AR-15

Smoke Composites Carbon Fiber Buttstock

  As previously mentioned in the Smoke Composites foreend review, they are making some awesome carbon fiber parts. Carbon fiber seems to be taking the AR market by storm. Probably because of it's characteristics. Since they also sent me a buttstock for review, it's time to talk about it. 

  The buttstock Smoke Composites sent is their carbine length. It is a very minimalist style. The stock consists of a tube, a buttpad/plate, lightweight castle nut, and a carbon fiber endplate. Also to note is that this stock is their closed style. This means it has an attached support piece that goes from the bottom of the buttplate up to the stock. The support piece also has 2 small M-lok slots to attach items such as a QD sling mounts. I believe this is an option and the standard closed stock does not have these slots. Smoke Composites also offers the stock in an open profile, with no support piece. One advantage to having the closed style is that brush, barricades, etc., do not hang up on it like the open style could. I will note that besides being super light, this stock is strong. I even beat it on a concrete floor to simulate mortering the rifle. All it did was put a slight scuff mark on the buttplate. 

  I don't know how they do it, but the attention to detail on this stock is spectacular. The screw threads on the aluminum piece, that is installed in the receiver, are beautifully machined. Then pair that with the lightweight aluminum castle nut, which is also excellently machined, and you have a working piece of art. Smoke Composites also sent their carbon fiber end plate. It, by itself, weighs nothing. But I would like to see a bump or something on it to index into the receiver. The end plate does have the index for the buffer tube groove, but it wanted to move a little bit when torquing down the castle nut. The top of the aluminum section also has "Smoke Composites" laser etched on it. 

     Now that the stock has been explained, it's on to a few specs. When I weighed this thing, it came in at 4.9 ounces, with the castle nut and carbon fiber endplate! The open stock weighs a little bit less. The length of pull is 9.5", which I have discovered seems to be about on par for these style carbine stocks. It uses the standard carbine spring and buffer, which are not included. If you know anything about carbon fiber, I don't, it is made from 35-50 carbon fiber. If nothing else, the stock pattern looks really slick. A rubber buttpad can be had as an option, which would help with the buttplate not being so slick. One neat add on is the ability to order a custom length of pull for an extra $35.

  If you're in the market for carbon fiber AR part, do take a look at Smoke Composites. This stock is great for functional lightweight builds. It comes in various options and lengths. Plus you'll have the coolest looking rifle at the range. 

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Lightweight carbon fiber minimalist stock for AR style rifles

Target Market:

Lightweight AR builders, 3-gunners, and anyone wanting a super light buttstock

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Lightweight at 4.9 ounces with castle nut and endplate, 4.6 ounces alone
  • 9.5" length of pull
  • 35-50 Carbon Fiber / 7075 Aluminum construction  
  • 1.11" outside diameter  
  • M-Lok compatible  
  • Closed shoulder plate
  • Uses standard carbine buffer and spring
  • Custom length of pull ($35 extra)  

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

Open style: short pull or rifle length

Closed style: short pull or rifle length with or without M-lok slots

What others are saying?:

Mike on Facebook: 5 stars

Ordered a stock from them, and let me tell you: It's absolutely a work of art in and of itself. Perfect in fit and finish, and there's nary a flaw to be found... It's crazy. On top of being ridiculously, almost impossibly lightweight, the stock is tough as hell. Easily the best, most well made piece of equipment I've ever had the pleasure of owning. Beyond the actual product quality, I got the thing within 4 days of ordering it - who could ask for anything better?

 Seriously: If you're on the fence about buying any of their stuff, don't be - it's too good to not get.

Link to other reviews:

None found

Price point:

MSRP = $221.00 as tested

Retail = $189-231

I need it now! Availability:

Smoke Composites 

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Super light at 4.9 ounces
  • M-Lok slots
  • Closed shoulder plate
  • Not your typical carbon fiber look
  • Nicely machined threads and castle nut
  • Strong
  • Great looking
  • Custom length available  

Cons:

  • Carbon fiber endplate has no index bump
  • Does not come with buffer or spring
  • Slick buttplate

Score: 8.5 Great

 

Chad’s Favorite Link: U.S Tactical Supply

 

ODIN Works ATLAS 5 Compensator

   Odin Works has been making quality AR parts for many years. The new ATLAS compensator is no different. Odin works was kind enough to send me the ATLAS 5 for review, they also sent me an O2 light handguard that I reviewed earlier. 

  I was curious about the ATLAS after we had talked about it on episode 136 of the Gun & Gear Review Podcast. After receiving the ATLAS 5, I immediately took it apart into it's 3 sections. Basically you have an inner compensator, that would probably work by itself, an outer shell, and a nut to hold it all together. The inner comp is made from 416 stainless steel and the outer comp shell is made from titanium. 

  Now onto installation of the ATLAS. Assuming that you have already taken off your old muzzle device. All you need to do is screw on the inner muzzle body on and tighten it with a 7/8" wrench. No crush washers or shims needed. Then slide the outer shell over the body with the index mark pointed up. Now tighten the nut on, also with a 7/8" wrench. Then there are 3 set screws, on the end of the nut, that you tighten down with the supplied wrench. These help keep everything locked in place. After you have adjusted the brake like you want, I would put some threadlocker on them. To time the brake, loosen the set screws and the nut, then turn the outer shell slightly toward the recoil impulse, and tighten it down again. So if the muzzle jumps slight up and right, turn the shell right. One can also drill the top hole in the Atlas shell out larger if timing it doesn't do enough for you. But go slow, you don't want to go too far.  I didn't like how I had to use a 7/8" wrench. The standard is a 3/4" and it would have been nice to be able to use a standard AR tool for the adjustments. 

  How does it work? Well, it works pretty good. It is not the best that I have used, but it is far from the worst. It does reduce muzzle rise, and can be drilled out for your particular load. It reduces the felt recoil down alot. It seemed to work better on my 16" then my 11.5". But it still worked okay on the shorty. It resides on the shorty for now. The reason, because once it it timed for a particular rifle, it doesn't need anything else. So I can just unscrew it, screw the suppressor on, and vise-versa. 

  The ATLAS 5 comp is really a trade off. On one side, it is easily adjusted, but on the other side, it doesn't work quite as well as some other comps. But with all that said, it is really nice for someone that removes their comp alot and still wants something that actually works as a comp. Go check out Odin Works, even if your not in the market for a comp, they probably have something you want. 

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Adjustable rifle compensator that does not use crush washers or shims for timing

Target Market:

AR-15 users who want a compensator that can be adjusted (timed) easily

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 3-piece design

  • Stainless steel and Titanium sleeve

  • 1/2-28 Threads

  • 2.56" long

  • 1" Diameter

  • Weighs 4.1 ounces

  • Available in 7.62 also

  • Made in USA

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

Atlas 7 (7.62/.30 Cal)

What others are saying?:

Chris @ OdinWorks: 5/5 stars

Easy install works awesome

Easy peasy install took about 2 minutes on my Del-Ton AR15. At the range was truly awesome. Was back on target so fast due to so much less recoil I was shocked. I was slightly high right, made an adjustment to the break not my scope and boom dead on sub MOA at 100 yards, I had not done that before with this rifle. 

 

Eric @ JoeBobOutfitters: 4/5 stars

Excellent Tunable Flash Hider

The Odin Atlas was incredibly easy to install and doesn't require a crush washer which is a big plus. As long as it is tight, it doesn't really matter what configuration the holes line up like.
Tightening down the cap with the three screws secures it perfectly and the outer sheath around the main body really does help tune your rifle from left and right movements. 
It does a great just of reducing flash as well. Overall, I find this flash hider/compensator to be outstanding.

Link to other reviews:

Sootch00 @ Full30

Price point:

(MSRP versus actual retail)

MSRP = $99 @ Odin Works

Retail = $94.05 @ Brownells

I need it now! Availability:

Odin Works or Brownells

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Easily Adjustable

  • No Crush Washer or Shims needed

  • Good at keeping muzzle on target

  • Reduces Recoil

Cons:

  • Doesn't use standard 3/4" wrench 

  • Loud (but it is a compensator) 

  • Didn't come with instructions. Must go to Odin works faq

Score: 7.5 Good

 

 

Chad's Favorite Link: Veterans Forward Operating Base (VFOB)

 

Amend2 AR-15 Magazine

   Amend2 is a new company that has entered into the AR-15 magazine market. Having another option in the AR magazine market is always a good thing. Amend2 offers mainly standard capacity magazines of 30 rounds in 5.56/.223, but also lists a 20 round option. I was sent the 30 round black ones for review. 

  I was pretty excited to try these mags out. And since I was going to a big shoot, the timing was perfect. When the mags first arrived, I immediately checked them to see if they would drop free. All of the ones they sent me, hit the floor when the mag release was pressed. This was even in a rifle that will hang up on some other magazines. Of course,  the Amend2 mags also locked back the slide, as expected. One thing I noticed is that the magazines seemed heavier than both my mil-spec and P-mags, but they actually weigh really close to the P-mags. Don't get discouraged by this, because they are made from a tough polymer. I did toss one across the road and it had only very minor scratches. Then I drove over it, both loaded with empty cases and unloaded completely. I really just wanted to see if it would crack, but it didn't. The baseplate on the mag is slightly larger than some and has a checkerboard texture on the bottom. This is a good thing if you drop your mags a lot on hard surfaces. It also helps when retrieving them from a pouch. As with essentially all good magazines, they have anti-tilt followers and stainless steel springs. 

  You probably really want to know how they function? Okay. Two of the magazines were run in full auto AR's, all day. I don't have an actual round count, but it was over 1000 rounds per magazine, probably more like 2000 each. One magazine ran flawless with no problems at all. The other one had 1 failure to feed. I would say these magazines are good to go for anything that you would want to use them in. I have also been using these magazines when I need to use an AR mag, with no problems. I have also ran them suppressed, in an SBR. 

 Currently,  Amend2 offers the magazines with some options. They come in black, OD green, and tan. The anti-tilt follower and base pad insert are red. According to their website, other magazine colors are also available: Zombie green, Ghost white, Dark earth, and Desert tan. But it is a little confusing, I don't know if they mean magazine body color, or magazine follower color. While surfing Amend2's Instagram, I noticed that they can also do custom nameplates for dealers, or maybe anyone if you purchase enough of them. It appears that "Amend2" on the mag body is replaced with "your company logo/name". 

  I have been quite impressed with these magazines. Amend2 has done a good job with the durability and function. The price is on par with other 30 round magazines. So, if you are looking for some more magazines, and aren't we all, give the Amend2 mags a try. 

   

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

AR-15 30 round polymer magazine

Target Market:

AR-15 owners who can own 30 round magazines 

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product): 

  • Polymer construction  
  • Anti-tilt follower
  • Stainless Steel spring
  • Textured body and floorplate
  • 30 round capacity

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

OD Green, Tan, and maybe more

What others are saying?:

Jay @ Brownells: 4/5 stars

GOOD MAGS, GREAT PRICE

I bought a 10 pack of these as the price is awesome. I was about to buy 10 aluminum mags from another site, and just so happened to check brownells for comparison. I stumbled across these and decided to give them a try after watching some youtube reviews. At first, these did not fit in my AR, but my rifle has a very large broached mag well. After debating whether to send them back for a refund and lose out on some money, I decided to trim some of the material on one mag that was contacting my AR and then they slid right in and out like they should have. It took about 5 seconds a side with a dremel and a sanding wheel per side and it solved the issue. These do not fit 100% of the AR's out there, so keep that in mind. That is the only reason i docked a star. Another issue arose that they would not stay seated in my AR, compared to PMAG's and Mission First Tactical mags. Frustrating to say the least, so what did I do? I bought another complete lower (HAHA!) to compare. As it turns out, the mag release/catch spring was completely shot, so after replacing that spring, they remained in the rifle. I test fitted in the new AR lower and they were tight fitting unlike in the other AR where there was some wiggle room and slid right out. Great construction, the grip and texture of these mags is unique and aids in handling.

Tim L. @ Brownells: 4/5 stars

DECENT NO FRILLS POLYMER AR-15 MAGAZINE

For the price, it's a good magazine. Feels solid right out of the package, however, I tried in both of my AR's and the magazines would not drop free from the gun. Other than that, they claim to feature no-tool disassembly, however, depressing the "2" on the bottom far enough to disassemble the magazine surely requires pressing down with something other than fingers (aka a tool). But a 5.56 bullet tip will do the trick. I'll keep them in the range bag for plinking, but I will stick with the tried and true PMags and HexMags for training, competition, and personal defense.

Link to other reviews:

Ghostginthree on YouTube

Price point:

MSRP = $14.95

Retail = $14.99 @ Pershingarmory.com

I need it now! Availability:

Pershing Armory, Amend2, and Brownells 

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Stainless Steel spring
  • Anti-tilt follower
  • Made in U.S.A. 
  • Custom Name Plates

Cons:

  • Rough looking

Score: 8.0 Great

 

Chad's Favorite link: Axelson Tactical

 

 

 

 

KE Arms DMR trigger

  KE Arms has been bringing out some useful products for the AR 15 style rifles. One of those is their DMR trigger. It seems that everyone has been coming out with AR triggers lately. So what makes the DMR different? Well, lets see if I can help answer that question. 

  Everyone seems to want the best trigger they can get. I am no exception. The DMR trigger does a fairly good job in the cost per performance category. When I received the trigger, the pull weight measured 4.25 lbs. KE Arms states it as a 4.5 lb pull, with an adjustable reset. The reset adjustment also adjusts the pull weight. So if you screw out the adjustment, you get a lighter pull weight and a lighter feeling reset and vice versa. So if one wants a really positive reset, it come with a harder trigger pull. One can actually adjust the trigger pull low enough so that the trigger will not reset. My trigger had an adjustment from about 3.25-6.5 lbs. I set it at 3.75 lbs because the reset was still acceptable to me. 

  The DMR trigger is of the drop in design. I did have to remove the safety to install it, but for anyone familiar with the AR 15, this is pretty easy. To install the trigger; remove the old one, remove the safety, drop the DMR trigger in, slide the new provided trigger pins in. Reinstall the safety. And then tighten the 2 set screws,  these put pressure on the trigger pins to hold the trigger in place. Now you can function test the trigger. You can view the installation instructions here: DMR Trigger installation.

  One of the things that makes the DMR good, is its feel. I liked the shape and feel of the trigger shoe. It is curved, but not as much as a stock trigger. It has basically no noticeable take up. A crisp break, with very little over travel. The reset however is a little gritty and somewhat kind of mushy. It is however a very short reset, so unless you are resetting the trigger extremely slow, you will probably not notice. The reset feels this way even if it is adjusted for a stronger pull/reset, it is just harder to notice because of the greater force of the reset. 

  The only problem with the DMR trigger, is that it would not consistently set off .22lr. About 1 in 10 would not fire because the hammer didn't have enough force to set it off. Imported steel case 5.56 ammo worked fine, as did all the other ammunition I put through it. So I wouldn't recommend it as a duty trigger. But for anything else, it works great. I would probably also recommend some sort of anti-rotate pins, just in case the set screws that hold the trigger in place come loose. 

  As for KE Arms and their DMR trigger, it falls in line with other manufacturers in the same price range. I would not recommend it for a duty rifle because of the lighter hammer energy. But the trigger feels good. It is no 2.5lb trigger, but it was not designed to be. The pull weight felt lighter to me than it actually measured. If your in the market for an AR trigger, the KE arms might be what your looking for. 

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:

Drop in single stage trigger for AR 15 style rifles.  

Target Market:

Anyone looking for a better AR 15 trigger. 3 gunners, target shooters, sportsman, varmint hunters, or anyone who wants to upgrade their trigger.   

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 4.5 lb adjustable reset
  • Drop in installation
  • Melonite coated
  • Crisp break
  • Minimal over travel
  • Single stage
  • Made in USA

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?

Black Melonite

Titanium Nitride

What others are saying?:

Awesome trigger 5/5 stars from Jared B on gotammollc.com

I now have 3 of these triggers for my AR10 & AR15, Im super excited got ammo now carries these because they're right down the road from me. I also own a Velocity trigger and I like these much more, the break is super clean & the adjustable reset is awesome!!! no complains here. 

Link to other reviews:

The Truth about Guns

Price point:

MSRP = $169.95

Retail = $154.95

I need it now! Availability:

KE Arms or sometimes Amazon

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Adjustable pull weight / reset 
  • Crisp trigger break
  • Virtually no take up
  • Very little over travel
  • Easy installation
  • Allen wrenches included for adjustment and installation 
  • Made in USA  

Cons: 

  • Rough / mushy reset
  • Not enough hammer energy to consistently set off .22lr 

Score: 7.50 Good

 

Chad's Favorite Link: Saddle Butte Machine Gun Shoot

 

WGM-15 Carbine

 

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjsSXwbaA3E&w=600]

 

WGM-15 Carbine

The proliferation of the AR-15 rifle in every color, configuration and price point has left us with an over-saturated market. The most basic, bone stock, plain jane black rifles can be had for around 5 Hamiltons... heck, I can pick them up at Walmart all day long.  Unfortunately, they are for the most part all carbon copies of each other. Forged receivers, A2 birdcage flash hiders, and whatever furniture could be had at wholesale and slapped together on the factory line. Luckily for the distinguished (or professional) shooter, there are passionate rifle builders out there who continue designing and hand assembling finer AR-15 rifles that would make Eugene Stoner proud.

WGM-15 Carbine

I recently received a carbine from WGM Tactical out of California to put to the test. WGM is a Type 07, Class 02 SOT FFL and manufacturer of AR15 style rifles, sound suppressors, AOWs, custom precision long range rifles, and gunsmithing service. I applaud them for enduring behind enemy lines and giving the gun control crowd nightmares by producing awesome 100% made in America black rifles.

WGM-15 Carbine

The literature from WGM Tactical paints a pretty accurate picture of their vision and goals: "In todays market, a number of manufacturers use the term ‘mil-spec’, short for military specification. Why? Because everyone is under the impression, if the military uses it, it’s good enough for me. Fact is, ‘mil-spec’ simply means it is the bare minimum that the military will accept for a certain product. Here at WGM Tactical, we believe in going above and beyond, which is why our products are above 'mil -spec’. We believe in giving our customers a superior product. Each and every component is manufactured in the USA, and hand assembled and inspected by us. Which is why WGM Tactical warranties every rifle for any defects in materials or workmanship at no charge to the purchaser for the life of the product."  

WGM-15 Carbine

The carbine comes as a sweet package in a Plano tactical case. Inside I found the WGM-15 carbine, OTIS cleaning kit, a QD sling, 2 Hexmag magazines, LULA Mag-loader, & eye and ear pro. Everything but the kitchen sink and ammo to shoot it with. The case itself has been plucked 'n pulled to fit each accessory which made running out to the range a breeze. No excuses to not go out and get some!

WGM-15 Carbine

The first thing I noticed when I picked up the carbine was it's stout weight. The slab-sided billet receivers (which fit very snug together thanks to a tension screw), HBAR barrel, billet receivers and freefloat handguard make the balance seem heavy at first, but weighed in at only 7.4 lb total. The WGM-15 is 'huskier' than most AR-15s but the provided sling, hogue overmolded grip, stock and rubber keymod port covers keep the contact points between the shooter and the rifle pleasant. The weight also comes into play in the recoil of the rifle itself, or lack thereof.  The iron sights that come with the rifle are flip up style, which compliment the installation of any optic of your choice. The horseshoe front sight hood makes alignment with the rear aperture quick and instinctual. Utilizing only the flip-up iron sights, I was able to hit 8" steel plates easily with the lead splattered groupings staying close to the center.

WGM-15 Carbine

The Allen Engineering muzzle brake did a phenomenal job at improving stability and cutting muzzle rise down almost completely. Slow fire of singles, as well as doubles and triples were very controllable and easy to keep the sights glued on target. The sharper readers may recognize it as the Ops-Inc 12th model, MK12 SPR, as seen from the 'Lone Survivor' movie. Unfortunately the .30 cal can I have is not compatible with the Allen, but the muzzle brake's mount half can be removed to expose the barrel's 1/2 x 18 threads. Having an AE suppressor would be ideal as you just unscrew the bushing and an Allen suppressor could be threaded on without tools or removing the muzzle brake. Makes me wish the NFA fairy would visit more often!

WGM-15 Carbine

Being a California specific model, this specific WGM-15 came with the notorious bane of all gun owner's existences known as the "bullet button." Okay it's not really that bad, but makes you glad your current state of residence hasn't taken up a similar limitation (yet). To perfectly compliment the bullet button, the Hexmags WGM sent over also had 10 round limiters in them. Not only do reloads take twice as long, but the mags empty 3 times as fast. Thankfully I had some standard capacity Pmags to help boost that round count so I didn't get home too late.

WGM-15 Carbine

Speaking of round count, this WGM-15 has been a naughty girl. Before my date with her, she's had 9,500 rounds fired without a single cleaning or drop of lube (other than the first lubrication at assembly). I've never been with a rifle with this much... experience. The previous shooting sessions used ammunition ranging from wolf, military surplus, match grade and custom loads. Rapid fire, slow fire, and suppressed. WGM told me that they only have one report of a misfeed (attributed that to his magazines) and one report of a stuck case at about 6,000 rounds that has not replicated itself yet.  Their goal is to not clean or lube the rifle until it simply will no longer function. Now that's something I can get behind!

WGM-15 Carbine

The trigger on this WGM-15 was a vast improvement from most AR's single stage triggers. The 4lb setting breaks cleanly and the reset is shorter than what I'm used to, which made for quick follow up shots. I tested the rifle using exclusively American Eagle 55gr FMJ in my testing, which is all I had an abundance of. I fired a total of 300 rounds over the course of two days. Like I previously mentioned, that bullet button and CAstrated magazines slow things down a bit, but I didn't experience any malfunctions while setting that round count up to 9,800. The barrel, handguard, and rifle overall got very warm, partly due to the beaming sun. Smart men bring gloves to range day.

WGM-15 Carbine

My overall final impressions of this carbine are thats it's a battle-worthy improvement over the 'mil-spec' mass produced AR-15 pattern rifles out there. The tolerances are all superb, and the components built and chosen add up to a rugged, improved evolution of America's favorite black rifle. If you are looking for a true beast in .223/5.56 thats not all marketing hype and lego parts, take a closer look at what WGM Tactical is building behind enemy occupied territory.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: WGM Tactical rifles are built with pride, quality, and the serious shooter in mind. They offer a great deal of quality and precision, all together in one convenient and economical package.

Target Market:  Serious shooters, Law Enforcement

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 7075 Billet Aerospace Aluminum Receiver
  • Slab side upper reciever, forward assist and brass deflector eliminated for weight reduction
  • Oversize trigger guard
  • Mil-spec, Type 2 hard anodized, low gloss finish
  • Anti-rotational trigger and hammer pins
  • Ambidextrous safety lever
  • Tension Screw (allows for a tighter fit between receivers)
  • Hogue pistol grip& Hogue 6 position overmolded buttstock
  • Commercial spec buffer tube
  • One piece drop in trigger assembly (adjusted to 4 pounds, 4.5 pounds on law enforcement models, 3.5 on our 3 gun models)
  • Fluted 16" match grade barrel (also available 14.5" pinned and welded to 16")
  • Barrels are 4150 Chromoly, melonite coated for wear and corrosion resistance, HBAR profile, mid-length gas system. (Spiral fluting also available at additional cost)
  • Chambered in .223 Wylde, allows for use of .223 or 5.56NATO cartridges while retaining the utmost accuracy. (Also available in .300 Blackout, ..458 SOCOM and .50 Beowulf)
  • Note - .458 and .50 barrels are NOT fluted.
  • M4 style feedramps.
  • Fully adjustable gas block, allows user to custom tailor to different ammunition loads, with or without sound suppressor, etc.
  • Free float keymod handguard, (Also available as MLok)
  • Back-up flip up iron sights
  • Armageddon Tactical Ambi charging handle (Design redirects blowback gases away from shooters face, particularly beneficial when firing suppressed)
  • Allen Engineering muzzle brake, improves stability and lowers recoil. WGM-15 and FNA-15 rifles are designed to work with the Allen Engineering AEM-5 sound suppressor. (Formerly Ops-Inc 12th model, MK12 SPR, 'Lone Survivor' movie)
  • Nickel Boron coated bolt, allows for minimal cleaning and lubrication
  • Complete package comes in weatherproof Plano tactical case, OTIS cleaning kit, eye and ear protection,GunVault locks, quick detach sling, 2 HEXMAG magazines, LULA Mag-loader

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  NP3 or custom colors available at additional cost.

What others are saying?: "I have completed 2 separate new firearms purchases as well as several times of using Bill for some gunsmith work.  When it comes to wanting information or training, Bill or his wife will gladly take the time to explain things to you in way you will understand them.  Both purchases went smoothly.  They are a little hard to get a hold of if it is the day before or the day after a gunshow in the area, but that is understandable.  I would much rather do business with a small business like this, dealing directly with the owners, then through a large store where they are impersonal." Yelp User Review

Price point:

  • MSRP: $2103

I need it now! Availability: Call WGM Tactical at 530-636-AR15

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Billet receivers with no Forward Assist
  • Tension screw takes up tolerances between receivers and is hidden when pistol grip installed
  • Commercial buffer tube (better tolerances than milspec)
  • Best warranty around: If it breaks, WGM replaces the entire thing!

Cons:

  • No brass deflector built into receiver (lefties shoot with your mouth closed)

Score: 8.5 Great

 

 

Featured FFL:

For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.

Ryan's Links:

Gun & Gear Review Podcast

Hunter of Design

Firing Line Review

 

 

Bushnell AR 3-12x40 Scope

bushnellarI purchased the Bushnell AR scope because I needed an optic for local 3-gun matches and varmint hunting. The scope had everything I was looking for at a very inexpensive price. I opted to purchase a Bushnell because I have not had any problems with any products that I have used from them. This includes some of their low end scopes and some higher end ones. bushnellbdc

The scope was mounted on my AR in a Warne RAMP mount and it fit perfectly. Once sighted in,  I tried out the BDC reticle with some 55gr ammo. I was only able to try the drop compensators at 200 and 300yds, but they seemed to be accurate enough. The BDC is calibrated for your standard 55gr ammunition, but should also work adequately with 62gr ammo. The BDC reticle is to be zeroed at 100yds and then has dots for 200, 300, 400, & 500 yard drops. The 600 drop mark is where the line gets wider (think duplex reticle). I would have liked it better if Bushnell had put a dot at 600. I use heavier bullets and just plugged them into a ballistic program so that I know what the drops actually are in comparison.

This scope has some nice features. For one, it has resettable target turrets. Once sighted in, you can take the supplied allen wrench, loosen up the screw on the top of the turret, pull the knob up and turn to zero, and push it back down, then tighten up the allen screw. The AR series scopes also have a side parallax adjustment,  which is very nice when adjustment is needed while looking through the scope. I found the scope to be very clear for the price, especially at the lower settings. After adjusting past about 11x it gets a tiny bit blurry around the edges. The eye relief must be more precise at the higher magnification also. The reticle is calibrated at the highest (12x) magnification also, but I didn't have any problems seeing any targets at this magnification.

Now for the things I didn't like about this scope. It is heavy, weighing in at more than 21 ounces. It is definitely noticeable when mounted. The target turret clicks are a little bit mushy. But I really didn't expect any more at this price point. The scope is also long at 12". Not unmanageable, but it could be shorter. The other notable dislike is the small blurriness around the edge at higher magnifications.

Bushnell

Even with the flaws mentioned above, I do like this scope. It has the right features at an excellent price. It can be used with both eyes open down at 3x and can magnify smaller targets at the 12x setting. If you're not concerned about weight, this could be a good scope for your next AR.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Inexpensive Tactical scope for AR style rifles in .223(5.56)

Target Market: Those looking for a decent inexpensive optic with some higher priced features

FNBs:

  • Drop Zone 223 BDC reticle
  • Side parallax adjustment
  • Reset to zero adjustable target style turrets
  • Second focal plane
  • Fully multi-coated optics
  • Finish: Matte Black
  • 1" tube diameter
  • Length (in / mm): 12 / 305
  • Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle
  • Field of View (ft@100 yds. / m@100 m): 33/8.5@3x / 11/2.5@12x
  • Adj Range in@100yds/ m@100m: +50 / 1.3
  • Weight (oz. / g): 21.3 / 604
  • Exit Pupil (mm): 13.7@3x / 3.7@12x
  • Eye Relief (in / mm): 3.7 / 95
  • Click Value in@100 yds / mm@100m: 0.25 / 6.95
  • Power / Obj Lens: 3-12x 40mm

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available? None, Comes in Matte Black only.

What others are saying?:

Bryan on Amazon: 4 out of 5 stars

Pretty good scope: Install and zeroing were pretty easy. I bought this and the Millett 1 piece mount sold as a combo here on Amazon. The mount allowed forward offset to improve eye relief on my flat top AR. Eye relief (real world) is around 4 inches. The eyepiece is large and the optics art crisp. Both eyes open works great. Not as crisp as the Nikon I have in the same price range but acceptable. There is both a focus and a parallax adjustment to make sure you get the cross-hairs in sharp focus which is nice. The turrets are a little mushy and don't give good tactile feedback but are acceptable. The zoom has no stops which I don't really like and it's pretty high effort which may be the price for a weather seal on this scope. Adjust zoom requires a firm grip on rifle because even with bipod, you need good leverage to change it. So far, it has held a crisp zero through 40 shots and the MOA system is nice for no shoot ranging. This is a good varmint scope IMHO. If it stays as good as it has been while new, I will be very happy.

CavScoutDM on Brownells: 5 out of 5 stars

Great scope @ Unbelievable price: I mounted this scope on my just finished 24" Long Range AR15 and I couldn't be happier. Repeatable, clear, and the BDC works great with just a little practice. Bushnell hit a home run with this one, I just wish I'd seen the 18X as I would have bought it instead of the 12X. No matter though as I said before they knocked it out of the park with this one!

Price point:

I need it now! Availability: Amazon, Brownells, or your local gun shop.

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Side parallax adjustment
  • Target style turrets
  • Reset to zero turrets
  • Good glass clarity at most magnifications

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Long length
  • Semi-mushy turret clicks
  • Not super clear at 12x

Score: 7.5 Good75

 

Chad's favorite link: AR15 Podcast 

 

TangoDown Battle Grip

tangogrip4Photo_2015-03-13_09-38-23_AM The TangoDown Battlegrip is an AR-15 grip made by, you guessed it, Tango Down. The grip is more ergonomic than the standard A2 grip. Plus, it has a nice storage space inside. This storage is primarily designed for extra batteries, but one could put numerous other items in it. The storage compartment comes with some sort of foam inserts to keep the batteries from rattling around. At the base of the grip is an attached rubber plug. The Battlegrip also comes with a stainless steel grip screw. When using the supplied grip screw, and using the base plug, the handle is water tight. The grip also has a nice stippling effect on it to help prevent slipping. Last on the list of features is a tang that protrudes out in front, this tang covers the gap between the grip and the trigger guard. The grip is available in 3 colors: Black, Foliage green, and Flat dark earth.

I have used this grip for a long time, and it has held up well. It has a different grip angle then some other AR-15 grips, and so I  would recommend trying one out on a rifle before buying, as you may not like the angle.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: AR-15 storage grip

Target Market: Those wanting a better grip, or those wanting storage in the grip

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Battery storage
  • Grip texture
  • Ergonomic

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black, Flat Dark Earth, Foliage Green

What others are saying?:

Stretch on Brownells 5/5 stars:  Solid. Not a fan of finger grooves. Backstrap fills the hand and alignment is perfect for me.

Mike on BravoCompany 5/5 stares:  This grip is outstanding!  The ergonomic feel of it is wonderful compared to the standard pistol grip found on M4/AR15 type rifles and the fact that it has a built in compartment which keeps batteries, spare parts safe, secure and free from dust, dirt, water, etc. is another outstanding feature to make this grip worth every penny!

Price point:

I need it now! Availability: Brownells, Amazon, or your local gun shop

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Grip texture
  • Water tight
  • Ergonomic

Cons:

  • Grip angle for some

Score: 8.0 Great80

 

 

Chad's Favorite Link: Saddle Butte Machine Gun Shoot - May 16th & 17th 2015

Magpul CTR Stock

Magpul CTR Stock

The collapsable stock is a defining feature of the iconic AR-15. The original design was simple: 6 positions achieved with a latch, lots of loose wobble and very little comfort to the shooter. Since the commercial availability of M-4 type rifles to civilians, the market for improved stock design exploded. There are many different manufacturers of collapsible stocks with different aesthetics, but few companies have gained the recognition and customer loyalty of Magpul Industries.
Magpul's original collapsible stock that was very popular was the MOE (Magpul Original Equipment) Many rifle manufacturers were producing rifles from the factory equipped with the MOE stock and other furniture in the MOE line. While the MOE stock was a great design, sleek and easy to install yourself, it began to fall out of favor as new common features were becoming a standard on riflestocks. That, and more discerning users could notice a small amount of play/wobble between the MOE stock and the receiver extension tube.

Magpul CTR Stock

Enter the Magpul CTR (Compact/Type Restricted). An evolution of the MOE stock, the CTR brings two new features to the table. The first is a friction lock that is designed to take up some of that wobble and play of its predecessor. Performance of the friction lock may vary depending on the buffer tube's dimensions, tolerances, etc. On my milspec extension tube, the CTR when locked is very nearly rock solid with no discernible play, while the MOE on the same tube has a small amount of rattle to it. 

Magpul CTR Stock

The second additional feature Magpul added to the CTR is an ambidextrous quick-detach sling swivel port. Whereas the MOE only has slots for slings to be run through the rear or forward facing base of the stock, the ability to utilized QD swivels on the CTR greatly adds to the end user's options customization. Many rifles have QD attachment points on handguards or receiver extension endplates, and having the ability to alter the sling's attachment points at the push of a button is a great addendum to the flexibility of the platform.

Magpul CTR Stock

The Magpul CTR stock and MOE stock share the same side mounting slots for mounting cheek risers to the stock. I have a LaRue Tactical RISR on my CTR, as it better aligns my dominant eye with an optic that is mounted on a taller base/rings. Unlike other cheek risers that are incompatible with AR15s due to interference with the charging handle when the stock is fully collapsed, the RISR has a reciprocating cheek piece that rides back with the charging handle when the LOP is set in the shorter positions. This of course isn't an issue with other rifle platforms that can make use of the Magpul CTR, like side charging rifles, modified AK-47/74's, or even chassis made for bolt action rifles.

Magpul CTR Stock

For a modern, adaptable carbine/rifle that needs a collapsable stock for transport, storage, smaller framed shooters or shouldering whilst wearing body armor, a collapsable stock like the CTR is exactly whats needed. The addition of the friction lock and the QD port make it an excellent evolution of the MOE, and a widely used stock overall. If you are going to pick one up for yourself, just be sure you know whether your extension (buffer) tube is milspec or commercial. I consider the walk from the parking lot back to the store to exchange for the right stock to be a "walk of shame" for our hobby, especially if you've done it more than once like I have!

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  The CTR Stock is designed for light, snag-free, fast action with a friction lock system that minimizes excessive stock movement for enhanced weapon stability.

Target Market:  AR-15 owners, or other firearms that accept carbine-length receiver extension tubes.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Drop-in replacement buttstock for AR15/M16 carbines
  • A-frame profile shields the release latch to prevent accidental activation
  • Friction lock system that minimizes excessive stock movement for enhanced weapon stability
  • Ambidextrous QD sling mount
  • 0.30" rubber butt-pad
  • Sloping cheek weld combines a slim profile with user comfort
  • Premium chrome-silicon lock spring provides positive locking and long service life
  • Side mounting slots accept optional cheek risers for NON-AR15/M16 applications
  • Compatible with Magpul ASAP® and other receiver-mount sling attachments
  • Rear/Bottom - 1.25" sling loops
  • Lanyard hole in toe for custom para-cord rigs
  • Weight: 0.55 lb
  • Length, Maximum: 6.90 in.
  • LOP Adjustment Range: 3.25 in. - Collapsed: 10.70 in. Extended: 13.95 in.
  • Mil-spec and Commercial-spec models.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black, FDE, OD Green, Foliage Green, Stealth Grey

What others are saying?:

"Best solution I have seen so far for a rock-solid fitment. Can't stand a stock that has any wobble in it and this one doesn't. Achieved simply with a double-locking system that is by necessity very simple to use. Also light weight, good cheek weld and has the slots I need for sling of choice. Can't beat it." Brownells Customer Review

"The butt stock that came on my M&P Sport rattled in a way that no gun should. This product eliminated that problem. It was not difficult at all to put on, and feels great. " MidwayUSA Customer Review

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:  Brownells, MidwayUSA and most local gun shops or outdoor stores.

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Very robust construction
  • Easy Installation
  • Friction lock takes up wobble that most 6 position stocks are cursed with
  • Short LOP when fully collapsed
  • Quick to deploy
  • Rear QD sling point is a welcome addition

Cons:

  • Commercial / Milspec labeling is very small and can easily pickup wrong size by mistake.

Score: 8.5 Great

 

 

Featured FFL:

For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.

Ryan's Links:

Gun & Gear Review Podcast

Hunter of Design

Magpul PRS Stock

Magpul PRS Stock

GOD BLESS THE MODERN SPORTING RIFLE. As many have said, the AR-15 (and AR-10) platform are like Legos for adults. Customization is the greatest selling point of either platform, as you can modify the rifle's furniture to optimize it's ergonomics and aesthetics for whatever role you desire.
If a more modern, long range accurate type of rifle is what you are after, the buttstock isn't typically the first part that gets attention. Logically a longer, thicker barrel is installed first to facilitate better accuracy. That component adds weight to the front of the rifle, tipping the balance forward and making some buttstocks, collapsable or otherwise, impractical. A heavier stock with the ability to custom fit the shooter and optic is recommended. The ability to adjust for length of pull (LOP) and cheek weld height is a huge upgrade for any rifle stock, especially the A2 style fixed buttstock that's been standard since the origins of the platform.

Magpul PRS Stock

Enter the Magpul Precision Rifle Stock (PRS). While it's not the newest stock on the block (debuted in 2005) the PRS still holds its own and is often the gold standard for how a precision rifle stock should look, feel, and perform. Not only is it compatible with the AR-15 in .223/5.56 and the AR-10 in 7.62x51, but also the HK91/G3 and the FAL have received adapted PRS2 models from Magpul. The PRS has graced the covers of magazines, DVD covers, and boutique black rifle catalogs since its inception, and for good reason. Its a damn sexy design that accomplishes the task of balancing and complimenting a precision rifle, while giving the shooter an anchor of consistency before the trigger is pulled.

Magpul PRS Stock

Today the PRS has resurged again on the covers of popular magazines and gun shop shelves as modern chassis for bolt action rifles are becoming more prevalent, with compatibility with AR-15 buffer tubes and aftermarket stocks. The features that make the PRS stand out as an optimal stock for benchrest AR-15 shooters carry over to a bolt action platform very well, as it still afford the shooter ultimate ergonomics for their head and torso as well as balancing out their front heavy rifles.

Magpul PRS Stock

The PRS is a direct replacement for an A1 or A2 fixed stock on an AR15/M16 with a rifle-length receiver extension tube. The cheek riser is designed to clear the charging handle of AR15/M16 rifles only. For AR10/SR25 pattern rifles, you will need to order the correct PRS stock.
For a precision rifle with a heavy front end, whether its an AR15 with a 24" bull barrel or even a bolt action rifle in a chassis with an equally heavy barrel and brake, the PRS is and ideal stock. Perfectly suited for balancing the weight, providing customized ergonomics for consistency on the firing line, and having robust mechanics that will provide a lifetime of service.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  Designed to offer the fine-tuned, customized feel of a precision target stock on a modern sporting rifle.

Target Market:  AR-15, AR-10, FAL, or HK 91 owners

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Mounts to rifle-length receiver extension tube without A2 spacer
  • Enhanced strength aluminum butt-plate withstands severe impact and recoil up to .50 BMG
  • Rubber butt-pad provides positive shoulder purchase to prevent slippage
  • Machined aluminum adjustment knobs with positive locking click detents
  • Black, hardened, solid steel adjustment shafts finished with a ferritic nitrocarburizing process
  • All aluminum components finished with MIL-A-8625F, Type III, Class 2 hard anodizing
  • Stout construction provides extra weight for improved weapon balance and stability
  • Bottom Picatinny-type rail with removable cover for use with a monopod
  • Sling Mounts: Front/Rear - 1.25" aluminum sling loops (left-right reversible)
  • Weight: 1.68 lb
  • Length, Max: 10.45-11.45" - LOP Adjustment: ~39 Clicks (0.026"/click) • LOP Adjustment Range: 1.00"
  • LOP Min: ~13.3" / LOP Max: ~14.3"
  • Cheek Height Adjustment: ~29 Clicks (0.026"/click)
  • Cheek Height Adjustment Range: 0.75"

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black, FDE, OD Green, Foliage Green, Stealth Grey

 Optional PRS Extended Rubber Butt-Pad, 0.80" adds 0.50 in. LOP and 0.07 lb. vs. standard pad. Butt-pads are only for use with PRS AR15/M16 and PRS AR10/SR25 models. ** Specifications based on factory configuration.

What others are saying?:

"Only thing I would caution people of is the cheek piece will not benefit you if you shoot nose-to-charging-handle. This is needed to allow for proper function of the charging handle. I am 5'10", medium built and have the butt extended most of the way out for a comfortable prone shooting position with my cheek on the front edge of the cheekpiece." Brownells Customer Review

"In one sentence.  - perfect cheek weld. But for those that would like more detail: If you are looking for a drop in, precision-adjustable butt stock for  AR rifles with A1/A2 fixed stocks I'd not hesitate to recommend this one based on my experience with one I purchased 2 years ago.  There are a lot of different accessories for the AR15 series firearms, and though I wasn't wanting to put together "frankengun", I did want a stock that had a means of adjusting the length of stuck as well as comb height for the perfect alignment of my site choice, which was an EOTech.

Every shooter is physically built differently, male or female.  I'm as tall as many guys, but my arm length doesn't compare and my shoulders show my more delicate bone structure.  So adding something like the Magpul PRS is well worth it if you have other than normal length arms, neck or sighting requirements.  Compared to the A2 stock, the PRS can shorten LOP (length of pull) by .25" or extend it by .75" as well as provide three-quarters of an inch of comb height adjustment.(the height so that when you plant your cheek onto the stock, your eye is lined up just where it needs to be to line up with the reticle.)" Mausers and Muffins Review

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:  Brownells, and most local gun shops or outdoor stores.

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Very robust construction and solid weight
  • Easy Installation
  • Weight helps balance longer / heavier profile barrels
  • Shorter LOP than the A2 fixed stock when buttplate is fully contracted
  • Positive clicks of cheek rest and buttpad adjustment wheels (newer versions have more thread pitch for larger movement per rotation)
  • Discreet polymer rail on underside for monopods, covers up when not in use
  • Multiple sling mounting options

Cons:

  • QD Sling Swivel or Swivel Stud screw sold seperately
  • Check weld surface position farther back, may affect eye relief
  • Not directional marking to let you know which way is up/down for cheek weld, in/out for buttplate.

Score: 9.0 Amazing

 

 

Featured FFL:

For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.

Ryan's Links:

Gun & Gear Review Podcast

Hunter of Design

Midwest Industries SPLP Flip Up Sights

Midwest Industries SPLP Flip Up Sights

There's a plethora of options for putting sights on an AR-15. The flooded market for just about every type of component allows us black rifle lovers to choose what style, function, and bottom dollar for each part. If you are shopping for iron sights, specifically models that collapse when not it use, and flip up into postion when needed, the options are pretty bountiful. When looking for some low profile back up irons that wouldn't look obtrusive on my Lone Wolf Distributors G9 Pistol, I picked up a set from Midwest Industries that fit the build and my budget fairly well.

Midwest Industries SPLP Flip Up Sights

The Midwest Industries SPLP Flip Up Sights (SPLP = Same Plane Low Profile) fall into what I would call the middle ground of the marketplace. While not the most expensive, but above the mid range, the MI SPLP sights certainly are designed and engineered better that lower cost flip up sets. The pivoting of the front sight tower/rear sight housing is certainly smooth, with a positive detent lock that can be heard with an audible 'click.' There is no side movement when I tried to wobble them.  They both do rock rearward in their detent about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch, however the mechanism's tension forces them back forward to the correct position. The button to release the detent lock on both sights is pretty small, smaller than a safety button on a Remington 870 or Ruger 10/22. While they are difficult to unlock and collapse only by feel and muscle memory, its not impossible (and you are unlikely to be in a dire hurry to fold them down to begin with).

Midwest Industries SPLP Flip Up Sights

The front sight I chose is handguard height, and perfectly cowitness with a Vortex Sparc II. I specifically wanted an absolute cowitness, as well as a circular hooded front sight, which is sometimes marketed as the "HK style." To me these really made shooting a short, light recoiling 9mm carbine a dream. For most modern rifle owners, their red dot optic is their primary while their flip up sights are purely for back up. For me, the sight picture through these SPLP sights makes shooting even more enjoyable than the red dot itself. I would imagine that a carbine or rifle length firearm with these sights would still feel the same.

Midwest Industries SPLP Flip Up Sights

 Overall I would say that while these sights don't feel quite as solid and robust as their Troy Industries counterpart by only a narrow margin, the Midwest Industries SPLP sights are very exceptional and I'm satisfied with my purchase.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  Extremely low profile, battle-proven design

Target Market:  AR-15 rifle / pistol owners

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

Rear Sight:

  • Same plane (absolute co-witness)
  • Low profile, sits only .4375 folded
  • Dual aperture design
  • Micro style windage knob featuring the same MOA adjustments as standard A2

Front Sight:

  • Uses standard A2 front sight post
  • Super smooth ball bearing pivot detent
  • 6061 aluminum, hard coat anodized
  • Handguard or Gas Block Height

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black, Flat Dark Earth, or OD Green anodizing

What others are saying?:

"Low profile allows for install under optics such as ACOG or magnification for aimpoints and eotechs. Rugged enough to withstand field use. Locks into place easily and smoothly. Comparable to Troy Industries. I give it a 4 stars only because it not Troy Industries. Highly recommended for price and durability." Brownells Review

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:  Readily available online at Midwest Industries or locally.

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Low Profile, co-witness looks and shoots great
  • Installation screw is flush / no snag
  • Smaller windage knob works well and smaller to keep overall profile low

Cons:

  • Anodizing will wear over time/use
  • Front sight tower / rear sight housing rock backwards slightly with force (but returned when released)
  • Release button is small/minute

Score: 7.5 Good

 

 

Featured FFL:

For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.

Ryan's Links:

Gun & Gear Review Podcast

Hunter of Design

Vortex Viper PST 1-4x24mm Scope

  Vortex Viper PST 1-4 x 24mm

Yet another Vortex optic has snuck itself into my collection, this time its the variable low-power option of the Viper 1-4x24mm. This scope is at home on top of almost any carbine or low to intermediate range rifle. While 4x magnification isn't generally enough for MOA sized groups past 100 yards, this scope is meant for efficiency and speed. Weighing in at 16.2 ounces, this optic isn't the lightweight in it's class... but it's built with the same strength, glass clarity and dependability of the other scopes in the Viper PST line, which is to say very impressive for the price point.

Vortex Viper PST 1-4 x 24mm

For the same cost of a military-grade red dot scope, this Viper gives you the benefit of both a red dot and a low power scope.  The TMCQ (Tactical Milling Close Quarter) MOA (Minute of Angle) reticle is designed for close to mid-range shooting situations, as well as effectively estimating ranges, holdovers, and windage for longer pokes. At short range distances inside of 25 yards I could shoot with both eyes open at the lowest 1x magnification setting, using the reticle's thick circle and illumination with a 10 brightness setting rheostat. One major issue with most red dots or even holographic sights is that under intense bright conditions, the dot/reticle can almost disappear if you aren't in the shade. The Viper has a reticle with a thick 22 MOA circle thats etched onto the glass. I have actually rarely used the illumination as it's not often been needed, however it is useful and well executed. The clicks on the rheostat are very positive, with each step in between brightness settings being an off setting, so its easy to activate the illumination to the last setting used by one click either left or right. The thick circle glows bright and fills the role of a 1x red dot very nicely. At 1x, the distance for eye relief is a generous 4 inches, which again draws comparison to the function of a red dot.

Vortex Viper PST 1-4 x 24mm

At intermediate ranges between 50–175 yards, the extra magnification helps despite being only 4x. Zeroing the optic at 100 yards as opposed to 50 yards will lessen hold over needed at 200 yards, you just have to remember your point of impact will be between 1-2 inches lower than point of aim at closer ranges. While a 1-4x scope would seem underpowered for distances approaching 200 yards and beyond to most shooters, the reticle subtensions on this Viper are set MOA (minutes of angle) and make compensating bullet drop an easy task as long as you understand what your bullet is doing, in terms of velocity and inches of drop.  The lines of the reticle are thin, so if you are not accustomed to fine lines and small numbers, or have 'old, tired eyes' you may find yourself passing this scope over. But the thin width of the lines makes for finer aiming, and hopefully smaller groups on paper. There are 30 minutes worth of holdover dash marks on the reticle for both elevation and windage, which could lend itself to the 5.56 55 grain bullet reach outwards to 600 yards as far as drop is concerned, with plenty of windage marks. A simple brushing up on the MOA system of measurement and getting to know your gun's caliber trajectory will get you the most out of this reticles potential.

Vortex Viper PST 1-4 x 24mm

While this isn't a magical do-it-all scope, the ability to engage targets from 25 yards to 600 yards (depending on caliber/load) is within the realm of possibility for this scope. It's understandable how this scope has become a favorite of competitive shooters when drilling close range cardboard targets one minute and knocking down steel targets at 100+ yards the next. The 30mm tube lets in more light than 1 inch tubes conventionally, and the glass clarity is on par with the rest of the Vortex Viper PST family, which is arguably also equivalent or surpassing of most competitor scopes, certainly those who fall below the price point. You do get what you pay for when shopping for scopes, and a lifetime guarantee and overall quality and longevity you get from a Vortex optic is one of the best bangs you can get for your buck these days.

 

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  The Viper PST (Precision Shooting Tactical) riflescope boasts features associated with top-tier riflescopes, and delivers the performance and features tactical shooters demand at an economical price.

Target Market:  Range Shooters, Hunters, 3-Gun Competitors

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Extra-low dispersion (XD) glass increases resolution and color fidelity, resulting in crisp, sharp images
  • Proprietary coatings increase light transmission with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass surfaces
  • TMCQ (Tactical Milling Close Quarter) is a hashmarked ranging reticle using MOA-based subtension lines for ranging, holdover, and windage corrections
  • 220 total minutes of adjustment for elevation and windage each
  • Field of View: 98(1x)-27.5(3x) feet at 100 yards
  • Eye relief approx 4 inches.
  • Reticle protected between two layers of glass for optimum durability and reliability
  • Illuminated reticle provides precise aiming under low-light conditions
  • Ultra-hard, scratch-resistant coating protects exterior lenses from scratches, oil and dirt

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Capped and Uncapped versions

What others are saying?:

 "Bolted this baby on my 20" flattop and couldn't be happier! Zeroed in easily and hasn't missed a beat in aprox 1000 rounds. Battery life is good, still on the original. Acquiring sight picture while illuminated is QUICK! Reticle is very fine and clear allowing me shoot 100yd moa groups off the bipod at will. Customer service is stellar at Vortex, friendly folks on the phone. " - Stickman User Review, vortexoptics.com

"The reticle is easy to see and a great size. While the illumination is not visible in daylight, it does provide a contrast in a situation where the crosshairs would otherwise get blacked out. Perfectly illuminated for night time. I love the "CQ" part of the reticle which is, in my humble opinion, better than the solid round EOTech reticle that tends to be "too busy" for my taste. The glass is very clear, and in fact in 1x it's clearer than some red dots I've used! The 1x is a true one 1x. Knobs are easy to grasp, adjust, set markings to zero, re-zero, etc., etc. Clear markings all around including magnification knob. All around, I can't find anything to complain about, and I expect my next scope will be a higher power Vortex PST MOA for my .308 bolt action. Can I give a better endorsement than that?" jkrispies user, brownells.com

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:  Readily available online at Brownells and most sporting goods stores.

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Design and Function are a perfect match for a carbine to midlength AR-15 platform, especially in the weight department
  • Glass is very clear for a 24mm objective
  • Eye relief is approx 4 inches
  • Reticle can both serve as a 1x Red Dot or capable of mid range shooting
  • Water/fog/shock proof
  • Nice tactile and well marked turrets
  • CRS Zero stop feature
  • Great Warranty, lifetime no questions asked.

Cons:

  •  Illumination of center circle/dot of reticle is okay, but does not fully illuminate elevation hashes all the way to 30 MOA on either end, but does illuminate the full width of the windage marks.

Score: 9.0 Amazing90

Featured FFL:

For FFL services I choose Promised Land Firearms in Toulon, IL.

Ryan's Links:

Gun & Gear Review Podcast

Hunter of Design

HexMag HX30-AR Magazine Review

dsc_7423Being the host of the AR-15 Podcast, I was asked by the Powers That Be over at the Firearms Insider to take a look at a new MSR magazine offering manufactured by Hexmag. I examined the magazines that arrived and was struck by the feel of these new magazines.  They feel substantial and more durable than some of the lesser quality magazines on the market today.  I think we all know who the 800 pound gorilla in the room is when it comes to polymer magazines, and these seemed quite comparable.  Sure, they don’t have the years of experience working with polymer that the top dog has, but for a first offering, these magazines are real nice. hexid-hero_clipped2One of the chief features that seems to distinguish these magazines from the pack is the inclusion of a purpose designed interchangeable follower/latchplate system called the HexID Color Identification System.  The intent of HexID seems geared to give end users the ability to color code their magazines for quick visual differentiation when they are loaded with different ammunition types or even different calibers.  I like to see manufacturers who are willing to push the envelope and defy convention.

My time at the range with the Hexmags proved to my satisfaction that their design and manufacture was on par with my expectations for any magazine.  They were reliable and I had no difficulties that were in any way attributable to the magazines.  I don’t want you to think that I torture tested these magazines, because I didn't.  I looked through some of the promotional material and a few YouTube sources.  There doesn't appear to be anything earth shattering to indicate poor design or poor materials performance, so I didn't think I could add anything productive by undertaking my own torture tests.

One last thing that I think is important to note is that Hexmag offers a lifetime warranty on these magazines.  I think you must applaud any company that is willing to stand by the products they manufacture.

The only criticism I have about the magazines is one that has absolutely nothing to do with their quality or capabilities.  While I applaud Hexmag’s innovation and creativity, I don’t know why I need the HexID system.  It seems like a solution that was searching for a problem.  In the past I've never felt such a compelling need to differentiate my magazines that I had to seek out a DIY solution for my magazines.  Now don’t get me wrong, I would spend my hard earned money on these magazines.  I just wouldn't spend money on the different colors of follower/latchplate sets.

I still like where Hexmag was going with the design and implementation of the HexID system and to me that says a great deal about Hexmag’s potential and capabilities.  With novel innovations and a willingness to stretch envelopes, I have no doubt Hexmag has the potential to innovate in ways that will attract even more fans.  So in conclusion, I don’t think you can go wrong buying Hexmag HX30-AR magazines.

Firearms Insider Reviews ‑ 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Interchangeable follower/latchplate system: HexID Color Identification System

Target Market: Owners of AR-15 rifles that can use STANAG magazines.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Impact Resistant Fiber-reinforced Nylon Polymer Construction
  • Raised Hexagon Pattern for Improved Manipulation
  • Tool-free Latchplate Design for Quick Disassembly
  • HexID Color Identification System
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Made in the USA!

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Color coded magazines using HexID

What others are saying?: "In sum, my impression of the HX30-AR magazine was a very positive one. While I wouldn’t suggest PMag owners selling off their stock and buying a pile of new HX30-ARs, I think I might choose the HX30-AR over the Gen M2 Pmag if I were looking to buy new magazines." ‑ Nathaniel F, The Firearms Blog

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:  The HexMag Magazine is available right now at Apex Gun Parts

Our Rating:

+-Reliable +-Reasonably Priced +-Sturdy Construction +-Good Materials +-Lifetime Warranty 

- HexID just doesn’t seem like a compelling feature

Score: 7.575

 

 

Reed's Links:

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CCOP USA 1-6X30 Tactical Rifle Scope with Illuminated Reticle Review

1624i_1Allow me to let you into a little industry insider secret. Everyone walking the SHOT show has a shopping list.  It doesn't matter if you are from the media, a retailer, manufacturer, owner or representative, we all walk around the grounds of SHOT with an item in mind we want to checkout/try/asses for the purposes of buying it later.  I’m no different, one of my top items in mind while I was wondering the endless halls of the 2014 SHOT show was a variance 1-4X or 1-6X tactical scope for my favorite AR15.  Don’t get me wrong. ACOGs are great and so are EOTechs but they are very specialized and wonderfully engineered tools that will execute the task they were built for flawlessly while burning a very big hole in your pocket… I was on a task to find a good quality glass that will give me both the CQB red-dot reflex sight capabilities but will also give me some magnification capabilities for the 75-200 yard range where a red dot sight starts to be more of a guess and less of a precision tool.  I could, I suppose, go for an EOTech with a magnifier, but there are 2 things I didn’t like about this combo: first, the logistics of mounting/un-mounting and the need to carry the magnifier somewhere while it’s not mounted was a little too annoying for me. Second was the painful $1000 price tag (on the low end!)  All of the above made the variance scopes very popular recently with the tactical shooting community, particularly the AR15 and AK47 owners.

So, I’ve set a goal to find something good for a sub $300 budget.  Now don’t get me wrong, I checked, felt and drooled over ALL the optics in the 1-4X/1-6X categories. I’ve been to every optics vendor from Sun Optics to NightForce. I checked the offering from Vortex, US Optics, Leupold, and many other vendors I can’t remember their names (so, so many…)  After 3 loooooonnnnnggg days of wondering the grounds, in a dark corner of the basement level, I ran into a small booth of a company called CCOP-USA. A new(ish) Chinese manufacturer that I haven’t seen before that offers all kinds of optics and optics accessories. Tired and disappointed that I couldn't find what I was looking for, I had no big expectations for their product and figured they’d be low quality as most of the other no-name eastern manufacturers I saw so far.

1624i_6Boy was I wrong. First, they had both 1-4x AND 1-6X options. The first thing you notice when you look through the glass is how clear it is and how much light goes through it. This is probably due to the 30mm tube (most other 1-4X optics have a 24mm tube which let less light through.The Illuminated reticle and the big diameter make it feel like a red-dot reflex sight. Having the reticle backed by the black reticle and lines guarantee that even if the battery runs out you can still use the optics (point down for EOTech on this one).  One huge compliment for these guys is that their 1X is the closest 1X I’ve seen in any of these 1-4X/1-6X optics. Including some of the expensive brands!

1624i_3A twist of the ring and you get up to 6X magnification. Considering most “budget” scopes are 3-9X this covers a very good distance.  So, getting one is a little slow (about 7-10 days to get it) but when I got it, I couldn't wait to mount it and head to the range.

I had it mounted on my PS90 with a one piece scope mount that also positioned the optics high enough at my eyes level.

1624i_2

Zeroing was real easy thanks to the “clicks” adjustment mechanism on the scope (which usually only exist on the more expensive scopes).1624i_4

I had it zero at 25 yards and then switched to 50 yards, 75 yards and 100 yards. I had no problem staying on target and hitting every time.  SO, to the question you’re probably asking yourself by now, what’s the cost?  Well, this is one of the coolest thing about this scope. MSRP is only $310 and you can find retail in the $190-$250 range.  I gave this product a score of 8.0.  The only reason I didn’t score it higher is because I don’t have it long enough to testify to its long term usage durability but I promise I’ll have a follow up review in a few months.

I guess SHOT was successful after all…

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Best Bang for your buck in the variance range tactical scopes

Target Market: Tactical shooters / AR15 and AK47 owners that look for a budget aware alternative

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Model: SCP-1624i
  • Magnification: 1X-6X
  • Tube Diameter: 30mm
  • Objective Diameter: 24mm
  • Field of view @100yards: 115-19.2ft
  • Eye Relief: 4.5"-4"  
  • Exit Pupil: 10-4mm  
  • Click Value: 1/2"  
  • Length: 265mm  
  • Weight: 508g
  • Reticle: CQB
  • Illumination: Red / Green
  • W/E: ≥40'  

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Comes with a soft elastic scope cover

What others are saying?: Their eBay store has over 3700 reviews with a positive percentage of 99.7%

Price Point:

MSRP = $310 Retail = $225

I need it now! Availability: CCOP USA 1-6X30 Tactical Rifle Scope is available here.

Our Rating:

+ Easy on the budget + A twofer: you get a CQB sight and a 6X scope in one package + Zero adjustment is easy with no tools required + Shock proof + Water proof + Fog proof + Illuminated reticle + Black reticle marking to backup in case of dead battery

- New/unfamiliar manufacturer with no history or long term reviews. - Shipping could take up to 10-15 business days

Score: 8.0 Great80

 

 

Joseph's Featured Link:

Big D Armory

BigDArmory

Blade-Tech Revolution AR-15/M4 Double Mag Tek-Lok

BTAR.jpg

BTAR2Everyone owns their firearms and related accessories for their own reasons and to me my firearms and related accessories are an addicting and expensive hobby that possess additional utility that I hope to never need to use. Im talking about defensive applications. I think spending thousands of dollars on plate carriers/chest rigs, 30 magazines, and every tactical doo-dad is not money well spent. Much rather BTARapply that to ammo to train with. Therefore I approach that very distant secondary purpose of defense with a minimalistic outlook on my gear. So instead of a big 6 magazine chest rig with crossdraw holster plastered on it I resort on a basic rig consisting of an Uncle Mikes Instructors Belt, Blackhawk CQC Holster and double mag pouches. I realized that I was neglecting training in or having the ability to carry AR magazines, this caused me to search for a means of doing so. Having experience with some of Blade-Techs other products I didn’t hesitate when I came across this product on Amazon. I enjoy the fact that this product does not take up precious horizontal real estate allowing me to have space for other things. This product is not for everyone but if it appeals to you its fantastic.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: High Quality holsters and accessories. 

Target Market: 3 Gunners or other competition shooters.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Proprietary polymer blend
  • Wont warp under extreme heat (300 degrees)
  • Does not become brittle during extreme cold
  • Adjustable retention screws for personal preference

Key Benefits:

  • The main benefit of this design is the saving of belt space by stacking the carriers out versus taking up horizontal real estate on your rig.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: So this product also comes in a single pouch but the great variety comes from the attachment variations possible through Blade-Tech’s shop. You can get anything from a 3” duty loop to MOLLE as the attachment style so these carriers can really fit into anyone loadout.

What others are saying?: From what I gather from the product page on amazon most everyone likes this product giving it a 4 or 5 star rating. Only negative comments were due to ergonomics possibly caused by other gear deficiencies. Amazon Product Page Review

Price point:

I need it now! Availability: Blade-Tech products can be found in local stores, but for the best selection online retailers such as Amazon, Brownells, or Blade-Tech’s own site are going to be your best options for finding what you want.

Our Rating:

+-Fantastic retention +-Compatible with polymer magazines +-Durable +-Fast and easy attaching and detaching from rig

--Tek-Lok system has too much wiggle room when used with certain width belts

Score: 8.5 Great85

 

 

Featured FFL:  I recommend Dynamic Combat Solutions of Wayne, NJ for my firearms needs including full FFL, gunsmithing, and customization services. Dynamic Combat Solutions

My Links:

 

Smith and Wesson M&P 15 MOE Midlength Review

m&P By Bradley Johnson

The black rifle. Most non-shooters recoil at the sight, or very mention of it. In fact, reading reviews of local shooting ranges has lead me to believe that many people think they are out right illegal. Of course (and fortunately for me) that is not the case.

I was born and raised in California. This puts me at a disadvantage among the shooting community. However, I was determined to throw my hat into the ring.

If black rifles are illegal, then someone forgot to tell RifleGear; my local shop; they carry everything the modern sportsman could want. I entered with the intent to purchase an entry level rifle. I've shot in the past, but this would be my first "black rifle". Apparently, I was not alone in my endeavor, because the line was literally out the door!

After handling several rifles (Spikes, Daniel Defense, etc), I left with an M&P 15 MOE Midlength... well, if only it were that easy. 10 days later...

After a strip down, inspection, and cleaning I was sure that my day at the range would be a good one. My first impression of the rifle was sheer elation! It was accurate straight out of the box, and it felt great in my hands. Everything functioned perfectly, and the Magpul add-ons were light, and handled well (surprise, surprise). I thought it was odd that the magazine was a 30/10 (30 round mag modified to only accept 10 rounds), instead of a 10 round mag, but I guess Smith & Wesson leaves the "California Compliant" part up to the dealer. The "Art of the Carbine" DVDs included with the rifle were really informative. Not only do they cover tactics, but also breakdown, cleaning, malfunctions, etc.

My wife felt the same way, and since I'm not much to look at, I've included a video of her firing it at the range.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Reliability. I've put one thousand rounds through this rifle without a single hiccup. Smith & Wesson definitely delivered a product worthy of their legacy. The MOE furniture only adds to the overall experience.

Target Market: This is a solid rifle. Magpul is a leader in firearms accessories, and for good reason. Everything about this rifle feels right!

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Magpul!
  • Magpul adjustable stock, pistol grip, hand guard, folding m-bus backup sight, and vertical grip. The magwell is also flared for easy insertion of mags, and the Magpul logo is stamped on the lower receiver.
  • M4 A2 front post sight
  • "The Art of the Carbine" DVD set. The DVDs cover tactics/range practice routines, cleaning, breakdown, malfunctions, etc. In other words, everything that the Smith & Wesson manual fails to mention.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: The Smith and Wesson M&P 15 MOE Midlength is available in black and flat dark earth.

What others are saying?: “Testing of the M&P-15 MOE Mid began with rapid-fire drills using a randomly loaded assortment of .223 Rem. ammunition—ranging from lightweight, varmint-type offerings to those appropriate for high-power competition at Camp Perry—and not once did the rifle experience a malfunction. Although this illustrated the rifle’s ability to digest a wide range of ammunition types, it doesn’t reveal its accuracy potential. As such, we mounted a Nikon 3-12x40 mm M-223 riflescope in the company’s two-piece P-series rings, then shot five consecutive, five-shot groups at 100 yards with three ammunition types. The rifle clearly preferred PMC’s Precision 75-grain BTHP load, averaging 1.43 inches for 25 shots, and the single best group measuring slightly more than an inch. More economical loads produced respectable groups, too.

With the M&P-15 MOE Mid, S&W offers shooters an AR that, right out of the box, is well-suited to handling a range of tasks, from protection and competition to hunting. As such, it would make an excellent choice for those desiring an AR-style rifle, be it their first or simply an upgrade.” - American Rifleman

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: This rifle is available from many retailers, including Bud's Gun Shop and Cheaper than Dirt.

Our Rating: + Magpul furniture + Iron sights + 1 in 8 twist

Score: 8.5 Great85

 

Windham Weaponry MPC A4 Rifle Review

windham1 By Beau Summers

Well I'm pretty sure everyone knows that Windham Weaponry was started by ex-Bushmaster employees. So with that being said, I'm going to tell you a couple of key points of me choosing this rifle. Number one this rifle is 100 percent made in the USA! That is awesome! I take pride in owning a quality American made product! I bought this rifle from Cabelas because it was exclusive and comes with a sweet American flag engraved on the side. Cabelas had two choices the SRC flat top or the MPC with A2 front post and flip-up Diamondhead rear site. The MPC model with flip up Diamondhead sight was only 50 more bucks. I went for that one because those sights alone are over 100 bucks. Good deal! I also got a 50 dollar gift card with my purchase! This leads me to another reason I bought this gun. I don't have a fat wallet to go buy any gun I want. This gun came in at a very decent price at 799.99 including gift card and sale! This gun, although affordable, isn't cheaply made! The gun is solid and the upper and lower fit like a glove! The finish seems to be really durable. It has a staked gas key. It has a chrome lined barrel so cleaning has been a breeze. It comes in a pretty nice case, though I've since bought I nicer one to protect my investment. Comes with one magazine, kind of cheesy sling that I haven't used, and a support our troops magnet.  It also comes with a lifetime limited warranty that is transferable. The warranty goes where the gun goes! Also when I bought the gun 10 dollars of the money went to wounded vets who bravely served this country. This is my very first AR. I did a lot of research and video watching before I chose this company. I’ve had no issues with it to date. I've fired 260 rounds through it thus far and 160 rounds of it was cheap Russian ammo which it chewed up nicely! I love my Windham rifle don't over look the good price,  just because it cost more doesn't mean it’s better! Check out these great rifles!

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: This product is made in the USA! Windham Weaponry supports our troops and wounded warriors! They guaranty their product 100 percent! The American flag on the side of my rifle is awesome! You truly feel patriotic when you own this weapon!

Target Market: The rifle I have probably the everyday shooter, home defender. Although Windham has many other rifles to fill any need!

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Warranty
  • Diamondhead sights
  • Affordable
  • Quality

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: The Windham Waponry MPC A4 Rifle is available in few different camos, muddy girl, smowfall timber and a woodstock series

What others are saying?: “The Windham Weaponry AR I have, is one of the best built ARs I've ever run across - bar none! And, I will tell you that this is probably the most accurate AR I've ever shot, and it is also the most consistently accurate AR I've shot with all the various ammo I tested in it - and I tested a lot of rounds in a month through this baby.” – Pat, Survival Blog

“I've said nothing about the current Bushmaster, I've only commented on Windham. I agree that Windham is the better rifle and I support them 100%. The quality of their rifles is BETTER than the original Bushmasters I've owned. They aren't simply Bushmaster under a new name, they are better than the old Bushmaster and I think many at Windham would agree.” - Military Arms Channel

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: You can purchase this rifle from many retailers, including Bud's Gun Shop and Cabelas.

Our Rating:

+ Great Quality + Great Price + Great Warranty

- Bad sling - One mag

Score: 8.0 Great80  

Eagle Industries Chest Rig M4 Molle LE Style

rhodesian

Whether you are a competitor or a first responder, you need a way to carry magazines and essential gear securely and in a position thats quickest and easiest to access.  For me, I need a chest rig for competitions that require multiple guns. Where I live, the matches are usually scheduled for the spring or summer with a desert environment, so its hot and dry. Full molle vests are a bit overkill I've found, as they tend to hinder range of motion, and some stages only require 2-3 carbine magazines and 4-6 pistol magazines.  I've found that using a simpler M4 chest rig is best.

photo 2-1

Some call it a recon-style harness, others may refer to it as a "Rhodesian" chest rig. The one I use is an Eagle Industries Chest Rig M4 Molle LE Style (currently discontinued but newer models are available) and it is just enough to get me by.  With molle strapping on the left and right sides as well as over the top of the carbine magazine pouches, its perfect for adding handgun mag pouches. The pouches themselves are rigid, reinforced with some kind of thin composite board and then lined with a softer material for magazine retention without surface wear. The straps are adjustable and use large M style buckles.  They go over the shoulders and cross at the back and attach to the bottom of the rig on both sides. There is a single strap that goes laterally across the back and attaches via a smaller buckle.  I let it hang just below my pectorals. and am able to have 3 carbine mags with a pair of pistol mags on each side via molle pouches for a total of 4 mags. Alternatively you could attach 3o round carbine mag pouches on either side to increase to capacity to 7 mags, and attach pistol mag pouches to the front of the rig's pouches.

The advantages to this style of chest rig are lightness of weight, ease of mobility, and simplicity of use. Another perk is the kangaroo pouch with a wide hook-and-loop mouth that is easy to access even with carbine mags holstered.  Its wide enough to stow more magazines, loose rounds, papers/documents, or a couple packs of beef jerky. I often will stash a couple of Glock 33rd magazines in the pouch for the longer, no-capacity limit stages.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: The Eagle Industries Chest Rig M4 Molle LE Style is designed for active shooter scenarios that require your equipment to rapidly adjust to the unfolding events.

Target Market: Competitive shooters or Law Enforcement

FNBs (features & benefits of this product):

  • Three open top 30-round M4 magazine pouches
  • Two large side release buckles
  • Full length interior pocket
  • MOLLE webbing for custom rigging
  • Fully adjustable for height and girth
  • Lifetime Guarantee

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black, Khaki, Ranger Green, & Universal Camo

What others are saying?: 

  •  "I love this product. The mag pouches hold the mags very well in their Kydex liners. No need for a flap. I bought 2 more pouches for 2 more mags. My only complaint is the harness straps could be longer for big guys. I may have problems with a coat on. I'll just get another harness. GREAT product."  Optics Planet Review

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability:  Used online, in Army Surplus stores or find close alternative from Eagle Industries

Our Rating:

+ Lightweight and simple, no unnecessary bulk. + Inner pouch pocket is full width and makes for extra storage. + Pouches are open-top with no flappy covers, mages speedy mag changes easier. + Sits high enough to no interfere with a belt and holster, no issues with carrying a carbine with single point sling.

- Kydex lined mag pouches may be tighter fit for certain mags, PMAGs and other polymer bodied mags until expansion with use. - More "ample-bodied operators" may need longer straps.

 Score: 8.080

 

Crosman - Duty Calls Full Metal M4 Airsoft Gun (DCR75F)

photo1.jpg

Crosman DCR75f

In order to get a better perspective, I have reviewed the various parts of the Crosman Duty Calls Full Metal M4 Airsoft Gun (DCR75F), with the pro’s and con’s, if any.  The muzzle comes with your standard orange tip and is in great condition.  It did not hinder the accuracy of rifle shots during testing.  The charging handle can be pulled back, but is there only to allow access to the hop-up.  Other than that, it is mainly to give the rifle a more realistic feel to it.  The stock on the rifle is adjustable which makes it more versatile in different environments (outdoors or indoors).  No matter the arm length, you can rest assured that you will be able to adjust the stock for comfort and not have to sacrifice accuracy.  It is always nice to be able to enter a room or clear a corner without hitting something with the barrel of your gun.  There is a safety on the left side of the rifle which has the safety and two fire modes:  semi and auto.  I tend to be conservative with my shooting, so I found myself using the auto mode very little.  Many of the airsoft games that I have participated in would have a “semi only” restriction, so I have gotten used to that.

The trigger of the Crosman Duty Calls Full Metal M4 Airsoft Gun (DCR75F) is one of things that I found to be a little funky as far as operating properly.  When firing in “semi” mode, the rifle works just fine.  The BB’s fire with each trigger-pull without missing a beat.  However, when I tested the rifle in “auto” mode, the rifle would sometimes fire consistently and other times it would fire a single shot as if in “semi”.  It could be a wiring issue in this particular rifle that is causing the problem.  The magazine that came with the Crosman Duty Calls Full Metal M4 Airsoft Gun (DCR75F) is a nice 300 round high-capacity mag.  It has the wind-up wheel at the bottom that feeds the BB’s into the ready tube.  Unfortunately, this is another part that I found to

Crosman DCR75F groupinghave issues.  When I loaded the BB’s and wound-up the wheel, the bb’s would not fire consistently.  Sometimes, I would have to pull the trigger 5-10 times before a bb finally shot out.  At first, I was thinking the rifle itself was jammed so I cleaned the barrel to make sure.  I still had issues firing BB’s.  When I switched to one of my mid-capacity magazines the rifle fired shots just fine.

The Crosman Duty Calls Full Metal M4 Airsoft Gun (DCR75F) also has front and rear-sights to assist with accurate shooting.   I have to say that this rifle is quite accurate.  The groupings of the shots were overall very consistent since the rifle is electric-powered and has no recoil.  I did not have to adjust the hop-up at all though the option is there if you want to adjust the distance of your shots.  Take note, however, that this rifle already shoots at the 300 FPS range (out-of-box).

As far as air soft rifles go, I have found the Crosman Duty Calls Full Metal M4 Airsoft gun DCR75F to be a nice, well-rounded weapon.  It has a good firing distance and the fire rate is quite good when I was able to get the “auto” mode working properly.  Other than the hi-cap magazine not feeding properly, this is a rifle that can hold its own with the other airsoft rifles out there.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Full metal throughout, Gen II gearbox + reinforced metal gears, hop-up chamber, stock tube and machined aluminum barrel are the basis for a platform to lead assaults into enemy territory.

Target Market:  Experienced Airsoft player. Professional grade rifle.

FNBs:  (Features and Benefits of this product)

  • Model Number  -  57004
  • Velocity  -  Up to 400 fps
  • Weight  -  3.75
  • Length  -  30
  • Battery  -  9.6 volt 1400 mAh
  • Mechanism  -  Full/Semi-Auto
  • Power Source  -  Electric
  • Caliber  -  6mm
  • BB Reservoir  -  300
  • Front Sight  -  Removable Fixed Post
  • Rear Sight  -  Removable/Adjustable
  • Safety  -  Selector
  • Material  -  Metal
  • Color  -  Black

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  N/A

What others are saying?:

great gun!!! 2014-01-22 17:03:38 This is truly a great gun!!! you can hit an enemy at 200 feet easy if you raise the muzzle a little and use auto and the rate of fire is great. Good battery life. Shoots far. Accurate. Good sites. Very durable.

-Anonymous review from Crosman website

Price Point:

Similar Model: U.S. Army DCM4AW Elite Electronic Airsoft M4 Rifle

I need it now! Availability: Online Dealers or Local Gun Shops. However, it is now a recently discontinued model and may be harder to locate.

Our Rating:

+ Adjustable stock + Can switch between “semi” and “auto” firing modes + High capacity magazines are metal which allows for easy release + Front and rear-sights for more accuracy + Full-metal rifle for more realistic feel + Hop-up system to adjust the distance of shots

- The magazine that came with this rifle had problems feeding BB’s - “Auto” fire mode did not work consistently - No recoil (which makes it less realistic) - Charging handle has no functionality other than allowing access to hop-up (again, less realistic)

Score: 7.0 GoodFI 7.0

 

Blackhawk Sportster Rifle Case

rifle case 1

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: A convenient and extremely durable case to protect and carry your AR.

Target Market: AR shooters of all levels.  rifle case 2

FNB's:  (Features and Benefits of this product)

  • 5 exterior magazine holders
  • 1 large exterior pocket
  • Full-opening for shooting mat configuration
  • Heavy-duty YKK zippers
  • Abrasion and mildew resistant 1000 denier nylon

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  Black is the only color option that this bag is offered in.

What others are saying?:

Price point:

  • MSRP =  $43.99 - 46.99 (based upon size)
  • Retail =  $25.99 - 39.99  (based upon size)

I need it now! Availability: Readily available online at stores like Optics Planet, Amazon and or Blackhawk.

Our Rating:

+ Extremely durable + Magazine pockets easily and securely hold 30rd mags + Can open up into a shooting mat + Closed-end foam is great at protection your firearm

- Made in Vietnam - No inner storage

 

Score: 9.0 Amazing90

Jared prefers Simon Peter Sport Company for all his FFL needs.

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CMMG .22LR: AR Conversion

CMMG AR22

Earlier this month I received an email ad from MidwayUSA with this product on sale.  I found the carbon steel version with 3 magazines for $156.87 and  the stainless steel model with 3 magazines for $229.00.  I wanted the stainless steel version but decided to save the additional cost and get a few other items I needed in the same order.  Being that I live not too far away from Midway USA, my package arrived in just two days and I eagerly (with my son’s head in front of mine) opened the box to check it out.  I also decided to try out some FrogLube as well, so we proceeded to follow the Froglube guidelines to clean and lubricate the bolt carrier before initial use.  Saturday morning my son and I went out to our range with the AR, the carbine length barrel and gas system and dropped in the conversion bolt. The target was set at 50 yards and the scope was sighted for 100yds in 223.  We were shooting Federal white box and I was able to shoot the entire magazine without any issues.  I was also able to shoot a group approx 2.5 - 3 inches off hand at a fairly rapid pace.  My son has to use a bench (as he can’t hold it up) and was able to shoot similar groups.  I have not done any real accuracy testing, but initial opinion is that it will suit my needs and I will let my son shoot it more without burning the more expensive 223.  Other reviewers state that continued use of 22LR can block up your gas system and that you should fire some 223 through it regularly to blow out the gas tube.  In all, we shot about 200 rounds without any misfires and I am pleased with my purchase.

Firearms Insider 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  Converts your standard .223/5.56 AR-15 upper to shoot 22LR.

Target Market:  Plinkers and trainers that want to shoot cheaper ammo.

FNB's (features and benefits of this product):

  • Installs fast and easy
  • Relatively accurate

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  Carbon steel bolt group, matte black phosphate finish (appears discontinued) and a Stainless steel bolt group.  CMMG Inc.

What others are saying?:  "Conversion works exactly as described, drops in without modification to your AR-15. The slide doesn’t lock open as with the regular bolt carrier group, however the bolt does hang up on the magazine"..  Midway USA

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:  Currently available at Midway USA on clearance.  The link is listed above.

Our Rating:

+ East to install + Reliable

- May not be as accurate as a dedicated upper

Score: 8.5 Great85