Bushmaster . 308 ORC MOE Carbine. Nikon 1-4 Scope with Nikon P Series Mount. Magpul M3 PMags, Vltor Scout Mount with Surefire G2 Light, HST Sling, MDFA Kydex FDE .308 Mag Pouch.
Having been a long time user (37 years) of the M-16/AR-15 family in 5.56, I decided that it was time I tried one in the caliber that the weapon was originally designed for .308. I’m a proponent of 30 caliber weapons and the .308 and 30-06 are my favorites. While the 5.56/.223 work well within certain situations, I wanted a more versatile caliber, with the ability to penetrate barriers as well as one that has more effect on target in a defensive situation. We also have large animals here in Maine and the 5.56 is somewhat lacking in it’s ability to address those situations.(Ever have to shoot an injured Moose?) Continue reading
At some horrible, fateful point in the late 80′s or so, the 3 dot sight system assumed the throne of its seemingly never-ending reign of terror. Yes, I hate 3 dot sights, and so should you.
The basic rationale behind the 3 dot sight system is that it speeds up sight alignment by allowing you to theoretically line up the dots and fire. It’s not so simple, and let’s look at some of the issues.
Do I line up the top plane of the sights or the 3 dots when I aim? You NEVER ever ever ever ever ever line up the 3 dots to aim. Ever. Well maybe that’s a bit broad, but novice shooters should just reread that and stick with it. The 3 dots serve only to theoretically speed sight acquisition, but there is no guarantee that the 3 dots are actually in a correct line relative to your point of impact, so there is no reason to use them in such a manner. The most accurate and correct work is always to be done with the top plane of the sights. The only real exception is if you are in pitch darkness and the only elements you see are your 3 glowing tritium dots. However, that is fodder for a different article so don’t steal my thunder for part 27 of this series.
Those 3 dots are so easy to see and line up! When the gun is clean and you are dry firing in a relaxed manner in perfect lighting, sure. Once you start shooting, the front sight – where your attention should be – starts to get dirty from muzzle blast and the nice clean rear dots really jump out at your eye instead. When white outlined tritium dots age, it is easy to end up with three dots that are different colors and shapes thanks to paint outlines fading and chipping. Your eye wants a single area of focus, not three different ones.
Under stress you can line up the dots wrong by putting your front sight outside the two rear dots. Well I suppose that could happen, but go try it right now and look how wildly wrong the pistol needs to be aligned to have that happen. A little more dry fire time is in order if this happens to you regularly.
You’ll notice that the pistol in the photo above has the two rear dots blacked out with magic marker. It is a cheap fix, and one that I recommend be done on every factory sight set. This simple trick was passed on to me years ago by friend and mentor Ken Hackathorn, a guy who has forgotten more about handgunning than most will ever know. Marker does rub off easily, but the advantage of using marker instead of paint is that the rear tritium inserts will glow through the ink if you still want to use the tritium. Try this little trick and you may find that your front sight suddenly jumps out at your eye when you shoot.
One of the most common questions that is heard in relation to gun parts, and 1911 parts in particular, is “do I need a gunsmith to fit it?” The short answer – if you need to ask that question, you will have the best results if you have a gunsmith do it. Continue reading
Last week, I was out at the SIG Academy teaching a class when one of my friends who is one of their engineers showed up with all kinds of cool stuff.
One of these items was a suppressed SIG MCX in 300 Blackout. I didn’t have a lot of time due to teaching, but I ran enough ammo through it to say without a doubt…….wow. Continue reading
Springfield TRP 1911 with MDFA Kydex Carry Gear
Just so nobody thinks we’ve abandoned the 1911 here at MSW, here’s a quick peek at my Springfield Armory TRP. I recently bought her LNIB. Continue reading
When I first started running the Gen 4 Glocks, I was fairly insistent that due to the shorter fore/aft size of the new frame, I no longer needed to use an extended slide stop with the guns. All of my Gen 3 Glocks sport some type of extended slide stop, but now with the slightly smaller Gen 4 frame I had found that my thumb was better able to reach the standard length slide stop. That all worked great until one day where I trained in the pouring rain…. Continue reading
“Sorry folks, the park is closed….Moose out front should have told you“ John Candy-“National Lampoons Vacation”.
The words of John Candy’s character kind of sum up my advice on the most of the “should I do XYZ for my home defense gun”. The fact is I only give advice on suppressors for home defense because there are thousands of variables. I can’t say with any kind of authority what might be right for your situation. Using suppressors doesn’t seem to be a one sized fits all. Juries and prosecutors might view a suppressed rifle in a deadly force incident one way in one location, and another way some place else. What I can do is give some things to think about, and the individual can decide for themselves based upon their situation and their needs. Continue reading
Two bone stock pistols which will get the job done, even if they are not extra cool or super fun.
In Tim’s recent article on modifying modern polymer service pistols, many questions came up which I want to now address a little more in my usual nuts and bolts technical manner. I have spent more than my share of time building custom 1911s and working on/with/around polymer service pistols, and have put quite a bit of thought into the whole topic of modified pistols.
The bottom line for pistol modifications is making the gun work better for you. In the custom 1911 world that meant reliability, sights, and trigger, in that order. Everything after that is just fluff and fun. To keep the scope of this article a bit tighter, we’ll focus on the two most popular polymer service pistols, the Glock and M&P. Continue reading
I like painted guns. I like to use my guns. A good combination? Depends on the paint. Continue reading
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
I am a new guy when it comes to muzzle brakes. I’ve spent my career shooting “whatever” came on the end of the rifle. And that “whatever” has always came in the form of a good old fashion A2 flash hider. Continue reading
During the development of the 10-8 Glock magazine base pads (or magazine floor plates for you guys who sleep with their certificates of completion from the 8 hr Glock Armorer School), I had occasion to disassemble and reassemble a lot of Glock magazines. I had seen the GTUL before, but figured I would give it a try. Continue reading
It comes up frequently that fiber optic front sights are inappropriate for practical/street use because they are fragile or that they are a liability because they become useless when the fiber rod falls out. These arguments have been taken as gospel in many circles, and simply regurgitated as needed. Having spent just a little bit of time using, designing, and studying sights, I would like to offer some thoughts on this. Continue reading
Do an internet search of the first five words of this post’s title. You will get enough distinct hits for days of reading, as a hundred or more (in the first thousand or so) appear to contain substantive material worthy of consideration. In short, longstanding advice — from homicide investigators, prosecutors, defense lawyers, gun writers, bloggers, the self-defense firearms community, and those who actually consult and testify as experts in criminal and civil trials — urges (prudently) leaving a defensive handgun factory box stock, to avoid adverse consequences in a legal proceeding. Critics of such advice note (correctly) a near dearth of anecdotal trial reports and published appellate decisions suggesting there are adverse legal ramifications on account of modification to or installation of a non-factory standard replacement part (NFSRP) into a defensive handgun. So, are there legal ramifications or not? Yes, there can be. Are they adverse? Perhaps. Should one then automatically forgo a useful, desirable, and common handgun modification or NFSRP? Probably not. Continue reading
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