Henry Repeating Arms Steps Up

Henry Repeating Arms, makers of some of the nicest lever action carbines, rifles, and shotguns on the market today, has stepped up its support for Second Amendment groups. As part of their “Guns for Great Causes” charitable campaign they presented checks totaling $75,000 to the Second Amendment Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, and Gun Owners of America at the recent SHOT Show.

Henry VP Dan Clayton-Luce presents check to SAF
Henry VP Dan Clayton-Luce presents check to GOA
Henry VP Dan Clayton-Luce presents check to FPC

The founder and CEO of Henry Repeating Arms had this to say regarding the donations:

“Henry Repeating Arms will never back down when it comes to supporting the individuals and organizations that work tirelessly to fight back against the political degradation of law-abiding Americans’ right to keep and bear arms,” said Anthony Imperato, CEO and Founder of Henry Repeating Arms. “Just like our Constitution, these organizations belong to and for the people. They have our backs, and we will always have theirs.”

I never had shot a Henry before Range Day. I got to shoot one of their side-gate loading lever actions in .360 Buckhammer. I was impressed with how smooth it was to throw the lever-action on that carbine. It was like cutting through butter. It was much smoother than a Rossi I shot later that morning.

I think it is instructive where Henry Repeating Arms put their money in the fight for the Second Amendment. While all three are national groups, they aren’t that other national group. I think the industry as a whole is wising up and putting their contributions where it will do the most good for gun rights.

No Endorsements For NRA Board

I received my ballot for the 2023 NRA Board of Directors election in today’s mail. Unlike in past years, I will not be making any endorsements. Let me explain my reasoning.

First, there are no petition candidates running for the Board in this election. Every candidate – good, bad, or indifferent – is on the ballot thanks to the efforts of the Nominating Committee. Everyone has been vetted to some extent and is considered “safe”. The committee is chaired by the ultimate insider and “Friend of Wayne” Kayne Robinson. The vice-chair is Janet Nyce who, if you attended the 2022 Meeting of Members will remember, declared those of us who want reform as “the enemy within”.

Second, while I will probably vote for a couple of people on the list that I know fairly well, any endorsement from me would be counter-productive to their chances. My reporting on the NRA’s troubles has earned me no friends in Fairfax and my endorsement would make them suspect if elected.

Third, it just doesn’t matter. One potential reformer or even two will be ostracized by the rest of the Board. I have heard how good people like Judge Phil Journey and Frank Tait have been treated like something the dog dragged in by the rest of the Board. The shameful juvenile conduct of the majority of the Board is disgusting. Moreover, you have elderly hacks like Walt Walter re-nominated while an accomplished attorney like Graham Hill was not re-nominated thanks to hostility towards him by Kayne Robinson.

If change is going to come to the NRA – and it will – it will be from outside. It will either come from a Bankruptcy Court as Rocky Marshall postulates or it will come as a result of the New York Attorney General’s lawsuit. People who think the NRA is going to win in court in Manhattan are willfully ignorant. Anyone who has followed the trial knows that things are not going that well for the NRA. The only thing that might be considered a win is that dissolution has been taken off the table by Judge Cohen. Add in the NRA’s incomprehensible decision to ask for a jury trial in Manhattan and you know it won’t go well.

Guest Post By Rocky Marshall

Roscoe “Rocky” Marshall is a former member of the NRA Board of Directors. More importantly, he is an experienced business executive. He is now founder and CEO of Frontier Truck Gear. Prior to that, he served as president of two subsidiaries of oil field services giant Baker Hughes which is a Fortune 150 company. In other words, he can drill down into an income statement or balance sheet to get to the real health of an organization. What he has to say below is not encouraging as to the health of the NRA.

Rocky had sought to be an intervenor in the lawsuit brought by the Attorney General of New York against the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, John Frazier, Woody Phillips, and Josh Powell. He sought to do so to be an advocate for the members of the NRA as it seems no one is actively representing their interests before the court as opposed to the interests of LaPierre and company. His motion was ultimately denied. I met Rocky in person at the 2022 NRA Annual Meeting and have corresponded with him extensively. What he is saying below is not some spur of the moment comment. He has been reading the tea leaves and saying this exact thing for some time now.

The Late Great National Rifle Association R.I.P. by Former NRA Director Rocky Marshall
To NRA Members: IT IS OVER!

The NRA’s financials are spiraling rapidly towards insolvency, and the future appears bleak for
the survivability of the NRA which may be forced into bankruptcy (for real this time) in the
coming months. The next and final chapter for the NRA will be in a bankruptcy court where a
Judge will likely appoint a “Receiver” to take control of the assets of the NRA.

The NRA has been thriving for over 150 years; but will likely not survive to the end of this year.
This once great organization is now facing dissolution as the direct result of malfeasance by
Wayne LaPierre and the impotent Board of Directors (BOD). Undoubtedly, key management
personnel including Wayne Lapierre, Wilson Phillips, and others will likely face criminal charges
for embezzlement, fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and other charges.

The NRA in the coming months will not be able to pay outstanding bills or maintain staff to
fulfill the mission due to the rapid decline of donations by members. In 2016, NRA revenues
reached a peak of $367 million and currently is projected to receive $200 million for the current
fiscal year 2022. The collapse in donations is directly related to the revelations that the NRA
Management misused millions of dollars of donations for personal benefit. The misuse of NRA
monies by NRA Management and the BOD has been reported as far back as 1998 when a
complaint was filed by NRA Directors with the FEC.1

A question that is often repeated is: “Why did the NRA BOD allow Wayne Lapierre and others to
misuse the donations and defraud the members?” The most obvious answer is because a few
key Directors were being paid. From 2002 through 2020, over $10 million dollars have been
paid directly or indirectly to NRA Directors. A secondary issue is that NRA Directors were not
informed and also routinely presented false information by NRA Officers and Management in
order to hide the truth. During my tenure as an NRA Director, I was routinely denied access to
information and also received blatantly untrue information from NRA officers. The NRA BOD
has not provided proper fiduciary oversight of the NRA for decades. The NRA BOD could have
easily stopped the fraud and mismanagement by Wayne LaPierre (and others) but instead
chose to ignore the obvious illegal activities. The BOD audit committee (chaired by the current
President Charles Cotton) approved transactions retro actively without BOD approval.

The current lawsuit from the New York Attorney General will likely not go to trial; but instead,
will be superseded by a forced bankruptcy. The negative press reports from these legal filings
will continue to drive donors away and revenues will decline. As a former Director for the NRA,
I have researched the complaints by the New York Attorney General and found all charges to be
true. I could not identify a single charge that was untrue or exaggerated. As has been
reported, Wayne Lapierre has admitted to several of the charges in the previous bankruptcy
trial in Dallas.

Historians and columnists will report in future years that the NRA was destroyed from within by
the greed of NRA Management Wayne LaPierre, Woody Phillips, (and others) and also by the
lack of oversight by the NRA Board of Directors. Collectively this group has destroyed the most
valuable gun rights organization on the planet.

  1. Weldon H. Clark Jr. FEC Complaint 1998 (https://www.fec.gov/files/legal/murs/4865/00001F57.pdf)

A New Low Even For The Trace

The Trace, a supposedly independent and non-partisan newsroom, has hit a new low in its reporting on the Monterrey Park, California murders. Rather than acknowledging the failure of California’s gun laws, the most restrictive in the United States, they seek to cast aspersions upon Dr. John Lott. They say he is a “major factor” in the failure to pass even more restrictive gun laws.

The Trace is trying to imply that the Monterrey Park mass shooting might not have happened but for Dr. Lott and his research. The thought that the Democrats supermajority in the California Assembly and Senate didn’t pass gun control laws due to the influence of John Lott is laughable. What they did do is pass more and more ineffective laws that are only obeyed by law abiding citizens. Perhaps if they had studied the work of Dr. Lott they might have passed laws to allow people in California to actually protect themselves.

That The Trace is attacking Dr. Lott and his research should come as no surprise given that it was founded and funded by Michael Bloomberg. His goal in founding it was to promote his gun control agenda (as if the mainstream media doesn’t already do it). While The Trace aka Trace Media Inc. is officially a separate organization from Everytown for Gun Safety (sic), it should surprise no one that the president of Trace Media and Everytown are one in the same. That’s correct, John Feinblatt, Bloomberg’s right hand man on gun control, is officially the head of both organizations.

The Trace owes Dr. Lott an apology but I certainly doubt that will ever happen.

Update On Rep. Harriett Hageman

I had suggested that Rep. Harriett Hageman (R-WY) would make a great addition to House Judiciary Committee. This was in my post entitled An Interesting Factoid On Cargill Win. Rep. Hageman was one of the attorneys representing Michael Cargill in his appeal in the 5th Circuit on the bumpstock ban.

Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) must have been listening as she is one of the new members of the committee.

From his release last week:

“We’re excited to welcome all new and returning members of the House Judiciary Committee to the 118th Congress. House Judiciary Republicans are ready to get to work on the important issues facing the American people by passing legislation that will secure the southern border, investigating the weaponization of the federal government against the American people, and reining in Big Tech’s censorship of free speech.”

New Republican Members of the House Judiciary Committee:

Rep. Ben Cline (VA-06)
Rep. Lance Gooden (TX-05)
Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02)
Rep. Barry Moore (AL-02)
Rep. Troy Nehls (TX-22)
Rep. Russell Fry (SC-07)
Rep. Harriett Hageman (WY-At Large)
Rep. Wesley Hunt (TX-38)
Rep. Kevin Kiley (CA-03)
Rep. Laurel Lee (FL-15)
Rep. Nathaniel Moran (TX-01)

Returning Republican Members of the House Judiciary Committee:
Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-50)
Rep. Ken Buck (CO-04)
Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL-01)
Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04)
Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ-05)
Rep. Tom McClintock (CA-04)
Rep. Tom Tiffany (WI-07)
Rep. Thomas Massie (KY-04)
Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21)
Rep. Dan Bishop (NC-09)
Rep. Victoria Spartz (IN-05)
Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (WI-05)
Rep. Cliff Bentz (OR-02)

Rep. Hageman is one of six GOP freshmen appointed to House Judiciary Committee.

Barrett Sells To The Aussies

In what I’m sure will be the talk of the SHOT Show tomorrow (and tonight), Barrett Firearms was acquired by the Australian company NIOA Group. This is a 100% acquisition. An email announcing the sale was sent out at noon today.

From the announcement:

In announcing the deal, NIOA Group CEO Robert Nioa said the two family-owned companies came together out of a shared commitment to quality, innovation, loyalty, and mission.

“NIOA’s association with Barrett dates back to 2008. We have been inspired by the story of Barrett and admire what Ronnie, Chris and the family have built over more than four decades,” Mr. Nioa said.

“It’s been a story of hard work, perseverance, and purpose culminating in the delivery of critical capability for the men and women of the US military and its allies around the world as well as exceptional products to law enforcement agencies and civilian markets.

“Together we share the same mission – combining our expertise and family business values will ensure Barrett carries on building the finest products in the world.’’

Mr. Nioa confirmed the company would continue to operate under the Barrett brand as a separate division within the NIOA Group alongside NIOA Australia, NIOA New Zealand, the Australian Missile Corporation and the group’s investment in joint venture company Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions.

All management and staff at the Murfreesboro manufacturing facility in Tennessee have been retained and production will continue as normal. Over time it is expected that manufacturing activities in Murfreesboro will be further expanded.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Mr. Nioa also announced two key leadership appointments – current Barrett President Sam Shallenberger has been promoted to the role of Chief Executive Officer while long-serving Barrett Chief Operating Officer Bryan James becomes President.

Ronnie Barrett and Chris Barrett will provide ongoing support as executive advisers to Barrett and the NIOA Group.

Barrett founder Ronnie Barrett said “Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in the Barrett story. Rob and the NIOA team have great respect for the legacy Barrett has created as the leader in long range precision rifles. It’s reassuring to know Barrett will be in good hands with a family-owned company that is focused on manufacturing and delivering world-class firearms and munitions to a global network.”

Robert Nioa, CEO of NIOA Group. From company website.

According to the FAQ released on the acquisition, customers really are not going to see much, if any, difference. The pricing will remain the same, the company will remain in Murfreesboro TN, management other than the Barretts will remain in place, the Barretts will serve as advisors to both Barrett and NIOA Group, and the name will remain the same.

The Barretts and NIOA Group have had a business relationship since 2008 and both are family run. The FAQ states that the Barretts saw this as a good fit and that it provides opportunity for growth.

It will be interesting to see what other “gossip” there is about the sale tomorrow at the show. If any is worth passing on, I’ll do so.

.360 Buckhammer – Another Straight-Walled Cartridge (Updated)

My morning email brought news that both Federal and Remington would be releasing a new straight-walled cartridge. It is called the .360 Buckhammer. The cartridge’s primary market appears to be those states where hunting regulations have changed to allow the use of a straight-walled cartridge in areas formerly restricted to shotgun or muzzle-loader only. From the comments by the marketing teams at both companies, they are aiming this initially for use in lever action rifles.

Federal will be releasing the cartridge in 180 and 200 grain jacketed soft point versions. The cartridge is intended to match the energy and velocity of the venerable .30-30 Winchester but with softer recoil and better accuracy.

Likewise, Remington will be releasing the .360 Buckhammer in 180 and 200 grain versions. However, it will be with their Core-Lokt bullet. From Remington:

360 Buckhammer’s key features include:

  • Ultimate straight wall cartridge
  • Accurate & deadly at 200 yards or more
  • Easy to shoot with low recoil
  • 35% more energy than 350 Legend
  • Muzzle velocity: 2,215-2,400 FPS
  • .358 diameter bullets deliver deadly results on-game

Remington and, I presume, Federal are partnering with Henry Rifles to introduce the new cartridge. It will be available today to shoot at Range Day in a Henry lever action rifle. If I get a chance to shoot it, I’ll give my impressions.

UPDATE: The weather at Industry Day at the Range was challenging. That is a nicer way of saying very windy and then it got worse. They had to close the ranges due to thunder and lightening in the area. I don’t know if it resumed after the storm as I had left by then.

Nonetheless, one of the first things I did after getting to the range was shoot the Henry rifle in .360 Buckhammer. I had never shot a Henry lever action before but it is slick. It had a very smooth lever stroke. As to the .360 Buckhammer, I found the recoil to be quite reasonable and I hit the steel target off-hand every time. For those that must use a straight-walled cartridge for big game hunting, I can’t see any reason not to give this combination serious consideration.

ANME Winter Expo

The ANME Winter Expo, a trade show for military surplus retailers and wholesalers, is held in Las Vegas around the time of the SHOT Show. This year it is being held at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort from January 15th through the 17th. It attracts buyers from all over to look at the latest military surplus available as well as camping gear, survival gear, patches, clothing, and other military related items.

As I had arrived in Las Vegas a day early, I used time this morning to attend this trade show. I had attended it in 2019 and knew I’d find some interesting stuff. It has a much “homier” feel to it than the SHOT Show and fits into a large ballroom. The teachers’ conference, Get Your Teach On, held concurrently at the Westgate took up much more room.

In terms of true surplus, you could find all sorts of pouches, packs, clothing, boots, and even demilitarized RPGs. The vendor who had the RPG also had a working full-automatic, NFA-registered, M2 Browning machine gun in .50 BMG. I didn’t bother to ask the price!

There were a lot of morale patches being sold. I know from my times at gun shows, they are a popular item and the producers were here. Here is an example of a few I saw.

One of the first vendors I came across was AceCamp Outdoor Equipment. They had some really interesting items such as a top for a water bottle that dispensed liquid soap and then would squirt the water on your hands. As Mark Drennan, the owner, noted, hand sanitizer doesn’t clean your hand; it only gives you sanitized dirt.

Another product AceCamp had was a LED light to hang in your tent that also incorporated a bug zapper. I thought that was innovative.

I will be following up with AceCamp as they had a number of products that would be useful in prepping or even just when you lose power.

There were some other innovative products on which I’ll be doing posts in the future. That really is the beauty of this expo. You find some really innovative gear mixed in with the trinkets and military surplus. Just as when I found the Simple Shower in 2019 at the expo, this year I found the bug zapper LED light.