Sunday, September 30, 2012

Changing the sling placement and why

Heard from a guy I know who's a gunfighter for a living about how he runs a sling on his carbine and why, and why my set up was for flat range work. So, being the pragmatist I am, I had to give it another look. Basically, I've moved my sling from a "wide" set up to a "tight" one.
I realize that pic is a little cluttered; I would have ended up with a different photo if I'd been thinking ahead a bit. It's not the easiest thing to see, but you can see where the sling is attached. I'm using an end plate adapter that's luckily left over from years ago when I had a one point sling (I'd never recommend now). I say "luckily" because that thing has had the crap staked out of it and it's gonna wreck the end plate and the receiver extension lock nut if I ever take it off. The forward sling point is the ACE rail grabber type. I don't have a whole lot of reason for a QD, since I can just dump my arm through the sling and drop the rifle.

The main reason for moving the sling in tight is that it makes the rifle faster and handier to move around. It allows the end of the rail to be "clean" so you can move stuff around if needs be. I only run a light and I don't have a 12" I don't think I'll be moving my light, nor will I be putting an X300 at the 12:00, because I can't. Not sure I would anyway because of the switchology, but that's a separate post. Another reason to sling in tight is that if you have to crank down on the sling to climb a wall or something like that (Yeah, sure...I'll climb a wall. It could happen. *rolling eyes*) the sling is less likely to slide off your body. Not so much a factor for me, probably, but that's a serious consideration for some people so it bears mention. This set up keeps the sling off your gear more than slinging wide does, too.

The downside? The rifle is less stable on the sling, and takes a bit more adjusting to get the length right. I'm still fooling with mine; I think it's a little bit long still. It's kinda nitpicking a little, but the rifle feels "heavier" on the sling. The weight's concentrated more, so physics still work. I gotta put in some more time with it, but I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Plate Rack Time

I got a little tired of explaining why my 6 plate rack times were so horribly slow in the vid I shot for the X300 comparison (the reason is true, I'm just tired of saying it) so I finally figured out how to get this photo off my phone and post it here. This is one of my better ever plate rack runs, but this happened during the day. Distance was about ten yards, from the draw. I think I was using a Sarfariland 6354-DO with a Glock 17 and X300, but I'm not certain of that; could have been a 5189.
I've learned some more about that speed to first shot, and posted about it here a while back. One of these days, I'll get a photo of that run again, with a more reasonable first shot time. I should be able to get that time to about 4, maybe 4.2 or so.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

WBSIB, borrowed from Vuurwapen Blog

I read the original of this on the Vurwaapen Blog and liked the idea, so I decided to do my own spin on it. If you're not reading that blog, you're missing out on some really good stuff.

If I set out to buy one of the following, this is what I would look for as of September 2012. Some things have great alternatives that aren't listed and some things have great alternatives that are listed. Some things I've gotten for free and some things I haven't. Some things might be more or less than you need. But if you ask me a general question about what (blank) to buy, this is probably what I'd recommend.
...a 5.56mm rifle - Colt LE6920. I like the "restricted" roll marks, but the SP is the same model without them and may save some money.
...a .308/7.62x51 rifle - Larue Tactical OBR
...a bolt action rifle - Remington 700. Pick a model; there's a reason this rifle is ubiquitous.
...a shotgun - Remington 870.Have a better reputation for durability vs the Mossberg
...a 22LR rifle - Marlin model 60. My first gun (still have it) was a 60 and I lost track of the round count. It's huge. Accurate and reliable.
...a handgun - Glock 19.
...a handgun for concealed carry - Also a Glock 19
...a holster - IWB: Bianchi 135 Allusion Suppression OWB: Safariland 529 belt slide Tactical: Safariland ALS series
...a non-magnified optic -Aimpoint T1 if you've got the duccats, Aimpoint PRO if you don't
...a fixed power optic for a semi auto rifle - Trijicon TA33/TA11 ACOG.
...a fixed power optic for a bolt action rifle - Bushnell Elite 3200 10X or Leupold M8 4X for hunting rifles
...a variable power optic - Anything German. Maybe a Vortex Viper or Razor if I didn't want the German price tag. AR-15 upgrade - Buffer Technologies Extractor Kit, or BCM/Vltor Gunfighter Charging Handle AR-15 rail - Daniel Defense 12.0 FSP or Troy 13" TRX Xtreme if you want a handguard rather than rail AR-15 magazine - Magpul E Mag
...a knife - Spyderco Endura IV
...a watch -Seiko diver, black bezel or Pepsi bezel
...a flashlight - Surefire X300 Ultra until the replacement head for the Scout comes out
...a flashlight for carry - Surefire E2D LED.
...rifle ammo for killing things - I like Federal Premium, but this isn't my are of expertise
...handgun ammo for killing things - Federal HST. Winchester Ranger T/Ranger Bonded. Speer Gold Dot. Or whatever hollowpoints from an American company are available.
...shotgun ammo for killing things - Federal FliteControl buckshot or Federal slugs.
...practice ammo - Federal Champion. Looks pretty nasty, but QC is excellent. Several thousands of rounds and no problems at all. Wish I could say that about WWB.
...a handgun .22LR conversion - Tactical Solutions
...a rifle .22LR conversion - the .22 AR's are so cheap, why convert?

I’d lke your take on these serious to not so serious questions:
ear / eye protection? Ears: Peltor Comtacs. I believe Sordin Supremes are overall better, but I prefer the sound quality of the Peltors
a durable steel target? Hard to beat TacStrike for value
an AK (or more generally a piston operated rifle)? Had an AK, gave it away to pay a debt. If you want a piston gun, there's the HK 416 and there's everything else.
a cleaning solvent? Hoppe's #9. Doubles as a decent after shave.
a fun range gun? Ruger Mk. II. Far and away the best gun Ruger ever made.
a good online gun forum?  For guns in general? Probably THR. If you want discussions about using them for real, Lightfighter...but it's not for everybody. Some people don't belong there.
a gift to give a dad who likes John Wayne movies? Pick a movie, can't go wrong. My favorites: Rio Bravo, Rio Lobo, El Dorado, The Green Berets, Flying Tigers, The Quiet Man. There are also several very cool documentaries about The Duke's career and life away from his career.

Whaddaya think? What would you choose?

Change in the sling

Got the word from a very good source that there were some major disadvantages to my sling set up, and the opposite sling method had much merit. The difference between them is that the wide sling method works quite well for a flat range scenario, which is pretty much what my rifle gets the most use doing. I'm going to shoot some new photos of the rifle, since I have a new optic on it anyway, and I'll delve a little deeper into what were explained to me to be the upsides of the receiver end points for slinging. The source of that info is a very definite, real deal gunfighter, so at the very least I have to explore it again. More on this soon.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

X300 vs. X300 Ultra

I posted this over at LF, but since not everybody can see it there, I decided to do a C&P onto The Blog That Rarely Gets Updated.

I acquired an X300U yesterday, and took it to the range last night. This light is pretty amazing and you're going to want one.

I brought one of my standard X300's along to compare output to. The standard X300 is one of the newer 170 lumen lights. As many of you know, my math skills are practically non-existent, which of course extends to reading a tape measure. One of the major concerns about the new Ultra is whether or not the extra length was going to be an issue. The X300 from bezel to end of body, minus the tail cap, is just about three inches. The X300U has a crenelated bezel that the X300 doesn't, so I chose to measure it from the peak of a crenelation to get the max length. The same measurement for the Ultra is about 3 3/16 inches.

I have a few holsters that fit pistols with lights, several by Safariland and an older Blade-Tech for an X200, and currently all for Glocks. A couple for the G35, a few for the G17. All fit without issue. The 6354DO fits it especially well, with the mechanical spring ALS unit that holster uses.

The difference in output, 170 lumens for the X300 vs. 500 lumens for the X300 Ultra, is dramatic. It's very difficult to quantify with words, so I put together a short video of a couple of horrible plate rack runs that shows the difference much more clearly.

One thing I continue to find out: fiber optic front sights are useless in the dark; they just disappear. My 45 year old original equipment eyeballs can't see the dang thing. If you're gonna fight with a gun at night (and if you know you never will, share that trick with me), don't use FO front sights. Spend the extra duccats and get a tritium front.

Here's the video I mentioned earlier. I did, in fact, choose the most irritating music that Flip had available:

Saturday, September 01, 2012

The Magwell is not a hand grip

This is a pet peeve of mine, because there are companies out there that make parts that cause bad technique. I speaking of plastic crap like the Never Quit grip and similar pieces of polymer poop that which are designed to create a hand hold on the magazine well of a carbine.

Why do I have such a sore spot for this part? Two main reasons. The first is that it enables really terrible technique that isn't even on the same end of the scale of efficient recoil control. In order to keep the muzzle of a rifle under control (which aids in recoil management, which increases both speed and accuracy when it's maximized) two things must happen, and both have to do with leverage. First, ya gotta get the hand as close to being around the barrel as possible, and second, ya gotta get a grip as far forward on the fore end as possible. For proof, do a bit of searching and check out how the best shooters and best instructors in the world shoot. There is variation in technique, but overall, they're shooting in a way that's obviously based on the same technique enough to call it the same for practical purposes. Some search terms for ya: Jerry Miculek rifle, Army Rangers, Delta Force Recruiting Video, Three Gun Rifle, Kyle Lamb, Larry Vickers, Brian Searcy, Kyle Defoor, Tiger Swan, Magpul Dynamics...there are plenty more; you get the idea. Its the way the best shooters in the world shoot, it's how they teach it, if it's not how you shoot, you really should get some instruction, break out the timer, and prove to yourself that it's how you should have been doing it that way all along. Grabbing the mag well is the antithesis of being able to shoot fast and accurately, and it looks dorky, too.

The second reason has to do with safety. Ever seen an AR blow up? Any gun can be blown up; AR's of quality construction (polymer is not quality construction, by the way. Don't go that way.) are exceptionally durable, very safe designs. But, like all modern firearm designs, having them rapidly disassemble in an overpressure situation has been taken into account and designed for. Now, the design work is not complicated; force like water takes the path of least resistance. Where is that path? Its out the bottom of the loaded magazine. Where's the magazine when that happens? In the magwell. If you're grabbing the magwell when that happens, not only are you shooting slower and less accurately than everybody else, you may just blow your hand up. When things go bad, they go bad violently and with no warning. You're not going to be able to do anything about it to stop it or move your mitt. So why have it there in the first place?

Here's the key to the whole thing: don't grab the mag well. It's bad technique, it looks stupid, and it could get you the nickname "Stumpy''. Don't do it.