IRON SIGHT MYTHS, MISCONCEPTIONS, AND STUFF, PART 3: Fiber Optic Sights

In the interests of full disclaimer, I did hit this topic earlier this year in a post about the “fragile fiber optic front sight,” but this iron sight series seems to be a good place to stick all the ideas together under one mantle. It seems that I am constantly fielding the same questions about fiber optic sights, so let’s talk about some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding them. Continue reading

Product Review: Diamondhead USA

I was recently introduced to the product line of Diamondhead USA by a teammate. I was really drawn to the VRS-T rail so I decided to set up one of my older 14.5” Colt uppers with a 13.5″ model and try it out. The rebuild also included their T-Brake and Diamondhead folding sight set. I was initially drawn to the VRS-T rail due to its triangular shape, which reminded me of my old M16A1. The rail is pretty slim and the scalloped cuts on the sides give a very comfortable and secure grip without being too aggressive to hands or gloves. The T-Brake was added at their suggestion. I’m not normally a muzzle brake or compensator fan but, I figured there was no harm in giving it a try. Installation of the rail was pretty straight forward although it does require a bit of skill and planning to do it yourself. The rail mounts to a proprietary barrel nut and also requires removal of the delta ring. Depending on length, you may also need a low profile gas block or cutting of your front sight base. The T-Brake installed easily and comes pre-drilled for pinning if that is needed for your situation. It is long enough that it will bring a 14.5” barrel over 16”. The profile is triangular and blends nicely with the VRS-T rail, making it aesthetically pleasing, if you are concerned by that kind of stuff. Continue reading

Practically Tactical

I had a fellow in a class back in the spring who showed up in head to toe multicam.  He wore a shemagh, a plate carrier, Oakley gloves, and Salomon boots.  He carried a state of the art LWRCi rifle, complete with BAD lever, 45 degree sights, EoTech and magnifier.

He had a very narrow stance, and when he fired more than a couple shots in a string, he would begin to rock back throwing his shots out of the 3×5 card at seven yards during rapid strings. Continue reading

Bushmaster .308 ORC MOE Carbine Review

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

Iron Sight Myths, Misconceptions, and Stuff, Part 1: Three Dot Sights

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.

First Look- SIG MCX Carbine in 300 Blackout.

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

Revisiting the Glock Factory Extended Slide Stop

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

Should I suppress for home defense?


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

Chasing Our Tails?: Polymer Service Pistol Mods

 

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

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