Practical Gun Reviews | Savage® Axis II XP Hardwood Review

Savage® Axis II XP Hardwood Review | Centerfire Rifle Ranking

Hunting rifles can be a very contentious subject, depending on who you ask. One person may really enjoy the old standby rifle that was handed down from their grandfather, while another hunter prefers to continually seek the newest firearm technology available. Let’s be clear – there’s nothing wrong with shooting a family heirloom firearm. That’s a very special thing. But even if you fall into that camp, we think there’s something in this Savage® Axis II XP Hardwood review that will start to make you question your decision. Similar to our shotgun review, here’s why this centerfire rifle is such a great option for so many people.

Savage Axis II XP Hardwood Bolt-Action Rifle

The Savage® Axis II XP hardwood rifle is a high quality, well-made bolt-action rifle that can be used for several purposes. This model is a step up from the other rifles in the AXIS series of Savage® rifles, and for several good reasons. The hardwood stock and blued barrel look aesthetically pleasing to the eye. It’s a balanced gun with a 22-inch barrel and weighing around 7 pounds. It comes with a detachable four-round box magazine and a mounted and boresighted Bushnell® Banner™ 3-9x40mm riflescope. The barrel is button rifled to ensure a consistent bore diameter from end to end, and each barrel is hand-straightened if needed. The Savage® Axis II XP hardwood rifle also has a zero tolerance headspace, which is the distance between the chamber and the face of the bolt. Finally, the primary difference between Axis XP and Axis II XP is the Savage® AccuTrigger™ system. This light trigger system can be customized to your individual preferences and shooting style. You can set the trigger pull yourself without having to pay for a gunsmith. But more importantly, the AccuRelease feature on the trigger helps provide an additional safety measure in case the rifle is jarred suddenly (i.e., dropped from your tree stand). Fully depressing the AccuRelease allows you to have a very crisp and light trigger pull.

Savage® Axis II XP Hardwood Review: Benefits

There are several benefits to owning and shooting the Savage® Axis II XP rifle. The gun is very balanced and light enough to easily carry with you on different hunting trips, whether you’re scaling rocky slopes or just hiking through the woods to your deer stand. The detachable four-round box magazine is invaluable when you need to be able to quickly and conveniently load and unload your gun. For example, if you have to ride an ATV into your hunting location, you can keep the magazine clip secure in your pocket while your gun is in an ATV scabbard. When you arrive, you can quickly insert the magazine and start hunting in short order. The boresighted Bushnell® Banner™ 3-9x40mm riflescope helps to get you sighted in faster, though you will still have to zero the scope yourself. Generally, however, it should be fairly close right out of the box, which makes your job even easier. The precise, button rifled bore helps ensure that each round you put through the barrel will stay as accurate and consistent as possible. Additionally, the zero tolerance, minimum headspace ensures that each round is chambered perfectly to provide the most accurate shooting. Having a hair trigger allows you to not influence the shot as much, but it can be unsafe if you accidentally bump it. The AccuTrigger™ system with the AccuRelease feature helps you stay safe while still allowing you a light trigger pull (which you can also adjust yourself). Last, you can find the Savage® Axis II XP for sale at a very reasonable price of $469.99 here.

Savage® Axis II XP Hardwood Review: Best Uses

After reading through the features and benefits in this Savage® Axis II XP hardwood review, it’s hard to think of a situation where this rifle wouldn’t perform well. Chambered in .243 Win, this rifle would be excellent for varmint or coyote hunting. Being able to consistently place shots on a small target is critical for those scenarios. Chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor or .30-06, this rifle would be perfect for deer hunting or as an all-purpose hunting rifle. Finally, if you’re pursuing larger game animals (e.g., elk, moose, large predators, etc.), the .308 Win is always a good caliber to use. As far as a hunting rifle review goes, you can see that its versatility and accuracy in the field is what really separates it from others. The features discussed above may well make it one of the best bolt action rifles you’ll find for the price.


Spring Bass Fishing Gear and Tactics for the Spawn

Unlocking the Secrets to Spring Bass Fishing

There is no better time to be a bass than in the spring. The water is finally warming up, food is becoming readily available and on top of all that, it is time to spawn. With bass activity in motion, spring bass fishing is some of the best bass fishing anglers have all year long. Some believe that bass are in such a feeding frenzy priming for the spawn that it is easy to catch them. On the contrary, it still takes the right bass fishing gear and a thorough understanding of spring bass tactics to land largemouth and smallmouth bass this time of year.



Breaking Down Spring Bass Fishing with 5 Proven Tactics

Before you start prepping your gear and spring bass fishing lures, there are five proven bass fishing techniques to know if you want to catch them in the spring.  

  1. Target transitional points – Areas where shallow water meets distinct drop-offs to deeper water are hotspots for locating spawning bass. Bass will use these areas to stage right before the spawn. Also, bass will use deeper water adjacent to spawning grounds to feed during the spawn. Find these zones by using your electronics or depth maps for the particular body of water you are fishing. 
  2. Fish the water temperature – Bass activity in the spring is dictated by water temperature. The typical progression in the spring is as water temperatures move into the upper 40s to mid-50s bass feeding amplifies. During these pre-spawn days, you can find bass feeding around deeper structure such as sunken fish habitat or boulder outcrops. The spawn kicks in when water temperatures get somewhere between 55 and 65 degrees. Locating spawning bass when water temperature falls within this range, therefore, will be key to catching them. Target large, protective flats in the upper end and the north side of lakes, which will be the first areas to see spawning bass. 
  3. Cover a lot of water – One of the best spring bass tactics is to cover lots of water. Bass are constantly moving depending on water temperature as mentioned previously. The more water you can cover when spring bass fishing the more successful you will be. It is unusual this time of year to catch bass in one spot and then catch them in the same spot a few days later. Move around in both rivers and lakes only spending a few casts in a particular spot before moving on to the next. If you catch one, however, sit tight and fish that area hard.  
  4. Pay attention to the water – The old adage of “be aware of your surroundings” is a good saying to remember if you are learning how to catch bass in the spring. It pays to pay attention to the water. Keep your eyes open for baitfish activity near drop-offs where staging bass may be feeding and also eyeball shallows to sight fish spawning bass. A good pair of polarized fishing sunglasses will go a long way in helping you catch more spring bass. 
  5. Bass fishing on sunny days works – As the water temperature dictates bass activity, so does the weather. Long periods of sunny, warmer days not only warm up the water but itgets bass even more active. In contrast, cold and cloudy days will keep bass deep and less likely to strike a passing lure. For results when early spring bass fishing cold water and cloudy days, stick to fishing deep creek beds in reservoirs and slack water behind islands in larger rivers. 

Spring Bass Fishing Lures for Catching Spawning Bass

Bass fishing gear ranges from different rod types, line sizes, reel choices and almost unlimited styles of lures. Of course, the choices you make in these categories and all the other gear categories for bass fishing matter. The most important factor out of these is the spring bass fishing lures you select.

You have to be prepared during the spring with two bass fishing techniques, which are complete opposites. The first is fishing slow and methodical with finesse baits. Spring bass fishing slow can be painful but when bass are just beginning their transition into spawn mode it is a must. With finesse baits, you can fish deeper holding areas during colder days when bass are not moving much and are reluctant to chase baits. The complete opposite second bass fishing technique is throwing fast moving reaction baits. This technique is effective as water temperatures rise and bass transition into spawning. Fish will be on the move and feeding aggressively. Reaction baits, such as crankbaits and spinnerbaits, allow you to cover lots of water until you find pockets of catchable bass.

3 Spring Bass Fishing Baits That Produce

Because there are changing conditions when bass fishing in the spring, you have to be prepared with the right lures if you want to consistently catch them. Here are the top three spring bass fishing baits you can rely on to do just that.

1. Finesse worm – A finesse worm like the Berkley Gulp Crawler is versatile enough to be fished slowly in deeper water or Carolina rigged from shallow to transitional waters for bass. A natural color is good for a wide range of water conditions or change to a black colored finesse worm for fishing in dirty water.

2. Tubes – Crayfish are a big part of the forage in the spring, particularly in rivers, so a tube is a natural choice to mimic such prey. The Z-Man TRD TubeZ in the molting craw color is the perfect spring bass fishing lure choice to fish gravel bottoms where bass are preparing to spawn.

3. Crankbaits – Crankbaits, jerkbaits and even spinnerbaits are all good choices when you need to speed things up and cover lots of water. The Bomber Fat Free Shad has a tight wobble and can be fished in a range of water depths. Toss these reaction baits on warm sunny days later in the spring.

The secret to spring bass fishing is that there is no secret. Catching bass in the spring during the spawning cycle revolves around two key concepts. First, focus on proven bass fishing techniques to put yourself in position where bass will be. Second, be versatile with those techniques and combine them with lures that produce bites such as finesse worms, tubes and fast moving baits like crankbaits, jerkbaits and spinnerbaits. Master these concepts and you will certainly catch bass in the spring!

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Practical Gun Reviews | Benelli® SuperNova Review

Benelli® SuperNova Review | What You Should Know

When it comes to firearms, every hunter or shooter has their own preferences. What one person admires about a gun, another person may hate. This is particularly true in the world of shotguns where pump-action shotguns and over-unders can be surprisingly polarizing in shotgun reviewsBut we think there is one gun that could really entice the interest of just about anyone. This shotgun can be used for either hunting purposes or for self-defense and law enforcement, making it a very adaptable firearmThis Benelli® SuperNova review should give you some insight into this gun and why it is such a great option for many different people.

Benelli® SuperNova 12-Gauge Pump-Action Shotgun


Benelli® SuperNova Review: Features 

The Benelli® SuperNova is a versatile 12-gauge shotgun that can be used for multiple purposes. It is lightweight at under 8 pounds, and yet it is very strong. This is accomplished due to its construction of a steel skeletal frame that is over-molded with a high-tech polymer material. The spacious trigger guards allow easy access even with gloved hands when the conditions are too cold to go without. It comes with a shim kit so you can adjust the drop and cast of the stock easily at home. It features a unique ComforTech® recoil reduction system to cut the Benelli® SuperNova recoil by 52% over a similar pump-action shotgun. It also has a shell-stop button located on the ridge-checkered forend that allows you to unload a round from the chamber without releasing the shells from the magazine tube. All in all, this firearm has several features that make it a slam dunk if you’re looking for a multi-purpose shotgun. 

Benelli® SuperNova Review: Benefits

There are plenty of benefits to shooting this shotgun. First, you can carry it around fairly easily since it is so lightweight. That makes a big difference over a full day if you’re carrying it through the woods after grouse or through a field chasing rooster pheasants. Being able to shoot your shotgun with gloves on in cold weather is huge. Most shotgun trigger guards are much too narrow to allow you to quickly fit your trigger finger through, which can limit your usage in colder conditions. Being able to adjust the stock length of pull via the shim kit is often overlooked by most people. But making sure your shotgun stock fits you uniquely will help improve your shooting accuracy and consistency over time. A proper-fitting stock will easily glide to your shoulder instead of making you fumble around with it. The ComforTech® recoil reduction system definitely makes a big difference on your shoulder over the course of a morning when you’re shooting at fast-moving teal. Having ridge-style checkering along the forend allows you to easily grip it no matter the weather conditions or texture of your gloves. Obviously, being able to cycle another shell into the chamber is important so you can quickly follow up on shots. With a barrel length of 26 inches and a finish in Realtree® APG, it is a great option for swinging on waterfowl. But this specific model is chambered for 3-1/2” magnum shells, which is also perfect for turkey hunting. Finally, the Benelli® SuperNova price is also easier on the wallet than you might think. At $599.99, it really is a steal for a premium shotgun.

Benelli® SuperNova Review: Best Uses

While the Benelli® SuperNova does come in three distinct stock configurations from the manufacturer – Benelli® SuperNova ComforTech®, ComforTech® with Steady Grip™ (i.e., Benelli® SuperNova pistol grip), and collapsible stock for law enforcement – this particular model is only available in the ComforTech® option. Combined with the Benelli® SuperNova camo finish, this model is perfect for waterfowl or turkey hunting, but would work great for deer (given the right slug ammunition), dove, pheasant, or really any small game animal you can think of. It is built to last through tough weather conditions really anywhere in the country. Additionally, the high quality design (as detailed throughout this Benelli® SuperNova review) will make it easier on your body to shoot it all day in comfort. As such, it is hands down a great and reliable shotgun for sporting clays and hunting alike and deserves a spot in your gun cabinet if you’re in the market for one. 


Practical Gun Reviews | Beretta® BU9 Nano Review

Beretta® BU9 Nano Review | Is This the Best Concealed Carry 9mm?

Let’s imagine you’re looking through lists of the bestconcealed carry gunsIf you carry (or will soon carry) a handgun for personal defense purposes, the size, profile, and weight of that gun probably mean a lot to you. While some people don’t mind carrying a larger, full-size handgun around, it is not always practical or comfortable to do so. Sometimes, carrying a compact gun that you can easily tuck away is the best optionIf that describes your situation right now, you’ll find that there are several Beretta® handguns that could work for you. But in this Beretta® BU9 Nano review, you’ll see why this one specifically is such a great handgun for self-defense and concealed carry situations. Check out the rest of the handgun review below for more information if you’re in the market for a new firearm.

Beretta® BU9 Nano Semi-Automatic Pistol


Beretta® BU9 Nano Review: Features

The Beretta® BU9 Nano is designed to be a micro-compact pistol that truly is perfect for concealed carry and self-defense purposes. It is a relatively small handgun – it has a three-inch barrel, and measures less than one inch wide and just over five inches in overall length. The gun only weighs 19.8 ounces (just over 1 pound), making it a comfortable option to carry all day. The design is ergonomic and very smooth to prevent snagging on your handgun holster or your clothing. As far as firearms go, it is a very customizable handgun. It comes with a serialized chassis and modular design that allows you to easily swap out different parts. For example, you can easily switch polymer grip frames for frames of another color or adjust the 3-dot sights and Beretta® Nano accessories without needing to be a gunsmith. This Beretta® 9mm pistol comes with a flush bottom magazine with a capacity of 6 rounds (for easy concealed carry purposes), but an 8-round capacity extended magazine is also available from the manufacturer to lengthen the grip by one inch as well. There is a reversible magazine release button near the trigger. The Beretta® Nano safety features include a striker deactivation button, which allows you to disassemble the handgun without having to pull the trigger. 

Beretta® BU9 Nano Review: Benefits 

Its small size and smoothly contoured profile help you to quickly access it from its holster, which is one of the first and most important tests a self-defense handgun should pass. If you cannot get to it fast enough, there’s really no point in having it. The short three-inch barrel also offers a smaller surface area for would-be assailants to grab onto in an attempt to disarm you. As mentioned in the features above, the Beretta® 9mm Nano is very customizable to suit your own tastes, and you don’t need any particular skills to do so. By installing an optional laser sight onto the handgun, you can ensure your shot placement is accurate and acquire your target faster. A reversible magazine release button means you can quickly switch it depending on if you are right or left handed, and it takes no special gunsmithing abilities to do so. Being able to deactivate the firearm for service and disassembly without pulling the trigger is one more feature that ensures you stay safe. Additionally, the metal and polymer frame is coated in a durable, low-shine coating that helps protect it from body sweat and keeps it corrosion-free. And at $398 for a very customizable and easy-to-maintain handgun, the Beretta® Nano price is good too. 

Beretta® BU9 Nano Review: Best Uses

As mentioned elsewhere in this Beretta® Nano review, this handgun is literally made for concealed carry and personal defense situations. Its small profile means you can easily conceal it inside a belt or ankle holster without drawing attention to it. You can easily carry it all day without the additional weight or bulk bothering you. Though the short three-inch barrel may concern some from an accuracy standpoint, the gun is very capable of accurate shooting, especially when equipped with an optional laser sight. However, since this is primarily a self-defense gun, most shooting would be expected to be at very short distances, making the accuracy point even less of a concern. For all of the features considered in this Beretta® BU9 Nano review, this may be the best-concealed carry 9mm you’ll find for the price.