Rifle

Magpul AK Zhukov Handguard

Magpul Zhukov Handguard

Another key part of the AK rifle that begs for improvement is the handguard. Formerly just a wood shell to protect the hand of a soldier from the heat generated by the barrel and gasblock/gastube, the modern AK has been outfitted with aluminum and polymer forearms that serve the same purpose but add the modularity of mounted accessories. Aluminum still contracts heat though as well as adding weight, leaving polymer a popular option for upgrading a stock rifle.

Magpul Zhukov Handguard

Just like the Zhukov-S stock, the Zhukov handguard sets the bar for quality, durability and overall badasssery in its category. The extended length it adds to the support hand is a much needed, and wasn't available unless you paid a very costly and custom aluminum rail. It's pretty well known that a longer support hand grip improves freehanded rifle accuracy and the ability to transition between targets, and the extended length of the Zhukov really transforms the AK into a completely different rifle with improved functionality. Now the forearm can be braced against or ontop of a barrier or shooter's rest which was lacking support before, and its M-LOK slots let you customize where accessories are mounted without additional weight and clutter of unused rail space. Also just like the other Magpul AK products, the Zhukov handguard is available be in all the colors of the tactical rainbow to match your other gear.

Magpul Zhukov Handguard

Installing the Zhukov is more involved than the standard MOE AK handguard because of the provided clamps that support the structure entirely. MAKE SURE your barrel is wide enough FIRST as it would be a huge bummer to make this permanent modification and your barrel profile was too narrow for the Zhukov's clamps (between 16.75-18.25 millimeters) and your barrel should be at least 13" long for obvious reasons. If you own an AKM or other AK variant that has a factory handguard retaining cap / forward sling mount, you're going to have to permanently remove it prior to beginning the installation. This calls for some commitment on the users part, as you're hosed for most handguards after cutting the cap off. Also, there may be some minor additional fitting required due to the wide range of tolerances of typical AK's. Yugo users need not apply - the Zhukov is not compatible.

Magpul Zhukov Handguard

After removing the factory or existing hanguard and the gastube, its a smart idea to wrap some duct tape around the barrel underneath and surrounding the handguard retaining cap (assuming you have one that needs to be removed) The tape will help keep that retaining cap from spinning or sliding up and down the barrel, and also help add a small protective layer if you are using a Dremel or other cutting wheel. If you aren't comfortable with the power tool, take it to a gunsmith and they should be able to cut it off easily without much expense to you. If you are removing it yourself, I would highly recommend taking it slow, and not trying to cut completely through the metal of the cap. Stop just shy of a thirty second of an inch and use a flathead screwdriver in the cut channel to pry/twist the halves apart. This will keep you from cutting too deep and marring your barrel. Once its gone, unplug the Dremel and put it away, and enjoy a a cold beverage because that was the worst part.

Magpul Zhukov Handguard

Now for the easy steps, just remove the heatshield from the polymer outershell, align it below the barrel and insert each of the pair of screws up through the metal and bottom clamp half (the unthreaded half) and loosely tighten into the top half. Next you slide the polymer part back onto the heatshield in the correct orientation, while keeping the clamps loosely tightened.  This will help you align the complete hanguard to its most rearward position where the rear screw holes align, and ensuring theres a even gap between the upper lips of the handguard and the gasblock. Alternate tightening each screw to ensure a consistent and level tightening force on each clamp, and then you're set! Just twist off the old gasblock cover and twist on the new polymer part, reinstall and check for function. Поздравляю товарищ (Congrats comrade!)



If you're wondering how the heck you are supposed to add your flashlight, laser, bipod, sling mount, foregrip, bottle opener, and other completely necessary doodads, welcome to the M-LOK side of the fence. We have cake, and even let MOE rail users hang out. So if you've invested in MOE rail sections for previous AR-15 handguards, they are still compatible. You are more likely to find M-LOK rail sections and mounting accessories now on store shelves in the same cardboard and plastic bag packaging that you're used to seeing. Unlike keymod, M-LOK is arguably more secure in mounting, and less expensive and soon to be more prevalent in my opinion.

Magpul Zhukov Handguard

In case you are partial to modifying your rifle or still want to utilize your AKM's sling loop, or keep that under-mounted cleaning rod, the MOE AK hanguard is for you. It still has M-LOK slots, comes in colors and has an integral heatshield, but is more of a direct replacement for the existing hanguard. I was personally bummed their wasn't any accommodation for the cleaning rod built into the design of the bottom clamps, but its not a tragic loss. Besides, AK's don't need to be cleaned!

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: The Magpul Zhukov Handguard casts aside traditional AK forearm shortcomings and offers an extended option for modern shooting techniques.

Target Market:  AK variant owners with standard length barrels

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Extended length provides large gripping surface / more real estate for mounting accessories
  • Mounts to most AK-47/AKM/AK-74 rifles with barrels between 16.75 - 18.25mm diameter (minimum 13" length)
  • Full length hard anodized aluminum chassis provides for flex-free mounting and heat shielding
  • M-LOK slots at the three, six, and nine o'clock position
  • Includes replacement polymer top cover
  • Compatible with UltiMAK Optics Mount top cover

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black, Stealth Gray, FDE, Ranger Green, and Plum

What others are saying?: "I love this hand guard. It was very easy to install. The heat shield does a great job of keeping your hands from getting too warm. It works well with all the M-Lok accessories. It fitted perfect with my Ultimak gas tube as well. I couldn't be happier with the purchase." Brownells User Review

"You better really want the Magpul ZHUKOV because you are going to be stuck with it. I don't see this as a problem with its features, however you should be aware that the gas block sling mount loop and factory handguard retainer cover must be ground off your AK. Yep, this means you are not going backward from an upgrade perspective at any point in the future. The Magpul ZHUKOV hand guard covers the sling mount point, so even if you do a fairly ugly job, no one will see it. This also means that the ZHUKOV is not a "drop in upgrade", but something easy if you know how to run a hacksaw and file or Dremel well. The main advantage of this barrel clamped configuration is that the handguard is never shifting or moving. One of the reasons some will opt for the ZHUKOV hand guard over the MOE version is that this version is designed to be "more" compatible with various milled receivers since the hand guard is not reliant on a slot in the receiver and handguard retain for stability and is instead just clamped to the barrel. I love what Magpul has done to overhaul the AK47/AK74 rifles from top to bottom to keep the AK current even after all these years." Major Pandemic Review

Price point:

I need it now! Availability: Brownells or local gun shops

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Fairly easy to install (handguard retainer needs to be removed)
  • Longer forearm= more room for accessory rails, better forward positioning of lights
  • Compatible with railed gastubes, ie: UltiMAK
  • Design ties well with Zhukov or MOE stock and MOE AK grip

Cons:

  • No allowance for cleaning rod
  • No interface with receiver for level mounting (you have to eyeball it when tightening)

Score: 8.0 Great

Featured FFL:

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

Ryan's Links:

Gun & Gear Review Podcast

Hunter of Design



Warne R.A.M.P. Scope Mount Review

warne1 The Warne R.A.M.P mount is a 1 piece scope mount for AR-15 style rifles, or any rifle that has a picatinny rail and needs a forward mounted optic.  R.A.M.P stands for Rapid Acquisition Multi-Sight Platform. It gets the multi-sight part because besides having built in rings, it also has 2 45degree angled mounts.  These mounts allow you to install a small red dot sight on one of the canted rails.  One could mount Iron sights on these also, but would then need the optional mount for the front sight to attach on.  The RAMP mount comes in three sizes for most needs: 1inch, 30mm, and 34mm.  I have the 1" version, but they are all essentially the same.

The 45 degree mounts are really what sets this mount ahead of its competition.  With the ability to mount something small on either the left or right side of the scope, it will appeal to both left and right hand shooters.  If you decide not to use one side or the other, or neither, the angled mounts are removable with 2 socket head screws on each.  Because of the added mounts, and space to attach the mounts, it is not the lightest mount out on the market.

Another nice feature on the RAMP mount is the 1/2" hex screws on the mounting base.  They are to be torqued to no more than 65in/lbs.  Also a torx style allen wrench is supplied to tighten down the top of the scope rings. There are 2 T-15 torx screws per side and should be tightened in an x pattern.

I really like the RAMP mount.  It puts the scope at the correct height and the proper eye relief.  With the option of adding a small red dot if one desires. The only negative I can see with the mount is the weight, but it is a very sturdy mount.  If you are in the market for this style mount, you cant go wrong with the Warne RAMP.

warne2

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: 1 piece scope mount with angled side mounts for AR-15 style rifles

Target Market: 3-gun

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 1 piece scope mount
  • Proper eye relief distance on AR pattern rifles
  • Solid aluminum construction
  • 45 degree mounts for red-dot sights
  • Available for just about any scope diameter
  • Lots of color options from boring to flashy

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available? Black, Zombie green, Red, OD green, Dark Earth, and Blue

What others are saying?:

Alex on Amazon 5/5 stars. Best AR mount anywhere.

Bought one of these for my RRA LAR 15 to use with a Leupold Mark AR on top and a Leupold Deltapoint on the side. Got it, opened it, and could not have been more impressed with the build of this mount! Rock solid craftsmanship. Placed it on my AR and it holds tight and sits perfectly. Take it off...no problem. Put it back on....exact return to scope zero. Just bought another one for my RRA LAR-8! Get one, or two, you will not ever want any other mount!

Jkrispies on Brownells 5/5 stars. Great mount for a 45 secondary mount.

A little heavy (even with the side mounts removed) if you're not going to use the 45 degree option, otherwise typical Warne quality, which is the best I've found out there. Only warning I'd give is to do some research before buying this-- will your Mini-Red Dod Sight clear the bell of your primary scope? Ironically, I think the perfect use of this scope with a 45 degree mount would be on a monolithic receiver (think SCAR) and the mount backwards. Height is perfect. If you don't foresee yourself ever using the side mounts, I would recommend going with the Warne SKEL mount, which is the same mount as this minus the extra attachments, thus reducing weight significantly.

Price point:

MSRP = $195.49

Retail = $121.20 on Amazon  $169.99 on Brownells

I need it now! Availability: Amazon and Brownells

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Proper eye relief
  • Removable 45 degree angled mounts
  • 1 piece optics mount
  • Multitude of color options
  • Available for 1", 30mm, & 34mm scopes
  • Made in U.S.A.
  • Rugged
  • Returns to zero

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • No quick detach

Score: 8.50 Great85

 

 

Chad's Favorite Link: Albany Rifle and Pistol Club

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 

 

Xtreme Hardcore Gear Force Recon Tactical Rings

Xtreme Hardcore Gear Force Recon Tactical Scope Rings

When you are dumping money into a precision rifle, whether it be an AR-15, AR-10, or bolt action platform, theres a saying that goes "spend two times the amount of the gun on the optic." Easier said than done if you do in fact mind sleeping on the couch for a week. No matter what you spend on the rifle itself or the glass, they still have to interface together. The scope rings are just as important, as they determine how true the relationship will be between where you are aiming, the adjustment of your dope turrets, and where that bullet will go.

Xtreme Hardcore Gear Force Recon Tactical Scope Rings

High quality rings will make sure your scope is and remains mounted securely and consistently shot after shot. Generally speaking, the higher the price tag, the better the machining of the pair of rings to be within tight tolerances and will hold your scope true to the rifle's bore. Of course, if you are canting your rifle or resting on uneven ground, everything goes out the window. Thats where a bubble level comes into play. There are a handful of scope level products on the market, either clamping onto the scope tube or mounting via picatinny rail somewhere on the rings. I've seen plenty of rifles with them, and I have a couple on my own tack drivers. What I haven't seen is a premium quality scope ring with an integral bubble level... until I found the Xtreme Hardcore Gear Force Recon Tactical Rings.

Xtreme Hardcore Gear Force Recon Tactical Scope Rings

Besides being a mouthful, the Xtreme Hardcore Gear Force Recon Tactical Rings are one of the only sets of scope rings I've seen to both be of high quality, and integrate the bubble level. At around $180 they are certainly a premium, but perfect for a high dollar rifle that's purposefully built for small groups at long ranges. A scope won't track correctly along the X and Y axis (windage and elevation) if your scope and bore aren't perpendicular with the ground, thats a simple as I can put it. Firing a bullet from an non-level position will skew that bullets course exponentially the longer the distance, and your scope's tracking adjustments will be diagonally "hinky" as well.

Xtreme Hardcore Gear Force Recon Tactical Scope Rings

In addition to the integral bubble level, these rings offer a level of precision only rivaled by $200+ ring sets. The Xtreme Hardcore rings are designed and machined to not allow the scope to move under any recoil scenario. The rings interface with the rail with a robust .875" mounting platform while the two cross slot bolts provide awesome clamping power without any protruding bolt heads. The cherry on top is the pair of steel guide rails that press into the ring base. The ring base clamp rides on these rails to keep the clamp perfectly aligned as the two cross slot bolts are drawn tight against the pic mount.  Another detail I appreciate is the rings and caps have a .030" radius on both sides of the scope bore to eliminate any marring or sharp contact points on your scope. Together with the provided 6 torx bolts for an evenly distributed force onto the top of the scope, these features add up to the best scope rings you can buy for precision work.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: The Force Recon Tactical Rings feature a built in level housed into the rear scope ring, assuring a perfect parallel which is essential for long range shooting.

Target Market:  Long range rifle shooters

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Ring Bore Diameter 30mm with tolerances +/-.001"
  • USA Mills Billet 7075 T-6 Aircraft Aluminum
  • Black Anodize Mill Spec 8625 Type 3 Hardcoat
  • Rings are matched within .002"
  • 6 Cap Screws (USA 8-40)
  • 2 Clamp Screws (USA 10-24 SHC Grade 8)
  • 2 Clamp guide Rails: (USA .125 Precision dowel pins)

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black, 30 & 34mm diameter

What others are saying?: "While field testing, we found the bubble easy enough to see while sighting through the scope. Under very low light conditions, it took a little more effort to focus on the reference lines, most likely because the level isn’t exposed to any light from the top or bottom of the ring. At any rate, it didn’t interfere with the ability to make accurate long range shots at last light. In conclusion, if you’re looking for a set of very high quality rings for your long range rig, you owe it to yourself to check these out. The price point is comparable to other quality rings that require the additional purchase of an add-on bubble level.  You can purchase the the Force Recon Tactical Scope Rings here: Xtreme Hardcore Gear." Rockslide Blog

"I mounted each ring on my Badger scope rail and then did an alignment check with a 34mm lapping bar. Then I checked the alignment with a set of scope alignment bars and they were Dead On. The rings mounted Rock Solid and look Great. The level is calibrated perfect and there is no issues with these rings. These rings are of Excellent quality and I would highly reccomend these for any Tactical build. I like the fact that they are the lowest available for a 34mm scope. At .900" height they put my eye right on with my McMillan A5 stock." Sniper's Hide Review

Price point:

I need it now! Availability: Brownells or Amazon

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Level verifies action/bore and scope are perpendicular with ground / shooting rest is level.
  • Less play forward/aft on picatinny rail before screw full torqued
  • Base clamp rides on stainless steel guide rails keeping the clamp perfectly aligned
  • 6 Torx bolts make a good solid mount
  • Rings and caps radiused on both sides to eliminate any marring or sharp contact points

Cons:

  • Clamp Screws used as crossbolt (some folks don't like this)
  • Bubble location makes visibility difficult in low light

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

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

Tipton Best Gun Vise

John_GunVise_4.jpeg

John_GunVise_2The Tipton Best Gun Vise has been a great addition to my shop. It has made cleaning my firearms much easier. It was designed to be able to be used with a wide array of firearms. You can handle everything from your break action shotgun to bolt action rifle to AR style rifles. I use The Tipton vise for cleaning and maintaining all of my bolt action rifles. After I finally picked up one of these, I couldn’t imagine not using it. The back section has an adjustable clamp and you use to lock onto the rear of the stock to hold the firearm secure while the front notch holds the front of the firearm still. You can swap out the center rest from a magazine style holder that will allow you to work on your 1911.

John GunviseFirearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Clamps in many different  firearms so you can work on them easier.

Target Market: Hunters and gun enthusiast.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Accommodates wide range of firearms
  • Non marring surfaces
  • Solvent resistant
  • Adjustable

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Available colors are white with red pads or white with black pads. The “white” is actually more of a grey.

What others are saying?: “The Tipton vise is well thought out, accommodating virtually any size gun and simplifying tasks such as cleaning, mounting hardware, adjusting sights. The only improvement I could suggest is making it easier to clamp the vise onto the workbench when using a sight drift, cleaning with a bore brush, or doing other jobs that require some measure of force to be applied to the firearm.”

Price point: (MSRP versus actual retail)

I need it now! Availability: Order from Amazon or find it at your local hunting supply store.

 

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Adjustable
  • Light Weight
  • Solvent Resistant

Cons:

  • Flimsy Clamping (The clamp mounts bow out easily)
  • The Plastic tabs like to come out of the track.
  • Can be a pain to get it assembled for the first time.

Score: 7.5 Good75

 

Featured FFL

Lead Head Firearms

EXD Engineering Vertical Reticle Instrument

The EXD Vertical Reticle Instrument is the easiest and most accurate way to square an optic to a gun.

I'm about to share with you one of the most useful tools in my gun drawer. I'm almost certain that unless you already have some sort of trick or technique for mounting an optic squarely level to a firearm, you'll want to pick up one of these for yourself after reading this review.
The EXD Engineering Vertical Reticle Instrument is an adjustable, self-aligning tool that uses V-blocks to square up the scope's objective bell with the barrel, assuming your scope rings are quality and in spec. Once you tighten down the thumb screw to secure the V-blocks (you can use a rubber band to keep it in place if needed) you can use the bubble level to assure the rifle/shotgun/muzzleloader/pistol is resting level with the planet. Then, with the rings loosely tightened so you can rotate the scope in place, you want to look through the glass and make sure the crosshairs themselves are parallel with something thats level - a door frame, a fence post, or a plumb line that uses gravity to create a straight vertical reference. If the reticle is vertically squared and the bubble level in the EXD instrument is between the marks, your scope is aligned with the universe and you can tighten down your rings.
Now I have managed to mount optics on quite a few firearms without the use of such a tool, but the possibility of being skewed and non-level with the bore has always haunted me. Once I'd get the rings slightly tightened and the eye relief in the sweet spot, I'd either take a step back and fiddle with the magnification so I can catch a glimpse of the reticle in the narrow eye-box and just sorta get a feel if it looks square to the action, then double check by scoping something outdoors that I'm relatively sure has straight vertical edge. If the scope had a nice capped elevation turret I would balance an actual level tool on it, but that only would tell me the scope was level with the ground, not level with bore itself. I could spend and hour tinkering with it until it looks right, and it could still be way off.

EXD Vertical Reticle Instrument

For shooting 100-200 yards it may not be worth a second thought, but for ultimate precision especially at longer ranges, a canted crosshair reticle can and will have adverse effects on your scope's windage and elevation adjustments. Many gun stores, smiths, or scope dealers will mount a scope fore you, but really only "eyeball" it or use a reference that may not be all that precise. Hell, I've had someone tell me to just close my eyes, shoulder the rifle, and then whatever canted position the rifle is in my hands is good enough, then half-ass level the windage line and tighten the rings from there. This may be "good enough" for Bubba to bag a backyard buck, but not if you hope to be consistent with your firearm's optic at various ranges.
Yes, there might be some OCD tied into it, but a scope that you've leveled yourself, without paying someone else, really gives you reassurance as well as confidence in your rig (or in some cases, gives you less excuses at the firing line). The beauty is that this tool is so simple, it should work with virtually every firearm you want to mount a scope on, with only a few exceptions. I would strongly recommend buying the EXD Engineering Vertical Reticle Instrument, especially if you own multiple scopes and like to swap them around, or if you're business includes mounting optics for customers.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  Makes zeroing your scope faster and far more accurate

Target Market:  Scoped Rifle Owners

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Self Align V-blocks
  • Thumb Screw for tightening
  • View Slot
  • Bubble level to ensure scope and bore are square during mounting

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Unfinished Aluminium only

What others are saying?:

"I have mounted numerous rifle scopes and this is the best device for leveling the cross hairs I have found. Actually, it's used to level the rifle and scope, and then plumb the vertical reticle of the scope." Brownells.com User Review

"This tool changes weather a scope is level or not from an opinion to a fact. It's the best tool out there for leveling a scope. On some high power scopes the narrow window can be an issue but it still works." Brownells.com User Review

"This tool is indispensable for quick accurate perfectly level crosshairs. No more excess time fidling with back and forth alignment. If your in the profession you absolutely need this tool, its a money maker." Brownells.com User Review

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:  Available at Brownells.com

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Removes the guesswork from mounting a scope and zeroing the reticle
  • Works with almost every firearm platform as long as the scope overlaps a round barrel
  • Compatible with Oval ocular scopes
  • Should work with optics on handguns, muzzleloaders, shotguns, as well as rifles.

Cons:

  • Barrels with rear iron sights may not work with this tool
  • Leveling the reticle perpendicular requires an outside reference ie: a door frame or plumb line
  • Expensive for what it is...would have been a great additional value if some sort of black string, thumbtack and weight were included

Score: 8.0 Great

 

 

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

Kinetic Research Group Bolt Lift

Kinetic Research Group Bolt Lift

The Remington 700 is quite a rifle. Despite the collateral black eyes it receives as a result of Big Green's holding company and the ripple effect that has affected quality and value thought the product line, the history and reliability of the R700 is almost unparalleled in the bolt acton rifle world. Very similar to the Glock and it's position in the handgun market, the R700 isn't a perfect rifle, but its a decent platform for modification, customization and enhancements for achieving the exact firearm you have in mind. One very low cost, easy to install and arguably one of the most functional additions you can make to your Remington 700 rifle is the Kinetic Research Group Bolt Lift.

Kinetic Research Group Bolt Lift

The Bolt Lift is an enlarged polymer shell that fits over your existing bolt handle that drastically improves bolt manipulation. Simple as that. While $28 for two pieces of plastic, a screw, and some O-rings might seem overpriced for such a minimalistic product, it suites a purpose that would otherwise cost almost 5x that amount in machining labor for a larger metal handle onto your existing bolt. KRG offers the Bolt Lift in two styles, the standard which is more tacticalesque, and the SV which is not as elongated and smaller than the original Bolt Lift. Both models mount the same way over the existing bolt handle. You don't have to permanently modify your rifle in anyway and can be removed easily. You can use epoxy if you desire a more permanent installation thats bedded to your bolt knob.

Kinetic Research Group Bolt Lift

The Kinetic Research Group was established conceptually in 2005 by a group of then active duty Army Special Forces soldiers. Being both professional and sport shooters, their passion led them to a deep understanding of the strong and weak points in the fielded equipment. All of the founding members have multiple OIF/OEF deployments and have had extensive small arms training through the military and, in some cases, have been instructors. KRG staff have been responsible or assisted in development for small arms designs including the modular straight-pull bolt action rifle Ballista, the Magpul Massoud .308 semi-auto rifle and parts of the Magpul Masada/Remington ACR.

I asked KRG if they were considering making a bolt lift for other manufacturer's rifles in the future.  They responded promptly, saying "Right now we're not planning one specifically for any other particular rifles.  We're considering a "universal" model in the future that will fit many different rifles but will need a little fitting for each one.  We have had customers put the Bolt Lift on the Savage, Howa, Mossberg and many others, they just did a little dremeling or maybe used some epoxy to bed it into place a bit. Thank you for your interest in our products!"

If you own a Remington 700 and feel like a larger bolt knob would benefit your shooting (or you are handy with a dremel & epoxy and want to mod one to fit your non-remington rifle) I would highly recommend the Bolt Lift.

Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  The first and only products of their kind, the Bolt Lift gives you all the benefits of an oversize bolt knob (AKA "Tactical" knob) in a simple user friendly package.

Target Market:  Remington 700 Bolt Action Rifle Owners

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • Gives a better grip when operating the bolt under any conditions
  • Do-It-Yourself, no gunsmithing required*
  • Comes with two sizes of O-Rings for better fit of your rifle's existing bolt knob
  • No permanent modifications to your rifle
  • For a permanent installation, skip the O-Rings and use epoxy.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Standard and SV (Smaller Version), as well as Black, OD Green, and FDE

What others are saying?:

"The Bolt Lift feels very solid. There is no wiggle or play at all once it is tightened down. You really cannot tell by feel that it is not molded onto the knob. Unless the knob begins to loosen up with use I see little reason to make the installation permanent. Prior to installing the Bolt Lift on this rifle to cycle the bolt you had to use fingertips and thumb. If you attempted to grip the factory knob you would skin your thumb. After installing the bolt lift I was able to manipulate the bolt while retaining a firm grip on the end. If you are a "grip it and rip it" type of bolt operator, then the Bolt Lift is a great option. I have seen many comments about the visual appearance of the Bolt Lift and the fact that it's a bolt on plastic piece. The looks matter little to me. I only care about the function. The Bolt Lift works. The fact that it is made of plastic is also immaterial. The bolt knob on my four thousand dollar Accuracy International is plastic. The true value of the Bolt Lift is that for $28 and a few minutes time you can see if a "tactical" bolt knob will fit your tactics and your rig. You don't have to worry about voids in the handle, sending it off to a gunsmith or any other nonsense."  8541 Tactical Review

"I cannot believe it was only $28. Honestly, I’m baffled. It’s the single best upgrade I’ve made for such a small amount of money. My thumb no longer bashes my scope, cycling the action is smoother and easier due to better leverage, and being plastic, it didn’t add much in the weight department. Notice the little grippy part on there? I found once I started to get the palm sweat I get when I shoot, that this small feature made handling the knob a breeze. All the little details add up to make this an impressive little upgrade!" Survive Hive Review

Price point:

I need it now! Availability:  Readily available online at KRG's website

Our Rating:

Pros:

  • Two different styles for different rifle roles
  • Easy to assemble
  • Instantly improves bolt handling, especially under duress or fast courses of fire
  • Comes with a sweet vinyl sticker
  • Military Discount
  • MADE IN 'MURICA

Cons:

  • Price for polymer molded item is alittle high (but much less than an actual metal knob + gunsmithing)
  • Enlarged knob may interfere with low mounted optics
  • Certain aftermarket stocks may need to be modified (or sand down the bolt lift on the bottom)

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

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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Radetec Ammocontrol Digital Counter for an AR 15

Radetec Digital Counter for the AR-15 The Radetec Ammocontrol Digital Counter is an interesting piece of gun gear.  At first I was like, "are you telling me that people can't count and figure out how many shots they have fired or have left available?"  But then I realized that I was coming from the mindset of taking practice shots at the range.  So I thought about it some more and realized that this piece of gear does have some niche uses.  The one that stands out most in my mind is magazine changes.  If you are training for tactical situations, the timing of changing out your magazines could be critical.  The Radetec Ammocontrol Digital Counter will assist you in figuring out the best times and or situations to change out those magazines.  On top of all that, the counter is light weight and super easy to install.  Overall, this a real nice piece of training equipment.

By Glenn Girone

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Digitally track how man shots were fired or are remaining.

Target Market: From tactical trainers to every day shooters.

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

  • Displays exact # of rounds left inside the magazine either by digital screen or by manual activation button
  • Displays exact # of shot fired on the digital screen
  • Polymer construction - highly shock and temperature resistant
  • Auto dim feature for low light situations
  • Light weight
  • Uses 1 CR2016/CR2032 battery

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  Currently, Radetec only offers this product in black.

What others are saying:  From great to horrible, the reviews are mixed.  Check out the link and review below.

Price Point:

I need it now!  Availability:  You can readily find this available at Radetec or Amazon.

Our Rating:

+-Not obtrusive +-Easy attachment +-Great for teaching fundamentals and timing of reloading

--Expensive

Score: 7.0 Good70

 

 

 

Timney Model 510 Trigger Review

Timney Triggers 510 for Remington 700 rifles There's a lot of options when it comes to aftermarket Remington 700 triggers. Just one of the benefits of owning the Honda Civic of the bolt action rifle world. One manufacturer stands out to me from the rest with the most experience and most variety of models, and that's Timney Triggers.

The 510 trigger is curved, and comes with a trigger blocking safety. That means there's no way to move the trigger when it's on safe, so when you take it off safe the trigger stays in the same position it started from.

Timney Triggers 510 for Remington 700 rifles

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: The Model 510 will bring a whole new realm of accuracy to your rifle and is the World's finest trigger, proudly made in the USA since 1946

Target Market: Hunters, Long Range target shooters

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • The 510 comes with a safety that blocks the trigger, not the sear
  • No screws, drilling, or tapping required
  • Each trigger is geometrically identical with tolerances less than .0005”. adjustable from 1.5 to 4 lbs.
  • Made from a solid block of heat treated steel; there's no 'connector bar' to come loose.
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?:  Straight Trigger Shoe style and "tactical" style available

What others are saying?: “I have installed these triggers in several guns, I have put six in Remington 700 alone. They are easy to instal & work perfectly. MADE IN USA. Christian Company. They are the most value for the least amount of dollars in the third party trigger market. One person had me put one in his 700. He like it so well, he brought three more 700s from his brother & son & I put Timney Triggers in them. Smiles as wide as TEXAS." - lcjones user, Brownells.com review

"I've never bought an aftermarket trigger nor installed one before. Bought a Timney and it dropped in. No problem. It worked out so well, I bought 2 more. Both were drop-ins. The last one took me 10 minutes max to install. Couldn't ask for a better trigger pull." Taildragger user, Brownells.com review

Price Point:

MSRP: $134.95 Retail: $130.99

I need it now! Availability: Readily available at  Timney Triggers and Brownells

Our Rating:

+-Crisp trigger pull, can be set at the factory as low as 1.5 lbs. +-Easy to install (YouTube videos) +-Enhanced safety, completely resolves the factory recall issue while giving you an awesome trigger pull

--Installation instructions were cheaply printed with less than easy to follow black and white diagrams.

Score: 8.5 Great

 

Laser Ammo - LaserPET Electronic Target

Laser Ammo - LaserPET Electronic Target This is a great way to practice at home without shooting up your house. It’s pretty simple to use and comes with instructions(who uses them?) Shooting it with the Laser Ammo Sure Strike provides instant feedback if you hit it. It has three modes, all which can be used to improve your overall shooting. Using the hit counter mode you can work on your trigger control and it keeps track of your hits. The shot timer mode is for working on your quick draw/first shot from the holster. Lastly is the magazine change mode in which, you guessed it, you practice fast mag changes. One thing I found this extremely useful for is teaching new shooters proper technique in a safe environment. I’m sure you’re as at home on the range as I am but a new shooter may be more comfortable learning to “shoot” in the safety and comfort of their own house, away from other shooters. Most of all you don’t have to worry about be shot by an overly excited person waving the gun around because “They hit the target!!!” even though I still yell if I get swept by the muzzle. The only issue I had with the timer is that I tossed it on my bed with the tripod attached and folded underneath and it broke it open like a clam shell. It was a nightmare and a half to get it back together with how the buttons fit in it. After I got it back together I threw some super glue on it and it’s been good ever since. Granted, if I had removed the tripod I probably never would have taken it apart. Hopefully you guys will learn from my mistake. laser pet Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points Claim to Fame: Improves drawing, target acquisition, and trigger squeeze.

Target Market: Home defenders, police, military

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • 1.8x1.8" laser sensor
  • Bright numeric LED display
  • Buzzer
  • Changeable target cards to modify target area size and shape.
  • Tripod and wall mounts
  • AAA Battery operated
  • Operational Mode: Hit counter - this setting will count the shooter's consecutive hits
  • Operational Mode: Shot timer / Fast draw - this timer will show the accurate time from buzzer to hit
  • Operational Mode: Magazine change - this mode will time the shooter as if they were changing a magazine and subsequently count how many times the shooter can hit the target within 5 seconds
  • Built in timer
  • Input for external sensor

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: It’s only available in one form, regular.

What others are saying?: “...improved my trigger control and accuracy 150%”- amazon.com “Works with LASERLYTE Trainer Pistol Universal.” - midwayusa.com

Price point:  MSRP = $119.95 laser-ammo.com Retail = $112.75 amazon.com

I need it now! Availability: Check your local gun shop or anywhere that has gun stuff. Or if you live by me, I’ll let you borrow it.

Our Rating: + 3 operational modes. + Multiple target inserts. + Standard tripod mount and wall mount. + Collapsible tripod. - Broke when I tossed it on my bed. - Hard to put back together if opened.

Score: 8.585

 

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

 

DPMS G2 Recon .308 Rifle Review

1888571_1430869157156551_1319482367_n By Steven Pope

After looking at several of the rifles on the market, I settled on the G2 Recon. Price was right and the options were good. And besides, somebody has to buy a first year model so the rest of you can find out if they are worth it.

I bought my rifle online, sight unseen, first time buying a gun of any kind online. So leaps of faith on two fronts here. No one near me had one, let alone knew that a new version was out, so it was purchased sight unseen.

I was pretty excited about it and could not wait to get it, and so far I am very happy with my purchase. I was/am a little leery about all the new design changes, but like I said, someone has to be the first so I gambled.

When I pulled it out of the box to do the pre-transfer inspection, I was quite pleased with the fit and finish. The lines were good, no gaps, everything fit nice and tight, like I would expect. The finish was flawless, basically it looked like I would expect a 1,400 dollar rifle to look.

After paying my $20.00 transfer fee, I took it home and proceeded to put three rounds through it because the sun was setting and I just could not help myself, I was so excited about finally having it. Then I went inside and did a field strip and clean. Again, nothing that I would not expect. Everything seemed to look good, fit good and function good.

The only issue that I have noticed is how the Nikon M-223 mount fits, either the mount is a little out of spec or my top rail is, as its on as far as my gun smith could get it without putting some real effort into it. As it turns out, its location is about where it needs to be, so I have not taken the time to look into it.

I purchased a few P-mags before the rifle showed up, and got them loaded up and ready to go. And so far, they have performed perfectly with no flaws at all. I have also emptied the factory magazine a few times and it, too, has been flawless.

This last Saturday I had about 45-min to an hour to go sight it in, so I took it out at last light and sighted in. Before I knew it, I had put a total of 50 rounds through this thing and they all functioned perfectly, no malfunctions of any kind.

All shots were made from a bi-pod under the front and a sand bag under the rear.

I was shooting hand loads that I developed for my 308 bolt rifle I use for hunting. The round is a 165 grain Speer BTSP over 43 grains of IMR 4064. In my bolt gun this combo gives me clover leafs at a 100 yards with a fully supported rifle. In the G2 we were close, but my shooting position is horrible, I am really hunched over the table. And that position really messes with how a short fat guy breathes, but it was good enough that I think I could come real close to duplicating those clover leaves, if I could get a good shooting bench set up. I seated the bullet to magazine length. I had zero feed issues, everything functioned perfectly.

After I got the scope sighted, I started plinking. I was having so much fun I did not realize that I had burned through all the ammo I had, I have never shot more than a box of 308 in one sitting so to go through 47 was a lot, but it was incredibly fun.

The recoil was very pleasant and easy to handle, which is good since one of the roles I hope this rifle will be able to fill is a hunting rifle for my son when he is old enough to hunt. The trigger is good, for me any way. I do not anticipate upgrading it.

On several forums, many people suggested that I skip the 16" barreled guns and go no less than 18", due to noise and muzzle flash. So I was kinda worried about the noise and flash when I was shooting the other evening. But, to be honest, I think my M&P Sport has more noise and flash than this does. I did not start shooting ‘til the sun was behind the closest mountain, making it optimal conditions for seeing muzzle flash.

After sighting in, I decided it was time to just do some plinking. I was surrounded by black volcanic rocks with lots of white stuff on them (no idea what the white stuff is) which made them perfect targets for the conditions. Let’s just say that if they had been deer or elk, I would have had a lot of explaining to do if Fish and Game would have caught me. There is just something cool about the sound of a bullet smacking a rock at 200-300 yards. Plus, for a guy like me, it feels good to have the audible feedback letting me know I really did hit the rock.

Overall, I think this is a well put together rifle that, so far, shoots very well.  Since sighting in, I am over 100 rounds and zero malfunctions.  The rifle is pleasant to shoot and just plain fun.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: DPMS claims that the rifle is lighter than previous versions. From what I have handled in the local gun shops that seems to be very accurate. This gun is light and easy to handle. Another point DPMS makes in advertising this rifle is the nice neat pile of brass that it makes while ejecting a spent case. I have found this statement to be understated somewhat.  While doing load development I discovered that the loads the rifle likes best seem to land in a circle less than a foot in diameter. For a reloader, this is a pretty good bonus.

Target Market: This rifle would be well suited for several applications, including hunting, 3 gun competitions and law enforcement/security.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):

  • One of the major advertising points of this rifle is the compatibility with AR-15 parts from the mag-well back, fire controls and buffer tube.

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: The DPMS G2 Recon .308 Rifle is only available in black.

What others are saying?: “I'm surprised this hasn't been the talk of the semi-auto forum...i expect the snubs at M4carbine and lightfighter forums to pretend the earth hasn't shifted, but not here...

As much as i hate to parrot company line, I think DPMS has changed the game.

If the new GII rifles live up to DPMS's hype, and they aren't known for failures or quality issues, I believe DPMS will cause the market to change.

Even if there are teething problems, the 308 AR market will eventually follow DPMS's lead after some resistance and consternation of course.

I have two DPMS rifles...looks like I'll be adding one of these to my stable. I'm especially interested in the 20" hunter model...although it should have been designed with a threaded barrel.” - TX_Flyboy, Snipers Hide

Price Point:

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

Our Rating:

+ Light + Good fit and finish

- New gun, Untested

Score: 9.5 AmazingAmazing

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  

FIREClean Review

FIREClean 1 Fireclean gun oil is one of the best gun oils I have used to date.  It does everything it should do and more. It lubricates, protects, cleans, and most importantly it helps reduce carbon buildup.  While using Fireclean I have found that my rimfire's will shoot for a longer number of rounds and are easier to clean. The carbon and even lead deposits seem to just wipe off.  When using this oil with a suppressor on an AR15 there is less buildup of gunk on the bolt carrier.  Fireclean lubricates extremely well, it makes rifles and pistols cycle smoother and is better than any other oil I have used.

FIREClean 2FIREClean 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame:  A gun oil that repels carbon fouling, is non-toxic, odorless, biodegradable, sticks to metal, heat resistant and made in the U.S.A.

Target Market:  All gun owners but more in tune with suppressed or full auto firearms users.

FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):  From product website: "While odorless, biodegradable, and safe, FIREClean destroys carbon contamination and helps prevent future fouling. FIREClean conditions metal - to resist carbon and other fouling buildup as well as providing durable lubricity."

  • Lubricates
  • Cleans
  • Repels Carbon
  • Absorbs into metal for lasting protection
  • Available in 2 fluid oz bottles

What others are saying?:

  • "Best I've Used"  "Surprisingly Great"  "Awesome Stuff" on Amazon with 4.7/5 stars
  • "The Best Oil"  "Amazing Product"  "Best Oil I have ever used" on Brownells with 4.9/5 stars

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability:  Readily available at Amazon and Brownells.

Our Rating:

+ Carbon just doesn't seem to build up + Excellent oil + Non-Toxic + Long Lasting Lubrication + Small amount goes a long way

- Not the best at cleaning, but it does make cleaning easier after the initial oiling

Score: 9.0 Amazing! 90

 

Chad's Favorite Link:

Tactical Paradise

 

Microtech Small Arms Research STG-556 and E4 Rifles Review

MSAR STG-556  

I am very torn in this situation, due to so many factors.  My personal experience was both pleasant and unpleasant. I bought the rifle new and unfired from an individual on GunBroker. Once I received it and got the drool wiped off, I  took it out for a test drive.  I loved it! The rifle fired well with anything I  gave it, but the very next day a problem arose.  My greatest fear was confirmed on this dream gun that I  had scored such a deal on and saved on months end for.

I found a crack in the rear trunion of the cast receiver. I immediately called MSAR and was promptly placed in contact with a nice older gentleman named Paul.  He was VERY professional and kind and asked me to ship it to him and he would take a look. By this point in time, MSAR had already been fighting bankruptcy and restructuring, attempting to develop the E-4 rifle.  MSAR had several instances where there were issues with a few of their rifles and I won't go into all that, a quick google search and you will have your fill of all the haters online. Long story short, MSAR made it right for me.  They hunted down a brand new receiver and placed my serial number on that new piece, then gave it a complete factory overhaul with all the updated parts. I asked them to shoot it until they felt confident it was fixed, so they did.  When I got the rifle back it was perfect, updated and has never missed a beat since!

Now the reason I say it was also unpleasant, as a member of a class 3 firearms business myself, I have attempted to become a dealer for them ( multiple times) because I  was SO blown away with the service Paul gave me in the shop.  Unfortunately Paul doesn't run MSAR, he is actually in retirement, the company struggles with customer service in returning calls and email department.  So with all that said, I am extremely happy with my stg-556 but will most likely not be buying anymore MSAR rifles due to such unstable management.  If i'm going to drop $2000 on a new rifle, I want to be reassured that company will be around if and when it breaks so I can get replacement parts and service. With that being said, I hate to be a Judas, but I'm going to have to say I  would go with a STEYR if purchasing another.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: Quality construction and capabilities.

Target Market: Military, LE Officers and gun lovers alike.

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

  • Bull Pup semi auto rifle
  • Gas operated rotating bolt, short piston drive
  • Comes in 5.56 and 300 AAC
  • 16.5’ or 18.5’ barrel
  • STG-556 accepts proprietary aug mags only( 10,20,30,and 42) , but the e-4 accepts regular ar-15 magazines
  • Last round bolt  hold open
  • AR style bolt catch lever on left side of stock
  • well machined fluted barrel ⅛ twist chambered for 556 NATO
  • cross bolt safety
  • 1913 picatinny top rail
  • optional 1913 rail for right side
  • QD sling swivels on top front  and rear side
  • built in forward vertical grip

What other aesthetic options are available ?:  Available in black, OD and tan.

What others are saying:

Price Point:

Our Rating:

+ High quality polymer construction + Very impressive fluted quick detach barrel + High 42 round magazine capacity + Ambidextrous design + Easy disassembly and assembly for cleaning + Very well balanced center of gravity when fully loaded + Adjustable gas settings for different ammunitions or when firing suppressed

- Hard and sloppy trigger - Short sight radius if using BUIS - Little room to spare on top rail for optic and BUIS - Knuckle buster charging handle if using an EOTECH or QD optic mount - Ejects expended brass right into your teeth when shooting transitions such as a right handed shooter firing left handed ( E-4 comes standard with brass deflector)

Score: 7.575

 

 

AIM Sports Mosin Nagant Combo Kit Review

mosinkit The Mosin Nagant 91/30 rifle is one of the most common and sought after budget rifles even still today. Russia's old warhorse is still circulating around the world, and if you don't already have one or two sitting in your safe, you are missing out on some of the most fun and affordable shooting there is to be had. Many DIYers choose the platform to build hunting, varminting, or tactical bolt guns because of its low cost and availability. Most Big Box Sporting Goods stores like Big 5 will carry the 91/30 is stock as well as Cabelas or Bass Pro Shop.

Many Mosin owners who do not claim to be purists may be tempted to accessorize the rifle. Some manufacturers have come up with kits to make it cheap and easy to do this. I myself in a moment of weakness gave into temptation and bought a "Deluxe Accessory Kit" from AIM Sports. After installing the scope mount, the scope and rings, and the recoil pad, I thought I had made a reasonably good investment for $75 after tax. Then I started looking at the fit and finish, and after a few more minutes was immediately flooded with regret. Upon racking the bolt and dry firing the rifle a few times, I witnessed the lens in the scope minutely tilt forward each time the firing pin dropped. Cheap Chinese made optics with poor internals, who knew? Luckily I had opened the packaging very discretely with a blade so I was able to repack everything and return it with no questions asked.

The conundrum with putting a scope on the Nagant is three fold.  One, you have to use a "Scout" scope with a long eye relief in order to operate the stock bolt (Alternatively you can pay to have a bent bolt modification and use a traditional scope with conventional eye relief).  Two, the mounts are often questionable unless made right, and that will be costly.  Third and lastly, any scope that costs less than the rifle itself is probably rubbish.

This scope in particular is an AIM Sports 2-7 x 32mm with a 1" tube, that has an an eye relief of 8.5"-10.5" and 1/4 M.O.A.windage and elevation adjustments, a blue lens coating, a length of 10.5" and a weight of 9 oz. The clarity of the optic (before the lens issue) was moderately okay, the parallax was set within 60-100 yards and I felt like it would have been useful at shooting between 100-300 yards. The magnification ring was very gritty when rotating through the levels and had a very alarming click, almost like a bearing falling into a detent, at the 7x position. The ring also appeared to be sealed with a very sloppy O-Ring, which gave it alot of play forward and rearward. Even if the scope hadn't failed after dry firing, I have absolutely no confidence it would have held up to a single round of 7.62x54R. Pretending it would have held integrity, the scope and rings surely wouldn't have survived the first shot anyway.

The scope rings included are junk, with just two screws per ring they were too short to even bite the threading. I found myself screwing one side an eighth of a turn, then alternating back and forth so the top segment of the ring would tighten down evenly, but the opposite screw would still pop right out onto the floor. I had to use some extra screws from my drawer to replace all 4 of AIM's. After all that trouble and handling, the blued finish had looked like it had been in action for a few years. The thumb adjustment knobs were a soft metal and were no match for my screwdriver either apparently. Now, onto the scope base.

The picatinny scope base itself mounts into the rear sight block, requiring the removal of the rear sight and leaf spring. Easy enough, but it mounts using the single pin hole and thus becomes a "seesaw" or "teeter toter" that requires set three screws to be tightened down against the receiver. There was no instruction on how to use these set screws to obtain the optimum angle, and tightening one just caused the other end to dip down. When I tightened all three to a degree I felt left the mount level the the bore, I was still unsatisfied with the security and how easy it was to push a side down or up. The instructions called for the leaf spring to be removed, but I found that leaving it in at least gave some tension and improved the mounting. When the rings and scope is mounted, I found that the extra couple inches of rail in the front interfered with using the scope covers, so it would have to be cut off.

mosinkit2

At least the rubber recoil pad had to be an improvement to the stock Rusky metal butt plate, right? Guess again, as it didn't line up with either screw hole, and a flush fit would have required sanding and reshaping the contour of the stock. Even then it didn't line up with the stock, but perhaps thats just a difficult task with all the different variations in these stocks that came from all over Europe.

The sling looked like a standard replica of the original russian slings, khaki colored even though the package specifically calls it green. I didn't even take the sling out of the package as I knew this kit was going to be returned promptly. If you have a 91/30 or M44 and wish to outfit it with optics and accessories, I would be reluctant to try this kit. I didn't get a quality equivalent to the amount I paid for, and I can't imagine it working for anybody else (unless that particular kit was an older generation).  Bottom line, it's a disgrace to the Motherland.

Firearms Insider Reviews - 8 Key Points

Claim to Fame: This all-in-one kit includes everything you need and is the easiest no-drilling, no-tapping, no-gunsmith-needed option for the Mosin Nagant 91/30 and M44 rifles.

Target Market: Mosin Nagant 91/30 and M44 rifle owners.

FNBs (features & benefits of this product):

  • 2-7x32 Scout Scope  w/ blue multi-coated optics deliver bright, crystal clear views.
  • Precise fine-crosshairs Plex reticle for dead-on targeting
  • Waterproof, Shockproof, and Fogproof (no confidence in these statements based on test items)
  • Scope Covers
  • Scope Rings
  • Picatinny Mount requires no permanent modification to gun.
  • Recoil reducing rubber butt pad.
  • Replica Russian Sling

What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Thin Blued Metal

What others are saying?: 

  •  "The rubber but stock and strap are the only things in this kit worth a dime. the scope is almost impossible to sight in, and even if you get it there a few shots later its way off again. mount is really cheap so im not sure which is worse." Amazon Customer Review
  • "The mount (not the other stuff) is cheap. The front attach screws are short, only about 2 threads holding. The other screws on the mount can not be made tight enough to hold the mount in place from recoil. Poor design, poorly executed. I sent it back. The rest of the kit maybe okay, I never got past the mount. This is not my first (or second, or third scope mount)." Amazon Customer Review

Price Point:

I need it now! Availability: Amazon.com or Big 5 Sporting Goods

Our Rating:

+ Collectively all the accessories in one bundle does save money.

- Everything aside from the sling I wouldn't trust to last the first or second range trip, let alone combat or hunting field use.

40 Score: 4.0 Bad