3000 Rounds Later- The Smith and Wesson VTAC 2

A couple of years ago, I purchased a Smith and Wesson VTAC  M&P15 from a coworker.  It became one of my favorite rifles pretty quickly. The rifle was spec’d by Kyle Lamb, head dude in charge over at Viking Tactics and is street ready.

A few months ago, I walked into my local gun shop and they had a VTAC 2 in stock.  I handled the rifle, and after some internal debate, I became the new owner of the VTAC 2. Continue reading

Battle Tested Equipment:

Battle Tested Equipment trigger installed in a Spikes lower with Badger Ordnance selector.

Walking around shot show this year I happened to stumble upon a company I hadn’t heard of before. Battle Tested Equipment offers AR accessories made in the USA and designed with function over form in mind. Their products aren’t shiny, gold, or polished and are built to last and be used hard. Which for me at least draws my attention much more then a new organic coating designed for the outside of the space shuttle, dipping something in multi cam, or having a guy with an amazing tactical beard tell me about it on Youtube. After playing with some of their accessories I ended up picking up their charging handle and single stage trigger to try out. Continue reading

The Police Patrol Rifle-K.I.S.S

At a recent LE patrol rifle qualification, I stood behind the line, and observed something I guess I’ve known for a while now.  The basic patrol officer hangs way too much crap on their patrol rifles, and most of the time, all this stuff they hang on it, doesn’t equate to better accuracy down range.

Hear what I am saying prior to sharpening those pitchforks, and lighting the torches.

Patrol is the backbone of policing in the United States.  They are the true first responders.  No call is the same, no situation is the same.  They have to be prepared for just about everything at any time.  I get that.   And things such as a good sling, a white light, and a QUALITY Red Dot sight are helpful. Continue reading

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

The Redi-Mag

You can never have too much ammunition. At least, that is the mentality of many users that wish to strap on as much ammunition to their rifle as possible. While I typically like to have my carbine as light as possible, there are legitimate reasons to attach a spare magazine to the gun. I have seen many different ways to accomplish this, and some are better than others. But before we go into the options, let’s look at whether or not you need to have a spare magazine attached to the rifle. Continue reading

First Look- The Apex Tactical FNH SCAR bolt handle


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.

Stay tuned!

Bushnell Elite Tactical – ERS

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

The HK 416. Do you need one?

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?

Continue reading

First Look: 87 Industries Pinned Gas Block Kit

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.

Made In The USA: Two AR Related Issues Solved


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).

Continue reading


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

Training with Frank Proctor

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

Victor Company Viper Skins Stocks for AI Rifles

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

Picture of the Day – “Caution – Wet Paint”

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.