It seems that nearly every month we hear of increasing numbers of Americans who, motivated by domestic and international circumstances, are taking steps to embrace their individual right to keep and bear arms. It is surely a positive trend, and one that bodes well for the long-term viability of our republic. At the same time, however, we are reminded that people in many other countries are still denied fundamental human rights and are suffering under the oppression of socialism or communism.
One significant aspect of that positive news about domestic gun ownership is that the ranks of female shooters in the United States continue to grow. In fact, more than one third of the 5.4 million first-time gun buyers last year were women, according to industry sources. As a result, several companies have taken notice, and some have decided to produce products designed specifically to address the needs of female shooters. One such firm is the famed German gunmaker Walther, which was founded in 1886, and today serves its U.S. customers from a manufacturing facility in Arkansas. In “Walther PDP F-Series: A Win For Women," NRAWomen.com Editor In Chief Ann Smith describes how the company’s new F-Series pistols have ergonomic and mechanical features that have been designed specifically with women in mind. In fact, they were developed with input from female shooters and engineers. Her story is bolstered by a full technical review by Editorial Director Mark A. Keefe, IV, whose years of experience in firearm evaluation lend even more insight.
On an entirely different note, we also look back a bit to a unique example of American ingenuity—the kind that can spring forth from the private sector when a free society breeds levels of success and wealth that allow creative minds to indulge in experimentation. In “Holland & Holland’s Mighty .700 Nitro Express", contributor Joe Coogan chronicles the creation of one of the world’s most powerful sporting cartridges—the .700 Nitro Express—which was the brainchild of Beverly Hills businessman William Feldstein.
As to that aforementioned negative point, we learn that amid Russia’s relentless, barbaric attacks on the sovereign Eastern European nation of Ukraine, combatants on both sides of the conflict include individuals armed with specialized sniper rifles. Fortunately, as some observers have noted, those fighting for Ukraine—including at least one woman—appear to be more adept in their tradecraft. To lay out the situation in detail, we enlisted the expertise of sniping authority and American Rifleman contributor John Plaster who reports on the guns, ammunition and training in that war in “Sniping In Ukraine." It’s also worth noting that America’s firearm industry hasn’t sat still during the months-long war, augmenting U.S. military aid to Ukraine with guns, optics and ammunition. Those efforts are helping to stave off the Russian war machine, even as some speculate that the conflict could ignite a third world war.
Of course, there is plenty more content within the pages of American Rifleman regarding the latest in firearms and related gear, along with reloading tips and historical information. It’s all part of a rich heritage of individual liberty that has helped establish a standard of living and a quality of life unrivaled across the globe. As has always been the case, however, guarding such freedom requires constant vigilance and resolve—not just on the part of nation states, but in the hearts of the people themselves.
Nowhere is that truth better demonstrated than in America.
—Brian C. Sheetz, Editor In Chief