The FNH SCAR- 16

In late 2004, FN Herstal won the contract from the United States Special Operations Command for a new, modular, and adaptable rifle system. The FNH entry was called the Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR). The new rifle system offering was rumored to be slated for several different calibers, including 6.8 SPC. To date, the FNH SCAR is only available in factory form in 5.56x45mm and 7.62x51mm. The FNH SCAR saw service with the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in the two variants, the SCAR MK16 (5.56), commonly referred to as the SCAR-L for Light, and the MK17 (7.62), commonly referred to as the SCAR-H for Heavy. In 2010, SOCOM announced that it was cancelling the MK16 program. The initial claim was that the MK16 did not do anything better than the current M4 offerings.  To my knowledge, a couple of units still field the 5.56 SCAR-L in the 10.5 inch CQC variant. The SCAR family of rifles operate off of a short stroke piston system. The SCAR family of rifles are also completely ambidextrous, a bonus for left handed shooters who often are at the whim of right hand designs. Continue reading

Photo of the Day: The New 10-8 Performance Glock Base Pad

Prototype 10-8 Performance Base Pad on a Glock FDE Gen 4 Model 19. Production versions will be black.

It probably comes at no surprise that I’ve been using 10-8 Performance Base Pads on my 1911 and M&P magazines for quite some time now, and have grown accustomed to the included features, including dimples for marking the magazines, scalloped sides and serrated or scooped front to aid in removing stuck magazines. All these features are built into the new Glock base pads while maintaining a low profile shape that conforms to the pistol grip. Installation is simple and uses the factory retainer plate. The new Glock base pads are molded and should come in at a very affordable price point of about $4 each. I’ve been running two prototypes for the better part of a year, and have been very happy with the design and durability of the pad. The pictured base pad above is molded OD green, but production versions will be black. Go to the 10-8performance.com website and sign up for the newsletter for updates as to availability.  Hilton advises that the current production updates put these about 2-3 weeks out.

The Modified Glock

Glocks tend to run great out of the box.  They are reliable, and accurate.  I have a friend who shoots a lot of 3 gun and IDPA with a completely stock Glock 17 with the plastic sights, and does it well.  Some folks like to simply change out of the plastic “filler” sights that come stock, for aftermarket sights such as 10-8′s.

I like my Glocks a bit more modified.  Above is a brand new Gen4 G19 that is a recent acquisition.  The gun shot great out of the box, but there are changes that I like to make for my own benefit. Continue reading

Wilson Combat to Host Ernest Langdon in TX

Wilson Combat to host Ernest Langdon for Beretta 92 class in Texas. Image from Wilson Combat.

On the heels of the announcement of the collaboration between Wilson Combat and Beretta guru Ernest Langdon, Wilson Combat has just announced they will be hosting Ernest for a “How to Run a Beretta Handgun” Course at the Wilson Ranch in Cuthand, Texas. Die hard Beretta aficionados will immediately recognize Ernest as the industry’s most knowledgeable instructor on running and modifying the Beretta handgun. A prior member for the Beretta shooting team, Ernest’s competition career has earned him countless national IDPA and USPSA titles with a double action pistol. He also has extensive military experience as an end user and instructor.

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Shooting Without…Yourself.

So, what the hell does that mean? We often go to the range, start shooting a drill or even bullseye practice, and begin to make judgements.  “Damn, my shots keeping going to the left.”  “I’m shooting too slow”.  “Why can’t my group look like his group?” or even, “I suck!”  This is your ego or more commonly known as the conscious mind.  It tells us what’s going on.  It’s that running monologue in your head.  This reminds of me of the scene in the iconic Tom Cruise movie, “The Last Samurai.”  In it, our hero has learned the art of the sword and is in a competition with one of the instructors.  As it goes on, he has a hard time connecting and summarily gets his butt kicked. Continue reading

First Look: 10-8 Performance Glock Base Pad

Ever since the introduction of our extremely popular M&P base pads, customers have been clamoring for the same design concept to be brought to the Glock.  These new pads will be injection molded from glass reinforced nylon, and they are super tough and resistant to impact.  Our pads fit and install the same as the factory pads, use the factory retainer plate, and no extra parts are required. Continue reading

The Sig P226: The Unrecognized Workhorse

The Sig P226 coated in Robar Guns’ NP3, an excellent finish for lubricity and corrosion resistance.

In keeping with our recent series, we’ve been looking at various commonly issued practical service weapons that don’t get a whole lot of love. The Sig P226 certainly falls into that category. Most of us who have been around for a while know this pistol very well, but it seems the new generation of shooters don’t give this pistol much love. Originally designed to compete with the Beretta 92 to replace the M1911A1 pistols, the P226 has been adopted by countless domestic law enforcement agencies and has also been in use by the US Navy SEAL Teams since the 1980s. The P226 also saw service in the FBI, DHS,  and served as an interim weapon to replace the Browning Hi Power. Many of the design features came from the P220 and P225. A double column magazine holds 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition. In its decades of service, P226 has developed a reputation of being a reliable and robust pistol.

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Glock vs. M&P revisited

A couple years ago, I wrote an article titled “Glock vs. M&P…or Why I Shoot An M&P.”  At the time that I wrote the article, the Gen4 Glock was still in an early phase of adoption and had some function issues, and the M&P had not yet begun what is now the most current round of production upgrades. Since no one seems to read the linked articles, I’ll sum it up for you right here: I opted to work around the issues of the M&P, using that as my primary training gun – M&P fans cheered, Glock fans burned me in effigy. I thought it would be worthwhile to revisit this now that the state of both pistols has changed quite a bit in the last couple years.  Continue reading

The Quest For The Sub 3.0 Second 1-5 Drill

I recently was presented with a challenge that the “stud time” for the VTAC 1-5 Drill had to be under 3.0 seconds.  For the life of me I didn’t remember whether my best time was 2.83, 3.28, 3.82, or hopefully not 8.32 (but those 3 digits were clearly in there somehow…I’m sure of it….).  I always enjoy a new challenge, so I packed up my range gear and hit the range. Continue reading

Beretta 92FS: The Forgotten Service Pistol

 

A couple weeks ago, our friends over at the gunnuts.net blog wrote about The Underrated Beretta 92, which prompted me to look back at my own experiences with the platform. Where I work, officers can choose to carry a personal sidearm as long as they can qualify with the pistol and that the handgun itself meets some basic parameters. However, the default issue pistol is still the Beretta Model 92FS, and most of our sworn personnel carry it since it is provided by the agency. So we on the range staff have quite a bit of experience with the pistol; as a result, I’ve formed a few opinions on its attributes and performance characteristics. Continue reading

MADE IN THE USA: SMITH & WESSON MODEL ?

It is a factory nickel K-frame born 1981 (hat tip Roy Jinks, who was in when I called).  S&W logo was moved to the left side of the frame to facilitate engraving.  Blued, in various barrel lengths, used by U.S. military, various state and local police, FBI, IRS-CID, Hong Kong Police, and many more.  Mostly .38 special, but a small run was chambered in .357 magnum.  This one sports a pinned barrel, eliminated in 1982.  Gas ring changed from yoke to cylinder in this dash.

I received the revolver as a present in 2010.  On the first dry fire trigger pull, the tip of one of the prongs on the mainspring claw broke off and the wheel gun became nonfunctional.  I replaced it with a factory rated Wolff, also a new strain screw, and installed a slightly reduced weight rebound spring.  Cleaned and polished it with nickel-safe products and lubed her up.  I put on official S&W store checkered rosewood boot grips, available here.  Likely good to go for another 30+ years.

A J-frame in the pocket may be more comfortable, but a K-frame is more comforting. Much easier to shoot, and has that “extra” round.   Model 10-7, 2 inch.  A .38 caliber M&P of the 20th century:

Shown with K5 thin Kydex pocket holster made by FIST, see hereRides perfectly in the top pocket of several well-known brands of tactical/cargo pants and shorts. Ammo of choice is current loading of Federal Premium 125 grain NYCLAD® HP (P38MA).

Review: Mike Pannone M16, AR15, and HK 416 Handbooks

I’ve been following Mike Pannone through his writings and videos on the Internet for quite some time now. I enjoy his no-nonsense, performance based approach to training. His drills are challenging and rooted in reality. I particularly like his 15 in 10 Drill, which pushes the limits of speed while keeping a tight accuracy standard. This past SHOT Show, I ran into Mike in one of the hallways and had a nice chat with him. While this was the first time we had met in person, I felt like we were chatting like two old shooting buddies. His real world experience is significant (look it up), but Mike also has a solid grasp of the industry, and therefore understands the pros and cons of each weapon system. Hilton recently attended Mike’s Covert Carry Class and keeps telling me how I have missed out by not yet taking the opportunity to get on the range with Mike. Continue reading

CQB Considerations and the 16″ Carbine

In my travels, I see that many LE agencies and individual LEO’s are moving toward Short Barreled Rifles (SBR’s) for patrol and SWAT.  Most typically, the rationale is for easier movement in and around cars, as well as CQB movement inside buildings.  While there is no arguing that a shorter barrel is easier to move around, I would offer that it is not a mandatory requirement for success. Continue reading

HK VP70: First in Polymer

The Glock 17 is commonly considered the first striker fired polymer service pistol, but the reality is that HK beat Glock to it by about a dozen years.  The HK VP70 represents an interesting milestone in service pistol history, and a bout of ’80′s nostalgia all but demanded that I hunt one down for the reference collection. Continue reading