What to Do Before You Buy a Gun

If you are a first-time gun buyer, it can be a bit overwhelming at first. We’ve already covered the process of buying a gun in Arizona on our blog, but what should you do before your purchase? Beyond simply obtaining a firearm, there are many actions that help you be a more informed gun owner. From preparation and research to honing your skills, The Hub is here to help you every step of the way.

Here are some things to do before you purchase a gun:

1. Focus on Safety From the Start

Safety is absolutely essential when it comes to owning and operating a firearm. Before you even purchase a gun, make a plan for how to store it so no unauthorized individuals can access it. It’s also a good idea to talk to anyone else in your household and make sure they know the importance of safety. If you have young children, this is especially important.

2. Determine What You Will Use the Firearm For

What type of gun will be best for your needs depends on what you plan to use that firearm for. For example, a compact handgun will generally be best for everyday concealed carry, but wouldn’t be as well-suited to hunting. When it comes to home defense, where you are living can make a difference, and some individuals may prefer a rifle for rural areas whereas others may need a lower-caliber pistol if they are living in an apartment. Knowing the purpose of your gun is a good starting part for your search.

3. Research Specific Guns

Once you know the broad type of gun you are interested in, you can start looking at specific manufacturers and models. To help guide your decision, you can read reviews online, get advice from your friends, and ask the friendly gun experts at The Hub.

Cost will, of course, be a factor for any purchasing decision, including buying a gun. When choosing a gun, you don’t want to sacrifice quality to save on price. Doing some research ahead of time can help you find a gun that is reliable and high-quality while also staying within your budget. Make sure to factor in the cost of ammunition as well.

4. Know What Accessories You Will Need

There are a variety of gun accessories available and some are more essential than others. If this is your first gun, it’s generally a good idea to start with the basics and get familiar with your firearm rather than buying too many accessories you don’t know how to use. Before you purchase your gun, make a list of what you know you will need and get these items either before your gun or at the same time.

Here is what we recommend:

  • A way to transport your gun, depending on how you are using it: a holster, travel case, gear bag, sling, etc.
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Ammunition
  • Extra magazines
  • A gun safe, or another method for secure storage
  • Anything else that is specific to the purpose you are using your gun for

5. Try Before You Buy

Trying a gun at the shooting range before purchasing it can help you get an idea of whether you personally like the way it feels. At The Hub, you’ll even get a discount if you buy a gun after trying it at our range.

6. Consider Training

This step can be completed at any time before or after you buy a gun, but you may want to start thinking about it before you actually make the purchase. Training, such as a concealed carry weapon (CCW) permit class or a one-on-one lesson, can be very beneficial. Although a CCW isn’t required in Arizona, you will learn valuable safety skills and will benefit from reciprocity. As for one-on-one training or group skills classes, these allow you to hone your skills.

Your One-Stop Gun Shop

The Hub has everything you need before and after you buy a gun and we have a large selection of firearms to choose from. We are here to help you find the ideal gun for your needs.

To browse our firearms, visit us in Tucson, Lakeside, or online.

Why A Tactical Flashlight Is Important

When you are thinking about self-defense tools, you are likely to consider obvious items like pepper spray, stun guns, batons, or firearms. But what about a tactical flashlight? The humble flashlight is one of the most underappreciated accessories on the market today and something you should consider carrying with you at all times.

Not every flashlight is created equally when it comes to self-defense. A tactical flashlight is different from a standard household flashlight. These types of flashlights were originally created for law enforcement and military use and have evolved to become one of the most popular options for everyday use.

Why Consider a Tactical Flashlight

Tactical flashlights can serve a dual purpose. They can be mounted on your firearm or carried independently. This versatility allows them to be taken separately into places like theatres, on airplanes, and into areas that have strict weapon laws. It can also be used as an improvised striking device or to break glass to facilitate an escape.

When mounted on a firearm, they ensure precision and better target acquisition during low light situations and free up your hands which allows for more control. 

In either situation, a flashlight can help you identify threats and scare away would-be attackers that are relying on the cover of darkness to commit their crimes.

They are also important to have during nighttime outdoor activities and should be readily available for an emergency.  In these instances, they can be used to help you safely navigate terrain without fear of injury. They can illuminate your way during power outages or if you are stuck outside at night or during bad weather. Additionally, they can be used as an emergency signal for help, or to safely warn motorists of your presence when visibility is poor, and much more. This versatile tool can be used for virtually every job that requires illumination.

Characteristics of Tactical Flashlights

While there are many different models on the market, most tactical flashlights have the same basic characteristics. A tactical flashlight is typically smaller and emits more light (1000 lumen output or more) than a standard flashlight. They are easy to use, which is important in high-stress self-defense and critical situations.

Because they were originally created for tactical use, they are made tough and often constructed out of military-grade anodized aluminum to ensure maximum durability. Most include a strike bezel for self-defense or emergency use and are usually water resistant, weatherproof, and impact resistant. Some also contain features such as infrared filters that allow them to be used with night vision equipment.

How to Choose a Tactical Flashlight

With so many options on the market it can be difficult to find the perfect tactical flashlight for you. When you are searching, it is important to consider these things:

  • Brighter is better. You will want an ultra bright flashlight with variable lighting modes and beam distance that way you can control what you are illuminating. 
  • Easy to use. Your flashlight may be the first thing that you will need to grab in an emergency and it needs to be uncomplicated and simple to operate in stressful situations.
  • Comfortable to hold and wield. It is important to make sure that the flashlight feels good in your hands. Proper size and grip is important to ensure you can confidently use your flashlight. When attached to a firearm, it is important that it is mounted correctly and allows for unobstructed sight. 
  • Durable, rugged, and long lasting. Your tactical flashlight should be a tool you can count on in any situation and in any weather condition. You will want to make sure that it is drop and water resistant and has a long battery life with rechargeable batteries, so you will not run out of light when you need it most.
  • All the features that you personally need. Not every tactical flashlight is built equally, and many come with specialized features like variable beams or specialized filters. Determining how you are likely to use your flashlight will also help you decide which features are most important.

Tactical Flashlights at The Hub

Whether you need a flashlight to mount on your firearm, for self-defense, emergencies, outdoor activities, or any other time,  the Hub can help you find the one that fits your needs. 

Visit us today to see our large selection of accessories including tactical flashlights. 

Benefits of Building an AR-15

AR-15s are one of the most popular types of guns in the United States. They are also among the easiest firearms to build. While buying a gun is definitely more convenient, building an AR-15 can be a fun challenge and there are many benefits to going this route.

Some of the benefits of building your own AR-15 include:

Lower Cost

In most cases, it will cost less to get the necessary parts and put them together on your own than it will get a premade gun. This is because of the time that goes into building the gun. You can add premium parts and upgrades and still pay less overall to build your AR-15 compared to buying a similar model. If you don’t want to buy everything at once, you can even build the firearm bit by bit over time. This allows you wait and get the best deal possible for each part.

Relatively Quick Assembly

If you use a complete lower receiver, putting together an AR-15 is usually relatively simple. With practice, many are able to finish a build in less than an hour. It will probably take a little longer the first time, but you still won’t likely need to spend too much on the project.

Fully Customizable

Because manufacturers have standardized the parts that are used for building an AR-15, you can mix and match different options within the same caliber. This allows you to fully customize your gun to match your preferences. Although you can always add accessories or swap parts for a pre-built gun, building your own gives you the ability to make these choices from the start.

Know Your Gun Inside and Out

During the building process, you will become familiar with your weapon. Although it is possible to learn about a gun you buy, building it yourself gives you the opportunity to gain a better understanding of how every part works. This can be useful if the gun ever needs to be repaired.

Pride In Your Craftsmanship

One of the major benefits of building an AR-15 is the pride that comes with knowing that you put your firearm together yourself. Finishing this project can build your confidence and you will have a final product that is customized just for you.

How to Get Started

If you are interested in building your own AR-15, the first step is obtaining the right parts. The lower receiver is the only portion that is legally considered a firearm, so you will need to complete the standard background check required to purchase a gun in Arizona. An 80% lower receiver is not classified as a firearm, but it does require additional tools and time to become functional. If you have any questions, our experts are happy to help.

Purchase Guns and Parts at The Hub

Whether you prefer to buy a fully built AR-15 or put it together yourself, The Hub has everything you need. We are your one-stop gun shop.

Visit us in Tucson or Lakeside to purchase AR-15 parts.

Concealed Carry for Women

Concealed carry can help you feel safe and be prepared for the worst-case scenario. However, it can also be a challenge to find an effective method to conceal your firearm. This is true for both men and women, but women often have unique concerns as many products and techniques are focused on a male body type and a more masculine style of clothing. Luckily, there are a variety of options for women to conceal carry effectively, and you likely won’t need to change your style of dress as much as you may think.

Firearm Placement

The options for where to place your conceal carry holster are similar for men and women. For both, inside the waistband (IWB) is the most common placement for everyday carry. This doesn’t work for every single outfit or body type, but it is a tried and true method that works well for both genders in many circumstances. Over-the-waistband (OWB) carry is fairly similar but tends to work better in cooler months when you can add more layers.

For outfits where IWB or OWB styles are hard to conceal, many women use a belly and or corset holster. These can be harder to access quickly but becomes easier with practice. A thigh holster or concealment shorts may also work in these circumstances. Bra holsters are one option that is uniquely available to women and while there are some safety concerns, this can be a good choice if you are careful about how you draw your firearm.

In addition to options for on-body carry, some women prefer to place their holster in their purse. The benefit of this is that you don’t need to worry about your gun’s outline being visible for certain outfits. However, off-body carry is generally not recommended in most cases. It can be harder to get to your firearm if you need it and your bag could be stolen or get lost.

Dressing for Concealed Carry

Assuming you are carrying on your person, you will need to make sure your gun is not obviously visible under your clothes. The goal is to minimize the gun showing through the clothes (printing) while also strategically distracting the eyes from the location where you keep your firearm. The way you dress is unique to you and as a result, your strategy for concealed carry will also need to be. The best way to find out what works is to try out different outfits, holsters, and carry methods. You shouldn’t need to change your entire wardrobe, but you might find that certain outfits require layering or that you need to use an alternative firearm placement. In addition to seeing how the outfit looks when your gun is holstered, practice drawing the firearm to determine how easy or difficult this is. Over time, you will find options that work best for you.

The Importance of Training

No matter what placement you use or how you dress to conceal your firearm, training is essential. You should be confident in your ability to draw your gun quickly and fire accurately if you ever need to do so, and this confidence is possible only with consistent practice. At The Hub, we have a variety of firearm training options, including concealed carry weapon (CCW) permit classes. Many of our offerings, including the CCW class, have sections that are exclusively open to women.

To learn more about our concealed carry training for women, contact us today.

The Importance of Shooting Ear Protection

Gun safety is an essential part of owning a firearm, and this includes protecting your hearing. Shooting ear protection is important whether you are hunting or at the range. Luckily, there are a variety of options available, ranging from traditional earplugs to advanced electronic earmuffs for hunting. If you are a gun owner, you should know how shooting can affect your ears and take the steps to reduce the possibility of permanent damage.

How Gunfire Can Damage Your Ears

Any sound over 85 decibels (dB) can cause irreversible damage to your hearing, and the louder something is beyond this threshold, the shorter the length of exposure before damage occurs. How loud a gunshot is depends on the caliber of the weapon but the average is between 140 dB and 165 dB. At this level, ear damage can be immediate.

Damage from loud noises occurs because the sound causes rattling in your eardrum as well as the fluid in your inner ear. This fluid moves tiny hair cells that convert the sound into electrical impulses so your brain can process it. When the vibration of a sound is too strong, it can destroy these hair cells, which never grow back. In addition to this, gunshots can also damage the bones in your middle ear, so it’s important to protect not just the ear canal but the full ear when possible.

Shooter’s Ear

There is a characteristic pattern of inner ear damage for those who frequently shoot long guns. Because of the way these guns are held while shooting, the hearing loss is more prominent in the ear opposite from your dominant hand. This may seem counterintuitive, but your shoulder shields the ear on your dominant side from the sound to a certain degree even though this ear is closer to the weapon.

How to Protect Your Hearing While Shooting

At The Range

At an indoor shooting range, sounds are frequently more concentrated. The good news is that since you are in a controlled environment, it’s easier to have more complete hearing protection without compromising your awareness in the process. It’s recommended to use a pair of earmuffs over foam earplugs in order to protect both your ear canal and the bones in your ear. For an outdoor range, sounds may be less intense, but it is still a good idea to use both earplugs and earmuffs to be safe.

While Hunting

While hunting, you will want to preserve your ability to hear the sounds around you clearly while still protecting your ears. If you hunt frequently, you may want to invest in high-tech electronic hearing protection. These devices can enhance your hearing for quieter sounds while muffling the loud noise of a gunshot. For a more affordable option, you can also get earplugs that are worn around your neck when not in use. This allows you to quickly protect your ears before you shoot and then return to normal hearing otherwise.

Purchase Guns and Accessories at The Hub

Our gun shop carries a wide range of firearms and accessories, including hearing and vision protection. We make it easy for you to find everything you need to shoot safely.

Visit us today online or in-store to purchase shooting hearing protection.

Tips for Your First Firing Range Visit

Visiting a firing range allows you to practice your shooting skills and target shooting is helpful for toning muscles like your arms and abs. Besides these benefits, it’s just plain fun. If you’ve never visited a shooting range before, you are likely wondering what to expect. The tips in this article can help you have a fun and safe visit to the firing range.

Ask Questions If You Need To

As a new shooter, you are likely going to have questions and this is completely okay and expected. If you are shooting with a more experienced friend, you should ask them any questions you may have to make sure you fully understand what you should be doing. If you are going to the range alone, you can always ask the Range Safety Officer (RSO). When you arrive, you should let them know that you are a beginner so they are aware of this and can provide you with any assistance you may need. At The Hub, we also have all first-time range visitors watch a safety briefing video that goes over all of the rules in detail.

Protect Your Eyes and Ears

Eye and ear protection are both necessary for a visit to the shooting range. Firearms are loud enough to cause immediate and irreversible damage to your hearing and shooting glasses shield your eyes from any potential hazards. You can either purchase these at our range or bring your own.

Know the Rules of Gun Safety

Safety is essential any time you are handling firearms. If you don’t already know the rules of gun safety, make sure you learn them and keep them in mind at all times.

As a refresher, these are:

  • Treat every gun as though it is loaded, even if you are sure it’s not.
  • Never point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to shoot.
  • Practice trigger discipline by keeping your pointer finger off the trigger and outside of the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
  • Know your target and what is beyond it before firing.

Following these rules helps keep you and everyone else who you are sharing the range with safe.

Follow All RSO Instructions

The RSO is there to make sure everyone visiting the range stays safe. It’s important to show them respect and to follow any and all instructions they give you. In addition to putting your safety at risk, failure to do this will result in your immediate removal from the shooting range.

Some commands you may hear from the RSO include:

Cease Fire

This command is fairly straightforward. If you hear the RSO or anyone else say “cease fire,” stop shooting immediately and do not touch your firearm until you hear the RSO give the “all clear” command.

Commence Fire/Range is Hot

The command to commence fire usually comes after a warning that the range is about to go hot. At this point, it is safe to shoot. Always wait to shoot until you have been told it is okay.

Make Safe/Range is Cold

If you hear this command, you should apply your gun’s safety and do not handle your firearm. This is to make the range area safe for anyone entering. You may also hear the phrase “range is cold” which means that no one should be firing or handling their weapons.

Visit Our Indoor Shooting Range

Both of The Hub’s Arizona gun stores have indoor shooting ranges where you can practice firing. We are a welcoming environment for advanced shooters and beginners alike. We also offer rifle and pistol rentals so you can try a new gun and you can get a discount if you choose to purchase that model after using it on the range.

Visit our firing range today in Tucson or Lakeside.

What is Trigger Discipline?

Following the rules of firearm safety is essential for anyone using a gun. These basic actions can help prevent accidents and you should practice them until they become second-nature. One of these rules is trigger discipline, which is keeping your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to shoot. Instead, your pointer/index finger should rest on the side of the frame. Although it seems simple, trigger discipline can take some training to fully ingrain.

What Does Trigger Discipline Look Like?

When you pick up a gun, draw it from a holster, or move it to point at a target, your index finger should rest on the frame. It should not touch the trigger or enter the trigger guard until you have made a decision to shoot.

A man holding a gun with his finger resting on the frame
An example of good trigger discipline

The photo above shows good trigger discipline. The person has their index finger on the frame of the firearm.

A man failing to exercise trigger discipline and holding a gun with this finger on the trigger
An example of what you should not do while holding a firearm

This photo shows poor trigger discipline. The man’s finger is resting on the trigger, which makes it more likely that he could fire unintentionally.

A man drawing his gun from the holster using trigger discipline
An example of proper trigger discipline when drawing from a holster

This example shows how to properly draw from your holster with safety in mind. Your finger should remain extended at every point as you draw the weapon and aim at the target, up until the moment you decide to pull the trigger.

A man drawing his gun from his holster with his finger on the trigger, an example of unsafe gun handling
An example of unsafe pointer finger placement when drawing from a holster

In the photo above, the man is not practicing trigger discipline. His finger is on the trigger as he removes the gun from the holster.

Why is Trigger Discipline Important?

Some people question the importance of trigger discipline because if you are following the other gun safety rules, you won’t have your muzzle pointed at anything unless you are ready to shoot. However, this line of thinking does not account for the rapidly-changing situations that can occur if you are using your weapon in a real-world tactical environment. For example, if you are using your gun for self-defense, an innocent bystander may move in front of the target. If your finger is in the trigger guard, you are likely going to move it unconsciously and could fire your weapon without meaning to. When your pointer finger is resting on the frame, you have time to make a decision to move it and fire, which requires you to evaluate the situation more carefully.

Why is Trigger Discipline Sometimes Difficult for Beginners?

The concept of trigger discipline seems very simple in theory, but it can be difficult for those who are new to firearms to get the hang of it. This is because the most natural way to hold an object is with all four of your fingers and your thumb wrapped around it. For good trigger discipline, you need to override that impulse and keep the pointer finger extended. The best way to develop this habit is to practice until it is automatic for you to keep your finger out of the trigger guard any time you hold a gun.

Practicing Safe Gun Handling

Dry fire practice can be a great way to reinforce trigger discipline, especially when it comes to drawing from a holster. All you need to do is remove your unloaded gun from the holster, paying attention to your finger position as you do so, and aim at a target. Firearms training can also be beneficial and in this setting, you will have an expert who can alert you if you are putting your index finger in the trigger guard without realizing it.

Gun Safety Training at The Hub

At The Hub, we offer one-on-one training as well as concealed carry weapon (CCW) classes to help you learn more about gun safety. Our Lakeside location offers a variety of other classes and both locations have indoor gun ranges to practice target shooting. In Tucson, our MILO virtual-reality simulator is a great option for improving your decision-making using realistic self-defense scenarios.

The Hub is your source for all things gun-related. Visit us today at either of our Arizona gun stores.

How to Get Started in Competitive Shooting

Trying out something new can be scary at first, especially if it’s something related to the use of firearms. However, it can also be exciting and with a little bit of planning and research, you can get started in competitive shooting relatively easily.

Here are few basic things you will need to learn:

What to Purchase

Competitive Shooting Pistol

Of course, you will need to have a gun if you want to start competitive shooting. There are many factors to consider when choosing a pistol for this purpose. For example, you should consider the match you are interested in, the capacity, and how easy it is to find a matching holster. To start, you can use any reliable pistol that you personally like and 9mm is the most common competitive shooting caliber.

Holster

If you want to start competitive shooting, you may be tempted to buy a lot of equipment. However, you typically don’t need much to start with besides your pistol and a good holster. Before choosing a holster, you should know that some can be dangerous. These include nylon holsters, which are often difficult to operate. In addition, many competitions do not permit Blackhawk SERPA. Finally, holsters with leather inside the waistband tend to collapse when the pistol is removed, and this might be dangerous for a beginner.

Safety Equipment

In addition to your gun and holster, you will need eye protection. This is required both for shooters and for anyone else attending the match. There are several different types of eye protection, and they come at different prices. You do not have to get the most expensive ones to get the best protection. Ear protection is also necessary as gunshots can be loud enough to cause immediate and irreversible damage to your hearing.

What to Know

Competitive Shooting Safety

Safety is the most critical aspect of any shooting competition. It is important to follow all the rules of the range where the competition is being held. You will need to keep your pistol unloaded and holstered until a range officer tells you otherwise. If you are ever unsure of what to do, it can be helpful to have someone with you who is more familiar with competitive shooting. It’s expected that you won’t know everything and might feel a bit lost, but you need to make sure that you keep safety in mind at all times.

One of the most essential things to know is that if the range officer tells you to “stop” or “cease fire” at any point, you need to immediately stop what you are doing and wait for further instruction.

Know How to Run Your Pistol

If you don’t know how to use your pistol, you probably won’t have much fun at the competition. More importantly, you may be creating a situation that can be dangerous to yourself and others. You should know the basics of pistol operation including how to load and unload your weapon and how to clear malfunctions.

Your First Shooting Competition

After you have finished preparing, you can attend your first match. How this looks differs slightly depending on the range that is holding the competition, but the basic steps are usually pretty similar. There is generally a scorecard that you turn in to a scorekeeper at the beginning of the match or stage. This will determine the order in which contestants will shoot. As a beginner, it is a good idea to ask if the scorekeeper can put you at the end of the shooting order so you have a chance to watch others first and get a better idea of what to do.

When your name is called, you should approach the firing line. The range officer will ask you if you understand the course of fire and if you do not, you should ask any questions you have at this time. Once you confirm that you understand, the officer will tell you to “load and make ready” or simply “make ready.” At this point, you are allowed to remove your pistol from the holster, load a magazine, chamber a round, and place the gun back in your holster. The officer will then ask if you are ready and when you confirm, they will set a timer and you will hear a “beep” sound when it is time to start shooting.

After you finish running the course of fire, the range officer will give a command such as “slide, hammer, and holster.” This means you need to drop the slide, dry fire your gun in a safe direction to confirm it is unloaded, and then place it back in your holster.

Get Started at The Hub

At the Hub, you can find everything you need for shooting competitions, including high-quality pistols and holsters.

Visit us today to browse our selection of competitive shooting supplies.

The Basics of Dry Fire Practice

Like any skill, shooting requires practice. However, you may not be able to make it to the range as often as you would like or might want to try to reduce the cost of training by lowering the amount of ammunition you are using. One way to improve your shooting skills at home is with dry fire practice. This is when you go through the motions of firing your weapon without using any live ammunition. When done safely, this can be a great supplement to time at the shooting range.

Dry Fire Practice Safety

When done properly, dry fire practice is a safe way to train without actually discharging your weapon. However, safety is essential to make sure you do not harm yourself or others. Before dry fire training, you need to make sure your gun is unloaded. Double and triple check this before you begin. Using a chamber flag, which visually marks the gun as unloaded, is often a good idea. It’s also recommended that you store ammunition away from where you are practicing.

Even after you verify that the weapon is unloaded, continue to follow all of the rules of gun safety. If you don’t know these already, refer to our article “Essential Gun Safety Rules.” This means you shouldn’t point your gun at anyone else and should practice trigger discipline. Set up a target and only aim at this area. This may seem excessive when you have just made sure the gun has no ammunition, but it’s important to make sure you don’t develop any bad habits. It should be second nature to follow these safety rules any time you handle a firearm.

Why is Dry Fire Practice Helpful?

Actually shooting your gun is essential for perfecting your skills and this should not be overlooked. However, there are many reasons why including dry fire in your practice schedule can be helpful.

Some of the benefits of dry fire training include:

  • Dry firing is great for learning fundamental skills and developing muscle memory before you even start shooting with live ammunition.
  • It’s easy to make dry fire practice a part of your routine and this allows you to train more continually than you may do otherwise.
  • You don’t need to leave your home.
  • You won’t use ammunition, which is cost-effective and can be helpful if a shortage makes it harder to find the ammo you need, as was the case for much of 2020.
  • There are some circumstances where you may be unable to go to the range and dry firing can help prevent degradation of your skills during this time. One example is pregnancy and many women find dry fire practice to be a helpful alternative to actual shooting.

Dry Fire Drills

Basic Dry Fire Practice

The most basic dry fire drill is simply going through the motions of aiming and firing. Do this slowly and focus on getting every detail correct. Speed takes time and it’s important to build your foundational skills first. Align the sights with your target, pull the trigger, and make sure the sights stay on the target.

Firing with a Coin

Place a coin or another small object on the front sight of your firearm. Practice gripping the gun and pulling the trigger. The coin should stay balanced on the gun during this entire process. If it falls, you need to perfect your trigger control and grip.

Drawing from the Holster

In a self-defense situation, you may need to draw your firearm from a concealed carry holster. You should be able to clear away any clothing that is blocking your holster, draw the gun, aim, and fire quickly and accurately. Dry fire allows you to practice these steps safely and build muscle memory.

Combining Different Types of Practice

The best way to improve your skills is to use multiple different methods of training. At The Hub, we have a wide variety of resources whether you are a new gun owner or an experienced shooter. Both locations (Tucson and Lakeside) offer concealed carry weapon (CCW) courses and each shop has an indoor shooting range. In Lakeside, we also offer 101 and advanced classes. Our Tucson location has a MILO virtual range for practicing quick decision-making and we can also schedule one-on-one firearms training.

Visit The Hub today for our shooting range, MILO simulator, and firearms training.

Direct Impingement vs Gas Piston

AR-15 rifles are highly customizable and whether you are building your own or purchasing one, there are many different choices you will need to make. One is which operating system to use: direct impingement vs gas piston. This is a hotly-debated topic among AR-15 owners. It can be helpful to know some of the basics of how these operating systems work and the differences between them before making a decision.

Direct Impingement

How a Direct Impingement Operating System Works

When a shooter pulls the trigger of a gun, the firing pin strikes the primer of the cartridge. This causes a controlled explosion which propels the bullet down the chamber and out of the gun. In a direct impingement operating system, the gas that this explosion generates is guided into a gas tube and is directed to the bolt carrier gas key. The gas then moves into the expansion chamber where it (as the name implies) expands and pushes the bolt carrier back. The gun then ejects the spent cartridge and a new round is loaded into the chamber.

Benefits of Direct Impingement

  • Direct impingement guns are often better-suited to use with a suppressor.
  • This operating system is more common for AR-15s and parts are typically standardized across different manufacturers. This makes direct impingement AR-15s easier to repair and maintain.
  • Many shooters find direct impingement AR-15s to be more accurate. This is because the system limits the recoil more effectively, although this may not be noticeable in all cases.

Downsides of Direct Impingement

  • Direct impingement operating systems heat up the bolt carrier group, which can be more likely to result in malfunctions. You will also need to let the bolt carrier cool down before removing it.
  • Gas ports into the interior of the rifle, which creates more build-up in the gun and requires more frequent cleaning. This is one of the main reasons some gun owners prefer gas piston AR-15s.

Gas Piston

How A Gas Piston Operating System Works

A gas piston system is fairly similar to direct impingement in that the force of the gas pushes the bolt carrier back to cycle a new round into the chamber. The difference is that a gas piston system works by forcing gas into a separate cylinder rather than using a gas tube. This cylinder contains a piston and the gas pushes this piston back, which then pushes the bolt carrier. This is in contrast to direct impingement where the bolt carrier is moved directly by the gas. The gas expels away from the shooter just above the gas block.

Benefits of Gas Piston

  • Since gas does not port back into the gun, it stays cleaner for longer.
  • Gas piston bolt carrier groups do not heat up as much as those in direct impingement systems.

Downsides of Gas Piston

  • Gas piston AR-15s are heavier and have a stronger recoil. As a result, they can be slightly less accurate.
  • Many gas piston operating systems are proprietary to the manufacturer, which makes it harder to find replacement parts if necessary.
  • A piston-driven AR-15 will usually be more expensive than one that uses direct impingement.

Direct Impingement vs Gas Piston: Which is Better?

At the end of the day, direct impingement and gas piston operating systems both have their pros and cons. If you aren’t sure which you would prefer, you can try a few different types out at our shooting range. It’s also possible to switch out the upper receiver on an AR-15 so you can alternate between direct impingement and gas piston operating systems.

Whether you are interested in direct impingement or gas piston, you can find AR-15-style rifles at The Hub.

Clip vs Magazine

There are many different gun terms that can be confusing if you are new to firearms. One distinction to be aware of is clip vs magazine. It’s fairly common for those who are not very familiar with guns to confuse these two and use the wrong word for what they are trying to describe. This can be embarrassing and it’s helpful to know the right terminology.

The Basic Difference Between a Clip and a Magazine

A gun clip vs magazine

Clips and magazines are both used for loading a gun, but they serve different purposes. A clip holds cartridges together to make them easier to load into the magazine. You can also use a clip to load a cylinder. The magazine feeds rounds into the firearm’s chamber during shooting. In the image above, the part on the left is a clip and the part on the right is a magazine. There are different varieties of clips and magazines that may look different than this example. In general, magazines are referenced more often. This is because all guns besides revolvers or single-shot firearms have a magazine. Conversely, clips are not necessary for the operation of firearms and not all models use them.

Types of Clips

Stripper Clip

A stripper clip is the most common variety and loads a magazine from the top. The “strip” on the side holds the ammunition and allows you to easily push the rounds into the magazine. The cartridges are removed from the clip as they are loaded and the clip itself does not go into the magazine.

En Bloc Clip

En bloc clips are associated with the historic M1 Garand rifles used by the United States during World War II. Unlike stripper clips, these are inserted into the magazine and are the reason M1 Garands make a distinct “ping” sound when they run out of ammunition.

Half-Moon/Moon Clips

These clips are in the shape of a circle or half circle and are used for loading revolvers. They position the ammunition so that it easier to place in the cylinder.

Types of Magazines

Detachable Magazine

A detachable magazine is designed so that it can be loaded and then inserted into the firearm when it is ready for use. These are incredibly common and are used for a wide variety of guns.

Internal Magazine

An internal magazine, also called an integral box magazine, is usually found on bolt-action rifles or older semi-automatic rifles. It is built into the firearm and is not meant to be removed. You load these magazines from the top.

Tubular Magazine

A tubular magazine is fixed to a gun, usually under the barrel, and is common for 22-caliber rifles, lever-action rifles, and shotguns. Rounds need to be loaded one at a time.

Guns and Accessories at The Hub

The Hub offers a large selection of firearms and accessories, including clips and magazines.

Visit either of our Arizona gun stores today.

What is a Carbine?

If you are new to the world of firearms, understanding the different types of guns can be a bit overwhelming at first. Carbines are one variety that is often defined imprecisely or inaccurately. A carbine is a type of rifle and is often, although not always, a shortened version of an existing model. This basic definition is enough to know what people are referring to when they mention carbines. However, like almost any firearm-related term, there are more nuances to consider to fully understand this type of weapon.

Carbine vs Rifle

People often mention carbines and rifles together. The question of how these two are different can be a source of confusion. A carbine is actually a specific type of rifle. Compared to a standard rifle, a carbine is generally shorter and easier to handle. If the carbine is a shorter version of an existing rifle, it will often have the same caliber. However, this is not always the case.

It can sometimes be difficult to determine which rifles are carbines and at the end of the day, there isn’t one definition that works in all cases. For the most part, a rifle with a barrel shorter than 20 inches can be called a carbine. If the barrel length is less than 16 inches, it is also a short-barreled rifle (SBR) and is regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA).

History of Carbines

The word “carbine” comes from the French word “carabinier,” which means “rifleman.” The first use of the word carabinier was describing the Battle of Neerwinden in 1693. At this time, the soldiers would have been using longer muskets. However, these were harder to use on horseback. As a result, a shorter, more lightweight rifle was created. Advancements in technology allowed these shorter guns to become more accurate over time. Today, the military uses carbines such as the M4 for close-quarters combat.

Pistol Caliber Carbines

Pistol caliber carbines (PCCs) are a subcategory of this type of gun and are semi-automatic lightweight rifles chambered for pistol cartridges. Experts believe that PCCs originated in the American Wild West. Cowboys and lawmen would often carry a lightweight rifle and a revolver that used the same caliber of ammunition, which was more efficient. Many modern PCCs are based on the AR-15 design. The main benefit is that these can be easier to control and have less recoil than rifle calibers, although whether or not any individual would benefit from a PCC will depend on how they use it and their personal preferences.

Carbines and Training at The Hub

At The Hub, we offer a wide variety of firearms including carbines. If you are interested in learning more about how to handle this type of gun, our Lakeside location offers an AR 101/Intro to Carbines course.

Visit us at either of our Arizona gun stores to browse our selection of carbines and other guns.

Semi-Automatic vs Automatic

There are many different types of guns and each variety is different. One factor to be aware of is the action mechanism, which is how the weapon reloads after firing. The mechanism that is most common for modern firearms is semi-automatic. Although this may be compared to automatic guns, they are two different types of mechanisms and work differently.

How Semi-Automatic Guns Work

A firearm is semi-automatic if a bullet automatically reloads and if the gun only fires once per trigger pull. There are two main ways a gun can reload automatically. The first is by using the force of the recoil. The “blowback” sends the barrel back rapidly, which ejects the spent cartridge and loads a new one. This mechanism is most often used for smaller calibers and is common for pistols, although variations such as delayed blowback can be used for more high-powered firearms.

A gas operation mechanism uses a portion of the gases that the gun generates while firing to cycle a new cartridge into the chamber. A well-known example of this is the AR-15 model, which uses gas impingement. After firing, the gases flow through a tube into a gas block, which then transfers the gas to a bolt key in order to cycle the action. Other types of gas operation include long-stroke piston and short-stroke piston.

Semi-Automatic vs Automatic

Semi-automatics and automatics both automatically reload after firing. However, they are not the same thing. The difference is a semi-auto gun will fire only once for each pull of the trigger. A fully-automatic gun will continue to fire as long as the trigger is held. Semi-automatic firearms are fairly common. Fully-automatic machine guns, on the other hand, are more difficult to obtain. These are usually collector’s pieces and there are many regulations for owning one.

If you want to experience the difference between semi-auto and full-auto shooting for yourself, you can rent an automatic MP5 variant at our Tucson shooting range.

Other Types of Mechanisms

Some guns are neither semi-automatic nor automatic. For example, revolvers rotate to line each cartridge up with the chamber. The rotation of the cylinder and the firing of the weapon are two separate processes, even though double-action revolvers accomplish both during the trigger pull, so these guns are not semi-automatic. Most shotguns are also not semi-automatic and use a pump-action mechanism for firing. However, some modern shotguns are semi-auto.

Semi-Automatic Firearms at The Hub

At The Hub, we have a large selection of guns to choose from.

Visit us today to purchase a modern semi-automatic firearm.

Why You Should Get a Magazine Loader

There are many types of accessories that can make using your firearm easier. One example is a magazine loader. This device, also called a magazine speed loader or magloader, makes loading your gun a quicker and simpler process and is beneficial to use at the range.

Here are some reasons you should consider getting a magazine loader:

Saves Time

It can take a long time to load your magazine by hand. This can be frustrating if you are in “the zone” at the range and have to stop to reload. Even if you have extra magazines available, you will still need to take the time at some point to reload them. A magazine loader makes this process faster and saves you time.

Easier on Your Fingers

Loading ammunition into your magazine can take a toll on your fingers, especially if you are doing a lot of shooting. Over time, you may start to develop calluses, which will make it a little easier. However, it can be painful until then. A magazine loader means you don’t have to do this manual labor.

Helps Prevent Jamming

If you’re loading a lot of ammunition, it’s easy to misload a round or two, which can lead to jamming or other malfunctions. A magloader helps prevent this from happening because it accurately loads the ammunition into your magazine.

Downsides of Magazine Loaders

For the most part, the only downside to a magazine loader is that it is an extra piece of equipment that you need to keep track of. This can make it less practical for hunting, especially if you use a heavier or bulkier device. However, you can always load your magazines by hand for some circumstances and use a magloader for others. As with any other accessory, the main determination for whether you should get a speed loader is whether or not you personally find it helpful.

Choosing the Best Magloader

When choosing a magazine loader, it’s important to make sure it is compatible with your firearm. The device will list which models it works with. Many are universal for a certain type of gun (such as AR-15-style models), but you should always double-check. You should also consider what is most essential to you. Is speed a key factor, or is it more important that the loader be portable? Some devices are designed to be used on a flat surface, which may be less practical for hunting, so this is another element to be mindful of. If you have questions about any of this or aren’t sure where to start, the friendly gun experts at The Hub can help. You can also find reviews online for the types of loaders you are considering to see what other gun owners think and what their experience has been.

Where to Purchase a Magazine Speed Loader

At The Hub, we have an extensive selection of firearms and accessories, including magazine loaders. You can browse these options online or visit us in Tucson or Lakeside.

Purchase a magazine loader today.

Traditional vs MILO Range Benefits

At The Hub’s Tucson location, we have a traditional indoor shooting range and a virtual-reality MILO Range. Both of these are great for practicing your skills. Depending on which range you visit, you can enjoy many different benefits.

Indoor Shooting Range

Our indoor gun range has two lanes and you can bring your own firearm or rent one of ours.

Some of the benefits of visiting our traditional range include:

Practice Using Your Gun

You should know how to use any firearms you own. If you are using your gun for home defense or concealed carry, it’s a good idea to be as familiar as possible with its operation. Visiting our shooting range allows you to practice shooting your weapon accurately.

Physical Health

Shooting engages your core and arm muscles while also helping to improve your stamina. Time at the range is also a great way to reduce stress, which can improve your health and overall wellbeing.

Try Before You Buy

If you are considering buying a new firearm, it can be incredibly helpful to try it out first. The Hub allows you to rent various different models at our indoor range. You’ll even get a discount of $15 off if you purchase a gun after renting it.

MILO Range

Our MILO virtual-reality simulator projects high-quality video scenarios onto a screen and you use a laser gun to interact with the simulation. The outcome will depend on the decisions you make and there are a variety of different scenarios available to try.

Some of the benefits of visiting our MILO Range include:

Real-Life Situations

While a traditional range is great for target practice, it does not present a realistic situation for self-defense. MILO simulations are designed to reflect actual scenarios where you might need to use your firearm. This helps you prepare for the quick decisions you could need to make in an emergency.

Professional-Grade Training

Law enforcement agencies and military units worldwide use the MILO Range to provide safe and realistic training. This means that when you use this training simulator, you have the benefit of state-of-the-art technology and scenarios that are designed to provide the highest level of realism and tactical benefits.

Supervised Practice

When you book a training session, a Hub Simulator Safety Officer (HSSO) will help tailor your time at the range to your needs. They will also look for factors that you can focus on to improve your skills and become more prepared for worst-case scenarios.

Book Time

Our traditional range and our MILO simulator are both beneficial for your tactical training. You can book time at either one by contacting us. If you would like to further hone your skills, we also offer training and concealed carry weapon (CCW) classes.

Contact The Hub today to schedule time at our physical shooting range or MILO simulator.<

Choosing the Right Holster

If you are purchasing a gun for concealed carry, you should have a holster to go with it. This is usually a better choice than a bag because it is easier to draw your firearm quickly while also preventing others from gaining access to your weapon. A holster is an essential gun accessory and it’s important to choose the best one for your needs. A high-quality option is more comfortable, safer, and can make a big difference if you ever need to use your gun to defend yourself.

Some qualities to look for in a concealed carry holster:

Comfortable

Since you will likely be wearing the holster for long periods of time, it’s important that it feels comfortable. Otherwise, you may end up fidgeting or adjusting it during the day, which can make it obvious that you are carrying a firearm. This can not only make others uncomfortable but can also be a safety risk. It’s a good idea to test your holster in a variety of situations including sitting, standing, driving, walking, et cetera. This helps make sure that it feels right for you.

Keeps Your Gun Securely in Place

If your gun moves around throughout the day, it might be in a different position than it should be if you need to use it. Your firearm should always stay in the same position. Additionally, it’s important that the weapon is not at risk of falling out when you are going about your day-to-day activities. It should also be secure enough to stay in place even if you are running or fighting off an attacker.

A good way to test this is to place an unloaded gun into a potential holster. (Make absolutely sure the gun is unloaded. You should check this yourself and never assume a firearm is unloaded unless you have personally verified this fact.) Then, wear the holster as you would normally. Jump up and down and make sure the firearm stays in place. You can also put the unloaded gun in the holster and then hold it upside down to make sure the weapon remains secure.

Concealable

A concealed carry weapon should be hidden unless you need it, so it’s important that a holster does not stand out. Try using a potential holster as you would normally with the clothing you typically wear. If you can clearly see the gun, then you may need a different style of holster.

Drawing From the Holster

In a self-defense situation, you should be able to quickly and easily draw your weapon. This will partially depend on the holster itself, so the design and placement should feel natural. However, even the best holster and the perfect concealed handgun are not going to be beneficial if you do not know how to use them. The Hub offers firearms training that will help you hone your skills and prepare for the worst-case scenario. We also offer concealed carry weapon (CCW) permit classes.

Purchase a Holster at The Hub

You can purchase a concealed carry holster and other accessories at The Hub. Our gun experts are happy to help you find the best fit for your needs.

Visit us online or at either of our Arizona gun stores to browse our selection of holsters.

Common Types of Gun Accessories

In addition to purchasing a firearm, you may want to consider gun accessories. There are many different options available and this can be overwhelming, especially if you are a first-time gun owner. At The Hub, we are here to help. You can always ask our staff about any accessories you are considering or which accessories might be helpful for your firearm(s).

Here are some of the most common types of gun accessories you may want to consider:

Gun Holsters

If you are purchasing a handgun for concealed carry, you should have a holster to go with it. This allows you to keep your firearm safely on your person. Holsters are usually a better option than bags because it is harder for a criminal to gain access to your gun if it is holstered.

Slings

For long guns, it’s incredibly beneficial to have a sling if you are going to be hunting. The most important factor in finding the right rifle sling is making sure that it is comfortable to use. As with any gun accessory, usability should be your primary focus.

Gun Cleaning Kits

Cleaning your gun is important to keep it functioning properly. Purchasing a kit makes it easier to have all the necessary cleaning supplies available when you need them. You can also buy everything you need separately, depending on your preference.

Tactical Flashlights

If you are using your gun for home defense, it is very important that you are able to quickly illuminate the area if an attack occurs at night. You can either keep a tactical flashlight in the same place as your weapon or you can purchase a flashlight that attaches to your firearm.

Scopes

Rifle scopes are essential for hunting and there are many different varieties available. In general, it’s a good idea to start with something simple so you know you will be able to use it effectively. As you become more experienced, there are many high-tech options such as night-vision scopes or scopes with attached strobe lights.

Magazine Loaders

A magazine loader can make your life easier and save you time when reloading your gun. This is a great accessory to have available for the sake of convenience, although it is not strictly necessary for functionality.

Suppressors

Suppressors, also called silencers, are more regulated than most other types of gun accessories since they fall under the National Firearms Act (NFA). However, they can be incredibly useful and may be worth the additional effort depending on your specific needs. These accessories muffle the sound of a gunshot, which can reduce damage to your ears if you need to fire your gun in an emergency without ear protection.

Purchasing Gun Accessories at The Hub

At The Hub, our gun experts are happy to discuss which accessories are best for your needs. No question is too complex or too basic for us to help you with.

Where to Buy

You can browse our wide selection of accessories at our Tucson and Lakeside gun stores. You can also visit our online shop.

Purchase gun accessories from The Hub today.

Buying a Gun in Arizona

If you are buying a gun in Arizona for the first time, you may be wondering what to expect. At The Hub, we strive to provide an ideal environment for both experts and new firearm owners. This means that if you have questions about purchasing your first gun, we are here to help. However, please note that we cannot offer legal advice. The information in this article is for educational purposes only and while we can answer general questions, we cannot give specific advice about local or federal gun laws.

Can You Own a Gun in Arizona?

State laws in Arizona outline who can and cannot purchase a firearm. However, federal laws still apply when buying a gun from a federally-licensed dealer. One case where this is relevant is if you are between 18 and 21 years of age. In Arizona, laws are the same for handguns and long guns, and you can own either type of gun if you are 18 or older. However, on a federal level, you must be over 21 to buy a handgun but can purchase a long gun once you turn 18. This means that when buying from a gun shop in Arizona, you must be 21 years or older to purchase a handgun and 18 years or older to purchase a long gun. You must also be over 21 to purchase any type of ammunition.

In addition to meeting age requirements, you must provide a valid driver’s license (additional restrictions apply if you are not an Arizona resident). You also must not be a prohibited possessor as these individuals may not own firearms. As with age, both federal and state laws apply when purchasing from a federally-licensed gun dealer.

The following disqualify you from buying a gun in Arizona:

  • A court has legally declared you a danger to yourself or others or mentally incompetent.
  • You have been convicted of a felony or are on probation or parole.
  • You are not a legal resident of the United States. Some exceptions do apply for special cases, such as diplomats.

The following disqualify you on a federal level, in addition to the factors listed above:

  • You are currently facing felony charges.
  • You were discharged from the military under dishonorable conditions.
  • There is currently a court order restraining you from stalking, harassing, or threatening an intimate partner or their child.
  • You have one or more convictions for domestic violence (including misdemeanors).
  • You are an unlawful user of any controlled substance. Note that this does include marijuana and even if you have a medical marijuana card, you are still considered an unlawful user under federal law and may not possess a firearm.

Purchasing a Firearm

When you purchase a firearm in Arizona from a licensed store, you will need to undergo a background check, unless you possess a valid concealed carry weapons (CCW) permit. This process is relatively quick. You will need to fill out a form and then the gun shop will run your driver’s license through an FBI system. Intentionally providing false information on this form is a federal felony.

There are three possible results: approved, denied, and delayed. If you are approved, you simply pay for your firearm and the process is complete. In the case of denial, you will not be able to purchase the gun. If you feel you were denied in error or do not understand why you were disqualified, you can contact a lawyer for assistance. A delayed result indicates that there are factors that require further investigation. This is usually resolved within three business days.

NFA-Controlled Items

Items that are regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA) have additional regulations. This includes short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns, and suppressors. If you are purchasing any of these, you will need to register it with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The Hub specializes in NFA-controlled items and we are happy to go over how this process works.

Purchase a Gun at The Hub

If you are buying a gun in Tucson or Lakeside, visit The Hub and check out our extensive selection.

Full Metal Jacket vs Hollow-Point Bullets

There are many different types of ammunition and choosing the right kind is essential. In addition to ensuring they are the proper caliber, you will need to pick a type of bullet that fits your needs. This is usually either full metal jacket (also called FMJ) or hollow-point bullets. Both of these varieties of ammo are suited for different purposes. You should understand how they work and when to use them.

Bullet Basics

To understand the difference between full metal jacket and hollow-point bullets, you should first have a basic idea of how ammunition works. While you may hear people refer to the ammunition you load into a gun as “bullets,” the bullet is actually only one part of the ammo. The whole unit is called a cartridge.

The parts of a cartridge are:

  • Primer: This is a small piece of metal that a gun’s firing pin strikes. The impact creates a spark.
  • Gunpowder: After the firing pin strikes the primer, the resulting spark ignites the gunpowder. The gas produced by this explosion propels the bullet.
  • Bullet: The bullet is the portion that leaves the barrel of a gun and strikes the target.
  • Casing: The casing is the metal that encloses the whole cartridge. It is ejected from the firearm.

The size of the bullet determines the caliber and this is also the part that differs between FMJ and hollow-point ammunition.

FMJ Bullets

A full metal jacket bullet has a soft lead core with a shell around it that is made from a harder metal. This type of ammunition was invented in 1882 by Swiss Colonel Eduard Rubin to prevent the deformation of bullets during loading and shooting and reduce lead build-up in the barrel. FMJ ammunition is less expensive and you may not need to clean your gun as frequently when using it. However, since these bullets do not expand in soft tissue, they often pass right through their targets. This makes them a poor choice for self-defense because they have diminished stopping power. You also need to be aware of what is behind any target you shoot when using full metal jacket bullets.

Hollow-Point Bullets

Hollow-point ammunition has the tip of the bullet hollowed out. As a result, it will expand when it makes contact with a target. The metal mushrooms out and creates a larger wound cavity inside the target. This is more likely to stop an attacker in the case of self-defense or to take down an animal in the case of hunting. Unlike FMJ ammo, hollow-point bullets get stuck within soft tissue and are unlikely to cause damage by coming out the other side and striking an unintended target.

Which Type of Bullet Should You Use?

In general, we recommend using FMJ bullets for training only. The low cost of full metal jacket ammunition does make it a good choice for the shooting range. However, they are less effective for hunting or self-defense and introduce additional safety concerns if they move through your intended target. Hollow-point bullets are usually the best choice for these applications.

Firearm Training at The Hub

At The Hub, we offer private training and concealed carry weapon (CCW) classes where you can learn more about how to use your weapon. You can also purchase ammunition at either of our two Arizona gun stores or online. Our experts are happy to help if you have any questions about which type of bullet is best for your needs.

Visit us today to purchase FMJ or hollow-point bullets.

 

 

All About the MP5

The Heckler & Koch MP5, known as the Maschinenpistole 5 in German, is one of the most commonly used submachine guns in the World. There are more than 100 variations of this model, including fully-automatic and semi-automatic versions.

Learn more about the MP5:

Heckler & Koch

The history of Heckler & Koch began after World War II when the German town where the company is located (Oberndorf) was under French control. The town had a factory for Mauser, a German arms manufacturer. The French occupying forces destroyed the factory in 1948. Three former Mauser engineers (Edmund Heckler, Theodor Koch, and Alex Seidel) started Engineering Office Heckler & Co, a machine tool plant, in the vacant factory. They changed their name to Heckler & Koch in December 1949.

In 1956, the government of West Germany requested proposals for a new infantry rifle. In response, Heckler & Koch designed the G3 Battle Rifle, which was based on a rifle produced by the Spanish armaments manufacturer Centro de Estudios Tecnicos de Materiales Especiales (CETME). The G3 became the standard rifle of the Bundeswehr (German Federal Army) in 1959.

History of the MP5

After Hecker & Koch’s success in designing the G3 automatic rifle, they created a variety of different small arms based on this model starting in 1964. The MP5 was chambered for the 9x19mm Parabellum pistol cartridge and was originally called the HK54. In 1966, the German Federal Police adopted the firearm. Throughout the late 1960s and 1970s, Heckler & Koch continued to develop variations of this design for different uses.

The MP5 became widely known in 1980 due to its use by the British Special Air Service (SAS) during Operation Nimrod. This occurred after six terrorists stormed the Iranian Embassy in London and took 26 individuals hostage. The SAS raid, which lasted 17 minutes, was televised and viewed by millions of people in the United Kingdom. It became a defining moment in British history and brought increased attention to both the British SAS and the MP5.

In the United States, the MP5 was a mainstay of special weapons and tactics (SWAT) teams until the 1990s. At this point, many teams began to replace it with more modern 5.56 carbines. However, many police forces around the world still use the MP5.

MP5 Variants

There are many different versions of the MP5 design. One of the most well-known is the MP5K. The K stands for “kurz,” the German word for “short,” because the MP5K is a shortened, machine pistol variant of the MP5. It was designed for close-quarters combat, weighs approximately 4.4 pounds, and is 13 inches long.

Some other MP5 variants include:

  • MP5A1: This was the first model to have a slimline handguard and ring front sight. It does not have a buttstock.
  • MP5A2: This version has a fixed buttstock.
  • MP5SD: Heckler & Koch introduced the MP5SD in 1974. It has a built-in suppressor and the Green Berets used this weapon during the Vietnam War.
  • HK94: This was the original American import of the MP5. It was designed for civilian use and had an SF (safe/semi-automatic) trigger group.

Fire an Automatic Gun at The Hub

At The Hub, you can shoot a fully-automatic Heckler & Koch machine gun in a safe environment. The experience of shooting a full-auto firearm is unforgettable.

Visit our shooting range today to fire an automatic firearm.

Why Firearms Training is Helpful

Whether you are a new gun owner or an experienced shooter, firearms training can be beneficial. During a training session, you will learn valuable skills that will improve your marksmanship and the handling of your weapon. This will be conducted under the supervision of an experienced instructor. The Hub in Tucson now offers Handgun 101 classes as well as Skill Builders. These are in addition to our concealed carry weapon (CCW) classes and our multiple firearms training courses that are available at our Lakeside location.

Here are some of the benefits of handgun training:

For Beginners

Supervised Hands-On Learning

Reading articles online and watching videos can help you get an idea of some basic shooting techniques. However, it’s difficult to learn effectively without an expert to guide you. During a training session, you get real-time feedback and tips for how to use your handgun.

Gun Safety

Safe handling is absolutely essential and working with an expert means you can be sure you are learning how to safely operate your weapon. Learning and following gun safety rules is an important step to being a responsible gun owner.

Build a Strong Foundation

Mastering the basics creates a strong foundation that will continue to benefit you. Every skill builds on what you’ve already learned. Taking a Handgun 101 class ensures that you are starting your journey as a gun owner with a solid grasp of the essential skills.

For Experienced Shooters

Tailored to You

The Hub’s handgun training sessions are one-on-one. This allows us to adapt the training to your skill level and move at your pace. Our tips and exercises are based on your specific goals so you get the maximum benefit.

Develop Valuable Skills

We can cover a variety of topics in our Skill Builders.

These include:

  • Pistol-mounted optics
  • Concealed carry and drawing from a holster
  • Advanced pistol manipulation
  • One hand and off hand training

Tests and Drills

Once you have worked on developing a skill, we can help you evaluate your performance with tests and drills. These can cover reloading, shooting, and other aspects of using your handgun and can be based on time or score. After you complete the drill, we will give you some tips on how you can improve.

Handgun Training at The Hub

If you are ready to take your skills to the next level, The Hub can help. Our Handgun 101 classes and Skill Builders are both one-on-one and can be scheduled any time the store and range are open, depending on instructor availability. Since you work directly with the instructor, you can move at your own pace and won’t be slowed down to accommodate anyone else. All of our focus and attention is on you during these sessions. Whether you are training for self-defense or hunting, our training teaches you the skills you need.

To schedule firearms training, contact us today.

How Night Vision for Scopes Works

Scopes are an important firearm accessory for hunters and additional features can help you get the most benefit out of your optics. Night vision for scopes is one example. This technology allows you to see more clearly in low light conditions and is essential for night hunting.

Here is how night vision works:

Traditional Optoelectronic Image Enhancement

Older scopes use optoelectronic image enhancement and the technology in newer night vision scopes is also based on this traditional method.

The way it works is that light enters the scope through the objective lens. This captures both visible light and infrared light (which you cannot see with the naked eye). The light then enters an image-intensifier tube, which creates a vacuum using electricity. The first part of the image-intensifier tube converts photons (particles of light) into electrons (small charged particles). These then move to the microchannel plate (MCP). This is a glass disk with a large number of tiny holes. When the electrons pass through these holes, they multiply and increase the electric signal. The electrons then hit a phosphor-coated screen that lights up where the electrons hit it. This creates a green image that you can view through the scope’s ocular lens.

The image is green because when the photons are converted into electrons, it is impossible to preserve the color. Manufacturers of night vision scopes chose to make the image green instead of another color or black and white because our eyes are more sensitive to green light. Green images are also easier to look at for long periods of time without straining your eyes.

Digital Night Vision Scopes

Traditional night vision scopes can be heavy and bulky. Although they use similar principles to optoelectronic image enhancement, digital scopes use digitization instead of multiple lenses to amplify light. This allows them to be smaller and lighter.

Like with a traditional scope, light first enters a digital night vision scope through the objective lens. A complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensor, which is the same type of sensor a digital camera uses, converts the light into a digital signal. The scope then magnifies this image several times and enhances it electronically. Finally, the image is transported to a screen in the scope for viewing. Some models also let you connect, store, or stream the video for remote viewing using other devices.

Choosing the Right Night Vision Scope

If you want to hunt at night, the proper scope is essential. However, it can be difficult to find the best option for you when there are so many different varieties available. The same principles that help you choose any scope apply when choosing a scope with night vision. You should think about how you will actually use your optics and make sure that using the scope feels natural.

Night Vision Scopes at The Hub

You can browse our selection of night vision optics online or in either of our two physical Arizona gun stores. Our gun experts can help you determine which scopes fit your needs and we are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Visit The Hub today to purchase a night vision scope.

What is Grip Stippling?

There are many modifications that you can make to your firearm to customize the weapon for your needs. One example is grip stippling, which is the process of melting tiny holes into the polymer frame of your handgun. This creates more traction and allows for a more secure grip. Stippling used to be more common for competition firearms, but more and more gun owners are realizing its benefits.

More information about firearm stippling:

What to Know About Grip Stippling

If you are considering stippling your gun, you should be aware of the benefits and drawbacks.

Benefits

The major benefit of grip stippling is the improved traction it creates. The textured surface is easier to hold. In particular, this is useful if there is increased moisture due to weather conditions, natural oils from your skin, or sweaty palms. If you are using your gun for home defense, stippling can be helpful to make sure you can keep a firm grip on your firearm even in a stressful situation. Stippling also allows for better recoil management and can improve accuracy. This makes it a common modification for competitive shooters.

Potential Drawbacks

Before you stipple your firearm, you should make sure it is the best option for your needs. We recommend only stippling a gun if you plan to keep it, as this modification can reduce the resale value of your weapon. Stippling can also void your warranty depending on the manufacturer, so make sure your gun is working as it should before you make this alteration. If you don’t want to stipple your gun but still want a more textured grip, there are less permanent options such as TALON Grips.

How to Stipple Your Handgun

DIY Grip Stippling

It is possible to stipple your handgun’s grip at home, although you should be extremely careful as melting too deep can damage your firearm. Attention to detail is essential so you do not ruin the appearance of the gun or even break it completely.

Make sure to work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling any fumes. To stipple your gun you will need a soldering iron. If you also want to remove finger grooves from the grip, you will need a Dremel tool. After using the Dremel to make any modifications you would like, you can press the soldering iron into the polymer to create a small hole. Doing this softly results in smaller holes whereas pressing down longer creates a deeper impression.

Professional Stippling

If you don’t want to risk damaging your firearm or go through the hassle of stippling your gun, a professional stipple job can create a more aesthetically-pleasing grip while reducing the risk of damage.

Stippling at The Hub

If you are interested in a stippled grip, The Hub offers packages as well as other options to customize your weapon. If you prefer, you can also purchase TALON Grips or other accessories that add texture without permanently modifying your firearm.

To learn more about grip stippling, contact us today.

Types of Rifle Scopes

Choosing a firearm is an important decision, but the accessories you use with your gun can make a big difference. Optics, such as rifle scopes, can help you shoot more accurately. There are many options to choose from and it can be overwhelming to consider all the choices. This is especially true if you are a first-time gun owner. At The Hub, it is our goal to help you find the best firearms and accessories. Whether you have something specific in mind or need some guidance, our experts are happy to assist you.

Here are some options for rifle scopes: 

Magnification

Magnification is the degree to which a scope makes targets appear larger. The notation for this is fairly straightforward: a 3X scope makes what you are looking at three times larger, a 9X variety will make it nine times larger, et cetera.

The amount of magnification you need depends on how you plan to use your rifle. You need to make sure that you can see your intended target clearly. Too little magnification can make it difficult to determine where you are shooting and too much can prevent you from seeing everything around the target. Between 1X and 4X works well for target shooting up to 100 yards, small game, or home defense. 5X to 8X are suited for large game hunting, target shooting up to 200 yards, or hunting in an enclosed landscape such as the mountains or forest. Finally, scopes between 9X and 12X are best for target shooting beyond 200 yards or hunting in an open landscape like the desert or a field.

Fixed vs. Variable Magnification Scopes

Some rifle scopes are fixed, meaning they only have one possible magnification setting. Others are variable magnification and you can set a different level depending on your needs. You will see this written as a range, e.g. 3-6X for a scope that can be 3X, 4X, 5X, or 6X.

The benefit of a fixed scope is that you can aim and shoot more quickly. These also tend to be less expensive. However, you can only shoot from one specific range, so it may not be the best choice if you know you will need to change magnification. In general, you should choose a variable scope if you know you will be hunting from a variety of distances. A fixed scope is usually suitable for home defense.

Objective Lens Diameter

The objective lens is the portion at the end of the scope. Its diameter is listed in millimeters (mm). The bigger the diameter, the clearer and brighter the image will be. However, a bigger objective lens also makes the scope heavier and can reflect sunlight and give away your position if you are hunting.

An objective lens under 28 mm is best if your firearm has little recoil, you are hunting at a closer range, or you are using a lower magnification. An objective lens between 30 and 44 mm is suited if your gun has more recoil, you are hunting in low light conditions, or you are using a higher magnification. You should consider a lens over 50 mm if you are using a higher magnification scope in low light or if you are hunting at an extremely long range.

Scope Reticles

The reticle is the crosshairs you see when looking through a scope. There are three common types and each one has different benefits. We recommend trying them out and choosing the one that works best for you. The most important thing is that shooting and aiming should feel natural.

Duplex scope crosshairs

Duplex

This is the default variety for reticles and is the best choice if you are new to scopes. It works well for hunting and target shooting.

A mil-dot scope reticle

Mil-Dot

This type of crosshairs estimates a target’s distance. It is mainly used by the military, law enforcement, and security. However, it may be helpful for hunting purposes if you are shooting from a long distance.

A BDC reticle

BDC

A ballistic drop compensating (BDC) reticle uses lines or dots to mark the expected drop of a bullet at different ranges. This is an especially good choice for long-distance shooters, although once you learn how to use it, it can be beneficial for all purposes.

Choosing the Right Scope

These are just a few of the different choices you can make when choosing a scope and there are also additional features like night vision, strobe lights, and more. We carry a wide variety of options and can help you find the right scope for you.

For help choosing a scope, visit either of our Arizona gun stores or contact us for more information.

What You Need to Know About the NFA

The National Firearms Act (NFA) was enacted in 1934. This was the first piece of federal gun control legislation in the United States. During this time the nation was in the middle of the Great Depression. Newspapers figured out that readers were weary of stories about the economy and wanted a distraction. There was a rise in stories about gangsters, bank robbers, and bootleggers. This popularized individuals like Bonnie and Clyde and John Dillinger.

Journalists shared these stories and the rise of images, both still and moving, gave the public with the diversion they were looking for. However, the economic hardships and incidents like the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, strings of bank robberies, and police shootouts also fueled public outrage against uncontrolled gun ownership. This prompted the federal government to change gun laws.

What is the NFA?

To satisfy public outcry towards violent offenses and to reassure the general public, Congress passed the NFA. This legislation put a $200 excise tax on certain types of firearms and firearm accessories. It also required registration and other paperwork. In 1934, this excise tax was outrageous, and very few average citizens could afford it. While the act did not outright ban gun ownership, it did apply stringent rules to owning certain classes of weapons as well as regulating and taxing manufacturers and importers. These classes are machine guns, short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns, silencers/suppressors, destructive devices, and a broad category for “any other weapon.”

Machine Guns

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) defines machine guns as firearms that fire more than one round per pull of the trigger. This definition includes burst fire weapons and any device that can convert a semi-automatic gun to fully-automatic. Some semi-automatic open-bolt weapons are also regulated under this rule if they were produced after 1982.

Short-Barreled Rifles

This part of the legislation regulates rifles that have barrels shorter than 16 inches. A rifle must fire a projectile through a rifled barrel and also use a stock. This legislation does not mention any other configuration besides barrel length and a stock, so it is possible to own rifle caliber pistols.

Short-Barreled Shotguns

Instead of having a rifled barrel, shotguns have a smooth bore, a stock, and fire shot. In the United States, shotguns must have a barrel at least 18 inches in length. Anything less is a short-barreled shotgun. Some shotguns are also destructive devices. Examples include the Street Sweeper and SPAS-12.

Silencers

Silencers, also called suppressors, are treated as NFA-controlled firearms even though they are not actual guns. This definition includes any device that reduces the explosive noise of a gun and can be readily attached to it.

Destructive Devices

Destructive devices (DDs) are a broad category that includes any weapon with a bore over .50 inches, unless it has a generally recognized sporting purpose. DDs also include explosives, mortars, missiles, poison gases, grenade launchers, and other destructive elements. If a shotgun has no sporting purpose, then it can be a DD.

Any Other Weapon

Any other weapon is another large category of all sorts of interesting weaponry. This includes 12-gauge firearms with a length of less than 26 inches, cane guns, some pen guns and disguised firearms, and guns with forward grips.

How does the NFA apply to you?

The NFA still impacts gun owners today. The $200 tax stamp and transfer taxes still apply as does the burdensome paperwork and regulations. This law was also modified in 1986 under the Hughes Amendment of the Firearm Owners Protection Act. This amendment made it so no more machine guns could be added to the registry. It is very important that before you purchase an NFA-controlled item, you know your state’s laws. Some states regulate or outright prohibit NFA items.

The NFA and The Hub

Let The Hub help you with what you need to know about the NFA. Our experienced staff specializes in NFA-controlled items. We carry a wide variety of guns, parts, and accessories that range from affordable guns for first-time owners to high-end, hard-to-find items for seasoned enthusiasts.

If you have further questions about the NFA or any other firearms, contact us today.

Choosing a Gun for Home Defense

Although you may not want to think about the worst-case scenario, it is important to be prepared in the event you need to protect yourself and your family. Choosing a gun for home defense can be difficult, especially if you have not shopped for firearms before. At The Hub, our experts are happy to help you find what you are looking for and answer any questions you may have.

Here are some things to consider:

The Type of Gun

There are many different types of guns and in most cases, which you choose usually has more to do with personal preferences than any one being the “best” choice. Each firearm has its benefits. Some people prefer shotguns because they have more firepower. Others choose handguns since they are easier to handle while moving and can be fired with one hand if necessary. Rifles are also preferred by many because of their larger magazine capacity and increased range. If you are not sure which is right for you, you may want to try firing each type to see what feels more natural and is easier for you to manage. Many people buy one of each so they have the perfect weapon for any situation, so this is also an option.

Caliber

Once you decide which type of gun you would like, you will have different options for the caliber. This is the size of the barrel and the ammunition (ammo) that the weapon fires. As a general rule, the greater the caliber, the more stopping power the firearm has. However, this also increases the recoil, so if you are a less experienced shooter, a smaller caliber may be a good option to start with. In most cases, .380 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) ammo or larger is recommended for self-defense.

Your Environment

When buying a gun, it is also important to consider your specific environment and situation. There is no one-size-fits-all solution and the best way to make sure your new firearm is right for you is to imagine how you would use it in an emergency. You should be realistic and consider all the variables. For example, you will need to consider the possibility of shooting through walls if you live in an apartment. This may mean that a lower caliber weapon is a better choice. If you are in a rural area, you may need a rifle with a longer range. Beyond the actual gun you buy, you should have a plan in place in case you need it to defend yourself and your family. This can help you make more informed decisions about the firearm you purchase.

Firearm Training

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that getting a gun and forgetting about it is an effective way to prepare for an emergency. Training and practice are essential for multiple reasons. As a gun owner, you are responsible for anything that happens with your firearm. This means you should know how to assess a situation quickly to make decisions regarding when to fire. You also need to know how to shoot accurately and be aware of your entire environment to ensure you only hit the intended target.

Our MILO Range is an excellent tool for improving your tactical judgement with real-world scenarios, whereas our physical gun range allows you to practice actually firing your weapon. Taking a concealed carry weapon (CCW) class is another way to develop your skills and is helpful even if you plan to use your weapon primarily for home defense instead of concealed carry.

A Wide Selection of Guns to Fit Your Needs

At The Hub, we have a large variety of firearms for everything from home defense to hunting. Whether you are a first-time buyer or an avid collector, our experts can help you find what you need. We also carry accessories that are beneficial for safe self-defense including gun safes and concealed carry holsters.

To find a gun for home defense or another purpose, visit The Hub today online or in store.

The Steps for Gun Cleaning

Gun cleaning is important to ensure your firearm continues to function properly. Residue from firing can build up over time and could lead to a dangerous malfunction. Cleaning and maintaining your gun regularly gives you peace of mind knowing the firearm is safe.

Here are the steps for cleaning your firearm:

Gather Gun Cleaning Supplies

Depending on your preference, you can either purchase a complete cleaning kit or buy the supplies separately. There may also be some items beyond the basics that you find helpful and the more you clean your gun, the more you will realize what works best for you.

You will need the following: 

  • Gun oil/lubricant
  • Liquid cleaning solvent
  • Bore cleaner brush
  • Nylon cleaning brush
  • Cleaning rod 
  • Cotton swabs
  • Patches and a patch holder
  • Polishing cloths 

Choose a Safe Working Area

You should work in an area that has good ventilation and lighting. Since you will be using various chemicals for cleaning, this should not be anywhere that you eat. The products may also have a strong smell, so you should be aware of this when choosing a location to clean your gun. If you have an outdoor space or an open garage where you can work, this is ideal, but a large room with a nearby open window is also an option.

Unload Your Firearm

Remove all ammunition from the area that you are working in and then unload your gun. Check to make sure there is no round ready to fire, that the magazine is removed, and that the barrel is clear. Double checking that your weapon is unloaded before cleaning is an essential safety step.

Read Your Gun’s Owner’s Manual

The owner’s manual for your gun will give detailed instructions for cleaning. It is important that you follow recommendations for your specific model to stay safe and avoid damaging the firearm.

Disassemble the Weapon if Necessary

Your owner’s manual will tell you how much to take the gun apart during cleaning. In general, you will strip semi-automatic pistols or rifles into their basic components. These are the barrel, slide, guide rod, frame, and magazine. Revolvers and shotguns do not usually need to be taken apart and you will simply open the chamber for cleaning.

Clean and Lubricate the Bore

To clean the inside of the gun’s barrel (bore), attach a patch holder to your cleaning rod. You should then place the patch in the holder and soak it with your solvent. Run it through the barrel, starting at the back if possible. Always remove the patch after you run it through and wipe down the cleaning rod and patch holder. Then, attach the bore brush to the rod and run this through the barrel as well. This loosens any debris. Switch between patches and the brush until a patch comes through clean. After this, run one dry patch through to ensure it is completely clear.

After cleaning the bore, you should lubricate your firearm using your preferred gun oil. To do this, add a few drops of the oil to a patch and run this through the barrel. This should leave a light coating.

Clean and Lubricate the Action

Coat your gun brush with the cleaning solvent and clean every part of the action. Next, dry it off with a cloth. Finally, add a small amount of gun oil to the moving parts. Using too much can gum up the action, especially if you leave the gun in storage after cleaning, so do not use too much.

Polish the Rest of the Gun

Use a polishing cloth to clean the rest of the gun. This will remove fingerprints, debris, and will restore shine to the firearm to keep it looking its best.

How Often Should You Clean Your Gun?

It is best to clean your gun after every time you shoot it. Some people clean less frequently, but regular cleaning is a great way to ensure there is not too much carbon build-up. If you are going to store your firearm, you should make sure that it is cleaned at least once a year. During the gun cleaning process, check for rust or cracks and if you notice any damage, take the weapon to a gunsmith.

Everything You Need for Gun Ownership

The Hub is your one-stop gun shop and you can find firearms, parts, accessories, and equipment. You can buy cleaning supplies including kits and individual items from The Hub online or by visiting either of our Arizona gun stores. To hear some of our recommendations for the best gun cleaning products, you can check out Episode 266 of our Get on Target podcast.

Visit us today to purchase gun cleaning products and more.

AR-10 vs. AR-15

In the 1950s, the Fairchild Aircraft company created a subdivision known as Armalite. This company designed lightweight, semi-automatic rifles. Since Armalite was relatively small, they focused on prototyping designs and selling them to larger manufacturers. Two of their most popular models are the AR-10 and the AR-15, which they sold to Colt in 1959. Although the AR-15 is the more well-known of the two, the AR-10 is also an excellent firearm to add to your collection.

Learn more about the differences between these guns:

Similarities Between the AR-10 and AR-15

One of the main similarities between these two rifle models is that they were designed to be incredibly lightweight. This is achieved by using lighter metals (such as aluminum alloy) and high-tech plastics.

Both models also use a direct impingement gas operation system. This means that gas from when a cartridge explodes is directed into the bolt carrier. As a result, the action cycles and a new cartridge can be placed into the chamber for firing. This allows the gun to operate without a separate gas cylinder, piston, or operating rod.

In general, the two styles of rifle look similar and have similar functionality. In fact, many parts are interchangeable between the two.

AR-10

The AR-10 was a precursor to the AR-15, but this does not mean it is less advanced. AR-10 rifles have a longer barrel, weigh slightly more, and are larger as a whole. This is because they generally fire a larger caliber of cartridge. 7.62 NATO and .308 Winchester are common calibers for AR-10-style rifles. You may also see 6.5 Creedmoor and .260 Remington options.

Some great choices for AR-10s are:

AR-15

AR-15-style rifles are among the most popular firearms in the United States. Many gun enthusiasts like to build and customize their own AR-15-style rifles. The main difference between this design and the AR-10 is that the AR-15 is smaller, lighter, and has a shorter barrel. It also uses different calibers, generally .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO.

Some great choices for AR-15s are:

Which Rifle is Best?

Choosing between an AR-10 and AR-15 often comes down to personal preference. You may want to try out both designs, as well as trying a few different models of each, to determine which one is best for you. Both are excellent guns and the quality often depends on the manufacturer.

In general, AR-15s have less recoil since they are slightly lighter. Many experts recommend AR-15-style rifles for home defense or small game hunting. Since the AR-10 uses a larger caliber, it is ideal to use as a big game hunting rifle.

Buy AR-10s and AR-15s at The Hub

At The Hub, we have a large selection of guns, parts, and accessories. These include National Firearms Act (NFA) controlled weapons as well as a wide range of rifles, shotguns, and handguns. We are happy to help you find exactly what you are looking for and if we don’t have it in stock, we will find a way to get it for you.

Visit us online, in Lakeside, or in Tucson to purchase an AR-10, AR-15, or other firearm.

The Many Different Types of Guns

There are many types of guns. Most are split into two general categories, handguns and long guns. As a general rule, handguns use a smaller caliber ammunition than their larger counterparts and have a shorter barrel. Long guns fire larger caliber rounds from longer barrels and are meant to be fired from the shoulder.

Both of these two general categories can be broken down into subcategories:

Handguns

Handguns come in many shapes and sizes, with various options for what caliber ammunition they use. These firearms are good choices for home defense and range practice. The most basic types of handguns are revolvers and semi-automatics.

Revolvers

Revolvers are generally run by a cylinder. They are great for new firearm owners because they are more simple to operate and maintain than semi-automatic handguns. However, they hold fewer bullets and reloading can take longer.

How revolvers fire can be broken down into two categories: single-action and double-action. Single-action revolvers only fire when the shooter manually cocks the hammer. As the hammer moves back, it turns the cylinder that contains the ammunition, putting it into line to fire. You will need to repeat this every time you want to fire the weapon.

You can fire a double-action revolver either by cocking the hammer or by just pulling the trigger. Not cocking the hammer results in a longer trigger pull. If you want a shorter trigger pull, you can still cock the hammer manually. However, this may increase the firing time.

Semi-Automatic Pistols

Semi-automatic pistols are magazine fed. When you fire this type of handgun the gas released propels the slide back and forth, which ejects the old round and automatically puts a new round in. In order to fire the first round of a semi-automatic, you will have to load the weapon and pull the slide back to rack a round into the chamber. After this, the weapon will fire a single shot with every trigger pull for as long as it has ammunition. This handgun is quick loading and carries more bullets than a revolver. Some experts believe that the revolver has better functionality as the semi-automatic can jam when being fired, though this is rare.

Long Guns

Like handguns, long guns come in a large variety of sizes and calibers. How they function can vary greatly. A few of the more common long guns and rifles include lever-action and bolt-action rifles,  semi-automatic rifles, and shotguns.

Lever-Action and Bolt-Action Rifles

Lever-action and bolt-action rifles are often talked about together, but they are different in how they function. The essential differences are the way the bolt is operated and locks into position and the location of the bolt versus the location of the lever.

The bolt on a bolt-action firearm is commonly on the right-hand side of the handle. To operate the handle, the bolt is unlocked and pulled back, opening the breech. This action ejects any spent cartridge and cocks the firing pin. If available, a new cartridge is loaded into the chamber and the bolt is locked in place for firing.

The lever on a lever-action firearm is located near the trigger guard area and often includes the trigger guard itself. When the shooter works the lever, it loads fresh ammunition into the chamber of the barrel. Lever-action and bolt-action rifles have advantages and disadvantages and there is some debate over which is better. However, both types of rifles have remained popular for sporting use.

Semi-Automatic Rifles

Semi-automatic rifles are self-loading rifles. While they can vary greatly in form and functionality, they all have one thing in common. These types of guns uses gas or recoil energy to eject the spent shell and a new round is chambered from the magazine. This allows another bullet to fire when the shooter pulls the trigger again. Most also have rifled barrels, which means that there are grooves lengthwise across the inside of the barrel. When the bullet fires through the barrel, these grooves cause the bullet to spin, allowing it to travel at a greater velocity and enhancing accuracy.

These types of firearms are popular for use in sport shooting, hunting, and for self-defense.

Shotguns

Shotguns differ from rifles as they are uniquely able to fire shells containing pellets, shots, or slugs of different sizes and types. Unlike rifles, shotgun barrels are typically not rifled or grooved inside. There are two types of shotguns which differ in how they function. These are the pump-action shotgun and the semi-automatic shotgun.

Both of these use shotgun ammo, but the pump-action shotgun requires the user to move the slide backwards and forwards manually to load each shell. Semi-automatic shotguns use the force created by the previous shot to automatically eject the empty shell case and chamber the next round.

Do You Have Questions About Types of Guns?

If you have questions about different types of firearms or want to make sure we have what you are looking for, call our experts at The Hub. We are happy to help.

Visit The Hub today and browse the different types of guns and ammo that we offer.

The Basics of Calibers

The term “caliber” can refer to a gun barrel or to ammunition. It can be measured in inches or millimeters (mm). A gun’s caliber is the internal diameter of the barrel. When referring to ammo, it is the diameter of the bullet. To clarify the terminology, a cartridge is the entire unit that you load into your firearm, whereas the bullet only refers to the metal projectile that the gun fires. Calibers are important to consider when choosing a firearm and each one has its own pros and cons.

Bullet Calibers

The following list includes some of the most popular calibers for bullets and some information about each one. Although it does not cover every type of bullet, it is a good beginner’s guide to the most common calibers you will see when shopping for a firearm or ammo.

.22 LR

.22 Long Rifle (LR), commonly referred to as just “twenty-two,” is a good starting caliber if you have never fired a gun before. It is the most commonly sold ammo in the world. Since the bullets are relatively small, the recoil on a .22 LR firearm is less intense. They also make less noise when firing. Their smaller size does have an effect on their power. Most experts don’t consider them the best option for self-defense. This caliber works well for hunting small game.

.380 ACP, .38 Special, and .357 Magnum

.380 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) bullets actually have a diameter of 0.36 inches. This is the same as the .38 Special and .357 Magnum. The difference between the three is the length of the cartridge. The .380 ACP is the shortest and .357 Magnum is the longest. The .380 ACP is generally considered the smallest caliber that is reasonable for self-defense. .38 Special and .357 Magnum have more recoil than the .380 ACP. It is important to note that while the diameter is the same, you should not use any ammo in your gun that is not suggested in the owner’s manual and the differing lengths prevent these calibers from being interchangeable.

9mm

9mm has the same diameter as .380 ACP, .38 Special, and .357 Magnum. There are a few different types of 9mm rounds, but the most common is the 9mm Luger, which is used for pistols. 9mm is the standard caliber for most police forces around the world and it is a great choice for concealed carry.

.45 ACP

Many gun enthusiasts recommend .45 ACP rounds since the larger size gives these bullets superior stopping power. The main downsides are that the magazine will hold fewer cartridges, the increased recoil can be a problem for less experienced shooters, and ammo is more expensive than for 9mm rounds.

.223 Remington and 5.56×45 mm

.223 Remington (.223) and 5.56x45mm (5.56 NATO) calibers are very similar in size. 5.56 NATO rounds have more pressure than .223, so it is dangerous to fire 5.56 NATO ammo in a .223 rifle. In some cases, you may be able to fire .223 ammo in a 5.56 NATO gun, although you should always check the specific recommendations in your firearm’s owner’s manual. This caliber is common for AR-15-style-rifles and its smaller size results in a light recoil.

.308 Winchester and 7.62x51mm

.308 Winchester (.308) and 7.62x51mm (7.62 NATO) rounds are both rifle rounds and are similar in size. Mixing these requires special knowledge, so it is usually best to stick with the round that is recommended for your specific firearm. These are popular choices for hunting and are used in heavier caliber machine guns.

Questions about Calibers?

If you have questions about different calibers, you can always ask our experts at The Hub. Whether you are a seasoned enthusiast or a first-time buyer, we are happy to help you find exactly what you are looking for.

Visit The Hub today and browse the different calibers of guns and ammo that we offer.

Tips for Safe Concealed Carry

Carrying a concealed weapon can be a great way to protect yourself and your family if the worst-case scenario ever occurred. However, it is also an important responsibility and you should make sure you understand how to stay safe while carrying a firearm. By taking advantage of your right to practice concealed carry, you are accepting the responsibility of acting with the utmost precaution and care. It is important that you ensure the safety of both yourself and those around you.

Here are a few simple tips for safer concealed carry:

Earn Your CCW Permit

Arizona is a constitutional carry state, which means that if you can legally own a gun and meet requirements for age, you can carry your weapon openly or concealed without a concealed carry weapon (CCW) permit. However, the state does issue permits and there are many reasons that you should consider getting your Arizona CCW.

One of these is the additional safety training you get by taking a CCW class. The process of earning your permit teaches you safety tips that you may not have learned otherwise. You will also learn about important state laws and regulations for carrying your firearm. The Hub’s CCW classes fulfill Arizona requirements to earn your permit and your certificate of completion acts as hard-copy proof of your knowledge of gun safety.

Concealed Carry Holster vs. Purse

Your two main choices for concealing your weapon are a holster or a purse. In most cases, we recommend a holster. This will wrap around your body and attach to your clothes, making them the best way to keep your gun on you safely at all times. Their shape is designed to specifically hold firearms while offering the weapon protection against debris. While a purse can be taken from you with your gun inside, it is more difficult for a criminal to gain access to your holster. We discuss this in our Get on Target podcast episode “Top CCW Questions Answered.”

It is essential that you have control of your gun at all times and that you can quickly and easily access it in case of an emergency. The best way to do this with a holster is to have the tip of the gun facing down and concealed inside the pocket of the holster. Many concealed carry holsters will conceal the gun trigger to prevent any unwanted access. When buying a holster, you should consider multiple options to find the best one for your needs. You can browse our selection of gun holsters online or visit us in store.

Don’t Fidget

When carrying a concealed weapon in public, it is best to make sure those around you are not aware of your weapon. By touching and fidgeting with your holster and gun, you are likely to alert strangers to the presence of your firearm. This can make the people around you uncomfortable and nervous. If you are not using your gun, you should keep it concealed and avoid drawing attention to it.

The Benefits of Concealed Carry

Carrying a concealed weapon can bring you a better sense of confidence in being able to protect yourself in a dangerous situation. However, you will be more successful in guaranteeing your safety and protecting those around you if you practice these safety tips.

CCW Classes and Holsters at The Hub

The Hub is your one-stop shop for guns, safety training, and firearm accessories. We offer Arizona CCW classes and a large selection of holsters so you can safely conceal your firearm.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you earn a concealed carry permit or properly secure your concealed firearm.

What Does a CCW Class Cover?

Although Arizona does not require a permit to conceal carry a weapon, taking a concealed carry weapon (CCW) class and earning your permit can be very beneficial. Earning your permit gives you reciprocity in other states and may allow you to carry your weapon in more locations. In addition, these classes teach you important legal and safety information that can help you be more prepared if you need to use your gun for self-defense.

Our CCW class covers the following:

Arizona CCW Requirements

In order to earn an Arizona CCW permit, you must meet certain requirements:

  • Be a legal resident of Arizona or a US Citizen
  • Be over 21 years old or over 19 years old with proof of military service
  • Have no felony convictions or indictments
  • Have no mental illness causing you to be institutionalized or deemed mentally incompetent by the state

In addition, Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 13-3112 requires CCW permit holders to demonstrate competence with a firearm. In most cases, the best way to prove this is by completing a permit class. Our CCW class at The Hub covers all the information necessary for you to earn your permit. At the end of the class, we will help you fill out and send all the forms necessary to get your CCW.

Gun Safety

One of the most important topics we cover in our CCW class is gun safety. As a responsible gun owner, there are certain guidelines you should follow to keep yourself and your family as safe as possible. Our classes cover safe handling, care, and storage for your firearms.

Legal Concerns

Understanding Arizona’s laws regarding concealed carry, self-defense, and gun ownership is important to help you avoid legal issues. Not knowing the current laws in place can put everyone’s safety at risk and you could lose your right to own a gun if you are convicted of a felony. During our CCW class, we will go over some of the most important legal topics related to concealed carry. This includes where you can and cannot carry your weapon, when you should inform law enforcement officers about a concealed weapon, and what the definition of self-defense includes.

Hands-On Practice

Our CCW classes are designed to not only give you valuable information in a classroom setting but to also give you hands-on practice using a firearm for self-defense.

Lakeside: Shooting Range

At our Lakeside location, our CCW class includes live fire at our indoor shooting range. This allows you to practice handling and firing your weapon under the guidance of a professional. Practicing in this setting helps you to better understand how you can use your firearm for self-defense and allows you to ask any questions you have about operating your weapon.

We require that anyone taking our CCW class possess basic firearm skills including loading and unloading. If you are a complete beginner, we offer 101 training courses.

Tucson: MILO Range

Our Tucson gun store has a state-of-the-art MILO Range. This is a virtual reality system that allows you to use laser pistols to act out real-life self-defense situations. Our Enhanced CCW “+” Class includes time on our MILO Range under the supervision of our highly-skilled instructors.

CCW Classes at The Hub

If you are interested in our CCW classes, contact us today to learn more.

Reasons to Own a Gun Safe

Owning a gun is a serious responsibility and it’s important that you properly secure your firearms. A gun safe is one way you can accomplish this. Safes keep your weapons away from unauthorized users. Depending on the type of safe you buy, it may also protect them from fire or water damage. Some safes even have biometric controls for quicker access if you need your weapon in an emergency.

Here are some of the benefits of owning a gun safe:

Protect Your Children

If you have children, especially young children, owning a gun safe is a good idea. Children are curious and restricting a child’s access to firearms in your home can help prevent tragedy. Keeping your guns securely stored allows you to teach your child the importance of gun safety and gives you peace of mind that they will not accidentally gain access to your weapons.

Protect Yourself Legally

Imagine that someone broke into your home without causing damage, like going through an unlocked window or using a credit card to open a locked door. If they were to steal your gun and there is no physical damage caused during the break-in, it can be difficult to prove that your gun was stolen. If your firearm is used for criminal activity and you cannot prove that it was stolen, then you could have legal action brought up against you. Even if you can prove that the gun was stolen, if it was not in a secure location, you could still have legal exposure.

This is also true if someone who you’ve invited into your home gains access to your gun and has an accident with it, such as a neighbor or babysitter. By securely storing guns in a safe, you can show that you took measures to prevent access. This can help you legally defend yourself if someone uses your gun without authorization.

Homeowners Insurance Coverage

Certain homeowners insurance companies offer discounts if you own a gun safe. In some cases, an insurance company will not offer you full coverage for the value of your guns unless they are stored securely. Making an insurance claim is stressful. Most insurance companies try to pay you the lowest amount possible or get out of paying altogether. Showing you were taking steps to protect your valuables, including your guns, can make it easier and faster to get reimbursed if your guns were damaged or stolen. Be sure to check with your insurance company before you buy a safe as many have different requirements.

Store Valuables

Gun safes are not just for guns. Because gun safes are frequently larger, bolted to the ground, and often resistant to water and fire, they can be a great place to store other valuables. Items such as jewelry, coins, and even important documents can be secured in a safe along with your firearms.

Gun Safes At The Hub

There are many styles and types of gun safes. Electronic lock, wheel and pin combination, key lock, and biometric gun safes are some of the more common types. If you are not sure what kind is best for you, or you want more information, our gun experts are always happy to answer your questions. You can purchase gun safes at either of our locations or from our online store.

Visit us online or in store to purchase a gun safe.

Your Guide to AR-15 Parts

The AR-15 semi-automatic rifle was first designed by Armalite in 1956. It was then sold to Colt in 1959, who sold it as a civilian counterpart to the military M4. Once Colt’s patent expired in 1977, a variety of other companies began to construct AR-15-style rifles. Today, firearms using this model are made by many different manufacturers. AR-15s are also a common choice for those who enjoy assembling their own guns. Building an AR-15 is easier than many would assume and it is a great way to create a fully-customized weapon.

In order to build your own AR-15, you will need to understand the basic parts of this rifle. 

AR-15 Lower Receiver

The lower receiver is the part of the rifle that includes the fire control group, magazine well, and pistol grip. It can be forged (hammered into shape) or billet (milled into shape). Forged receivers are stronger, whereas billet receivers are lighter but slightly weaker.

The lower receiver is the only AR-15 part that is legally considered a firearm. This means that it has a serial number and specific regulations govern its purchase. Some builders prefer to purchase an 80% lower receiver which is not legally considered a firearm. This is an unfinished version of the part and it’s not able to fire without milling. It requires more work to finish an 80% lower receiver, but this is more customizable and may involve fewer fees than purchasing a full lower receiver.

You will also need to buy lower receiver parts, which include: a trigger assembly, trigger guard, magazine catch/release, bolt catch/release, safety selector switch, grip, takedown pins, receiver extension (buffer tube), buffer and spring, and buttstock. You can purchase these in a kit or separately.

Upper Receiver

The AR-15 upper receiver houses and protects the components on the top of your rifle. It can be flat top or carry handle. A flat top receiver has a Picatinny railing at the top, whereas a carry handle receiver has a rear sight assembly in this location. This part can be forged, billet, or cast. Cast is the lightest option, but it is also the weakest. You can purchase a stripped upper, which contains only the upper receiver and will require more parts to complete. If you prefer, you can purchase a complete upper, which only needs to be attached to a lower receiver. Parts in the upper receiver group that you will need to attach to a stripped upper include the charging handle, barrel, handguard, and bolt carrier group.

Gas System

Guns fire by using high-pressure gas generated through a gunpowder explosion to propel a bullet. Some of the pressure also ejects the spent cartridge and brings a new one into the chamber. AR-15 rifles use a direct impingement system, meaning that a “gas port” on the chamber vents hot gas into a tube and brings it back to the receiver to automatically cycle the next round. When you build your own AR-15, you will choose the length of the gas block, which is the length between the gas port and the receiver. You should choose the gas system length based on the length of your barrel. From shortest to longest, your options are carbine, mid-length, and rifle.

Furniture and Accessories

Once the functional components of your AR-15 are in place, you will want to add furniture and accessories. Furniture refers to the parts of your gun that you hold/support and includes the stock, grip, and handguard. You will want to pick these based on what feels best for you. Accessories are any other parts to enhance your gun such as scopes or lights.

The Hub, Your Arizona Gun Store

We Can Help You Build Your New AR-15

At The Hub, we specialize in AR-15-style rifles. We carry many versions of these firearms at our Tucson and Lakeside locations and online. We are also happy to help you if you wish to build your own. Our store carries the different AR-15 parts you will need and if we don’t have what you need in stock, we can help you locate it.

Visit The Hub online or in store for AR-15 rifles and parts.

Understanding Arizona CCW Reciprocity

Concealed carry weapon (CCW) reciprocity is a practice across the United States that allows for a permit from one state to be accepted in another. This gives you the ability to conceal carry your firearm in states other than the one where your permit was issued. Arizona CCW reciprocity can help protect your rights while you are in another state with your firearm. Since this does not apply to all states, it is important to check the legal requirements for states you will be traveling to or through.

Arizona is one of the few states that allows you to carry a weapon (concealed carry or open carry) without a permit, provided you meet all legal requirements. However, it still benefits you to obtain a CCW. Arizona CCW reciprocity laws are one major reason for this. When in another state that requires a concealed carry permit, simply being an Arizona resident is not enough to give you the right to carry a concealed handgun or other firearms. No permit means no right to carry your weapon.

Some of the situations where CCW reciprocity could impact you: 

Traveling with a Concealed Weapon

Your firearm can be an important tool for self-defense. When you are traveling away from home, particularly to a place you have never been to before, you may feel uncomfortable and question your safety. In these cases, you might want to have a concealed weapon. You should also consider whether or not you have a firearm in your car. If you are driving across multiple states, you need to consider what the laws are regarding concealed carry in vehicles. Having a CCW permit in Arizona can give you peace of mind in the states that have reciprocity. However, you still need to check local restrictions.

Moving With a Firearm

Moving involves packing up all of your belongings and relocating. In many cases, your new home will be in a different state. The process of moving can be very stressful. The last thing you want to worry about is how to transport your gun(s) and if you will need to get a concealed carry permit in your new state. Arizona CCW reciprocity may cover your new home or any states you pass through during your move. You should check specific regulations for each state you pass through and for the area you will live in so you don’t break any laws that differ from those in Arizona. You may also need to obtain a resident permit in your new state at some point in the future, but having an Arizona CCW can give you more time so you don’t have to worry.

States with Arizona CCW Reciprocity

The following states honor Arizona CCW permits:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Montana
  • Michigan
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Nebraska
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

States similar to Arizona that have “permitless carry,” also called constitutional carry, are:

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia

If you travel to any of the above states, Arizona CCW reciprocity is valid and you should be able to conceal carry your weapon. However, it is important that you check the local laws for each state where you will possess your weapon. The restrictions on concealed carry can vary, even if there is reciprocity.

The Hub Can Help You Understand Arizona CCW Reciprocity

The Hub offers CCW classes so you can earn your permit. This gives you many benefits, including reciprocity in other states. During our classes, we go over important topics related to concealed carry. This includes reciprocity and we are happy to answer any questions you have during our courses.

Contact us today to reserve a spot in one of The Hub’s Arizona CCW classes.

What We Accept At Our Pawn Shop

In addition to our gun store, The Hub has a pawn shop where we accept many different types of items. We can exchange for cash, trade, or give you a pawn loan. You can also purchase firearms and other items from our pawn shop to save money compared to traditional retail.

Below is a list of some of the items that we purchase. If you don’t see an item here, bring it in and we will let you know. 

Tools

Bring in your old tools to earn some extra cash. You can also purchase items so you can expand your toolbox for upcoming projects. We accept hand and power tools and will give you the best price for both buying and selling. If you bring in power tools, we will test them out before purchasing them to make sure they are in good working condition.

Jewelry

Whether you are looking for something new or looking to get rid of something old, we are the right place for your jewelry needs. Our experts appraise all of our jewelry to ensure their authenticity and that they are of high quality. At The Hub, you can purchase fine jewelry at a much lower cost than you would pay at a retail jewelry store.

Firearms

As a gun store, we specialize in the buying and selling of guns as well as their parts and accessories. We provide an extensive selection of high-quality guns at a much lower price. If you are wanting to upgrade, bring your old gun in for us to purchase. You will then be able to choose from our many pre-owned guns, or if you prefer, purchase from our selection of new guns at our retail store.

Electronics

Buying and selling electronics at our pawn shop will help you save money on your next purchase, or get the money you need to upgrade. We accept video games, gaming systems, DVD and Blu-ray systems, laptops, and more. Get rid of what you don’t use and replace it with a new item you love.

Title Loans

Here at The Hub, you can bring in your vehicle as collateral for a pawn loan. We take cars, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), utility task vehicles (UTVs), and motorcycles. When we assess your vehicle, you can feel confident that you are getting the most money possible.

Musical Instruments

At the pawn shop, we specialize in musical instruments and equipment. Take a look at our wide variety of musical equipment and get a better price than a retail store. We always test the instruments we purchase to make sure they are the best value and are of high quality.

Bicycles

Looking to buy a new set of wheels? The Hub has bicycles for purchase at prices you cannot beat. If you have an old bike and are looking to sell for some cash or a pawn loan, bring it in and we will give you the best price for its value.

And Much More

Visit Our Pawn Shop To Sell Any Item of Value

Unsure if we will take your item? Bring it in and we will let you know. At The Hub pawn shop, we take a variety of items and are always willing to take a look at what you have. We are experts and will assess the value of your items to see if we can offer you cash or a pawn loan at a price that is unbeatable.

Visit our Tucson pawn shop today to buy or sell your valuables.

Determining the Quality of 
Gun Parts

If you are a gun enthusiast, you want to make sure that all of your firearms and accessories are of the highest possible quality. It is important that your weapon is built to last and that it fits your specific needs. At some point, you may need to purchase gun parts. This may be for building a custom gun or for gun repairs. Either way, you want to make sure that these parts are durable and that there are no major issues with their manufacturing.

Here is a basic guide to determining quality:

Type of Metal for Gun Parts

When you purchase parts, especially gun barrels, you want to make sure that they are made of a suitable metal. Different metals have different properties, so you can pick the type that best suits the gun that you are building or modifying.

Alloy steels are a common option, as these are cost-effective while also being strong enough for long-term use. Stainless steel is an option that works best for items such as hunting weapons that you use outdoors in potentially variable weather. For more high-end weapons, carbon fiber can create a lightweight and durable firearm.

MIM vs. CNC

The next thing to consider is how the gun part was shaped. There are two main methods for this. One is metal injection molded (MIM) and the other is computer numeric controlled (CNC). MIM parts are made in molds from metal powder and polymers, whereas CNC parts are carved from a single piece of metal. Many gun enthusiasts prefer CNC gun parts. As a whole, CNC parts have a reputation for higher quality and craftsmanship.

MIM parts can sometimes cause significant issues for gun functionality, especially if there is a problem with the metal powder or with the mold. Because of these issues, some gun enthusiasts avoid MIM parts whenever possible. However, not all MIM parts are created equal and you can still find parts created through MIM that are well-built. The best way to ensure that you select a quality part is to examine it closely for flaws and to always purchase your items from reputable gun dealers, such as The Hub.

Doing Your Research

Before you purchase any gun parts, one of the best things you can do is to do your research. This can involve looking at forums for gunsmithing, reading about the manufacturing process for different parts, and asking other collectors and gunsmiths what gun parts they have the most success with.

You should also research the gun store where you choose to buy your parts. Buying from a low-quality merchant can have serious consequences for the quality of your custom build or repair. You should find a gun shop that sells only the best gun parts, gun accessories, and firearms.

Purchase

Gun Parts

From The Hub

If you are looking for high-quality gun parts, look no further than The Hub! We only sell the best and make sure that any part you purchase from our gun store works exactly the way it needs to. Our shop also employs gun experts who will ensure that you have all the knowledge you need to make an informed purchase.

Visit our Tucson gun store today and let us know how we can help you find what you are looking for.

Why You Should Visit a VR Gun Range

It’s important for gun owners to get regular practice using their firearm. One way to get this practice is to visit a shooting range to fire your weapon. While this is a great way to practice target shooting, there are some limits to what you can do at a traditional gun range. For one thing, shooting a stationary target or even a moving target does not give you the full experience of using your gun for self-defense. Your tactical skills and ability to protect yourself and your family can benefit from more advanced training. A virtual reality (VR) gun range, such as The Hub’s MILO Range tactical simulator, gives you the opportunity to act out real-life scenarios where you might need to use your weapon.

Here are just a few reasons you should visit our VR shooting range:

Tactical Training

If you want to get the most out of your firearm, you should have some form of tactical training. A VR gun range is a great way to get this experience in a safe, controlled environment. Unlike a traditional shooting range where you shoot at stationary targets, a VR experience such as the MILO tactical simulator helps you learn to shoot moving targets in real-time situations.

When you use The Hub’s MILO, you know you are getting the very best in tactical training. This VR gun range is the same type that law enforcement and the military use to train their personnel. When you use our MILO simulator at The Hub, you work directly with a Hub Simulator Safety Officer (HSSO) who will help you identify areas where you can improve your tactical skills. This helps you tailor your training to your specific needs.

Real-Life Scenarios

A traditional gun range is great for learning firearm basics and practicing aim, but it does not prepare you for real-life emergencies. The MILO tactical simulator lets you act out real-world situations which gives you more experience how to react if the worst-case scenario ever occurs. Your HSSO will help you pick MILO simulations that best suit your training needs.

A VR gun range lets you see how different reactions can impact these real-life situations in a safe, controlled environment. This gives you a better idea of how using your gun for self-defense actually works. Compared to a traditional shooting range, you have a more immersive experience that can help you be more prepared for life-threatening scenarios.

Fun Outing With Friends

While the MILO tactical simulator is great for self-defense training, it is also a fun thing to do in Tucson with your friends. Our simulators can accommodate up to four people at a time, so you can duel one another or fight zombies at our VR gun range. This will be an outing that you will not soon forget and could be a welcome break from your normal routine.

The Hub’s MILO Simulator

VR Gun Range

Whatever reasons you have for wanting to try a VR gun range, come visit us at The Hub and experience it for yourself. We offer training sessions and entertainment sessions with our MILO tactical simulator, so you can find a scenario that fits your specific needs.

Contact us today to schedule a session with our MILO VR shooting range.

How Does a Suppressor Work?

If you are a gun owner, there are many gun accessories that you should know about. One of the most well-known accessories you can purchase for your firearm is a suppressor. Sometimes called silencers, these reduce the intensity of the sound your weapon makes when it fires. Although the term silencer is popular, you should know that these do not make the firing of your gun “silent” by any means. Although the sound that a firearm makes with a suppressor can vary depending on the make and model, most guns are far from “silent” even with a “silencer.” However, these accessories make using a weapon in self-defense much more feasible and are important for any gun owner to understand.

If you own a firearm, you should understand how a suppressor works and why it is important. 

How Guns Fire

To understand how suppressors work, you must first have a basic understanding of how guns work. Guns fire by igniting gunpowder behind the bullet, which then travels down the barrel of the gun due to an explosion of hot gas. This gas must create a lot of pressure to be able to propel the bullet.

Once the bullet leaves your firearm, the pressure from the gunpowder explosion releases, like when you uncork a bottle. Since the pressure must be high to shoot a gun, the release of this pressure creates an extremely loud sound. This pop is the characteristic sound of a gun firing.

Another reason guns are so loud is due to the speed of the bullet itself. As bullets leave your firearm at high speed, they create small sonic booms. This is not related to the pressure change from the firing mechanism but is solely based on the speed of the bullet.

How Suppressors Reduce Noise

Many people who are not familiar with firearms have a skewed view of what suppressors do. This is partially due to the popular, yet inaccurate, description of these gun accessories as “silencers.” It’s a common misconception that a gun with a suppressor is completely silent and therefore easier to use in covert attacks.

However, gun owners benefit from suppressors in self-defense situations. When you fire a weapon, the sound can be so intense that you are left disoriented and the loud noise can cause damage to your eardrums. If you need to defend your home and family, you cannot afford to worry about being slowed down due to the loud bang of a gun without a suppressor.

Gun Store for NFA-Controlled Items

Suppressors and More

If you need a suppressor or any other hard-to-find or NFA (National Firearms Act) controlled gun or accessory, The Hub can help. The gun experts at our Tucson gun store will help you find exactly what you need for your firearms.

Visit us today at our Tucson gun store and see for yourself.

 

The Benefits of Regular Target Shooting Practice

If you are a gun owner, you should make a habit of regularly practicing shooting your firearm. Even if you are not a gun owner yourself, going to the shooting range to fire a weapon can be a fun activity. Target shooting can involve going to a physical shooting range, or it can be more technological, such as using a virtual reality (VR) trainer. Either way, you get to blow off some steam, hone your marksmanship, and reap the many benefits of practicing your shooting.

Here are just a few of the advantages you receive from regular practice at a physical or VR gun range:

Self-Defense Skills

There are many reasons why you might decide to own a gun. One of the most common reasons is to defend yourself and your family in emergencies. Although you might not want to think about the worst-case scenario, you should prepare for what you would do if you ever needed to use your firearm in self-defense.

Target shooting is one way to prepare for a situation where you might need to use your weapon. Shooting at a physical gun range can help with your aim and shooting skills. However, an even better way to hone your self-defense skills is with a VR simulator. This gives you target shooting practice while acting out real-life scenarios. At The Hub we utilize the MILO Range tactical simulator. This system lets you improve your target shooting and your tactical abilities.

Physical and Mental Health

Shooting sports have many health benefits. When you shoot a firearm at a physical gun range, you improve your core strength, stamina, and arm strength. Keeping yourself steady while firing a weapon works various muscle groups. You also improve your hand-eye coordination, whether you use physical target shooting or a VR simulator.

Shooting ranges are also helpful for your mental health. When you practice target shooting regularly, you can have peace of mind knowing you are prepared to protect yourself and your family, reducing your stress as a result. Target shooting can also help you blow off steam and relax, which is beneficial for your overall health.

Fun Activity

Besides the practical benefits of target shooting, it is also a fun activity. If you are a gun enthusiast, it can be very exciting to try out a new weapon at the shooting range. Going to the gun range can be a great activity to do to reduce stress and have a good time.

If you opt to use a VR range, such as The Hub’s MILO Range tactical simulator, you can also have a fun time with your friends. Our MILO system allows up to four people to experience target shooting together in a safe environment. You can get your friends together and shoot zombies, or work through tactical scenarios as a team.

The Hub, Arizona Gun Store

Target Shooting

Here at The Hub, you can reap the benefits of target shooting by using our MILO simulator. If you prefer a physical gun range, we also have a shooting range coming soon to our Tucson location.

The Hub caters to all gun-related needs: concealed carry weapon (CCW) classes, tactical training, and purchasing new firearms. Visit us today and see for yourself.

How To Get an Arizona CCW Permit

The State of Arizona respects the right for people to bear arms. At 18 years of age, anyone who legally possesses a firearm may open carry and at 21 you can conceal carry. Although you can carry a concealed weapon without a permit in AZ, there are many reasons to get an Arizona CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon). These include reciprocity in 37 other states, the ability to conceal carry in more locations, and additional legal protection if you ever need to you use your weapon for self-defense.

If you want to earn your CCW permit, these are the steps to take:

Meet the Arizona CCW Requirements:

Before you can become a CCW permit holder, you must meet certain requirementsunder Arizona law. These include:

  • Residency. You must be a legal resident of Arizona or a citizen of the US.
  • Age. You must be either over 21 years of age or over 19 with proof of military service.
  • Criminal Record. You may not have any indictments or convictions for felony offenses.
  • Mental Health. You must not have any mental health conditions that caused you to be either deemed mentally incompetent by the state or committed to a mental health institution.

Take a CCW Class

If you meet the preliminary requirements, your next step to earning an Arizona CCW is to take a firearm safety class, pursuant to ARS (Arizona Revised Statutes) 13-3112.

At The Hub, we offer training that fulfills the Arizona CCW requirements. These four-hour classes cover laws and firearm safety. In order to take our class, you must be able to load and unload your firearm and have basic shooting skills. However, if you are a complete beginner, we offer 101 classes that will teach you the basics of operating a gun.

Final Steps and Arizona CCW Renewal

Once you complete your CCW class at The Hub, we will help you send your fingerprints, background check, and CCW application to the State of Arizona. After this, the state will issue your CCW permit. Your Arizona CCW is good for five years before you will need to renew it. However, if you want to get the most out of your gun ownership and have peace of mind that you can protect yourself and your family, we recommend continued firearm practice. At The Hub, you can make use of our MILO Range in order to keep up your tactical gun skills.

Earn Your Arizona CCW With The Hub

High-Quality Arizona CCW Classes

The Hub is your one-stop shop for all of your gun-related needs. You can take beginner firearm classes or earn your CCW. You can also hone your skills on our MILO Range. If you need a new gun or need an affordable gun to start your collection, The Hub’s gun store has you covered.

Contact us today to schedule a class or come visit us and browse our huge selection of high-quality firearms.

What Sets The Hub Apart from Other Gun Stores

There are many gun stores in Arizona and it can be difficult to figure out which store has exactly what you need. This is especially true if you are searching for hard-to-find parts or a rare gun that no one seems to have in stock. If you are looking for a gun shop in Arizona, look no further than The Hub. We offer a wide selection of rifles, shotguns, pistols, and more. You can even buy a gun online through The Hub’s online store. If you visit our Tucson or Lakeside location, you will find that we offer more than your typical gun dealer.

Here are some of the things that set The Hub apart from other gun stores:

From Affordable to High-End

At The Hub, we cater to everyone, from seasoned gun enthusiasts to first-time firearm owners. Our gun stores have experts on staff to help you find the weapon that fits your needs. Whatever level of experience you have buying guns, our knowledgeable staff will give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

If you need an affordably priced gun to protect yourself and your family, The Hub has a wide selection. You can browse our collection online to see what firearms we have available. If you are a collector looking to purchase a high-end gun, The Hub can help you as well. Let our experts know what you need and we will be happy to recommend the right gun for you. We also do custom builds, so if we don’t have exactly what you are looking for, we can probably have it made for you.

Hard-to-Find Guns and Gun Parts

Certain guns and gun parts are hard to find at traditional gun stores. This is especially true of items controlled by the NFA (National Firearms Act). This US law regulates the sale of certain firearms and firearm accessories. These regulations include silencers/suppressors, short-barreled shotguns (SBSs), short-barreled rifles (SBRs), and machine guns.

At The Hub, we specialize in NFA-controlled items because we know that many collectors seek out these guns and accessories for their collection. We also carry AR- 15s and AR-15 parts in our gun stores. If you’ve been searching all over for that one hard-to-find gun or part, visit The Hub! If we don’t have what you need in stock, we will work with you to find out how we can get you the item you need.

Visit The Hub

We Are More Than Just a Gun Store

When you visit The Hub, you can do more than just purchase a weapon. You can take a CCW (Concealed Carry Weapon) class to earn your Arizona permit. You can also train on our MILO Tactical Trainer, which uses virtual reality (VR) technology to help you improve your firearm skills. Our Lakeside location has a physical shooting range and our Tucson location has a range that is coming soon. We also offer a pawn shop for you to sell old guns and other valuables.

Come visit us and see for yourself what sets our gun stores apart from the competition.

Essential Gun Safety Rules

The right to possess a firearm comes with important responsibilities. Following gun safety rules is essential any time you use your weapon whether this is at the range, while hunting, or for self-defense. There are four universal rules that originate from Jeff Cooper, a United States Marine who founded the American Pistol Institute (API) and created the modern technique of handgun shooting. In addition to these, there are many other rules that are also important to be aware of when handling a firearm.

Here are some of the most essential gun safety rules:

The Four Universal Rules of Gun Safety

All guns are always loaded

Assume that a firearm is loaded at all times, even if you are pretty sure it isn’t. The goal is to practice good habits whether a gun is loaded or not so it becomes second nature. It’s also important to keep in mind that people can be forgetful and it’s better to be safe in case a gun you thought was unloaded really isn’t.

Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy

Muzzle awareness is a must while handling a gun. You should always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction. This includes the basic principle of not pointing the gun at yourself or others. Additionally, following this rule means you need to consider whether or not a bullet is likely to ricochet off a surface. New shooters may make the mistake of accidentally pointing the muzzle at their own arm or hand while drawing a gun from a holster, so this is another factor to be aware of.

Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target

Your finger can move unconsciously if you are startled, so it is essential to keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. This is trigger discipline and is an important habit to develop from the start of your training. Many media depictions of firearm use show individuals failing to follow this rule, so first-time gun owners are sometimes unaware of its importance.

Identify your target, and what is behind it

You should know what you are shooting before you put your finger on the trigger and make sure that this is in fact your intended target. In addition, you need to know what is behind your target in case you miss or if the bullet passes through and continues its trajectory.

Additional Gun Safety Rules

Store Your Firearms Properly

Make sure that unauthorized persons do not have easy access to your firearms. A gun safe is a great way to accomplish this.

Use the Correct Ammunition

Using the wrong ammunition for your gun can damage the weapon and put you in danger.

Wear Eye and Ear Protection

The sound of a gunshot is loud enough to cause immediate and irreversible damage to your ears and eye protection prevents powder or ejected cartridges from hitting your eyes.

Know Your Weapon

Read your gun’s owner’s manual and make sure you fully understand how it operates. You should also practice with it regularly at the shooting range.

Consider Training

Researching gun safety is a great place to start, but working with a professional can be even more effective. Consider taking a concealed carry weapon (CCW) class or completing another form of firearms training to develop your skills and learn more about safety.

Your One-Stop Gun Shop

The Hub is your source for all things firearms-related, including gun safety resources. You can earn your CCW, get one-on-one handgun training, or practice your skills at our virtual or physical shooting ranges.

Take one of our classes to learn more about gun safety rules.

Your Guide to Concealed Carry Methods

Concealed carry gives you the ability to protect yourself in the worst-case scenario. In Arizona, you don’t need a license to do this, but getting your concealed carry weapon (CCW) permit is beneficial for reciprocity purposes and for the extra training it gives you. If you are planning to carry your weapon, it’s important to do some research into the different concealed carry methods and to practice for each type you will use.

Some of the most popular ways to conceal a firearm include:

Off-Body Carry

Most concealed carry methods involve having the firearm on your body and hidden under clothing. However, you also carry your weapon in a purse, fanny pack, briefcase, or another type of bag. You should always have a holster inside of the bag so the gun’s trigger is covered and to prevent the weapon from shifting. Off-body carry, also called OBC, does present some risks because a criminal could grab your bag with your gun inside it. It is also not a good fit for anyone who is forgetful and might leave their bag somewhere, and it can be difficult to draw your firearm quickly with this method. That being said, there are some situations when OBC could be helpful, such as if your outfit cannot effectively conceal a weapon.

On-Body Carry

Inside-the-Waistband

One of the most popular concealed carry methods is using an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster. A clip attaches the holster to your belt. IWB works well even with lighter clothing, which makes it great for hot Tucson summers. It’s also easy to get access to your gun quickly. The main downside of IWB carry is that the gun is pressing against your body, which can be uncomfortable at first.

Outside-the-Waistband

Carrying with an outside-the-waistband (OWB) holster is typically going to be more comfortable than IWB, but it is also easier to spot. You will need to adjust your clothing accordingly. Depending on the size of the gun, your body type, and other factors, this may be as simple as choosing a long shirt or a jacket to hide the gun.

Pocket Carry

You may be able to fit a compact gun in a pocket holster. It’s especially important that this holster be high-quality and your firearm should never be loose in your pocket. This can be a difficult position to draw from safely, so you need to make sure you practice this technique. Trigger discipline is especially important with this style holster although it is an essential skill needed when drawing from any position.

Shoulder Holster

A shoulder holster is an option if having your gun on your waist isn’t comfortable or otherwise doesn’t work for you. For larger firearms, this might be a better choice than IWB or OWB. With this type of concealed carry you will need to wear a jacket, and you will need to be mindful of where the gun is pointing while it is holstered.

Belly Band

A belly band holster is an elastic band around your waist with pockets to fit your firearm. Women can also consider corset holsters, which are a variation of this concealed carry method. This style is a good choice for outfits where other holsters are too obvious and since the gun is pressed closely against your body, it is going to be well concealed. However, these can be more difficult to access quickly and the area under the holster can be sweaty and uncomfortable.

Ankle Holster

A gun in an ankle holster is difficult to get to quickly and this can also interfere with your ability to run away or otherwise maneuver around while reaching for your firearm. It takes a lot of practice to get used to drawing from an ankle holster. However, it can be a good option for a backup gun or if you spend most of your day sitting.

Bra Holster

Using a holster that attaches to your bra is an option for women and can be a helpful method for concealment if other options are obvious with the type of outfit you are wearing. The downside is that there can be safety issues with this carry method, so you need to make sure you are informed about these and practice drawing safety.

Hone Your Skills at The Hub

No matter what type of holster you use, training is essential to get the practice you need to quickly draw your weapon and fire accurately. We offer a variety of training options to help you hone your skills including one-on-one instruction and larger classes.

Visit one of our two Arizona gun stores today to learn more.

Tips for Improving Trigger Pull Technique

Trigger control is one of the fundamental skills required for accurate shooting. Even if you aim perfectly, you are going to compromise your accuracy if your trigger pull is inconsistent. The good news is that proper trigger control is relatively simple in theory, although it does take regular practice to perfect.

Here are some tips for improving your skills:

Know How to Squeeze the Trigger Properly

Before you can start improving your trigger pull technique, you need to know how what correct trigger control looks like. When you place your finger on the trigger, it should fall in the middle of the fleshy part of your index finger, between the last knuckle and the tip of your finger.

The act of “pulling” the trigger is less of a “pull” and more of a squeezing motion. You should apply pressure with your index finger and keep the rest of your fingers and your hand steady. Learning how to isolate your trigger finger can be tricky, but practice makes perfect. Continue to squeeze until the trigger breaks, which is the point where the weapon fires, and then keep squeezing until the trigger stops moving. It is important to keep in mind that the trigger break and trigger stop can vary depending on the model of the gun. One popular saying is that when you are squeezing the trigger properly, it should almost be a surprise when the gun actually fires. This is because the goal is to not flinch in anticipation or stop squeezing and remove your finger right at the point where the gun fires.

Practice Consistently

Like any skill, proper firearm handling requires effort to develop and maintain. Going to the range infrequently probably won’t be enough to keep your skills sharp. However, the cost of ammunition and the time commitment to get to the range make it difficult to shoot every day. Luckily, you don’t need to actually fire your weapon to practice your trigger pull. Dry fire is incredibly useful to accommodate daily practice into your schedule without using ammo. Make sure your gun is unloaded and complete a set number of trigger pull drills each day. 50 is often a good target, although you can lower or raise this depending on how much time you have. One great drill to try if you tend to jerk the gun while firing is to place a coin on the front sights. This should not fall off and if it does, you need to work on controlling your trigger squeeze and not flinching.

Work on Your Grip As Well

Your trigger pull technique is strongly related to your grip. If you are holding the firearm correctly, you are more likely to keep your aim consistent even if you slightly jerk the trigger. Likewise, if your grip is not strong, you aren’t going to be able to keep your sights on the target even with a perfect trigger squeeze. A proper grip also allows you to place your index finger on the trigger at the correct point.

Consider Training

Reading about how to use your gun and practicing at home with dry fire or at the range can be very helpful. However, it’s easy to develop bad habits if you don’t have an expert pointing out when you make mistakes. Whether you are a new shooter or are more experienced, anyone can benefit from the help of a professional.

Gun Training at The Hub

The Hub offers one-on-one firearms training as well as group classes to help you improve your skills. We also have shooting ranges at both of our stores and a MILO virtual range in Tucson.

Visit us online or at either of our two gun stores to learn more about our handgun training.

The Different Shotgun Types

Shotguns are a popular choice when looking at firearms. While the first ancestor of today’s shotgun was developed over 450 years ago, the first recorded use of the term “shotgun” was in Kentucky in a James Fenimore Cooper publication called Frontier Language of the West. It was this 1776 publication that first recognized the advancement in technology which changed firearm action and barrel designs and separated shotguns from the rifled musket.

What is a Shotgun?

In basic terms, a shotgun is a firearm that is usually fired from the shoulder and that has one or more long barrels. They generally have a smooth bore which reduces friction, and they fire a shotgun shell that is filled with a single projectile or ball shot.

The bore of a shotgun is made for only one specific gauge of ammunition, but ammunition manufacturers offer many different load choices. Most of these loads fire multiple projectiles, like pellets, which increases your chance at hitting your target. When fired from the shotgun these pellets spread out in a cone.

What are the Different Shotgun Gauges?

There are many different common shotgun gauges. The most popular include, 10 gauge, 12 gauge, 16 gauge, 20 gauge, and 28 gauge. The smaller the gauge number the larger the bore is.

To determine the gauge, the inside bore or barrel of the shotgun is measured. Once they determine the diameter of the bore, they see how many same sized solid lead balls it takes to weigh one pound. So a 10-gauge shotgun would take 10 lead balls of the same size as the inside of the barrel to reach a weight of one pound.

Shotgun Actions

Besides gauges, the mechanism a shotgun uses to fire (the action) is another thing that sets different varieties apart. There are many types of shotgun actions. The action of a shotgun is the part of the gun that loads, fires, and ejects a cartridge.

Popular shotgun actions include:

Semi-Automatic

A semi-automatic shotgun uses a spring-operated mechanism that automatically cycles through cartridges in one of two ways, either through a gas system like the AR-15 or through inertia using the recoil. Semi-auto shotguns typically can hold three to nine shells, but you can also get extenders to hold 12 or more. Semi-automatic shotguns are becoming popular for skeet and target shooting, as well as hunting.

Break-Action or Single-Shot

The single-shot break-action shotgun has been overshadowed in popularity by the pump-action shotgun, but it remains a great choice for first-time shotgun users. It is simple in design, affordable, and easy to operate, yet is still powerful enough to use for hunting small game. The barrel is set on a hinge so that when a release is pressed, the stock drops downward. When it is “broken” down it opens the receiver to enable loading or unloading of the shells. In some models you have to cock the hammer manually to fire a round.

Bolt-Action

This shotgun holds one shell and uses a bolt to cycle the ammunition from the magazine to the chamber. These shotguns usually feature a rifled barrel and are known for their outstanding accuracy. They are used as slug guns, which shoot a solid projectile and are most popular in “shotgun only” hunting grounds, where high-powered rifles are prohibited.

Pump-Action

A pump-action shotgun is easy to use and requires little skill to hit your mark because of its wide shot pattern. It works by having the user manually slide the fore-end, where you cock the gun, which uses a spring-operated mechanism to simultaneously eject a spent cartridge and load a fresh one. It is a good choice for home defense and most can hold three to eight shells, and even more with a magazine extender.

Lever-Action

You cannot talk about shotguns without mentioning the iconic lever-action shotgun. The lever of this firearm is typically located on the underside, around the trigger. When pushed down, it opens the action of the gun to eject spent cases and load new ones. The famous Winchester 1873 lever-action rifle, popularly known as “the gun that won the West,” contributed greatly to this shotgun’s design and the first lever-action shotgun was released in 1887. Today’s lever-action shotguns are mostly used as hunting guns.

Side-by-Side or Double-Barrel

Double-barrel shotguns have two barrels and almost always are break-action. These rifles come in two configurations: side-by-side where the barrels are on either side, and over-under, where the barrels are on top of each other. These guns are popularly used for target and skeet shooting, as well as hunting, especially bird hunting.

Shotgun Types at The Hub

At The Hub, you can find a wide selection of shotguns as well as other firearms and accessories.

Visit us in Lakeside, Tucson, or online to shop our collection of shotguns and shotgun accessories.

Myths and Facts About Suppressors

Suppressors are one of the most frequently misunderstood gun accessories. These devices muffle the sound associated with firing a gun by slowing the release of the gases that propel the bullet forward. Rings inside the tube act like a car muffler, slowing and cooling the gases which creates a softer sound when fired. Due to the depiction of suppressors in popular culture, there are many misconceptions about them.

Here some common myths about suppressors and the truth behind them:

Suppressors and Silencers are the Same Thing

MIXTURE OF TRUE AND FALSE

While some will argue that a silencer is for reducing sound, and a suppressor is for reducing muzzle flash, today the words are used interchangeably. Technically however, the legal term according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is silencer, and the word suppressor does not appear in any US firearm law. On the other hand, many gun experts avoid using the term “silencer” because it can be misleading, and causes many people to mistakenly believe the accessory will make a gun completely silent. For our article, we will use the term suppressor.

Suppressors Make a Gun Silent

FALSE

While exact noise levels of a suppressed firearm vary with caliber, type of firearm, ammunition, and other factors, suppressors do not make a firearm completely silent. A typical rifle shot is about 160 decibels and a suppressor usually reduces the sound of the retort by about 30 to 40 decibels. This means that even though a suppressor will prevent damage to your ears to a certain extent, it is still a good idea to use ear protection, especially for extended shooting sessions or when shooting indoors.

Suppressors are Illegal

MIXTURE OF TRUE AND FALSE

One myth that hangs around is that suppressors are illegal. At a federal level, they are legal, but there are currently 8 states that restrict them. They are also some of the most highly regulated gun accessories in the US under the National Firearms Act (NFA). Because of this law, the gun owner must apply for a license from the ATF and obtain a $200 tax stamp in order to purchase a suppressor.

If You Own a Suppressor, the ATF Can Enter Your Home

FALSE

If you purchase a suppressor, you have the same rights you had before you got it.The same laws would apply to search and seizure as guaranteed by the 4th Amendment. Both local and federal government officials would need probable cause to obtain a warrant to enter your home.

Suppressors Reduce the Velocity of the Bullet

FALSE

A suppressor does not interact with the bullet at all. These accessories actually increase the muzzle length, which in turns gives the gasses more time to expand. This actually increases the bullet’s velocity slightly because of the increased pressure.

Suppressors Hurt the Accuracy of the Firearm

FALSE

Again, a suppressor does not come into contact with the bullet. It only suppresses the gasses and therefore cannot interfere with the accuracy of the gun. New gun owners, however, may be more accurate when firing a weapon with a suppressor. This is because instead of worrying about the loud noise the gun will make, they can concentrate on recoil management and trigger control.

Buy Suppressors at The Hub

Our expert team is experienced in NFA-controlled items. We carry suppressors, firearms, gun parts, accessories, and more at our Tucson and Lakeside locations.

If you have questions about any of our NFA products like our suppressors, contact us today.

How to Choose a Gun

If you are thinking about buying a gun, you should research as much as you can so you can make an informed decision. There are a lot of choices and this task can seem daunting, especially for first-time gun buyers. This article can help you start thinking about the basic factors to consider when choosing a gun.

What is the Gun’s Purpose?

One of the first things to determine is what you are going to be using your firearm for. Do you need something for home defense? Are you looking to do recreational or competition target shooting? Do you want to use your firearm for hunting? Answering these questions can help you narrow down the style of gun you are looking for.

Caliber and Recoil

Once you have determined what you want to use your gun for, you can start looking at the details. Caliber is a good place to start. In basic terms, caliber is the diameter of the bore (barrel) of the firearm and determines what size bullet that it fires. A gun that has a .22” diameter bore will fire a .22 caliber bullet. The higher the diameter of the bore, the larger caliber it can fire. The larger muzzle increases muzzle velocity and stopping power. A higher caliber weapon also has to be loaded more frequently as the ammunition is larger and not as many cartridges will fit in a magazine.

If you own a gun and plan on using it, it is important that you are able to control it. Higher caliber weapons have stronger recoil or kickback. This kickback or backward movement of the gun happens when a bullet is fired and is caused by the momentum of the bullet leaving the firearm. The larger the bore of the gun, the faster the muzzle velocity, and the stronger you feel the recoil. Additionally, higher caliber guns are often larger in the hand. A smaller caliber gun is easier to control because it has less recoil but it also has less stopping power. Smaller guns are perfect for defensive situations and better for someone who has small hands.

Quality and Maintenance

Purchasing a high-quality firearm can save you trouble down the road. This doesn’t mean that you need the most expensive gun on the market, but you will want to look at manufacturers with a reputation of making accurate and dependable weapons. Your gun store is a great place to start when shopping for any type of handgun. Here you can try a variety of weapons in different price ranges and you have expert salespeople there to answer any questions you may have. Looking at reviews online from reputable websites can also help influence your decision. You want to select a gun that is accurate, reliable, and made from high-quality materials.

You should also consider maintenance when choosing the right gun. If you are looking for a gun with less to maintain then a revolver may be best for you as it has less moving parts than semi-automatic handguns. However, semi-autos can hold more ammunition and fire at a faster rate.

Get Help Choosing a Gun

Testing out different styles and calibers at a shooting range is highly recommended when choosing a handgun. At The Hub, you can try guns you are interested in at our indoor shooting range and get a discount if you choose to purchase after. Our gun professionals are happy to answer any of your questions.

Visit The Hub in Tucson, Lakeside, or online to browse our selection of firearms.

The Parts of a Gun

It’s important to fully understand how a firearm works before operating one. This includes knowing the different parts of a gun. This article specifically goes over the parts of a semi-automatic pistol. Different types of guns vary in composition, so if you are using another variety, it’s important to be aware of its individual parts and their function.

A diagram showing the different parts of a gun

Some of the key parts of a semi-automatic pistol include:

Grip

This is the part of the gun that you hold. Various accessories and modifications may make it easier to keep a firm grasp on the gun’s grip. Stippling is one example of this.

Magazine

The magazine is the part of the firearm that holds cartridges. One mistake that beginners sometimes make is calling this part a clip, which is not actually a part of a gun. Instead, a clip is an accessory that makes it easier to load ammunition into the magazine. While a magazine is essential for the operation of your firearm, a clip is not.

Trigger & Trigger Guard

The trigger is the part of the gun you pull to fire. It is contained within the trigger guard, which is a part of the frame that protects the trigger from being accidentally bumped or squeezed. If you are not actively firing your weapon, you should keep your pointer finger outside of the trigger guard. This is known as trigger discipline.

Safety

A gun’s safety is a lever or switch that can be set to “safe.” This prevents accidental discharge of the firearm. There are a few different designs that can be used. Some of the most common are safeties that prevent the trigger from moving and those that disconnect the trigger from the firing mechanism.

Slide

The slide is the upper portion of a semi-automatic pistol. It moves back to load rounds into the chamber for firing and also ejects the spent cartridge.

Barrel & Muzzle

The barrel is the metal tube inside of the gun through which a bullet travels. The muzzle is the portion at the end of the barrel where the bullet exits.

Front & Rear Sights

The front and rear sights are on the top of the barrel. You can aim by aligning them.

Gun Accessories

In addition to the parts of a gun, there may be accessories you add onto or use with your firearm. Some examples include holsters, suppressors, and scopes. It’s generally a good idea to fully understand how your gun works on its own before you add any accessories. You should also know how to use any additions safely and effectively.

Purchase Guns, Parts, and Accessories at The Hub

The Hub is your one-stop gun shop and we have a variety of parts and accessories. Whether you are buying your first firearm, building an AR-15, or honing your skills with firearms training, we can help.

Browse our selection of gun parts at either of our stores or online.