Be safe and always shoot responsibly.


Dove Hunters Get Ready!

ShotgunHey, all you bird hunters, dove season starts on September 1st here in Arizona. So get your shotguns out and stock up on your favorite ammo. For those of you that may not have clean or serviced your long gun since last year (yes, I know you are out there) you can bring it in for a cleaning and thorough inspection so you don’t miss a shot. We install shotgun sights too.

Here at AZFirearms we have everything you need to make your hunts more enjoyable and successful. We have cases of Estate 12 gauge game load ammunition and cleaning kits along with various new and used shotguns in .410, 28, 16, 20, 12 and even a 10 gauge for those of you that like the long range shots.

Come by our store in Avondale, Arizona or shop us online at

The Awesome Broomhandle Mauser

BroomhandleWell here’s a question many of us will have difficulty in answering correctly, “until the introduction of the .357 Magnum which cartridge boasted the highest muzzle energy of any other handgun?” Here’s a clue, this cartridge and the weapon it was designed for was favored by Winston Churchill. Still no guess? Don’t feel bad, I didn’t know either. However, if you guessed the Broomhandle Mauser you earned your gold star.

The Broomhandle Mauser is arguably one of the most recognizeable pistols in the world, Its familiar box magazine and round “broomhandle” even landed this iconic pistol in the original Star Wars with its embellisihed barrel shroud and can be seen in the hands of Hans Solo. To truly appreciate these fine pistols you really have to see one up close and personal. Handling one of these pistols shows the fine craftsmanship and balance. The surprising comfort of the “broomhandle” like grips is immediately evident. The grip is also the only place you will find a screw on this firearm.

These guns are still readily available and can be found at gun shows, local gun shops and online. Condition often dictates the price and can range from a beer budget to several thousand dollars especially those that are still accompanied by their wooden holster that does double duty as a rifle stock. Most of these handguns are chambered in the powerful .30 Mauser or 7.63×25 cartridge and then there are the desirable 9mm which have the red “9″ on the wood stocks.

At AZFirearms we have three versions of this distinctive pistol, the C96, the 1930 and the “Bolo” so named for the Bolsheviks that favored this shorter barrel length and they are all chambered in .30 Mauser. These handguns have all been professionally and beautifully refinished to a better than original condition. They can be viewed at our store in Avondale, Arizona or online at

More on ; Where the Ammo is

.22ammoIt used to be that shooting the .22lr cartridge was a cheap and available alternative to practically all other ammunition. Today it is as if the ammo doesn’t even exist as most retail and online outlets are out of stock. If you can find it expect to pay 4 to 5 times what you did last summer. So where is the .22lr ammunition? Well in hearing from customers and online sources, one theory is that some in the prepper movement are recommending to buy this caliber as it serves as an inexpensive (used to be anyways) caliber that can be used for defense, hunting small game and even bartering. Not a bad idea. Another possible contributing factor to the availability of .22lr is that they are not reloadable like most center fore casings. Others are convinced that Homeland Security is the culprit with their 1.6 billion round order. You might say that .22lr should not be affected by them. Well the simple truth is that all ammunition regardless of caliber is made up of pretty much the same components. The ammo manufacturers like the ATK Group, Hornady and Sierra are all coming forward to dispel any misinformation and assure us consumers that they are all working round the clock to try and keep up with the public demands that have shown record numbers in the past seven months.

I still believe the shortages due to the significant purchasing are the result of proposed gun legislation and the fact that Joe Biden was tasked to chair a committee to bring forward changes in our firearms laws. It is difficult to have confidence in a person who purports himself an expert when it is obvious by his comments that he is not. This certainly scared me.

In closing, we may still see bare shelves or box limits but don’t be alarmed ammo availability is starting to show up again and I am certain we may see the pricing back to a normal rate in the next few months.

Check out more on this issue at these sites:

Check out this article in Guns & Ammo

Check out this article from



Revolver v. Pistol; which is Right for You

revolver-or-semi-automaticThere is much debate over the subject of revolver versus a pistol for the best handgun. I propose that this argument include consideration into the individual and their respective uses and needs for a handgun, after all there is no one size/type gun. Let’s begin by considering the revolver. Typically these are considered more reliable, but the down side is the limited amount of rounds, usually 5 to 6. Now compare this to the pistol which regularly wins this category with magazine capacities ranging from 6 to 15 rounds and the reliability is very good especially with quality guns. Accuracy with both type of guns can be excellent and is almost always based on the caliber and size of the gun. Carrying concealed is almost a non-issue anymore given the advancements in holster materials and configurations so concealment and comfort can be improved for both handguns by selecting the right type of holster.

One area that is often overlooked is the amount of familiarity with the firearm to be able to use it safely and effectively in a real world stressful situation. Some pistols have a safety that must be manipulated before the gun can fire and most revolvers do not. This manipulation of the gun can be extended into the ability of being able to chamber a round from the magazine. This can be problematic especially under stress. If any of you out there are like me in developing some hand pain, like arthritis, grabbing that slide to put that cartridge into the barrel can be difficult. This can be compounded by the smaller semi auto pistols as the slide does not offer a lot of surface to grab onto. If this describes you then maybe a revolver is more suiting.

My recommendation is to head to your local firearms retailer and speak with staff on what is available and let them know you want to “feel the fit” of the several types of firearms. This will make the experience more relevant and help contribute to a greater experience in the shooting sports.

Check out the following link:

Get Some Training with that New Gun

gun trainingSo you finally purchased a firearm. Now comes the enjoyment of using that gun. You hear lots of stories of people buying a firearm then putting it away only to look at it occassionally when they come across it. Firearms are meant to be used. Shooting sports, hunting and personal defense all take practice and skill. These skills take time to acquire and they are unfortunately a skill that can diminish over time if not used. The first place to start is by finding out where to get some training to obtain these proficiencies? Most of us have a knowledgeable friend we can use to get pointers, or who can show us basic safe handling practices, but I am talking about seeking out a qualified instructor to teach us correctly from the first time we handle a gun.

I think one of the most intimidating scenarios is that we tend not to want to look like a novice in front of others. Still others may be uncertain about actually shooting a firearm. We may not understand recoil, or will it be painful to shoot. This is why I encourage anyone new to shooting to take the initiative and sign up for a class. Many training groups offer basic courses as well as women only sessions. One of the most important aspects of many good firearms courses include the legal aspects of shooting, whether it be where to shoot, or the use of force to protect oneself.  Check your local ranges and web sites for a firearms trainer near you. Go out and go shooting, it’s a great sport and fun for everyone.

In the Phoenix metro area check out the following links: