Now comes the “in the white” prototype of the new Apex Tactical Specialties line of bolt handles for the SCAR 16s/17s line of rifles.
The design was a request by some .mil customers who wanted a bolt handle that would clear all the optics they were issued. Based upon their needs, we developed a couple of versions designed specifically around the EoTech and Elcan. The above picture was decided as the best compromise for clearing the optics with gloves on, all the while giving positive control of the bolt handle. Some OpSpec students have been running these bolt handles for the last year in classes and we have over 15,000 rounds to test for wear and issues.
The yet to be named project should be to market around the NRA show, or slightly before.
Riflescope, glass or precision optic; there are just as many terms for the tubular magnifiers that sit atop your prized weapons as there are manufacturers and options for these pricey items. Quite a few have come and gone throughout my locker over the years, but a handful have stayed based on use, repeatability, glass quality and overall ruggedness. The few hours I had at SHOT this year I was talking with Darryl Bolke about optics and he said I needed to see the new offerings from Bushnell. Evidently the look on my face made Darryl respond with, “Seriously, you need to believe me on this one.” Hearing that from a trusted friend, I followed and we met the Director of Military and Law Enforcement Sales, Tom Fuller. An hour later, with an exchange of business cards, I had arranged for two of their new production scopes to be sent my direction when they came off the line. Continue reading
I was first introduced to the HK416 by Larry Vickers and Ken Hackathorn at SHOT Show about six or seven years ago. Back then, it was known as the “HK M4″ before Colt had the chance to call foul on the name. Since then, probably every fan of the M4 pattern carbine has heard of it, especially since the commercial version, dubbed MR556, has been released. Gun store gossip aside, do you really need one?
I have been around every evolution of the SCAR®/CAR/MK17 (or whichever nomenclature you chose to use) since the beginning of the program. I have participated in numerous SOCOM tests, taught a block of training where we had over 70+ of them, as well as carried and employed the weapon system overseas giving me a decent amount of familiarity with the weapon. Designed to replace the EBR M1A and MK11/SR-25 weapon systems FN was chosen by NSW and SOCOM as the new 7.62 battle rifle. After over eight years of development, and numerous changes by FN driven by AAR’s from operators overseas, I believe the weapon itself is not where it needs to be… it has promise but isn’t quite there yet. One of my biggest complaints with the system is the lower. In my opinion, although while being lightweight because of the polymer material used, it isn’t durable enough for heavy use. Another one of the largest complaint from the civilian side was the accessibility and price of magazines from FN as the military contracts were soaking up the vast majority being produced. Continue reading
Last week I shared a simple drill set for the carbine which helps to isolate and build some core skill sets. Next up is to perform the same drill set on the support side. Yes, mirror image of how it would normally be shot. Why do this? The amount of exposure from negotiating a right handed corner with the carbine on the right shoulder requires both painful contortion and significant exposure from cover. Simply shouldering the carbine on the left side would correct all this, yet few shooters are typically able to do this with any level of skill. Continue reading
When you hit the range, have a plan for the day so that you can get the best bang for your buck (literally). There is no need to get very elaborate all the time when planning your range session. Working core skills is rarely considered glamorous or “operator” enough, but the reality is that none of the other ninja stuff matters if your basic skill set is weak or underdeveloped. Continue reading
Molded rail sections. From L: Scout light adapter, long and short Picatinny rails.
I have been using the CMR rail from Centurion Arms for a while on my latest rifle build. It is an exquisitely well executed tubular forend with a 12:00 rail and threaded helicoils for the attachment of modular rail sections. My buddy Monty from Centurion had supplied me with a set of the preproduction rail sections a few months ago, and I finally got around to getting them onto the gun. The rail sections are molded, and screw right onto the tube via the threaded helicoils. As pictured above, there is a Scout mount adapter as well as a long and short Picatinny rail. Other adapters, including an X300 mount, are in the works. Production units of the pictured rail sections should be hitting fairly soon at your favorite Centurion dealer. Continue reading
87 Industries Gas Block Kit comes complete with the gas block, set screw, cross pin, gas tube pin, and hex wrench.
Our dedicated followers know that a pinned gas block is cheap insurance that your gas system won’t leak or come apart at the worst possible moment. Popular extended hand guard systems don’t make it easy to check if your set screws or gas block is loose, and a cross pin is the most reliable way to ensure your gas block is snug. However, for end users that don’t have access to custom fixturing or a mill, pinning a gas block on your own build can be a hassle. Enter 87 Industries.
They offer a Pinned Gas Block Kit which is set up so that the end user can install a pinned gas block with nothing more than a vise and a drill press. The owner tells me that it can even be done with a steady hand and a hand drill in a pinch. The kit includes a drill bit, tapered cross pin that eliminates the need for reaming, Loctite 262, set screw to hold the block in place during drilling, and allen head wrench. The gas block is made of very tough 17-4 Stainless finished with black oxide. The block works with .750″ diameter barrels.
I will be installing one of these with a drill press on a future build, so stay tuned.
I recently completed a stripped Gen 2 Noveske Chainsaw Grade lower and topped it off with a BCM mid-length upper with a Centurion Arms rail. For my optic I chose both a Trijicon ACOG (the compact 1.5 X 16S, see here) or a short base EOTech (see here). A good looking, well set up AR with optics, Made In The USA! For white light, I mounted a Surefire X300 Ultra. Fits and looks good, and is lightweight . . . I even like the way the activation switches work, except for one issue, see below. (Prior Jerry Jones MSW post about the Surefire is here).
My GAP built Surgeon actioned 6 Creedmore with Vortex Razor 5-20 scope
The amazing thing about the firearms industry currently is the vast array of options a person has to modify his/her weapon to their tastes or preferences. This variety is not limited to the adult Lego® of the firearms world, the AR15. There is now also a great market of accessories and options for precision bolt action rifles that’s growing rapidly. The biggest mistake I see many new shooters make with their first bolt action rifle purchase is making the assumption that all rifle stocks or chassis will fit everyone. This is sadly not the case. Each individual shooter’s length of pull, cheek structure, hand size, forearm length, and a number of other factors play into each shooter’s fit to a stock. There is always someone more than willing to tell any new shooter that the stock or chassis that they have is the only way to go. More often than not I watch online as shooters go from a stock to a chassis and back, continuously buying and selling stocks until they finally settle on one that is comfortable for them and fits their shooting style. Continue reading
A properly managed sling eliminates snag hazards in confined spaces.
If you have ever deployed a long gun from inside a vehicle, you’ve probably figured out that the sling is quite the headache. It’ll get wrapped around your legs, the steering column, the shifter, seat belts, the list goes on. It is a simple matter to manage the sling with a bungee cord wrapped around your stock. I have seen folks use masking tape or rubber bands to allow a quick tear away option, but the addition of about 8″ of shock cord from Supply Captain provides a permanent solution that is always with your rifle. Continue reading
I had the distinct pleasure of traveling to the Way Of The Gun training facility recently to train with Frank Proctor. Frank operates his facility out of Eastaboga, Alabama, which is near Talladega, Alabama for those of you that follow racing. Frank’s facility is still pretty spartan, as it appears that construction and additions are a daily event. But, the layout is pretty ingenious as he offers a training area and a public range area to the local community. Frank is going to have a world class training facility. Continue reading
After receiving my new CMR rails from Centurion Arms, I was dying to run the new tube on something. I had a few parts lying around from Palmetto State Armory – a 16″ M4 profile upper and a complete bolt group – so it seemed like they were all meant to go together. Continue reading
Remington 700 in 300wm in an Accuracy International chassis with Viper skins.
Accuracy International is one of the premier military hard use rifle manufacturers in the world. Known for making no nonsense, purpose built weapons and chassis for bolt action rifles, their AI Arctic Warfare (AW) and AI chassis system shape is one of the distinguishable shapes in the firearms industry. With its square fore end, folding option, and wealth of adjustments its a very capable Mil/LEO bolt-in option for the R700 platform. With that being said their thumb hole design fits some shooters more then others, leaving some to shy away from the design. This is where Michael Victor came in with his design for the Viper Skins in 2010. Victor Company’s Viper skins are replacement skins/ stock sides for the AIAW/ AIAE and AI chassis systems replacing the thumbhole with a pistol grip. Other added features to the viper skins are a widened fore end and integrating picatinny rails for additional accessories. Continue reading
A little painting going on in the Jones household this week. The top rifle is new and was in need of a coat of paint. The bottom rifle was painted seven or eight years ago and I grew tired of the pattern. The old pattern had a Field Drab base with Marine Corps Green and Black.
Both rifles were properly degreased and base coated with Aervoe 977- Sand. The bottom rifle was then painted with Aervoe 992- Marine Corps Green to see if I liked the color. It was a bit dark for what I wanted, so I painted the top rifle with Aervoe 979- Forest Green. Both rifles were then finished with Aervoe 999 Earth Brown. The optic on the top rifle is a temporary Aimpoint on it. When the new Aimpoint comes in, I’ll get it painted as well.