Weaver Tactical 1-5×24 Scope With CIRT Reticle: Short & Fast Or Long & Accurate

The Weaver Tactical 1-5x24 optic with Weaver SPR 30mm mount. Shown with a Rock River Arms LAR 6.8

The Weaver Tactical 1-5×24 optic with Weaver SPR 30mm mount. Shown with a Rock River Arms LAR 6.8

The Weaver Tactical 1-5×24 scope is a high-quality, well-constructed optic that compares favorably to other models costing twice as much. Available on the street for just over $700, it’s not a cheap Charlie, but you get what you pay for. Considering the features and performance, it’s a fantastic value. 

The optic itself is housed in a 30mm tube and features a first focal plane reticle. While first focal plane versus second focal plane is a user preference, I really like first focal plane scopes as the reticle changes in size with magnification level.

More importantly, with first focal plane scopes, holdovers are consistent no matter what magnification setting you’re using. (Tweet This)
With a first focal plane reticle, you can also use the mil-dot graduations on this scope for range estimation regardless of magnification level. (Tweet This)

More on that later. For now, just remember that all the benefits of first focal plane comes at a price – they’re more expensive to manufacture.

A hidden feature! The scope caps have a separate padded compartment for storage - like extra batteries.

A hidden feature! The scope caps have a separate padded compartment for storage – like extra batteries.

The reticle is illuminated and powered by a single CR-2032 battery. CR-2032 batteries are used in all sort of things and are readily available at most big box, drug and many grocery stores. The scope comes with both red and green illumination, with 5 levels of intensity for each color. When turned off, or when the battery goes dead, you’ll see a black reticle as it’s glass etched.

Being that it’s designed as a tactical scope, it’s got all the durability and longevity goodies. It’s a one-piece construction design, has fully coated glass and is filled with Argon. It’s waterproof, shock proof and fog proof. I would also say this optic is idiot proof. The first focal plane reticle allows simpletons like me to use it and not worry about holdover details.

The finish is matte black, so when you’re sneaking around at night playing ninja, it won’t make create of those glaring reflections that could give away your position.

Most importantly, the matte finish will match the finish of your AR rifle nicely.

Turret Envy

I wanted to test consistency of the Weaver Tactical 1-5×24 scope, so I mounted it on a rifle with proven accuracy and consistency – a Rock River Arms LAR 6.8 chambered in, you guessed it, 6.8 Remington SPC. For whatever reason, this particular rifle has proven itself accurate with a variety of loads, but it seems to really like 90 grain Sierra Varminter flat base and 115 grain Sierra MatchKing projectiles.

I prefer a two-part rest like this Blackhawk! Sportster Titan III as it keeps the shooter involved.

I prefer a two-part rest like this Blackhawk! Sportster Titan III shooting rest as it keeps the shooter involved.

I also wanted to shoot under fairly accurate conditions, so instead of shooting from a vice-type contraption, I used the Blackhawk! Sportster Titan III Tri-Stance Rest. This two-part system allows you to keep the gun in your shoulder and achieve a normal firing grip, yet provides plenty of stability for accuracy work. When you zero a rifle using a less restrictive set up like this, it’s more likely to achieve the same point of aim / impact when you’re out and about using a tree, post or vehicle as when using a bench rest. In other words, the shooter is still involved, though assisted.

First, I wanted to be sure that point of impact stayed true at various magnification levels. As the Weaver Tactical 1-5×24 scope ranges from a true 1x to 5x magnification, I fired shots at the same target with power set to 1x, 3x and finally 5x. All shots stayed within standard group size for this rifle and load. No problem there.

The turrets adjust in 1/4 MOA clicks and require no tools to calibrate to zero. Here, I have the aluminum covers removed.

The turrets adjust in 1/4 MOA clicks and require no tools to calibrate to zero. Here, I have the aluminum covers removed.

Next I wanted to check out repeatability and accuracy of the turrets, so I set up a standard “shoot the box” scenario. So I could perform big turret adjustments, yet still stay on the target, I moved my target to fifty yards. I kept the same point of aim for the entire scenario and moved the point of impact around with scope adjustments only.

This is a great time to explain how the Weaver Tactical turrets are set up. They windage and elevation turrets are covered, with screw on aluminum caps.

Cool feature: The caps themselves have a screw-on cap that opens up a padded compartment where you can store a spare battery, or perhaps your favorite baby tooth.

The turrets require no tools to zero. Graduations are in ¼ MOA adjustments, or ¼ inch at 100 yards. When you get your desired zero point, just lift the turret straight up, at which point it spins freely so you can calibrate the scale to zero.

The Weaver Tactical 1-5x24 scope shot an almost perfect box pattern - 64 clicks per side.

The Weaver Tactical 1-5×24 scope shot an almost perfect box pattern – 64 clicks per side.

Back to the box shooting. I used a Sierra 90 grain Varminter flat base projectile with IMR 4227 powder. My load was achieving average velocity of 2,546 feet per second as measured with a Shooting Chrony Beta Master Chronograph placed 15 feet down range. Not the top end of the 6.8 Remington velocity, but reasonable. I only picked this load as it was shooting particularly well that day and I wanted to minimize other variables to look at scope performance.

I took the first shot at the center of the target, and as expected, since the rifle was close to zeroed, it impacted just outside center.

I then adjusted 32 clicks up and 32 clicks to the right and fired again, keeping point of aim at the center of the target. As expected, the point of impact was about four inches high and four inches to the right.

Then I moved a full 64 clicks left to establish the upper left corner of the box. Then 64 down. Then 64 right.

Finally I set the turret back to zero and fired again to make sure the point of impact would return to the center of the target.

As the photo shows, the Weaver Tactical 1-5×24 scope shot a picture-perfect box and return to zero was right back on target.

When testing a scope, I suppose you can shoot a box pattern. But using strategically placed fruitcake is much more fun.

When testing a scope, I suppose you can shoot a box pattern. But using strategically placed fruitcake is much more fun.

The repeatability got kind of boring, so I reverted to childish things. Rather than try to place a bullet hole in paper at a given location using just scope adjustments, I taped some common objects at different random locations on my target. By “common objects” I mean an old iPod and an unopened fruitcake made circa 1843. Doing a little quick math, carrying the one, and translating that to turret adjustments, I fired away.

Using turret adjustments on the Weaver Tactical scope, I had no problem destroying thousands of digital 80′s songs and making fruitcake goulash. (Tweet This)

The CIRT Reticle

The CIRT (Close – Intermediate Range Tactical) reticle is perhaps the most interesting feature of the Weaver Tactical 1-5×24 optic. I could write a book on it. Why? The ranging, ballistic drop compensation and caliber flexibility is limitless. Everything, and I mean everything, on this reticle is carefully calibrated so you can geek out to your hearts content. I can’t list out all the features and calibrations here, so I’ll mention a few highlights.

  • Weaver's CIRT Reticle

    Weaver’s CIRT Reticle

    The solid center dot is calibrated to the size of a human head at 200 yards.

  • The parentheses surrounding the center dot calibrate to human head size at 100 yards.
  • The hash marks correspond to a 20 inch shoulder width at varying ranges.
  • The windage hash marks are placed at 1 mil increments from 2 to 10 mils.
  • The elevation post and hash marks are placed at 1, 2.6, 4.9, 8 and 10 mils. While ballistic drop tables are included for these marks for a wide variety of .223 and 5.56mm loads, you can use a ballistic program to easily map holdovers to whatever load you want. I did this with the 6.8 Remington SPC.
  • Thickness of the primary bars is exactly .25 mils.

What does all this mean?

The Weaver CIRT Reticle allows you to figure out exactly how far away your target is, and hit it. (Tweet This)

If you really want to have some fun, try an app like Ballistic, where you can upload the a custom reticle graphic and key in couple of measurements. Then you can map this reticle to most any caliber, velocity and projectile combination.

I’m still playing with this reticle. So far, I’ve tried it with .223 Remington / 5.56mm, 6.8 Remington SPC and 300 AAC Blackout. You can create holdover tables easily for any load you want. Now, if I could only stop tinkering and settle on a rifle and load…

If you want to enjoy the CIRT reticle (2nd focal plane) for a lot less money, check out the Weaver Kaspa-Z (top)

If you want to enjoy the CIRT reticle (2nd focal plane) for a lot less money, check out the Weaver Kaspa-Z scope (top) We’ll be reviewing that separately soon.

Shooting Performance

The CIRT reticle shines in a first focal plane placement. When you’re operating at 1x, the whole reticle makes a visible “crosshair” pattern in the center of the viewable area. If you light it up, it operates more like a holographic sight. The illuminated crosshairs occupy somewhere near 5 to 10 percent of the vertical and horizontal area.

Translation: The aiming point is visible and fast to acquire when operating at 1x.

When you crank up the magnification to 5x, the reticle grows in size (first focal plane, remember?) until it occupies about ⅓ of the viewable area vertical and horizontally. It’s plenty large for precise shooting and the reticle is sharp.

Closing Arguments

The Weaver Tactical 1-5×24 scope is a heckuva value, considering what you get. Look around online,  especially at the buyer reviews. Nearly all of them were as impressed as I was with this scope. Crowd wisdom perhaps?

Got an AR in any caliber? Get one.

Want an Extra Set of Eyes Downrange? Try the Bullseye Camera System

Shoot a rifle? How about a pistol? Or a bow? Or an air gun? Or maybe an atl-atl?

If yes, then you need to take a close look at the Bullseye Camera System. It’s like having an extra set of eyes just a couple of feet away from your downrange target, closely monitoring (but never criticizing!) every shot you take.

The Bullseye Camera System goes downrange to monitor your target so you don't have to.

The Bullseye Camera System goes downrange to monitor your target so you don’t have to.

Here’s the Bullseye Camera System in action downrange. Open the case, set up the camera, and you’re ready to go.

Here’s what the Bullseye Camera System does, in a nutshell:

  • Watches your target for every shot
  • Tracks the exact location of each hit in the target area
  • Beams that information back to your shooting bench location
  • Displays a real-time view, on a laptop or netbook computer, of each shot taken
Here’s the Bullseye Camera System in action downrange. Open the case, set up the camera, and you’re ready to go.

Here’s the Bullseye Camera System in action downrange. Open the case, set up the camera, and you’re ready to go.

It’s a little bit like having an insanely high-powered spotting scope zeroed in on your target, only better. Unlike a spotting scope, the Bullseye Camera System tracks each shot individually throughout your shooting session. The system monitors target status and all previous shots, so no matter how many holes are in your target, the most recent one will be clearly flashing on the laptop screen at your shooting bench. Not only that, you can choose to mark shots with colored dots for future reference.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub.com!

Scope Review: Hawke Panorama EV 3-9×40 AO

The Hawke Panorama EV 3-9×40 AO is the third Hawke Optic we’ve tested over the past couple of years. A while back, we shot some cocks with the Hawke Sidewinder Tactical IR and more recently, we tinkered with the Hawke 1×32 Multi-Purpose for crossbows and AR platforms. In both previous cases we found the Hawke offerings to be great values. Not only because of features for the dollar, but performance approaching that of much pricier optics.

The Hawke Optics Panorama EV 6-9x40 AO mounted on a Rock River Arms 6.8 SPC

The Hawke Optics Panorama EV 6-9×40 AO mounted on a Rock River Arms 6.8 SPC

Last January we got a bug up our butts to acquire a 6.8 Remington SPC AR. After waiting nearly 17 years to have it delivered from Rock River Arms, it finally arrived. And yes, it was worth the wait, although we would suggest that Rock River Arms spend a little more time communicating with customers on long wait lists. Even the occasional “we still have no idea when parts will arrive, but we wanted to let you know we are working diligently on your order” message would go a long way when wait times approach a year or more. When the situation stinks, communicate. A lot. But that’s a separate discussion.

Finger adjustable turrets are resettable and have 1/4 MOA increments.

Finger adjustable turrets are resettable and have 1/4 MOA increments.

Anyway, given the interesting performance window of the 6.8 SPC cartridge and its heavier (115 grain for these tests) projectiles, we felt that a mid-range variable scope would be a great fit. After a little consultation with the optics gurus at Hawke, we settled on the Panorama EV 3-9×40 with a mil-dot reticle. While the Panorama is available with three different reticles at last count, we’ve just got a thing for mil-dot scopes. Always moving them from rifle to rifle and endlessly tinkering with different ammo loads, you simply can’t beat the flexibility.

Click ‘n giggles

We found this to be a really versatile optic. One of the reasons for its versatility is range of adjustment. Just internal to the scope, you’ve got about 400 clicks of windage and elevation. At ¼ MOA (¼” at 100 yards) per click, that’s about 100 inches of adjustment at that range. That’s a lot. Of course you always want to line the scope up as closely as possible physically, without relying on internal adjustment to establish zero, but having the option provides some flexibility in your choice of mount and the effective range of the scope.

Turrets

A front parallax ring adjusts from 15 meters to infinity.

A front parallax ring adjusts from 15 meters to infinity.

The turrets on this optic feature screw caps to keep things where you set them. When adjustments need to be made, unscrew the caps and you’ll see finger-adjustable turrets with ¼ MOA click adjustments. The turrets are resettable, so when you establish the desired zero for your rifle, just loosen the two small phillips-head screws on each turret This will allow the turret ring to spin freely and you can align your zero and the indicated zero mark on each turret.

Shooting this sucker

We mounted the Hawke Panorama EV 3-9×40 AO on a Rock River Arms 6.8 SPC AR. For those not versed in this chambering, it’s a .270 projectile stuffed into an AR platform. Bolt, barrel and magazine are a tad different, but the lower is a standard AR configuration. In fact, the lower shown in the pictures here is a Rock River Arms LAR-15 (.223 / 5.56mm) model.

Check out this 64 click box! Especially the return to zero on the sixth shot.

Check out this 64 click box! Especially the return to zero on the sixth shot.

The first project, after getting it approximately zeroed was to shoot a six shot box. We set this up at 50 yards so we could do some fairly extreme scope adjustment and still keep all the shots on paper. Using the aim point show in the photo here, we shot a center target, then proceeded to make click adjustments to create a box 64 clicks on each side. For the sixth shot, the scope was returned to zero to make sure the impact point was the same as the initial shot. All six shots were fired using the same aim point, so we were simply moving impact points around using the scope’s internal adjustment.

Wow! The photo here speaks for itself. The corner shots impacted exactly where expected and even more impressively, the final shot ended up touching the hole from the first. Very nice.

The next thing we wanted to test was possible impact shift at different zoom levels. Using the same point of aim, a shot was fired using the lowest 3x setting. A second shot was fired using 6x zoom and a final shot fully zoomed at 9x. Again, as you can see, all shots impacted within the expected area.

We also verified that point of impact doesn't change with level of magnification.

We also verified that point of impact doesn’t change with level of magnification.

The reticle is etched and is perfectly visible in daylight without using the illumination features. However, for early morning, and of day, or other low-light conditions, you can turn on red or blue illumination.

Closing Arguments

We were really pleased with the performance of this scope. The only thing lacking with this optic is the enclosed flip-up covers, which did not stay on as solidly as I would have liked. Scope covers are a matter of preference however. Folks like the rubber band “bras” and others like flip-up caps. I don’t mind adding my choice of covers to this optic – it’s well worth the money regardless.

Available direct from Hawke for about $240, you simply cannot beat the value of this scope. While we tested it on an AR platform, it would make a great addition to a hunting rifle as well.

Check out other My Gun Culture product reviews here!

Scope Review: Hawke Optics 1×32 Multi-Purpose Scope

The Hawke Optics 1×32 Multi Purpose Scope plays well with others

Somewhat like Captain Jack Sparrow, the Hawke Optics 1×32 Multi-Purpose scope easily adapts to all sorts of situations. Originally designed as a crossbow optic, people quickly realized that it was fit for more combustible applications. As I’ll show in more detail, it has 3 easy-to acquire aiming points which you can use to identify both near and far zeros for your particular rifle, crossbow or shotgun.

Hawke 1x32 Multi Purpose Scope  3

The Hawke 1×32 Multi Purpose Scope plays well with others. Crossbows, AR-15′s and shotguns to name a few.

 Just the facts about the Hawke Optics 1×32 Multi-Purpose scope…

Hawke 1x32 Multi Purpose Scope illumination

The left side-wheel operates the illuminated reticle. Both red and green illumination is available and each color offers five levels of brightness. The “crosses” illuminate – see the reticle image below for detail. The illumination feature is powered by a single CR2032 battery – available most anywhere. Just unscrew the reticle brightness control knob cap to replace the battery.

 Hawke 1x32 Multi Purpose Scope windage and elevation

As this is a 1x optic, you’re probably not going to use the windage and elevation controls while shooting. They’re more for adjusting your zero as you change rifles and ammunition types. You might even move this to a crossbow! Each click adjusts the point of impact by 1/2 MOA, or just a hair over a half an inch at 100 yards. I found this to be plenty of granularity to get my favorite .223 load on target. The turrets are finger adjustable, and once you get your settings right, just screw the protective caps back on.

Hawke 1x32 Multi Purpose Scope reticle

Clarity of the scope was really good, with no discernible loss of focus or brightness as you look to the edges of the scope. The photo here shows a view at a berm about 110 yards away. The long horizontal and vertical bars made targeting fast and easy. Also as this photo shows, the cross aiming points show as black when illumination is not turned on. There’s really no need to use the illumination feature unless you’re in early or end of day low light conditions. One more thing – the top of the vertical bar is another aiming point – we’ll talk more about that below.

Hawke 1x32 Multi-Purpose Scope coated lens

Lenses are multi-coated and I found visibility to be good. While the objective is 32mm, the tube is 1 inch in diameter.

Hawke 1x32 Multi-Purpose Scope mount

Keeping this an all Hawke Optics solution, I used the Hawke 1″ 2-Piece, Reach Forward mounts. As you can see in the photo, this left quite a bit of remaining adjustment play both on the rail and in the scope rings. The eye relief in the Hawke Optics 1×32 Multi-Purpose scope is very generous so you can put this scope pretty much anywhere on the receiver rail. The specs indicate that eye relief is 8 inches. It’s not intended to be a scout scope so you’ll get some shadowing if you try to put it on the front rail. While testing, I placed the scope so the rear lens was about an inch forward of the rear of the receiver. This provided great visibility and unhindered access to the charging handle.

Hawke 1x32 Multi Purpose BRC reticle

Hawke Optics offers free ballistics software for Mac, PC, iPhones and iPads and Android devices. The BRC software has the Hawke reticles and a bunch of cartridge profiles built-in, so you can quickly tell it you’re using the Hawke 1×32 Multi-Purpose scope with an AR-15. As I was using practice hand loads, I adjusted the actual velocity to 2,700 feet per second instead of the default 3,250. As this is a 1x optic, and I’m half blind, I chose a 200 yard zero. not to actually shoot at 200 yards, but because the “near” zero point for the primary aiming cross works out to 42.2 yards. You can see on the image here that the left columns shows near zero distances while the column on the right shows far zero distances. Using my specially calibrated tennis shoes, I paced off 42 yards and added a bit more. Sure enough, I was right on target with the primary (top) aiming point in the reticle.
Here’s where it gets interesting. The Hawke BRC software tells me, that for this reticle, with my specific load and velocity, what the aiming points are for the lower cross and the top of the vertical post – 6.3 and 4.3 yards respectively. So I moved my target in to 6.3 yards, again using my Imperial system calibrated shoes and paced off 6.3 yards. Again, right on target. same with the top of the vertical post aim point at 4.3 yards. Depending on where you set your primary zero, and which load you use, you can develop a useful scenario where you know point of impact for both very short and very long-range. This is particularly handy with AR-15 applications. As the center of AR-15 optics is generally about 2.5 inches above the bore, you normally have to compensate for short-range shots. With the Hawke 1×32 Multi-Purpose scope, you simply use one of the lower two aiming points to put you right on target at “inside the home” distances.
Hawke 1x32 Multi-Purpose BRC software

The Hawke 1×32 Multi-Purpose BRC software comes preloaded with all of the Hawke Optics reticles so you can easily work out point of aim and impact solutions. Here’s the data we used for AR-15 testing with a 2,700 foot per second .223 Remington load.

 

Closing Arguments

The practical flexibility of this optic is just plain cool. I’ve been using it on an AR-15 with great success. My daughter just got a Barnett Jackal crossbow, so the weekend project will be to equip it with the Hawke 1×32 Multi-Purpose scope and see how that works. Our first step will be to configure the Hawke BRC software with the Jackal’s ballistic data. Here’s the initial report based on the bolt velocity of the Jackal. By the way, crossbow data is preloaded into Hawke BRC software and you can tweak variables like velocity.

Hawke BRC Crossbow data

The Hawke BRC Software give us this projected aim point and range data for the Barnett Jackal crossbow.

So, looking at the right column of far aim point data, we see that the three default aim points correspond to ranges of 20, 40 and 50 yards.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t touch on the value of this one. Retailing at $129.99, the Hawke 1×32 Multi-Purpose scope is a great option to consider if you’re on a tight budget. Add the benefit of moving it around from rifle to crossbow to shotgun and you’ve got a winner.

Available Here Hawke 1×32 Multi-Purpose Scope

 

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How To Add Night Sights To The M1A or M14 Rifle, And Other Rifleman Jazz

The Smith Enterprise Tritium Close Combat Sight (TCCS)

Recently I had a Springfield Armory M1A in for evaluation. Somehow, this military classic (civilian semi-automatic version of the M14) just insists that you use iron sights.

Why?

Got me. But I’ve waffled more on the scope / iron sights decision more than Eric Holder in his Fast and Furious testimony. Some weeks the scope mount goes on and others its back to iron sights. Right now, it’s iron sights, and I think I’m going to stick with those – at least until Honey Boo Boo gains another 5 pounds.

Actually I’ve got even more incentive to stick with irons for a while. Recently I picked up a Smith Enterprise Tritium Close Combat front sight for the M1A / M14.

Smith Enterprise Tritium Close Combat Sight for M1A and M14 Rifles

The Smith Enterprise Tritium Close Combat Sight (left) shown next to the standard Springfield Armory M1A front sight.

As you can see, the front sight post is noticeably wider and not tapered like the standard M1A front sight post. This sight is intended for low visibility, close quarters use. Don’t take it to the National Matches! Here’s why…

Let’s consider the sight picture at 100 yards. My particular Springfield Armory M1A sight is just about .055 inches wide on the shooter side. It’s tapered and therefore narrower than that in the front. This helps create a really crisp and precise sight picture. Many other M1A’s use a National Match sight blade, which is .062 inches wide, so your particular mileage may vary a bit. Keep in mind that numbers will float around depending on exactly how far from the front sight post you place your shootin’ and aimin’ eye. In my case, it’s about 34 inches.

On the other hand, the Smith Enterprise Tritium Close Combat Sight has a post that measures just about .093 inches wide.

What does this mean if your shooting at a target 100 yards away? Let’s do some fancy math and find out…

Gun math

So, solving that equation, dividing by the number of times John Boehner visits a tanning booth and carrying the one gives us the following sight pictures:

My Standard M1A Front Sight post covers a 5.82 inch wide target at 100 yards. With this fancy new match, that means a standard military 20 inch wide target would exactly match the width of my front sight blade at 343 yards.

The Smith Enterprise Tritium Close Combat Sight post covers a 9.84 inch wide target at 100 yards. Not trusting my math, I eyeballed this at the range. Close enough. To make a similar military target ranging comparison, the Smith Enterprise Tritium Close Combat Sight would match the 20 inch target width at about 203 yards. That’s kinda handy for ranging a man-sized target at distances us older folks you can actually see with the naked eye.

So, for long targets, you’re going to lose some precision with the Smith Enterprise Tritium Combat Sight. But that’s by design. This sight is supposed to be easy to see in low light conditions. With it’s built-in Trijicon tritium vertical bar, you can’t miss it.

This front sight upgrade also makes a great backup scenario if your M1A or M14 is scoped. Many (maybe most?) M1A / M14 receiver mounts have a half-tunnel cutout that allows you to see the front and rear iron sights under the scope. Smith Enterprise makes an M1A / M14 mount configured this way.

Front Sight Installation

If you have a standard M1A with the factory muzzle break installed, installation is simple.

M1A front sight removal

The standard front sight is a reverse dovetail setup where the sight itself has the female dovetail cut. It’s held in place by a hex bolt. Just loosen and remove that.

M1A front sight dovetail

The front sight will slide right off. Perhaps a gentle nudge will be required to get it moving.
 M1A front sight  1 Save that hex bolt. You’ll need it for the replacement front sight!

Smith Enterprise Tritium Close Combat Sight installation

The Smith Enterprise Tritium Close Combat Sight installs exactly the same as the standard sight. Don’t apply any Loctite – yet. First, you’ll want to bring your hex driver to the range with you for zeroing. If you zero for windage by drifting the front sight, then you can have your rear sight mechanically zeroed too. Just place the rear sight at it’s zero windage point, shoot, and adjust the front sight side to side as necessary. Once you’re happy, go ahead the tighten everything up.

Initially, I tried out the Tritium post version of the Smith Enterprise Tritium Close Combat Sight, but they also make one with a round tritium dot, also provided by Trijicon. I’ll be trying that one in a few weeks to see how it compares.

I really like shooting with this configuration. Given my aging eyes combined with iron sights, it’s not hurting my practical accuracy either.

 

Check out other My Gun Culture product reviews here!

 

You can find the Smith Enterprise Tritium Close Combat Sights at Brownells

Smith Enterprise M14 Tritium Close Combat Sight
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How (Not) to Install an AR-15 Flat Top Gas Block and Front Sight Base

Well, mostly this is an article about how to install an AR-15 flat-top front sight base and gas block. But we will share a few tips about how not to, learned the hard way, to save you aggravation should you choose to get adventurous with your own AR-15 rifle.

Here’s a pretty basic AR-15 rifle. This one happens to be a DPMS Lite 16 A3 AR-15. As you can see, it has the standard front sight base and gas block installed. While this piece looks to be permanently affixed to the rifle, it’s not. It’s just stuck on there, albeit really tightly, with a couple of pins.

AR 15 JP Gas Block Installation

Here’s a DPMS Lite 16 A3 AR-15. We’re going to replace the integral front sight base / gas block with a flat top version. So we can do a bunch of cool customizations to this rifle.

There’s nothing wrong with keeping the standard AR-15 front sight base, especially if you use no or low-power optics on your rifle. With a very low-power scope or red dot sight, you won’t really see the front sight (too much) and it makes a nice backup should your optic fail.

However, there are a number of good reasons you may want to consider removing the standard AR-15 sight block and replacing it with a flat top gas block.

Top 5 reasons to remove that ungainly AR-15 fixed front sight:

  1. While charging enemy positions, the wind resistance of the fixed AR-15 front sight slows you down.
  2. While it appears to double as a handy, integral bottle opener, you’ve come to your senses and determined that’s a really bad idea.
  3. Hardly any of Stickman’s rifles have one.
  4. You can use those cool AR-15 flip-up backup sights. Magpul, the company who just told Colorado politicians to enthusiastically pound sand, makes them. Support the resistance!
  5. If you use a scope, you can still kind of see the front sight getting in the way. It get’s really annoying with a higher-powered optic.

Whatever your reason, you can do this from the comfort of your home!

AR-15 JP Adjustable Gas Block System Installation

The JP Enterprise Adjustable Gas System

We have a number of reasons for embarking on this Dremel-free (hopefully) home-gunsmithing journey. You see, this rifle is going to be the starting point for a project we’re doing with the folks at Blackhawk!. As we wrote about earlier, Blackhawk! is making some really swell accessories for AR-15 style rifles, and putting a flat top gas block will give us a little more flexibility. Stay tuned!

After consulting the folks at Brownells.com, we decided to install the JP Enterprise Adjustable Gas System. We like the way it mounts with 3 solid hex screws and that it offers a quick-detach rail at standard height. This will allow us to mount a Blackhawk! backup sight system later. We also like the adjustable gas flow feature which allows you to tweak the amount of gas flowing back to the action. Adjust it so enough gas flows to ensure reliable operation with your favorite .223 or 5.56mm ammunition, but not so much that your rifle gets battered to bits over time.

Ready for some basic gunsmithing? Let’s go!

AR-15 Front Sight Base Here’s our existing front sight base and gas block. It kinda looks permanent, but only because some parkerizing goop has been sloshed over the seams. It’ll come off with a little love and tenderness!
AR-15 JP Gas Block Installation remove upper First, remove the upper receiver from the lower. This will make things a lot easier.
AR-15 JP Gas Block Installation padded vise In order to remove the front sight base, you’ll need to remove the flash hider or muzzle brake on your rifle. This will be much easier if you have a vise. Since we don’t have a dedicated barrel vise, we’re doing some budget improvisation and using an old kevlar vest as padding between our AR-15 barrel and those toothy vise jaws. What? It works…
AR-15 JP Gas Block Installation remove flash hider On our DPMS rifle, the flash hider was plenty tight, but not ridiculously so. A proper fitting wrench, a little elbow grease and some caution allowed us to take it right off.
AR-15 JP Gas Block Installation keep washer Be sure not to lose the washer. And pay attention to its orientation as this will go back on after the new gas block is installed.
AR-15 JP Gas Block Installation muzzle threads Now the threaded end of your barrel is exposed. What a great time to brush the crud off!
AR-15 JP Gas Block Installation (1) The next step is to punch out the two lower pins that hold the sight base to the barrel. This picture shows our highly-sophisticated system for supporting the barrel and sight base while allowing the pins to get knocked out the bottom.
AR-15 Front Sight Bench Block Better yet, get this AR-15 bench block from Brownells.com. It’s specifically designed to support the front sight and has cutout holes for pin removal. You’re far less likely to ding up your rifle trying to pound out stubborn pins. It’s well worth the money, especially if you’re going to use it more than once. We got impatient waiting for ours and used the budget method, with the expected results…
AR-15 JP Gas Block Installation remove pins If you have brass punches, use them. You’ll be far less likely to ding up your existing sight base and your barrel. While brass leaves marks, it can be scrubbed off. Also, use a punch pin that is as close as possible to the diameter of the pin, without being larger. Using too small of a pin will “mush out” the pin and make it harder to remove. These pins are going to be pretty tight, so you’ll have to support the barrel well and smack the crud out of it. One of ours was so stubborn, we had to drill it out. Hopefully you won’t have to resort to that!
AR-15 JP Gas Block Installation gas tube pin Now remove the upper pin that holds the gas tube in place. This one will come out pretty easily. Be careful not to bend the gas tube. Try not to notice the brass marks where we fought that second pin with very little elegance.
AR-15 JP Gas Block Installation remove gas tube Now the gas tube will pull out of the front sight base. And you have yet another great spring cleaning opportunity. Clean the interior and holes of the gas tube, but remember to leave it bone dry when finished.
AR-15 JP Gas Block Installation hammer Here’s another one of those right tool for the job opportunities. You’ll need to whack the front sight base towards the muzzle a couple of times to break it loose. A plastic hammer like this one from Brownells will do the job.
AR-15 JP Gas Block Installation remove sight block Once broken loose, the front sight assembly will slide forward and off the barrel. Here’s where you’ll get to see how much attention to detail was placed on your rifle’s manufacture. This barrel was not parkerized under the sight as you can see the bare steel.
AR-15 JP Gas Block Installation gas port Yet another cleaning opportunity. If your rifle has been used, there will be some gas crud around the gas port. Clean it off and dry.
AR-15 JP Gas Block Installation adjustable Now we’re cookin’ with propane! Insert the gas regulator screw into the gas block just enough to hold it in place. Next, insert the gas tube, making sure to insert the right end.
AR-15 JP Gas Block Installation line up gas port Be sure that the hole in the gas tube aligns properly with the gas block port before the next step.
AR-15 JP Gas Block Installation (2) Slide the whole assembly into place, being careful not to bend the gas tube.
AR-15 JP Gas Block Installation (3) You’ll see the holes where the gas tube enters the receiver. Line everything up.
AR-15 JP Gas Block Installation (4) Once you’re confident that everything is in place, you can insert and tight the three hex screws that hold the gas block to the barrel. Now you can reinstall your flash hider or muzzle brake.
AR-15 JP Gas Block Installation completed That’s it for the installation portion of this upgrade. Just replace your hand guards and reattach the upper and lower receivers. The next step has to be done at the range, so be sure to read on!

Adjusting the JP Enterprise Gas Block

Earlier we mentioned that you can tweak the gas flow using this particular JP Enterprises gas block. The process is a lot easier than it sounds.

  1. Bring your normal .223 and/or 5.56mm ammo to the range.
  2. Be SURE to bring the included hex wrench that fits the gas adjustment screw!
  3. Turn the gas adjustment screw (the silver one) all the way in to completely close off the gas port.
  4. Now back it out a couple of turns.
  5. Load and fire one shot.
  6. If the bolt of your rifle stays open, you’re likely done. If it does not, then you’re not getting enough gas. That sounds kind of wrong doesn’t it?
  7. If your bolt is not locking open on the last shot, keep opening the gas screw until the bolt locks back consistently on the last shot.
  8. When you get it set, you may want to use a little LocTite to keep it from moving around. Be sure to use low or medium strength so you can break the screw loose later if you need to!
  9. Just remember, if you change ammunition, you may need to readjust.

Next up, the Blackhawk! AR-15 upgrade project. Each article, we’ll document one part of the upgrade process.

Stay tuned!

 

You can find this at Brownells

J P Enterprises Ar-15/M16 Adjustable Gas Block
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EOTech 300 AAC Blackout Holographic Site – Coming Soonish!

EOTech 300 AAC Blackout XPS2-300

The EOTech XPS2-300 features two 1 MOA dots positioned inside a 65MOA circular reticle.

We had the pleasure of spending the past few days at the 2013 Professional Outdoor Media Association annual conference in Columbia, South Carolina. One of the joys of the annual POMA gathering is spending quality time with corporate members like EOTech. Away from the bedlam of SHOT Show or the NRA Annual Meeting, there is opportunity for lot’s of questions. Even better, the range day event allows more leisurely trial of new products.

One of this year’s range day highlights was the new EOTech .300 AAC Blackout holographic sight. On the outside, it shares primary features with other XPS models.

EOTech SM2-300 reticle

The EOTech 300 AAC Blackout reticle looks something like this.

For example, it uses a sideways mounted CR123 battery. There are two reasons for this. The sideways mount helps to shorten the overall length of the optic – handy for AR platforms with limited rail space. This is especially important if you also want to mount  a magnifier or backup iron sights. The hidden benefit of the sideways mounted battery is increased resistance to adverse recoil effects. As the rifle fires, the battery does not move back and forth against the battery contacts. The result? Longer life and improved reliability. Clever.

The XPS2-300 model also features rear mounted on/off and brightness buttons. This is primarily for true ambidextrous operation. Windage and elevation adjustments are 1/2 MOA, or about 1/2 inch per click at 100 yards.

The real deal with the EOTech 300 AAC Blackout is the multi-dot reticle. Like most other EOTech models, there is a 1 MOA center dot. With the XPS2-300, there is a second dot below the first. This is intended for an additional range zero with the 300 AAC Blackout cartridge. The idea is that you choose either subsonic or supersonic 300 Blackout loads and establish two range points corresponding to the two dots. For example, most 300 Blackout subsonic rounds, if zeroed at 50 yards, will have the lower dot corresponding to 100 yards. In all likelihood, supersonic rounds will match the top dot at 50 yards also and depending on your specific load, you can establish a range that corresponds to the lower dot. Or, with the wide variety of 300 AAC Blackout loads, you could zero the upper dot for your choice of supersonic load, then determine the range for your choice of subsonic load sighted with the lower dot. This will be a fun optic to experiment with if you’re a reloader.

The EOTech models for .223 / 5.56mm also have a 7 yard aim point. This is where the bottom post intersects the 65MOA circle. This aim point should also apply for the 300 AAC Blackout optic as there is minimal trajectory influence at just 7 yards – most of the difference between aim point and point of impact is a result of the height of the center dot over the barrel. We weren’t able to test this, but it should be pretty darn close.

We’re anxious to get one of these in so we can experiment with a variety of both subsonic and supersonic loads and report on the reticle function. According to EOTech, the unit will be out sometime in the late spring / early summer of 2013.

More to follow.

Top 10 Shooting Products from NSSF SHOT Show 2013

Doing a Top 10 list for SHOT Show is ridiculous. Kind of like trying to fit all the amazing things that have spilled out of Joe Biden’s mouth into a single leather-bound book. It simply can’t be done.

But as you probably already know, we’re kind of ridiculous around here, so we’re going to highlight our Top 10 shooting gear finds of SHOT Show 2013.

Here goes:

 Trijicon 300 AAC Blackout ACOG
Trijicon 300 AAC Blackout ACOG Optic. This is cool, cool, cool. We’ve a got a 300 Blackout rifle coming in for testing and can’t wait to spend more time with this optic. We shot it at the Media Day event and loved our first experience. The neat thing about this optic is the graduated reticle. It’s got normal elevation hashmarks calibrated for supersonic 300 AAC Blackout loads out to 600 yards. It also has indicators for subsonic rounds. Just zero the optic with supersonic ammo and everything falls into place. You’ll also notice the scope is slimmer than standard ACOG’s.
 Kestrel Meter 4500 Ballistic Bluetooth Nightvision Kestrel Meter with Horus ATRAG Ballistics Software. This is one cool device. You may be familiar with Kestrel’s pocket weather meters that provide instant data on humidity, temperature, wind, etc. This one adds a full ballistic computer to the mix. You can store multiple gun and load configurations with bullet type, ballistic coefficient, weight, and velocity. This information is combined with automatically collected atmospheric data to calculate a perfect long-range shooting solution. A new model is coming out soon with even more advanced ballistic software and load storage capabilities. Technology is cool.
 Black Rain Ordnance AK-47 Black Rain Ordnance AK-47. What’s the big deal about another AK-47? Look closely at the photo. This baby is a MILLED receiver, not a piece of metal stamped out like a Yugo fender. If memory serves, it’s going to be called the Freedom Fighter when it’s available in a couple of months. Oh, and we found out that one of Black Rain’s Pro Shooters, Sandra Orvig, lives virtually across the street from us. You’ll know a couple of other Black Rain Pro Shooters from Top Shot – the always energetic Gabby Franco and really huge guy Greg Littlejohn. This gun shot like a dream. Solid, heavy, and gentle. Fun!
 Tracking Point Laser Targeting System Tracking Point Networked Tracking Scope. Why yes, that is a laser targeting system on my .338 Lapua Magnum! I have no long-range shooting skill. Mainly because there’s no place nearby with a long-range facility. So when that crazy guy from Tracking Point asked me if I wanted to shoot a .338 Lapua Magnum at a steel gong 967 yards away in a freezing, howling wind, I thought he was a little nuts. With the Tracking Point, you simply lase the target with a red dot on the reticle using a button near the trigger. The system already knows your load ballistics and gathers atmospheric conditions for trajectory calculation. Once the target is lased, you can move the rifle around in an moderate-sized zone around the target center. Just press and hold the trigger and try to cover the laser indicator again. When your scope passes over the exact spot, the rifle fires automatically – you don’t have to hold on the target, just pass over it. A secondary benefit is there is no trigger flinch. You don’t know exactly when the gun will fire. And yes, I did hit the steel gong ⅔ of a mile out there on the first try. Through no fault of my own.
 NSSF First Shots Reception SHOT Show 2013 Crazy Fun People. Ok, so this isn’t actually a product, but most of our shooting industry friends are more or less products of insanity. That’s what makes the people so great and all of this so much fun. Here’s a photo from the First Shots reception, run by the NSSF’s always entertaining Tisma Juett. She’s coordinating First Shots events all across the country and getting thousands and thousands of people introduced to the shooting sports. You might recognize some of those wild and crazy huntresses from The Women’s Outdoor News, Stephanie from XS Sights, Kelle – the better half of Hot Caliber Jewelry, Team Archangel – tactical trainers extraordinaire, and @GlamGunGirl.
 Flashbang Eva Holster and others in the Pin Up Collection women's holsters Flashbang Eva Women’s Holster. A number of companies that are more dude-oriented are making hybrid holsters like the Galco King Tuk and CrossBreed. Lisa and Bart Looper have some up with a model just for the female form. The Eva has an exceptionally well made leather backing, gun-specific kydex shell, and best of all, a colorful suede backing. Fun and functional!
 Blackhawk AR Rail Thumb Shelf Blackhawk! Rail Mount Thumb Rest. Sometimes the simplest products are the most valuable. This is a nifty accessory for virtually any rifle with a forward side rail. The thumb shelf helps you achieve a perfectly consistent and firm grip with your support hand every time. Reversing it creates two different thumb shelf heights. A lower position is great for rifles with a vertical fore grip. The upper position is better if you don’t use one. You have to try it to believe the difference it makes.
 US Optics SR8 Rifle Scope U.S. Optics SR8. This is one gorgeous optic. It’s obviously built like a tank. It offers 1-8x zoom with a true 1X so at closer ranges it works like a red dot. It features two different ranging reticle options which are in the first focal plane so ranging is not affected by zoom level. It also offers a red dot in the second focal plane which can be turned on or off. The red dot features variable intensity controls. Or you can get a not-red dot as the optic is orderable with your choice of red, green or blue illumination. Can’t wait to spend some quality time with this one.
 SilencerCo Saker 5.56mm silencer SilencerCo 5.56mm Saker. This dedicated 5.56 / .223 silencer was just downright fun to shoot. Less blast, less noise, accurate, and light. What’s not to love? The neatest part of the Saker design is the MAAD, or Multiple Accessory Attachment Device. This simply means that the attachment mechanism is not proprietary. Which means you can mount this over other vendors flash hiders. The end cap is removable, so if you manage to blow the end off, you can simply replace the end cap and there is far less risk of damage to your suppressor.
 Slidefire 22 Stock Slidefire .22LR Stock System. Here’s a great way to clean out your local Wal-Mart’s supply of bulk .22LR ammunition. Last year, SlideFire introduced bump-fire stocks for AR-15 and AK-47 semi-automatic rifles. This year, they’ve managed to get the system to work on certain .22 rifles. Available soonish is a trigger set for the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22. The stock is the basic AR-15 stock. The lighter trigger set is required to make the SlideFire system work with the reduced recoil impulse of .22 ammunition. Soon, SlideFire will introduce a solution for the Ruger 10/22 platform. We shot the M&P 15-22 system at Media Day and it was a hoot! And affordable :-) Get one.

Red Dot Sight Review: Aimpoint PRO Optic

Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Sight Optic

The Aimpoint PRO is beautifully designed. Note the transparent rear lens cap.

Sweden has invented some pretty useful things over the years. Ingrid Bergman. Greta Garbo. Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite and that goofy prize for well-connected politicians. And of course, Sweden is responsible for bringing us the swingin’ pop sensation ABBA. Oh, Fernando, you dancing queen…

As if these contributions were not enough, Sweden also produced Aimpoint. As we discovered with our review of the Aimpoint Micro H1 red dot sight, the new Aimpoint PRO over-delivers. But is it the best red dot sight?

The Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Sight goes from tactical to civilian

The Aimpoint PRO is actually a new packaging release. The Law Enforcement only product, the Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic (PRO) was released in 2011. It was the latest iteration of sights based on the popular Comp M3 design. The Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic had a few key differences to the Comp M3 line:

  • 3 year battery life
  • Included flip up lens covers
  • QRP2 mount
  • Nifty lens cap (interior) sticker for battery replacement and in-service date reminders

In 2012, the Aimpoint PRO was made available to the civilian market. Got it?

High points – Is the Aimpoint PRO the best red dot sight?

Like the Aimpoint Micro H1 red dot, the Aimpoint PRO red dot sight runs 75% of forever. The single 3 volt lithium 2L76 battery runs for 30,000 continuous hours. That’s longer than the movie The English Patient. Although The English Patient seems longer once you’re trapped in the theater and doomed to hours of $14 cokes. In case you haven’t seen The English Patient, 3,000 hours equates to about 3 years of continuous use. We’re pretty comfortable with a design that runs for 3 years without switches or maintenance. Even if you’re really paranoid, just replace that single battery every New Years Eve before the festivities start and you become forgetful. Of course there is a real benefit to this longevity other than an exceptionally low battery replacement budget. Just leave this red dot sight powered on. Always. Then it’s ready to go without switches or any other manipulation. As we’ll see later, you don’t even have to open the lens covers.

The Aimpoint PRO red dot sight features a 2 MOA (minute of angle) red dot. Intensity is adjusted by a knob at the 2 o’clock position from the rear lens. The knob is designed with deep grooves for easy grasp, even with gloves, and allows 10 levels of dot intensity adjustment. We found that you can adjust it easily with your weak hand without obstructing the lens.

Aimpoint PRO Red Dot QRP2 Mount

The QRP2 mount does not require tools – and is self torque limiting

The mount has also been updated from the Comp M3 offering for effective use on AR / M4 type platforms. The QRP2 system accomplishes two objectives. First, it places the optic at such a height where the iron sights on an AR platform line up in the bottom third of the optic window. This allows easy use of the red dot without iron sights getting in the way – even if your rifle has a fixed front sight. Second, the mount features a large snap knob for mounting the optic on the rail. Simply place the optic on the rail and tighten the knurled knob until it clicks 3 times. This applies exactly the right amount of torque so your rail will not be damaged. And you can easily mount and unmount the optic without tools. Please sir, step away from the vise grips!It’s a really handy mount that proved to be solid over time and use. The height spacer of the QRP2 mount is removable if you want to mount the Aimpoint PRO on shotguns or sub-machine guns.

Both front and rear lenses are inset into the optic body for extra protection. The front tube is threaded inside in case you want to mount an optional anti-reflective device. By the way, the Aimpoint PRO red dot sight is compatible with all current generations of night vision devices. It also can be used with Aimpoint’s 3x magnifier if you need to reach out and touch someone at greater distance.

Like other Aimpoint products, the Aimpoint PRO is built with attention to detail. For example, windage and elevation caps, and the battery compartment cap, are all connected with a rubber strap so won’t lose any pieces. Aimpoint even includes a sticker to record battery changes and service dates. This round sticker fits on the inside of the front lens cap so you won’t lose track of it. And you’ll see it every time you open the lens cap.

Optical illusions

One of the first things we noticed about the Aimpoint PRO is the design of the included (and pre-installed) flip up lens covers. The front lens is made from black rubber and has two tabs that allow for easy opening. The front lens cover is spring loaded, so a light tap on either tab opens the cover all the way, and spring tension keeps it well out of the way once opened. The rear lens cover is particularly interesting. The cover itself is clear, so you don’t necessarily have to open it for use. As the Aimpoint PRO is designed for ‘both eyes open’ shooting, you can literally pick up the rifle and aim it accurately with both lens covers closed. The rear cover is clear, so you will see the red dot. Your offside eye will see the target. Your brain will put the two together and you’ll see a red dot on target. Of course, the sight picture is not as clear as with the lens covers open, but we found this scenario to be perfectly usable. This seemingly minor feature could make all the difference in a scenario where one has to react immediately. Obviously it could make a big difference in combat or defensive applications. Or it can help you avoid embarrassment in that upcoming 3 gun match.

You too can re-enact scenes from Act of Valor

We hear much internet wisdom about how quality optics are expensive. And how you can get the “same exact thing” from some other company. Some folks insist that the actual optic is made in the same factory as a knock off and different brand names are applied as the units are shipped out the door.

Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic Red dot sight cowitness iron sights

The mount co-witnesses perfectly with iron sights.

Not so with the Aimpoint product line. They are made in Sweden by Aimpoint, for Aimpoint. Period. And the attention to quality engineering is apparent.

The Aimpoint PRO is constructed from a solid anodized aluminum housing. Watertight screw caps for the battery housing and windage and elevation adjustments ensure that you can completely submerge this unit up to a depth of 150 feet. If you’re engaged in activities that cover your optic with sand and salt spray, no problem, just dunk it in clean water and you’re good to go. Do make sure the caps are on though.

The Aimpoint PRO Red Dot Sight at the range

Of course the real test was at the range. We mounted the evaluation unit on a DPMS Panther A3 Lite 16 AR15 rifle. This model features a front sight post and rail on the back. We have it equipped with a Magpul flip-up rear sight. Even with the rear sight flipped up, the Aimpoint PRO’s red dot was easy to see. The front and rear sights lined up just about 1/3 of the way up the glass. Perfectly positioned in our opinion.

As the Aimpoint PRO is parallax free there was no sensitivity at all to position of your head and eyes. As long as you can see through the tube, you’ll see the dot on target. We found this sight very fast to acquire.

Just for kicks, we did try shooting some 25, 50 and 100 yard targets with the both lens covers closed. Remember, the Aimpoint PRO has a semi-transparent rear lens cap, so you can see the red dot without flipping the rear cap out of the way. With the front cap closed, your brain relies on your other eye to acquire the target. The eye looking through the optic will see the dot and your brain does a reasonable job of putting the two together. We found 25 and 50 yard targets easy to hit with the front cap closed. The 100 yard targets were a little harder to acquire accurately in this manner. The bottom line is that this feature works as intended. If you need to fire a quick shot, you can do it accurately without even opening the lens caps.

All in all, this is another excellent optic and mount from Aimpoint. We’re going to have to buy one.

Our rating

4 Nuns Four Nuns! Built like a tank. Clear and easy to acquire. Those little details that Aimpoint considers make all the difference. We highly recommend this one.
Check out other My Gun Culture product reviews here!

 

Shop for the Aimpoint Pro at Brownells.com

Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic (Pro)
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Top 5 Coolest Things from NRA Annual Meeting Day 1

Even with a busy meeting and interview schedule, we managed to spot some pretty nifty things during day 1 of the NRA Annual Meeting in St. Louis. So far, we’ve only covered about 30% of the exhibits, so look for more over the next two days.

Here are some of the standouts from Day 1:

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Smith & Wesson M&P Shield – The much anticipated Shield is out and available for purchase. It’s a compact, yet comfortable little single stack pistol. It sports a brand new trigger design which is, well, fantastic.

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Aimpoint Pro – Previously for LE and Military only, a civvie version is ready. 2 MOA red dot, flip up lens covers, a torque limiting rail mount and typical Aimpoint quality. We’ll be doing a full review shortly.

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Bore Tips and Swab Its – We first saw these at SHOT Show 2012, but they still make the NRA AM Day 1 cool list. Bore-Tips are foam based cleaning swabs get complete contact with the barrel – and they are washable for reuse. Swab Its are the 21st century equivalent of Q-Tips that don’t leave cottony junk in your gun. And they come in different sizes to do things like reach into those impossible spaces in AR chambers.

gun_storage_handgun_rack_sm_handgun_hangers

Handgun Hangers – From Store More Guns, these simple but amazingly useful hangers mount above and/or below safe shelfs to hang pistols by the barrel. This keeps your pistols organized on any size of shelf. And you can store magazines underneath. They also have some nifty solutions that allow storage or more rifles in the same amount of gun safe space.

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Ruger 22/45 LITE Rimfire Pistol – This fun little .22LR pistol is shockingly light. No really, shockingly light. Oh, and phenomenally cool. The gold receiver and barrel shroud is tastefully colored and the contour cuts are just plain sporty. Look for this in different colors something in the future.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more cool things from the NRA Annual Convention. Stay tuned…

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