Aimpoint’s New Micro T-2 Red Dot Optic

The Aimpoint Micro T-2 (right) improves on the already solid Micro H-1 and T-1 designs.

The Aimpoint Micro T-2 (right) improves on the already solid Micro H-1 and T-1 designs.

We’re a people of excess. Not that excess is bad in general, but there are situations where too much can be a bad thing.

Optics comes to mind. Almost without fail, we shooters go “all in” when it comes to magnified optics. Even though most of us will be shooting at ranges of 100 yards and less (usually much less), we tend to crank up the power on rifle optics. Gimme that 12-42x monster scope so I can precisely target the “Y” on the back side of a Bayer aspirin, will ya?

The flip-up scope caps are excellent. They won't fall off and are transparent so it's not necessary to open them.

The flip-up scope caps are excellent. They won’t fall off and are transparent so it’s not necessary to open them.

While that sounds good on paper, too much power can be detrimental. Try shooting a high magnification scope from a standing position, and you’ll see what I mean. While your gun is wobbling the same amount as with low magnification, the perceived swings and movements will make you seasick and actually lower your odds of hitting your target. It’s hard to achieve a steady hold with too much magnification.

While it may seem counterintuitive, most people, with some fundamental training and practice, can hit a target out to 400 yards using iron sights. That’s right, just ask any Project Appleseed instructor.

When it comes to my “regular use” and home defense AR rifles, I equip them with zero magnification red dot optics. Why? There are a few benefits. As we discussed, you can hit accurately out to several hundred yards if you want to without magnification. Your field of view through the optics is much, much larger than with a magnified optic. There are no parallax issues that require perfect alignment of your head to the optic for repeatable accuracy. You can (and should) shoot with both eyes open. Red dots work well in low light. They’re fast. Really, really fast. They’re far easier to use than multiple-part iron sights – just put the dot on the target and shoot.

My personal choice for MSR red dot optics is Aimpoint. I’ve used the Aimpoint Micro H-1 and Aimpoint PRO on a number of rifles and couldn’t be happier with those choices. One of the things I like best is the “always on” capability. Battery management is so good that a set of batteries lasts 75% of forever. This means you can leave it on, all the time, and not worry about running out of juice when you need it most. Many models will run at average power level for five years continuously. If you want to be crazy-prepared for the worst, set yourself a reminder to change batteries every two or three years and you’ll never have to worry. It’s a great benefit for a home defense rifle where you don’t want to think about turning switches on and off should you hear a bump in the night.

Recently I got my hot little hands on a brand new model – the Aimpoint Micro T-2. Let’s check it out.

Aimpoint Micro T-2

The Micro T-2 represents the next generation of the Micro T-1, which is the sibling of the Micro H-1. The only real difference between the H-1 and T-1 models is night vision compatibility.

 

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

Leupold’s 300 Blackout Offering: The Mark 4 MR/T 1.5-5x20mm

There’s a reason there are so few 300 Blackout optics on the market. It’s kinda hard to design a single reticle to handle the exceptionally broad range of ballistic performance of that cartridge while keeping the reticle clean and simple.

The turrets are calibrated for 1/2 minute of angle adjustment per click.

The turrets are calibrated for 1/2 minute of angle adjustment per click.

Let’s take a look at exactly what I mean by “broad range of ballistic performance.” For purposes of the trajectories shown in the table below, let’s assume a zero yard zero, and we’ll use two common and “representative” projectiles and “standard” velocities. For the supersonic load, we’ll show the flight path of a Barnes TAC-TX 110 grain bullet. I’ll assume a velocity of 2,500 feet per second. For the subsonic load, we’ll use the classic 220 grain Sierra Matchking and assume a traveling speed of 1,050 feet per second.

The purpose of the “zero yard zero” is to compare the absolute, unadjusted flight paths of the two rounds. Basically, we’re looking at shooting each round exactly parallel to the ground to see how it falls over distance.

300 AAC Blackout Trajectory

As you can see, the brick, I mean subsonic round, falls at about four times the rate of the supersonic. That’s a lot to account for. From an optics perspective, the most feasible plan is to design a reticle for the supersonic round and figure out a couple of realistic hold points for a short range trajectories of the subsonic round.

The Leupold offering is more of a scope tinkerer’s dream. With variable magnification and lots of fine lines in the reticle, you can get it to do whatever you want, out to very long ranges.

Leupold Mark 4 MR/T 1.5-5x20mm

The Leupold Mark 4 is a variable scope with the 300 AAC Blackout specific reticle in the first focal plane. This means that the reticle will grow and shrink as you adjust magnification. At low magnification levels, the inverted horseshoe acts like a red dot, especially with illumination on a high level. At higher magnification levels, you have a finely granulated reticle that provides moving target lead information, range estimation tools and holdover points for supersonic and subsonic loads.

The optic itself is all Leupold. It’s solid and all movements operate like clockwork. Flip up scope caps are provided that mount with rubber friction cups. Unlike others on the market, these stay in place until you want to take them off. The magnification dial is stays in place but is easy to rotate with one hand while keeping a firing grip on the rifle. The windage and elevation dials offer quiet, smooth and positive click adjustments, with each click representing ½ Minute of Angle (MOA) or ½ inch at 100 yards. One nice touch for windage and elevation adjustments is an engraved directional indicator that is visible from the back, telling you which way to twist to the dials to move point of impact up, down, left or right.

Subsonic on the left, supersonic on the right.

Subsonic on the left, supersonic on the right.

Let’s talk about the reticle for a minute. It’s engineered to show hold points for both supersonic and subsonic 300 AAC Blackout loads. Leupold’s approach is to split the reticle horizontally – the right side of center shows supersonic information while the left indicates subsonic. Just in case you forget, there is small and subtle hare engraved in the lower right and a tortoise on the lower left.

The supersonic (right side) markings indicate hold points from 100 to 900 yards with marks at each 100 yard increment. Each horizontal indicator bar is sized to represent an 18 inch wide target at the respective yardage length. For example, if the 400 yard hash mark appears to be the same width as an object you know to be about 18 inches wide, then that object is 400 yards down range. It’s a quick and easy ranging system.

On the subsonic (left) side, there are hash marks from 100 to 400 yards with a line at each 100 yard increment in that range. There is not a 50 yard indicator per se, but between the center dot and bottom of the inverted horseshoe, you can do a quick test to find short range impact points for your chosen subsonic load.

One other reticle feature to note. On either side of the center dot are horizontal lines with hash mark indicators that correspond to hold points to lead targets moving at 5, 10 and 15 miles per hour respectively.

To make the distance hold points work for supersonic and subsonic loads, just zero the optic using supersonic (110 or 125 grain) projectile at 100 yards.

The reticle is illuminated with the inverted horseshoe and center dot lighting up in red. A left side knob offers seven different light levels for low light or daylight conditions. One handy feature is that between each intensity setting on the dial is an “off” position. You don’t have to spin the dial all the way back to zero each time you turn illumination on or off. Just keep is one click from your most commonly used setting, give it a click in either direction and you’re good to go.

Leupold Mark 4 MRT 300 Blackout-5

Closing thoughts

The Leupold optic offers precision at longer range. While the markings are a bit optimistic (400 yards for a subsonic 300 Blackout is quite a lob), I guess that’s no different than the speedometer on your Caddy going up to 160 miles per hour. You can lower magnification and turn on the illumination for quick close range performance, but I think this optic really shines when you are engaging targets out past 100 yards. The glass is crystal clear as you would expect from Leupold, and with the finely graduated reticle you’ll be able to account for distance very precisely.

You can find it at Optics Planet.

Black Rifle Holiday Gift Guide

We’re getting into the gift giving, and more importantly, gift receiving season, so here are some of our picks for black rifle accessories. Some are old; some are new; some are expensive and others not, but all are useful additions to the modern sporting rifle.

Aimpoint Carbine Optic

Aimpoint Carbine OpticI’ve always loved the red dot options from Aimpoint. For me, since I like these on a defensive rifle, the “always on” feature is fantastic. You never, ever have to worry about turning your red dot on when you go for your rifle. Just leave it on all the time and make yourself a reminder to change the battery every year.

New for 2015 is the Aimpoint Carbine Optic. Made specifically for black rifles, it has a fixed-height mount pre-measured for back up iron sight co-witness. By making the optic platform specific, Aimpoint was able to reduce the price to an entry point level. It’s got a 2 MOA dot, and if you leave it on all the time, the batteries will last for about a year.

It’s just hitting the dealer shelves now, but you can find one here. MSRP is $393.

XProducts Drum Magazine

Here's a 50-round skeletonized model for .223 / 5.56mmI’ve never paid much attention to drum magazines for black rifles, at least until I checked out the X Products version. Made from steel and aluminum, these are no plastic discount catalog gimmicks. They’re getting to be a big deal on the 3-gun circuit for good reason. Sporting a 50-round capacity, the overall height is still lower than a normal 30-round magazine, do you can dive for prone position shooting and get even lower to the ground.

They’re not just for 2.23/5.56mm black rifles either. Check out the XProducts website to see options for .308 and other calibers.

You can find a 50 round standard drum for about $200 at Brownells.

Badger Ordnance Tactical Charging Handle Latch

Badger charging handleOK, forget the “tactical” part of this product. It’s just handy if your black rifle has any type of receiver-mounted optic. The latch is enlarged and extended, so even if you have a scope that gets in the way of standard charging handle operation, it’s easy to reach. You don’t have to do digging underneath the rear of the optic to find the charging handle.

You can buy just the extended latch and mount it to your existing charging handle or you can just buy the complete charging handle with the bigger latch built in. The neat part is that Badger makes the extended latch in right-hand, left-hand and both-side configurations.

Available at Brownells. The latch only is less than $20, while the complete charging handle is about $100. You can pick up the ambidextrous model for about $120.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

X-Products Takes Shotgunning a Beer To A Whole New Level

The term "shotgunning a beer" takes on a whole new meaning with the Can Cannon from X Products.

The term “shotgunning a beer” takes on a whole new meaning with the Can Cannon from X Products.

In the “why the heck not” category is the new Can Cannon from X Products. Known for their rock solid drum magazines for modern sporting rifle designs, the X Products folks got a wild hair to bring something just plain fun to market. The Can Cannon is a complete upper assembly with a soda can diameter barrel. The upper unit contains a custom chamber, barrel extension and “barrel” with gas ports. The upper uses .223 blanks to create adequate gas pressure to launch the soda can down range. It’ll work with a full beer can too, but that would be a tragic waste of carefully fermented grains and hops, no?

In addition to no-excuses fun, the technology will be adapted to more practical uses like retriever training. The company hopes to develop similar versions capable to replicating gun shot noise while launching retrieval toys. Why not get some shooting in while training your hunting dog?

For more information, visit www.xproducts.com.

AR-15 Hacks: How To Get Max Accuracy From Your Rifle

Will this upgrade make your AR rifle more accurate? Technically speaking no, practically speaking... Yes!

Will this upgrade make your AR rifle more accurate? Technically speaking no, practically speaking… Yes!

What if I told you that you could get 15, 20 or even 45 percent better accuracy from your existing AR-type rifle? You can. Read on…

The key concept here is getting the best possible accuracy from the rifle you already have. While you can certainly improve accuracy by replacing major components like the barrel, that kind of defeats the whole point of “the rifle you have.” Here, we’ll focus on less invasive upgrade opportunities.

I like the Timney Triggers upgrade as the whole trigger assembly is self contained and pre-tested.

I like the Timney Triggers upgrade as the whole trigger assembly is self contained and pre-tested.

There are a number of accessory upgrades that will help improve accuracy. For example, on the AR platform, you can upgrade your front hand guard to a free-floated design. Removing pressure points on the barrel will certainly help with shot-to-shot consistency (accuracy) as doing so allows the barrel to do its harmonic resonation thing unimpeded each time you shoot. Installing a free-floated hand guard take a little bit of tool work, but can be well worthwhile in the long run.

Here, we’re going to focus on an upgrade than can make a dramatic improvement on the accuracy of your rifle. It’s also an upgrade that you can literally do at the shooting bench if you really want to. I know, because I recently did just that.

I’m talking about a trigger upgrade. AR factory triggers are notoriously bad. They’re heavy, irregular and feel like you’re trying to create sidewalk art with a broken piece of brick. The weird thing about trigger upgrades is that a new trigger doesn’t do anything to make your rifle mechanically more accurate. It doesn’t affect the bore. It doesn’t come in contact with the cartridges. It doesn’t stabilize your shooting position. What it does do is enable you to get the maximum possible accuracy out of your rifle.

Accurate shooting is a carefully choreographed pas de deux between shooter and rifle. If you put your rifle in a vise and shoot, it will perform to a certain level of consistency from shot to shot. However, there is no shooting without a shooter. No matter how carefully you rest your gun, obtain your sight picture and control your breathing, breaking a shot always requires physical force from you to press the trigger. This motion requires enough force to release the sear, drop the hammer and finally ignite the cartridge. Considering that standard AR triggers can require five to eight pounds of pressure to release, and that most rifles weigh six or eight pounds give or take, there’s a great chance that the act of pressing the trigger will exert some unwanted movement on the gun. The more irregular and grittier the trigger, the more risk of moving just a gnats hair from your perfect aim point. The result? Small movements at the gun translate into increases of group size down range.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

OH AR-15 Hacks: Do These 4 Things Or Your Rifle Might Explode

Here's a properly staked AR gas key. Note how the gas key metal is bashed into the two screws so they can't turn loose.

Here’s a properly staked AR gas key. Note how the gas key metal is bashed into the two screws so they can’t turn loose.

If you think people hyperventilate over hypothetical scenarios in politics, spend some time visiting online gun forums. While fun, and a great way to chit chat with others of like passion, you might leave convinced that your AR rifle has the operational complexity and maintenance requirements of the Trident II D5 ballistic missile.

Yes, your AR rifle requires care and maintenance like any other mechanical device, but don’t fret too much over it. In the past 40 years or so, the design has been improved to the point where it will function properly in some pretty nasty environments and under the worst of conditions.

With that said, here are a few things I like to keep an eye on. And no, if you miss one of the details below, your rifle will almost certainly not explode, but it may not function properly.

Gas rings

You’ll hear all sorts of panic about the three gas rings on your AR bolt.

“I change my gas rings every 9 rounds, because I shoot exceptionally tactically and need to replace them before they wear out.”

“If all three gas rings aren’t in place, the American Idol voting system will crash and Clay Aiken may capture the hearts of pre-teen girls – again.”

“If the gaps in each ring are lined up with each other, Spain will immediately declare war with the National Rifle Association, thereby causing a massive increase in membership solicitation mail.”

OK, so there’s a tiny bit of truth in each of these statements, but only just that – tiny.

Well, actually in the case of lined-up gaps in the gas rings, I don’t think there’s any real truth. The idea is that the gas rings are supposed to do what their name implies and seal gas. With a proper seal, the gas ported back into the bolt carrier will exert the right amount of pressure to unlock the bolt and move it and the bolt carrier back far enough, and fast enough, for proper ejection. The thinking behind the gas ring myth is that if the gaps are lined up, gas will leak between the rings and your semi-automatic rifle will function about as well as the congressional ethics committee.

These three gas rings almost have the gaps lined up! No matter.

These three gas rings almost have the gaps lined up! No matter.

In reality, the bolt and carrier move back and forth and rattle around at speeds approaching Warp 19. This action moves things, including has rings, all over the place. No matter how carefully you line them up to avoid the dreaded alignment scandal, they’ll end up aligned on their own accord at some point.

This brings up a related point. The idea behind three gas rings in the first place is redundancy. They’re consumable items and will break on occasion. Your rifle will most likely work just fine with two, or even just one, gas ring. After all, we’re talking about a lot of gas pressure at play during recoil, so a “mostly sealed” scenario will be just fine.

Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to keep some spare rings on hand. A pack of three costs a grand total of $2.19 from Brownells.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

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AR-15 Hacks: Clean Your Rifle Like A Boss

The most tedious part of AR-15 cleaning is the bolt. Fortunately there are tools to help, like this OTIS B.O.N.E. tool.

The most tedious part of AR-15 cleaning is the bolt. Fortunately there are tools to help, like this OTIS B.O.N.E. tool.

While no one really knows for sure, industry sources estimate that there are more than 10 million AR-type modern sporting rifles in the US. That’s a lot of rifles, a lot of ammo and a lot of cleaning!

Inspired by the popularity of the modern sporting rifle and its many variants, and the fact that I just like them, it’s time to embark on a series of AR-15 hacks. Over the next month or so, we’ll take a closer look at all sorts of tips and tricks that will help you clean, maintain, use and customize your AR-15.

To start things off, let’s take a closer look at cleaning tips. If you listen to the internet forums, you might believe that cleaning an AR-15 is a tougher chore than scrubbing the boilers of the Titanic. According to some, the design is so bad that more grime collects in the action from each and every shot than that deposited by all the gas semi-automatic shotguns on South American pigeon hunts over a year’s time.

Yes, the AR-15 direct impingement design does vent hot, dirty gas into the receiver and smothers the bolt and carrier with each shot. But in the scope of things, it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds. If your day job is strolling through wadi’s in Afghanistan, where the airborne dust resembles talcum powder, then your results may vary and daily cleaning is probably a necessity. Here, I’m referring to recreational and home defense AR use.

If you’re using your rifle for range gun, competition or as a home defense option, you can take a more practical approach to your cleaning chores. If you own a rifle of at least moderate quality, it’ll run when it’s dirty. Just for fun, I’ve been boycotting a cleaning job on a Smith & Wesson M&P15 OR rifle I picked up last fall. That’s right, almost a year ago. Why? I’m deliberately letting it go without cleaning just to see how forgiving it is as it starts to get grimy. To date, the rifle has somewhere around 1,500 rounds through it in all sorts of conditions, yet it runs. Contrary to popular belief, your rifle does not have to be babied to run reliably – within reason of course.

I’ll assume you already know the basics on how to disassemble your AR-15 rifle, so I won’t go over that here. If you want a really good video overview of how to field strip and clean your AR-15, check out this video produced by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Gunsite Academy. Here, we’ll focus on tips, tools and cleaning products that will make your cleaning chores easier.

Cleaning set up

A lower receiver vise block, like this one from Brownells, makes your cleaning and maintenance chores a lot easier.

A lower receiver vise block, like this one from Brownells, makes your cleaning and maintenance chores a lot easier.

If we’re joint to talk about doing things the easy way, step one is to figure out how you’re going to hold rifle parts during cleaning. Unlike a traditional rifle, the AR-15 hinges open, or even separates into multiple parts when you open one or both takedown pins. Holding on to a hinged-open AR that’s flopping around with one hand, while you’re trying to scrub with the other, is kind of like hitting a baseball with a Slinky.

The answer (for me) is a lower receiver vise block. This is a neat little piece of gun maintenance tool that inserts into your magazine well and locks into place. The idea is to put the bottom of the vise block into a workbench vise so the rifle is supported. They’re not as cheap as you’d expect, but good tools rarely are. If you have more than one AR rifle, or are planning to do more tweaking of your rifle, it’s a good investment – you’ll use it forever once you have it.

The best part is, with the lower receiver solidly supported, when you open the rear takedown pin, the upper receiver will hinge down towards the floor. This is important for cleaning the barrel because…

Barrel cleaning

Ideally, you want to clean a rifle bore from the chamber to muzzle so all the powder residue, chemicals and miscellaneous grime dribbles out the muzzle rather than back towards the action. That’s why I’m in favor of the OTIS cleaning system. In the case of cleaning the AR-15 rifle, there’s another, more specific, reason. The barrel extension is perhaps the hardest part to clean in an AR-15. Buried deep within the upper receiver, it makes you work just to get to it, and once you do, you’re confounded by a three-dimensional maze of bolt lug recesses and hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. It’s a pain. If you’re dredging solvent and grime towards the chamber, gunk will collect in those hard-to-reach barrel extension recesses.

 

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

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What a Difference a Trigger Makes

Will adding this to an AR rifle improve accuracy?

Will adding this to an AR rifle improve accuracy?

Gun shop wisdom says a good trigger makes all the difference.

It should be obvious that replacing the trigger doesn’t have any physical impact on a rifle’s accuracy. It’s not like it synchronizes barrel harmonics to the tune of “You’re So Vain” or anything. A trigger doesn’t touch the barrel or impact flight path, yet everyone swears it makes a rifle more accurate.

That’s kind of true. But it doesn’t make the rifle more accurate, it makes it easier for you, the shooter, to get the best accuracy that the rifle is capable of. This is an important distinction.

The reason is that pesky physics thing. When a rifle takes several pounds of pressure to break the shot, and the rifle itself only weighs several pounds, it’s gonna want to move, at least a little bit. A good trigger, with a smooth action and reasonably low pull weight, is going to make it easier for you to break the shot without moving the sight alignment of the rifle. When you’re trying to extract every last fraction of an inch of accuracy, a little bit of unwanted movement means a lot on the target.

According to John Vehr, President of Timney Triggers, “There is only one reason to upgrade a trigger in a firearm – to make you more accurate with the firearm.  A great trigger will allow you to become more accurate by eliminating physical factors like drag, creep and heaviness – Less movement equals better accuracy.  A great trigger will allow the shooter to make the act of pulling the trigger more of a mental decision that a physical decision.  A great trigger is an extension of the mind and should break exactly when the shooter calls for the shot.”

I shot groups with proven accurate handloads before and after the Timney Trigger installation.

I shot groups with proven accurate handloads before and after the Timney Trigger installation.

Gaining more practical accuracy by using a custom trigger sounds great in theory, but I wanted to put it to the test in a quantifiable way.

I decided to take two rifles of proven quality and accuracy, but with less than optimal triggers, and test their accuracy before and after a trigger upgrade. The folks at Timney Triggers sent me an AR-15 Competition trigger for the test. This trigger, the 3 pound 667 model, is a self-contained unit with drop-in installation.

My thought for the test was simple. Shoot groups of 5 shots each with each rifle with its standard factory trigger. While at the range, swap the trigger for the Timney AR-15 Competition trigger, and reshoot the groups. Same ammunition, same rest, same day, same atmospheric conditions and same shooter. When all was done, I figured on applying some common core math to compare the average group sizes before and after. Then I realized that this article was due in 2014, so I skipped the common core stuff and added, subtracted and averaged the old fashioned way.

Read the rest at AmmoLand!

10 Reasons the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational Is My Favorite Shooting Event

Jerry Miculek of Team Smith & Wesson looks on as a competitor blasts an aerial target (upper left)

Jerry Miculek of Team Smith & Wesson looks on as a competitor blasts an aerial target (upper left)

I had the good fortune to compete in, and cover, the shooting community’s coolest adventure, otherwise known as the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun Invitational. As the name implies, this is a full-blown outdoor 3 Gun match.

The third annual Crimson Trace event was held at the COSSA shooting range located in the high desert about 7,394 nautical miles outside of Bend, Oregon. The remote location and match schedule ensures several things: it will be dark, as in black hole kind of dark; your equipment will have to perform in exceptionally dusty and dirty conditions (drop a magazine in the dirt here and it will sound like nails on a chalkboard for the rest of the match); and, you will not sleep for several days.

A look down at some of the shooting bays in use.

A look down at some of the shooting bays in use.

1. Sleep

More accurately, lack of sleep defines this event. Shooting begins around 9 pm and continues until four or five in the morning. The first night of competition, I rolled back into my hotel room after sunrise – exhilarated but tired. Lest you think you can catch up during the day, busses leave for the range before lunch for training, safety briefings and sponsor range demonstrations. Next week, I’ll get into some really neat new products demonstrated at the range event.

2. Safety

As safety is the number one concern, range officers are more plentiful than fake ID’s at a Justin Bieber concert. As all of the range officers are avid 3 Gun Shooters themselves, there is a full match for them the two nights prior to the pro match Friday and Saturday nights. We media weasels squad up with the range officers and shoot the full match with them Wednesday and Thursday nights. This is a great win-win solution. We media hacks don’t have to shoot with the pros and face total humiliation, the range officers shoot the full match, and we all work the bugs out before the pros start Friday night. As you’ll see from the photos, every person on the range wears glow sticks front and back for absolute visibility. A big hat’s off to the professionalism and dedication of all the range staff. They preserved the perfect safety record while adding plenty of fun.

Nope, not dark enough yet. A pre-match briefing at Stage 7.

Nope, not dark enough yet. A pre-match briefing at Stage 7.

3. My Sig Sauer P226 Elite SAO

I wrote about this gun prior to the match. Hard use in the dusty match conditions confirmed my early opinions. Dumping mags in use dry dust all week got the gun plenty dirty, but it ran like a champ. The best part was comfort of high-volume shooting. I used American Eagle 147 grain 9mm ammo that clocks in around 950 feet per second. The recoil impulse was light and smooth – perfect for high-speed competitive shooting.

4. Live entertainment

During the awards ceremony, Crimson Trace founder Lew “Joe Cocker” Danielson stopped mid-speech, ran to his truck to retrieve his guitar, and broke into a rousing rendition of “Leaving On A Jet Plane.” As a special tribute to the ladies’ present, he followed with an a capella encore performance of “You Are So Beautiful.” Lew explained lack of guitar accompaniment to the fact the song requires seven chords and he only knows four so far. An inspiring moment from one of the industry’s finest individuals. It was epic.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

 

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Personality Quirks of the 300 AAC Blackout

Like any gun and cartridge combination, the 300 AAC Blackout has its own personality. Getting to know a few of its character traits can save you a lot of time should things start to act wonky. Let’s take a look at a few of the more common potential gotchas.

Chambering the Wrong Caliber!

Here's a .223 Remington cartridge dropped into a 5.56mm chamber. No problem!

Here’s a .223 Remington cartridge dropped into a 5.56mm chamber. No problem!

You hear internet stories about someone who stuffed the wrong caliber cartridge into a rifle and pulled the trigger. If you’re like me, you take these legends with a grain of salt, shake your head a bit, and move on. Another internet myth right?

Well, this one is true I tell ya! I saw it happen!

I was at my regular outdoor range a month or so back, when I heard a loud bang, closely followed by what can best be described as a “panic shriek.” The scream was intense – kind of like the one Mike Bloomberg makes when he inadvertently stumbles into a Friends of NRA banquet. Looking a few benches to my right, I saw two men, one an experienced shooter, and the other a new shooter, looking dazed and confused. Actually the newer guy was looking more scared and in shock – staring at his hands as if he was surprised they were still attached. Somehow he had stuffed a magazine full of 300 Blackout supersonic cartridges into a 5.56mm rifle, managed to chamber a cartridge, and pulled the trigger.

Here's a 300 Blackout cartridge loaded with a ballistic tip bullet, dropped, not forced, into the same 5.56mm chamber.

Here’s a 300 Blackout cartridge loaded with a ballistic tip bullet, dropped, not forced, into the same 5.56mm chamber.

As you might guess, the gun exploded. Literally. The bolt was bent, upper receiver bulged out, barrel extension trashed, lower receiver trashed and the barrel was now plugged with one very elongated .308 caliber projectile. The shooter was incredibly lucky as much of the pressure escaped through the magazine well. Still, there was enough force in the conflagration to bend a lot of steel and aluminum. The shooter suffered plenty of stinging and mild burns to his hands and face.

Now that I had seen it happen, I became a believer. At least with the right bullet profile, it is possible to fit a 300 Blackout cartridge into a 5.56mm / .223 chamber – at least enough so to allow the rifle to fire. When I got home, I removed an upper from one of my 5.56 ARs and dried dropping various 300 Blackout hand-loaded cartridges into the chamber to see if any would fit. With big and fat bullet profiles, no subsonic loads would come close to fitting, but lighter weight 110 and 125 profiles did in fact come pretty close to fitting in the chamber without application of undue force.

The moral of the story is that it can happen, so be careful when shooting any rifles of similar cartridge design. In this case, it’s doubtful the experienced shooter would have made the mistake, but the new shooter had no idea. Apparently his mentor was paying attention to something else when the shooter loaded the gun.

Fortunately, there are easy ways to minimize the risk. The simplest method is to use magazines of different color for 300 Blackout. Get some tan, dark earth or grey ones. Or you could use metal mags for one caliber and plastic for another. If you already have a supply of magazines, check out MagBands – silicon bands that clearly identify the caliber contained within.

Read the rest at GunsAmerica!

 

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