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

Confessions of a Backpackaholic

It seems that I am on a perpetual search for the perfect daypack. Ever since Eagle popularized the “3 Day Pack” size, I have tried every variation of that size category in search for the ideal daily use backpack. I function in an urban environment, so what I really use the pack for is humping my daily collection of personal gear, and not trekking across the wilderness for miles on end. 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

Vendor Spotlight- Top Gun Supply

 

I first met Tom Allen at the SHOT show seven or eight years ago.  At the time, Tom had a small-ish  firearms/accessory business in Chesterland, Ohio.  Tom and I made some small talk and he told me if I ever needed any SIG related stuff to give him a shout.

I got home and needed a set of sights a few weeks later, and went onto the Top Gun Supply website and ordered a set of Meprolight Night Sights for a P220.  I remember I ordered the sights on Monday.  They got to my door on Wednesday.  Whoa.  That was quick.

Over the years, I’ve watched Top Gun Supply grow into the largest supplier of SIG Sauer parts and accessories.  Tom and Michelle have dedicated much to the SIG Sauer line of products. Continue reading

Dispelling an AK myth

The “proof” that a 7.62×39 pencil was not used

Shane Johnson shooting the SAM7SF

I recently had a range experience that dispelled one of the greatest urban legends of the firearms world. That the 7.62x.39 AK 47 is incapable of the accuracy level of the AR-15…. or much of anything else. While that may be true in most cases, I just found that to be a myth. After much experimentation down the AK47 path, I settled on what I believe is the finest AK pattern rifle ever made. This is the Arsenal SAM7SF. Continue reading

MADE IN THE USA : THE SAM® SPLINT

 

Whether flat or rolled, they take up little space, and weigh almost nothing. Proven highly useful in everyday civilian aid, search and rescue, military, sports, and back country applications.  From the sammedical website: “Built from a thin core of aluminum alloy and sandwiched between two layers of closed-cell foam, the SAM Splint can be bent into any of three simple curves, becoming extremely strong and supportive for any fractured or injured limb.”   And yes, there is a guy named Sam — he’s an MD, and the company’s founder and CEO. Continue reading

HK VP9, Range Time Impressions

I finally managed to squeeze in a serious range session with my new HK VP9. I shot the gun completely stock with the exception of blacking out the two dots on the rear sight with a black marker. Holster rig was a pair of Comptac P30 mag pouches and their P30 paddle holster with the retention backed out a bit. It worked out well enough in a pinch, but a different holster is forthcoming. Continue reading

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

Battle Belt Smack Down!

I come here today to review some of those super awesome belts that make your life better.  I’m guessing that someone smarter than me realized that wearing 50 lbs of mags, med kits and more mags on your chest rig led to pain and encumbered movement. They came up with MOLLE on a belt so you could carry more stuff on your waist and still have room for more mags on your chest.  They called it a “battle belt” (how cool…)  So now, if you want to be tactical, you need to “run” your gear on these new belts.  I do admit, it is more comfortable and functional than a standard “bat belt” I wear as a LEO.  Depending on your agency or unit, you might be able to ditch the old “leather” gear for one of these beauties.

The first one I’d like to talk about is the HSGI Battle Belt $79.  http://www.highspeedgear.com/hsgi/sure-grip-padded-belt-31PB.html

Continue reading

Review: First Spear Nylon Duty Magazine Pouches and the Missing Link

First Spear’s Missing Links turns any MOLLE attachment accessory into a belt mounted accessory. The pictured pistol magazine pouch offers excellent combination of speed and retention.

Back in the day, I was a huge fan of Eagle Industries, a family-owned “tactical” nylon company with then forward thinking designs. They brought us products such as the MC-CIRAS releasable vest and an excellent modular plate carrier system that I still use today. The company was eventually sold to ATK, who also bought out Blackhawk Industries and also owns Federal, Speer and CCI. They still make tactical nylon, but most of their products go straight to government contracts and is generally unavailable unless purchased on the secondary market.

One of the products I liked quite a bit was the FB magazine pouch. This kydex reinforced pouch features a cloth backing for retention. A velcro secured strap folds back to front which allows the user to decide whether each pouch needs the additional security of the flap. These are now hard to find, especially in a belt mount model. Most pouches now are made for MOLLE type webbing. 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

REVIEW: Garrett Industries “Silent Thunder” OWB Holster

Having rekindled my love affair with the wheelgun, I found it necessary to procure a quality holster.  My usual, off the shelf, brand turned out to be a dismal failure.  Again, I turned to the Internet for answers.  While there were numerous high end options available for wheenguns, pricing and wait times were more than I was willing to endure.  I also saw Garrett Industries mentioned frequently in the same sentence as “fast”, “quality” and “customer service.”  I took a look at the website and saw the Silent Thunder OWB holster and felt it would be well suited to range and class duty.  The website listed a 7 business day turnaround time.  Seven business days later I had a shipping notice in my email and tracking information to show that the holster actually shipped, not just a label printed. Continue reading