About Darryl Bolke

Darryl Bolke is a retired SoCal police officer who spent 17 years assigned to SWAT as a firearms instructor and primary instructor on all firearm systems. Darryl also authored and created a program for L/E edged weapons use and issue knives for all officers, and assisted in the design of several knives. Darryl has worked several years on various private sector investigation and protection details, is a Pro Staffer for L/E with Aimpoint, and is the co-owner of Hardwired Tactical Shooting (HiTS).

Dispelling an AK myth

The “proof” that a 7.62×39 pencil was not used

Shane Johnson shooting the SAM7SF

I recently had a range experience that dispelled one of the greatest urban legends of the firearms world. That the 7.62x.39 AK 47 is incapable of the accuracy level of the AR-15…. or much of anything else. While that may be true in most cases, I just found that to be a myth. After much experimentation down the AK47 path, I settled on what I believe is the finest AK pattern rifle ever made. This is the Arsenal SAM7SF. Continue reading

JRC Holsters

Recently I have been using several holsters and magazine pouches from JRC Holsters.  As much as I am a big user of kydex and synthetic holsters for service and duty use, I am a huge leather snob and prefer leather for concealed carry.  I began seeing some of the holsters on an online pistol forum and I was intrigued enough to call and talk to the owner.  It turns out that I had actually known the owner, Jim Ryan, from the days when he was part of a well know suppressor and class 3 company.  I used to talk to Jim at the Soldier of Fortune Conventions “back in the day”. Continue reading

Are You REALLY Doing It Right?

Are we treating the standing targets as “non-shoots” or as true innocent bystanders and applying all the basic safety rules?

At our last training day, Wayne Dobbs and I ran into a little problem. After a solid day of shooting a variety of tough drills and courses, we decided to add a little “competition” to the end of the day. We recently began running a pretty good little drill of 2 hits on a 10” plate at speed and then transition to an 8” plate for a single hit. We decided to now run this on a rack with a 10” plate and two separate 8” plates. To make things a little more interesting, we added two “innocent bystanders” between the targets. We also added a couple of rules. You could not violate the four basic safety rules. This meant that on the transition from the various plates across the innocent by-standers, you could not have a finger on the trigger, and the muzzle could not cover the non-shoot targets. After a couple of runs, we just put the timer away. It was insanely hard to not cross those non-shoots and to get that finger onto register. It took a lot of work to try to do this “right” and not necessarily “fast”. We also started moving to offer up better shots to minimize the risk to the non-shoots. Continue reading

Building the “Do it All” Carbine Part II

Marvin Pitts from Nefarious Arms did an amazing job on the barrel treatment

The heart of building my “Do it all” carbine is the barrel. In order to get what I was looking for in a very lightweight and handy carbine that carries and shoots like a light M4, but offers better penetration and performance than 5.56mm and hits like a light .308. I also wanted to avoid the many issues of a short-barreled 5.56mm or for that matter, a short .308 (excessive blast, recoil and accelerated wear). I was fortunate to locate the perfect person to get my new little carbine to where it has a near perfect level of length, weight, and balance. Continue reading

Building the “Do it All” Carbine

Complete upper

Since moving to Texas I have immersed myself in not only trying to learn the intricacies of Texas pronunciation of various cities and Texas terminology, but also Texas history. One of the things I have found in looking at Texas lawmen history and the gun culture here is the use of the do it all carbine. In particular, the 30/30-lever action has played a prominent role. While many legendary Texas lawmen would go to the Winchester Model 95 as the heavy problem solver, the 30/30 was sort of the day-to-day go to rifle for lawmen, ranchers, hunters, and everyday citizens for protection…a “knock around” rifle. The 30/30 has the ability to do good work on every type of game animal in the state, and also has a long history of working well on two legged vermin as well. It is a solid tool for the self sufficient Texan.

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Graygun’s HK artistry

Bruce Gray’s Artistry in HK’s
By Darryl Bolke

Most of “my circle” of friends in the firearms world knows that I am an unrepentant fan of HK firearms. I have been a dedicated user of Heckler & Koch service pistols for over 25 years. While I love 1911 pistols and big bore revolvers with all my heart, I am most often found carrying an HK pistol of one variety or another. In the world of HK the names of the premier HK gunsmith’s is a short list………with one name-Bruce Gray. Others can work on them, but only one that I know of has been synonymous with high-end gunsmithing on them (especially with the P7 series) is Bruce Gray. I remember coveting a long slide P7M13 back in the late 80’s when they graced the HK catalogs. It has taken a lot of years, but finally in December I secured not one, but two Gray Guns, Inc. HK pistols.

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Optics on an AK? Enter the RS Regulate AK-300 Mounting System

RS-Regulate AK300 base with AKM mount and AImpoint Comp M3

RS Regulate AK Optics Mount
By Darryl Bolke

The AK-47 platform has made some huge inroads in the last decade as a more mainstream primary rifle system for many American shooters. It is also becoming one of those systems that you need to learn to run even if it is not your normal issued rifle for either military or L/E shooters. While the AK system is usually a robust and reliable rifle (especially in true military issued form rather than “assembled” rifles), it is lacking in many areas for efficient use. One of the biggest shortcomings of most AK’s is that they are essentially equipped with a rough pistol sighting system. Continue reading

Big Performance in Small Packages

Under normal circumstances, I still carry a firearm like a plainclothes assignment rather than a washed up retired guy. I usually carry a compact duty gun (currently HK P30), a Surefire E2DL, and a Strider SMF folder and DB fixed blade, along with a hideout Ti HAK. I use a HK P2000SK as a second gun at times in a small fanny pack. Old habits die hard, and this is probably overkill for most. On occasion or as required by dress I will carry items more in line with a size that most folks would consider for daily concealed carry. Because I have to sacrifice in size, does not mean I have to sacrifice in performance. I have obtained some outstanding items recently that offer huge performance in a smaller package.

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HK P30 Enhancements

I have been carrying a 9mm HK P30 for my primary pistol for a while after having epic issues with my last newly purchased Glock 19. I have been very happy with the HK P30 with its out of the box performance. It is disturbingly reliable, has consistent and very positive extraction and ejection (even without a magazine), is more mechanically accurate than its more popular competitors, and actually doesn’t need anything done to carry as a working pistol. Mine is a V2 LEM that is the heavier of the LEM set-ups. It has the HK luminescent sights that are not tritium (due to a ban in Europe), but do work really well when simply hit with a light. I set my guns up with small back straps and side panels. The P30 is one of the most adaptable pistols made to tailor the grip to an individuals taste.

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REVIEW: First Spear SHOCK Rig

The author running the First Spear SHOCK rig in an EAG Tactical course.

I recently participated in an EAG Tactical low light Carbine 2 course in Texas.  I was running my LaRue Texas RangAR .308 rifle that is the subject of a future print media article.  I needed to get a 7.62 x51 specific chest rig.  I contacted the folks at First Spear to see what they had that would meet my needs for a lightweight chest rig.  Ronnie Fowlkes recommended the SHOCK 6/12 rig.  I ordered it along with a pistol magazine pouch for my HK P30.  The Multicam rig was delivered quickly and I immediately noticed that it was very lightweight.  This may be in part because of the 6/12 panels, which get rid of a lot of the heavy PALS webbing.  While I was a little skeptical about the 6/12 attachments, there were zero issues in class and no movement.

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