You always hear quite a bit about how rifles with mid-length gas systems shoot “softer” than the carbine length brethren. I bought one of my favorite rifles more because of the basic layout, and I like the dude that came up with the concept of the rifle, Kyle Lamb. It is a 16 inch Smith and Wesson VTAC 2. It came factory with a mid-length gas tube. I changed out the brake for a Surefire brake, and then I just added ammo. The rifle has always shot like a dream. Dot travel is minimal. I can hammer quick splits into discreet targets at will. Continue reading
Several weeks ago, Apex Tactical owner Randy Lee and I were talking on the phone and our discussion turned to new products coming down the line from Apex. One of the major items of interest to me was the “Apex Grade” 9mm barrel for the Smith and Wesson M&P. My association with Randy goes back a bunch of years. I still have the early 2006 M&P that we used for the prototyping of the original Apex Hard Sear that started it all. Well, he prototyped, and I was the ape that attempted to break it. As the conversation evolved, some hints might have been dropped, and a semi-drop in barrel arrived at my door about three weeks ago. Continue reading
The HK416D is the ultimate in the cool guy kit. I have been issued one for two years now. I was dead set against the 416 when we were looking. I was on the selection committee, and shooting the carbine was what won me over. Continue reading
If you have more than a couple rounds down the barrel of the AR15 platform, you should know the system works but isn’t necessarily the cleanest. For anyone who actually shoots their gun instead of keeping it clean and pretty, the cleaning of the bolt carrier group in particular is always a fan favorite. Your choices are to soak it in solvent of some type of spend a good amount of time with a scraper of some type trying to break through the layer of fossilized carbon built up around the gas rings on the bolt. This is where aftermarket finishes and treatments have come into play in recent years in an effort to battle the carbon buildup. I have never been a fan of the flashy silver bolt carriers shining through the ejection port of a AR. I made a habit of writing them off as flash as my AR’s had always run just fine without them. Continue reading
For those of us who live in the “Less Temperate” areas of the country. Cold weather training is a reality if you want to keep your training relevant and current. In the Northeast we have approximately 6 months of cold weather and 6 months of not quite as cold weather. There are several differences in cold weather firearms carry and usage that need to be addressed in training.
People are often prone to advocate that we should do everything in training exactly as we would do it “for real.” And in the vast majority of instances, I believe their argument has merit. However, we need to adjust our behavior sometimes based on safety concerns, range limitations, and other less than real factors, such as training ammunition. Frangible ammunition has been discussed here in the past but I am here to give you another example of how we need to be attentive at the range. The photo above shows a comparison photo of the front portion of a frangible round that was recovered from a shooter’s AR style rifle. Yes, the rifle type is important here. Continue reading
While not nearly as sexy as a new rifle, pistol, optic, or other fancy accessory, tools are a very necessary part of any shooting sport. This is especially true of sports requiring scopes and all the mounting options that accompany them. Usually along with any number of required items that I dump into my bag for the day, is a good tool kit which has a tendency to be much bigger then it probably needs to be. Continue reading
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
One of the potential weak points on a 1911 pistol is the plunger tube. Shortfalls in either materials or workmanship (usually workmanship) can lead to the plunger tube becoming loose in the frame, or even completely falling out of the frame. The latter tends not to happen, since the grip panel will usually hold it in place. Continue reading
When the mercury drops into the single digits and stays there, things you don’t normally see freeze will freeze. Fortunately for most of the United States, this is a rare occurrence, though this season seems to be the exception. For extreme cold conditions, we have to take special precautions to ensure that our equipment functions. Our friends in the Northern US, or elevation in the mountain regions simply call this “Tuesday-another day at the office”. Continue reading
For many years, the internal extractors in later model SIG P-Series pistols have been somewhat problematic. The problems have been largely hit and miss, but were evident in some of the X5 pistols, as well as the P220 and others fielding the internal design. SIG eventually switched out to the short external extractor, and currently to a long external extractor.
My mentor, Bruce Gray at GrayGuns, INC has been working on the problem for several years and has finally come up with a “fix” for the reliability issues with the internal extractor guns. As can be observed in the video, the new extractor cleans up ejection and extraction, making it consistent and reliable. The process involves fitting the new extractor to the individual pistol and tuning it for reliability. The turn around time is about 10 days, and the cost for the modification is $200.
More information can be found at www.grayguns.com.
A short time ago Hilton contacted me about evaluating the Colt M45 1911 Dual Recoil Spring Assembly. As you may know from earlier articles, Colt developed the Dual Recoil Spring assembly for use in the M45 at the request of the Marine Corps. The system is designed to prolong spring life between changes and increase the round count between them.
We were on the range the other day doing some T&E work, and my partner was shooting his HK 416 from prone from 50 yards. I decided to be a smarty, and stepped up on the line beside him, and shot his target with my M&P .40. I was trying to hit where he was attempting to shoot a group at in an attempt to mess with him. Continue reading
The Multitasker Series multitool is one of the most popular firearm oriented multitools on the market, and for good reason. It is the Swiss Army Knife of multitools and contains nearly everything you need to maintain most common modern weapon systems used today. Hilton and I have been using the Series 2 tool for quite a bit, and found that it is not only handy on M4s, it is a great tool for performing many maintenance tasks on Glocks, M&Ps and even 1911s. Not long ago, the Series 3 tool was released, which incorporates a few features the designer felt was missing from earlier generations.
Meet the Wilson Combat (WC) Tactical Elite (TE), a really nice full size 1911 with a unique flanged cone barrel. The claim of softer recoil and faster shot-to shot-recovery (due to almost two ounces additional weight) is not a false boast. I base this on the comments of friends who have shot my TE, and from personal experience. There are a couple of pistols in WC’s expansive current offerings I now might like better, but that in no way diminishes this rather unusual iteration of the 1911.